Tag Archives: Disaster Planning

Preparing Your Child For Emergencies

Preparing Your Child for Emergencies

One of the hardest things to talk about with our children is what to do if there is an emergency. We don’t want to scare our kids, but we want to make sure they are prepared in case something happens such as a fire, natural disaster, or in this day and age, a terrorist attack. One way to make it fun and easy for a child to participate in emergency planning is to make it fun for them. FEMA has a lot of free resources for disaster planning that are made specifically for children. Don’t know where to start for your family’s emergency preparedness? We’ve gathered some tips to help you and your children get started!

Child

Make a Plan 

Tip #1 is to make a emergency plan for what to do if there is an emergency of any kind. Children need to know that their family has rules set in place for them to follow if there is danger. First, pick a designated adult to contact in case of emergency. Things will be less hectic if one person is the go to for calls or text messages in case of emergency. Next, choose a fire escape plan for your home or apartment. Make sure you have two exits for each room and designate a meeting place outside and away from any dangers (roads, water sources, woods). For example, a specific tree in your back yard, maybe even a neighbors house if they live next to you. For emergencies when not at home, pick a location where everyone can meet, like a park or school.

Memorize Useful Information 

Tip #2 is to have your child memorize key pieces of information in case of emergency. Their name, address, phone number, and birthday are essential to know if your child needs to ask for help. Parents names are also important, however if your child is too young to remember this information, make sure it is written down on a card and kept in your child’s backpack at all times. Teach your child to carry their backpack in an emergency and the information will always be safe and ready at hand.

Pack Your Child With Essentials 

Tip #3 is to begin your child with a small readiness pack to carry with them in case they need it. Things to pack could include a small first aid kit with bandages and antiseptic ointment (get permission from school nurse), reflective material, emergency whistle, small flashlight, water bottle, protein snack and small comforts like candy or a stuffed animal. These things will help your child should an emergency arise at school and you are separated from them.

Emergencies At Home 

Tip #4 is to make an emergency response kit for your household to keep at home. This should include emergency food rations, water, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, eating utensils, paper plates, whistle, can opener, blankets, hand-crank radio, first aid kit, and baby supplies if needed.

Practice Brings Progress 

Tip #5 is practice, practice, practice. Having a plan for emergencies will not help your family unless you practice those skills into your child’s memory. Practicing can also be a fun way of letting your child show you how much they have learned!

It’s All In The Family 

Tip #6 is to allow your child to be an advocate for emergency planning. Encourage them to talk to their neighbors, friends, extended family, church members, little league team and just about anyone else about the plan they helped create for the family. It will assist your child with retaining the information and spread the word about emergency preparedness planning in a cute and positive way.

Now that you have some ideas, start implementing! In no time you could have your children ready in the face of danger, emergencies, or disasters. Being prepared will allow your family to enjoy their lives to the fullest and worry less about what could happen.

This article was a guest submission from Lee Flynn who is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

A Packing List For All Occasions

I recently was cruising the endless chasm of the internet and stumbled upon a nifty tool that someone put together called the Universal Packing List. This immediately piqued my interest for two reasons:

  1. There is no possibility that there is a universal packing list for anything.
  2. This could be a great tool to provide a foundation for putting together a bug out bag or other survival kit.

 photo credit: lemonad via photopin cc

The packing list tool allows the user to enter a set of criteria and it in turn generates a customized packing list for the user based on the conditions they entered for their trip. Some of the components of the tool that determine what is on the list include:

  • Start & End Date Of The Trip
  • Maximum & Minimum Expected Temperatures
  • Gender
  • Expected Accommodations
  • Kids (By Age Group)
  • Various Possibilities (Is it an international trip?, Will it rain?, etc.)
  • Activities Participating In (Climbing, Beach,  etc.)
  • Transportation Method
  • The Size Of Your Bag

Another convenient detail that is included with the Universal Packing List is the option to email your completed list to yourself or someone else of your choosing. This makes it easy to share with family members or a group.

To get a good idea of how useful this tool would be, I went ahead and input the following information to simulate bugging out by myselfon foot during the summer:

  • Dates of Trip: 25-27 July
  • Temperatures: 50-86 Degrees Farenheit
  • Gender: Male
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Kids: None
  • Other Conditions: It may rain, I use a backpack, wash my own clothes, and cook my own food.
  • Activities: Trekking
  • Transportation: Hitchhiking
  • Size of Bag: Normal

Here is the packing list that I was provided:

Things To Do Before You Leave –

  • Wash the dishes
  • Shave
  • Pet Care
  • Unplug electrical stuff
  • Turn down (or up, depending on where you live) the temperature in your home
  • Memorize PIN codes to credit cards and your phone’s SIM card
  • Memorize the PIN code to your phone’s SIM card
  • Check out what hospitals are covered by your health insurance
  • Install or recharge batteries
  • Get maps

Clothes –

  • Underwear
  • Shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Trousers ( Pants, Jeans )
  • Sweater
  • Cap ( Hat )

Shoes –

  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals ( Flip-flops )

Optional Clothes –

  • Belt
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Swimming trunks ( Bikini )
  • Pyjamas ( Pajamas )
  • Beach pants
  • Jewelry

Clothes For Cold Weather –

  • Jacket ( Wind breaker )

Money And Documents –

Basic Documents –

  • Insurance certificate ( Health Insurance card )
  • Cash
  • Credit/ATM cards ( Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express etc )
  • Driver’s license
  • ID card
  • Address list (with phone numbers and email addresses)

Optional Documents –

  • This packing list
  • International Student Identification Card ( ISIC )
  • Tourist organization certificate

For Carrying Money And Documents –

  • Wallet
  • Paper folder

Maps –

  • Small scale map
  • Large scale map

Books –

  • Novels
  • Guidebook

Equipment –

Things For Packing –

  • Backpack ( Rucksack )
  • Small extra backpack ( Knap sack, Day pack )
  • Luggage tags

Things For Sleeping –

  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Sheets ( Bed covers )
  • Pillowcase
  • Sleeping mattress

Cooking Equipment –

  • Stove
  • Extra fuel
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils ( Cutlery )
  • Drinking cup
  • Plate
  • Washing-up liquid

Eating Equipment –

  • Cork screw

Miscellaneous Equipment –

  • Compass
  • Candle
  • Earplugs
  • Lighter ( Matches )
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys

Hygiene –

  • Toilet bag ( Bathroom bag, Necessaire )
  • Razor
  • Shaving gel ( Shaving foam )
  • Electric shaver
  • Toothbrush ( Electric toothbrush with charger )
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Soap box
  • Liquid soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Sunblock lotion

Hygiene (optional) –

  • Comb
  • Hair brush
  • Barrettes, headbands, hair ties
  • Detergent ( Laundry soap )
  • Sink plug
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Moisturizer

Health –

General Health Items –

  • Prescription medicine
  • Condoms
  • Sore tape ( Adhesive tape )
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifying filter

Pills, Tablets And Medicines –

  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Fever tablets
  • Pain killers
  • Allergy pills ( Anti-histamines )

Electrical Stuff –

General Electrical Items –

  • Cell Phone ( Mobile Phone, Cellular Phone )
  • Charger to Smartphone/Cell Phone
  • Multi Power Outlet
  • Computer
  • Watch
  • Flashlight ( Torch )
  • Bookmark reading light
  • Extra batteries for your camera, flash, torch, watch, MP3-player and GPS
  • GPS

Camera Equipment –

  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Film

Generic Photo Equipment –

  • Camera bag

Music Items –

  • Music player ( Cassette, CD, MiniDisc, MP3 )
  • Headphones

Mountain Equipment –

Hiking Equipment –

  • Hiking trousers
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Hiking Boots
  • Woolen socks

As you can see, there are WAY too many items here to fit into a normal sized bag. At the same time, there are items listed that would not be necessary in a survival situation like a music player and headphones, a computer, or a corkscrew while there are items that would be necessary to survive like food, water, and a knife. Regardless, if you are not sure where to start when putting your kit together or are curious how various conditions might affect your packing list, the Universal Packing List may be a useful tool.

Make your own packing list using the Universal Packing List

What Would You Do?

There is a named storm, Arthur, bearing down on the east coast of the United States and a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for some areas while voluntary evacuations have been ordered for other areas. This is not ideal by any means, especially because it is forecasted to make land fall today which would make it the first hurricane to ever hit the United States on Independence Day. Facing a hurricane, or any disaster, reminds us that things happen around us all the time and it reiterates the necessity to prepare for such events constantly. These threats are real and show up on God’s time, not ours. It is not possible to predict such disasters on any type of long term calendar.

Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown
Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown

Let me put a twist on the situation…imagine that you are there visiting a resort in North Carolina’s Outer Banks on your summer vacation, right where Arthur is headed. It is not likely that you have brought along much in the way of survival or preparedness kits or items. You might not even have a car! Do you carry the bare minimum essentials to survive if you were caught in this situation? Do you have the knowledge to complete the survival tasks necessary in this situation?

It is a good mental exercise to participate in. What would you do if you found yourself in this situation? It is typically not practical to travel with a dedicated bug out bag which can be cumbersome, not to mention that the type of travel can greatly limit what you can have in your bag. The amount of space needed to carry the bare minimum essentials can easily fit into a small portion of the average suitcase.

There are 10 survival items that I would suggest that you consider carrying with you when you travel include:

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. High Quality Multi-Tool
  3. Flashlight
  4. Chemical Light Stick(s)
  5. Whistle
  6. Emergency Poncho
  7. Paracord (~50 Feet)
  8. Water Bottle (Lexan bottles like Nalgene are durable and can be used to pack other items into.)
  9. Way To Purify Water (Tablets, Straw Filter, Etc.)
  10. Duct Tape (~50 feet wrapped around an old gift card) and Zip Ties
  11. Mylar Survival Blanket
  12. Snack Foods (Jerky, Protein Bars, Nuts, Candy, Etc.)
  13. Lighter
  14. Bandana
  15. Sewing Kit

What would you add to this list?

I would also like to say happy Independence Day! It is my hope that everyone enjoys their day and stays safe while celebrating the freedoms that we enjoy. Don’t forget to keep your thoughts and prayers with those who are dealing with Arthur on the east coast and our military who are serving abroad so that we can have fun at home.

Today is the last day to take advantage of the 4th of July sale over at Black River Outpost. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to save a ton of money on marked down items and FREE shipping on ALL orders!

Madness and Mayhem

The news over the last few days seems to be filled with chaos and mayhem. Whether it is the abandonment of vehicles in Atlanta or cryptic statements being made by journalists, it seems as though we are experiencing interesting times in America. To me, this further reinforces the need to be prepared and have a plan. Here are a few of my thoughts on recent events:

1. The gridlocked traffic in Georgia, Alabama, and other southern states reinforces the need to have a bag packed with appropriate items to help sustain your life in the event of an emergency. What if the businesses like Home Depot were not willing to harbor refugees from the weather? What would you do? Where would you go? It is possible to remain in your vehicle and protect yourself from the elements with the right equipment. Make sure to go out with a plan and not blindly hope that other will look out for you. Even if you do nothing else, put the following items in a bag in your car at the minimum:

  • A blanket for each person in the vehicle.
  • A one quart bottle of water for each seat in the vehicle. (Wrap these up in the blankets to keep them from freezing.
  • Food – Stable food that does not require special treatment (refrigeration) and that needs no resources to prepare. Think about items like jerky, granola bars, MRE’s, etc.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Hand Warmers
  • A light source (flashlight w/ batteries or chemical lightsticks).
  • Hat & gloves for each person.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A disposable poncho for each person.

This is just a short list of the minimum items. These are all items that can be purchased at the dollar store. Put all this stuff in a plastic tote and keep it in the trunk. It could save your life!

2. Matt Drudge recently made a cryptic statement on Twitter about needing an exit plan. His exact tweet was, “Have an exit plan…” Many have taken this to the extreme and speculated about economic and stock crashes as well as other ideas. I take it as another reminder that we should all be preparing for the tough times that are likely ahead of us. It is not a bad idea to have an exit plan about how we would live our lives if we only had ourselves to rely on. (FYI-In the end, you can only count on yourself anyway.) Think about these points to assist you in your exit strategy:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Store enough food and water to sustain you and your loved ones for a predetermined amount of time (a MINIMUM of 7 days).
  • Have a plan on how you would acquire more food and water once you run out.
  • Establish a way to secure yourself and your property. Have a gun and know how to use it!
  • Always be able to provide yourself shelter, even if it means just having a tent and a plan on where it can be safely set up.
  • Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about what you would all do if something were to happen. The solution to difficult times is to band together, pooling your resources and planning the path to recovery.
  • Pray, meditate, or do whatever you have to in order to seek wisdom and guidance as to how to deal with challenges. This is a daily task and does not have to only apply to an end of the world scenario.

These are a few of my thoughts. Take them for what they are. Remember that it is better to have something and not need it, then to need something and not have it!

Surviving The Ultimate Doomsday War

In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when trying to find the appropriate body armor for you.

The Highest Level of Protection

Being that there are different classes of bullet proof vests, and the lower classes of vests don’t protect against the stronger threats that could be out there, it’s important to get the highest class that’s available to you. Not all bullet proof vest manufacturers will indicate what class their vests are, so it’s important to make sure that it is clearly indicated before you purchase.

In a doomsday war, there is definitely going to be extreme threats that are all around. It’s paramount to keep the head protected in these conditions. A ballistic helmet would be most suitable for this. These helmets are capable of repelling some powerful gunfire, and they come in several different sizes and styles to fit the taste of any wearer.

In the U.S., the best body armor complies with the standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If it does not, then it’s not a good choice to purchase.

Armor for Civilians

Unless you are someone with special connections of some sort, you won’t be able to get the same body armor that law enforcement and military personnel have. The armor that a regular person can buy is limited, but there is still a nice selection to choose from. My friends at SafeGuard Clothing offer a range of civilian body armors online so don’t panic, we can protect ourselves as well. It’s illegal to have some types of body armor in some jurisdictions, but it wouldn’t matter much with the end of the world approaching. If you are concerned with compliance of the law, check with your local jurisdictions.

Protection for the Kids and Pets

It doesn’t have to stop with the protection of the adults in the apocalypse, there is also body armor available for the beloved kids and pets as well. This armor is made of the same material and is just as capable as the armor that’s made for adults.

For the kids, body armor can come in an assortment of styles and sizes. There are even stylish backpacks for kids that are bullet resistant. As for the pets, body armor is designed for the larger breeds of dog. Law enforcement canines are commonly outfitted with bullet resistant armor, and the same is available for your pets.

The Safest Precautions

To survive the Ultimate Doomsday War, the best thing to do would be to find sufficient shelter. It’s important to know that body armor does not make someone invincible, although it does provide solid protection for the wearer. The best thing to do would be to stay sheltered and avoid the outside danger.