Rotate your supplies

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.

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.

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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Thoughts on refreshing a 72 hour kit

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. Continue reading “Thoughts on refreshing a 72 hour kit”

Powerless Cooking Event

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)

Location: 

American Preparatory Academy
12892 S. Pony Express Rd. (Just off of I15 and Bangeter)
Draper, Utah 84020

Click here for more details and to RSVP

Creating your own Bug Out Location

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.
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Prepping featured on the Today Show this morning – Today Show Preppers

NBCs Today Show via Google Image Search
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”.
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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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Six Months With A Berkey

A long time ago, in a country far, far away…  Ok, I won’t disclose how long ago, I was in Brasil for two years. Heading down there I was often told a familiar maxim to American travelers, “Don’t drink the water”. Everybody has heard this in relation to some foreign location.  Once in Brasil I actually heard it from the locals as well.  To deal with the various forms of bad things in their water, each home has a terra-cotta water filter that was so simple, that it was shear genius. The base was built with a simple spigot for easy water usage, and on top sat a ‘dirty’ water container that had filters mounted in it, letting gravity do all the work for you.

Fast forward several years, and I’ve started a family, and have moved from the bounteous moisture of the Pacific Northwest, to the arid, seemingly desolate land of Utah.

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When to buy: Grocery Sale Cycles

Part of being a good prepper is not just buying extra food, but the art of learning how to buy right. Purchasing foods especially can be an art form for knowing when to get the best prices, and best quality. For instance, it’s usually a bad idea to buy a vegetable who’s harvest is about to happen, as you know that means you are getting what’s left from last year. Your food won’t taste as good, and it won’t store as long as it’s already got a year down. Grocery stores know this, so many frugal shoppers have studied the common grocery sale cycles to understand how the manufacturers and stores are working together to move their product most efficiently. Continue reading “When to buy: Grocery Sale Cycles”

Homemade camping stove

Sometimes you just want a small stove for your tent. Wouldn’t that be nice to have an actual wood-burning method of heating a shelter that doesn’t cost a fortune, and is easy to carry around? Now dont’ get me wrong, I truly covet a nice stove for the wall tent I dream of owning some day, but reality hasn’t let that come into my posession yet.

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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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