Friday, November 02, 2012

Emergency Survival Tools

  Emergency Survival Tools  

     When it comes to surviving a natural catastrophe or an uprising, you must have supplies and a game plan. After the devistating effects of 'Sandy' this week I spoke to some friends as to their plans for survival. Shockenly they have no food, tools or plan of escape. They will be like the thousands in any disaster who wait for the government to bail them out, when response is slow at best. 
     Here are a few things to consider. Write down a solution that will work for you:

1)      Without electricity how will you cook, get around in the dark, store food, clean your clothes or the house? Turn off your lights and walk around. What in your home needs electricity to work? What can you substitute that would get you by?

2)      Grocery store shelves are ransacked within hours in an emergency. Do you have emergency food and water stored?

3)      Do you keep your car full of gas? If the electricity goes down you can’t pump gas. If power is available gas lines are so long the station tanks will be empty before you can fill up. 

4)      Do you have a way to grow your own food?  

     Okay here is a list of things to think about and products I found after a lot of research. You will find your own sources that will work for you, but at least this gives you a place to start.

A)    Put together a first aid kit. Get to a drug store and buy all sizes and varieties of bandages especially butterfly band-aids as they are as effective on small cuts as being stitched. Stock up on 
      elastic wraps, ointments, a small pair of scissors, dental floss as it can be used to stitch together a serious wound, needles, tweezers, fingernail clippers, tape, peroxide. Grab something for insect bites, poisen oak etc. Get thin cotton towels to store with the kit so you have a sling or outer wrap for a bad cut or broken bone. For an ointment use Bacitracin rather than Neosporin as it is non-allergenic and works far better to fight infections.

B)    Go online and buy the book “SAS survival Handbook” by John Wiseman. Also get several books on wild eatable plants and another on mushrooms and poisonous plants that are specific for your area. You must be able to identify edible plants as ignorance will kill you.

C)    Water is your biggest concern. Figure out how you will store water. You can use water from the downspout of your home to bathe, wash clothes or water the garden but you can’t drink it as this water has floated down the drain pipes and off the roof. Do your research and purchase good quality water purification bottles and  tablets or liquids if you tote water and good food grade containers for storage.  Be sure to buy 3 to 5 gallon stackable jugs so when you have to leave you have a way to carry and store water.

D)    Food is the next big thing. Freeze dried food stores longer than dehydrated. Store extra water to rehydrate it. Stay away from TVP products as that stuff is horrible for you. It’s far cheaper to buy than real freeze dried chicken or beef but the real stuff won’t give you cancer and a dozen other ailments. I found Thrive to be an excellent source as their freeze dried had no sodium or other chemical additives. They do carry TVP so make sure you get the real stuff.  

E)    How will you cook? I spent days researching and found grills that cook with twigs as a heat source. Yea no propane! Only the reviews were not all that great. Then I found the Volcano. Very heavy duty and I recommend buying the dutch oven that sits on top to cook stews etc. Get the complete kit as this grill can also use charcoal and propane. Stock up on a few bags of charcoal. 

F)    Next up is a good knife to cut those tree branches, skin and degut your kill, dig roots to eat and dozens of other jobs. Research led me to the Canadian Special 3V made by Bark River. 3V metal is the best. It holds an edge better than carbon or A-2 but it’s easier to sharpen than A-2. Whatever knife you get make sure it’s the quality of a 3V metal.

     The metal of the blade must extend to almost the end of the handle. Otherwise it breaks off during use. Bypass the added compasses or cubby holes for storing matches that come with some knives. The compass can get in the way of your grip and cause you to chop off a finger. The storage compartment means the metal of the knife does not extend to the end of the handle as discussed earlier. That means switchable blade knives will also break. Avoid wooden handled knives as wood splits and cracks.  Micarta is one of the best handles and Bark River has them.  You must have a knife sharpening kit and oil to prevent rust. Most important watch the videos on proper care and using your knife

G)    You need flint stones, Bark River makes a good one. Tuck in waterproof matches as a backup. Stock up on rope of various weights, lengths and types. A led flashlight with a 140 lumen is great to ward off animals or blind an enemy. Wool blankets, socks are a must have to keep you warm and dry. A battery operated lantern or two with backup batteries is another necessity. Propane is nice but you won’t be able to get propane in an emergency. Stoves and lanterns use a lot of it. Batteries are best.  

H)     If you need to leave your home also have sleeping bags, pads, tent, tarps, toiletries etc. Did I tell you to stock up on toilet paper? Do that as it’s a valuable commodity.  

I)       A car charger for your cell phone and laptop is handy but keep in mind they will run the car battery down. Reserve gas for traveling.  

J)     Keep on hand large sheets of cardboard. Cardboard is a good insulator. Put it on windows at home and it increases the heat noticeably. Use it in one smaller room then either close the door to the room or block it with more cardboard to hold in body heat. This is so vital at night to help stay warm.  If you need to be on the run, put it on the floor of your car for insulation and on windows at night to hold in body heat. And take extra cardboard to put on the floor of the trunk to use to start fires if needed.  

 The SAS handbook will teach you how to make your own camp tools and equipment. Much of this is made from leather taken from animals you kill. So look over the book and determine what you need to buy to take with you.

      This is just the beginning so research the internet for survival guides as they will lead you to life saving equipment and tricks. Just be careful of the hype some of these websites can lay on you.  Research thoroughly and read the forums as well.  Start by buying the most essential items and build your survival kit from there.
Be safe and smart out there okay?  
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website All rights reserved world wide.

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