Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Continuity Insurance

The month of September has been designated Emergency Preparedness Month.

In order to do my part in spreading the word, throughout this month I will be sharing bits and pieces of my book, Continuity Insurance, with you. I will start off by sharing my Preface and a section from Chapter One*.

Copyright ©2010 Noel Napolitan

Preface

Our laws say that we must carry car insurance and soon health insurance. A good number of us also have home insurance, renters insurance and even life insurance. We carry jumper cables in our cars along with a spare tire. Some of us have tire inflating devices and even extra windshield washer fluid. So, why is it then that the average family in America has, more often than not, less than a week’s worth of water and food on hand? Even most supermarkets have less than that. It could be needed at any time. Power outages, loss of employment, serious injury, accidental medical bills, civil unrest and the list goes on and on. I haven’t even mentioned all the potential natural emergencies that can happen. Long term water and food storage (I mean at least a week if not much more) is every bit as important as all those other insurance policies.

Water and food storage is an investment in your future. It is a way of life, not just a quick fix and storing what you eat and eating what you store will help you keep a solid investment. Your storage should not only match your lifestyle but it should be used and kept fresh. Get a five gallon water container for each person, fill it and store it. After six months use it and refill it. Using and rotating your freeze-dried and dehydrated foods and dry goods on a regular basis keeps your original investment from being wasted.

Please take this book to heart and, by all means, do as much more research into the subject as you can. Life, the actual staying alive part anyway, is not a game and being prepared for sudden emergency situations is not anything to laugh at. You don’t have to be a “survivalist” but being a “prepper” could well save your life and the lives of the ones you love.

Part One ~ Water, Water, Everywhere?
Chapter One ~ Necessity

Next to air, water is what humans need the most. Our bodies are about 80% liquids. Dehydration of 6 to 8% of the body’s weight results in decreased body efficiency. You are especially susceptible to dehydration on very hot or very cold environments. Both of those situations will have dry air that will suck the moisture out of your body. Extreme heat is of course the worst, but dehydration can occur in very cold environments as well. Within three days of bodily water loss, the whole body and its organs can experience major damage. Blood loses its density; heart attack and stroke possibilities multiply; the kidneys begin to fail; the brain begins to hallucinate.

We can lose fluids from our bodies by sweating, breathing, urinating, vomiting, crying and talking. Sweating is a normal bodily process that has a cooling effect as the moisture evaporates from the skin surface.  A person sitting in the shade when the temperature is around 70°F would lose about two quarts of fluid in a twenty-four hour period. You should keep your body temperature down to a minimum either by natural or artificial means.  It is important to keep activity down to a minimum and conserve existing body fluids. Breathing removes moisture from our lungs by condensation. Urinating is also a normal bodily process and cannot be prevented.  However, it should be held as long as possible to slow down this fluid loss from the body. Never drink urine unless it has been distilled and even then, only as a last case scenario. Vomiting can be avoided by leaving bad or harmful food well alone. Crying should also be avoided, but it may be difficult to convince a child of this.

You should drink according to your need. The average person should drink between 2 and 2½ quarts of water or other non-caffeinated liquids per day, but many people need more. This will depend on age, physical activity, physical condition and time of year. Carbonated beverages do not meet drinking-water requirements. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water. Never ration water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. Under no circumstances should a person drink less than one quart of water each day. Drink water that you know is not contaminated first. If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or muddy water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated. If water treatment is not possible, put off drinking suspicious water as long as possible, but do not become dehydrated.

As a general rule, if you are in an active environment, you will need to drink two quarts of water per day. You should do all you can to obtain clean, potable water, to reduce activity and to stay in the shade. That is how you stay hydrated. You may have heard the rule of 1 gallon of water per person per day. The additional 2 quarts of water are for cooking, personal hygiene, sanitation, cleaning wounds, and reconstituting dehydrated foods including baby formula. You may need even more for medical emergencies.

Assuming you are healthy, have no water and the temperature is 100°F or less, you can survive anywhere from 3-10 days. If you are consuming water, even as little as a quart a day will help you last longer.


*All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Personal Emergency Kit (for bugging out)

Yesterday I posted about supplies needed if you are going to shelter in place. Today's list is in addition to that. All the supplies in the world will not help you if you have to leave them. We keep our bug out supplies in backpacks and waistpacks in a closet next to the front door so that they can be grabbed and taken in case a fast relocation is required. You can click on the title above to be sent to my website containing all sorts of kits. Or you can click the small banner at the bottom to visit a companion company who also has a large assortment of supplies.

Extra food and water such as MREs or emergency food bars, can help keep your energy up and also minimize the likelihood of panic. It is not recommended that one eat food when there is no water, as the body requires water to metabolize food. It is also recomended that you stock water purification tablets.

Extra clothes protect against hypothermia. Multiple layers of clothes are generally warmer than a single thick garment. By having the ability to simply take off a layer of clothes, one can avoid overheating, which can cause sweat and dampen clothing. A change into dry clothes is the fastest way to get warm if you're wet. Extra clothing is also useful for protection from the elements, including thorns, insects, sun, wind, and often cold. If necessary, they can be cut into bandages, used as a tree climbing aid, made into hot pads, pillows, towels, or makeshift ropes.

A first aid kit usually contains items to treat cuts, blisters, punctures and burns. Additional items might address broken fingers, limbs, cardiac conditions, hypothermia, frostbite, hyperthermia, hypoxia, insect and snake bites, allergic reactions, burns and other wounds. If applicable, include any personal medications.

Matches, a lighter and fire starter (typically chemical heat tabs, canned heat, or magnesium stick) to light a campfire is useful for preventing hypothermia and to signal for aid. In an emergency, a fire increases one's will to survive.

A knife is useful for opening packages, building shelter, shaving wood for tinder, eating, field surgery (after sterilization), cutting rope and clothing, etc. A multi-tool such as a Leatherman is also a versatile choice.

Flashlights and headlamps protect against physical injury when traveling in the dark. A flashlight is also useful for finding things in the pack, observing wildlife in dark places and for signaling. Extra batteries and bulbs are highly recommended. Lamps using LEDs have become very popular, due to their robustness and low power consumption.

A map and compass assists one in not getting lost in the field. Losing one's bearing in unfamiliar terrain raises the risk of anxiety and panic, and hence, physical injury. Maps that cover the relevant area in sufficient detail and dimension (topography, trails, roads, campsites, towns, etc.) and the skill and knowledge to use them are indispensable when traveling through the outdoors, especially when the place of travel lacks signage, markings or guides. Even a basic compass can help an individual find his way to safety.

And last but not least, Sunglasses to help prevent snow blindness. Sunlight, especially when reflected in snow, can seriously limit visibility, and jeopardize one's ability to travel safely.

Add to this, a Swiss Army knife, Gerber Survival tool or Leatherman (or two) and one change of warm clothes per person and you will be basically prepared.

We recommend one full week's worth of supplies or more for each person. It is also a good idea to have enough extra for at least one more person than planned. This allows you to be able to either help out a friend or neighbor or to last a little while longer.

Save Big On Food Storage And Other Preparedness Items

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Family Emergency Kit (for sheltering in place)

The Family Emergency Kit should be individually tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family for three days to a week. Most people prefer to store their emergency supplies in one location that is relatively safe, yet easily accessible if evacuation is required. Items may be stored in a large trash can, suitcase, duffle bag, backpack or footlocker. This kit will require transportation if evacuation is ordered. You can click on the title of this post to go to "The Millionth Monkey" website.

Immediate Emergency Needs (PP means Per Person)

1 large plastic tub with tight lid - store everything in it except water and blankets.

1 list of contents

12 ZipLoc bags, 1 gallon size to hold items

1 blanket or sleeping bag PP - takes up a lot of space. Keep stored by emergency kit.

Water - 2 gallons PP - 8lbs/gallon will make this the heaviest part of your kit. Consider keeping the water out of the kit and stored nearby.

Food - 4000 calories PP - food bars or other high-energy, ready-to-eat items.

First Aid Kit - have a family first aid kit sitting on your 72 hour emergency kit as well as a vehicle kit in each car and a personal kit in each family member's backpack or purse.

Tools

1 Plastic bowl, spoon, cup PP

1 LED headlamp flashlight with extra batteries

1 battery operated radio - receive emergency info

1 multi-function camping knife

1 small ABC fire extinguisher

1 dome tent - light weight backpacking tent sized for family

1 each crescent wrench, hatchet, hammer, phillips and flat screwdrivers, pliers

1 fold-up camping shovel

1 Compass

1 Local map and state map (waterproofed)

2 roadside signal flares

1 notebook and pencil (waterproofed)

1 sewing kit, needles and thread

1 medicine dropper

1 whistle

1 set of extra car and house keys

Supplies

$100 cash or traveler's cheques (waterproofed)

1 roll duct tape

1 roll plastic sheeting

1 box Waterproof matches

1 roll aluminum foil

4 ZipLoc bags, 1 gallon size PP

2 large garbage bags PP

4 disposable hand warmers PP

2 candles

2 snap light sticks

1 small box of nails

50 feet nylon rope

Sanitation

1/2 roll toilet paper PP (waterproofed)

4 alcohol towelettes PP

1 small bottle liquid soap

Feminine supplies as needed (waterproofed)

1 toothbrush PP

1 small bottle Purel hand sanitizer

1 small bottle unscented chlorine bleach

Clothing

1 clothing change PP

1 pair sturdy shoes PP

1 emergency rain poncho PP

1 hat and gloves PP

Specific Needs

Infant Supplies - formula, bottles, powdered milk, baby food, diapers, etc.

Elderly - medications, denture needs, hearing aid batteries, eye glasses, etc.

Medical - insulin, prescriptions, supplies for contacts, etc.

Entertainment- as space allows

deck of cards

book of crossword puzzles

softball

harmonica or mouth harp

Important Documents - originals or copies in waterproof container: Wills, passports, social security cards, insurance policies, property deeds, contracts, stocks, immunization records, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, birth-marriage-death certificates, important phone numbers, inventory of household items

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Benefits of a Self Sufficient Community

We all have our own personal reasons for being preppers, survivalists, or homesteaders. The most prominent of those being that we want to be ready for anything that life can throw at us. But there are many others.

I would like to share my own thoughts on the subject with you. First off, yes, I want to be ready for life’s quirks, both big and small. I also happen to think that the process can be very good for your neighborhood, your city, your country and the world overall.

My idea of preparedness is being self sufficient. If you are self sufficient, it affects a number of things. You do not have to depend on others, or society in general, to be able to live a comfortable life. There is also a certain pride in knowing you can ‘do it yourself’.

If more people relied on themselves instead of society, like we used to, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. When I was growing up, my mother clipped coupons, reused and recycled. I also (just barely) remember a little bit of gardening going on.

If you add some bartering into the mix, you could end up with an entire community that has no need for the federal government at all. I grow tomatoes well and you can fix a roof or an engine. A bushel of my tomatoes is worth it to me to have a dry house or a running car. Maybe my neighbor raises chickens or hogs or cows. He doesn’t need my tomatoes but does need his roof fixed. I give him tomatoes in trade for meat or milk and he gives them to you for a fixed roof.

Also, everyone pitches in on things the whole community needs, like road repair or schooling. If I give the ‘town’ a bushel of tomatoes and my neighbor gives a few pounds of meat or gallons of milk and you help fix the school’s roof, we would all be working together to advance the quality of life for all of us. In addition to that, a community that is self sufficient in this way is little or no burden on the state or region and all involved can be much more satisfied with life in general.

One major bonus in the community needs area would be alternative energy. If everyone had their own solar or wind or hydro-electric source it could all be hooked together to power the entire community, thereby needing no external input. Not to mention that the whole aspect of knowing your neighbors would add the fact that everyone would be looking out for everyone else and crime would be next to non-existent.

Used to be that ‘big government’ wasn’t allowed to dictate our lives. Maybe someday it can be that way again. I can only hope.