The seasons are changing (again). Now is a good time to take a look at your 72 hour kits. Do you have good warm clothing? Is your food fresh?
What about your water supplies?
It is also a good time to take a look at your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Change the batteries and make sure the levels are up on your extinguishers.
It’s that time of year again. And just saying ‘Conference Time’ in Utah doesn’t count, because there is more that one event matching that description next month. The one in question for this post is this years “Utah Prepare Conference & Expo“.
Last year this event was a great success, an informative chance to meet with many of the best preparedness resources in Utah in one place, with a wide selection of classes to attend. This year the event will be held at the South Towne Expo center making it a bit easier for everybody from the southern area to attend.
This event is put on by the USU Extension office and will be on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Hope to see folks there (look for the people wearing Utah Preppers shirts!)
As an added bonus, use the promo code “prepper” when registering for $2 off each ticket!
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.
Today’s guest post comes to you courtesy of Becky W. who is a freelance writer that loves to write on a number of things such as safety, food, and health. In her spare she loves to try new dishes in the kitchen and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While nobody anticipates that an emergency is actually going to befall them, these things happen before anybody can begin to plan. There are a few items you can keep around the house that will be of great use to you and your family if you ever experience a wide-scale emergency.
A first aid kit should be at the top of your list of essentials. It is inevitable that somebody will be hurt by a cut, burn or scrape. Your kits should include latex gloves, bandages, gauze pads and antibiotic moist towlettes. You should also have tweezers, saline solution and scissors on hand. If anybody in the family takes prescription medications, have a bottle on hand. Do not forget to include any inhalers, pain medications and antihistamines.
It is also vital to have a well-stocked pantry and emergency supply of food available. Water is essential. It never hurts to have a few cases of water in plastic bottles around the house. You should also keep some drinks with electrolytes in them for their minerals. Canned fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat and have a long shelf life are great. You may even keep some canned meat, like tuna or chicken. Don’t forget to pack some granola, protein bars, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers and cereal. If you have an infant, you want to keep some jarred baby food as well. Check expiration dates regularly and be sure to pack a can opener along with paper cups, utensils and plates.
There are a few personal items to keep in a safe place. It is good to have an area stocked with old prescription glasses, a pair of sturdy shoes and sleeping supplies. A sleeping bag that can be used outside is a must. You also want to pack warm clothing and a few books to read. Keep a stock of personal hygiene items, such as menstrual pads and toothpaste, on hand.
Other practical items, such as a sump pump, are great to have on hand in case a pipe bursts. You should also have a self-powered flashlight. There are flashlights you can turn a lever to power, and they are easy to maintain. You can also find a self-powered radio. You should also have a car charger for your phone and other important electronic items. Of course you also need to have a sturdy container to hold all these items.
Saturday I had the fun opportunity to join with other people at a multi-city mock disaster for CERT members.
This event was sponsored by the Lehi CERT team, and they put a lot of work in getting this running. Members from all over northern Utah County and Southern Salt Lake Counties got together and quickly had their hands full with a variety of disasters. We had a UTA bus with smoke billowing out, and very hurt people, to a school with a massive disaster in the gym, as well as very small, dark hallways that made for difficult rescues. Attendees had the opportunity to practice a wide variety of skills, often in far less than ideal situations. (more…)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I recently had the chance to go back through my 72 hour kits. I changed out some clothing for my children, removed some things that didn’t make sense anymore and replaced the food. As I was doing this I found a few things that made me glad I had been looking over my kits.
The first item I found was in the food. I had placed pop-top mixed fruit cans, and in three of my kits the tops had been popped. The contents had gotten all over the rest of the food, and then of course had dried out. It was pretty gross. So if you are going to use those types of cans make sure you pack them in a way that they can’t get accidentally opened. (more…)
Join us for an evening of free information on different options for cooking when the power goes out. Representatives from great companies such as Sun Oven, Volcano Grills, Humless, and InstaFire will be combining with Jodi and Julie from Food Storage Made Easy to help you learn about these products as well as several free or inexpensive tools you can make yourself. Come and enjoy free handouts, event discounts, giveaways and more!
Cost: FREE! Bring a friend!
Date: Thursday May 10, 2012
Time: 7-9 pm (7-8 will be instructional, 8-9 will be Q&A at individual booths)
American Preparatory Academy 12892 S. Pony Express Rd. (Just off of I15 and Bangeter) Draper, Utah 84020
You have a perfectly set up 72 hour kit/bug out bag for each member of your family. They are located in vehicles or in a grab and dash spot so you can be on the road and on your way within seconds. Now what? Where are you going? Generally speaking, an evacuation plan should include a few set locations that you and those you are bugging out with are familiar with. One common solution is to head to a family member’s house some distance away. This solution might work in some scenarios, but in many circumstances you might find that you’ve placed a burden on your family by bringing more mouths to feed in an extended crisis. In other situations you might find it difficult to get to your family member’s home due to distance, lack of fuel or inaccessible roads depending on the nature of the disaster that has caused you to leave your home.
When starting your journey down the rabbit hole of preparedness you’ll often see terms referenced such as GOOD (Get out of Dodge), BOL, BOB (Bug out Location, Bug out Bag) and other acronyms that hint at evacuating an area should there be a disaster, civil unrest or many of the other events that we prepare for. One question that can’t be answered by a simple acronym however is WHERE?
My nearest family is about 10 hours away and in either highly populated areas or in areas with limited access in a disaster, so my family needs to consider something more local for our evacuation plan. We decided that as part of our general preparedness efforts we would like to work towards obtaining a property to eventually build a bug out location as well as provide a place for our family to camp and enjoy nature on a frequent basis. I’d like to share some of the things I learned in this process on creating your own bug out location.
As I was getting for work this morning, like most mornings I had the morning news on so I can try to be up to date on those events that are reported on. As I was finishing up and getting ready to walk out the door, the Today Show on NBC came on following the local news. One of the first things they mentioned? The growing number of “preppers preparing for the end of the world”.