June, 2012

Wildfires in Utah

Feeding ‪#dumpfire‬ Fire crews.

We are now into Day 3 of the Dump Fire at Saratoga Springs in Utah. Our own Jayce and Neybar live near the fire, and while their homes do not seem to be in any danger, they still left work early yesterday to volunteer to help. Their experience and knowledge has undoubtedly been invaluable to the volunteer effort. They have been keeping us posted on Twitter (@JayceHall and @neybar), and I have seen several of their tweets mentioned and retweeted by others needing information. For those who haven’t been following along, you can keep an eye on the #dumpfire hashtag on Twitter. For any ham radio folks who want to monitor, they’re on 145.23 repeater (131.8 tone). NetOps is at station 2.

Cause of the Fire

It is believed that the fire was caused by people target shooting near the landfill. They were shooting in an area where it was legal to do so, and when the fire started, they called 911 and attempted to put the fire out. They have been cooperative with authorities, and have been helping the effort to put the fire out. Because they were shooting legally and did everything right after the fire started, they are unlikely to be charged criminally.

Being Prepared for Evacuation

In following news reports, I have noticed some things. When crews knocked on doors on Day 2 of the blaze to tell people they had 15 minutes to evacuate, a lot of people scrambled to pack up what they considered necessary. Family photos, pets, medications and a change of clothes. Less prominently featured in the stories were people who decided that they were going to have to evacuate, and started packing their cars long before evacuation orders came in. While I’m sure there were plenty of preppers who already had 72-hour kits ready to take at a moment’s notice, they were apparently not as newsworthy as the less-prepared. Though my family lives in Magna, far away from the fire, we still had one evacuee knock on our door asking to buy a small bottle of shampoo from my wife’s basement salon.

Food donations for the #dumpfire.

This incident underscores not only the importance of fire safety, but also the importance of being prepared and keeping a current 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. Fortunately, several local businesses pitched in to provide food and water at the local evacuation centers, but this is not always the case. Be sure to check expiration dates on the food in your kits and in your food storage in general.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire, and we hope that it will be out soon.

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June Gun Show Meetup

It’s been a while since we’ve had any public meetups, and I know I have a few supplies I need to top off on. So what a better chance to meet some other preppers than to get together at a gun show.

On Saturday the 16th a few of us will be attending the Rocky Mountain Gun Show. It’s always fun to browse the various shops, negotiate a few deals on supplies, and take some time to mingle with other folks. Let us know if you’ll be there so we can meet each other, and let’s plan on a 12:00 lunchtime at the crown burger across the street.

Following their link, you can pre-purchase tickets to avoid a line, and you can also get coupons for $1 off entrance.

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FEMA guidelines and instructions for CERT drills and exercises

CERT Logo

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long supported CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) in locales large and small by providing training material, grants and other support. This week they released a new set of FEMA guidelines and instructions for CERT drills and exercises. These exercises cover the gamut and include tabletop exercises, functional exercises, full scale exercises, and competitive events.

Find out more about these drills and exercises after the jump.
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Preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs

I work near a Sam’s Club and sometime head over for a lunchtime visit. It is hard to beat a Polish Dog and soda at $1.50 for lunchtime frugality. While I am there I often browse through the store to see what seasonal items are on display. Over the last couple months I’ve noticed a few preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs.

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Preparedness related show coming to NBC this fall

A few weeks ago, NBC released the trailer for a preparedness related show coming to NBC this fall. It is titled Revolution and we at Utah Preppers are excited that another show with prepping overtones has been green lit for prime time. I don’t want to give too much away so watch the trailer below and let us know what you think. Will this get a rabid fan following like Jericho?

Coast Rapid Response 3.0 Knife Review

Time for another product review. This is the Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, built by Coast Products out of Portland Oregon.Coast Rapid Response 3.0 Knife

This knife features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • 400 Series stainless steel (I wish they mentioned which 400 series.  Saying 400 isn’t very helpful).
  • Liner-Lock, with their “Max-Lock” safety on the side of the handle.
  • One hand opener called S.A.T “Smooth Action Technology” with ambidextrous thumb studs

One of the major selling points on this knife is their spring assisted open.  It is quite snappy.  To prevent any accidental openings you can use their “Max-Lock” on the side of the blade.  When engaged it will prevent the blade from either opening or closing.  During vigorous usage I engaged the Max-Lock unintentionally, then spent a little time fighting with the blade to get it closed.

Coast Rapid Response 3.00 Liner-lock view

You can purchase the Rapid Repsonse 3.0 for $40.00

At $40.00 this is a great knife, especially if you consider that it is a one handed spring assisted opener.  I’ve had this knife in my pocket for about a month now and have used it in a variety of cutting jobs.  The last job I threw at it frankly was knife abuse, but it handled it as well as could be expected.  I was helping a friend lay sod, and I used the knife to cut in the sod.  It lasted through about 3 cuts with a good edge, and soldiered on through the rest of the job if I sawed quite a bit at it.

Once I had thoroughly dulled the blade I took it home, cleaned it up and gave it a good sharpen.  Sharpening this knife gave me a little trouble because of the thumb studs.  It wouldn’t fit properly in any of my power sharpeners, so I had to get out some sharpening rods.  The knife sharpened up just fine and cuts like a champ.

If you have larger hands (I usually wear XL sized gloves) the knife feels a little small sometimes.  For a pocket knife this is great, if you are intending to do longer more rigorous cutting jobs you might want to consider their Rapid Response 3.90 which is a little larger.

You can also watch my video review on the Rapid Response.

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June Mountain House Sale

We love it when local stores have good deals for preppers, even better when it’s the stuff we want the most.  Emergency Essentials let us know that this month they are featuring a 20-25% discount on Mountain House cans and we wanted to make sure to pass the word along.  Most people involved in preparedness or camping will have some familiarity with the Mountain House products. They are the original commercial freeze-dry products, and have an incredible choice of entrees available.

The big #10 cans of freeze dried food are something we don’t say you should solely base your food storage on, by any means. But they are an amazing part of your overall plan. The large cans allow you to get more food, in a longer-life container. Just remember two key factors when using freeze-dried food from a can. First, contents have settled, so some of the flavor is on the bottom, you’ll want to mix it up. Second, once that can is open, there is no more long-term storage. So entrees you like you need to use within a few days. In a real emergency, that’s not a problem as long as you are aware.

If you do any scouting, or larger group events. Can’s make it so it is a more economical choice vs other options.  So if you need to augment your storage, looking to expand the menu, or are even just starting it’s worth checking out their sale.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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