Just my thoughts

Survival emergency disastersMatt here- We see it all the time in the news but never really realize the impact of what it actually means in our own life. Ever wonder what it would be like without power? How about with out running “clean” water or better yet with out water at all. How about even surviving without shelter.

No matter if it is a natural disaster or man made, there will be a point in everyone’s life where you are without power or with out any of the basic survival needs. In the late 80’s we lived without power for weeks due to Hurricane Hugo. Bet you didn’t realise that without power you can’t make ice and all of your food in the fridge and freezer will go bad in about 2 days. I remember it well, we had a neighborhood BBQ just to cook off the food before it spoiled.

Just like every hurricane we see the damage on TV, we say ahh those poor people and then the toaster pops up and the microwave distracts us from the news. And in just a few days there is something else on the news that changes the focus and we easily forget the people still struggling. Without getting into politics too much, I feel the nation has become reliant on someone else to come to their aid. As an Eagle Scout of about 25 years – I got mine at 13 and half – I still remember the Scout Motto – Be Prepared.

Be Prepared does not mean – Wait till some one helps you, or make sure you know who to yell at for food and shelter. It means get it yourself  “before” something happens to you or your family. Get your life in order before the order is taken from you. Before mother nature or deranged people take away what you know to be safety and security.

Being Prepared does NOT take a lot of time, nor does it take much money either. The other thing is that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out either. When any human is put in a survival mode – most likely their inner caveman will come out when they realise their hair dryer or their cell phone stops working. At one point or another we have all seen an episode of the TV reality show Survivor. Without basic supplies and basic tools the human body will shut down. So how do you do it? Where do you start?

Start small, but be consistent.  Make it a goal that every paycheck or every month you purchase at least one thing to add to your survival kit. Start with a Backpack. You need something that can store items, that is easy to grab, and can be carried easily. A box is nice but a backpack is much better. If something happens where you need to hike for safety or hike for help it is best to bring your survival bag with you at all times.

Once you assemble a bag for yourself, make sure you continue to build on that. Each person in your family should have their own bag that they can carry. If you have children, make sure you pack age appropriate supplies. Like a 5 year old shouldn’t have to carry a fire starter, but should have their favorite toy thats is small and their favorite blanket or something to help them feel safe. Also if you have young children, there is no reason why they can’t carry their own small backpacks with diapers and powdered milk and baby wipes.

Below is a list of items to start off with. Whether you know how to use it or not is not what you need to worry about right now, you just need to have these basics to survive.

emergency backpack kitEmergency Backpack – any will do, but one big enough to hold many items, rugged enough to withstand abuse. They can start as low as $10

emergency blanketEmergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10) ( on sale for as low as $6.99 for a pack of 10 and free shipping) An emergency blanket can help not only keep you warm but will help you get warm. Just like a wrapping of aluminum foil will keep the heat in on your picnic lunch, it can help you if you are becoming hypothermic. And can be used to flag down help!

firestarter kit emergency survivalFirestarter – No matter the season, a fire will help with warmth at night, to signal for help, and what many do not realise it will help you feel secure. Why not a lighter? The gas in the lighters can leak, evaporate, and in heat might combust.

water proof matchesWaterproof Windproof matches –  Having a fire is a key to surviving as well as a way to signal for help. And with something that is high on the list it is best to have backups in order. A good match that will light when wet and also you don’t have to worry about wind is a key to any good fire.

 water filter straw emergency survival

Water Filter – A good water filter will help you simply live. A human on a normal day needs between 2-3 liters of water per day. In survival circumstances you are working hard, hiking and stressing your body so much that you need much more to live. A water filter straw is only about nine bucks and should be one of the first things in your kit.

water purification tablets emergency survivalWater Purification Tablets – Water is a must in a survival environment. Having more then one backup is key to coming out healthy and alive. Water purification tablets are one of the most reliable ways to make sure your water is save to drink.

survival paracord emergencySurvival RopeParacord – Why do you need rope? The real question is what can you not do with rope? Use this to tie up a signal for help – Fishing line – Anchor – boot strap – Backpack strap – First aid brace – Use it on a stick to help start a fire – Sewing thread – Tourniquet in First Aid – Snare to catch food – Hammock – Trip line and more…

survival knife emergencySurvival Knife – From the ole 80’s movie Crocodile Dundee – That’s not a knife – This is a Knife – Use it to cut food, cut cords, chop trees for a fire, shave wood for tinder for a fire, break glass, clear a path, make a shelter, and more….

There is always something else you can add to your Survival packs like hand wipes to feel clean, toilet paper for the comfort of home but make sure you zip it in a plastic bag. Also don’t forget the snacks like trail mix for the protein and carbs, a good protein bar collection for energy, and a can of chicken chunks or tuna or some meat or your favorite meal in a can. Mainly you want to think of storage. Think of how long it will last and how often you actually will rotate the food or perishable items out of your survival bag.

One thing that many people forget about is to save your memories. If there is a disaster that wipes out your home, what about all of the family pictures that you see people rummaging through their torn down home to save! Take the time after the kids go to bed and scan or take digital photos of all of your memories. Over Christmas one year I scanned every old photo album, every birth certificate, and every colored elementary picture I brought home when I was a kid and my mom saved. Scan, photograph or copy every thing that you can. Save it on a Solid State Drive, or High capacity SD card or USB memory stick. Why only those and not a normal and cheaper hard drive? Hard Drive have spinning parts that are more likely to break and malfunction then a chip inside of a USB drive or SD card. They have no moving parts, they are lighter weight, and are easier to carry with you. This way you can always replace a home, but the memories you will always carry with you. Now once you make one, make sure to make a duplicate copy and store it at your relatives home. Just incase your’s is destroyed or lost you still have a backup in a separate location.

Make sure you put your survival bag close by where you can grab it and go. We have ours on the outside, front edge of our garage. So if there was a fire in the house and we all ran out, it would be easy to grab it from the garage. Just remember that in an emergency you will not have time to plan out where and when you will need to grab it.

 

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lie

I was raised to tell the truth…. so I try my best to be honest.   But I am also a people pleaser and HATE to disappoint people.  Not that I am flakey I just don’t like to say things that might disappoint people I care about.  SO every six months when I go to see my dentist for a teeth cleaning and checkup I get all nervous.  WHY? Well for one he is going to stick a metal skewer in my mouth to see if any of my teeth have given up and raised the white flag of defeat over the last 6 months. I just pray he does not find a cavity then jab the poker in and after I jump say “Oh sorry, is that sensitive?”  But most of all,  Because I know he is going to ask me the dreaded question….

Do you floss your teeth everyday, looks like you have a little tartar?

Well normally he says something like, so how you doing on flossing your teeth?  Instantly I feel like a little kid who did not turn their homework in…. And instantly I WANT TO LIE and say “I floss these sparkling white beauties every single day”.  I want to give him the answer he wants to hear…. I want the gold star of  a “perfect flosser”.

But instead of lying I go against the people pleaser part of me and tell him the truth…. “Well I get to it at least a few times a week”. Which is the truth but not the answer he is looking for.

Lucky for me my dentist rocks and has read a few positive parenting books over the years and always smiles at me and tells me to keep trying.  Just you wait one of these days I am going to walk into his office with a  sparkly “I flossed everyday chart” filled with smile face stickers and slap that bad boy down and accept my victory. And just my luck that would be the day he finds a cavity….lol 🙂

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tulip spider

We have tulips all over our yard, they are beautiful to look at.  But I always tell the kids NOT to pick them, “Just let them be pretty in the yard” I tell them.  But to be honest the REAL reason I do not want them to pick the tulips is because they FREAK me out.  Yes I am sure you think I am nuts, but I really do not like tulips next to my face.   Sure they are beautiful on the outside but then you go to smell them, take a little peek inside and it looks like a  BIG HAIRY SPIDER is going to jump out and get you.  At that point I do not want to smell it I want to bat that thing  away from my nose …. stomp on it like a super hero to kill the spider inside and feel like I have won the victory.

But instead I have to act like a grown up and not show my irrational fears to my children.  When they bring me a fresh picked tulip from the yard and say “Look mom I picked it for you, smell it”.  I get to lean down, and smell it… I do it with one eye half open and take a quick smell and say “Oh pretty” and TRY not to have a grimace on my face lol.

Am I the only one that thinks the inside of a tulip looks like a spider???

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stalker

I pulled up to Albertsons today only to notice the lady in the car next to me was either asleep or dead… I was not sure. She was older (maybe 70’s) mouth open, pale and in kind of a hunched over position. To say I was started and worried was an understatement… but what should I do? Maybe she was just napping and I did not want to give her a heart attack by beating on the window.
But leaving her there only to find her in the same spot when I came back did not seem right either… so I watched. Yes I know it sounds like a creepy stalker film… I just sat and watched I finally did see her breath which made me feel a little better (but not much) but her color was still way off. After 2-3 minuted I decided to get out of my car and if I slammed the car door it might make enough noise to awake her if she was in fact just sleeping.
I slammed my door, sure enough she moved but it was more of a confused twitch. But it did the trick she stumbled out of her car and into the store I followed along behind her… once again feeling kind of like a creepy stalker ( but really I just wanted to make sure she was ok).
I saw her go to the produce section she appeared “slow but ok” so I bought my broccoli and moved on. Only to then see her go to the liquor section of the store. She bought two boxes of wine, a few apples and pushed her cart out the door to her car.
Oh my…. I was the only one who saw her passed out in her car before hand. All the pieces were starting to fall into place BUT I still had no idea what to do. So instead I did nothing……

What should I have done….? Still scratching my head over this one.

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