Category Archives: Survival News

Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire Featured in OffGrid Magazine

Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire Featured in OffGrid Magazine!

Our Ring O Fire product was featured in yet another great outdoors magazine, OffGrid Magazine Issue #22 (December 2017 issue). They loved the Ring O Fire and stated:

“Any prepper worth their salt knows you have to have multiple means of starting a flame. The Ring O Fire kit from Live Fire Gear will certainly deliver on that concept. This kit consists of three fire-starting items. First is the FireCord, a 550 paracord with its eighth inner strand being a color-coded red tinder that’s waterproof and easy to ignite. Use the FireCord as neck lanyards, zipper pulls, or boot laces and you’ll always have a way to spark a flame wherever you go. Second is the Live Fire Original, essentially a firestarter made from mineral oil, polymer resin, and other material that’s waterproof, cedar scented, and can be relit again and again. It comes in a tiny tin with a slide-top lid, so you can limit its burn and even use it as a candle. Third is a ferro rod with striker. Together, they’ll provide you with much needed redundancy this coming winter.”

We couldn’t agree more! If you’re interested in purchasing this issue of OffGrid Magazine click here. Also take a look at their website for some great articles and tips. If you haven’t already purchased a Ring O Fire pick one up today here, and grab a few extra for your family members, they make a great stocking stuffer!

What’s Wrong with FEMA’s Plan for You?

FEMAShelterWith a budget of almost 14 Billion dollars in 2013, you would expect that FEMA would have the resources at its disposal to really be able to assist the public prior to any disaster. If you haven’t already; I recommend going out to the FEMA website to see what their recommendations are for getting prepared. FEMA, through their Ready.govwebsite is the government’s office that addresses most of the specific topics of the prepper movement so I was surprised at the information I found on their site. Actually, I wasn’t completely surprised because I did write about National Preparedness Month and how I believed that as an agency their communications left me completely underwhelmed.

Regardless, I went out again today with fresh eyes to see what I could learn from FEMA. I say that because I truly believe that our government should have the smartest people in our country in positions like this, right? I mean if you are an agency that deals with disaster you need to have the top disaster experts in the world giving out advice, right?

FEMA breaks the topics on their website down into a few categories to start with:

  • Be Informed – This is where FEMA says you can “Learn what protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency”.
  • Make a Plan – “Prepare Plan and stay Informed for Emergencies”
  • Build A Kit – “Build a kit for disasters to be prepared.”

So at first glance this seems like a good start. I went under “Be Informed” to learn what protective measures I could take and decided to start with pandemic. The first thing to notice is that they mention influenza pandemic and I didn’t see anything about Ebola, but let’s just assume that anything bad enough to spawn a Pandemic would be covered by FEMA. They mention having a two week supply of food and water, plenty of prescription drugs, copies of your health records and to talk with family members about how they should be cared for if they get sick. Lastly they ask you to volunteer and get involved.

During an actual Pandemic (this is the page that FEMA has for Pandemic information) they recommend avoiding close contact with people who are sick (Really??) staying home from work if possible and the usual suspects of covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands.

A pandemic by definition is when a disease is prevalent throughout an entire country, continent or the whole world. I am going to add my own addendum that there must be a relatively high loss of life. With that definition, the only other pandemic any living person has seen (I don’t count AIDs or SARS) was the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 that killed an estimated 30 to 50 million people in two years. In the United States alone over 675,000 people died in two years!! When FEMA is supposed to be informing you about what to do for a Pandemic that is the best they can do?!!!

Lists of phone numbers does not prepare you for a disaster

Maybe I am over reacting and this is sound advice? Perhaps, but look at Ebola where they say you are contagious for up to 21 days. If you are supposed to stay indoors for three weeks, you would be mighty hungry that last week if you only stored two weeks of food wouldn’t you? The World Health Organization states that people with Ebola can still transmit the disease though semen for up to 7 weeks after they have recovered. Is it possible that a two week plan might leave you seriously under prepared for the next pandemic?

Obviously I take issue with the plans FEMA seems to have for sheltering in place should that be necessary during a pandemic so I went over to their Make A Plan page and then down to the Plan to Protect yourself and your family link. The page seems worthless to me and the most prominent item on the page is a link to download their Family Communication Plan which is really just a sheet for you to write down phone numbers, a meeting place and medical insurance information. I don’t see how this is a realistic plan. Phone numbers are helpful I guess and having your dentist’s phone number would be a good thing if you are having a tooth emergency but I expected more again from FEMA.

A family survival plan is more than just simply writing down phone numbers and being truly prepared requires more than two weeks of food; especially during a pandemic. FEMA it seems has always recommended the most basic information and supplies that anyone probably already has on hand. Is this preparing or are they trying to cater to our lazy side? Is this the lazy person’s way to prepare? Just write down some phone numbers that won’t help you at all and keep the regular amount of food you probably already have on hand and no worries! But while you’re at it, FEMA does recommend some social messaging shout outs you can use.

FEMA doesn’t have a plan for you

You can go lots of places on FEMA’s website and there is some good advice, but on balance I get the sense that either FEMA is trying to lower everyone’s expectations for any real disaster to the point of leaving millions under prepared or they are simply out of touch with reality. I know people who have been without power for longer than two weeks in the winter and this wasn’t considered a disaster by any stretch. When we imagine disaster, it will probably take FEMA two weeks just to get out and do anything if you are foolish enough to believe that you only have to hold out until they get there. Once FEMA does arrive, they are no magic savior. Remember Hurricane Sandy when the FEMA office closed? They actually had the mental sharpness to hang up signsinforming the public, who presumably was going to the offices for assistance, that they were closed “due to the weather”. You can’t rely on anyone else in a disaster so it’s important that you take the responsibility for your life and the lives of those you care about into your own hands.

FEMA doesn't want to get out in the storm to help you.

So what are my solutions since I seem to know everything? First thing is that will admit that I don’t know everything but I don’t believe there are any one size fits all plans for preppers. You can’t just say store 2 weeks of food and think that will do for just about any disaster. Everyone has to have their own plan that has been carefully structured based upon the needs, resources and skills of your family/group with a strategic consideration of the potential threats you face. Here’s my take on FEMA’s 3 points.

  • Be Informed – Make sure you know what is going on in your home, city, region, state and country. Staying informed doesn’t have anything to do with sports scores, reality TV or what the latest star is doing that has gotten her in trouble. Being informed is knowing what is going on around you (situational awareness) and what is going on that could affect you. Learn as much as you can right now about different ideas and perspectives. I like to think we cover a lot of bases on the Prepper Journal, but there are dozens of other sites out there that offer a ton of great information too. Check out our prepper resources section for a second opinion on practically anything related to prepping or survival.
  • Make a Plan – Once you have considered who you are prepping for, it then makes sense to ask what are you prepping for. Once you have the answers to those two questions you can start working on a plan that will work for you personally, that addresses the needs of your family with regard to the threats you have identified. Your plan won’t look like mine, but there might be similarities. What works for you might not work for a single mother in the city.
  • Build A Kit – I don’t think the normal supplies I would consider for someone to be adequately prepared would fit into anything I would call a “kit”. A kit sounds like a box that sits in the closet. If you want to be prepared you will need to begin stocking up on suppliesand that means different things to different people. There are lots of bases to cover but the most important begin with food, water, shelter and security.

Food

Water

Shelter

Security

Make your plan to fit your family, to take into consideration where you live and what you are dealing with. You will make better choices than any bureaucracy and your family will be better off with you than at any FEMA shelter regardless of the disaster. FEMA doesn’t have a plan for you. They have a plan to maintain order for the masses and hopefully prevent chaos. You are the only one that is going to keep your family’s needs in the front of your focus. Take steps now to ensure you aren’t living with FEMA’s idea of what is important.

What’s your plan?

This article was written by Pat Henry at The Prepper Journal.  The original article can be viewed here.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

Are you Ready to Shelter in Place during Ebola Outbreak?

EbolaOutbreakYou have to have been riding on a train across Central America for the last few days to be unaware of the latest Ebola threat in the news. Between people with illnesses crossing the border by the thousands daily and our flying infected people back here, you have to wonder what the odds are of a serious outbreak visiting us right here at home.

As preppers, we have to be on guard for a myriad of threats. You may be prepping for one thing, but find out another disaster you didn’t even anticipate has occurred. This is the main reason to broadly prepare for disasters; plan for what your family needs to survive instead of niche or specific issues. For instance, you know that no matter what happens, you will need to eat. You know you will need water and you know you will need shelter. You will need all of this no matter if the super volcano explodes, Martians invade or you have a tornado wipe out your town.

We also talk about what decisions we will be faced with when the disaster comes to our town. Will you be forced to Bug Out; pack everything you need to survive for 72 hours and head out into the woods or hunker down in your house? If a viral outbreak is involved you will almost definitely be forced to shelter in place because you are either going to be required by the authorities to stay indoors, or you out of your natural instinct for self-preservation want to remove yourself and your family from any situation where you could come in contact with an infected individual.

If there is an outbreak, are you prepared to lock your doors and stay in your home for 30-60 days?

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Unfortunately, like almost any other illness in the world, there are common symptoms. Make sure you don’t think cousin Earl has Ebola when he only has a headache or ate some bad sushi.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite

Some patients may experience:

  • A Rash
  • Red Eyes
  • Hiccups
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bleeding inside and outside of the body

Burial of the dead will still be necessary even during an outbreak.

How is Ebola contracted?

Ebola is passed by direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person and that is why you want to stay as far away from infected people at all times. Exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions, bloody sheets, clothing or any fluids at all can pass the disease or at the very least should not be contacted. You can become infected if someone coughs on you who may have the virus so isolation is the only way to avoid exposure from anything I have read.

Ebola prevention

Like I said above, the only real way to prevent it is to not come in contact with anyone who has Ebola. The medical professionals recommend barrier nursing techniques which essentially mean you have a barrier between you and infection at all times.

Barrier nursing techniques include:

  • wearing of protective clothing (such as masksglovesgowns, and goggles)
  • the use of infection-control measures (such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant)
  • Isolation of Ebola HF patients from contact with unprotected persons.

Shelter in place

So if you are told that for your safety you should shelter in place, what types of preparations do you need to have and what some other considerations you need to plan for?

Food and Water – These are no brainers. Do you have enough food and water to last your entire family for 30 to 60 days? If not, we have some strategies for beginning to store 30 days of food on our site. We will assume that even if your town has been locked down to prevent the spread of the virus, the water will still be working, but will you risk drinking it? Could the water supply become infected? In that case, do you have a gallon of water per day for each family member? For a family of 4 that would mean 120 gallons for a month. I personally don’t have that much under my roof, but I would be able to utilize my rain barrels to get that much capacity easily.

Communication – Most prepper sites and even FEMA will recommend you have battery powered radios to get the latest news and information. Being the pessimistic person I am, I have additional sources of communications in the form of Ham radios that I can use to get the real story from regular people and not the potentially nuanced message from the news media. Additionally, it would help to be able to contact neighbors without coming into contact with them. We have plenty of FRS band radios to distribute and we can all be on a channel to pass information to each other.

Sanitation – Again, we assume the city services will still be running, but in the event of a true outbreak anyone could become affected. The people who work for the utilities could become infected too so power, sewage even trash pickup could be stopped due to safety, illness or even death of the people normally responsible for handling these tasks for us. You need to have a plan for sanitation if the grid goes down that will encompass waste removal and hygiene. Half your city could die and they wouldn’t all be dying in the hospital and awaiting burial at the local cemeteries. People could die due to starvation in their homes or have a stroke driving a car to get out of town. Are you prepared to possibly bury your neighbors if they die?

X-Factor – On Doomsday Preppers they throw the wildcard into the scoring of each prepper and give them points for the intangibles. The X factor is what is unknown and unplanned. If there is an outbreak and I mean a legitimate disease outbreak you could be faced with a lot of different things.Riots could break out due to fear or panic over food resources. Do you have a plan for survival ifpeople start knocking on your door because they are out of food? In a time like this Martial law would almost certainly be declared and most if all civil liberties would be thrown out the window under long standing executive orders. Would you be prepared for what would come next?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal

This article was written by Pat Henry at The Prepper Journal.  The original article can be viewed here.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

Natural Disasters Risk List Worst Natural Disasters Locations

natural-disaster-titleNatural disasters can strike at any time. And as we’ve seen with coverage of recent natural disasters like the Oklahoma Tornadoes or Hurricane Sandy, they can cause huge devastation and  major chaos.

Though we all try to prepare ourselves for these events as best as we possibly can, there’s very little you can do once you’re at the will of mother nature. An event like this can cause problems aside from the traditional, physical destruction we associate with natural disaster.

Often, natural disasters are followed by panic and looting as people scramble to find what they need to survive. Suddenly, your preps could make you a target, causing you to have to protect your home and family.

For ultimate preparedness, living as far from natural disaster as possible is a solid plan. If this sounds like a good idea to you, you might consider some of this information as you choose your survival-ready, SHTF, bug out friendly home base-

For a printable PDF version of this graphic, click here.

Natural Disaster Regions From Best to Worst:

1. Lowest risk region: Northwest

Lowest risk city: Corvallis, Oregon

This region boasts the lowest-risk city along with all but one of the low risk cities on this list, making it a clear winner for the lowest risk region and best choice for avoiding disaster.

Other Low Risk Cities In The Northwest:

  • Mt. Vernon, Washington
  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Wenatchee, Washington
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Salem, Oregon
  • Seattle

natural-disasters-list

2. Southwest

This region has only one low risk city but has very little moderate risk areas and no high risk cities, making it the second-best choice for avoiding disaster.

Low Risk Cities In The Southwest:

  • Grand Junction, Colorado

worst-natural-disasters

3. The Northeast

No ranking high or low risk cities in the Northeast. Lots of pockets of moderate risk areas makes this region vulnerable despite the lack of severe risk areas.

natural-disasters

4. The South/Southeast:

Highest Risk City: Dallas, Texas

This region is not only home to high-risk cities, but also is nearly covered with moderate and high risk areas. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes all converge on this one region, making it especially disaster-prone.

All of the high risk cities fall in this region:

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Corpus Christie, Texas
  • Houston
  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Birmingham, Alabama

natural-disasters

Risk Areas By Type of Disaster:

Hurricanes:

Highest risk areas lies along the coast of Florida, up the Atlantic coast and around the Gulf Coast. We’ve seen the devastation of this region in the aftermath of recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. For more on hurricanes, check out theNational Hurricane Center.

For more hurricane survival tips, check out Emergency Hurricane Survival Kit List & Preparedness Tips.

hurricane

Earthquakes:

The risk of this disaster is widespread with the West Coast being most at risk. To see a list of the most recent earthquakes and earthquakes today, check out the USGS Earthquake Map.

To be ready for any kind of natural disaster, create a Trash Can Emergency Survival Kit List.

earthquakes

Tornadoes:

The highest risk area for tornadoes is mostly concentrated in the state of Oklahoma. If you’re in tornado alley, you’re much more likely to be seeing a tornado watch or tornado warning. This region has been rocked recently, after the Oklahoma Tornadoes last year and more recently the tornadoes that have been striking across the south since Sunday, April 28th. Read more about the devastation here.

If you needs tips on how to survive a tornado, check out 5 Reasons You Need A Storm Shelter in Your Home.

tornado

For more, check out the original article from the New York Times- Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster.

For more on natural disasters, check out these posts:

Emergency Hurricane Survival Kit List & Preparedness Tips

5 Reasons You Need A Storm Shelter in Your Home

 This article can also be viewed here at Survival Life

Fungal Infections from Natural Disasters?

virusA new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that natural disasters can create conditions that put survivors at risk for fungal infections, which are often overlooked.

Natural disasters were found to create conditions that put survivors at risk for these fungal infections.  How dangerous and common are they?

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters can displace harmful fungi from their natural habitat, potentially bringing them into contact with injured and vulnerable people, the report said.  Individuals may inhale fungal spores, or the spores can find their way into wounds, resulting in infections.

Are people really being exposed to contamination?

Yes.  After the devastating 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO, 13 severely injured people developed a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis.  The type of fungus that causes this infection is found in the soil and decaying organic matter that victims were exposed to as a result of the disaster.

Following a 1994 earthquake near Los Angeles, more than 200 people developed a fungal infection called coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever.  Landslides and aftershocks caused by the earthquakes generated dust clouds, which dispersed soil fungus that people inhaled.

What health problems are being reported?

200 individuals in Los Angeles developed the fungal infection called coccidioidomycosis.  Coccidioides is a fungus found in the soil of dry, low rainfall areas. It is endemic (native and common) in many areas of the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America. Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, is a common cause of pneumonia in endemic areas.

At least 30% – 60% of people who live in an endemic region are exposed to the fungus at some point during their lives. In most people the infection will go away on its own, but for people who develop severe infections or chronic pneumonia, medical treatment is necessary.

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of developing severe disease. It is difficult to avoid exposure to Coccidioides, but people who are at higher risk should try to avoid breathing in large amounts of dust if they are in endemic areas.  (CDC.gov, 2014).  It was recommended for individuals to use protective clothing and breathing masks following a natural disaster to avoid the risk of inhalation.

Following the 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO, 13 injured people developed a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis.  Mucormycosis (also called zygomycosis) is a rare infection caused by organisms that belong to a group of fungi called Mucoromycotina in the order Mucorales. At one time these fungi were called Zygomycota, but this scientific name has recently been changed.

These fungi are typically found in the soil and in association with decaying organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, or rotten wood (CDC.gov, 2014).

 

Who are at risk?

The individuals at risk are the severely injured during the natural disasters and anyone that inhales the fungal spores.

How are health or government agencies communicating the risk?

According to the article strategies to reduce disaster-associated fungal infections should be considered within the broader context of comprehensive and sustainable risk-reduction methods to prevent disaster-related injury and illness.   The article did not discuss current health or government agency communication regarding this risk but did offer some suggestions.

The article gave some advice for health professionals and stated that health care providers should be aware of the potential for people to develop fungal infections after natural disasters, so that treatment can be started early, the report said.

Fungal infections are sometimes mistaken for other illnesses, such as bacterial infections, which can delay appropriate treatment. After the Los Angeles earthquake, for example, 93 percent of Valley Fever sufferers received one or more antibiotics before their fungal infection was diagnosed.

The report stated that these fungal infections are uncommon with people that are healthy and therefore some doctors may not know to diagnose it as a fungal infection.  The article suggested that doctors should consider fungal infections when antibiotics are not responding as a treatment.

This article was written by the DayOne Gear Team on March 7, 2014.