Be Disaster Aware

Be Disaster Aware The chances that your family will survive a disaster depends as much on your family planning as it does on local governmental agencies like police, fire and rescue. Families should have the tools and plans to support and protect themselves for at least the first three days (72 hours) into a disaster. Research on personal preparedness shows that many people who think they’re prepared are really NOT. In addition, some admit that they do not plan to prepare at all. Our nation’s emergency planners, fire fighters, EMT/Paramedics and law enforcement officers do an unbelievable job of keeping us safe, but they can’t do it alone. The biggest challenge is motivating everyone to participate in disaster preparedness activities. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is critical to being prepared. It may make the difference between life and death. When we accept the personal responsibility to become prepared, we participate in the safety and security of our neighborhoods and communities. September is National Preparedness Month.

  1. Get a kit
  2. Make a Plan
  3. Be Informed, Get Involved 
  4. Do It NOW.

BE PREPARED

Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Home Security Checklist

Emergency Preparedness for people with disabilities

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Leadership: Restoring Order During Catastrophic Chaos

from a presentation by Travis Waack

As a part of the Summer of Survival webinar series, Travis Waack shared the following information about leadership and organization during a disaster. These notes were taken during that talk and are supplemented by additional details from an ICS pdf from epa.gov.   Editor

Leadership during a catastrophe

Sometimes we have warnings of coming disasters, sometimes we don’t. Whenever they occur, the first noticeable problem is a lack of communication among the citizens of the area affected and among those involved in providing rescue and recovery. In a culture of preparedness, like our readers, we need to recognize the problems and develop ways to control the situation, not just crisis manage, for the benefit of our families and our communities.

Incident Command System

The Incident Command System (ICS) was developed following a series of California wildfires which caused millions in damage and the death of several people. Local, state and federal fire authorities collaborated to form FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies. This group reviewed the wildfire responses and discovered that poor incident management was to blame, not a lack of resources. Major problems were associated with nonstandard terminology, nonstandard or integrated communication, lack of organizational flexibility, lack of consolidated action plans and lack of designated facilities. ICS was designed to overcome these problems. Following 9/11 this program was nationalized. Today, most major incidents demand so many resources and skills that one local, state, or federal agency couldn’t provide them. The Incident Command System provides a way for many agencies to work together smoothly under one management system.ICS pdf from epa.gov

 Leadership by emergency personnel

Any incident that requires action by emergency service personnel to prevent or minimize loss of life or property or locale damage can be managed by an ICS. It can operate regardless of jurisdictional boundaries and can grow or shrink to meet the needs of the incident. It is designed to develop work accountability and safety, improve communications, enforce a systematic planning process, fully integrate people and supplies, enhance communications to everyone involved and define the chain of command.

Leadership: Restoring Order

Leadership Support Groups

The Incident Commander depends on the information from four supporting groups to provide the necessary information to make final decisions. This command model may have two or more individuals serving as the commander who work as a team. A good commander is responsible for making sure all pieces of the structure are working together properly.

  •      The Operations section does the work; they are the boots on the ground doing the response to whatever the emergency may be. 
  •      The Planning section provides support information. They know what resources are available and collaborate with operations to write incident actions plans – which are objectives for the next day.
  •      The Logistics section procures materials and supplies; obtains and manages facilities; supports workers with food, lodging and medical care. They provide radio communications and IT support.    
  •      Finance & Administration is in charge of paying for supplies, processing compensation and tracking costs and statistics.  

     Each role can be adapted to meet the needs of a Prepper network. A deliberate process will be essential if a group is to be led during a catastrophic chaos. Consider this system for your community.

Additional articles in the September 2014 newsletter include:

Growing your own food all year

Home Security Checklist

Emergency Preparedness for people with disabilities

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Growing Your Own Food All Year

As the summer season draws to a close, many gardeners wish for a longer growing season. Never fear, the answers are here. There are several things that the everyday gardener can do to extend the growing season for our gardens. As the weather cools, it is time to select new seeds or slips to plant that can tolerate cooler temperatures. Just as in the spring we planted lettuce, radishes, beets and carrots, the same pattern can be repeated in the fall. In addition, you can add more cold tolerant vegetables that will produce leaves and roots to eat. These can be divided into temperature tolerances, for example:

  • growing your own food all year

    http://www.RustyBuggy.com

    Low temperature tolerant plants that can grow outside but are very sensitive to frost

    • lettuce
    • chickory, endive, escarole
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • parsley, cilantro
    • radishes, celery, bok choy
  •     Medium cold tolerant plants can grow outside but it helps to cover them as the temperature
    Grow Your Own Food All Year

    http://www.RustyBuggy.com

    drops

    • Chinese cabbage, sorrel
    • rutabaga
    • collards, kale, spinach
    • beets
    • carrots
    • parsnips
    • snow peas
  • High cold tolerant may survive uncovered but can be protected by
    Grow Your Own Food All Year

    http://www.thebittenword.com

    row cover

    • turnips
    • Brussels sprouts
    • cabbage

 

 

The most important factor is knowing when to plant in the fall. As the weather gets cooler and day length decreases, plant growth slows down and will eventually come to a stop when the day length gets below 10 hours. In much of the US, land north of the 30º latitude has day length shorter than 10 hours between mid-November and mid-January. Check your location here. Your goal is to get plants to maturity before that day length happens. If you get them nearly mature, they will hold in the ground until you harvest them. Review the maturation date on the seed packets and plant those seeds within a time that will work. You can vary planting days to stretch your harvest. Pay attention as the night temperature begins to drop. Cover plants that are most delicate upon threats of frost. Find your average frost dates here.

There are several techniques to protect plants as the temperatures drop.

  1. Plant your garden in a south facing field. These beds will get more sun exposure and soil will retain heat longer each day.
  2. Protect from wind. Wind can cause more damage than cold. Planting near a protective wall, fence or hedge can raise the air  temperature several degrees
  3. Plant in cold frames. These boxes are constructed with slanted walls and designed to have a topGrowing Your Own Food All Year cover of plastic or glass. The top can be raised during the day and during watering but replaced at night when temperatures may drop to the frost level.  There are many ways to build cold frames, but the idea is to create a warm place for plants to continue growing. See  “The Cold Frame Handbook”  to get plans and more details.
  4. Grow Your Own Food All YearUse row covers. Made from wire or 1/2” PVC electrical conduit pipe bent into the ground. A 10’ pipe can be bent to cover a 5-6’ bed. Use sand bags to secure at each hoop or insert a small piece of rebar in each end . Cover with spun fabric which is light weight, translucent, and breathable. This will provide wind protection and increase ground temperatures 5-10º F. Fabric that is made to 1 oz thickness allows 70% sunlight through. You can double this cover in real cold weather. Be sure to take it off during the warmest part of the day. Get precise construction directions here.
  5. Greenhouses are the final answer for those gardeners who feel the need for dirty fingers all year
    Grow Your Own Food All Year

    http://homedecorreport.com/tips-for-building-glass-house-easily-3083/greenhouse-kits/

    long. The sky is the limit for greenhouse kits. They can range in size from table-top starter boxes to arboretums. They can be attached or free standing. A greenhouse should be large enough to walk into. The frame cover can be plastic sheets, vinyl panels or glass inserts. You will need a source of water, vents and perhaps a fan to make it most useful. Here is an extensive article on “Choosing the Best Greenhouse Kit” . In locations that have harsh winters, use row  covers in the green house.

References:

http://www.BorntoGrow.net

http://www.BeyondOffGrid.com

http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/books/

Additional articles in the September 2014 newsletter include:

Home Security Checklist

Emergency Preparedness for people with disabilities

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

UV Paqlite – Never Needs Batteries

UV-PaqliteHave you ever reached for a flashlight only to find the batteries were dead? The problem with most emergency light sources is that they require batteries which die and need to be replaced at the most inconvenient times. Batteries are troublesome and require a steady stream of purchases. Re-chargeable batteries need to be charged but how often do we forget to keep them charged? We have found an intriguing product that solves all those problems. Introducing the UV Paqlite:

UV_PaqliteFacts

  • The UV Paqlite (U-V- Pack- Light) is a reusable light source designed to provide a night light illumination in an enclosed environment all night long.
  • UV Paqlites contain glow crystals that are rechargeable in light and last forever.
  • Packaged in a vacuum sealed bag, it is lightweight, waterproof, and portable.
  • The UV Paqlite quickly absorbs light from any source to charge, glows in the dark for 10 hours, and can be reused indefinitely forever. It is fully charged with 1 minute of direct sunlight exposure, in 5-10 minutes in ambient room light, or just a few seconds when exposed to a flashlight.
  • The glowing photons captured in this product are composed of strontium, aluminum and other rare earth elements, but not radioactive uranium.
  • They have an indefinite shelf life and can be stored anywhere.

 

Sun Ovens® leaves no stone unturned to find unique products for our customers. Just like our ovens, this product uses FREE energy. The Paqlite folks made us a deal we couldn’t refuse and we’re passing the savings on to you. While supplies last, get the large UV Paqlites at a special price.

Buy one, get the second one for 1/2 price. The more you buy, the more you save!

 

To view a video, learn more, and Order Yours Today: Click here http://www.sunoven.com/Paqlites

 

Additional articles in the September 2014 newsletter include:

Home Security Checklist

Emergency Preparedness for people with disabilities

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Prepare for emergenciesPeople with disabilities need to prepare for emergencies, too.

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. For people with special needs disabilities, being prepared is a matter of life or death. If you are on your own, you need to have a plan.

The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs.

Think about a given day, what do you do, what do you need and who can help you? Work on a plan to make it on your own for at least three to five days. It is possible in an emergency that you will not have ready access to a medical facility or pharmacy. Basic supplies for survival include food, water and clean air. Consider assembling two kits. One to use at home and one to take with you if you have to leave home.

Recommended basic emergency supplies include:

*    Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
*    Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food and where possible, extra medication.
*    Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
*    Flashlight and extra batteries for any necessary electronic equipment
*    First aid kit; a week’s supply of any prescription medicines; include copies of all prescriptions and dosage instructions; copies of medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards; instruction for operating any equipment or life-saving devices you rely on
*    Whistle to signal for help
*    Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
*    Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
*    Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
*    Local maps
*    Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag and supplies for your pet or service animal

Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.

Write it down and keep it with your emergency supply kit. For every aspect of your daily routine, plan an alternative procedure. Create a personal support network. Share your plans with them and make sure that someone in your support network has a key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies. Practice it. Keep a list of network contact information in your wallet. If you need to evacuate, select a shelter that can accommodate your needs.

It’s important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region. For more information about preparing for emergencies for people with disabilities, click here for a printable document.

Information from Ready.gov

Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Home Security Checklist

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Home Security Check List

Use this guide as you check your home for safety measures. Column “no” indicates areas where you could take action to improve your home’s security. These are just some of of the steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your home is targeted.

Exterior Doors                                                                               Yes               No

  • All doors are locked at night and every time we leave the house – even for
    just a few minutes.
  • 

Doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.
  • Doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.
  • If there are glass panels in or near our doors, they are reinforced in some
    way so they can not be shattered.
  • All Entryways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock
    installed into the frame of the door.
  • Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or
    planter, on a ledge, or in a mailbox.

Garage Sliding Doors

  • The door leading from an attached garage into the house is solid wood
    or metal-clad with a keyed door lock and deadbolt.
  • The overhead garage door has has a lock.
  • Garage doors are all locked when leaving the house.
  • The sliding glass door has a strong, key lock.
  • A dowel or pin to secure a glass door has been installed to prevent lifting
    off track. It is locked every night.

Windows

  • Every window in your house has a working key lock or is security pinned.
  • Windows are always locked, even when they are opened a few inches for
    ventilation.

Outdoor Security

  • Shrubs and bushes are trimmed so there are no hiding places.
  • There are no dark areas around our house, garage, or yard that could
    hide prowlers.
  • Every outside door has a bright, working light to illuminate visitors.
  • Floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination.
  • Outdoor lights are on in the evening – on an auto timer, photo-cell or
    motion sensors.
  • Our house number, is clearly displayed so police and other emergency
    vehicles can find the house quickly.

Security When Away from Home

  • At least two light timers have been set to lights on and off in logical
    sequence.
  • Alarm system has been activated when leaving home.
  • Mail and newspaper deliveries stopped.
  • A neighbor will tend the yard and watch the house while we’re away.

Outdoor Valuables and Personal Property

  • Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are all locked with high-security, laminated padlocks.
  • Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are locked after every use.
  • Grills, lawn mowers, and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open, are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point.
  • Every Bicycle is secured with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain.
  • Bikes are always locked, even if we leave them for just a minute.
  • Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.
  • Valuable items, such as television, stereos, and computers have been inscribed with identifying number approved by local police.
  • Our home inventory is up-to-date and includes pictures. A complete copy is kept somewhere out of the house.

Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Emergency Preparedness for people with disabilities

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Solar Cooking for A Rainy Day

Bacon!

Bacon! It seems like everyone loves bacon. But before I had a Sun Oven it was something I rarely ate at home. I hated the way the smell permeated the entire house and nine times out of ten I burnt it to beyond a crisp. Maybe that explains the unpleasant aroma. With the Sun Oven bacon is easy. However, it’s still an occasional food around our house; so much so that if I don’t cook the entire package in one go the uncooked portion will likely spoil. Luckily, cooked bacon will keep in the fridge for about a week and because it already cooked it easily finds its way into soups, salads, and sandwiches. I’ve even started saving and using the fat. Use two baking pans, with or without racks, to fit a full pound of bacon in the Sun Oven. Cross-stack them on the leveling tray. Bacon is on of the few things that can burn in the Sun Oven so start checking on it after half an hour or so. Take it out as soon as it’s ready. The top tray will cook a little faster. Don’t let its bacony goodness cause you to forget about the bottom one.

Bacon! and Cat!

 

Ebola Update

Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones

What is Ebola?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point, some people begin to have bleeding problems.[1]
How Ebola manages to first infect humans is poorly understood. Primates like monkeys and apes are possible agents of transmission (also called vectors), although birds, rodents, bats, pigs, and insects may be more likely to transmit the disease. The virus can even be transmitted to dogs, although they don’t seem to get sick.
Ebola appears to be transmitted through saliva and other bodily fluids, even sweat. The practice of relatives and workers washing a body before burial may have helped spread the disease. A 2012 Canadian study suggested that the virus may also be transmitted in air droplets. Given the highly contagious nature of the disease, this would be big trouble if true, but hasn’t been proven.
Ebola causes a hemorrhagic fever with a 25-90% death rate, much higher than even the worst of the influenza pandemics of the past century. Symptoms begin presenting about 2 weeks after exposure. Ebola patients develop the sudden onset of what first appears to be influenza: Aches and pains, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever and chills, and malaise are commonly seen at this stage. Nausea is noted, often accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Later on, The central nervous system becomes affected: Severe headaches, altered mental status, and seizures ensue, sometimes resulting in the patient going into a coma.

How does it spread?

It’s thought that Ebola doesn’t spread until a victim develops symptoms. As the illness progresses, however, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding become very contagious. Poor hygiene and lack of proper medical supplies in underdeveloped countries, such as in West Africa impede the progress of medical authorities to tame the outbreak. The best they can do is isolate sick individuals as best they can and follow infectious disease precautions. This is something they are, apparently, not doing so well, because so many medical personnel are getting sick. When the doctors and nurses are dying, you know you have an illness about which to be truly concerned. Imagine if the disease becomes worldwide.
So how do we cure Ebola? We don’t. There is no known treatment, cure, or vaccine for Ebola at present. The doctors can only try to make the patient comfortable and hope they get better on their own. Therefore, I recommend stocking up on masks, gowns, eye protection, and gloves, and learn about how to have an effective survival sick room.
This may be a third-world disease now, but it wouldn’t take much to make it, indeed, the next great pandemic. Although there shouldn’t be panic, I think it is very possible that Ebola will make its way to Europe and North America at some point.
Reprinted with Permission: Doom and Bloom

August 2014

Other articles in the August 2014 Newsletter include:

Are You Water Competent?

Fasting

The Fascinating Fig

Sun Oven Demonstrations coming to a location near you

Are You Losing 40%?

Survival Skills for Teens

Meatless Monday Pasta Sauce

Survival Skills for Teens

Youth Need to Know, too.

Survival Skills for Teens

Shutterstock

Have you discussed basic survival techniques with the young people in your home? If they were lost or were involved in an accident, would they know what to do? School is back in session and your children are away from home most of the day, now is the time to review these skills.

As your children grow up, starting at a very young age they learn their name, address and telephone number. They also learn how to dial 9-1-1. Let’s not forget riding a bike and swimming. Do they know how to find their way home in your neighborhood or town? What about basic survival skills?  What if your family went on a hike and somehow got separated, or an adult was injured? Would they know what to do? Teens were not born knowing everything, even though there are some who will argue that. Sharing these life lessons may be critical some day.

Teaching Survival Skills Builds Resilience

Before we get into some of the things they should know, let’s discuss how to share this as parents, guardians and mentors. The goal of raising children to become responsible adults involves teaching them more that reading, writing and arithmetic. They need to learn other skills, like critical thinking, leadership and teamwork. Sam Goldstein, a neuropsychologist and co-author of Raising Resilient Children, recommends a fourth “R”, that of resilience. It may be the most valuable skill of all.

We need to be empathetic, communicate with respect, be flexible and give undivided attention. Kids need to be given a chance to solve problems and make decisions on their own and help get projects done. Mistakes need to be used as learning experiences, with strengths recognized, and any corrections or discipline administered with love and kindness. Resilience means bouncing back.

What Survival Skills Should a Teen Know?

  • Not Panic – This is one of the most basic of survival skills. In panic-mode we make bad decisions. Frightened youth, with limited life experiences, may do things which could be life threatening.
  • Be Aware – Does your child know how to decide if they should run, hide or fight back? Are they aware of where you are going, whether walking or riding on a bike or in an auto? Do they know which places are dangerous to go to and what people and types of behaviors that may put them in a compromising situation? As much as we would like to keep our youth in a protective bubble, they need to learn to recognize that bad things happen, even to good people, and they need to know how to handle them.
  • First Aid – Do your children know how to stop bleeding, remove a splinter or treat a burn? Taking a Red Cross CPR/First Aid class or practicing some of the skills in that Boy Scout Book of First Aid you have in your Bug-out-Bag may be a good weekend family project.
  • How to Handle a Firearm – Every teen should take a gun safety course. A child who knows how to handle a gun safely is less likely to be involved in a shooting mishap. He/she may need to know how to use a firearm for a number of reasons.
  • Feed Himself – This skill can range from opening a can without an electric can opener, using a stove safely, harvesting and preparing garden produce, or hunting, cleaning and preparing game. They should know how to set up and use a Sun Oven®.
  • Self Defense – Do your children know how to defend themselves against an attacker; when to run?
  • Get Back Home – Another fun weekend project, day or night. Also, make a family fire escape plan.
  • Skills – Can your child use simple tools – hammer, drill, paint brush or screwdriver – something other than a game box?
  • Stay Warm – Can they build a shelter, start a fire and understand the importance of warmth?
  • Getting Help – Do they know who to ask and how to leave clues if they’re lost?
  • Pack Their own 72 hr. Emergency Kit – Youth should be responsible for selecting most of the items in their emergency bug-out-bag. This is another good family project that should be updated every six months.

Do you know all these skills?  Share them.      

Thanks to Mom with a Prep for some of these pointers.

Billie and Robert Nicholson
August 2014

Other articles in the August 2014 Newsletter include:

Are You Water Competent?

Ebola Update by Dr. Bones

Fasting

The Fascinating Fig

Sun Oven Demonstrations coming to a location near you

Are You Losing 40%

Meatless Monday Pasta Sauce

Are You Losing 40%

Today I was listening to a video by Healthy Prepper in which she shared the concept of Dehydratingdehydrating fruit and vegetables at their prime ripeness. She had just purchased many bags of price-reduced items. The groceries were beautiful, just really, really ripe. Studies reveal that 40% of food we purchase goes to waste. You can dehydrate almost any fruit or veggie, so there is no reason food should go to waste.

The SUNOVEN® is perfect for dehydrating produce. Green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, grapes and figs are in abundance in my refrigerator. Rather than hope that we’ll get around to eating them all before they spoil, I decided to begin a dehydrating project.

When dehydrating with the SUN OVEN®, focusing the  oven into the sun is not necessary. The goal is to have a consistent temperature that ranges from 110º – 155º F. Keep the latches open for moisture and excess heat to escape. A higher temperature will effectively cook the produce rather than dry it. Use parchment paper and the racks provided with the oven. Drying time will vary depending on thickness. Try to be consistent so the pieces will dry at about the same rate. Check the oven from time to time to see how things are going. If your fruit or vegetables have not dried by the end of the day, simply leave them inside the SUN OVEN® over night. Collapse the reflectors and latch the door. The next day, resume drying with the door unlatched. For more details, watch our video on Dehydrating with the Sun Oven®.

After the produce has dried, there are a variety of ways to store them. The figs were packed in FoodSaver® bags and vacuum sealed. The Bay Laurel leaves, were stored in a plastic container. The tomatoes were stored in a glass jar with an oxygen absorber and vacuum sealed. What a great way to increase your food storage, reduce waste, and use the sun’s energy. What are you drying?

Dehydrating

Billie Nicholson, editor
August 2014
DehydrateDehydrate

Other articles in the August 2014 Newsletter include:

Are You Water Competent?

Ebola Update by Dr. Bones

Fasting

The Fascinating Fig

Sun Oven Demonstrations coming to a location near you

Survival Skills for Teens

Meatless Monday Pasta Sauce

corin