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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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If you enjoy reading, you really must get one of these. I carry mine with me all of the time and read at least 5 books per month on it.

A Feast For Crows
This latest installment of Gearge R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series isn't quite as gripping as the previous books but is still a pretty good read.

Book 10 in the Sword of Truth series continues to keep the reader riveted while repeatedly emphasizing the duty and importance of self defense.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
A follow up to Guns, Germs, and Steel that explains the geographic, environmental and socio-economic reasons that can cause civilizations and communities to collapse.

Mara Belly Dance Lessons Krav Maga Belly Dance
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Emergency Preparedness and Survival

Every time our country is hit by a major disaster, be it a flood, hurricane, fire or something else, the news is filled with sad stories about woefully unprepared people being left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Too many people falsely believe that our government and emergency services will take care of them and keep them safe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that people keep at least a three day supply of food, water and other essentials on hand at all times for each member of their household. They strongly encourage people to expand this to a two week supply if they can afford to do so. It can easily take several days for the government to get help to disaster victims. If the disaster is not limited to a small geographic area, it could take much longer. For example, if a tsunami wipes out the eastern seaboard or if terrorists detonate suitcase nukes in several major cities, there simply may not be enough emergency workers and supplies to go around.

Imagine for a moment that a disaster hits your home or office. It could be a dam failure, fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake or even a terrorist attack. 3,000 gallons of raw sewage could erupt from your drains and toilets when city maintenance goes awry. A small plane might crash into your home without warning. Your building may be destroyed or authorities might simply deem it unsafe and force you to leave. Streets could be blocked, flooded or collapsed making it impossible for you to drive to safety. How would you fare if you have only moments to quickly grab a couple of items before you are forced to flee on foot?

Are you ready to survive in an overcrowded gymnasium or stadium for several days with nothing more than what you can carry? Will you be passably comfortable in a room packed with people when you have nothing more than a few square feet of space on the floor? Will you be like the hurricane Katrina victims that were stuck in rescue shelters and rooftops without food or water if the government is slow to deliver supplies?

All of the gear in the world is of little use if you don't have it packed into a portable and quickly accessible package when you need it. You might not have two hours to dig through piles of camping gear to find what you need when your house is about to slide down a cliff. Unless you are a die-hard backpacker, chances are good that most of your recreational outdoor equipment will be too bulky and heavy for you to carry very far if roads are blocked and vehicles can't be used.

For around $150 and an hour or two of effort you can easily put together a good emergency kit that will help you and a loved one survive for a few days without running water, electricity or help from others. Hunger, thirst, cold, wet, minor injuries and boredom need not overly trouble you if you are adequately prepared.

The ability to create fire, construct shelters, patch up injuries and plan for a variety of adversities helps distinguish humans from less intelligent animals. Please take a moment to look over your emergency kit and make sure that it is complete, accessible and in good condition. If you don't have a kit, get one. Here are a couple of links that may help:

The Disaster Preparedness and Survival Gear section of my Amazon store

The FEMA "Are You Ready?" page (tips, checklists and guides from the US government)

Once you get the basic survival gear together, consider adding these additional items to your pack:
  • Underwear and Socks in a zip-lock bag: Dry socks are especially important as they help keep your feet healthy so that blisters, infections, fungus and other things don't prevent you from trekking to safety

  • Paperback novel and a deck of cards in a zip-lock bag: Survival can be surprisingly boring. These can keep you sane if you get stuck in a shelter for days and can even be used as kindling.

  • Batteries for radios, cell phones, flash lights, GPS devices, etc.

  • Prescription medications for yourself, family and pets

  • Feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads, etc.)

  • Powder: It can prevent heat rashes, dry wet feet to prevent blisters, help sweaty hands grip slippery objects and partially deodorize clothing.

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