Category - How to

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MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

By Aaron Curley and Harry Weyandt

When you hear the term “MRE”, most people usually think of food storage, camping foods or foods that our military uses in the field.  Many mistakenly think that freeze-dried foods and MRE’s are nearly the same, which they are not. Let’s take a closer look…

MRE stands for Meals-Ready-to-Eat (“MRE”s).  They were developed by the U.S. Military as a combat ration containing a full three-course meal for troops in the field. The main entrée is a wet pack, shelf-stable food product that is much like canned foods you buy in a grocery store except they are packaged in a “flexible foil pouch” and have a longer shelf-life. The entree is fully cooked and can be eaten hot or cold anytime, anywhere. No further preparation is required. Because full MRE meals usually contain a 3 course meal, they are easy to hand out and dispense in the field or in an emergency. They are also a great choice for adding to home bug-out bags.

Some MRE’s come with flameless water activated heater rations. These simply require a small amount of water to be poured into the pouch to set off a chemical reaction with the inner heater packet to provide you with a piping hot MRE entrée in about 10 minutes. The addition of these heater packets typically adds about a dollar per meal, or $12 to a case of 12 meals.

The design of the MRE’s multi-layered foil seal pouch can be heated or warmed in other ways also such as placing the pouch on a car dash board, on a hot engine block or placed on a rock in direct sun. This is one reason why they are a favorite among hunters and outdoor enthusiast because of their ease of use, carrying and compactness.  MRE’s generally have about a five year shelf-life from date of manufacture when stored at about 70 degrees or less.

Buying MRE’s:  First, find a reputable place to buy them from. All military MRE entrees and side dishes are made for the government under massive contracts. After a holding for a period time by the manufactures, production overruns are sold on the commercially market. These are typically 6 – 12 months old when they become available. In the industry, these are considered “fresh”.

Because the variety of entrée and side dishes are constantly changing with each contract, try finding a MRE seller that offers a wide range of entrée choices per case, 12 different meals is most preferable, though most companies offer only 3 to 4 varieties per case.

If you see MRE’s on bargain sites like Ebay or Amazon, beware that surplus sellers often dump their expired old stock on unsuspecting buyers who are not armed with this information here and do not know the right questions to ask. These MRE’s often seem like great bargains at $35-$60 per case of 12, but buyer beware. These can often be upwards to four years old with little shelf-life remaining. Know the manufacture dates before you buy so you get the longest shelf-life possible.

Secondly, don’t buy on price alone, cheaper does not mean it’s a better deal. Look closely at the average calories that the meals provide (many companies conceal this and say nothing hoping you will not ask) and look at the meal choices and other side components that are included. A normal contract military MRE meal contains a main entrée, side dish, bread item, dessert, beverage drink, and spoon and compliment accessories. These typically provide 1200 to 1500 calories per meal. The actually MRE’s sold to the U.S. government are not sold to the general public. All commercially made MRE’s are usually made of both military and commercially made parts and pieces to keep the prices more affordable, but compare the individual components carefully to know if it is a deal or rip-off.

MRE’s are perfect for quick meals with no preparation and you can eat them hot or cold. They are a great addition to any short term emergency plans for your home or business. Their disadvantage is their shorter 4-5 year shelf-life which takes them out of the running for long term storage plans. For extended food storage, we recommend looking closely at freeze-dried foods.

Freeze-Dried Foods and Meals

In comparison, freeze-Dried foods have up to 99% of their moisture or water removed through a process of sublimation, or freeze-drying as most people call it. This is done through a process where the foods are prepared, seasoned and cooked then flash frozen. Next, the foods are placed inside a freeze-drying chamber where a vacuum is pulled and the chamber slowly warmed to remove nearly 100% of the moisture from the foods. This whole process can take from 24 to 48 hours to complete, but the end result is well worth it.

Most people like freeze-dried foods because they simply taste better, much like frozen corn is preferred over canned corn. In addition, the end result is that they are super light-weight, retain their same shape, texture and flavor. These foods reconstitute fast in about 5-10 minutes by just adding hot water (cold can even be used in a pinch). No other dry food storage is faster to prepare or stores longer.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, freeze-dried foods, because of the freeze-drying process, have the longest PROVEN shelf-life of all long-term storage foods.  Mountain House® says that their freeze-dried foods packaged in metal cans or foil sealed pouches will store safely for 30 years when properly stored. They are the only company that offers a full line of real freeze-dried meals. Most of their meals are also made with real meats and not soy TVP, in both metal cans and foil pouches.  They offer a wide variety to choose from such as beef stroganoff, lasagna, chili mac, beef stew and chicken teriyaki just to name a few.

It should be noted here that the name “freeze-dried food” does not always mean that the foods are really freeze-dried. Some food storage manufactures make survival foods and call their powdered soup based blends that are sprinkled with a few freeze-dried vegetables or meats as “freeze-dried”. These are not really freeze-dried meals. Dry powdered mix blends cost much less to make than real freeze-dried entrée meals and will not store as long. Only Mountain House® brand prepares, cooks and packages their own real freeze-dried meals.

Freeze-dried meals have been a top choice for campers, backpackers and preppers for over 40 years. If you have a stove and some water, they are the perfect choice for any camping adventure or emergency food storage plan.

When looking at the differences between MRE’s and Freeze Dried foods, they both have pros and cons which should be considered before purchasing. MRE’s are a great choice for immediate short-term emergencies when you need to bug-out fast but have a much shorter 4-5 year shelf-life. On the other hand, freeze-dried foods cannot be beat for both short and long term emergencies for a wider selection of meal choices, storage compactness and ultra-long 30 year shelf-life.

We recommend having a combination of both. MRE’s for 1-2 weeks for providing instant meals and freeze-dried foods for anything longer. Whatever you decide, just do something now while it is still fresh on your mind. As always, Have a Plan, Be Ready and Be Prepared!

© Nitro-Pak® Preparedness Center, Inc. September 2016

 

 

17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

  1. Catching Fish. Grab a small piece of tin foil and wrap around the hook or the weights.  What happens is the light reflects off of the tin foil and will attract more fish.
  2. Starting a Fire. With some cotton, a battery and some foil you can make a flame.
  3. Protecting Your Hands. When burning a candle so the hot wax doesn’t drip on your skin, just simply take a piece of foil and tear a hole in the center and shape the foil into a cup to catch the hot wax.
  4. Keeping Things Dry. To keep small items dry just simply wrap your foil a few times around the item such as food or matches.
  5. Cooking Food. Simply place your food thinly inside some foil along with any seasoning and wrap a couple times around so it doesn’t leak.  Place it over the fire or in some hot coals and let it do the cooking for you.  Another idea is you could grab a branch that forks out and create a pan to cook on top of by wrapping the fork branch with foil a few items and as long as its not a heavy item you now have a cooking pan.
  6. Wind Blocker. Create a wall or barrier using a sheet of foil to protect your flames from the wind.  This would be helpful for a burner stove or a small fire.
  7. Create a Solar Oven. With a few supplies simple materials and some foil you can create a solar oven to cook in. This article will explain how to create one….. http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/build-a-solar-oven-project
  8. Collecting Rainwater. Create a large bowl using tin foil and collect rainwater.  You could even have it drain into a bucket to collect large amounts of rainwater.
  9. Boil Water. Start by putting some rocks into a fire.  While they are getting hot dig a hole and line the hole with foil and then fill with water.  Once the rocks are hot transfer the rocks with some tongs to the water and watch the water boil.
  10. Make a Funnel. Create several layers of foil, push a stick down the middle of those layers to create a spout, and then shape into a funnel.
  11. Make Plate ware. By using several layers of foil you can create and mold your own cups, bowls and plates and even spoons.
  12. Scrubbing Pots/Pans. Create a ball of foil to scrub those dirty pots/pans.  Remember to not scrub non-stick surfaces as this will scratch and damage them.
  13. Fix Loose Batteries. Sometimes the springs in old flashlights and radios can get too loose to hold batteries in place.  To fix this, fold up a small piece of foil and place it between the battery and the spring.
  14. Enhance Antennas. If you have an older TV or radio with a traditional antenna you can wrap a ball of foil around the ends of the antenna to help improve reception. Don’t expect it to help a ton but may be just enough.
  15. Sharpen Scissors. Smooth out a sheet of foil and fold it in half several times, then start cutting.  After a while your scissors will be sharp.
  16. Signal for Help. Use the reflective surface of foil to create a signal for help.
  17. Find Your Way At Night. Hang foil from trees at eye level along your path.  The foil with act as a reflector when you shine your flashlight and help you find your path easier.

How to prepare for a wildfire

How to prepare for a wildfire

How to prepare for a wild fire

Wild fire is coming ARE YOU READY?

With more and more people building closer and closer to woodlands and forest settings, while these areas provide beauty and serine environments they come with a very real danger, that danger is called wildfire.

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy home, business, infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture. It is important to prepare and protect yourself and your home and property.

The federal suppression cost typically range from 1 billion to nearly 2 billion each year. The destruction caused by wild fire depends on the size of the fire, the landscape and the amount of fuel in the path of the wildfire.

  • Wildfires can cause death or injury to people and animals.
  • Structures may be damaged or destroyed.
  • Transportation, gas, power, communications, and other services may be disrupted.
  • Flying embers can set fire to buildings more than a mile away from the wildfire itself.
  • Smoke can cause health issues for people, even for those far away from the fire.
  • Extensive acreage can be burned, damaging watersheds and critical natural areas.
  • Flash flooding and mudslides can result from fire damage to the surrounding landscape.
  • Wildfires can affect the land for many years, including causing changes to the soil that increase the risk of future floods.

When wildfires do hit there are homes  that burn and homes right next door that don’t burn, the homes that do survive do so because of their owner has prepared for the wildfire it’s said that ifs it predictable it’s preventable.

Wild fires start at random, unintended campfires, lightning strike, or accidents. Wildfires spread quickly so preparing when you see smoke it’s already too late. So now is the time to meet with your family and decide what to do and where to go in such an event.

Here are a few things to do to help prepare your home and property for a wildfire.

  • Make a family bug out plan.
  • Make a disaster supply kit ( bug out Bag)
  • Design your landscape around your home with a wild fire in mind
  • Make sure you regularly clean out your gutters.
  • Inspect your chimneys and clean out at least once a year.
  • Have a latter to reach the roof of the home.
  • Make sure you have your smoke alarms working, and one on each level.
  • Remove piles of wood, clear dead wood of off the trees.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home.
  • Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump incase power is cut.

Prepare your property

Creating a defensible space around your home is essential to improve your chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create its recommended that you have 100 – 300 feet around your home. There are steps you can take to reduce the danger.

  • Rake dead leaves off the grass.
  • Remove dead braches around the property.
  • Remove branched that extend over the roof.
  • Ask the power company to remove branches around power lines.
  • Remove vines from walls of home.
  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away from your home.
  • Store gasoline in approved safety containers, and in safe places.
  • Review your homeowners insurance to include fire protection.
Wild Fire Safety

Safety Zone around house for wildfire

 

Safety Zone around house for wildfire

Safety Zone around house for wildfire

During A Wildfire

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take your disaster supply kit, lock your home and choose a route away from the fire hazard. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke. Tell someone when you left and where you are going.

If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.

If you are not ordered to evacuate, and have time to prepare your home, FEMA recommends you take the following actions:

  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area in case you need to evacuate
  • Wear protective clothing when outside—sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face
  • Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel
  • Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains
  • Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat
  • Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft
  • Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen
  • Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source
  • Connect garden hoses to outdoor water faucet and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water
  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks, and leave the sprinklers on, dowsing these structures as long as possible
  • If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready

If asked to evacuate:

  • Place a ladder against the house in clear view to aid firefighters
  • Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out, and close all garage doors
  • Place valuable papers, mementos and anything “you can’t live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure
  • Any pets still with you should also be put in the car
  • Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond
  • Move flammable furniture into the center of the residence away from the windows and sliding-glass doors
  • Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke

 

Sources / references

http://www.wunderground.com/prepare/wildfire.asp?

http://www.readyforwildfire.org/

http://www.ready.gov/wildfires

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003859391-0e8ad1ed42c129f11fbc23d008d1ee85/how_to_prepare_wildfire_033014_508.pdf

 

The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

If you are seeking to learn more about potassium iodide uses, the first thing to understand is that iodine and potassium iodine are two very different things. Iodine is an essential trace mineral that is necessary for maintaining good health. Potassium iodine is used for specific medical conditions and under specific circumstances. Potassium iodine uses vary, but the most well-known use is for emergencies, in particular, nuclear accidents.

Potassium iodine is highly effective in helping to protect the thyroid from damage when exposure to radioactive iodine-131 occurs. The thyroid is particularly vulnerable to exposure to radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide essentially floods the thyroid with iodine so that when radioactive iodine enters the system, the thyroid does not absorb it. If the thyroid absorbs radioactive iodine, cancer can result. It is important to note that these cancers may not manifest for many years.

Potassium Iodide Uses and the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Incident

During the Chernobyl nuclear incident in 1986, potassium iodide was given to millions of people in an effort to protect those living in irradiated areas. This turned out to be an extremely prudent step, as many years later it became clear to researchers that the need to protect the thyroid was, in fact, more pronounced than originally believed. The World Health Organization has documented that there was an increase in thyroid cancer up to 500 km from the Chernobyl accident site.

Other Potassium Iodide Uses-Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

More recently in 2011, the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant resulted in a large, ongoing and potentially unknown level of radiation being released into the environment. This has left many people wondering if they should take special precautions, such as potassium iodide.

It has been since reported that U.S. Navy personnel within 100 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were instructed to take potassium iodine tablets as a precautionary measure. Many of these crewmen are reporting illness.

Nagasaki and Thyroid Disease

The effects of radiation exposure can be profound, complex and confusing. A good example of this can be seen in the survivors of the Nagasaki blast exposure. Over 40% of the survivors of the Nagasaki exposure have thyroid disease.

Potassium Iodine Must Be Used In a Safe Fashion

The nature of radiation exposure is such that it is extremely difficult to know if one will be impacted and how. The effects of exposure can take decades to manifest themselves. But one thing is certain; exposure should be avoided if possible.

Potassium iodine can be used to protect the thyroid from iodine-131, but it is not a cure or safeguard against all radiation exposure, nor should it be seen as such. Potassium iodine plays an extremely valuable role in protecting the thyroid from damage, but overuse can actually lead to thyroid damage. In other words, potassium iodine should be used when it is clear that there is an urgent and verified need. The potential side effects of using potassium iodine are such that the drug should only be used when there is a clearly and undeniable risk of exposure.

Why a Car Emergency Kit is Essential

Why a Car Emergency Kit is Essential

Anyone can get stranded and for a variety of reasons. It is important to realize that there is no one single reason that you could get stranded. People get stranded every day due to everything from car failure and other events out of their control to sudden shifts in weather conditions. Sometimes it just comes down to good old-fashioned bad luck.

Getting stranded while traveling with your family is, of course, a very serious situation. If you are traveling with children, then having a car emergency kit is even more important. Planning ahead may just save your life and the lives of your family! The National Weather Service has concluded that 70% of the weather related deaths occur inside of cars.

Don’t Forget to Check the Weather

A simple errand could turn into an unexpected ordeal due to a quick shift in the weather. When the weather turns, we are all at its mercy and the only thing you can really do is be as prepared as possible.

When heading out for any trip, especially a long one, it is prudent to check the weather conditions before your trip. If your trip is taking more than one day, be sure that you check the weather each day. That check should include not just the area you are currently in, but also all the areas you plan to travel to during your journey.

Make Sure You Never Run Out of Gas

Running out of gas is something that you simply shouldn’t allow to happen to you. Some locations, such as Wyoming, have considerable distances between the different gas stations that you will encounter. So when you’re on the road, pay attention to how much gas you have and how good your access to gas will be along the way. As a simple rule don’t let your gas tank get lower than half a tank.

What if You Do Get Stuck?

If you are stuck on the road, then that means you’ll have to take care of every aspect of your being and welfare. In short, you’ll need to handle your own food and water, sanitation, warmth and shelter, emotional well-being and security.

What Should Go in Your Car Emergency Kit?

Water is a major concern. People can’t survive a long period of time without it. You can function for weeks without food, but after just a few days without water, dehydration sets in. As a result, your mental function will become severely impaired. The average person needs about 4 quarts of water a day, with some of that water coming from food. However, during the summer or a heat wave, this number could be even higher.

Other key essentials for a car emergency kit include such items as food, snacks, a first-aid kit, flashlight, toilet paper, flares, winter clothing and winter boots and blankets. A cellphone and cell phone charger is an exceptional idea. If you travel a great deal you may want to even consider a satellite phone so that you are truly never out of range.

Finally, remember that your chances of being found are greater if you stay with your car then if you begin walking in an attempt to reach help. Roll down the window in your car to prevent carbon monoxide buildup if you keep your car running for an extended period of time. Additionally, if you are using your car’s heater to stay warm in the winter, it is advisable to only run your car for about 15 minutes at a time. While a car emergency kit and all of the tools highlighted here are invaluable, the greatest tool in a time of crisis is your mind, so use it wisely.

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

Why Treat Water?
Access to clean water is an absolute necessity in life. It’s common knowledge that still water should be avoided when it comes to a drinking water source, but the old adage that “flowing water” is safe to drink can come with heavy consequences if taken literally. While immaculate water sources may appear clean at one juncture – it may be a completely different story somewhere upstream. Because of the sheer uncertainty involved with water sources of all kinds, it’s vital to treat water to ensure that it’s clean and free of harmful microorganisms and pathogens. These Microorganisms stem from human and animal waste and are most commonly spread by rain and run-off into natural water sources.

Harmful microorganisms reproduce at astronomical rates within your body and attack your immune system with a force that only nature can produce. There is no concrete way to know if water is clean by just looking… In the case of treating water, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Common Pathogens Encountered In The Wild:

Bacteria – Bacteria are microscopic living organisms, usually one-celled, that can be found everywhere.
Cholera – An acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
Cryptosporidium – One of the most widespread intestinal parasites and a common cause of severe diarrhea. Often found in surface and groundwater sources susceptible to flooding or faecal contamination.
Escherichia coli – Also known as E. coli. It is transmitted to humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw or undercooked ground meat products and raw milk. Sometimes present in water contaminated by fecal matter.
Giardia – Has an outer shell allowing it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and making it tolerant to chlorine disinfection. The parasite is most commonly transmitted by water. It is the most common cause of non-bacterial diarrhea in North America.
Protozoan parasite – Protozoan parasites live in the cells and tissues of other living creatures. Protozoans can cause problems, from targeting the central nervous system to diarrhea.
Salmonella – Salmonella bacterium can live in water for several months. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
Shigella – Shigella is one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhea worldwide. Estimates suggest that Shigella causes approximately 90 million cases of severe dysentery with at least 100,000 of these resulting in death each year.
Viruses – A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms.

Purifiers vs Filters: What’s The Difference?

At their core, water purifiers and water purifiers are very similar in nature in that they both rid water of impurities through a physical barrier, chemicals or some kind of biological process. However, there are small nuances to each that should directly influence someone who is looking to purchase either a filter or a purifier.

Water Filters:
Water filters generally do not utilize chemicals as a cleansing agent and rely more heavily on physical barriers that filter out harmful bacteria and protozoa. If the water you are treating resides within the United States, water filters are generally enough to rid all bacterial agents and harmful substances that could cause health complications or problems. See the full list of types of water filters below and when they are appropriate for any situation.

Types of Water Filters:

Gravity Water Filters: This filter uses the basic concept of gravity as a way to push water from one reservoir to the other. Simply hang the dirty water container above the clean container and let gravity do the rest. It is best suited for larger groups as it designed to produce a large amount of water.

Mediums Used: The majority of these filters use a Ceramic medium, Products like the Katadyn Base Camp filter utilizes Glass Fiber Pleated Membrane (for outdoor backpacking).

Pros: No pumping, High capacity (produces a large quantity of water), very geasy to use and manageable for people who don’t have a lot of time to wait for filtering process or might be physically impaired.

Cons: Large, not very portable.

Pump Water Filters: Simple and easy to use, this water filter is powered by a pump mechanism. You simply pump in order to transfer water from the water source directly through the filtering device. The results are instantaneous and there is zero wait time with this method of water filtering. If you’re on the go and time is not on your side, this is an extremely wise choice.

Mediums Used: Ceramic (lasts longer and filters up to 13k gallons. The ceramic medium is also easy to clean), Glass Fiber (Flow rate is much higher, however, harder to push through than ceramic. This filters Life cycle is much shorter than the ceramic medium as it only produces 200 gallons of clean water).

Pros: Small, Portable, No Wait Time (Instant Treated Water), Filters out all sediment, Super Clean/Clear Water. Quantity only limited by medium.

Cons: Must be filtered manually, for those with a physical impairment, this may not be the best option.

Water Filter Bottles: This water filtration option is highly portable, light weight and designed for those who are on the go. This style of water filtration unit does not produce a large quantity of clean drinking water. Of all the water filtration devices, this one is the easiest to use and is easy as filling up the water bottle with untreated water to produce clean, drinkable water.

Mediums Used: Glass Fiber Membranes.

Pros: Small and convenient. Easy to use and carry, Does not require physical exertion whatsoever.

Cons: This device is mostly made for personal use as there is only one straw per unit. Compared to other filters, it’s more expensive per gallon to produce clean water and has a limited filtering capacity (up to 26 gallons). Water bottle filters are not made for long term use or large quantities.

Straw Filters: These are the most highly portable water filters out on the market today. On top of only weighing two oz., it’s extremely easy to use. One must simply suck the untreated water in via a straw and then push it back out into a water reservoir using the same straw. This is the ultimate on-the-go personal water filter.

Mediums: Glass Fiber Membranes (Hollow Fiber technology).

Pros: Low Cost, small, light, filters bacteria and protozoa, no chemicals or iodine, only weighs 2 oz.

Cons: Personal use, for smaller groups.

Water Purifiers:
Water filters also rid the water of harmful bacteria, protozoa and pathogens however they generally use a chemical process such as UV light treatment, iodine and chlorine. One thing that water purifiers can do that filters cannot is completely rid water of viruses. This end result is obtained by removing all minerals from the water. One downside to this process of removing all minerals is that it strips essential minerals that your body needs to function properly. Water purifiers should be used when traveling outside of the United States as many common pathogens, bacterial agents and diseases can be found overseas that filters cannot properly treat.
Types of Water Purifiers:

Ultraviolet Water Purifiers: Bacteria cannot live in the presence of ultra violet light. This concept was originally used in large scale water treatment facilities and can now be found in purifiers that fit inside of your pocket. The process itself is chemical but doesn’t use harsh chemicals like chlorine dioxide or iodine. Simply stir the UV pen in a container for 60 seconds in order to treat your drinking water.

Medium: UV Light

Pros: Kills all viruses, small, quick, easy to use, very lightweight and can be used in large groups.

Cons: Uses batteries, electronic (could drop it and break the bulb), doesn’t remove any dirt and sediment (can buy a pre-filter to filter out large items), can only purify one quart at a time (more for personal use or small groups).

Pump Water Purifiers: Pump water purifiers are extremely similar in nature to pump water filters. The only key difference is that the purifier version uses chemicals to rid the treated water of viruses. While iodine is still used, the most common chemical in water purifiers today is Chlorine Dioxide.

Mediums Used: Ceramic (lasts longer and filters up to 13k gallons. The ceramic medium is also easy to clean), Glass Fiber (Flow rate is much higher, however, harder to push through than ceramic. This filters Life cycle is much shorter than the ceramic medium as it only produces 200 gallons of clean water). Uses chemicals… generally Iodine or Chlorine Dioxide.

Pros: Small, Portable, No Wait Time (Instant Treated Water), Filters out all sediment, Super Clean/Clear Water. Quantity only limited by medium.

Cons: Must be filtered manually, for those with a physical impairment, this may not be the best option. Some people don’t like the taste of chemically treated water.

Water Bottle Purifiers: Exactly similar to the water bottle filters, this method of purifying uses the exact same process as filtering, however, it uses chemicals in order to completely rid the treated water of viruses.
Mediums Used: Glass Fiber Membranes and virus killing chemicals (Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide).

Pros: Small and convenient. Easy to use and carry, Does not require physical exertion whatsoever.

Cons: This device is mostly made for personal use as there is only one straw per unit. Compared to other filters, it’s more expensive per gallon to produce clean water and has a limited filtering capacity (up to 26 gallons). Water bottle purifiers are not made for long term use or large quantities.

Chemicals: While many water purifier devices use chemicals as an additional process. Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide can be used in tablet form and dropped into untreated water. It’s a slow process but is guaranteed to rid untreated water of parasites and viruses.

Pros: Very lightweight and small, Carry in pocket or 72 hour kit.

Cons: Doesn’t filter out sediments, Not ready to drink immediately (long wait time), you will need to plan ahead and wont have instant access to clean water. Each chemical has a noticeable different in taste: Iodine you can taste (many companies provide a neutralizer to mask taste), Chlorine you can not taste which is why it is the most common water purifying chemical to date.

Examining the Optimal 72 Hour Kit Contents

72 hour kits

Without a moments notice situations can change quite dramatically. This is why it is essential that you prepare for a serious emergency and stay prepared at all times. The bottom line is that you need a collection of essential items just in case an emergency occurs. Choosing the right 72 hour kit contents could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Many people don’t want to prepare for emergency situations, as they feel that it means that they are thinking in a “negative manner.” But nothing could be further from the truth. Preparing for an emergency isn’t just logical, but is also just commonsense. For example, a wide array of weather conditions, power grid issues or a random problem with your home could all put you in an emergency situation. In this article we will review what you need to have on hand so that you can deal with an emergency if it comes your way.

Your 72 Hour Kit Contents

First, it is important to realize that you’ll need to address all of your own food, water, security, survival and sanitation needs if a serious emergency were to arise. Experts recommend that you have enough supplies to last about 72 hours.

72 hours might not sound like a lot of time. But when you are supplying all of your needs, it quickly becomes evident that this actually is a considerable amount of time. You’ll need enough food to last 72 hours per person. This requirement might sound like a “piece of cake” until you remember that in order to stay prepared your food has to be non-perishable and not require refrigeration.

Good Food Choices ( 3 Day Supply of Non-Perishable Food)

-Dried fruit
-Jerky
-Nuts
-Seeds
-Nut and/or seed butters
-Energy bars
-Energy powders
-Applesauce
-A can opener

Water

-Allot for 1 gallon of water, per person, per day

Lighting Essentials

-Flashlight
-Extra batteries
-Flares
-Cigarette lighter
-Candles

Personal Care Essentials

-First aid kit
-Prescription medications
-Toilet paper
-Soap
-Hand sanitizer

Clothing Essentials

-Blankets
-Change of clothing for everyone in your group/family
-Rain coats
-Snow boots
-Extra socks

Special Supplies for Infants/Toddlers

-Formula
-Baby food
-Snacks
-Cups
-Toys

Miscellaneous 72 Hour Kit Contents

-Battery powered radio
-Cellphone
-Cellphone charger
-Maps
-Separate GPS device
-Plastic sheeting
-Cash
-Traveler’s checks
-Important family documents
-Pen, paper and notepad
-Compass
-Pocket knife

Monitor Your 72 Hour Kit Contents Periodically

Regularly check all of your food and other goods and make certain that everything is up to date. We advise doing this approximately every 6 months. Otherwise, time can slip away and you can forget all about your 72 hour kit and whether or not it is in optimal shape. It is critical that you make sure that your food has not expired and that you replace your water with newer water containers from time to time. Also make sure that all your important documents have not expired.

Preparing for an emergency is in no way the same thing as expecting one. Just because you are prepared for an emergency doesn’t mean that one will come your way. Having enough supplies for 72 hours will give you peace of mind. That fact alone is enough to make it worth all the effort!

How to Survive a Hurricane

How to survive a hurricane

How to Survive a Hurricane

With the arrival of each hurricane season people living along the coasts brace themselves for the potential big one. Some have lived through more than one big hurricane, vestiges of the disasters still standing as vivid memories. As news reports track the path and intensity of each season’s storms, coastal residents watch trying to decide whether to shelter in place or take their family and go. Numerous considerations will shape those decisions within an overarching framework of the family’s safety.

Sheltering in Place
Staying put is usually the best strategy. It’s the best strategy if your home is not in a flood zone and can withstand the high winds of the approaching storm. First, consult storm surge hazard maps to determine if you are safely outside of inundation areas. Familiarize yourself with the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to help assess the structural limits of your own home. Even the 98-110 mph winds of a category 2 hurricane can strip the roofs of well-constructed houses. Boarding up windows and reinforcing exterior doors against winds and debris will help your home weather the storm.

Once the safety of the shelter itself, your home, is sound move on to the other emergency essentials;

Water
A clean supply of drinkable water during, and the lingering days after, any given disaster is vital. Flood waters can contaminate drinking water systems and render water treatment facilities inoperable. Stockpile enough water for each family member for a minimum of 3 days but given the lasting effects of past hurricanes storing away a week’s supply or more would not be unwarranted. A gallon for each person, per day is a good rule of thumb to follow. As a contingency, make sure you’re able to boil water from other sources and invest in a quality water filter.

Food
Today’s range of food types and preservation methods is wide but for planning purposes base your stockpile quantities on individual caloric needs. For the average, moderately active person between the ages of 14-40, 2,000-2,800 calories a daily is sufficient. While dry goods and canned or dehydrated foods are viable options, freeze-dried prepackaged meals may be the easiest, longest lasting of the emergency food choices. Stored at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit in a dark, dry place individual freeze-dried meal packets have shelf lives of 5-10 years.

Power
When we talk power, we mean electrical power. The job of supplying this power falls to emergency generators, of which there are two main types, the portable gasoline-powered type and the permanent standby model. If there is a need is for only a few lights, and perhaps a couple of fans and a refrigerator a portable and less expensive type will suffice. However, if power needs are greater — for instance a well pump, a freezer or an air conditioner — a standby generator, fueled by propane or natural gas and starts automatically when the power goes off is a more effective option.

Evacuation
Evacuating or bugging-out is the strategy if staying home is simply not an option, the danger is too great. Whether the choice is to head for the nearest evacuation center or to get as far from the storm as possible before it makes landfall, plan the route you will take including alternate routes. Each member of the family will also needs a bug-out bag. The must-haves for each bag include;
• Enough food and water for at least 3 days
• A well equipped medical kit to treat and manage a range of illnesses, pain, injuries and prevent infections, making sure to include regularly needed prescription medications and other items (contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids, syringes, EpiPens)
• Comfortable clothing, waterproof layers and sturdy footwear.
• Flashlights, local area maps, radio to stay apprised of response efforts.

References:
http://www.epa.gov/hurricanes/
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php
http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/prot-act-shelter.html
http://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=b1a20ab5eec149058bafc059635a82ee
http://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/hurricane_Katrina.html