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Gear to help you survive the first 24 hours after disaster strikes


By Allison Barrie

Published February 26, 2015

First 24 kit. (Taurus)

If disaster struck, how would you survive the first 24 hours?

A new, lightweight, rugged kit contains key tools that would certainly give you an advantage.

Taurus has created a solution to improve your chances in pretty much any crisis you could encounter; from a natural disaster to a zombie apocalypse. The First 24 Kit contains smart components to help people survive the first 24 hours of any crisis and make their way to safety.

The kit includes: a revolver, a knife, a flashlight, emergency signals, fire starter kit, a compass, some 550 Para cord, as well as a battery caddy and batteries – all contained in a robust, practical case.

Revolver

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So many judges carry this revolver for self-protection into the courtroom that this weapon is known as the “Taurus Judge.” It chambers both 45 Colt Ammunition for longer distances and .410 2-1/2″ shotshell for short distances. As the company says, this “Taurus Judge is one decision-maker that lays down the law.”

This compact has a matte stainless steel finish and weighs 29 ounces.  It is fully customized with fiber optic front sights, fixed rear sights and the Taurus “Ribber Grips.” The barrel length is 3 inches and it has five round capacity.

The Taurus Judge also features the Taurus Security System designed to provide instantaneous defense. There’s also the option of simply turning a key to render the pistol inoperable. In this mode, the pistol is secured and cannot be fired or cocked – even the gun’s manual safety can’t be disengaged.

Knife

The CRKT Sting Survival Knife, crafted by knife legend A. G. Russell, and customized by Aimpro Tactical, is a fixed blade tactical knife with two edges.

The 3.197-inch blade starts out as alloy, similar to that used in Samurai swords, but is then amped up even more by hot forging and precision grinding into its final, nearly indestructible, form. For corrosion resistance, a black non-reflective powder coat finish is added. The handle is also hot forged 1050 carbon steel.

The handle is contoured for a comfortable fit for both gloved and bare hands. It weighs 3.9 ounces, and when the blade is open, the length is 6.85 inches.

It comes with a custom nylon-stitched reinforced sheath and a strapping option for gear or a clip for belt, pack or boot attachment.

The knife is a smart choice for a survival kit. “Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment,” says CRKT.

Flashlight

Brite Strike’s EPLI (Executive Precision Lighting Instrument) flashlight won the NRA’s 2013 American Hunter Gear of the Year – enough said.

It looks like one of those expensive pens seen in boardrooms, but it functions as a water and shock-proof sate of the art flashlight.

Crafted from high-grade aircraft aluminum with a graphite-anodized finish, the EPLI is a slim, just over five-inch long, penlight.

The low setting is just right for your average camp needs. Its special design produces a very bright beam that creates light similar to natural daylight.

But in the event of danger, the third setting can emit a blinding strobe to help deflect the threat.

The strobe setting can also be used to set an SOS. It takes standard AAA batteries and uses state-of-the-art power management to maximize light duration to more than six hours on lo mode.

Emergency Signals

APALS, or All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips, also made by Brite Strike, are basically next-generation replacements for chemical light sticks.

Military special operators were keen to have reliable, long endurance, combat identifiers. APALS were designed as a solution to improve a warfighter’s signaling options.

The APALS can be seen at up to a mile and have three modes: fast strobe, slow strobe, and steady.

They are waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof and can be bought in flexible, lightweight, 1.6-ounce crushproof 10 packs that easily fit in a cargo pocket. This innovative packaging approach is important because chemical light sticks have a tendency to accidentally become activated – this design eliminates that risk.

Highly robust, the strips are designed to operate in the most extreme conditions, from the Arctic to the desert, and provide more than 200 hours of runtime.

This kit includes three colors: red, white and green.

Fire Starter

Fire is always fundamental to survival. Zippo’s new bright orange Emergency Fire Starter Kit included in the First 24 makes lighting a fire impossibly easy. It has a reliable flint wheel ignition to light its water-resistant Waxed Tinder Sticks. Everything stays dry inside the Zippo case thanks to its smart design with a water-resistant O-ring seal.

550 Survival Para cord Bundle

The kit also includes 550 Para cord, a lightweight nylon rope that has a breaking strength of 550 pounds or more. Para cord dates back to World War II parachute suspension lines. In a survival setting, Para cord has innumerable useful applications, from securing things and building harnesses, through to using its strands to make fishing line.

As you’d expect from any self-respecting survival kit, there is also a compass, more specifically a 20mm Spherical Survival Compass.

It also includes a Power Pax Slim Line Caddy, originally designed for pilots. The Caddy holds six AA batteries and can be dispensed with one hand. AA batteries are included in this comprehensive kit.

Case

All of these essentials are contained in the SKB Series 1209-4 Waterproof Utility Case, the final component of the First 24. The dimensions are 12 inches long by nine inches wide with a depth of four and half inches.

It has both a waterproof and dust tight design. In addition to impact damage resistance, it is also resistant to UV, solvents, corrosion and fungus. Taurus provides the case in tan.

Altogether, the First 24 goes for $1,499.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at wargames@foxnews.com or follow her on Twitter@Allison_Barrie.

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Long Term Food Storage


Preparing an Emergency Food Supply, Long Term Food Storage

One never knows when emergency will strike.  Hurricanes, floods, snow storms, and civil unrest all have the potential for disrupting services and food supplies we have all taken for granted.

Put a plan together for what you should do if emergency strikes.  Prepare yourself by gathering water, supplies, and emergency items and consumables you may need.

Emergency items should be stored in a place that has easy access, and can be gathered in a hurry if necessary.  If you have a basement or garage make a shelf or specific area for emergency items.  If you don’t a closet works as long as it is organized and items are easily reached.

Putting Together a Disaster Supply Kit

Items to include in a disaster supply kit:

  • Medical supplies and first aid manual
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and lanterns with extra batteries
  • Camping cook stove and fuel
  • Sterno cans
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Blankets and extra clothing
  • Shovel and other useful tools
  • Money in a waterproof container
  • Infant and small children’s needs (if appropriate)
  • Can opener, utensils, cookware

Some items have expiration dates so be sure to check periodically. In a crisis, it will be most important that you maintain your strength. Eating a well balanced meals can help you do this. Here are some important nutrition tips.

  • Plan meals to include as much balance nutrition as possible.
  • Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day.
  • Drink at least two quarts of water a day. You will need more in warm climates.
  • Take in enough calories to meet the demand.  Vigorous work will require more calories.
  • Vitamins and minerals in your stockpile will assure adequate nutrition.

When deciding what foods to stock, use common sense. Consider what you could use and how you could prepare it. Storing foods that are difficult to prepare and are unlikely to be eaten could be a costly mistake.

unapprovedfoodcontainer UN Approved Food Storage Container

One approach to long term food storage is to store bulk staples along with fast preparation food sources.  A variety of canned and dried foods also make it easy for preparation.

Bulk Staples and dried sources such as wheat, corn, beans and salt can be purchased in bulk quantities inexpensively and have nearly unlimited shelf life. If necessary, you could survive for years on small daily amounts of these staples. Pre-prepared meals such as (MRE) can cost more per calorie delivered but make preparation much easier.

The following amounts are suggested per adult, per year:

Item                    Amount*

  • Wheat                        240 pounds
  • Powdered Milk            75 pounds
  • Corn                            240 pounds
  • Iodized Salt                    5 pounds
  • Soybeans                    120 pounds
  • Fats and Oil***            20 pounds**
  • Vitamin C***               180 grams

Stocking Foods for Infants

Special attention would need to be paid to stocking supplies of foods for infants. Powdered formula would be the least expensive form of infant formula to stock. Commercially canned liquid formula concentrate and ready-to-feed formula may also be stored. Amounts needed would vary, depending on the age of the infant. Infant formula has expiration dates on the packages and should not be used past the expiration date.

Parents should also plan to have a variety of infant cereals and baby foods on hand. Amounts needed will vary depending on the age of the infant.

Foods to Supplement Your Bulk Staples

You should add pre-packaged foods such as dried foods, mixes, and supermarket foods. Cured and canned meats are a good selection. A variety of rice, beans, and corn are nutritious and long-lasting. Ready-to-eat cereals, pasta mixes, rice mixes, dried fruits, etc. can also be included to add variety to your menus. Packaged mixes that only need water and require short cooking times are good options because they are easy to prepare. The more of these products you include, the more expensive your stockpile will be.

mylarbage Mylar Storage Bag:  Can be vacuum sealed or ironed closed using O2 absorbers

Consider storing the items listed below. Amounts are suggested quantities per adult per year.

Flour, White Enriched 17 lbs
Corn Meal 42 lbs
Pasta (Spaghetti/Macaroni) 42 lbs
Beans (dry) 25 lbs
Beans, Lima (dry) 1 lb
Peas, Split (dry) 1 lb
Lentils (dry) 1 lb
Dry Soup Mix 5 lbs
Peanut Butter 4 lbs
Dry Yeast 1/2 lb
Sugar, White Granulated 40 lbs
Soda 1 lb
Baking Powder 1 lb
Vinegar 1/2 gal

Approach long-term food storage as follows:

1. Buy bulk staples as previously listed.

2. Buy your everyday stock of canned goods until you have a two-week to one-month surplus. Rotate it periodically to maintain a supply of common foods that will not require special preparation, water or cooking.

3. Find dried meat sources. Although costly, this is an excellent form of stored meat, so buy accordingly. (Canned meats are also options.) Another option is to purchase dry, packaged mixes from the supermarket. Consider stocking some of the items listed as examples below. Amounts are suggested quantities for an adult for one year.

All dry ingredients or supplies should be stored off the floor in clean, dry, dark places away from any source of moisture. Foods will maintain quality longer if extreme changes in temperature and exposure to light are avoided.

Grains

Bulk wheat, dark hard winter or dark hard spring wheat are good selections for storage. Wheat should be at least #2 grade with a protein content of at least 12% and moisture content less than 10%. The best option for all dried grains is to be stored in 5 gallon food grade containers with air tight lids and mylar liners with O2 absorbers. If the wheat has not already been treated to prevent insects from hatching, wheat may be treated at the time of storage by placing one-fourth pound of dry ice per 5 gallon container in the bottom and then filling with wheat. Cover the wheat with the lid, but not tightly, for five or six hours before transferring the grain to a mylar lined and sealed container. Other grains to consider storing include rye, rice, oats, triticale, barley and millet. Pasta products can also be stored in 5 or 6 gallon containers with mylar liners. Milled rice will maintain its quality longer in storage than will brown rice. Many of the grains may require grinding before use. Many health food stores sell hand-cranked grain mills or can tell you where you can get one. Make sure you buy one that can grind corn. If you are caught without a mill, you can grind your grain fairly well by using a blender.

Dairy Products

Store dry milk in an air-tight container with mylar liner. Dry milk may be stored at 70oF for 12 – 24 months. If purchased in nitrogen packed cans, storage time for best quality will be 24 months. Other dairy products for long term storage may include canned evaporated milk, pasteurized cheese spreads, powdered cheese, and ghee (purified butter).

Other Foods or Ingredients

Iodized salt can be stored in its original package since moisture is the only detrimental thing for salt. Dried beans, peas, lentils, etc. provide an inexpensive alternative protein source and are easy to store in plastic containers with mylar liners and oxygen absorbers . Unused open food boxes, cookies and crackers can be placed in plastic bags, and keep them in air-tight storage containers for use in the near term. Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts into airtight food storage containers to protect them from pests. Inspect all food containers for signs of spoilage before use. Commercially canned foods are safe to eat long after the “use by date” provided the containers are not bulging, leaking or badly rusted. Quality may diminish with long term storage and be aware of changes in flavor, color and texture.   For best quality rotate canned goods at least every two to four years.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Possible deficiencies in the diet in emergency situations can lead to long term health issues. Families should store and use in rotation 365 multi-vitamin/mineral tablets per person. Careful attention should be paid to expiration dates on packages.

Shelf Life of Foods for Storage (Unopened)

Here are some general guidelines for rotating common emergency foods to ensure the best quality of the products.

Use within 1 year:

  • Powdered milk (boxed)
  • Dried fruit (in metal container)
  • Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
  • Dried Potatoes

Use within 2 years

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy, chocolate bars and canned nuts
  • Vegetable oils

May be stored 5+ years* (in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Baking powder
  • Soybeans
  • Instant coffee, tea
  • Cocoa
  • Salt
  • Noncarbonated soft drinks
  • White rice
  • Bouillon products
  • Dry pasta
  • Vitamin C
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)

References:

1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. June 16, 1998 Update. Emergency Food and Water Supplies (FEMA-215). Washington, DC.

2. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 1998. Emergency Preparedness Manual.

3: Preparing an emergency food supply, long term food storage: University of Georgia

Judy Harrison, Ph.D.:Associate Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist

Elizabeth Andress, Ph.D.:Associate Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist

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Fema Words of Advice


Are You Ready?
A Guide to Citizen Preparedness



Federal Emergency Management Agency
Washington, D.C.

Dear Citizens,

We live in a different world than we did before September 11, 2001.We are more aware of our 
vulnerabilities, more appreciative of our freedoms and more understanding that we have a personal 
responsibility for the safety of our families, our neighbors and our nation.

Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness provides practical information on how your family can 
prepare for any disaster.It includes up-to-date hazard specific safety tips and information about 
preparedness and protection.In addition to information on most natural and technological disasters, there 
are new chapters on "Animals in Disaster," "Extreme Heat­­ (Heat Wave)," "Landslide & Debris Flow 
(Mudslide)," "Emergency Water Shortages," and newly updated information on terrorism. 

We know that disaster preparedness works.We can take action now that will help protect our families, 
reduce the impact an emergency has on our lives, and deal with the chaos if an incident occurs near us.
These actions are at the heart of everything we do at FEMA, and they are the reason President George W. 
Bush established Citizen Corps, a nationwide initiative encompassing public education, citizen training and 
volunteer programs.FEMA's vision of a nation prepared is best achieved by your participation in 
community and family preparedness so that we are all better protected for every disaster. 

Contact your local emergency management office for information about specific hazards in your area and 
to volunteer to help make your community better prepared.

We know that disaster can strike at any time. We all have a personal responsibility to be ready.

Sincerely,

Joe M. Allbaugh
Director
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Wrong Ideas About Emergency Preparedness


1) Must Find Food First.

The answer is WRONG!  While food obviously is important for living long term.  You may not like it, but you can live weeks without food.  Our ancestors while hunting and gathering through the forests, didn’t have grocery stores and starbucks.  You can survive for 21 days on average without eating.  You may get unbearable to be around and be weak, but you’ll be alive.

Shelter and Water are the most important things to find first.  In some climates, shelter may not be harsh as others, but if you get cold and wet, your life immediately in danger. the average personal consumption should be at least 1/2 gallon per day.  In hot climates more and in cooler climates you can survive with less. Remember the rule of 3: You can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.

2) Just pitch a tent anywhere, that’s just fine.

Nope…Wrong answer  You need not only protect yourself from the elements, but stay warm at night.  The ground is really hard for all of us modern day, mushy, weak and feeble humans.  Now if you’re a hard core back packer, or backwoods, live off nature kind, you may have an advantage.  But most of us are used to sleeping in a bed with the TV on.  You need to stay Warm and Dry.

3) Don’t drink all your water

Save some for later, is absolutely a bad idea.  If your thirsty drink.  Dehydration and sun stroke is very difficult to recover from quickly.  You will be out of commission fast.

Don’t gulp it down, but if you’re thirsty then you need to drink water and use that time to search for other water sources.  Remember water can and should always filtered, boiled, or treated with chemicals to purify it.

4) Go it Alone 

Wrong…  We are an communal  species.  Form a small group with family, neighbors, and people you trust.  The reason society has worked and continues to work is that different people bring different skills to the ready.  We need eachother

5) The animals will get you.

There are only 200 or so cases of people being killed by animal attacks each year in the United States, and this is out of the millions who spend a lot of time outdoors. If you’re stranded you’ll be hard pressed to even find a wild animal, let alone one that is out looking for humans to eat. 

6) Oh look a Cactus

You can’t drink from cacti.  Arid areas and desert vegetation contain very little water even after a heavy rain. Whatever liquid they do have is not drinkable and may actually contain compounds that are extremely unhealthy.

Keeping hydrated is the most important factor when stranded.  To conserve your supplies and energy.  Stay cool.

7) Drink Cool Fresh Water from a Stream

Yes and No… Even the best most refreshing mountain spring could be carrying pathogens that could make you double over and wish you were dead. However if that’s your only water then drink it. There’s a much greater risk of death by dehydration than by a stomach bug. If you do risk it and end up getting sick you’ll likely still live long enough for you to get to help.  Personal water filters, boiling water, or simply bleach can reduce this risk.

8) I think it’s this way

Many people believe that they’ll be able to find they way back if they just start walking. If there’s a chance of rescue, as there will be in most national parks and hiking trails, then the best option by far is to sit tight and wait for help. Walking off in a random direction will drain your water and energy reserves really quickly and could result in injuries. If you do have to move around in order to find/make shelter, keep to the shade and breath through your nose rather than your mouth to conserve fluids.

If you find yourself stranded and begin walking, leave some way of letting others know which direction to went.  Rocks piled up in an arrow for example will work.

9) Fire

Without experience and learned techniques, it is very difficult to start a fire without some kind of accelerant.  If you’re out hiking, then carry water proof matches, lighter, or a modern fire starter.  In an emergency it is possible to start a fire with friction (sticks rubbing together), but you should practice before it’s an emergency.