Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

How to Drive in Snow

how to drive in snow

In severe weather, the best thing to do is stay where you are. Realistically though, you may need to drive in the snow, even if the roads are bad.

Make sure you have an emergency road kit as well as extra blankets and an emergency kit in your vehicle before you hit the road, just to be safe.

While you drive, keep these tips in mind:

1. Start slowly to get an idea of how the road feels. It is important to drive slowly and keep control of your vehicle. You should also stay alert, so you are aware of other motorists who may not be able to control their vehicles.

2. If possible, you should have chains or studded tires to allow better traction in snow and ice.

3. Don’t expect to go the speed limit. Snowy roads mean slower speeds. Allow extra time to get to your destination.

4. If you need to stop, pump the brakes gently. Do not make sudden movements or slam on the brakes or you could slide and lose control of your vehicle. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure and do not pump the brakes.

5. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles. Be aware of conditions and watch in case they make sudden stops.

If your rear wheels start to skid…

1. Take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction that the rear wheels are going.

2. If the rear wheels start to skid the other way, gently steer in that direction.

3. Continue until you have regained control of the vehicle.

4. Apply the brakes as needed, either pumping the brakes gently or applying steady pressure if you have anti-lock brakes.

If your front wheels skid…

1. Take your foot off the gas and shift into neutral without trying to steer.

2. As the vehicle starts to slow, you will once again gain traction. Steer the direction you want to go and shift back into drive, accelerating slowly.

For more winter driving tips, watch this video from AAA.

photo credit: qousqous via photopin cc

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Options for Emergency Lights

emergency flashlight

 

No home should be without at least one emergency light, and ideally and emergency radio.

A solar/hand crank emergency radio with an LED light built in is perfect. If the power goes out in a disaster, you will be glad you can get emergency updates and see to get around.

But why is it so important to have an LED light? Isn’t a regular flashlight good enough? While it is a good idea to have regular flashlights, you should not rely on them alone. An LED light has many advantages over a regular flashlight.

LED lights are extremely efficient and they last a very long time, which is perfect if there is an emergency. You don’t have to worry that your light may not work. LED lights do not have bulbs with filaments, so there is no worry about replacing broken lightbulbs. As long as your battery works, you’ll have light.

Our emergency LED lights/radios have LiPo batteries, so a dead battery is nothing to worry about either. LiPo stands for lithium-ion polymer. These batteries are long lasting and rechargeable.

The combination of an LED light with a LiPo battery in a hand crank/solar radio is perfect whether you want it for emergency disaster use, or to keep in your car or boat. Whatever use you have for it, it will always be ready when you need it.

Our Solar/Hand Crank Flashlight with AM/FM and Weather Band Radio is also able to charge your cell phone with a car charger or USB port.

As a secondary light, consider the Solar/Handcrank Flashlight with AM/FM Radio. While it doesn’t have Weather Band, it does have a flashing strobe light for emergency signaling as well as a siren. Both lights together will provide your family with light and security in an emergency.

You should also have an emergency light in your vehicle, as well as in your pack if you spend any time in the wilderness, to signal for help. The Emergency Strobe Light is perfect for this.

It is important to have various light sources in an emergency situation. An emergency candle will provide light and warmth. Just be sure it is always supervised to reduce the risk of fire. Emergency candles are also good for camping.

What kind of emergency lights do you have?

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How to Survive an Earthquake

how to survive an earthquake

 

Earthquakes are not only terrifying; they can be deadly. In 2012, there were over 700 deaths from earthquakes. Learning how to survive an earthquake is essential if you live in any area that is prone to earthquakes.

Who Gets Earthquakes?

Did you know that there are only 8 states that do not report earthquake activity? These states are:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

The remaining 42 states are affected by earthquakes. States with the most earthquakes are:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Oregon

Even though an earthquake may not occur in all these states, it is often felt in the states surround the one struck by an earthquake. It may still cause damage and injuries or death. Therefore, in addition to having a survival kit and first aid kit, it is essential for the majority of people in the U.S. to know how to survive and earthquake when one occurs.

Survival Myth

One common myth is to use the “triangle of life.” This idea was spread via email and was written by Doug Copp from American Rescue Team International. He claims that taking cover under an object that creates a void, often in a triangle shape, is the safest thing to do.

His email states, “…when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life‘”

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

To practice this method:

  • Drop to your knees, before you are knocked down by the shaking.
  • Cover your head and neck under a sturdy table or desk.
  • Hold on to your shelter object and be ready to move if necessary.

If there is nothing to take shelter under, get down against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms. You should also make sure heavy items in your home are secured and use an earthquake kit to make your home safer.

Watch a demonstration of how to survive an earthquake in this video:

Image credit: USGS

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Earthquake Prep for the Central U.S.

earthquakes in central us

Most people think of California when they think of earthquake country, but the fact is, the Central U.S. has moderate to light earthquake fairly often, and larger earthquakes that will cause damage are expected to occur in the near future.

Would it surprise you to learn that there are 150 earthquakes each year in the Central U.S.?

Sadly, most people in the Central U.S. don’t think they are in any danger from earthquakes, so they do not prepare. If you live in the central U.S., take steps now to be reduce damage and injuries in the event of a major earthquake where you live.

If you live in an older home, be sure it is retrofitted to meet current codes for earthquake safety. Your home should be bolted to its foundation, the water heater should be strapped and furniture should be secured. If you have a chimney, it may need to be strengthened to keep it from collapsing. Get an earthquake kit to help you get your home secured.

You should also have emergency kits for your home, car and place of employment. A quake can occur at any time, and the resulting damage to roads and buildings may make it impossible to get home, so you will need to have emergency supplies with you.

Medical services and banks may be disabled after an earthquake, so be sure you have cash on hand, as well as a first aid kit and other essential medical supplies.

Look into a separate earthquake policy to cover any damage your property may sustain. Contrary to what many people think, a standard homeowner’s policy will not usually cover earthquake damage.

For more tips on how to prepare for an earthquake in the Central U.S., download the free PDF Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country from Earthquake Country Alliance.

Image credit: Earthquake Country Alliance

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Keeping Kids Safe at Home

keeping kids safe at home

According to researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, there are 4 million emergency room visits each year for childhood injuries that occur at home. The most likely to be injured were children under 5.

With all of our preparations to be safe in an emergency, let’s not forget our kids, especially the very young ones. If you have small children, or even grandchildren, you should take a few extra precautions around the house.

An emergency kit is essential as well as a stocked first aid kit. These are things every home should have. If you have little ones around, you should also have a child safety kit to keep them safe from accidents at home.

Obviously, we need to keep a close eye on small children, but we can’t be everywhere at once. Making sure our house is safe and eliminating potential hazards can go a long way toward making sure our kids stay safe at home.

For more information about keeping your child safe, visit the CDC’s page Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable.

Photo credit: chronic-shock

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