SOS Blog

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Treating Summer Injuries

Common Childhood Injuries & How to Treat Them

With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the whole families outdoors. We know that physical activities like riding a bike, playing sports and swimming stimulate your child’s imagination in addition to being great options for exercise. We also know that such activities can also lead to nasty injuries. After all, everyone has at least one story of how they injured themselves during childhood. As a parent, the best thing you can do in these situations is to make sure you are prepared for whatever comes your way. In this blog, we’ve broken down how to deal with the most common kid injuries.

Jammed Fingers

A jammed finger is typically a sprain to the joint or knuckle of the finger. You are probably pretty familiar with how this type of injury feels, as it is fairly common - although typically minor. Look out for symptoms including redness and swelling, mild pain and stiffness as identifiers of a jammed finger. The duration and severity of these symptoms depend on how bad the injury is, but if your child’s pain is intense or lasts more than 24 hours, take them to a doctor. 

Potential causes of a jammed finger can vary. This injury is very common for kids who play sports, especially basketball, baseball or volleyball, where a stray hand has the potential to absorb the impact of the ball. Jammed fingers can also occur when a door or drawer is closed on a finger or when your child puts down their hand to break a fall. 

The best way to treat a jammed finger at home is by following RICE. This acronym stands for:

  • Rest: Avoid allowing your child to use the hand in any other physical activities until the sprain has healed.
  • Ice: Ice is extremely helpful for reducing swelling and redness. Apply for 15 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours of injury or until the swelling goes down.
  • Compression: You can genty wrap your child’s finger with a compression bandage in order to reduce swelling and aid healing. This option can be good for parents who cannot always be there to watch over their child and make sure they are not using their sprained finger!
  • Elevation: Rest your child’s hand on a pillow in which their elbow is lower than the affected hand. This will work to reduce inflammation and pain. 

Please note that it’s important to see a doctor if the finger appears crooked, your child develops a fever following the injury, the swelling worsens despite home remedies or the pain increases. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Scraped Knees

Scraped knees are one of the most common injuries for your child, as they can easily take a tumble while riding a bike or falling down on concrete. Thankfully, they are fairly easy to treat and usually minor. However, it is very important to complete the necessary treatment steps at home so that the scrape does not become infected. 

Every household should have the following products to treat a scraped knee:

  • Gauze
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandages

The very first thing to do when your child comes to you with a scrape is to wash your own hands. Hands carry a lot of germs, and an infection of this injury would be the worst case scenario. Next, use gauze to stem the bleeding, if necessary. Gently apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment to the injury. This step is the most effective way to prevent an infection, so be sure not to skip it! Finally, add a bandage on top of the wound. Gently wash the skinned knee each day, changing the bandage every time you do so. 

Throughout the healing process, it’s important to watch for infection. Signs of infection include:

  • Yellow or green drainage
  • Worsening redness
  • Swelling or pain
  • Heat radiating around the wound

If these symptoms are present, please consult a doctor for treatment. 

Head Injuries

These types of injuries can be tricky, as there are many different kinds with varying degrees of urgency. The first form of head injury to consider is bumps and cuts. It’s easy for children to get minor wounds to the face if they are distracted while playing. Although these injuries may seem frightening, they are thankfully usually minor and able to be treated at home. 

Similar to a scraped knee, you’ll need to stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. Wash the area well with soap and water, then apply antiseptic cream. Be sure to cover the area with a bandage to make sure it does not worsen. 

Similarly, minor bumps are fairly common and usually nothing to worry about. Apply ice to the bump for 15 minutes at a time and monitor your child’s behavior. However, some head injuries can cause serious consequences if left untreated. If you see your child exhibit multiple of the following symptoms, take him or her to the doctor immediately:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Severe headache
  • Fluctuating consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Slurred speech
  • Repeated vomiting

These symptoms could be signs of a more serious injury such as a concussion. 


Burns are most commonly caused by hot cooking surfaces, fires or even the sun. The first step in treating these injuries is to know what type of burn is present. Burn injuries are rated from first to third degree, depending on the severity. Each type is treated differently, so it is important to know the differences between the three. 

A first-degree burn is known as a superficial burn. These are the mildest type of burn, as they only affect the top layer of skin. This type of burn results in pain and reddening of the skin. Superficial burns can easily be treated at home with products like aloe vera or ointment. If your child continues to be uncomfortable due to the pain, you can give them pain medication. 

Second-degree burns are slightly more intense. In addition to pain and redness, swelling and blistering is also present.
Did you know the sun can cause these types of painful burns? To avoid painful second-degree burns and exposure to harmful UV rays that can result in cancers later in life, be sure to use sunscreen when allowing your child to play outdoors. 

Second-degree burns typically require a prescription for creams or ointments to more effectively treat the injury. 

Other Preventable Injuries

Most of the injuries your kids encounter will be minor, however, every parent should be equipped with the full knowledge to make the best decisions for their children’s wellbeing. Drowning and poisoning are among two of the most deadly injuries children can receive. In fact, one in five of those that die from drowning are children under 14. See below for resources to educate yourself on water safety and poison prevention:

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Summer Safety Tips for Heat

Summer's in full swing, and that can only mean one thing: More arising opportunities for injuries and accidents. Ok, so it's not all gloom and doom, but what better way to transition into any season than with the complete peace of mind that only proper preparation can bring?
Being properly prepared can't stop every disaster in its tracks, however, understanding your risks and being prepared with the right equipment, knowledge and a game plan can mean the difference between fun and fiasco.
Because summer comes but once a year, it can be easy to forget proper summer safety. Last year, you swore you'd start applying sunscreen 20 minutes before heading outside and that you'd reschedule your evening runs for the morning, but as summer turned to fall and fall to winter, your summer safety skills naturally waned. Worry not. In today's post, we'll be talking about one of the most common summer-related dangers: heat.

Heat Safety

As temperatures begin to rise, many parts of the country are already experiencing some of the more negative effects of heat. Sun and warmth are an essential part of any summer vacation package, but when temperatures begin to creep into the 80s, 90s and beyond, it's time to exercise additional caution.
Heat is experienced differently by different people; some have a higher tolerance for it and will feel less hot while others are already wiping the sweat from their brow. However, sweating and feeling hot can oftentimes be poor indicators of heat-related risks. Regardless of how well you think you can tolerate the heat, during the summer you should always:

  • Drink more water
  • Use ice, if available
  • Use a fan or air conditioning
  • Avoid the outdoors between 11am and 4pm
  • Limit physical activity outside
  • Protect yourself with sunscreen
  • Wear loose clothing that can breathe
  • Wear a hat or carry an umbrella

Some people are more susceptible to heat-related dangers than others. Additionally, dogs - particularly those with dark coats and short noses - are also more prone to overheating during the summer months.
We’ll cover dogs in more detail further on.

Age is a major risk factor for heat illnesses including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Because the central nervous system controls your body's temperature, small children and adults over the age of 65 are not capable of coping with extreme heat as well as healthy people in their 20s, 30s or 40s.

Your body's ability to cool itself depends on a variety of factors including sweating and blood vessel dilation. If you take medications that act like diuretics, making it difficult to stay hydrated, or you're on blood pressure regulating medication, which can narrow your blood vessels, you will be more inclined toward developing heat illnesses.
Additionally, certain types of medicines such as antibiotics, increase your risk for developing a sunburn. Your doctor should talk to you about your medications' side effects, however, if you have concerns about the medications you're taking you should always feel comfortable about starting a conversation with your doctor.

Drugs & Alcohol
Drinking alcohol affects your body's ability to regulate your temperature and is a diuretic, which causes dehydration. Diuretics confuse your body into thinking that it needs to get rid of excess water to restore the balance in and around your cells. Because of this, you'll urinate more frequently. However, because your body isn't actually storing any excess water, you'll end up becoming dehydrated, which is particularly dangerous in the summer when you're also sweating.

Dehydration is a loss of fluid and an upset in electrolyte balance. If you've consumed alcohol, energy drinks or coffee, or you're dehydrated from exercise and sweating, it's vital that you don't just replace fluids in large quantities. Consuming plain water may result in a further imbalance, which can cause complications such as fainting and irregular heartbeat.

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Drink coffee in moderation
  • Consume water regularly
    • Pair water with orange slices  and pickles for electrolyte replenishment
Electrolytes consist of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Here are some additional natural sources to help replenish your electrolytes safely and effectively:

  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cashews
  • Collard Greens
  • Dried Fruit
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tofu

What Are Heat-Related Illnesses?

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the result of overheating, which can be caused by any of the factors we already discussed above. Anyone can be prone to overheating, so it's important to take proper precautions to help prevent heat exhaustion.

The early warning signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Dark urine
  • Thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Increased pulse
  • Muscle cramping
  • Stomach upset

Heat exhaustion is a dangerous condition because it can quickly evolve into heatstroke, which is life-threatening. Preventing heat is particularly important in people who are already at risk for developing heat-related illnesses.


Heatstroke is defined by a core body temperature of 104 F or more. If left untreated, heatstroke is life-threatening, damaging the brain and other vital organs including the heart and kidneys.

Symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • Lack of sweating
  • Throbbing headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect heatstroke, take action immediately!

  • Move the affected person inside
  • Remove any excess clothing
  • Cool the person with whatever means available
  • A fan
  • Water
  • Ice
The head, neck, armpits and groin are the most effective and critical parts of the body to focus on when applying cold. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Pet Safety

We aren't the only ones at risk for heat-related illnesses. Our furry companions, while they might seem more robust, are just as susceptible to suffering from overheating. Additionally, dogs can also easily experience burns, both from sun exposure and from hot pavement. Help your dog stay safe this summer by understanding the risks and learning about prevention.


Dogs "sweat" by panting, but because panting is limited to a smaller surface area, this method of staying cool is actually significantly less effective than our ability to full-body sweat.
This means dogs are in fact more susceptible to heat-related illness, and certain breeds should additionally be treated with more care. These include large breeds, long-haired and dark breeds, and breeds with short noses.


Dogs have feet that are padded with lots of fat similar to whale blubber, which provides when with excellent insulation for trekking through snow. However, dogs' feet aren't immune to injury. Extreme heat, sharp objects and even snow can cause damage to your pooch's pads, and summer sets a perfect stage for mishaps.

While you may not reside in a particularly hot climate, remember that heat builds up and rises over time. On asphalt and concrete, heat can accumulate enough to fry an egg on a hot and sunny day. While the pads of your dog's foot can protect him from rocky terrain and some temperature extremes, his skin isn't burn resistant.

  • Touch concrete for five seconds
    • If it's too hot to comfortably touch, it's too hot to walk on
  • Apply sunscreen to white dogs and those with thin hair

In a car, the dangers of heat buildup are even more severe. Even on a temperate day when temperatures only reach the 60s or 70s, a car parked in the sun can quickly become a deadly trap. Because of this, it's critical to never leave your dog in a parked car, even for just a short while.


Heat is dangerous because like a lot of nature's furies, people simply tend to underestimate it. Don't underestimate the seriousness of being trapped in hot conditions or running out of water. Protect yourself and your loved ones by acting on the side of caution, preparing yourself for emergencies and learning emergency procedures.
We offer a wide range of training classes at our Van Nuys location. Check out our schedule to learn more about CPR, first aid, wilderness survival and more.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


About Community Emergency Response Volunteer Teams

An emergency could strike at any moment. Being part of a community that's proactive and prepared increases everyone's chances of survival in a disaster situation. Many communities have existing CERT teams you can join. This blog will provide information about the purpose of CERT, how you can join a team and how SOS Survival Products serves CERTs across the country.

What is CERT?

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. The CERT program helps to educate ordinary citizens about disaster preparation for a wide range of natural and man-made emergencies.

CERT members are volunteers that serve to support professional responders in times of extreme disasters when resources are in short supply. During an emergency, trained CERT members will assist professional firefighters, EMT responders and more, taking on non-technical tasks such as assessing and communicating the needs of the community, putting out small, manageable fires, turning off gas supplies and organizing light search and rescue efforts.
CERT volunteers are highly valued members of the community as they free up trained professional responders to focus on the bigger tasks at hand. The teams will self-deploy when the region in which they are located is affected by a disaster, assessing any immediate losses and implementing the skills they've learned to help first responders minimize further loss of property and life. One of the main tasks of the team is to locate mass-casualties that will require professional response and rescue teams to be deployed. CERTs will also assist in evacuations and more long-term functions such as helping to create temporary shelters.

CERT teams coordinate with all levels of emergency authorities within an overarching system that governs emergency response. This system is referred to as the Incident Command System (ICS), and it allows members to easily fit into the emergency assistance architecture. CERT enhances the capabilities of the ICS by allowing professional responders to focus on complex tasks without facing distractions that could be delegated to citizens with minimal training.

When members of a Community Emergency Response Team aren't actively engaged in response, the team organizes fundraisers, engages with the community by holding teaching and recruitment events, and practices emergency response exercises.

How Do I Get Involved?

LA Community Response Team
Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of trained volunteers all across the nation actively engaged in their local CERT chapter program, but in order to keep these efforts going new volunteers are always needed. Most major cities have an existing CERT chapter, which may contain hundreds of members or just a few.

CERT can refer to one of two entities:

1. FEMA's National program, which uses a set of standardized training procedures to train large groups of community members
2. Local chapters that train emergency volunteers with the help of basic disaster response skills that can vary from location to location.

If your city has a CERT program that's been established through FEMA, you can find it here.
If your search via the FEMA link does not return any results for your city, that does not mean your city does not have a CERT program. You can expand your search by browsing your city's official government website, or by performing a quick Google search.

CERT training is designed to help you serve your community, but also to protect your family, friends, neighbors or coworkers if a disaster suddenly strikes. When properly trained, members of the Community Response Program are able to provide critical support to victims and first responders by mobilizing teams to disaster sites quickly and effectively.

During your CERT training, you'll learn a variety of skills designed to mitigate the effects of a disaster as quickly and easily as possible. While FEMA's CERT training abides by a nationally established curriculum that delivers the same core content across all states, your local CERT training may vary. In both instances, CERT training will be free and you are under no obligation to become a part of the program after completing your hours.
The official FEMA CERT training program consists of nine separate units:

1. Disaster Preparedness (2.5 hrs)
2. Fire Safety (2.5 hrs)
3. Disaster Medical Operations part 1 (2.5 hrs)
4. Disaster Medical Operations part 2 (2.5 hrs)
5. Light Search and Rescue Operations (2.5 hrs)
6. CERT Organization (1.5 hrs)
7. Disaster Psychology (1 hr)
8. Terrorism and CERT (2.5 hrs).
9. Course Review and Disaster Simulation (2.5 hrs)

Products for CERT Teams

We carry a wide range of products designed to fulfill the needs of specific duty assignments in evacuations, light search and rescue, first responder assistance and more. This includes command guides and other literature, safety equipment such as hard hats with accompanying identification stickers, identifying safety vests, identification patches, notebooks, backpacks, duffel bags and kits.
Our CERT kits are designed to help volunteer associates make the most of their training. Basic kits include an identifying vest, hardhat, essential protection from dust and debris, a whistle and flashlight. The intermediate kit provides a more utilitarian vest with pockets and reflective stripes as well as a duffle bag and more supplies. The deluxe kit contains materials for marking and containing utility problems as well as handling

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Severe Weather Safety Preparation

Spring is a time for transformation and the anticipation for new beginnings. It's also a time for changing weather patterns, from increased rains and melting snow to sudden storms like tornadoes. And just as is true for all types of weather, spring weather brings with it a certain sense of unpredictability; it's a time when a sunny hike can quickly become dangerously cold and thunderstorms can bring unusually high winds, flooding or hail without much warning.

It always pays to prepare yourself for weather extremes, particularly during spring and summer when severe weather can hit suddenly. Educating and preparing yourself and your family will dramatically decrease your risks of injury or death in the event that an extreme weather event should occur. Let's talk about some essential items you'll want to add to your preparedness kits this spring, to ensure you're safe from floods, tornadoes and severe storms.

Equipping yourself with the right knowledge is at the foundation of proper emergency preparedness. Knowing what to expect, how to react and which tools are appropriate for the job are absolutely crucial to your safety and survival during any disaster, be it weather or otherwise.
If you're located in the Van Nuys area, we strongly recommend participating in one of our emergency planning and/or first aid training courses. These classes are ongoing and are designed to help you build or refresh the skills necessary to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Additionally, check out our Disasters by Region blog to learn, statistically, which natural disasters are most likely to impact you at home or while traveling.

Finally, our selection of affordable pocket manuals offer a handy guide for laymen, volunteers, parents and pet owners to basic preparedness and recovery for disasters including floods, earthquakes and school incidents.

Knowing your risks and how severe weather can impact you will help you to develop a useful action plan that includes proper in-home preparation, family communication, potential evacuation routes and necessary emergency supplies.

A NOAA weather alert radio should be near the top of your list of emergency preparedness item. This versatile tool will help you to stay up to date on all types of severe weather warnings all across the nation. We recommend this radio in addition to keeping severe weather warning apps on your phone since it'll far supersede the capabilities of cellular technology during a long term power outage.
This particular radio includes hand crank as well as solar technology to charge the lithium ion battery when power outlets are disabled or unavailable. The 130-Lumen flashlight can be activated to flash the SOS Morse Code signal, in the event that you are stranded. This radio is a must-have for all homes, homes away from home, recreational camper vehicles and car emergency kits.

A flood can be one of the most damaging natural disasters, both to your safety and in the after effects when you're trying to rebuild your life. Flood waters move quickly, picking up tons of debris along the way. When preparing for the possibility of a flood, your priorities should always lie with your safety and that of your family. Remember to heed warnings early and evacuate immediately if prompted. Never take risks around water, during a floor or otherwise. It takes just a few inches of moving water to displace a car or loosen your footing. If water is flowing across roadways, turn around. Don't drown!

If you live in an area that's prone to some flooding during heavy rains from unusual spring weather patterns, consider first and foremost adding flood insurance to your home insurance plan. Preparation begins with anticipating all possible potential outcomes of a situation, and having the proper safeguards in place can save you from any future financial hardships that flooding can cause.

In addition, protect your home with barriers or flood walls, or at the very least with the help of DIY sandbags. Sandbags are affordable and designed to be long-lasting, whether they are a temporary or permanent fixture in and around your home. It takes about 100 sandbags to create a one-foot high wall that’s 20 feet long, so plan accordingly. Stay on alert during using NOAA or a cellphone app as your resource; if warnings are issued, heed them.

If severe weather, such as large influxes in rain, impacts your city's water safety and you're not able to boil water due to power outages, you'll need to rely on your emergency water stores to get you through the day or days ahead. Don't wait until an emergency is declared to stock up on water; this is your most precious resource, and a water shortage can quickly devolve into mayhem.

If you know that a water shortage is imminent, use your time wisely to fill emergency drinking
barrels or plastic bottles with clean water from the tap while it's still available. Make an airtight drinking water barrel an essential item in your home; adding water preserver will allow you to store your emergency water for up to five years.
Keeping individually sealed water pouches handy, whether you're at home or away, will give you the peace of mind you need when water stores are limited. Adding water pouches to your go-bag is a quick, easy and affordable way to take preventive life-saving measures.

Use your drinking water wisely. Never use drinking water to wash, flush the toilet or clean your home.

Quick Tips:

  • Prepare yourself with knowledge.
  • Make a plan and practice it.
  • Never drive through flooded areas.
  • Keep your car's gas tank full.
  • Stay up to date on warnings and news with NOAA.
  • Heed warnings and seek shelter or evacuation straight away if prompted.
  • Prepare a go-bag for everyone in your household, including your pet. Plan now so no one gets left behind.
  • Move livestock to higher ground sooner rather than later.
  • Prepare one gallon of drinking water per person per day.
  • Never ration water for drinking. Dehydration kills.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in your car. If you happen to be in your car when a tornado approaches, seek shelter under a bridge or overpass and cover your head and neck with your arms
  • Stay indoors during lightning storms, and consider purchasing surge protectors and lightning rods for your home.
  • Turn off propane to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Get flood insurance.
  • Use flood prevention walls or bags to keep damage to a minimum.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

good better best products

Good, Better & Best Emergency Preparedness & Survival Essentials

Our customers often ask us for recommendations, particularly when it comes to the basics of emergency preparation. We believe that everyone can and should be adequately equipped to handle the unexpected, and that proper preparation can start with just a few essential items.
We offer a wide range of emergency supplies at various price points. Here's what should be on your list:

Drinking Water Preparation

Datrex Drinking Water Foil Pouches

Water is essential for life. When preparing for the worst, stock water first and foremost. Datrex drinking pouches contain just over four ounces of water per serving. Each portioned package of water has a five-year shelf life and is Coast Guard approved for safety. Keep these affordable water pouches in your home, car or cabin in the event that other sources of water are not available.

Water Purification Tablets

If water is available but isn't safe to drink, these affordable tablets are a must. Packaged drinking water will eventually run out in a large-scale disaster, and if you're preparing for the worst, make sure you stock these tablets to treat water when water treatment plants aren't.
These tablets are also pragmatic in camping and hiking scenarios where clean drinking water may become scarce. 
Treat up to 25 quarts of water against giardia and most other microorganisms.

Rain Collection Barrel

In an emergency, water may be difficult to come by. A true survivalist knows that using the resources that are naturally available are a best bet for long-term sustainability. If a disaster turns into a nationwide or a global crisis, running water will likely be an uncertain commodity. Collecting runoff in a barrel during a rainfall will allow you peace of mind during a crisis.
During a heavy rainfall, you'll be able to collect up to 600 gallons of water with the proper equipment. A functioning gutter or downspout will funnel water to your storage containers, while a filter on top keeps out leaves and debris. Keeping wildlife including birds and lizards out of your water will prevent collected water from becoming contaminated.

Fire Protection

ABC Fire Extinguisher

Every home should have one ABC fire extinguisher in every major room of the house, including the bedrooms and the kitchen. An ABC extinguisher can tackle all three classes of the most common household fires, which is important since only one class of fire can be tackled using water. Fires fueled by grease, gasoline or electrical equipment cannot and should not be quenched with water, making an ABC extinguisher the only safe solution.

An ABC extinguisher uses monoammonium phosphate, which won’t conduct electricity or scatter grease fires further. These fire extinguishers meet nationally recognized standards for safety and come with a 10-year warranty.

10-Year Ionization Smoke Alarm

In addition to a fire extinguisher, every home should have a functioning alarm system to help you and your family detect and escape fires before they burn out of control. An ionization smoke alarm is the most affordable smoke detector option on the market, and should be installed in every major room of the house.
First Alert's 10-year alarm contains a lithium battery that's designed to last 10 years without maintenance. Test your alarm once every six months to ensure it's functioning properly.

10-Year Photoelectric Smoke & Co2 Combination Alarm

Since most deaths from fires occur due to smoke inhalation, installing the right kind of smoke detector is of the utmost importance. A photoelectric fire alarm such as this First Alert alarm detects smoke using a light sensor. This means that when smoke particles scatter the light inside its chamber, an alarm immediately goes off.
Most homes contain ionization detectors, which are cheaper to install and therefore more popular. These types of detectors respond to smoke when particles disrupt the flow of ions in its chamber.
Both types of smoke alarms work well in high-heat, fast-flame fires, however, when it comes to the more common smouldering fires that produce the kind of smoke that kills, an ionization detector falls behind.
Keep your family safe day and night with a combination alert that sounds as soon as a danger is present.

Emergency Communication

NOAA Emergency Crank Radio with Flashlight

When other modes of communication fail, Midland’s hand-crank radio will allow you to stay up to date on important weather and emergency information in real time. This radio receives alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and can additionally be used to receive AM and FM radio signals.
To send messages, this radio offers a built in Morse Code beacon, which can be activated to flash a continuous SOS signal.

Midland Two-Way Radios - 22 Channel

These short-range walkie talkies can connect with other FRS or GMRS two-way radios via 22 channels. Use the channel scan to check for activity during an emergency, or communicate freely with your family or response team.
Each walkie talkie includes a rechargeable power pack. Four AAA batteries can be used to back up power for longer usage when traditional power sources aren't available.
Connect easily and effectively during all types of events. These walkie talkies remove background noise, offer call alerts and use a roger beep to maximize communication.

Midland GMRS 50 Channel Radios

Get even more out of your walkie talkie with these radios.
A clear battery indicator lets you know when you can talk freely and when it's time to conserve power. Each radio comes with one rechargeable battery pack, which can be backed up with four AA batteries. Each battery pack is designed to provide up to 12 hours of life.
With a clear communication range of up to 36 miles, these radios offer a safe and affordable solution for a wide range of applications. Each radio features 50 GMRS channels and 28 channels with pre-programmed privacy codes.
Keep up with weather alerts and important emergency news with the built in Weather Scan feature, which finds and broadcasts your nearest NOAA station.

Emergency Kits

1-Person Fanny Pack Kit

Stocking an emergency kit is a quick, easy and affordable way to take charge of your preparedness and planning. A fanny pack kit contains several convenient items that everyone should keep on hand.
This kit is designed to sustain one person for three days in the event of a sudden emergency. In addition to a 2,400-calorie food bar and 25 ounces of water, the kit also contains one emergency blanket and a range of first aid essentials such as alcohol wipes and non-aspirin pain killers.
Supplement this kit with additional water pouches to ensure you can stay adequately hydrated longer.

Individual Auto/Emergency Survival Kit

A more robust version of the fanny pack, this auto emergency kit contains everything that's already included in our basic pack, plus a few other extras. In addition, you'll get important essentials such as a flashlight and emergency radio. Everything is contained in a convenient nylon over-the-shoulder bag. Keep it in the trunk of your car in the event you'll become trapped or stranded. Supplement this kit with additional items such as jumper cables to complete your safety kit for the road.
Check out our road trip blog for a complete list of traveling tips.

1-Person Deluxe Emergency Survival Kit

This affordable pack contains everything you'll need for the first 72 hours of survival. Each Deluxe kit contains 3,600 calories and 76 ounces of clean drinking water. In addition to a variety of first aid products such as alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointments and bandages, this kit also contains waste bags, light sticks, rain gear, gloves, a utility knife and more. We've thought of everything when preparing this emergency kit for you.
The Deluxe kit includes everything you'll need to sustain one person for three days, from hydration to items for proper warmth and visibility. Stow it in your car, at home or at your desk at work.

Red Cross Month

Emergency Preparedness with the Red Cross

March is Red Cross month. It’s a time to remember heroes and disaster survivors, and to generate awareness for just how easy it is to make a difference in your community.
The Red Cross functions globally with a mission to provide free emergency assistance without discrimination, whether during natural or man-made disasters, in times of war or in areas affected by chronic poverty.
The organization was founded more than 130 years ago and has offered training and certifications to the average citizen since the early 1900s.

You might associate Red Cross with nurses, and that’s because nurses have been at the root of the Red Cross since before the turn of the century, and continue to make up a large portion of the volunteer force. On average, about 15,000 nurses are involved with the American Red Cross to provide disaster relief services and develop teaching courses for volunteers and citizens. But you don't need to be a nurse to find your volunteer position with the Red Cross. The Red Cross offers a broad range of services and accepts volunteers with many different skill sets.

Volunteering at the Red Cross

Spending your time volunteering for any organization, local or worldwide, is a commendable and
worthwhile endeavor. With the Red Cross, your time commitment will help families and individuals of all ages find care and comfort during difficult times and emergency situations.

Donating time goes a long way, so don't let the amount you're capable of giving deter you. Consider if just a small percentage of the population gave one hour of their time each month: Millions of man hours could be used toward setting better volunteer efforts into motion.


We don't all have the extra time to make volunteering a part of our lives. If time is short, offering a donation to your favorite charitable organization goes a long way. Contributions to the American Red Cross are tax-deductible, as are any donations made to registered 501(c) non-profit organizations.

How and how much you donate is up to you. The Red Cross encourages donating online, by mail, by phone or via text.  Recurring monthly donations are how organizations like the Red Cross survive. The Red Cross is not a government agency. It depends entirely on volunteers and donations. Unlike some other charitable organizations, the Red Cross can pride themselves on using $.91 of every donated dollar toward humanitarian services, not toward things like administrative fees and salaries.

They Want Your Blood

The Red Cross offers a wide range of services but is probably best known for its blood donations. And that's with good reason: Its blood drive program has been an integral part of the Red Cross since the Second World War, and today the Red Cross still distributes more than a third of lifesaving blood products in the United States.

Giving blood is quick and easy, and there are only a few restrictions to doing so. Because blood transfusions can pass on certain kinds of illnesses, it's important that the donor doesn't have any acute infections or blood-transmissible diseases. This includes a bloodborne illness that likely did not affect you, but may live in you undetected: mad cow disease. If you lived in certain parts of Europe in the 1980s or 90s, check out this eligibility criteria document for more information on whether or not you can donate.

Take a Class

One of the best ways to empower yourself and others is through knowledge. Having life-saving skills in an emergency situation makes you a valuable asset both to your friends and family as well as your community.
SOS Survival Products and the Red Cross offer a range of comprehensive training courses with and without certification. Prepare yourself for a minor event as well as major natural or man-made catastrophes including earthquakes, fires, floods and active shooters with our local classes year-round. Learn CPR and First Aid, outdoor and wilderness survival skills, pet safety and more. Our classes are affordable and many are free. Check out our calendar now.

Emergency preparedness works best when everyone’s on board. Organizations like the Red Cross can mobilize a wide range of rescue efforts during a disaster, and by contributing to the cause you’re part of a solution. Taking just a few hours this month to volunteer in your community adds up. Your time and money will benefit your local and global community.

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.