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Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

By Todd Walker

My bud over at For Tomorrow We... shared with me his article on building an office emergency kit. It reminded me that I should update my kit – and plan. Tip ‘o the hat, my friend!

If you’re fortunate enough have a job in today’s shrinking economy, it’s likely that you spend over a third of your life commuting to and from work. Whether your ‘office’ is a construction site, hospital, toll booth, boardroom, or classroom like mine, you must leave the house to get there.

Having a few preparedness tools stacks the deck in favor of you getting home.

And it all starts…

Before Stepping Over Your Doorsill

I give Dirt Road Girl a hard time about how long it takes her to get ready when we’re leaving the house. She returns the good-natured ribbing *hands on those beautiful hips and eyes rolling* as I start my ritual of loading my pockets and belt with stuff I carry everyday.

I just smile and say, “Ya never know!”

Pockets Full of Preps

The stuff you carry on your person is known in the prepper community as EDC (Everyday Carry). If you work in a victim zone (Weapons Free Zone) as I do, you’ll have to get creative with preparedness and self-defense items.

Ask a prepper if he has a knife on him. You’re likely to hear what my daddy’s says…

“I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”

But wait! There’s more room for other useful stuff besides a knife.

Wallet (some conventional and unconventional items)
  • Money (stash some so the spouse and kids don’t find it)
  • Duct tape – wrap 3 feet around an expired store card
  • I.D. to prove your residency when local law enforcement have blocked off your neighborhood after a natural disaster
  • Survival Wallet
  • Emergency contact numbers on a card. If your smart phone is lost, stolen, or dead, it’s no longer real smart. I personally don’t have my adult children’s phone numbers memorized. That’s why an old-fashioned paper card is important.
  • Pre-paid phone card. They work if you find a pay phone at a truck stop.
  • Condom. Of the extra-large, un-lubricated variety. Settle down, now! Condoms have more than one use. Creek Stewart shows 11 redundantly resilient ways a condom could save your life – with pictures and videos!
Pockets/Belt
  • Sidearm - This item, along with a spare magazine, is on my person everywhere I go. The only exceptions are places my government permission slip won’t allow me to exercise my natural rights – like my victim zone classroom!
  • Flashlight – I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L clipped inside my pocket.
  • Reading glasses – LightSpecs go where I go. I use the two LED lights on these glasses far more than any other flashlights I own. DRG can tell you about my flashlight fetish.
  • Cell phone – smart phones are pocket-size, survival super-computers.
  • Swiss Army Knife – tool of my trade as the resident handyman at school
  • Tooth picks – it’s a personal thing.
  • Chap stick
  • Lighter
  • Metal mechanical pencil – for school.

Okay, stop stuffing your pockets! You’re beginning to look like the Michelin Man.

Here’s a place for the rest of your stuff…

Your Man Purse

Guys ~ time to swallow your pride and invest in a good man purse. One peek into the bottomless pit the ladies call a purse will convince you of its utility.

Manly men and only a few metro-sexuals correctly refer to their Man Purse as Get Home Bags (GHB). A book bag, shoulder bag, brief case, or duffel bag will serve the purpose. Keep in mind that a well stocked GHB isn’t built to get you through a sudden zombie apocalypse or end of the world scenario. GHB’s are simply a stopgap measure to get you home safely.

Your family is depending on you – prepare accordingly.

Here’s a look at my GHB ‘man purse’:

Maxpedition Jumbo™ E.D.C. Versipack® – (I have no affiliation with this company).

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

My Maxpedition Man Purse

I’ve owned this pack for a few years and absolutely love its utility! Your ‘office’ environment will determine the type of GHB you carry and it’s contents. If you wear suits and ties to the office, the Maxpedition line of bags will stick out like a man wearing a speedo to a lady-preachers convention. Choose a GHB that blends in naturally.

What should you pack in your Man Purse – GHB?

Personalize your bag to meet your needs (meds, contact numbers, etc.). Outside those personalized items, I recommend these items for every Man Purse – GHB:

Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Your packing list

  • Container: I carry a stainless steel water bottle full of agua. The metal container also allows you to kill nasties in drinking water via boiling method.
  • Fire: A couple of ways to make fire – lighter, storm matches, ferro rod, and tinder. Fire is even useful in an urban jungle. My fire kit is in a self-contained Altoids tin.
  • Self-defense Weapons: If legal at your ‘office’, pack heat. There are many compact handguns on the market to choose from. Less lethal pepper spray should also be included.
  • Flashlight: Ever change a flat tire with a mini Maglite between your teeth? Not fun! Invest in a good headlamp for hands-free operation. Don’t forget extra batteries. I wrap 3 AAA batteries in yellow electrical tape with the packing date written on the tape. This does two things – 1.) keeps them in one unit and 2.) reveals their freshness date.
  • Cordage: 50 feet of 550 paracord.
  • Knife: A fixed blade knife and a multitool.
  • Calories: Energy bars, pemmican, jerky, nuts, trail mix, and sardines. Be sure to rotate/eat any nuts in your GHB periodically to prevent spoilage. If your GHB is exposed to extreme heat inside your vehicle, spoilage can be a major concern. My bag goes inside my classroom and house.
  • Cover: Lightweight poncho, tarp or contractor garbage bags. I also pack an emergency space blanket. A tarp is in my vehicle emergency kit.
  • Compass and Map: Navigational instruments that don’t depend on electronics. Detours happen in disasters. A map of your city and state (states if you’re a traveling salesman) is an essential tool. Practice and be familiar with several routes home before a crisis. Reminder: Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
  • Pencil and Paper: A small note pad for taking notes, leaving messages, and playing tic-tac-toe with your imaginary friend in the passenger seat stranded in a winter storm. Seriously, it’s great to have these items!
  • Paper Money: Cache some cash of different denominations in different places in your Man Purse – GHB. I can roll about 5 bills and stuff them into a metal pill container.
  • Band-Aids: I pack Moleskin, a few Band-Aids, moist wipes, Advil packets, hand sanitizer, and a partial roll of flexible equine bandage wrap. I also pack duct tape and a 100% cotton bandana. These last two items are enough to get you home!
  • Dust Mask: A N95 mask allows you to breathe without inhaling harmful dust particles. They’re cheap, lightweight, and can be MacGyvered for other uses. Remember the scenes from 911 of people running through the streets of NY enveloped by dust and disaster debris.
  • Bandana: Speaking of MacGyvered items, pack a 100% cotton bandana in your GHB.  Makes a cool doo rag too!
  • Whistle: A simple signaling device to alert rescuers – if you want to be found.
  • Bug Spray: A small pen-style container fits easily in my kit.

Note to the ladies: Jane over at Mom With a Prep reviewed her GHB, or Day Bag, just for you. Just so you know, she’s not your typical soccer mom. So don’t call it a purse to her face!

A good Man Purse – GHB doesn’t take into account your vehicle or office kit. You’ve prepared your car and office emergency supplies, right? If not, I’m planning a future post on building these additional kits.

Whether you love your job or not, the fact is that you spend a lot of time away from your safe place called home. The important people in your life are counting on you to get home in one piece. Your Man Purse – GHB fills the gap when you step over your doorsill.

Do you carry a GHB? Add your valuable comments, suggestions, or subtractions from my list of contents. – Survival Sherpa

Keep doing the stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

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More than a million people struck down by norovirus

More than a million people have now contracted the norovirus this winter, official figures reveal amid fears the outbreak could overwhelm emergency services.

 

 

Norovirus

 

 

Levels of infection of the winter vomiting bug, which usually peak in January, are now running at almost twice those of the same time last year.

Calculations are that 1.018million people have been hit with the virus this season, 83 per cent higher than the same period in 2011.

Laboratory tests by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) have confirmed 3,538 cases of norovirus this season, up from 3,046 cases last week.

Officials work on a ratio of one laboratory case probably means there are a further 288 cases among people who do not seek medical treatment and are not tested.

The latest figures, which show no let up in the grip it has on the nation, compare with 1,934 cases last Christmas.

During the two weeks up to 23 December there were 70 hospital outbreaks reported, compared to 61 in the previous fortnight, bringing the total of outbreaks for the season to 538.

The outbreak has sparked alarm among the emergency services who have urged people not to phone 999 amid fears operators will be overwhelmed by emergency calls.

One ambulance service warned a rise in calls about the bug could get in the way of sending paramedics to life-threatening emergencies such as car crashes.

Phil Convery, who is Infection Control Leader for South Central Ambulance Service, said: “Winter is traditionally the busiest time for your ambulance service and as such, we are urging patients with flu or norovirus not to call 999 so that valuable resources remain available to respond to genuinely life threatening medical emergencies.”

The distribution of norovirus cases across the season varies significantly from year to year, but the number of cases has risen earlier than expected this year, said the HPA

John Harris, an expert in norovirus from the HPA said: “The number of laboratory confirmed cases has risen once again as it appears that we have seen the rise in cases that usually begins in January start a little earlier than we normally expect.

“Norovirus is very contagious, and very unpleasant. To help prevent spread of the disease, it’s important that people who believe they are unwell with the virus maintain good hand hygiene and stay away from hospitals, schools and care homes, as these closed environments are particularly prone to outbreaks which can cause severe disruption.”

Norovirus can be transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, by contact with an infected person, or by the consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms of norovirus include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps. The illness usually resolves in one or two days and there are no long-term effects. The Telegraph

Reblogged from The Survival Place Blog.

Study: Colorado River can’t meet long-term demand

Study: Colorado River can’t meet long-term demand

Reblogged from the THE SURVIVAL PLACE BLOG

Posted on December 12, 2012 by Bob Berwyn

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page. New U.S. Bureau of Reclamation report outlines tough scenario for resource managers By Bob Berwyn

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page.

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Upper Colorado River Basin — including Summit County — could see deficits in its compact obligation to deliver water downstream as often as once every five years by 2040, according to a massive new Bureau of Reclamation study released this week. The study details a 50-year Colorado River water supply and demand outlook. Based on a combination of population growth and climate models that show a general drying trend in the region, the river could be short by at least 3.2 million acre feet by 2060, and perhaps by as much as 8 million acre feet, according to the Colorado River Water Users Association. Colorado River water is used by about 40 million people in seven states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Under the most aggressive growth scenario, that number could nearly double, to about 76 million people, by 2060. “You can’t manage a resource that you can’t measure,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, announcind the results of the study during a press conference. “With he help of the U.S. Geological Survey, we are gathering crucial science about our water supplies and how we will use them … We need to work with other partners on the Colorado River, as we have been. That same spirit of partnership is needed to tackle all the water challenges we will face,” Salazar said. Those challenges are daunting, Salazar continued, acknowledging that the river is already stretched to the limit. “We need to recognize that frankly, the legal construct we have already over-subscribes the water by several million acre feet,” he said explaining that the best available climate science suggests that the Colorado River Basin could see an overall 9 percent reduction in flows in the next 50 years.Salazar also acknowledged that there is no easy answer to filling the projected shortfall, and said that federal resource managers won’t look outside the basin, rejecting ideas like shunting Missouri River water to Colorado, or towing icebergs to Southern California. “Those ideas are “impractical and technically not feasible,” Salazar said. “We will pursue practical common sense solutions … like reducing demand thru efficiency and conservation, and also increasing our supply through practical measures like re-use,” he added. The Colorado River Basin States will have to work together to find ways to make the existing water go further, he said. That will include intensified conservation efforts, significant re-use of water and conversion of agricultural water to municipal and industrial purposes, since that’s where the greatest demand will continue to come from. That work must begin now, said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Ann Castle. “The problem of a drier Colorado River Basin is one that we have to tackle now so that our children and grandchildren will have water,” she said. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor reinforced Salazar’s comments about practical solutions. He said the agency has no plans to pursue Missouri River imports and explained that uncertainties related to conservation, weather modification and water banking must be resolved as part of the equation. Scientists must also continue to refine climate projections to help firm up estimates of future supplies, he concluded.

Hurricanes, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes Oh My!

Federal, State, and Local Governments are frantically trying to get the word out to residents of the Eastern United States in helping them brace for the “Perfect Storm” or Hurricane Sandy as she has been named by NOAA.  British Columbia coastal residences are trying to assess the damages left behind from the 7.7 earthquake that shook things up and Hawaii is under another Tsunami watch.

Emergency agencies and officials have established very informative websites with directions to shelters, how to prepare guides, equipment list, all way down to what to do when you lose power.  These agencies are flooding the many media outlets right this very moment to get the people this information.

Great information but too late!  As we have seen previous large emergencies…the storm is on the door step… those that have failed to plan have also failed to prepare…and those are the people that started getting supplies two days ago.

Sense of Urgency – the quality or condition of being urgent; pressing importance: the urgency of the call for help; pleading with urgency.  The opposite of a sense of urgency is a sense of complacency. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Sense_of_urgency

“The Zombie Metaphor” – There are creeping feelings of panic and a sense of urgency beginning to set in on those who have not set themselves up for success by planning ahead.   Along with this new found sense of urgency a realization for many develops.  A scary picture of “We are screwed unless we get help”.  We see the effects that this state of mind can have on individuals in media coverage over and over.  The photos showing anxious hoarders stripping the grocery store shelves empty, at the local fuel station the security cameras display the sea of cars with angry hordes waiting to suck out the last bit of gas, or the Sky News chopper coverage of the building traffic jams from the ensuing exodus.

The Food – Below is a very good example of the conditions the grocery stores will encounter during emergencies and when the anxious hordes bum rush the isles.

The Truth About Your Local Grocery Store, By Jay M. Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles – SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved

 The problem occurs when some outside factors come into play. This can be as little as the weather man predicting a snow or ice store. If that happens people go nuts buying everything they can get their hands on. The system is not set up for this. If the situation only affects a few locations then they can get back in stock within 2-3 days on most of the basic supplies. However if it affects a large region such as half a state then the warehouses run out fast also. They are on the JIT program as well and aren’t stocked in a way to restock 100 stores all at once. Many areas of the country are primed to be affected by an earthquake. If that were to happen the shelves would be cleaned out within hours and wouldn’t be restocked for who knows how long. Even if the stores local area wasn’t affected, most likely the roads between the store and the warehouses would have bridges that if not destroyed would certainly be shut down for a time in order for inspectors to clear them as safe before trucks were allowed to cross.

The other factor I explain to folks is that when they shop day in and day out it looks like a ton of merchandise on the shelf. For example a store may stock 60 propane bottles for camp stoves on a regular basis. But in an emergency situation whether it has happened or only predicted the customers who get there first to buy some don’t just buy one or two. They will buy at least 10 so then only the first six customers get any. Many of the big box and grocery stores you shop in every day average between 3,000 and 6,000 customers a day. Do the math.”

The Fuel – The average 7/11 stores holds anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of fuel in the underground tanks.  The average car holds 14-16 gallons of fuel in the gas tank.  For simplicity we will use 15 gallons for the car and be generous at the 7/11 with topped off tanks holding 15,000 gallons.  Take the 15,000 gallons divided by 15 gallons per car and that gives a total of 1,000 cars or families to be fueled.  How many gas stations are in your town?  What is the population of your town?  With the average home having 2-3 cars, that 1,000 families per gas station just fell to 333.33.  A similar type of scenario can unfold for the fuel stations as we saw above for the grocery stores.  Do the math and plan ahead.

The way out – Really, why is this always an issue?  Outside of a surprise event like an earthquake and etc we usually have some notice to an event.  Seriously, we have amazing weather forecasting, news, TV, internet, and other technology that provides many days of notice to an event.  Why must there always be scenes of mass traffic jams during a known emergency?  The only reason I see is because people do not take planning and preparing serious enough until it is too late!  Plan your routes out of town. You need to have several routes planned to get to your destination.  Make sure to plan for stops and fuel as well. 

Plan to succeed not fail – There is a great deal of information out there to help us help ourselves plan to be ready for an emergency.  Don’t let yourself become one of the anxious hordes who failed to plan and failed to prepare!

Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  ―  Benjamin Franklin

Part hurricane, part nor’easter and  all trouble: That’s what threatens 60 million Americans

Published October 28, 2012

Associated  Press

WASHINGTON –  The storm that is  threatening 60 million Americans in the eastern third of the nation in just a  couple of days with high winds, drenching rains, extreme tides, flooding and  probably snow is much more than just an ordinary weather system. It’s a freakish  and unprecedented monster.

How did it get that way?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/10/27/part-hurricane-part-noreaster-and-all-trouble-that-what-threatens-60-million/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbgpUyI9

Hawaii under tsunami advisory as  first waves hit following Canadian quake

Published October 28, 2012

FoxNews.com

  • CanadaQuakeMap.JPG
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/28/tsunami-warning-issued-for-hawaii-after-canadian-quake/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbhZ3ceH

Will you be ready …as the North American Grid Gets Less Reliable?

Is the Grid Really Unreliable?

Chiefly, most of those concerned with preparedness don’t want to live off grid, but fear that they may have to with the state of decay of the North American Power Grid. There is a compelling case for investing in power outage contingencies, since a substantial risk of outages is growing annually.

Many in preparedness do not think the grid has become totally unreliable at this time, but they say that it’s getting less and less reliable each year.

Some questions recently we asked: Does the question “Is the Grid Really Unreliable?” have a solid basis in fact? The answer, scrutinized from whichever direction, by any authority in the field: Yes.

Is the state of the Grid likely to get worse?

The posed questions so far address solely outages caused for reasons under the control of the companies that collectively run the bulk power systems. Examples include failures due to human error, component failure, and inadequate system resources and “smartness” to prevent a small outage from cascading into a big one.

Most data collected leaves out a substantial proportion of outages that fall into the AOG or acts of God — those caused by external events that could not be controlled, like hurricanes.

Because of how reliably data is collected, excluding acts of God skews our conclusions toward understating the current problem.  Take the example of a heavy rain storm with high but not extraordinary (50 mph) winds. Most of the outages from such storms are due to tree branches falling on power lines, ice buildup on power lines, or even decaying power poles.

Many of such failures are avoidable, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. They took Pacific Gas and Electric to task a few years ago, compelling PG&E to hire more personnel to trim trees that posed an obviously high risk to power lines.

Nonetheless, failures from natural disasters — preventable or not — are not included here in our definition of “outage”.

So is it a wise decision to invest in power outage contingencies?

Aging power grid on overload as U.S. demands more electricity

By , The Washington Post

They began to bend in the roaring wind, then their steel girders snapped like twigs, the towers toppled and the lights went out.Minutes before the windstorm arrived to pummel the Washington area on June 29, it swept east through West Virginia, crushing three electrical transmission towers that are a tiny part of an intricate power grid that’s supposed to keep the lights on in America.

The term “grid” suggests a certain uniformity to the power system’s structure, but the network more closely resembles a patchwork quilt stitched together to cover a rapidly expanding nation.

The United States doesn’t yet face the critical shortage of power that has left more than 600 million people in India without electricity this weekBut the U.S. grid is aging and stretched to capacity. More often the victim of decrepitude than the forces of nature, it is beginning to falter. Experts fear failures that caused blackouts in New York, Boston and San Diego may become more common as the voracious demand for power continues to grow. They say it will take a multibillion-dollar investment to avoid them.“I like to think of our grid much like a water system, and basically all of our pipes are at full pressure now,” said Otto J. Lynch, vice president of Wisconsin-based Power Line Systems, “and if one of our pipes bursts and we have to shut off that line, that just increases the pressure on our remaining pipes until another one bursts, and next thing you know, we’re in a catastrophic run and we have to shut the whole water system down.”India’s blackout was a power generation problem: It is saddled with aging coal power plants and facing resistance to new nuclear plants. This week, several plants closed suddenly and the lights went out. Although the United States will need more power plants to meet the demands of a growing population, the most immediate threat is that the delivery system will continue to fail.The huge steel towers whose power cables crisscross the country — and the transmission stations they feed — are the pipes of that system. It’s not easy to store electricity for very long, and most of it is used within a second of being produced. At the push of a button, the grid routes power where it’s needed, from state to state or region to region. It is supposed to sidestep bottlenecks or hiccups that might slow the flow.Towers are designed to withstand winds far stronger than the almost 70 mph blasts that struck Ritchie County, W.Va. But three towers in a row running parallel to Route 50 north of Ellenboro collapsed, early victims of a storm that would devastate power delivery throughout the Mid-Atlantic.“A fourth tower didn’t come down but had to be removed because it was pulled off kilter,” said Todd Meyers, spokesman for FirstEnergy, a power company that supplies electricity to five states, including Maryland. “I don’t remember a time when this many came down. This is an unusual occurrence.”Engineers are trying to figure out why the 40-year-old towers collapsed in a freak storm — whether through corrosion, foundation cracks or flying debris. But there have long been warnings that local systems, which began linking to one another in the 1920s, need an expensive overhaul.MORE LINKS:http://www.americainfra.com/news/fixing-the-us-power-grid/

http://www.simplepump.com/PREPAREDNESS/Grid-Reliability-1.html

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