Evacuation Kits

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag – Book Give Away

Back in May, I pre-ordered the book “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit”. When it arrived a short time later I read through it and was immediately impressed with the job the author Creek Stewart had done. As I was reading it the thought kept emerging that this book was exactly the sort of detailed how-to that we like to do here at Utah Preppers, but on a larger scale. As it turns out, the book initially started out as a blog post on the art of manliness blog. After receiving a good response, Creek decided to work on expanding the concept into a comprehensive how to guide.
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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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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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Review: UVPaqlite and ToobLite Glow Sticks

ToobLite Mini with a Paracord lanyard and Turks Head knot.

At times when I’m building up my various forms of disaster kits, I want to throw you hands up in frustration at how reliant I am on different forms of technology. As much as I enjoy the outdoors I’m always bending it back to my more technological side. While this may make things more fun, accurate, or whatever other benefits I get, it also makes me dependent on power.

A great example of this is my need for light outdoors. Now sure we’d like to never be reliant on non-natural light forms, but it’s a reality. Even if you just have a midnight bathroom run once and a while, there are times that you need light. Historically of course, man has relied on fire to provide this light, and now we have flashlights to give us nice, portable light whenever we want, provided we have charged batteries.

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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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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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Post Japan Earthquake Notes

One of the most important skills as a prepper is the ability to learn from our experiences and mistakes. Additionally, examples of others doing the same can help us learn the same lessons without having to go through the experience. To that end, I’m posting in an email that was forwarded to me, second-hand from the source.  The email is from a lady whose family is currently stationed in Japan, and relates their experiences with the earthquake.  What I like best in this is her own analysis on her preparedness level, and what she wishes she could do better.

Email edited for screen readability only (spacing), and redacting names.

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The night of the Herriman (Machine Gun) Fire

A lot of people have written up their thoughts and their experiences about going through the Herriman “Machine Gun” fire 19 September 2010. I’ve had some friends ask me to do the same. One friend asked me to specifically to highlight the preparedness aspect of our experience.

We’ve lived in the Herriman area for about seven years. During that time, we’ve seen a handful of fires on the hills south of us, usually ignited by lightning. These have usually been small fires and quickly contained by firefighters. So when we heard there was a fire burning in the hills Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t terribly shocking news.

When we came out of church after 4:00 p.m., the sky was considerably smoky to the point that the light from the sun had taken on an orange-ish hue. That was remarkable, but it still didn’t really concern any of us. We carried on with our plans just as most everyone did.

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Bug out/Camping/Utility Trailer

I’ve been wanting to get out camping more often, but I suspect like many have had trouble convincing my wife to give camping a try. For some reason, sleeping on the hard, cold ground doesn’t appeal to her.

Buying a dedicated camper, pop-up tent, RV would be nice, but they are generally more than I want to spend, are single purpose and often require separate registration here in Utah. I often find a need for a small utility trailer for hauling mulch, compost, etc. and here in Utah, smaller trailers under a certain weight and size don’t need to be registered. When I obtained an old home built utility trailer recently, I decided to jump head first into a home built adventure trailer build.

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Product First Look – PolyFarm MonoVault

In a previous post we introduced the concept of burial or sinking to disguise or otherwise hide equipment, weapons or other preps. Today we will take a first look the MonoVault line of products by PolyFarm of Meridian Idaho.

Three MonoVaults, 107, 212 and 152

Three MonoVaults, 107, 212 and 152

Recently, some of the Utah Preppers authors met at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Salt Lake City. This is where we first met PolyFarm. After some discussions to learn about their production, they were kind enough to provide us with sample of one of their smaller MonoVaults to review and to beat up with some tests. I really like the idea of the product so I purchased a couple larger sizes so that we will be able to review several different sizes.
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Burying a gun or other preps

Mossberg 500 JIC

Mossberg 500 JIC

I have to admit that I have been a little obsessed with finding a decent option for burying, sinking or otherwise hiding a firearm and other preps since I first saw Mossberg’s Just In Case line of products a number of years ago.
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