November, 2011

What Would You Do? Car Edition!

When disasters, emergencies, or accidents occur to others, they can serve to us as a learning opportunity. When the Herriman fire broke out last fall, we posted information regarding how to prepare for such an emergency. When a couple earthquakes struck just west of Lehi this past January, we posted how to prepare for that event, and what to do in its aftermath.

A family in my congregation just went through a grueling experience of their own. Their story can be read here.

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Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener

Having a sharp knife is critical.  I’m sort of a knife junkie, and am always looking for new and better ways to keep my tools sharp.  I was at a gun show earlier this year and picked up the “Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener“.

What Is It (and what’s in the box):

This Work Sharp basically amounts to a hand held belt sander.  For the Alton Brown fans among us, this device is definitely a Multi-Tasker.  The package comes with several angle guides and some different grits of sanding belts.  The coarsest grit is for sharpening tools like shovels, axes or lawn mower blades.  The medium grit is for fixing up damaged or really dull blades.  The fine grit is for putting on a razor sharp polish. (more…)

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Review – Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker

A few weeks ago, several of our authors met up on a Saturday to test out some stoves we were given to review. Jayce will be posting some information and pictures on those soon. The subject of this post was an unexpected surprise to me. At our meet up were the owners of Saratoga Jacks, a local company that imports and sells high quality thermal cookers.

After the break you’ll find a complete unboxing and review of the 7 liter Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker as well as an introduction to thermal cookers and why they matter to preppers.
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Group Stove Test: First Thoughts

UtahPreppers stove test

Several of the stoves getting setup

Last weekend several of the UtahPreppers got together with some friends to begin doing some hands on tests to start preparing for winter. Recently several of us have acquired new stoves and we wanted to give a conduct some tests to compare how well they worked. For our first meet up we wanted to test a few stoves and other devices with the group. While we learned a lot we realized that we’ve got some more comprehensive tests to run through before we can highlight each of them adequately. But before we move along with the individual tests, we wanted to thank some of the people that helped make this first stove test so much fun and informative. (more…)

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Emergency kits for young school age children

Like most preppers my family has 72 hour kits for each member of our family. We try to keep the consumable items in them rotated, work to ensure that the spare clothes in them are seasonal and fit, etc. Since my children are too young to be in school right now, I haven’t spent too much time considering how I will handle a “get home”, “bug out” or 72 hour kit for each child once they are spending a significant amount of their day in a state run education center. I also need to consider the restrictive policies in place these days regarding what is “dangerous” per current school policies. This begs the question, as a prepper, how do you handle emergency kits for young school age children when they are away from the home?
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Review: Wrap-It-Ice Bandages

Wrap-It-Ice by Shield-Safety

Today I decided to write a little review on a product that I really wish I didn’t have to do. The reason for this is not for a lack of quality in the product, but the fact that I actually needed to use it. Yes, this is a first-aid bandage that I’ve had sitting in my cabinet waiting until needed, and now it is.

Several months ago I met with Mike at Shield-Safety, and went through their sales pitch about some first-aid products they had.  While a lot of what they did was not new, they had several things that did pique my interest and stand out as something I wanted to buy. Now I’m not normally a person to give into a home sales pitch, but the Shield-Safety people approached us a little bit differently, they taught first-aid basics, and how to actually use the different items that you should have available in a home first-aid station. One of the products they had that got my attention was a sealed wrap for sprains. (more…)

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Honey in the News

Local Raw Honey, image from freshstepsonline.com

Local Raw Honey, image from freshstepsonline.com

There have been a few articles lately in the news regarding honey, mainly in response to a Food Safety News study that was published this week. To sum it up, the report found that most honey purchased in stores had been highly processed to the point that all the pollen had been removed. Aside from no longer supplying healthy benefits by containing pollen, removing all traces of pollen also makes it impossible to track the location of origin for honey if it turns out to be contaminated or otherwise harmful. (more…)

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November 9th Emergency Broadcast System Test

If you are like me, you grew up occasionally hearing your TV issue a loud beep followed by “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.” Followed by another loud beep.

Today, Wednesday November 9th, 2011 at noon (MST) Utah time the National Emergency Alert System will be conducting a nationwide test for the first time. The Emergency Alert system system is meant to allow governments at every level to alert their citizens to events that may affect them. The hope is that the system will be usable by local cities, counties and states as well as by the federal government to issue alerts at the national level. These alerts may cover child abuduction/Amber alert notices, sever storm warnings, tornado warnings, terrorist attacks, or pretty much any conceivable notice that a government may want to advise the public of.

As interesting and useful as this system will hopefully prove to be, I think it provides another, far more important purpose. It serves as a great reminder to check on your emergency plans and gear. Take few minutes today to check your car kit and your 72 hour kits. Are they still complete? We often “borrow” gear from our readiness kits and then forget to put them back or replace consumables. Use today as a reminder that as preppers we need to stay on top of our preps. Preps are not a one-time purchase but a commitment.

For more information on the test today, visit www.fema.gov/eastest/

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Goal0 Guide 10 Power Kit

Recently I wrote a bit about my new toys, a varied set of Goal0 solar and battery products. Charging up while campingOne of the key pieces that I bought was their 7m folding solar panels. This well-designed kit provided 7-watts of peak solar power in a tiny kit that could easily strap on to my backpack and provide charging throughout the day for small devices. The kit I bought also included their ‘rockbox’ speaker set, a small set of speakers that that have a built in battery, but easily charge from this small panel.

As handy as the device is, there were some shortcomings.  First off, the device I most wanted to use on it is extremely finicky with what it allows to charge (yeah, it’s an iPhone), and the variability of solar electricity meant that the iPhone didn’t like accepting the charge.  Secondly, some of my devices simply take AA or AAA batteries, and I didn’t have a good charger that would run off the USB adaptor that the 7m provides.

Thankfully there is a relatively new product that addresses these shortcomings, their Goal0 Guide 10.  In short, it’s a battery charger, that doubles as a combined power pack for those devices you would most likely charge from the panel. (more…)

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