Hurricane Preparation to Help You Stay Alive and Be Safe

As you begin to take in the news about Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Irma, not to mention Jose coming in behind her, you may wonder about your little area of the world; Is it safe and can you escape if a large funnel of wind, rain, and waves come after your town? With the appropriate hurricane preparation, hurricane supplies, and some planning, you can be safe. It will also help your family get closer together.

Hurricane Planning

A great hurricane guide and the hurricane kit it recommends will see you through hurricane. Think about what is coming when you are in the path of a hurricane. There will be a fairly wide swath of storm with winds (based on whether it is category 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) of up to 200 miles per hour. No matter where it ‘makes landfall’, as it is heading toward you, trees can be ripped up, roads can become buckled and electrical power lines will start to fall. This, of course, makes it dangerous to be out on the roads, even if you want to go out.

You will probably be out of power before you even feel the wind and/or rain, so use the time you have to watch the television and listen to the radio about what is coming. During this time, the planning you will need to do, if you have not done so by now, is fairly straight forward:

Gather materials together to help you survive for a few days. This will be your ‘Go-Bag’ or hurricane kit and should be prepared in advance for when it’s necessary.

* Paper maps of the local area from your neighborhood to the safest place you believe you can get to are a good idea. This might mean to the State border or, at least completely out of the danger zone. Do not depend on the Google Maps app in your cell phone as the signal may not even be there for its operation.

* Hand crank radio to listen to news and disaster updates. If you have a good battery operated one, get plenty of batteries now, so you will not have to go to the store, which will probably be out by the time you get there anyway.

* Water for every member of your party. You will need approximately one gallon for each member for each day. Pack more if it is hot and you will be doing any kind of strenuous activity to survive. Do not be as concerned about water for bathing as this luxury can be ignored for a couple of days.

* Medications: Pack all regular, normal medications for everyone. Include a lot of antiseptic, or sanitary wipes. A full First Aid kit should also be packed. A bottle, or tin, of water purification tablets should also be in your bag. You will also want to include any real valuable paperwork and/or things that looters like to get if you are not there to protect them.

* A sharp knife, a tarp for shelter and sleeping bags can also be included. Be careful about packing any guns unless you know the laws in your area, and the area you are going into. Do not depend on the authorities looking the other way all of the time in this matter.

* Food: Your hurricane supplies will need to contain enough food for your family. This should include simple things that do not need to be heated, as this convenience might be hard to find for a while. Previously bought dehydrated foods is the ideal.

If you are going to be able to move out of the area in your car or truck, weight may not be an issue, however, if you will be walking out, or catching a ride from someone else, weight will be a big issue and all of the above supplies will need to be broken down into a backpack or duffel bag for each member of your party, so plan this out carefully.

House Preparation

It could help ensure you have a drier place to come back to. All things that can be picked up by the wind and thrown into your windows should be taken inside. This can also prevent looters from getting them. This includes lawn furniture and those cute gnomes that are in the yard that can make nasty torpedoes when thrown through a patio door. The BBQ grill in the shed or garage and tables and chairs should be brought inside too.

Several days before the storm hits, if there are still lumber yards open, get plywood and mount these over at least the large picture windows you have. It won’t matter if your house is destroyed or blown away, but, if not, these few steps will help keep things together and less water and damage can enter into your house. You could go to the point of putting sand bags in all exterior doors and basement entrances. Many communities offer a large pile of sand in some situations like this. By checking the news, you can find out if this is available in your area.

Even if you evacuate to a local safety center, established in a secure area by the city or State, the preservation of your home will help you get back to business quicker after the all clear has been sounded.

If the storm is not actually going to hit your house physically, you may decide to hunker down inside. Follow the instructions above for the preparing of your home, and consider acquiring a generator. This might be needed because, even if the hurricane misses your house or neighborhood, your electrical power comes from a bit further away than that and may be turned off.

Check List

A quick look at your hurricane preparation:

  1. As soon as you hear about the storm, track it’s progress through TV and radio.
  2. Start packing your Go-Bag.
  3. Check for open lumber yards and clean up the yard.
  4. Check into generator availability if you are going to be staying inside.
  5. Evacuate if, and when, directed to do so, following your plan, and be patient on the roads as there will be many people fighting for their piece of it.
  6. If you are going to a local safety center, be courteous and know that everyone is having a hard time of it as well.

How To Hotwire A Car In An Emergency: 2 Surprisingly Easy Techniques

When in a survival situation, it can be hard to know which way is up. Some skills that are frowned upon in conventional society actually come in handy in times likes this. For instance, have you ever heard of hotwiring a car? This is the process where someone starts a car but without a key. It’s something that is often seen in blockbuster movies and will be useful if you have misplaced your keys or if you must get out of town during an emergency or survival situation.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading for instruction on how to hotwire a car in an emergency so you can get moving once again.

What You Need

Before we begin, it’s important to note that, while hotwiring is an important skill to have in your bag of tricks, it’s also illegal and can land you in jail if used for nefarious purposes. We are not promoting any such activities here.

Also, the following methods are better suited for older model vehicles, especially the ones that don’t need microchip activation to start.

When you are learning how to hotwire a car in an emergency, it’s good to know about certain parts of the car as well as how they function i.e. what to touch and what to leave alone. In this way, when it’s necessary, you can start your car easily and safely.

But, that’s not all – you must also learn about the tools that you will need for the job. Thus, the second thing you must do is gather the materials that you will need – every car owner should have these on hand in case of emergency:

** Insulated gloves

** Driver’s License

** Proof of ownership

** Wire stripper

** Flat-bladed screwdriver

The Screwdriver

This method is much simpler and thus, should be tried first. But, you should also know that although it’s a relatively effective method used to disable the lock pins, it’s use will permanently damage the key mechanism. In other words, any screwdriver, key, or even flat piece of metal will be able to start the car from now on:

** Drill about 2/3 of an inch into the keyhole, where the inner flap starts.

** Remove the drill bit and let the lock bits fall into place

** Repeat as needed, until all the bits are in position

** Insert a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole and start the car normally.

If this method doesn’t work, don’t worry. You can use the screwdriver again for step two – as long as it didn’t get stuck in the ignition cover.

The Literal Hot Wire Method

Before we delve deeper into this particular step, it is important to note that you must use extreme caution when undertaking this task. Take your time so you will be sure to avoid painful electrical shocks and discomfort.

If you choose to use this method, you will have to rewire the car and bypass the ignition system, hence the name. The directions are as follows:

** The first thing you must do is to figure out if you can disable the steering wheel lock. Simply, remove the steering shaft from the back of the steering wheel. You will be looking for a little disk that looks like it can fit a key, remove it if possible.

** Use a screwdriver and remove the access cover that’s beneath the steering wheel.

** Next, look for two red wires, remove a ½ inch of insulation off of each end and twist the wires together, making sure that the exposed wires aren’t touching any metal. These wires must stay connected at all times.

** Find the brown wire and strip about ½ inch insulation of the end.

** Touch the end of the brown wire against the twisted ends of the red wires until the engine ignites.

Once you have the engine going, it is important to note that you must keep the red and brown wires separate, to avoid sparks which can drain the battery.

Important Considerations

To put it simply, the actual process of hotwiring a vehicle is easy. But, there are certain precautions that you should take before undertaking this task to ensure a successful result. For instance:

** Use caution when you are messing with the wiring and check with the Owner’s Manual for specific instruction about the wires and color coding for your specific model.

** Always wear insulated gloves when you are working on wires, as their exposed ends carry a powerful live current which can hurt you.

** After you get the car started initially, pull the wires apart and tape your ends to avoid getting electrocuted when you are driving.

** Modern cars feature microchip and transponder systems for getting the ignition unlocked, and if you try to hotwire them, it may set off an alarm.

The Conclusion

There’s nothing worse than being in a terrifying situation – where you have to move quickly – but you can’t find your car keys. Before panic sets in, take a step back and breathe. The above steps should provide you with all you need to hotwire your car in an emergency where staying put is just not an option.

Fanny Pack Survival Kit: What Examples, Features And Contents You Should Include

When it comes to survival kits, you’d think that more is better, right? But that’s not always the case. Let me explain. Lets take the Bug Out Bag for instance. It’s big enough to carry tools, shelter, food and fire making gear. But can you carry the entire thing everywhere? Can you carry it into your office every day?

You might be able to last longer with a larger backpack. But you won’t be as mobile. Also, the larger pack will be limiting. So is it all that practical?

And that’s where the Fanny Pack comes in. The biggest reason for a fanny pack is mobility. And when you bring in the right mix of gear, you’ll be able to travel far with minimal weight.

So what I’m going to do is give you four tips for choosing and filling your Fanny Pack with the right features and gear. Afterwards, you’ll have the simple framework for your own Every Day Carry or EDC in the format of a Fanny Pack. So lets get started!

FIRST FANNY PACK TIP – Compartmentalization

Fanny packs make sense. That’s because you are packing all your stuff into a small footprint. Also, it’s compartmentalized and gives you easy access around your waist. Two examples of packs that fit this model are the Maxpedition and the Sabercat. Both have this compartmentalization feature. And with compartments, you have the ability to specialize. Specialization gear might include any of these items:

  • water purification/hydration gear
  • fire making
  • communications gear
  • illumination gear

Speaking of compartments, internal cargo pockets would be nice to have. Other types of compartments to look out for are:

  • external shove it pocket
  • exterior side pocket
  • gusseted zippered pockets
  • fleece lined non scratching sunglass eyewear pocket.

So far we’ve talked about smaller items. But don’t think you can’t have a shelter compartment. With ultra lightweight space blankets and tube tents, you can have a shelter compartment in your fanny pack. It’s complete, organized, lightweight and gives you the essentials. So let’s get a little deeper into what those essentials are.

SECOND FANNY PACK TIP – Features to look for

While compartments are important, construction is key. Your fanny pack has to accept the abuse that it’s going to get. It cannot break down in the middle of bugging out. Otherwise your hands will be full carrying all the contents. So the whole point of a 1 person emergency kit (even if its a large fanny pack) around your hip is to make your life hands free.

So lets look at some features of good strong fanny pack emergency survival kit bags.

  • An adjustable waistband is essential. Once you’ve been walking for a few hours, belt adjustment will be necessary.
  • Built-in hip pads wouldn’t hurt. That’s in case your pack gets heavy. (Paladin has the Mission Pack Belt specifically made for this kind of use. )
  • Another feature to check out is the shoulder strap. The S.O.TECH Go Bag’s shoulder strap is tactically worn over one shoulder or around the waist. This gives the operator on-the-go access by rotating the bag from back to front and quickly accessing the contents of the bag.
  • Features on the pack to look out for are large YKK® zipper pull cords for quick opening and fabric made out of 1000 or more Denier nylon.
  • If you can get some PUx2 water repellant coating on the main body and inside pocket flaps, that’s even better.

Finally, think about ID tags and reflective tape to give you high visibility markings. IR or GLINT tape are perfect for infra-red nighttime visibility. This will let EMS and emergency responders find you. Now that we have the basics of the pack its self, lets’ look at some essentials to include inside of your fanny pack.

THIRD FANNY PACK TIP – Essentials to include

Often, people ask “how to build the perfect bug out bag” or “what to put in your bug out bag”. Great question. That’s because without the right stuff, you’ll be stuck focusing on the wrong stuff at the wrong time. So what’s the “right” stuff to focus on when it comes to a fanny pack survival kit? The right stuff should be light, multi purpose, and great at doing its job. So lets talk about some items that fit that bill right now.

  • Fanny Pack Water/Food/Hydration/FoodPrep: With water you have two options. Bring your own, or clean whatever you run into. With the “bring your own” option, water packets are the best choice. The downside is that you won’t have much water. That’s because there’s not much in each packet. One way around this would be water tablets to purify any water you do find. They are perfect because they are compact and lightweight. Another hydration option is to bring a SteriPen UV water filter. The SteriPen has a small footprint, and gets the dangerous stuff out of your water. But you’ll need a silk cloth or something to filter out rocks, dirt and sand. The SteriPen will do the rest. It eliminates over 99% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause water born illnesses. Another plus is that it can do 16 ounces of water in under 50 seconds. They even have a windup model
  • Shelter/Bedding: Space and weight are the keys here. Remember, this all has to fit this into your fanny pack, and leave room for other stuff. So what’s the solution? Tyvek. Tyvek makes a great shelter because it is so lightweight, waterproof and durable all at the same time.
  • Along with the Tyvek, you’ll need some line to tie the corners down or attach to a tree. So a paracord bracelet will provide you with all the line you’ll need. One tip, if you can put grommets in the corners of your Tyvek tarp, it’ll make attaching it to things easier.
  • Another item to add to the Shelter/Bedding compartment would be a Medical grade self warming blanket. The Heat Treat® self-warming, disposable, medical grade blanket is your ticket. It has been developed out of efforts between medical acute care people and is the world leader in self warming products The Heat Treat® is a self contained warming blanket that gives you critical heat up to 104F once its exposed to air. It keeps it there for up to 12 hours. This blanket has proven itsself with hospitals and medical offices.
  • Fanny Pack First Aid: Bandaids are pretty simple to understand, right? But what happens when someone in your group gets a wound that’s more than you can handle? QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ is the answer. QuikClot has helped first responders, safety teams and the military to save many lives. It has stopping power like nothing else. QuikClot is also easy to use. No mixing or measuring. It does have some downsides. But in an emergency, it can save lives.
  • For Hygiene here are some great ideas that are compact, and lend themselves well to a fanny pack. mini towel tablets, canned clothes, paper shampoo, pocket shower
  • Fanny Pack Illumination/Lighting: Its one thing to bring a flashlight. But what happens when your batteries run out? What if you could recharge them… with your body?. Or with something as common as water or urine? There is a battery called the AquaCell that runs off of water. Forget about solar or recharging things. AquaCells come in double or triple A sizes.
  • Fanny Pack Communications: I think that the best you can do in communications would be a HAM radio. And the Yaesu VX8R is the winner. It is handheld and easily fits into your pack. Also, its submersible. So water won’t be a problem with this baby.
  • But lets say that you don’t have a HAM license. And you dont have a radio. What then? The SAR eclipse signal device will be something to check out. It’s a mirror with features to allow you to fine tune where you are shining the mirror. You can signal people 10, 20, 50 miles away on a sunny day. Airplane pilots have been known to see signal mirror signals from 100 miles away
  • Fanny Pack Fire/Tools: You cant have a survival kit without firemaking ability. Two items that I’ll never go without are the BlastMatch and WetFire blocks. The BlastMatch is a one handed firesteel device made for all weather use. It will light in the wind, rain or snow. It puts out a stream of high heat sparks. And when you combine it with WetFire Tinder, you can start a fire in the middle of a hard rain. Another addition to bring is Camping Matches. These are unique because they stay lit under water. That’s right.

Alright so we’ve got our list of essential items to bring in the Fanny Pack. So what’s next?

FOURTH FANNY PACK TIP – Examples to check out

Again, no one pack has every feature I just covered. But here are the top ones that I’m choosing.

  • Rothco nylon butt pack is simple and durable with water repellant fabric and cinch straps.
  • Fannypack survival kit
  • Remora Gearslinger isn’t really a fanny pack. It’s a sling pack. But its loaded with almost all the features I listed above.
  • Sabercat Versipack is big, but believe it or not, it can be worn as a fanny pack. It has plenty of compartments, molle straps, zippers, etc
  • Proteus Versipack is a slightly smaller version of the Sabercat Versipack with much the same construction.

When I think of a survival kit, I usually think of something I have to hand carry around. But when I looked into these fanny pack designs, it became clear to me that keeping my hands free when I’m bugging out is a big deal. A backpack might be too much in some cases.

One idea would be to carry a fanny pack and a backpack. So you can quick release the backpack and move with the fanny pack for excursions. But still, these things are pretty impressive. Especially the Remora Gearslinger.

This week, go visit WalMart or KMart, and see what they have. Buy some cheap waist pack just to experiment with. Try incorporating some of the gear in this article.

Once you have your fanny pack, then start putting items and supplies into your kit. A great start would be the BlastMatch. And when you check it out, give me a shout!

Tyvek Tent: 4 Reasons Why House Wrap Belongs In Your Survival Kit

Imagine bugging out in the middle of a natural disaster. And imagine a perfectly waterproof shelter on your back that weighs almost nothing. That’s what a Tyvek tent would feel like.

Sure there are plenty of alternatives to a home depot tent like plastic, Mylar space blankets, canvas and Gore-Tex. But these are either very expensive comparatively speaking, or non breathable.

So here are the key reasons why Tyvek, house wrap or Typar make sense as an emergency shelter material.

1) cheap

2) lightweight

3) waterproof and

4) machine washable.

REASON #1: TYVEK SHELTERS ARE CHEAP

Cheap is important because survival isn’t about glamor. The less money you have to spend on shelter per square foot, means you can buy more of it. Let me show you what I mean.

I have a Coleman Weathermaster tent. It’s 9’x17’x6′ high. So I’m getting 618 square feet for about $175.

In contrast, a 9’x150′ roll of Tyvek is about $150. You’re getting about 1350 square feet. That’s twice the square footage for what you get with the Weathermaster.

Look, you wont be hauling around a 150′ roll of anything in a survival situation. But I hope you can see the value difference.

Here’s a second reason why Tyvek is a better choice.

REASON #2: TYVEK IS LIGHT

Let’s take the WeatherMaster again. It weighs between 25-30 pounds. On the other hand, the same amount of Tyvek weighs under 5 pounds.

That’s 1/5 the weight of the 6 man tent, just by using a different material. That will take quite a load off of your back. OK, we’ve covered price and weight. What’s next? Protection against the elements.

REASON #3: WATERPROOF

If you’re wondering if Tyvek is waterproof or water resistant then check this out. Tyvek is not only a great home protector, but can be a great shelter, tarp, ground cloth and bivvy sack material. Let me share a real quick little lesson on waterproofness.

There’s a measurement for “waterproofness”. Its called Hydrostatic Head or HH. Waterproof fabrics all have a minimum HH rating of 1000. The rating stands for a column of water that’s 1000 number of millimeters high. So HH of 1000 means a column of 1000 mm high can stand on the fabric before the fabric starts letting water through.

Again, 1000 HH is the lowest waterproof rating level. Most tent material is about HH 1200. Tyvek is about HH 2100. Its waterproof. And it’s a great moisture barrier. But what do you do when Tyvek gets dirty and muddy?

REASON #4: WASHABLE

Here’s something interesting. Most house wrap is biodegradable and disposable. And some types of Tyvek are even washable. You just throw them into a washing machine. Put the machine on delicate, throw in some liquid Tide and hot water and you’re good to go. Just like clothing. At first it crinkles, and after a while it softens up.

So there you have it. Four great reasons why Tyvek makes sense as a tent, tarp and shelter material. At first I thought it was a joke when I heard about it. But the more I read, the more it made sense. Tyvek is indeed cheap, light, waterproof and its washable.

This week, go out and find yourself a 10×10′ sheet. Pick up some Tyvek tape off of Amazon.

Then throw a quick bivvy sack together. Insert your sleeping bag. Go camping out in your back yard this weekend and tell me if it doesn’t work great. And while you’re at it, try coming up with your own Tyvek tent ideas and let me know what you discovered.

Your Greatest Outdoor Survival Tool – Mental Toughness

Any outdoor enthusiast should carry a first aid and survival kit.

Mental toughness is probably the most important survival mechanism of all.

Whether you like to hike, boat, cycle or explore nature away from the crowds is important to keep safety in mind. Perhaps the most important tool for survival is not carried with you as here at all, but it Is your mental attitude in preparation having thought through emergencies before hand and being prepared.

Here are some tips and ideas that may help you enjoy the outdoors even more in comfort and safety no matter what happens.

1. Do what it takes. The conventions of etiquette, propriety and high cuisine may have to take a backseat when survival is at stake. It may be necessary to share body heat with a buddy. Stabilizing knee wound or broken bone must be done, regardless of any squeamishness or immediate discomfort. There are many animals, insects, and vegetation that can sustain life in a pinch in the wild

2. Maintain a positive attitude. There is an interesting concept study in psychology called self-efficacy that basically states that if a person believes they can do something their chances are significantly higher it will be accomplished. Henry Ford once said “If a man believes he can do something or cannot do something he is right.”

3. Survival knowledge. You do not necessarily need an advanced degree in survival. But it is certainly prudent and cautious to have read and studied on the environments in which you like to enjoy yourself. Knowledge of your sport or hobby is not only critical for safety but also for enjoyment.

4. Motivation. If you find yourself a in a tight spot, it really helps to maintain a positive attitude if you have strong motivators. What motivates you is certainly different from what motivates someone else. It is important to maintain a clear vision and power through any difficulties to get back to what you love and the life you want to live

5. Take action. I used to have a teacher who stated “A thought is just a thought, any motion is just an emotion, but nothing actually happens until you take action.” This is not to say hasty or rash action is necessary, but in order to change one’s circumstances no matter what they may be some change has to occur.

In looking over this list, it does not seem like rocket science but ask yourself, have you actually mentally prepared for any contingencies that may come up while you’re enjoying your sport or hobby. Preparation is the key to success.