In May 2013, a tornado devastated much of the City of Moore, OK. Despite the destruction happening around them the employees of Tinker Federal Credit Union had peace of mind due to their Emergency Response Plan. These men and women survived the May 20th EF-5 tornado by executing their rehearsed Emergency Response Plan. The Moore, OK branch was completely destroyed, but no employees were harmed because they took shelter in the bank vault.
We invite you to download the media toolkit below to promote National Severe Weather Preparedness Week in your community. The toolkit includes: background information on how to take the next step, talking points, a blog post template, an Op-Ed, and a Social Media toolkit including content to share on Twitter and Facebook.
Tornado FAQ - How do tornadoes form? Where is the safest place to shelter? Should I open the windows in my house during a tornado? Get answers to frequently asked questions about tornadoes.
Scrimping and saving was a necessity during the Great Depression, when unemployment in the US skyrocketed to 25 percent. Although we are seeing better times, we can always take a page from that era and practice some of those thrifty habits. Restart these frugal practices, and your wallet will thank you!
Making your own: There are plenty of items we can DIY and don't have to buy, such as certain foods and cleaning supplies. Not only will making some of these items on your own save you money, but it's also better for your health. There are fewer chemicals in homemade cleaning supplies and food.
Using it up: Use everything to the last drop before you toss it. This includes everything from bath supplies to cooking ingredients.
Going to the library: We often forget our friendly neighborhood library has plenty of awesome freebies in store for us, from ebooks to DVDs. Don't forget: the library is also a great quiet spot to enjoy free WiFi without the obligation of buying a cup of coffee.
Mending it: Instead of throwing away your items or handing them off to a professional, fix them yourself. Thankfully, we have plenty of online tutorials that can take us through the steps without us blindly figuring it out on your own. Check out these home repair projects you should tackle on your own.
Using less: Not only do we need to use everything to the last drop, but we also have to remember to use less of what we have. For example, you can always dilute your hand soap and shampoo with water. And you can use less detergent for your wash.
Growing your own: If growing your own food sounds intimidating, you can always start small. Explore foods that you can easily grow in a small space, such as herbs.
Needing over wanting: Apply the stranger test to purchases. Picture a stranger offering you the cash value of the purchase or the purchase to you, and figure out which one you would pick. If you pick the cash over the item, then you should seriously reconsider buying and just make do with what you have instead.
Reusing items: Don't throw away items just because you can't use it for its original purpose. For example, there are plenty of things you can do with an old t-shirt, books,mason jars, and even maps.
As a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. It’s the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.
As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.
Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but of humanity. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.
The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!
There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. Here are a few more tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
1. When exiting a building heading to your car, have the key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.
2. Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.
3. Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!
4. Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or are new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.
A majority of crimes committed today are crimes based on opportunity. What that means is that the Ocean’s Eleven highly planned and thought-out crimes are not common. Instead, most criminals don’t put much planning into their crimes, if any at all.
Criminals didn’t scheme when they stole your car. You left it parked in the street, running to warm up while you go back in the house to finish getting ready for work. They didn’t see anyone else around, so they decided “it’s time to go on a joyride.” You presented them an opportunity and they took it.
A car is stolen in the US about every 30 seconds. That is almost 1.2 million stolen cars a year! But here are some tips you can do to reduce the likelihood that your car is one of them:
5. ALWAYS lock your car. Over half of all stolen cars were unlocked at the time they were taken. Lock your car even when driving. (There are almost 50,000 car jackings every year in the US.
6. Never leave your keys in the car, and never leave a spare key in/on the car. Almost one in five stolen cars had a spare key in the car.
7. Don’t leave anything of value in the open in your car. Hide them, place them in the trunk, or cover them with something like a blanket.
8. Don’t rely on only a car alarm. They are so common now that most are ignored. And thieves can break a window and steal your contents in less than 20 seconds. Not much an alarm can do about that.
When parking in a large parking lot (like at the mall, supermarket, etc.), I always try to park beside a tall street lamp. This is smart for a couple of reasons. First, when you leave the building and walk to your car, it is easier to remember where you parked, and those tall lamps are easy to see. Second, if you are delayed for some reason and are now leaving and heading to your car when it is dark, your car will be illuminated. You will also be able to see better if someone is hanging around your car. And finally, the light at night helps to detract thieves from messing with your car. Like I said, they hate witnesses.
These are not 100 percent guarantees that you won’t be a victim. But as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
What tips would you add to the list?
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People cannot survive in the wilderness without air, water and food. In normal conditions a person can live without air for three minutes, without water for three days, and without food for three weeks. Since air is plentiful (in most survival situations) we shouldn’t worry about that right now. Lack of water however is something that we should consider and also know how to deal with in case we face such situation. Below you will understand many essential things about water, how to find it, how to purify it and what not to do, you might want to save this page to your favourite pages for future reference, because it has a lot of things that you need to know for your survival.
Water for Survival
Your body loses water through normal body processes (sweating, urinating, defecating and even breathing). During average daily exertion when the atmospheric temperature is 20 degrees Celsius (C) (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the average adult loses and therefore requires 2 to 3 liters of water daily. Other factors, such as heat exposure, cold exposure, intense activity, high altitude, burns, or illness, can cause your body to lose more water. You must replace this water. Our body consists of 60% water, 75% of our brain and lean muscles is water, and 83% of water in our blood. Dehydration results from inadequate replacement of lost body fluids. It decreases your efficiency and, if injured, increases your susceptibility to severe shock. Consider the following results of body fluid loss:
A 2% dehydration, results in a feeling of thirst.
A 5% dehydration, results in a feeling of being hot and tired, and strength and endurance decrease.
A 10% dehydration, results in a feeling of delirium and blurred vision.
A 20% dehydration, results in death.
The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration are:
Dark urine with a very strong odor.
Low urine output.
Dark, sunken eyes.
Loss of skin elasticity.
Delayed capillary refill in fingernail beds.
Trench line down center of tongue.
Thirst. Last on the list because you are already 2 percent dehydrated by the time you crave fluids.
In any situation where food intake is low, drink 6 to 8 liters of water per day. In an extreme climate, especially an arid one, the average person can lose 2.5 to 3.5 liters of water per hour. In this type of climate, you should drink 14 to 30 liters of water per day. With the loss of water there is also a loss of electrolytes (body salts). The average diet can usually keep up with these losses but in an extreme situation or illness, additional sources need to be provided. A mixture of 0.25 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water will provide a concentration that the body tissues can readily absorb.Of all the physical problems encountered in a survival situation, the loss of water is the most preventable. The following are basic guidelines for the prevention of dehydration:
Always drink water when eating. Water is used and consumed as a part of the digestion process and can lead to dehydration.
Acclimatize. The body performs more efficiently in extreme conditions when acclimatized.
Conserve sweat not water. Limit sweat-producing activities but drink water.
Ration water. Until you find a suitable source, ration your water sensibly. A daily intake of 500 cubic centimeter (0.5 liter) of a sugar-water mixture (2 teaspoons per liter) will suffice to prevent severe dehydration for at least a week, provided you keep water losses to a minimum by limiting activity and heat gain or loss.
You can estimate fluid loss by several means. A standard field dressing holds about 0.25 liter (one-fourth canteen) of blood. A soaked T-shirt holds 0.5 to 0.75 liter. You can also use the pulse and breathing rate to estimate fluid loss. Use the following as a guide:
With a 0.75 liter loss the wrist pulse rate will be under 100 beats per minute and the breathing rate 12 to 20 breaths per minute.
With a 0.75 to 1.5 liter loss the pulse rate will be 100 to 120 beats per minute and 20 to 30 breaths per minute.
With a 1.5 to 2 liter loss the pulse rate will be 120 to 140 beats per minute and 30 to 40 breaths per minute. Vital signs above these rates require more advanced care.
Don’t eat (especially dry food) if you cannot find water, because to digest food your body will need water. If you’re very thirsty and find water, drink it slowly, don’t overload your system, try to drink every 10 minutes until you don’t feel thirsty anymore.
Ways to Find Water: Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’ t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency. More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses. So, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water.
Water Sources: Almost any environment has water present to some degree, here are some:
Frigid Areas: Snow and ice can be melted. Warning: Do not eat snow or ice without melting! Eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and will lead to more dehydration. Sea ice that is gray in color or opaque is salty. Do not use it without desalting it. Sea ice that is crystaline with a bluish cast has little salt in it.
At Sea: For sea water you need to use desalter kit, do not drink seawater without desalting.
Rain Water: Rain water is not the main source in survival situation but in case it rains and you’re short of water it would be of a big help, try to find a wide container, because the width in this case is more important than the depth especially if it’s going to rain only for a short time, you may want to occupy the widest surface possible to take advantage of every drop of rain the wider the better (a kids inflatable swimming pool would be nice). Also you can spread a big clean sheet of plastic and make a hole in the middle, place it about 2 feet above the ground, place a bucket underneath the plastic sheet, exactly underneath the hole, so that the rain collected from the big plastic would pour rain water through the hole into the bucket, you may need to empty the bucket to a bigger container and place it again under the hole. (try to make the center of the plastic form a V so that the rain water will accumulate only in the center by placing a clean stone in the center).
Water at the Beach: Dig a hole deep enough to allow water to seep in, obtain rocks, build fire and heat rocks, drop hot rocks in water, hold cloth over hole to absorb steam, wring water from cloth. The rocks will make the water evaporate, the cloth will capture the evaporated water and convert it into water. Alternate method if a container or bark pot is available, fill container or pot with seawater, build fire and boil water to produce steam, hold cloth over container to absorb steam; wring water from cloth.
Water in the Desert: In deserts you can find water in:
Valleys and low areas
Foot of concave banks of dry river beads
Foot of cliffs or rock outcrops.
First depression behind first sand dune of dry desert lakes.
Wherever you find damp surface sand
Wherever you find green vegetation
After you spot one of the options above dig holes deep enough to allow water to seep in. In a sand dune belt, any available water will be found beneath the original valley floor at the edge of dunes.
Cacti can contain a good source of water, once a barrel cactus is found cut off the top and mash or squeeze the pulp. Caution: do not eat pulp, place pulp in mouth, suck out juice and discard pulp. Without a machete cutting into a cactus is difficult and takes time since you must get past the long strong spines and cut through the tough rind.
Stills (Solar Stills): You can use stills in various areas of the world. They draw moisture from the ground and from plant material. You need certain materials to build a still, and you need time to let it collect the water. It takes about 24 hours to get 0.5 to 1 liter of water. To make a belowground still, you need a digging tool, a container, a clear plastic sheet, a drinking tube, and a rock (See image below).
Select a site where you believe the soil will contain moisture (such as a dry stream bed or a low spot where rainwater has collected). The soil at this site should be easy to dig, and sunlight must hit the site most of the day.To construct the still:
Dig a bowl-shaped hole about 1 meter across and 60 centimeters deep.
Dig a sump in the center of the hole. The sump’s depth and perimeter will depend on the size of the container that you have to place in it. The bottom of the sump should allow the container to stand upright.
Anchor the tubing to the container’s bottom by forming a loose overhand knot in the tubing.
Place the container upright in the sump.
Extend the unanchored end of the tubing up, over, and beyond the lip of the hole.
Place the plastic sheet over the hole, covering its edges with soil to hold it in place.
Place a rock in the center of the plastic sheet.
Lower the plastic sheet into the hole until it is about 40 centimeters below ground level. It now forms an inverted cone with the rock at its apex. Make sure that the cone’s apex is directly over your container. Also make sure the plastic cone does not touch the sides of the hole because the earth will absorb the condensed water.
Put more soil on the edges of the plastic to hold it securely in place and to prevent the loss of moisture.
Plug the tube when not in use so that the moisture will not evaporate.
You can drink water without disturbing the still by using the tube as a straw. You may want to use plants in the hole as a moisture source. If so, dig out additional soil from the sides of the hole to form a slope on which to place the plants. Then proceed as above. If polluted water is your only moisture source, dig a small trough outside the hole about 25 centimeters from the still’s lip (Figure 6-8). Dig the trough about 25 centimeters deep and 8 centimeters wide. Pour the polluted water in the trough. Be sure you do not spill any polluted water around the rim of the hole where the plastic sheet touches the soil. The trough holds the polluted water and the soil filters it as the still draws it. The water then condenses on the plastic and drains into the container. This process works extremely well when your only water source is salt water. Note: This can only be done as a last resort in absence of other water sources.
Rainwater collected in clean containers or in plants is usually safe for drinking. However, purify water from lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, or streams, especially the water near human settlements or in the tropics. When possible, purify all water you got from vegetation or from the ground by using iodine or chlorine, or by boiling.
Purify water by:
Using water purification tablets.
Placing 5 drops of 2 percent tincture of iodine in a canteen full of clear water. If the canteen is full of cloudy or cold water, use 10 drops. (Let the canteen of water stand for 30 minutes before drinking.)
Boiling water for 1 minute at sea level, adding 1 minute for each additional 300 meters above sea level, or boil for 10 minutes no matter where you are.
By drinking nonpotable water you may contract diseases or swallow organisms that can harm you. Examples of such diseases or organisms are:
Dysentery. Severe, prolonged diarrhea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness.
Cholera and typhoid. You may be susceptible to these diseases regardless of inoculations.
Flukes. Stagnant, polluted water–especially in tropical areas–often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease.
Leeches. If you swallow a leech, it can hook onto the throat passage or inside the nose. It will suck blood, create a wound, and move to another area. Each bleeding wound may become infected.
Water Filtration Devices
If the water you find is also muddy, stagnant, and foul smelling, you can clear the water:
By placing it in a container and letting it stand for 12 hours.
By pouring it through a filtering system.
Note: These procedures only clear the water and make it more palatable. You will have to purify it. To make a filtering system, place several centimeters or layers of filtering material such as sand, crushed rock, charcoal, or cloth in bamboo, a hollow log, or an article of clothing.
Remove the odor from water by adding charcoal from your fire. Let the water stand for 45 minutes before drinking it.
What not to Drink:
Alcoholic beverages: dehydrate the body and cloud judgment.
Urine: contains harmful body wastes and is 2 percent salt.
Blood: is salty and considered a food, therefore requires additional body fluids to digest, and may transmit disease.
Seawater: is about 4 percent salt. It takes about 2 liters of body fluids to rid the body of waste from 1 liter of seawater, therefore by drinking seawater you deplete your body’s water supply, which can cause death.
4. The acceleration of biological science capabilities and the risk that these
capabilities may cause the inadvertent or intentional release of pathogens;
5. Continued concern about terrorism acquisition, development, and use of
The increase in world travel makes the spread of pathogens, new infectious diseases, and even bio-terrorism more threatening and relevant. A past example of this is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which spread to 4 continents in 2003. Currently, global health officials are watching Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and H5N7 influenza.
Catching a new strain of a virus early is key to keeping it contained and developing a proper course of action. World organizations and national agencies rely on the medical surveillance, detection, reporting, and response of local agencies and public health offices to strengthen the global health outlook.
(Source: CDC Global Health Security)
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day – May 3
The first National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and State Farm, is scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd. State Farm is providing $10,000 in grant funding to support neighborhood projects that will reduce community wildfire risk.
Twenty projects will be awarded $500 each. Project organizers may enter the contest to receive money for project funding. The deadline is March 19th; specific information is required for entry, please make sure the entry form is complete. NFPA also offers suggestions about the types of projects (PDF, 410 Kb) communities might consider, a variety of project resources, and a video about the program off the program’s main site.
Over 2,200 primary structures burned due to wildfires in 2012, and the National Association of State Foresters reports 72,000+ U.S. communities are currently at risk. NFPA hopes this program will become an annual event, as there is a need for better community involvement in wildfire risk reduction.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released the Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014) Study, revised and updated from the original 2004 version. The study was conducted to address the high percentage of vehicle-related fatalities of both fire and law enforcement officers and to share best practices of roadway safety.
Vehicular incidents account for 25 percent of firefighter fatalities, while they account for 39 percent of law enforcement fatalities between 2002 and 2011. The majority of these incidents were preventable and many are due to unsafe driving (excessive speed, fatigued driving, not using a seatbelt, reliance on lights and sirens, etc.). The study identifies current problems and areas for improvement in the areas of apparatus and vehicle design and maintenance; scene safety; the importance of inclusive training; and internal and external response variables.
This study was a joint effort between USFA, the International Fire Service Training Association, the Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Justice. Additional resources on emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety are listed at the bottom of the page.
Several officials and civil servants appeared before the Connecticut governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to describe what could be done better in the future should another school shooting occur. Four points were mentioned as being items of concern or areas for improvement:
• With only three dispatchers staffing the local PSAP, they were quickly overwhelmed by the volume of calls;
• Parents and media converged on the scene, making it difficult for responders to do their jobs;
• Too many ambulances arrived with too little resource management;
• Donations poured in, but no mechanism was identified to handle the funds at first; questionable groups appeared, prompting a fraud watch from the state.
Newtown has had over a year to look back at their multi-agency response, identify these issues, and begin to address them. Other towns and cities should review their own response plans and determine how these problems may play out in their own jurisdictions, or conduct extensive and realistic drills to identify other gaps in plans and training.
Here’s our very own doomsday survival info-graphic and is aimed primarily at those new to prepping. It covers some of our recent articles on how scientists predict the world will end. Also some general facts about our prepping community, along with some tips for your bug out bag. Click on the image to expand.
Please ‘Like’, Tweet, and Share this image if you found it useful. Thank you.
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Everyone seems to be interested in bugging out, especially anyone who just became aware of preparedness or accidentally came across something on T.V. In reality Bugging out could mean life or death.
I personally have no desire to up and leave everything I have built up and I don’t own a bus to put it all in.
Not only would we limited by the supplies we could take we would have to leave the security or our home and abandon all the work we have done inside and outside the house.
The fact is that at some point or another we might be faced with the situation of bugging out. Some people might choose not to leave and go out guns blazing, some people might have a location and a group of people set in place and are basically already bugged out and some people might not have even given it a second thought. If that is the case they might as well stay put because surviving in the middle of central park or in a F.E.M.A. camp is no life at all. This is exactly why I choose to plan now for the future.
Why would I Even Want to Bug Out?
Like I said, bugging out will be your last resort. For some people it might be the only resort but none the less what is the point of building our food storage and supplies if we are going to leave then at the drop of a hat.
There might be reasons however that leave us no choice. Situations might arise that force us to make a life or death decision.
War: military conflict on our soil whether that be from forces abroad or civil war could cause us to have to get out of dodge. If our home suddenly becomes too close to the front lines the odds of us fighting a military force are slim to none.
Nuclear Fallout: bugging out would depend a few different factors, the direction of the winds, how close you are to ground zero, can you out run the fallout and do you have a place to run. If none of these are possible you might be better off staying put inside your home making it as airtight as possible, keep in mind you still need air to breath.
Natural disaster: A wild fire, earthquake or flood could make our home uninhabitable and forcing us to bug out. This could be for a short period of time like here recently in Colorado or it could be a permanent move. If you live in an area where natural disasters are likely, having a bug out plan is a good idea.
Riots and Looters: At some point in a SHTF scenario you could find yourself right in the middle of it. One day everything seems fine and all of the sudden your neighborhood becomes a hot spot. Rioters and mobs take on a mind of their own, this is exactly what they mean by “mob mentality” although there is not much “thinking” going on during a riot.
Chemical “accidents”: I put “accidents” I quotes because it always seems to be an “accident” when a company tries to cut corners and lower costs at the expense of public safety. If something were to happen at one of the many nuclear facility’s sprinkled around the country we could be in for it. A disaster like this could cause damage for years to come.
Unforeseen circumstances: There are more reasons someone might need to bug out than I will list here, but as we all know even if we have a plan for everything we can possibly think of something always seems to sneak up on us.
“There is no such thing as can’t, only won’t. If you’re qualified, all it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a change. Go forward, go backward. Whatever it takes! But you can’t blame other people or society in general. It all comes from your mind. When we do the impossible we realize we are special people.” — Jan Ashford