The Survival Mom » More http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Ta Da! Check Out the NEW SURVIVAL MOM TEAM STORE! http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-survival-mom-store/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-survival-mom-store/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17538 The Survival Mom finds all kinds of great books, gadgets, and things we can all use to help us in our every day lives and in becoming more prepared. It can be hard to keep track of them, and even Read More

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grand openingThe Survival Mom finds all kinds of great books, gadgets, and things we can all use to help us in our every day lives and in becoming more prepared. It can be hard to keep track of them, and even harder to find something you saw mentioned in an article a few months ago.

So what’s the solution? The new SURVIVAL MOM TEAM STORE! It has items recommended by all the members of the writing and podcast teams, including items mentioned in our blog articles. It is based on the Amazon store, so you can go ahead and use the Amazon checkout you are already comfortable with, look at all the reviews on Amazon, and if you have Amazon Prime, free 2-day shipping!

For those of you who don’t know how the process works, you pay the same amount as you do when you go straight to Amazon to buy the items in the store. The difference is that a portion of the price of that item and every other item in your cart when you check out, as long as it is within a day or two of visiting the store, will go toward supporting this blog, the podcast network, and the weekly newsletter. It doesn’t cost you a penny more.

What is in the Survival Mom Team Store?

You’ll find all kinds of things in helpful categories, such as books, camping and outdoor equipment, games, movies, cooking utensils, tools, machines (like a sewing machine), specialty hobby supplies, and even budget-friendly survival supplies.

There are hundreds of items already and we keep adding more every day!

You’ll find a few items featured on the store site. These are things we like a lot, for some reason. Right now there is a non-electric portable slow-cooker, a Celtic animated movie, hand sanitizer that does NOT leave your hands dried out, a smoke alarm that lets you record a message instead of beeping, and an ultra-light camping stove. Tomorrow, it may be something different. But whatever it is, we think it’s extra-special!

Is it Only For Disasters?

Of course not. Lots of these items can be used for everyday life. The Breathe Healthy face masks in the Viral Outbreak category (under Worst Case Preps) are machine washable fabric impregnated with an antimicrobial agent, and it’s MUCH more comfortable than a disposable mask if you are doing dusty yard or housework.

Wool emergency blankets in your car come in handy when the weather turns unexpectedly cool during a game. And books, movies, and TV shows are just plain fun.

There is a even whole section full of gift ideas.

So, Do You Have Disaster Prep?

Of course! Viral Outbreak has the most items for fairly obvious reasons, but there are tons of items for Fire Safety under Safety & Security as well, and there are items for Nuclear protection as well. (If you live near a nuclear power plant, keeping Potassium Iodide Tablets on hand isn’t a bad idea.) You’ll also find products we like for your emergency kits and bug out bags. We will add more categories and products in the future.

Let us know what you think!

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Basic Steps to Maintain Your Core Temperature http://thesurvivalmom.com/maintain-your-core-temperature/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/maintain-your-core-temperature/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:00:22 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18546 In a true survival situation, such as if you’re lost in the woods, the first priority is to do everything you can to maintain your core body temperature. Hypothermia (core temperature too low) can kill a whole lot faster than Read More

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body temp2In a true survival situation, such as if you’re lost in the woods, the first priority is to do everything you can to maintain your core body temperature. Hypothermia (core temperature too low) can kill a whole lot faster than a lack of food or water. Hyperthermia (core temperature too high) is no fun, either.

First Steps

The first step is to get out of the elements if at all possible. Rain, snow, wind, and even the hot sun can all negatively affect you. Avoid sitting on damp ground or cold rocks. If you have a jacket or something with you, use it as a cushion to help avoid losing body heat through conduction. Insulating yourself from other objects is important when trying to maintain your core temperature.

Our first line of defense is our clothing, of course. Always strive to either wear or have with you seasonal appropriate outerwear. Even a small rain poncho stuffed into a pocket or pack will benefit you should the weather take a turn.

A good quality emergency blanket will also work well. I stress, though, that you should purchase one of good quality. The cheap ones, such as you might find at a dollar store, are so thin and fragile they are all but worthless. Spend a couple of extra dollars and get something durable, possibly even wool. More than one hiker has unfolded their cheap emergency blanket and found nothing but ribbons of material because it had worn through on all of the folds in the package.

Staying Warm

Emergency blankets work best when wrapped tightly around you, like a cocoon. However, they can also serve as a roof for an expedient shelter, keeping the rain and snow off of you. Most of them don’t come with easy attachment points where you can tie paracord (you do carry paracord, right?) but you can make your own grommets, after a fashion. Take a small rock and place it in the corner of the blanket. Fold the blanket around the rock a couple of times, then tie your paracord around the resulting bulge.

A small campfire can also serve to warm you up and dry you out. This is why every survival kit, no matter how small, should have fire making gear in it. A butane lighter, strike anywhere matches, and/or a ferro rod, coupled with tinder like dryer lint or cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, will make this job infinitely easier than trying to assemble a bow drill or some other primitive fire making apparatus.

If the weather has been rainy and you have a hard time finding dry wood, try batoning firewood. Yet another way is to use a pencil sharpener to carve off wood shavings from thin sticks. That should provide enough small fuel to at least get the fire started.

Staying Cool

But, what if the problem is too much heat, rather than too little? Baking in the sun will dehydrate you quickly, adding to your dilemma. Use your poncho, emergency blanket, or even a shirt or jacket to create shade to rest under. Limit your activity as much as you can.

If you have a body of water nearby, such as a pond or stream, soak fabric and place it on your neck and wrists. I do not recommend you use your available drinking water for this, though. Consume your potable water to keep hydrated.

Maintaining your core body temperature is absolutely crucial to survival. Be sure to have the proper gear with you any time you venture into the field.

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Preparedness on the High Seas http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-high-seas/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-high-seas/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:00:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18879 In 1997, I went on my first cruise and loved it. In September 2014, I went on my 13th cruise. Cruising is a fantastic way to vacation but there are some safety and preparedness issues that are unique to this Read More

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Cruise the High SeasIn 1997, I went on my first cruise and loved it. In September 2014, I went on my 13th cruise. Cruising is a fantastic way to vacation but there are some safety and preparedness issues that are unique to this kind of travel.

Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, and many know the story of the Costa Concordia or the Carnival Triumph. These cases, while they got a lot of attention, are rare. But obviously, they do happen and you need to be prepared in case an emergency happens during your vacation.

Know your cruise ship and the emergency procedures.

Some people find it difficult to find their way around a large cruise ship. It is sometimes easy to get turned around and not know fore from aft. Each ship has a pocket sized deck plan you can carry with you. Get one and study it so you will know your way in an emergency.

LifeBoatAttendance at a “muster drill” is mandatory onboard a cruise ship. At the designated time (almost always before leading the embarkation port), the ship will sound the alarm and passengers must go to their assigned muster station. Pay attention and memorize where to go and the instructions of the crew. This information is also printed on a sign on the back of your cabin door. In an emergency, don’t wait! Get your life jacket from your cabin – if it is safe to do so – and go straight to your muster station.

Remember that these ships are floating cities!

  • The United States has more than 15,000 towns with populations smaller than the capacity of the larger cruise ships.
  • The largest ship of them all, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, can hold 6,296 passengers and crew at full capacity. Most of the larger ships are in the 2,500-4,000 range.
  • You need to behave on the ship the same way you would walking around a city on land. That includes your children. If you wouldn’t let them wander around an unfamiliar city on their own, they shouldn’t be left with the run of the ship.
  • Overall being on the ship is very safe, but crimes and accidents do happen. Many of the injuries and deaths that occur onboard are related to alcohol consumption. The same can be said for some of the crimes committed. Too much alcohol leads a person to make poor decisions (going back to the cabin of a crew member or other passenger, allowing others into your cabin, etc). I know you’re on vacation, but be smart about your alcohol intake.
  • Bottom line, you don’t know your fellow passengers. I have met some wonderful people on cruises but I have always maintained a level of safety while onboard, just as I would on a land vacation.

What should a prepper pack?

It is unrealistic, and in most cases impossible, to carry your whole BOB* with you. Boarding the ship requires a security check similar to TSA at the airport. The rule of thumb is that if you can’t carry it on an airplane, you won’t be able to carry it on the cruise ship, so many of your EDC* items will likely have to be left at home. Be sure to check with your cruise line for a list of prohibited items. With these restrictions in mind, here’s a recommended list of preparedness items to carry on the ship with you.

  • Whistle and FlashlightSmall flashlight and a whistle. If you take nothing else from this list, bring these two things. You will receive a card that works as your identification, cabin key and charge card while on board. Consider bringing a lanyard to have an easy way to carry that card with you when you don’t have pockets and don’t want to carry a bag. Attach the flashlight and whistle to the lanyard as well to have them with you at all times. Ship interiors are very dark if the lights go out. (There are lighted strips similar to on an airplane along the halls and stairs.) A whistle will allow you to be found more easily by rescue workers, if needed, and will also get attention if you should find yourself in a dangerous situation with another passenger or a crew member.
  • Protein or meal replacement bars. You may likely eat more food on a cruise ship than at any other time in your life! Cruise ships have a very precise calculation of how much food they need and they get close to running out toward the end of the cruise. If there is an emergency that requires the ship to be delayed from returning to port, plans are made to stretch the food out. Having extra calories in your cabin just in case is a smart idea.
  • Emergency radio. Depending on where the ship is, you might not pick up any radio, but you could. Also, my radio has a flashlight and electronics charger. I can recharge my devices using solar power or a hand crank. I may not be able to make calls but I can use the camera, play games, read my eBooks, etc.
  • Small lantern, battery operated candles, or light sticks. Without power, interior cabins without windows are darker than the inside of a cow. If the ship loses power, having these items will allow you to be in your cabin safely.
  • Hand Sanitizer. Because of past cases of norovirus onboard, most cruise ships have multiple hand sanitizer dispensers available near the dining rooms and buffet lines. There are other times you may want to disinfect. Having your own on you or in your cabin keeps you from having to find a dispenser.
  • N95 masks. If norovirus does break out on your hip, a mask may help keep you healthy when in the common areas or when helping to treat a sick travel companion.
  • CruiseMedsMedications. Each ship has a medical clinic and one or more doctors onboard. In an emergency or in a large norovirus outbreak, the clinic may be quickly overwhelmed. Having the ability to self-treat in your cabin will be beneficial. Also, while you can get cold medications, motion sickness, and other OTC drugs onboard, they are expensive. Carry a minimum of one extra week of any prescription medication you must take daily.

Stay safe in port.

  • Don’t carry your passport off the ship. Use the in-cabin safe to store your passport and other valuables and carry the copy of your passport with you. It, along with a drivers’ license, will be sufficient for use as citizen identification if there is a problem. Not carrying your original prevents it from being stolen if you are mugged or pick-pocketed.
  • Just as on board the ship, control your alcohol intake. Make good decisions and do not take ride offers from strangers, go to a different location with a stranger, or flash around a lot of cash.
  • You will be provided information on how to contact the ship from shore in case of emergency. Be sure to carry it with you.
  • Take a photo of your family and friends as you get off the ship. If anyone gets lost, you will have a current photo and description of the clothes they are wearing.
  • Each person in your group should have a sheet of paper in their wallet with their personal information on it. Include name, address, emergency contact at home, the names of those traveling with you, ship name, and important medical information. If you are injured, a quick look through your wallet will provide plenty of information for emergency responders.

Cruising is a wonderful vacation option, and I fully intend to travel by ship many more times in my future. But like any other activity, you need to be smart, be prepared, and make good choices. Bon voyage!

*BOB = Bug Out Bag; EDC = Every Day Carry

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Bucket Backpack Review http://thesurvivalmom.com/bucket-backpack-review/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bucket-backpack-review/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18692 I recently tried the Bucket Backpack to complete a few chores. I was very excited at the possibilities this product presented to make normal tasks more efficient and easier physically. I tried the bucket backpack on a five-gallon bucket for Read More

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bucket-backpack-review[1]I recently tried the Bucket Backpack to complete a few chores. I was very excited at the possibilities this product presented to make normal tasks more efficient and easier physically. I tried the bucket backpack on a five-gallon bucket for few different chores to get a true feel for the value of this product.

The versatility of the Bucket Backpack

I was immediately impressed with the comfort and ease of attaching the product to the bucket. The shoulder straps were easily adjustable and well padded. It was easy to attach to a 5-gallon bucket and it held firmly with no slipping.

This product really helped with cleaning up the yard from leftover summer goodies. I filled the bucket with dead plants, broken landscaping scraps and fallen sticks and other debri that the fall winds have blown around. I was able to fill the bucket and put it on and still have my hands free to carry flower pots and other gardening décor to put away without having to make several trips.

This product was helpful in carrying feed to our outside animals leaving hands free to carry gallon jugs or other buckets of water at the same time, resulting once again in fewer trips and faster chore execution times.

I also brought the bucket backpack indoors and filled the Bucket Backpack full of dirty laundry. With a bucketful of dirty clothes on my back, I was able to carry another basket also full of laundry and therefore able to carry twice as much laundry to the wash room without making several trips throughout the house.

The most unorthodox use I tried for this product was probably carrying in groceries. Once again to avoid several trips back and forth, I placed some of the lighter weight bags in the bucket leaving hands free to carry in more bags in one trip.

Watch out for this, though

Putting on and taking off a fully loaded bucket backpack proved to be challenging unless I first placed it on a table or surface comparable to my height. When I tried to put on/take off this product when it contained items that protruded from the bucket (I had a couple 2×4 boards that stuck about a foot out of the bucket as well as some gardening tools) the items spilled out. I did not have this problem when the bucket was packed tightly or with items that were the same height of the bucket or less.

I do not recommend using this product for hauling water or other liquids. I did try to use this product to make the tasking chore of hauling water to our chicken coop easier. However, a full bucket is almost impossible to put on from the ground and even with placing on a height compatible surface, a lot of spilling and splashing still occured. Even buckets only half-filled proved challenging. Walking with water in the bucket will result in getting soaked unless the bucket has a water-tight lid.

Final Thoughts on The Bucket Backpack

I learned that a five-gallon bucket can hold a lot more than I realized and therefore, becomes very heavy on the back. However, having the weight distributed evenly while wearing the bucket backpack was much easier than trying to carry the load one handed while stumbling to the next stop.

An important lesson to remember is not to bend over too far to pick up another item with a full bucket load unless you are squatting.

Although the joy of summer gardening is over, I am excited to use this product next year while gathering produce from our summer vegetable garden and for collecting berries. I can also see this product coming in handy when carrying buckets of baseballs to the fields next spring or hauling camping and fishing gear next summer.

All in all, the bucket backpack made several tasks much easier and quicker and I look forward to discovering more uses for this product.

Visit the official Bucket Backpack site to learn more and to place an order.

NOTE: The writer of this review was furnished a Bucket Backpack at no cost to her. There was no expectation of a positive review, and these are the honest opinions and experiences of the writer.

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The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook: Review & Giveaway http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18710 This giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen! IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very Read More

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ultimate dehydrator cookbookThis giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen!

IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very little space, and will last you for years to come!

Whether you are an avid gardener or you bring your produce home from the grocery store, The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff will inspire and motivate you!

indexI was a skeptic at first. I purchased a dehydrator over a year ago and dried some fruit. After the first batch of strawberries and banana’s were dried and immediately eaten by my family, I boxed up the dehydrator and tucked it away on a shelf. I am almost certain that if I had read the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook in the beginning, I would probably be the proud owner today of not one, but two dehydrating machines!

Convincing a Skeptic (me!)

I was originally unenthusiastic about dehydrating because I’m a home canner. Dehydrating food is far different from home canning fruit, vegetables and meat, because canning is preserving with water. With dehydration, the goal is to eliminate water. After reading the book, I was very surprised at the amount of nutrients that are lost when it comes to preserving food by freezing, canning and dehydrating. And you guessed it, dehydrating is the best option for preserving those nutrients!

Although I do think it’s important to can my own meat, and will continue to do so, I now find that dehydrating my fruits and vegetables makes a lot of sense. Not only will this take up less space in my food storage, but most important, it takes less time! For example, when I’m canning, it takes me at least 3-4 hours from start to finish.

With dehydrating, I just plug it in, fill the trays, and go to bed!

More Uses: Drying Herbs

THIS IS THE PART where I want to jump up and down. The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook has shown me the ease in drying my own herbs for tea and medicine!

In the past, I have spent a small fortune buying commercial herbal teas. I stock up like crazy for sick days. After reading this book, I am more inspired than ever to grow my own, dry my own, and create my own herbal tea remedies! I can only imagine how much money I will save, not to mention the joy and peace of mind in knowing exactly what my family is consuming.

Not only will the book inspire you to dehydrate more, but the wonderful recipe section will have you dreaming up all kinds of meals and desserts for your family.

From dehydrating your own baby food, to crackers, or for creating unique holiday gifts, I have discovered that this book truly is THE Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook!

The Giveaway

We have so many awesome items from Dehydrate 2 Sell that we made it into two different giveaways, and EACH ONE INCLUDES A COPY OF HER BOOK!

The first, larger, also includes a Dutch baby pan, a coffee / tea press, a mesh tea infuser, an herb mill, an herb chopper, a pie lattice, a mini pie mold, an egg beater, silicone oven mitts, a set of three scoops, and a bucket / barrel opener.

The smaller prize package focuses on canning and adds a cherry pitter, apple peeler / corer, 6 piece canning set, canning lid holder, and a bucket / barrel opener to her book.

Feel free to enter both contests! Contest ends on October 21, 2014, and winners are selected at random. Winners will be notified the following day and have 48 hours to respond or prizes will be forfeited and a new winner selected.

GIVEAWAY #1

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GIVEAWAY #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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6 Simple Tips for Developing a Natural Spring http://thesurvivalmom.com/6-simple-tips-developing-natural-spring/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/6-simple-tips-developing-natural-spring/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:00:48 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18598 One of my favorite childhood memories was venturing into the woods with my late grandfather to fill up gallon jugs with water from a spring he found and tapped himself. I never thought much about it back then; walking a Read More

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6 Simple Tips - SpringOne of my favorite childhood memories was venturing into the woods with my late grandfather to fill up gallon jugs with water from a spring he found and tapped himself. I never thought much about it back then; walking a quarter mile or so into the wooded hills to obtain the family’s drinking water was just something that was routine.

Years later, when I moved down the road from my grandparents and experienced the rural fun of having to haul water in from town, I found comfort in knowing that the old spring was still resting in the hills should we ever need it.

A natural spring is an outlet of ground water and not a stream or run off simply pooling on the surface. A true natural spring will surface from naturally flowing groundwater. There are many methods of finding and tapping a natural spring. Below are some simple, low-cost suggestions for finding your own water source if the situation calls.

Finding and Tapping a Natural Spring

  1. Your efforts will yield the best results when you search in dry weather. A spell where the ground is dry can help determine if a wet area is simply run off or coming from another deeper source.
  2. Begin in middle elevation areas. Look in places where there are both higher and lower ground available such as the middle/side of a hill.
  3. ditchSearch for wet areas and obviously eroded areas that resemble a damp, naturally made ditch. Once this kind of environment is located, follow the path to higher elevations until the ground either becomes too steep to safely hike or you become too high on the hill to consider the location middle elevation. Another location indicator could be an increase in gravel, smooth rocks and moss in the surrounding areas and possible pooling water toward the lower elevated areas.
  4. Carefully dig into the hillside until you reach a steady flow of water. Be sure to dig deeply enough to get a clean avenue to place a channeling source.
  5. Place one end of a channeling source such as a plastic pipe as deep into the water source as possible. Placing rocks or gravel around and under the channeling source will help prevent sediment from getting through and help prevent the pipe from sinking.
  6. Cover the transport with rock and soil to hold it in place being sure to leave a good portion sticking out of the ground for easy access.

The disruption of the natural flow and excavation will result in muddy/cloudy water for a while but a true natural spring will clear up quickly once everything begins to settle. Some folks wish to tap into a spring and have it directly pumped into their homes for everyday water usage. Some springs may be plentiful enough to meet this type of supply but require more complicated excavation methods and tapping systems. Depending on the proximity of the spring to the home and the amount of gravitational flow, a pumping system may not be necessary.

I do not recommend drinking water from a natural spring without taking water purification measures or having a sample tested periodically to ensure the water is free of contaminants and is safe to drink.

Developing and maintaining a natural spring is a great back up water supply! Drink up!

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Survival Survey: Unexpected Places to Shop for Prepper Items http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-unexpected-places-shop-prepper-items/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-unexpected-places-shop-prepper-items/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:00:16 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17554 We’ve all shopped at online stores that focus on preppers and at places like Army-Navy stores. And who hasn’t checked out a yard sale or two? (Or at least meant to.) Those are the obvious places, but there are tons Read More

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unexpected placesWe’ve all shopped at online stores that focus on preppers and at places like Army-Navy stores. And who hasn’t checked out a yard sale or two? (Or at least meant to.)

Those are the obvious places, but there are tons of more unexpected places out there, both specialty and more mainstream chain stores.

Speciality Stores

A friend of mine runs Truck Dog USA. They specialize in items for truckers. Do you know what truckers use that might interest preppers? I had no clued until I checked out his store. They have all kinds of 12 v items from compact refrigerators (esp. for critical items such as insulin) to curling irons. They use inverters, too.

I also have a soft spot for museum and National Park Service stores.

Mainstream

Tuesday Morning sells sewing, canning, gardening, and even camping gear. That’s where I bought mummy bags for $20.

What are some of the more unusual places you have found to shop for prepper items?

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It’s a Honey of a Giveaway! Don’t Miss This One!! http://thesurvivalmom.com/honey-giveaway-dont-miss-one/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/honey-giveaway-dont-miss-one/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:03:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18626 Today we are hosting another Cox’s Honey Group Giveaway so our readers will have a chance to win some raw, unfiltered, pure honey. Cox’s honey is sponsoring this giveaway today and we want to thank them for giving us this Read More

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Coxs Honey Giveaway via www.TheSurvivalMom.com
Today we are hosting another Cox’s Honey Group Giveaway so our readers will have a chance to win some raw, unfiltered, pure honey. Cox’s honey is sponsoring this giveaway today and we want to thank them for giving us this opportunity.

Cox’s honey is raw and unfiltered honey. The company was started back in 1880 in Orderville, Utah, by Delaun Mills Cox. Mr. Cox produced enough sweet honey for the entire city before moving the operations to Shelley, Idaho. Delaun kept his beehives going more like a hobby, but after World War I he began making more money as a hobbyist than his previous holdings.
During the following years honey prices became depressed and in 1925 his son, Orville S. Cox took over his bee business. Orville made the bee business his tool of trade for his livelihood and raising his family. He produced, packaged and sold clover honey.

I’ve long recommended stocking up on honey, the only food that will never go bad! It has medicinal properties, can be used as a salve on cuts and burns, and could be worth its weight in gold someday in a worst case scenario.
This Cox’s Honey Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Monday, Oct. 6th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone!
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If You Just Moved Here: Surviving Severe Winter Weather http://thesurvivalmom.com/just-moved-surviving-severe-winter-weather/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/just-moved-surviving-severe-winter-weather/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:00:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17710 Here in the upper Midwest, winters can be absolutely brutal. We’re talking frigid temperatures, freezing rain, feet of snow, and just a whole lot of no fun when you’re trying to go about your daily life. Sure, if you enjoy Read More

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severe winter weather

Here in the upper Midwest, winters can be absolutely brutal. We’re talking frigid temperatures, freezing rain, feet of snow, and just a whole lot of no fun when you’re trying to go about your daily life. Sure, if you enjoy snowmobiling, ice fishing, and skiing, the winter months are like paradise.  For those who are just trying to get to and from work each day, though, things can get dicey.

Fortunately, winter weather rarely hits without some advance warning. While we all like to poke fun at the weather forecasters, when it comes to blizzards and such, they get it right far more often than they miss the boat. So, the first line of defense is to pay attention to your favorite weather forecast.

It is exceedingly rare that a winter storm pops up out of nowhere. There is almost always several hours, if not a day or two, of warning.

Traveling

If at all possible, limit any planned travel during a predicted winter storm. I know, that’s often easier said than done. Bosses tend to get a little irritated when employees don’t show up. If you have a vacation or sick day you can afford to burn, use it on a day when the roads are going to be sketchy at best. If you can work from home, do so.

Always have emergency supplies and gear in your vehicle. These include jumper cables, a blanket (wool is the best), extra hat and gloves, flashlight with extra batteries, food, water, and a first aid kit. Bonus points for chemical hand warmers, glow sticks, and a cell phone charger you can plug into the cigarette lighter in your vehicle.

If you get stranded for some reason, stay put unless you absolutely have to leave your vehicle due to safety reasons. A car or truck is much easier to spot than a person. Tie a brightly colored piece of fabric, such as a flag or bandanna (from your emergency kit), to the vehicle’s antenna. This is a universally recognized symbol indicating you need help.

Should you decide to trek out on foot, do everyone a favor and leave a note on your dash with your name, the date and time you’re leaving, and where you are heading, even if only a rough compass direction. This will help people find you, should they need to conduct a search.

At Home

At home, as a prepper, hopefully you’ll already have a full pantry. If that’s not the case, hit the grocery store a day or two ahead of the predicted storm and stock up. No need to go crazy and lay in enough food to last a month, but get enough of what you’ll need to last at least a couple of days. I cannot stress enough that you should not wait until the last minute for this grocery store trip. If you do, you’ll either find empty shelves or you’ll be fighting the pre-storm crowd.

A key element to surviving brutal winters is having a way to keep warm if the furnace isn’t working. If you have multiple people in the home, double up and pile on the blankets. Try and keep everyone in one room, ideally a small one. Body heat multiplied by a few people and kept in a single room will benefit everyone. Hang a blanket over the window and any open doorways to help reduce heat from escaping and eliminate cold drafts coming in. Obviously, if you have a fireplace or a wood stove, make judicious use of it, provided you thought ahead and have a good supply of dry, seasoned fuel set aside.

Wind Chill

Wind chill is something most residents here understand, yet it sometimes baffles new folks. Basically, in the winter it gets cold, obviously. However, wind chill makes it “feel” colder, just as a breeze makes it “feel” cooler when its hot outside. A lot colder, actually.

In my neck of the woods, it isn’t uncommon for the high temperature to reach, say, 10’F, and with the wind chill factored in, it feels like -20F or lower. At temps that low, any exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just a matter of minutes. This means you need to protect yourself with not only hats, coats, and gloves but scarves and earmuffs as well.

When it comes to injuries and fatalities as a result of winter weather, while I’ve not seen any hard stats on this, I’d estimate more people die of heart attacks while shoveling snow than for just about any other weather related reason. If you don’t have a teenager in the area who you could give a few bucks for shoveling your driveway and thus have to tackle it yourself, take it slow. There’s no need to try and do it all at once. Far better to take frequent breaks as needed. Even running a snowblower can be physically taxing.

Power Outages

Finally, severe winter storms often result in power outages. Ice can build on power lines, which adds a great deal of weight and causes the lines to come down. Often, it is just a matter of a few hours, maybe a day, before power is restored. But, plan ahead and have plenty of flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio so you can keep abreast of the weather-related news.

Severe winter weather isn’t something to be trifled with but with just a bit of planning, you’ll come through just fine.

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“Outage” by Ellisa Barr: Book Review http://thesurvivalmom.com/outage-ellisa-barr-book-review/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/outage-ellisa-barr-book-review/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:00:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18067 As you turn the opening pages of Outage, the parents of 15 year old Dee, our self-absorbed and somewhat reluctant teenage heroine from the city, are leaving her with her grandfather. He runs a veterinary service on a small farm Read More

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Outage by Ellisa BarrAs you turn the opening pages of Outage, the parents of 15 year old Dee, our self-absorbed and somewhat reluctant teenage heroine from the city, are leaving her with her grandfather. He runs a veterinary service on a small farm near the town of Lookout Falls in Washington State.

After Dee’s mom and dad depart for a vacation cruise to Alaska, she is hit with the realization that there is no cell phone or internet service, let alone a mall or nearby shopping center to hang out at, meet boys and socialize. This is completely untenable and unacceptable to her. Dee is determined to run at the earliest opportunity, by any means possible.

This beginning sets the stage for what turns into an action-packed, non-stop apocalyptic novel for young adults. First time author Ellisa Barr created an exciting story centered on an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event which grips the nation, Dee’s family, and her newly made friends.

While interviewing Ms. Barr for this book review, she shared with me a bit of her personal history and experiences growing up in a small town in rural Idaho. It quickly became apparent that Barr pulled from her life experiences, faith, and wonderful imagination to create highly engaging prose and dialog that draws readers into the story and the main character’s life. Dee’s trials and triumphs unfold as the post EMP world churns.

I felt like I was right in the midst of events as Dee soon finds her high tech world of texting, tweeting, and Facebook gone, replaced by her struggle to keep the family farm going with her ailing grandfather. A rapidly maturing Dee helps family, friends and neighbors as they band together to survive and create community not experienced in the United States since the 1800’s, and deal with a ruthless local sheriff.

This 233 page book has all the hallmarks of an engaging Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery set to a modern day apocalyptic theme. There is action, adventure and even a bit of romance to entice the reader as you delve into the pages of this entertaining work.

I unintentionally read late into the night engrossed in Outage, book one of the Powerless Nation series. And I will happily burn the midnight oil reading Ms. Barr’s upcoming tome, Voyage, book two in the series.

I highly recommend Outage to anyone interested in an engaging and fast-paced apocalyptic read. It’s great!

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