With North Korea threatening the US and other Western countries, you may be wondering about our safety. Closer to home, an accident on March 31 at a nuclear plant in Arkansas resulted in one death. Even though the accident took place in a non-radiation area, it is almost impossible not to think of what could have been.
A nuclear emergency isn’t just stuff that movies are made of. It is a very real possibility that you should prepare for. Most people in the US live relatively close to a nuclear reactor site. Interestingly, 21% of states have no plans to monitor radiation if there is a disaster (according to a 2011 study), so that means you may have to rely on yourself completely.
Believe it or not, it is spring. At least according to the calendar. That means temperatures will start warming and we will start spending more time outdoors. For many, that means camping, fishing, hiking and a variety of other activities in wilderness areas.
Before you take off into the great outdoors, consider these wilderness survival tips to ensure that you come home safe and sound.
1. Have a plan. Decide ahead of time where you will go, what route you will take and when you will return. Make a copy of this information and leave it with someone who isn’t going along with you. If you do not return when expected, this person will be able to contact authorities for help.
2. Dress for the possibilities. It may be sunny and warm when you leave, but the weather can change quickly, especially if you are in mountain areas. Make sure you bring extra clothing just in case the temperatures drop or a sudden storm blows in.
3. Know the area. If you are visiting a place you’ve never explored before, have a map to help you find your way around. Stay on established trails if at all possible. Nothing ruins an outing faster than getting lost.
4. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay close attention to loose rocks and other hazards that may cause you to fall and injure yourself. Keep an eye out for local wildlife so you can avoid dangerous confrontations.
I was watching Dual Survival last night and as the guys cannibalized a disabled vehicle to survive, I started thinking about what should have been in that truck. Of course, that got me thinking about my Ultimate Deluxe Roadside and Severe Weather Kit. Do you have one yet?
The first thing you need to know when you get your kit is what not to do. Do not just get your kit and throw it into the back of your vehicle. If you do this, when the time comes when you need to use it, you will have no idea what to do with it. And that is not a good thing.
Open your kit, and learn what’s it it and how to use it. Only then will you be truly prepared for an emergency.
Warning Reflective Triangle: This is in a red rectangular plastic case. It needs to be assembled in order to use it, so practice this a few times. If you’re in an accident, you may be too flustered to figure it out, even though it is simple to put together.
Auto Emergency Safety Hammer: This handy tool also has a light, you take it out of the box and put the batteries into it. It should also be mounted someplace where the driver of the vehicle has easy access to it in an emergency. In an emergency, you can use this hammer to cut your seatbelt and break the windows, if necessary, to escape the vehicle. Leaving it in the bag in your trunk will make it impossible to use.
Collapsible Safety Hazard Cone: This also needs the batteries put into the light in order for it to work when needed. Get it out, pop up the cone, and put the batteries in the light to try it out. When not in use, I prefer to keep the light in the little box it comes it, just to keep it protected in the bag.
Folding Shovel: This is easy to use, but it is a good idea to practice unfolding it and tightening it up, just so you’re comfortable with it.
Jumper Cables: Do you know how to use jumper cables if you need them? Here is a quick tutorial to show you how to do it:
Every person should have an emergency preparedness plan. If you have a family, you should make a point of going over your plan on a regular basis so everyone understands it. It may seem inconvenient at first, but you’ll be thankful if there is a disaster.
Each person in the family should have a basic survival kit as well as a few personal items like clothing, medications and important papers. But, the worst thing you can do is get everyone a kit and forget about it. A big part of your emergency preparedness plan should be to learn your kit.
Make sure you read the survival guide. This is information you need to know before a disaster strikes. Don’t wait until there is an emergency and then try to look up the information you need, because that will waste valuable time.
Go through the items in your first aid kit and make sure you understand how to use them. A first aid kit is useless if you can’t use the items in it. Also, read the first aid guide for valuable information that could help you in an emergency.
You should also take some time to unfold an emergency blanket and the emergency tent. Try the food bars and see how easy it is to use the emergency water. Don’t worry; these items can be replaced. Right now, when there is no disaster to worry about, is the time to get familiar with everything in your survival kit.
If knowledge is power, learning about everything in your kit will empower you and your family to survive an emergency.
I recently saw a preparedness presentation that said it was better to build your own emergency kit than to buy a ready-made kit.
The negatives of pre-made kits are, according to the presentation, that it isn’t customized to your individual needs and they may not have enough food and water.
It did say that ready-made emergency kits can be good starter kits. That is absolutely true. When you purchase a ready-made emergency kit, you are getting the basics. This means there is less for you to think about, especially if you are overwhelmed by the idea of getting prepared.
Once you have your basic kit, you can customize it yourself by adding clothing, your emergency plan, and other personal items.
A well designed kit that is ready-made, like the 4-person Deluxe Survival Kit, will have what you need for a family of 4 to survive for 3 days. Even a basic 1-person kit has all your needs covered. All you need to do is personalize it a bit.
If your pre-made kit does not have enough food and water for 3 days, you have the wrong kit. Any kit can have things added as well, so if you really need a chocolate bar in your emergency kit, you can add one!
Don’t hesitate to have an emergency kit just because you don’t want to put all that time into gathering supplies. Start with a ready made kit and add to it as your needs dictate. An emergency kit is too important of an item to put off.
An emergency kit could save your life, but it can’t help you if you don’t have one.