Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Safety Tips

It's that time of year again, and that means cozy evenings by the fire, family visits and plenty of eggnog. But for every moment of holiday cheer, it's important to recognize the potential for a disaster. Emergencies are preventable to prepare to enjoy another healthy new year with just a few simple safety basics.

Warmth, Ambiance & Delicious Holiday Meals

The three basics of any good holiday gathering, and with just a little bit of extra planning and preparation, you can ensure everyone is safe at home this holiday season.

  • Get a professional to ensure your heating system is serviced properly; replace filters at scheduled times to minimize dust and other flammable particles.
  • Install a smoke detector and test it at least twice a year.
    • A combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector such as this one provides long-term protection against fires and CO leaks.
      • Carbon monoxide is created by appliances like dryers, water heaters, furnaces and stoves. CO is an odorless gas that cannot be detected through smell or sight. Oftentimes, CO poisoning is also referred to as "the silent killer", because people tend to ignore their initial symptoms before losing consciousness.
  • Don't use space heaters in unoccupied rooms or at night while you are sleeping.
  • Keep electric blankets uncovered and flat to avoid trapping excess heat.
  • Get your chimney cleaned professionally to avoid creosote buildup.
    • Never use accelerants to start a fireplace
    • Keep flammable objects a safe distance from the fireplace opening
  • Keep candles in cleared areas away from drapes, decor or tablecloths, and burn candles only in appropriate heat- and fire-resistant containers.
  • Never leave food cooking unattended in the kitchen.
    • Set timers to help you remember when to remove foods from the oven or stove.
    • Keep crock pots on even surfaces and away from items that can melt or ignite.
    • Don't use outdated appliances with faulty chords

In the Company of Kids & Pets

There's nothing better than a home filled with children's laughter and furry friends. Take extra precaution to keep all members of your family safe.

  • Keep breakable ornaments at the top of the tree.
    • Avoid tinsel, which may be too tempting to ingest.
    • Hide wires from grabby hands and curious mouths.
  • Keep alcohol and inappropriate foods where they can't be reached.
  • Pass up the Peace Lilies, Caladium (Heart of Jesus), Pothos and Philodendron.
    • Although Poinsettias tend to be known as poisonous plants among pet owners, the toxicity they produce is actually relatively mild in comparison to these other plants.
  • Alert visitors that you have pets and/or children to avoid an accidental jailbreak,
  • Keep kids & pets comfortable with hugs and praise during fireworks.
    • Treats, cuddles and hugs will not reinforce your dog's fear. The principle of operant conditioning is based on finding desired behaviors and rewarding them. Fear is an emotion, not a behavior.
  • Teach children about the dangers of playing with fireworks early on.
  • Don't feed pets holiday foods, particularly grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate and dairy.
  • Never give pets or kids alcohol, even in small amounts, as these can cause cardiovascular disturbances.

Outdoor Fun & Travel

There's nothing like waking up to a batch of fresh snow. If you find yourself struck by that winter Wanderlust, keep this things in mind before heading out.

  • Service your car.
    • Maintain proper antifreeze levels
    • Keep tire pressure at the recommended PSI
    • Consider snow or all-weather tires
  • Always wear appropriate clothing.
    • Water- and wind-resistant shoes, coats and gloves are essential when traveling, hiking or skiing.
    • Keeping an affordable yet durable poncho such as this one in your car or bag can provide a valuable layer or protection in emergencies.
    • A one-time use emergency blanket like this one easily fits in coat pockets, fanny packs or glove boxes.
  • Prepare a car emergency kit.
  • Treat icy driveways and sidewalks.
    • Remember to research your options carefully to choose eco-friendly and non-toxic products.
    • Sand helps to add traction to ice and snow.
  • Avoid traveling altogether if poor conditions are predicted.
    • Remember that weather conditions can change very rapidly at high altitudes.
    • If you become stranded:
      • Make yourself visible.
      • Stay with your car unless you are within 100 yards of help.
      • Run your car until it's warm, then turn it off.
      • Ensure your exhaust is well ventilated to avoid CO poisoning.
      • Stay awake.
        • Don't stop moving to avoid unconsciousness or death from exposure.
  • Check out these additional tips from the U.S. Forest Service on how to deal with getting lost.
  • Don't explore frozen streams, rivers or lakes.
    • If you fall into ice:
      • Resist the impulse to hyperventilate.
      • Don't panic.
      • Orient yourself toward the direction from which you came, this is where the ice was strong enough to support your weight.
      • Staying as horizontal as possible, pull yourself up while simultaneously kicking your legs hard.
      • To distribute your weight more evenly, roll away from the broken ice; do not stand up immediately.
      • Remove wet clothes as soon as possible and get help.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Survivalist Gift Guide

6 Affordable Gifts for Survivalists

Paracord Bracelets

Paracord is the utility string with endless possibilities. This cord can be used to secure cargo, tie items together, fix broken straps or replace missing cordage. It’s great for assisting with rescues, securing animals, keeping shoes tied and so much more.
Each cord is made up of multiple interior strings which are surrounded by a tightly woven nylon sheath. In addition to using the entire utility cord, the strings inside can be removed and used when camping, fishing or in any situation where finer yarn-like string is required.
Paracord is extremely useful and versatile, making it a great gift for practically anyone, particularly hikers, campers and general outdoor enthusiasts.

The paracord bracelet is woven into a compact piece of safety gear that can be worn every day. When unraveled, the user is left with seven feet of 550 cord.
550 cord has a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds. This strength cord consists of seven to nine core yarns.
Try it together with the paracord dog collar for the perfect outdoor adventure stocking stuffer.

Streamlight Flashlights

Anyone can benefit from a good flashlight. Streamlight flashlights are known for offering superior
illumination and durability, which is why they're frequently used by emergency crews, police officers and firefighters. These flashlights are incredibly reliable, making them not only great for tactical purposes but also for everyday needs. A good flashlight is both a functional and thoughtful gift that will last for years.
Streamlight flashlights come in a range of sizes and offer multiple settings to help the user adjust the brightness quickly and easily. These versatile flashlights are great for campers and roadtrippers, as well as friends and family members who venture out for evening walks with the dog. Add a reflective safety vest for under $10 to complete this safety set.

Emergency Preparedness Kits

A good emergency kit is an irreplaceable piece of safety equipment. Whether you have kids in
college or you and your significant other enjoy extended road or camping trips, a well-thought-out safety kit is simply a must-have.
We carry a range of kits for various purposes. Our basic kits offer security of mind for everyday occurrences such as cuts and scrapes, while our larger kits are designed to support you in an emergency situation where you may be left without food or water for up to three days.

If you're feeling creative, we offer plenty of products to help you create your own emergency pack to give away. A simple Everest backpack provides an easy and affordable starting point to help you put a customized kit together.
Stock a camper's kit with glow sticks, an emergency blanket and a useful weather radio, or customize our road trip emergency kit with items like the ResQMe seatbelt cutter or an auto extinguisher.
Check out this blog post to get started finding the right ready-to-go pack today or for ideas to help you create your own.

Pocket Guides

These affordable pocket-sized guides are available for a wide range of scenarios, and everyone loves how easy they are to follow and digest. They’re great stocking stuffers for prospective first responders, individuals, parents and pet owners.
Each guide offers lots of valuable information in a small package that’s easy to follow and understand. Get instant access to all sorts of emergency procedures, from steps for treating minor scrapes and bruises to taking part in a safe evacuation. These guides are a wonderful idea for trained workers to keep on hand, or for anyone who loves equipping themselves with additional knowledge about preparedness.

Training Classes

There's nothing like a hands-on approach to learning. A training class provides a complete experienceeducational, and bestows upon the recipient the sort of confidence that's needed in an emergency scenario.
that's both fun and
Practice makes perfect. Just as it's important to review your home escape plan or your course for evacuation routinely, practicing CPR or First Aid skills regularly helps to cement ideas that make a behavior more automatic.

We regularly offer classes for first-timers or those wishing to refresh their First Aid and CPR knowledge, and frequently provide other hands-on courses to help build your survival and preparedness skills.

Gift Cards

Some people are harder to shop for than others. If you're not sure which products your recipient needs, wants or would enjoy the most, give a gift card. We carry a wide range of emergency products for civilians, emergency responders and more. Your recipient will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fire Safety and Prevention

House Fire Safety, Prevention & Preparation

Although house fires have generally seen a decrease over the last decade, deaths from such fires have not slowed significantly during this period. Each year, thousands of people still perish in house fires across the nation, and negligent cooking practices remains the number one spot on the list of culprits.
Year after year, poor cooking practices and misinformation about kitchen fires is the leading causes of house fires in the United States. This year alone, news media outlets have covered 1871 house fire fatalities between January and October. Last year, official reports from the National Fire Protection Agency disclosed 1,319,500 fires in the U.S., with 3,400 civilian deaths and 14,670 civilian injuries.

The 5 Most Common Causes of Fire Injury & Death in the United States

1. Cooking
2. Candles
3. Heating
4. Smoking
5. Electrical

A fire can consume your home quickly and mercilessly. As a fire burns, it quickly turns from a bright inferno to a dark and consuming cloud of black smoke filled with toxic gasses. Fires that are burning out of control are disorienting and can quickly lead to asphyxiation.
Preparing for any disaster begins with prevention. Let's discuss how to prevent the five most common causes of a house fire now.

Cooking Safety

1. Don't cook late when you're tired or have been drinking.
2. Set multiple timers: one in the home and one on your phone.
3. Don't leave the cooking area at all when you're frying, grilling or broiling.
4. Don't assume that simmering dishes can be left unattended.
5. Keep items such as dish towels and oven mitts away from the stove top at all times.

In the Event of a Kitchen Fire:

1. Turn the heat off.
2. If a fire starts in your oven, turn the oven off and keep the door closed!

DO NOT blow on a flame

Your initial instinct will probably be to blow on a fire. But as long as the fire has a source of fuel, particularly if this is grease, you won't be able to extinguish even a small flame with your breath. Blowing on flames can cause hot liquids to spatter back toward you, causing serious second- and third-degree burns.

DO NOT pour water on a kitchen fire

Water can extinguish some types of flames, but if your fire originated in the kitchen, it's likely that it involves some type of oil or grease. Since oil and water don't mix, when you pour water on a grease fire, the grease stays on top while the water sinks to the bottom. Because the water will quickly evaporate, this process causes a kind of explosion, leading to flaming oil being spread everywhere.

DO use an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher

House fires can be classified in one of three ways: Class A, B or C. Class A fires are the only class of
fires that can be extinguished with water. Class A fires are fueled by ordinary solid materials including trash and paper, wood and textiles.

Class B fires involve flammable liquids such as grease or gasoline. Water will spread these types of fires by scattering them, and you'll require a fire extinguisher that inhibits chemical chain reactions.

Class C fires are fueled by electricity from burning wires or energized electrical equipment, so it's important to use an extinguishing agent that isn't conductive.

An extinguisher that contains monoammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate can be used on all three fire classes. It contains a chemical powder that breaks up the chain reaction of liquid and gas fires, and can also be used on electrical fires because it is non-conductive.

Keeping an ABC extinguisher in every major room of your home as well as in your car will prepare you properly for an emergency.

DO remove oxygen from the flame

Your home should always be equipped with a working fire extinguisher, but in case you find yourself in a situation without one, it's important to try and get your flame under control as quickly as possible using other resources.
Dump salt on a flame to smother it. If you do not have salt, cover the pan or pot with a lid to remove oxygen.

If the fire is spreading and you feel like you're not in control of the flame, leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1. Alert another nearby residents, particularly in apartment buildings, that a fire is burning.

Candle Safety

  • Use Candleholders or candle containers
  • Never leave candles unattended even for a moment
  • Keep candles clear of other items such as drapes, clothing or decor
  • Trim the wick to about 1/8th inch to ensure the candle doesn't smoke or burn too high

Heating Safety

  • Don't use space heaters while you sleep
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from materials that may burn

  • Never use accelerants to start a fireplace
  • Get your chimney cleaned regularly to avoid creosote buildup
  • Only burn dry wood, never cardboard, wrapping paper or scraps of fabric

  • Don't store flammable materials near the furnace
  • Get a professional to inspect HVAC ducts regularly

Smoking Safety

  • Don't smoke around medical oxygen
  • Don't smoke inside, and never smoke in bed or under the influence
  • Dispose of cigarettes in proper receptacles; fill ashtrays with sand

Electrical Safety

  • Clean the dryer vent once a year
  • Reduce the use of extension cords
  • Replace outdated switches and plugs
  • Hire a professional for wiring jobs
  • Don't use appliances with frayed chords
  • Check the proper wattage for light bulbs and appliances
  • Avoid running cords where they are susceptible to wear and tear

Doing your best to prevent a fire is a key element of fire safety, but it's just as important to be prepared. In the event of a fire, proper preparation will allow you to save valuable seconds where they count, giving you the best chances of escaping a life-threatening situation.

Smoke Detectors

  • Never remove batteries or disable your smoke alarm while cooking
  • Test your smoke alarm regularly, at least once every three months
  • Replace batteries when empty to stay alert during power outages
  • Get alarms that can detect both flaming fires and smoldering fires
  • Get monitored smoke alarms through a home security company

Other Recommended Fire Safety Gear

  • Get an ABC extinguisher
  • Review the Fire Safety Guide twice a year
  • A foldable emergency ladder will make escape from a second- or third-story window possible
  • Sprinklers reduce the risk of fire death by about 80 percent and significantly lower insurance premiums
  • A fire safety cabinet will keep your valuables safe, so you can focus on getting yourself and your family to safety first

Your Fire Escape Plan

Seconds count in the event of an emergency. It's crucial that you not only practice preventative measures, but plan for all possible scenarios.

  • Important items
  • Your route
  • Child safety
  • Pet safety

Important Items

  • In the event of a sudden fire, there's no time to waste. Home fires occur without warning, and you'll need to be prepared to leave all material possessions behind.
  • We recommend you store any irreplaceable valuables, including important identifying documents such as your birth certificate and passport, in a fireproof safe.
  • Remember that most things can be replaced! Don’t let the fear of losing a photograph or an important document cost you your life.

Your Route

  • As you're planning how you'll leave your home, start to consider how you will approach this scenario if your main points of access are blocked. Find and make note of two ways to get out of each room (the door and the window).
  • Ensure you can open the windows of your home and that you're able to remove or cut through any window screens
  • Practice leaving your home on hands and knees, as you would in a fire
  • Practice your escape closed eyes to simulated skewed visibility from smoke
  • If your windows are located on the second or third floor, equip your home with collapsible escape ladders to avoid becoming trapped.

  • Don't use elevators
  • If the doorknob or door are hot, find another exit
  • If your clothes catch fire, STOP DROP AND ROLL
  • Smother flames on someone else with a blanket or towel
  • To avoid smoke and gas inhalation, crawl low under the smoke to your exit with your mouth covered
  • If you're unable to escape, cover vents and door cracks with towels or tape to keep smoke out

Child Safety

  • Involve your children in your planning
  • Be real with your children and teach them proper techniques for evacuating
  • Teach children how to dial 9-1-1 and where they should go in the event of an emergency
  • Help assign positive roles to firefighters through books or movies
  • Teach children that fire is not a toy, and keep matches and lighters out of reach
  • Practice, Practice, Practice!

Pet Safety

  • Install sprinklers or monitored smoke detectors to give your pet the advantage when they're home alone
  • Test your smoke alarm with your pet in the home while providing plenty of rewards
  • Always reward your pet for coming to you
  • Ensure your pet is properly tagged or microchipped in the event they escape
  • Practice your escape plan together with your pet
  • Learn your pet's most preferred hiding places to make escape quicker
  • Affix a pet alert sticker to windows and doors to let firefighters know there's a pet inside
  • Don't light candles in homes with mischievous pets

Fire prevention and safety awareness is a valuable tool. Pass it on. Share this post with your friends and family or comment below to add your own prevention tools, tips and stories for others to hear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Disaster Preparation for Everyone

September is National Preparedness Month, which makes this the perfect time to review your emergency plans. Even if you live in an area that is not commonly struck by natural disasters, it's still crucial that you always take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your family. After all, the number of worldwide natural disasters has risen from less than 100 annually to approximately 400 per year during the past four decades. This means that everyone has an increased risk, regardless of where you live.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take that will greatly reduce your odds of suffering from a personal tragedy during a natural disaster.

The Importance of Making a Plan and What To Include

According to FEMA, 80 percent of U.S. residents live within a county that was hit by a natural disaster within the past decade. Despite this, fewer than 40 percent of these households have put together an emergency plan.

Emergency Plan Steps:

1. Gather Necessary Supplies

Pack a change of clothes for everyone, spare medication, flashlights and batteries, nonperishable
food, fresh water, some cash and copies of your identification, insurance policy and any other relevant documentation. If you have a pet, be sure to pack food and water for them, along with leashes and bowls. These supplies should be packed and ready to go in easy to grab backpacks.

Be sure to rotate the food and water so that it will still be fresh when needed. A satellite phone and radio will also be useful, along with paper maps of your area. You may want to download emergency weather apps.

2. Plan Your Evacuation Route

Many areas have designated evacuation routes. Familiarize yourself with them, and also make sure to scout out alternative options. Whenever possible, leave immediately so that you can get ahead of the inevitable traffic jam.

3. Assign a Meeting Place

It's important to assign a family meeting place in case you get separated. Make sure everyone knows how to get there, and select a backup spot in case the first one isn't accessible.

4. Take First Aid and CPR Classes

You cannot rely on medical assistance to reach you quickly during an emergency. Taking a first aid and CPR class will give you a better chance of survival.

5. Practice for an Emergency

The American Red Cross recommends practicing all practical aspects of your emergency plan. This includes driving the emergency route, meeting family at the assigned gathering spot and getting out of the house in a quick, orderly manner. Every family should do this at least once per year, but you may want to start doing it quarterly if your children are too young to retain a lot of details.

How to Deal with Common Natural Disasters

Now that you understand the basics of putting together an emergency plan, let's take a closer look at a few common natural disaster scenarios.


More than 3,500 Americans perished in a fire in 2016. To cut your risk dramatically, be sure to practice what to do if the smoke detectors go off. You can also take important preventative steps, including:

  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Always use a timer when cooking.
  • Unplug hot curling irons and other similar items.
  • Keep your chimney clean at all times.
  • Only use your fireplace if you understand exactly how it works and can monitor the fire.
  • Install smoke detectors and sprinklers; make sure to test these systems annually.
  • Keep all flammables away from the stove.

You should also make sure every family member knows how to use a fire extinguisher, call 911 and escape the home. If you have upper levels, place a window ladder in each applicable room. Include your pets in your escape plan, and consider placing a 'pet inside' sticker on your windows to help firefighters.


In 2015, 176 Americans died in a flood. There's not a lot you can do to prevent a flood, but you can implement a property protection plan.

  • Waterproof your basement and elevate all essential utility components.
  • Keep your downspouts and gutters clear of debris.
  • Obtain a backup battery-powered sump pump.
  • Purchase sand bags.
  • Get flood insurance.

It's best to evacuate when a serious flood is imminent instead of waiting to see what happens. Go to higher ground or a designated shelter. Take your emergency supplies with you and be prepared for at least 72 hours away from your home. If you get stuck in a flood, never drive on a water-covered road; turn around, don’t drown. Go to the highest area in your home until the water recedes.


Experts estimate that 40 California residents die annually in an earthquake. The best way to prepare is to make your home as safe as possible.

  • Keep beds away from windows.
  • Tether appliances and bookshelves to the wall.
  • Use latches on all cabinets.
  • Buy emergency plug-in lights.
  • Never place glass objects where they could easily fall.
  • Get your home and chimney inspected for earthquake-readiness.

When an earthquake strikes, remember to do three key things: Drop, cover and hold on. Run preparedness drills with your family to ensure you're all aware how to quickly drop to your knees, cover up your head and neck and then move underneath a sturdy table. Waiting out the earthquake in that position will give you the best odds of survival. If you have to drive after the earthquake, be alert for aftershocks and damaged roads.

Power Outages

Severe weather can cause power outages, which may lead to issues with heat stroke, hypothermia, spoiled food and unsafe drinking water. To make your home safer during a power outage, you can do a few simple things:

  • Keep enough fresh water and non-perishable food on hand for 72 hours.
  • Invest in a generator.
  • Use your grill to cook.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
  • Wear several layers and wrap up in blankets to avoid hypothermia.
  • Have lots of batteries and flashlights available.

If possible, go to an area that has power until electricity is restored to your home. Remember to never touch any downed power lines, and don't drive through any roads that are covered with water. Most power outages are caused by severe weather, so it's also critical to keep an eye on weakened trees and other debris that could fall or get in your way while you evacuate.

With a bit of planning and regular emergency drills, you and your family can be prepared for any type of natural disaster. Don't wait; put your emergency kit and other plan specifics in place today!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

School Emergency Preparation

In any emergency, the key to your survival success is preparedness. By preparing for a range of potential emergency events and equipping yourself or your home with proper emergency essentials, you'll be able to maximize your success whether you need to evacuate your home, stay while an emergency passes, or you become trapped. You don't have to purchase thousands of dollars with of survival products to maximize success in an emergency. The foundation of preparedness is simply a plan.

You and your family may already have a plan in the event a disaster should occur and you're all at home or on the road together, however, it's just as important to have a plan should you not be in the same area. While you might initially find it difficult to begin the conversation about emergencies with our children, having these conversations early and regularly will equip them with essential knowledge for survival when you're not around.

The end of summer brings a range of changes, and one of these is the start of a new school year. Your child might be starting school for the first time or returning for his or her second, third, or fourth year already. Regardless of age, now is a good time to help your kids prepare for emergencies. Power begins with knowledge, so to start it's important to simply teach your children about disasters that could occur in your area.
Your family should already have a fire emergency evacuation plan in place at home and practice drills at school, however, many drills neglect to prepare children fully for a range of emergencies in ways that help them to think critically about their own safety or the safety of others when an event occurs.
Teach your children about natural hazards that can occur while they're at school in ways they can understand, then make a plan they can follow and practice its steps regularly. It's important not to overwhelm or frighten your children with information; break your lessons about emergencies up into small increments to help them first learn about the disaster and then how to appropriately respond to it.
There is a wide range of literature and other media available for parents and their children, including this fun game powered by, which lets children test their natural disaster knowledge online.

Involving your children in every step of the process will allow them to feel a sense of pride and responsibility. By giving your children digestible and age-appropriate information, and allowing them to help in each step of the planning process, you will help them to act safely and responsibly should an emergency occur.
Together with your child, create an official communications plan, identify what should go into an
emergency kit and practice and revise your plans and kits to improve them along the way. Help your child create proper responses for a range of emergency cases such as fires, earthquakes or extreme weather, including how to find alternate routes for escape or what it takes to staying in place if escape isn’t possible.
A simple emergency kit such as this one provides 43 oz. of water, an emergency blanket, one glow stick, nine wet wipes and a 2,400-calorie food bar. This affordable kit can easily be stowed in a locker or desk and made accessible should an emergency occur.

Talking to your child about an active shooting scenario is an unfortunate but necessary part of today's student life. While this type of emergency situation is doubtlessly not comparable to a natural disaster and may be much more difficult to talk about, preparing for it is not dissimilar to preparing for an earthquake or a tornado. Learning about natural disasters has significant applications for managing an attack caused by humans. The key for both is to be prepared.

This situation in which your child may be locked down with other students for extended periods of time can be unsettling for children and parents. Listen to your child’s fears and validate his or her responses. Teddy is Ready provides information for parents regarding how to prepare children for active shooters.
Talk to your school about providing lockdown kits to each classroom in order to minimize additional trauma case of classroom confinement. These affordable all-in-one kits provide bathroom essentials when regular facilities are unavailable.
For any disaster, it's important to create a plan that takes various possible obstacles into account and practices a safe evacuation for each. Your plan should look at alternate routes for escape as well as safe meeting places to reunite with teachers or family. A good communications system will keep everyone updated and away from danger. Finally, discuss the possibility of sheltering in place, if evacuation isn't possible or too risky.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Extreme Heat Safety

Proper Planning for Extreme Summer Temperatures

Welcome to Summer! With reports of heatwaves already sweeping the nation, chances are it'll be another brutally hot season. Depending on where you're located, you might already be experiencing daily highs in the mid to upper 90s or more, and as August swiftly approaches, these temperatures will only increase.
Heat safety is a serious issue that deserves your attention. Practicing proper precautions could save your life. 

Travel Safety

School's out for summer and you're ready to hit the open road. If you love big open spaces, you might not encounter a town or even another traveler for hours and sometimes even days, depending on how far off the beaten path you like to stray.
Whether you're driving a few hundred miles or a few thousand, it always makes sense to prepare for the worst. While your chances of encountering a major disaster are small, there's nothing more detrimental than finding yourself inadequately underprepared. Check out our road trip safety blog for more information on preparing your car and yourself before hitting the road.

In the comfort of your car's air conditioned interior, it's not uncommon to forget about the extreme temperatures roads can reach. The heat emitted from pavement can easily reach temperatures up to 150 F, and in many locations the night air isn't cool enough at night to provide relief.


It might seem pretty obvious as you're reading it here, but bringing an adequate supply of water is often a forgotten piece of the puzzle for casual travelers.
Whether you're taking the backroads or hitting the highway, many parts of the U.S. remain unpopulated. You may therefore be stranded many miles from anywhere, in the event of a car malfunction. If you're suddenly stranded, calling a tow truck or AAA will likely result in a fairly swift rescue taking no more than a few hours. But in extreme heat, it's minutes that count. When traveling, we always recommend bringing more water than you actually think you'll need. Keep a five-gallon water storage container such as this in your car, to drink from in case you're stuck waiting for a rescue. Remember that once you're thirsty you're already dehydrated, a condition that can quickly worsen in extreme heats, leading to heat stroke and death.

 It's never recommended that you leave your car, since you'll lose shelter and visibility. With adequate amounts of water, you can easily wait with your car for days, whereas an hour in the open could kill you. Don't leave your car unless you're able to carry twice the amount of water to get you to your destination on foot -  and only if you know exactly where you're going.

Car Battery

A dead battery in summer is more common than you might think. According to the Car Council, liquids inside the battery will actually evaporate in summer, causing your car's battery to lose juice. While no battery is intended to last forever, persistent heat could be shaving years off the life of your battery.
If you live in the hotter parts of the country where temperatures commonly approach the 90s in the summer, you'll likely notice that you need to replace your battery more often than you thought. Heat can kill your battery within five years and even less, so we recommend that before hitting the road, you have your battery tested to ensure it's still capable. If you've had your battery for seven years or more, we recommend a test no matter where you reside.
A local car shop or auto supplies store such as Auto Zone will do this for free.


Most of us occasionally have our tires rotated and heed the advice of mechanics when it's time for a set of replacements, but more regular maintenance is another story. The condition of your tires plays a vital role in road safety, and this is even more true in extreme conditions such as heat.
Because heat causes expansion, your tires will be more inflated in the summer than the winter. If you've ever taken your car skiing and not used speciality tires, you likely noticed a significant drop in tire pressure or were even been surprised by flat tires in the morning.
The opposite is true for heat. It is estimated that for every 10-degree increase in temperature, your tire pressure will rise by one pound per square inch (PSI). That means you could add an additional 20 or more PSI to your tires on a very hot day. As you may have guessed, this can make a significant impact.

Over-inflation can break apart rubber polymers, causing the tire to "pop"
Over-inflation causes increased wear and tear, significantly shortening the lifespan of your tire
Over-inflation results in more friction, increasing heat and thus wear

Your initial reaction might be to simply let some air out of your tires. However, if you've been driving and your tire is hot, letting the air out could put you at risk of driving under-inflated. And an under-inflated tire is actually just as dangerous as an over-inflated one. That's because as more surface area meets the road, friction is greatly increased. This additional friction leads to heat, causing premature wear, tread separation and ultimately blowouts.
Check your tire pressure each day before you hit the road, to ensure you maintain safe PSI ranges.

 While driving on under-inflated tires is never recommended, there is one exception. If you're stuck in sand and you tires are spinning out, let some air out to create more grip. Once you're free, drive slowly to the nearest station to fill back up. The rule of thumb for driving on under-inflated tires is to never exceed speeds of 45 mph. This will greatly reduce your risk of a blowout.

Road Hazards

As we already learned when discussing tires, heat causes things to expand. This includes the pavement used to build roads. While highly uncommon on major highways, road buckling does occur and has caused accidents. It's oftentimes difficult to identify road defects in advance, since refraction from heat waves can skew your view.
Being aware of hazards is half the battle. As you drive off into the sunset, remind yourself that you could encounter any variety of road obstructions, from potholes to leaping animals. Always wear your seatbelt and drive the speed limit.

Hiking & Camping Safety


Anytime you're talking about heat safety, water should be at the top of the list. Water is your lifeline in any emergency. Without it, you cannot survive more than a few days, and even less when confronted with extreme temperatures.
Just as with car travel, it's recommended that your hiking or camping trip be supplied with more water than you think you'll actually need. Running out of water in an emergency situation is detrimental. One five-gallon bucket makes an excellent backup for camping trips, and each hiker should carry at least 3 liters of water on an excursion. Carrying your water in a bag like the Camelbak provides an easy and comfortable solution.

Map & Compass etc.

Whether it's a comfortable 70 degrees or a scorching 100 F, the rules of hiking remain the same: know your trail, carry a compass and never hike alone. From snakebites and bear attacks to losing your sense of direction, hiking is filled with dangers. But you can prepare to ensure your hike stays a rewarding adventure and doesn't end in disaster.
First, never hike alone. In the event of an emergency such as an injury from a misstep or a fall, your hiking buddy could save your life.

Secondly, get a hiking map and a compass - and learn how to use these. During the course of a hike through unmarked territory, it's surprisingly easy to get turned around and lose all sense of direction. If you need additional inspiration, we recommend reading this article about an adventurous woman who took on the Appalachian trail without a compass.

Lastly, know your trail. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve hiked a particular area on previous occasions, knowing the hazards of the trail can mean the difference between a successful hike and a disaster experience.

Flash Floods

It's summer and it's dry, and when it rains, what would normally become a small puddle can turn into a torrential current. Even at low flow rates, water is capable of lifting away large objects such as cars and carrying them downstream. A flash flood will destroy everything in its path.
Flash floods can occur anywhere, and are the result of poor drainage when it rains. If you're camping or hiking in an area where the soil is particularly dry and water can't readily seep in, you should be aware of flash floods. Flash floods can happen day or night and can surprise you if you aren't properly informed.
As with anything else, it is possible to prepare for and avoid flash floods.

First, understand that just because you're not in a rainy location doesn't mean you can't be affected by a flash flood. Water travels downward and accumulates at low elevations. When setting up camp, stay above water level and secure your site. Knowing the topography of the region in which you're hiking or camping will help you to determine your escape route in the event of a flood. Discuss the escape route with your hiking or camping mates ahead of time.
Don't rely on weather forecasts. Weather can change suddenly and quickly, particularly at higher elevations. Learn to identify clouds to identify the warning signs of impending rain before it's too late, and always stay away from any flooded areas.

Pet Safety

Most of us love our pets dearly and we inherently want to protect them. Your ability to do so adequately begins with information.
Unfortunately, there are certain misconceptions surrounding pets -  dogs in particular, which can lead you down a dangerous path. Aside from providing your pet with proper shelter, food and water, here's what you should know:

While most animals can avoid overheating simply by not moving much throughout the day, your dog is your companion. He requires walks to relieve himself (and his boredom), accompanies you on car rides and provides emotional support in stressful situations.

Whether your dog is a large component in your everyday life, or he's mostly asleep on the kitchen tile, he's susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke just as much as you are.

Myth 1:
Panting = Sweating

In fact, because dogs can't sweat, they're even more at risk than you are for overheating. This surprises most people, since the general school of thought about a dog's pant is that it’s comparable to a human's sweat.

 Unfortunately for your furry companion, panting is simply not as effective as sweating. Much like sweating, panting also utilizes evaporation. But unlike sweating, which cools the skin from the outside in, panting tries to accomplish this task from the inside out. The process is less effective than sweating, leaving your dog at risk for overheating even in temperatures only reaching the mid- to upper-80s.

Myth 2:
Paws are Tough
They're tougher than certain other parts of the body, but they're not immune to injury. The paws contain a large amount of nerve endings to help your dog better navigate rough terrain and to avoid injury. In the summer when pavement temperatures can reach 150 F, paws can suffer second degree burns just like any other body part exposed to heat extremes.

Then What Can Paws Do?

Your dog is a distant relative of the wolf, who evolved to live in cold conditions on rough terrains. The evolution of the paw has ensured that the feet can absorb shock from running and jumping. This is due to a layer of fat, which also insulates the foot sort of like the blubber on a whale. That's why dogs don't need cold weather booties.

A bootie, however, can prevent abrasions and blisters, both from heat and cold weather extremes.

Myth 3:
Cracking the Window Helps

We challenge you to prove this theory by sitting in your car with only the windows cracked for even a few minutes. This horrifying myth results in pet deaths every year, and here's why:

We've already discussed how your dog's pant doesn't equate to your sweat, making him more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. But just how hot can a car get?
Even on a relatively cool day, you'll notice a heatwave rolling out of your car as you open the door. That's because your car acts like a greenhouse, trapping temperatures inside. A cracked window will do nothing to alleviate this unless your area is experiencing hurricane-like winds.

As your car sits and collects heat, the temperature will continue to rise based on time. For example, in 10 minutes the inside of your car will experience roughly a 20 degree F rise. As you approach an hour, this number could exceed 40 degrees or more. That means, in the time it takes you to run into the store or stop for a quick chat with a friend, your car's interior could become deadly.
In the summertime, be it a relaxing 70 F or a scorching 100 F, it's never safe to leave your pet in the car - not with the windows cracked, not for only five minutes.

Kid Safety

You might hear your kids complaining about the heat, but it's more likely that in the heat of the moment, they'll overexert themselves before they stop playing. That's why it's important to use common sense, whether you're headed to the playground, the pool or elsewhere.
The good news? Children actually tend to be slightly better at staying cooler longer than adults, because have a higher surface area to body mass ratio. (For this reason, they're also more susceptible to cold.)

But that doesn't mean your kid is immune to heat exertion. Just like an adult, a child's normal temperature is about 98 degrees, which means that summertime can put them at risk for overheating.

When playing outside or traveling about with your child, exercise caution once temperatures climb into the 90s. Provide plenty of opportunities for rest, utilize shade and encourage water consumption.

What's the exception? If your baby is nursing or still consuming formula exclusively, do not provide water. The water in breast milk and formulas is enough to satisfy daily fluid intake requirements, and adding additional fluids to the mix can lead to imbalances and interfere with baby's normal appetite.

We hope you stay cool this summer. Leave us a comment below.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Planning for Evacuation with Pets

At SOS Survival Products, our priority is helping you get prepared so you're never caught off guard when a disaster occurs. Proper preparation begins with information - about potential risks, about your options and about the products that are available to you. Armed with information, you'll be able to craft a strong plan and execute it without major hiccups when the time comes.

Each member of your family should be considered individually when creating your plan for evacuation. This includes any pets or livestock you may own. In the end, all aspects of your plan should work flawlessly together so that no one's left behind in the shuffle.

Get Informed

Better planning begins with information. Whether you're traveling or staying put, being informed about your surroundings and any potentially arising risks will help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

Get Informed About Natural Disasters

Start by learning which common disasters could affect your area and which seasons carry the highest likelihood for a natural disaster to occur. Use this previous blog post to help you get started.

Once you're aware of the risks around you, we recommend downloading an app such as this one to receive up-to-date weather alerts from the National Weather Service. These alerts will provide you with valuable information about weather occurrences such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. Apps such as these also provide safety tips and preparedness reminders about a wide range of common disasters, and will help you to locate a shelter should you need one.

Because modern technology such as 4G, Wi-Fi and satellites can become unpredictable during a disaster, we also strongly recommend adding a hand-crank emergency radio capable of receiving NOAA weather stations to your list of essential items. Use the National Weather Service website to make a note of all relevant transmitter names, call signs and frequencies in your area, and keep a list with your emergency supplies for later. 

Get Informed About Fires

No one likes to think about the potential for a house fire, but the truth is there are over a million fires in the United States each year. While a fire can occur anywhere and for a variety of reasons, an overwhelming number of fires are caused by neglectful cooking practices such as walking away from the stove or cooking while tired or intoxicated. A staggering 80 percent of fire deaths occur in the home, so fire preparation should be a top priority on your family's list.

Unlike many natural disasters, fires occur without warning. You won't have apps or radios to help you navigate to safety, so it's important to practice fire safety and plan ahead for the worst today.

The best way to ensure you remain safe should a fire occur, is to confirm that your home’s smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers are properly maintained. You'll also need an action plan for yourself and everyone in your home, in the event that a fire forces you to evacuate.

If you live in an area known to be affected by wild fires, we recommend reading this article to help you prepare for the event of a planned fire evacuation.

Make a Plan

When planning for an emergency, it's important to consider the needs of each family member individually. Your pets are no different. Your animals depend on you 100 percent; you cannot teach them to use a cell phone or expect them to learn your family's evacuation plan. 
To begin, consider your pets' needs from start to finish.

How will you safely get your pets out of the home?
Where will you go with your pets?
What items or contacts will you need?

Under no circumstances should your evacuation plan include leaving your pets at home or in the backyard where they'll be unable to fend for themselves. A pet that's left behind is at risk for injury and death; planning each detail of an evacuation ahead of time will give you all the best chance of survival.

Leaving the Home

You may be warned to leave your home or have to evacuate very suddenly. If a sudden disaster occurs, don't panic. If your pet isn't by your side, check his or her common hiding places: under the bed, the couch or in the closet.

Reward-based training that uses foods or toys to teach your pet to respond to verbal or other audible cues can save lives and is well worth investing in. Whether your pet's escaped off the leash, slipped out the front door during a pizza delivery or is hiding away during a disaster evacuation, getting him or her to come to you on demand is a most valuable asset.

In an emergency situation, your pet may become inconsolably nervous and be unwilling to trust their surroundings. Nervous pets may not be capable of listening; if you know your pet can't calm down in a thunderstorm or during fireworks, for example, ensure you have the proper restraints available so there’s no chance of escape. Restraints could include a hard crate, a soft carrier or a leash and properly fitted harness.

You should practice getting your pet into a crate, kennel or to the car just as you'd practice an evacuation with your children. If your pet isn't normally confined in a crate, getting him or her to comply with you during an emergency can become a real struggle. If you plan to move your pet into a crate or other strange confined space in an emergency, we recommend properly introducing these items to your pet prior to an emergency using plenty of treats and praise.
Never under any circumstances, leave pets – or children – in the car alone.

Evacuating with livestock during a disaster event, while much more large-scale, is no different. In order to evacuate quickly and safely, you'll first need a plan that answers how you'll get your animals to safety, where you'll evacuate to, and what sort of items, contacts or identification you'll need once you've made it to safety.

Just like with any animal, it'll be important to get your livestock accustomed to being loaded into a transport trailer. Practice this so they’ll go willingly when the time comes. Always plan to evacuate with your animals whenever possible. Map out potential routes in advance and ensure all transport vehicles or trailers are available, up to date and fully functional.

If it's not possible for you to evacuate your livestock on your own, you'll need to decide if there's time to move the herd to a shelter or if you'll need to turn them outside.

Where Will You Go?

Your evacuation plan begins with how you'll leave and ends with where you'll evacuate to. The route you take might differ depending on the disaster, and you should practice each from start to finish in order to address any potentially unforeseen obstacles before they have a chance to arise. Your destination should be outside of the danger zone where you’ll have access to food, water and vet care.

Ensure that your animals can be part of your complete evacuation plan if you're forced into a shelter. If you find that no hotels or even shelters can accommodate your pets during an evacuation, it's time to contact boarding facilities or animal hospitals to get an understanding of their capabilities during an emergency situation.

If you're able to leave your area to evacuate to another town or another state, ensure you create a list of hotels or Airbnbs that will accept pets. If you have friends or relatives nearby, discuss your needs in the event of an emergency with them ahead of time. Update your list of contacts and pet-friendly homes or hotels once every six months.

Don't wait to have these difficult conversations until it's too late. Planning ahead for the worst-case scenario today will keep you from ending up in unforeseen yet avoidable circumstances such as being forced to remain in your home or sleep in your car during unsafe conditions. 

What You’ll Bring

When packing for yourself and your pets, it's important to adhere to a strict list so nothing important gets left behind and you don't end up with a trunk full of toys and Christmas sweaters.

Emergency Contacts 

Keep a list of contacts with your go-bag so it's always where you'll need it.

Friends and family
Boarding facilities
24/7 Emergency vet clinics


Handling equipment
Emergency kit
Shot records


Although the goal of evacuation is to escape to a destination that's capable of providing shelter, safety and other survival essentials such as water, we recommend never evacuating your home without at least some water. That’s because, depending on the severity of the disaster, it may be unlikely that you'll be able to acquire these basics for a few days. Therefore, your go-bag should contain water for three days for each member of your family - at minimum.

Don't waste water, but don't conserve it either. Drink water regularly and before you become thirsty. Once thirst sets in, dehydration has already begun. Give your pets free or regular access to clean drinking water. Plan that each member of your family, including pets, will require 64 oz. of clean water daily. 

Livestock requires much more water daily. On average, one horse will consume up to 20 gallons of water per day. You’ll need to plan for this in the event of an evacuation by bringing along adequate water to keep animals alive and healthy.


Keep at least three days’ worth of food in your go-bag. This includes food for each member of the family. Keep food in airtight and waterproof containers.

We recommend using compact, high-calorie foods with a lengthy shelf life such as the Datrex food bar. These survival bars are designed to provide ample carbohydrates, fats and proteins in affordable packages that are Coast Guard approved.

Most dry foods for dogs and cats are safe to consume for up to a year after manufacturing, while canned foods generally last slightly longer. Unopened cans of pet food can last up to five years,   depending on the kind of preservatives used.

Livestock is generally capable of surviving well without food. By providing adequate amounts of water alone, you should be able to ensure the wellbeing of your livestock for days and even weeks without access to food supplies.

Handling Equipment

Not being able to properly handle your pet or livestock in an emergency situation can result in disaster. The type of equipment you'll need will depend on the type of animal you have, but be careful to consider that a fearful animal who normally walks happily with only a leash might become panicked or even aggressive when disaster strikes.

While you cannot predict how your animals will react during a fire, a storm or an earthquake, you can prepare. There is a wide range of handling equipment available for pets and livestock.


Emergency Kit

Every family needs an emergency kit to mitigate potential injuries such as cuts and scrapes. We recommend participating in a First Aid course for children, adults and pets to adequately prepare you to properly apply bandages and splints, deal with blood loss and more.

An affordable pocket guide such as this one will provide a quick reference during emergencies to help you provide proper daily care, first aid, injury assessment and more.

Your kit should include bandage rolls, bandage tape, bandage scissors, antibiotic ointment, gloves, rubbing alcohol, saline solution and tweezers. These are minimum requirements.

Medications, Identification & Shot Records

It's absolutely vital that all animals in your care have proper identification records. This includes registration information, purchase or adoption papers and vaccination records. Your city ID and rabies tags should be attached to your pet's collar, along with any identification information such as name, address and phone number,

Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping or enrolling your pet in a national recovery database.
Whether your pet gets occasional ear infections or needs a daily insulin shot, plan ahead so that you have spare medication when you need it. Over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl may be used to calm your pet, however, ensure that you know how your pet will respond to a specific medication before administering it.

You can give your pet 1 mg of Diphenhydramine HCl (Antihistamine) per one pound of body weight. Never administer OTC pain medications to a pet. Ask your vet about which medications are appropriate to provide for pain, allergies, stomach upset or nervousness and in which dosages. Your vet is able to prescribe affordable alternatives many of the over-the-counter medications you use.

Other Items to Consider

Poop bags
Cat litter & box
Paper towels
Wet wipes
Treats & toys
Blankets or bedding

Thinking about encountering potential emergencies involving your pet is difficult and scary. However, by planning ahead, you’ll be able to provide the most advanced care and best chance of survival for everyone involved. Don’t wait, plan today.