Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Plan for Holiday Safety

During the winter holidays, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is staying safe and being overly cautious. However, between the influx of people traveling, the cold weather making us want to light the logs in the fireplace, and the extra guests and visitors running around the house to share the celebrations, there are an increased number of potential holiday dangers. To help you prepare for this festive season, we rounded up some holiday safety tips to keep your family safe.

Keep an emergency kit in your car.


Traveling during the holidays is almost always stressful, especially when you throw wintery weather conditions into the mix. Always be prepared to face bumps in the road by keeping an emergency travel kit in your car at all times. You’ll want your kit to contain contact information for road side assistance, a flashlight and extra batteries, a cell phone charger, a first aid kit, a few bottles of water and some type of sustenance like power bars or cereal bars.

Restock supplies before you travel.


Check your car’s emergency kit before every road trip to make sure it’s fully stocked. You’ll never know that your kids found the secret granola bar stash or realize you used up all the bandages at Little League games until you check! Granola bars or power bars are long-lasting and don’t spoil, so they’re a great option to keep stashed for a couple years. But check the best by labels before each road trip just to be sure.

Check smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.


Unfortunately, hundreds of families every holiday season come home from vacation to learn that a fire has damaged or destroyed their home. Fires can spring up at the most unsuspecting times, which is why it is extremely important to check your smoke detectors before leaving for holiday vacations. You should also routinely check the fire extinguishers in your home to make sure they are still functional and stowed in a safe place.

Buy safe toys for kids.


Choosing toys to give your kids over the holidays should be given some cautious thought in order to avoid any hazards or injuries. Buy age-appropriate toys and always looks for safety labels. Additionally, you should always pick up safety gear like helmets or elbow pads to accompany sports-related toys like skateboards or bicycles.

Eliminate potential fire hazards.


Survey your home and see if you spot any potential fire hazards near candles, fireplaces, trees, and electrical connections. If you notice any frayed wiring or old tree hanging awfully close to electrical connections, call your electrician to have these taken care of ASAP—especially if you’re about to take a trip. Additionally, you should try to use only nonflammable holiday decorations and make sure to regularly water your Christmas tree.

Switch to LED holiday lighting.


Consider switching to LED lighting to decorate your home during the season, and you’ll not only save hundreds of dollars on electricity costs, but you’ll also reduce the risk of fires. LED lights use less energy than incandescent light bulbs, which makes them cooler and less likely to spark fires in and around your home.

Keep candles, matches, and lighters away from children.


It is important to make sure that lit candles, matches, lighters or any other fire related objects are out of reach from children. Especially during the holidays when extended family and friends visit with young children, you’ll need to exercise control over these potential fire hazards to avoid any harm and injury to your guests and their families as well as your own.

We hope these fire safety tips for the holidays as well as our other holiday safety preparedness tips will help you better plan for a safe winter this year. Everyone at SOS Survival Products wishes you a happy and safe Holiday Season!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Is It Time to Refill Your Emergency Kit?

Do you have an emergency kit in your workplace, home or car? If so, how long ago did you buy it and when was the last time you checked it? While your kit may contain non-perishable items like a blanket, scissors, tape and bandages, a number of items do need to be replenished. Here’s a rundown of common items found in emergency kits that need to be replaced every once in a while.

Food Rations & Bars: Emergency food rations and bars have a shelf life of five years. If yours have expired, go ahead and throw them out.

Drinking Water Packs: Like food rations, these too have a 5 year shelf life.

Light sticks: These light source sticks have a 3 year shelf life.

Flashlight & Batteries: Place the batteries in the flashlight and ensure it turns on. Batteries last up to 10 years now, but it’s always a good idea to test them. Another idea is to purchase a battery tester to check your batteries periodically.

Water in 55 Gallon Barrels: Water placed in a 55 gallon barrel can be preserve for up to five years with the use of water preserver concentrate. However, once five years has passed, it’s best to replace the water.

First Aid Supplies: It is recommended to periodically check expiration dates of first aid items such as over-the-counter medicines, antiseptic wipes, alcohol wipes, wet wipe towelettes, antibiotic ointment, and instant ice packs. Dispose of expired first aid items and replenish as needed.

In addition to these perishable items, you may need to refill items that have been used over the years. Fortunately, SOS Survival Products carries a number of emergency refill packs. Each comes with new food rations, water packs, wipes, batteries and more. You can order various sizes from 1-person kits to 100-person kits. Also, feel free to shop for individual items in our store. So if it’s been a while since you last inspected your survival first aid kit, take the time to see if items need to be replaced. You never know when you may need them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Four Power Generators to Meet Your Emergency Needs

Portable power generators are the best way to supply electricity to your home during a power outage, and they’re also great for times when you are away from other sources of electricity, such as during camping trips. However, choosing the generator that is right for you can take some research. Among the many factors you must consider are the type of fuel the generator uses and its maximum output. Here are three generators that have what it takes when you need electricity in an emergency.

Pulsar Dual-Fuel Peak 4500 Watt Generator


This Pulsar generator provides a winning combination of convenience, portability and power, and it will satisfy your needs at home or for outdoor projects off the grid. The generator runs on either gasoline or liquid propane, which allows you to purchase whichever is less expensive or easiest to obtain.

The Pulsar Dual-Fuel Peak 4500W includes several advanced features, such as a tubular steel frame for durability and solid tires that will never go flat. In addition, it will produce 120 volts to 240 volts of electricity for 15 hours on four gallons of gasoline or 20 pounds of liquid propane.

Gentron Powermate PMC105007 5000 Watt Gas Generator


The Gentron PMC105007 is a portable propane-powered generator that can produce 5,000 watts of electricity at peak capacity. This is one of the most efficient generators in its class, and it’s officially classified as a green generator because of its mild emissions. It’s rated to run at half capacity for 10 hours on 20 pounds of fuel, and it includes several safety features to protect you and the environment.

Approved by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), this Gentron generator operates quietly, weighs 103 pounds and measures 23 inches by 23 inches by 32 inches, so it can be easily transported and stored.

LIFAN Energy Storm 2600iER


LIFAN Power USA is known across the country for manufacturing some of the most advanced generators in history. The Energy Storm 2600iER is sleek, efficient and highly portable. It’s one of the quietest generators on the market today, and the electricity it produces is so clean and even that it can be used to power highly sensitive electronic equipment, including computers, cameras, smartphones and LCD TVs.

This unit has a built-in handle so that it can be lifted off the ground, but it also includes wheels and a collapsible handle just like a modern suitcase. It features an electric ignition and can produce 2600 watts steadily for seven hours on 1.58 gallons of fuel.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit


This super heavy-duty solar generator stores 1,250 watt hours of power and is an excellent backup power source for offices, schools, and the home. It is easy to use safely and silently indoors with no worries. With the 1,000 watt inverter it is capable of running mid-sized appliances, power tools, emergency lighting, laptops, and smaller hand held devices. It features several charger ports for charging many devices simultaneously: 3-USB ports, 3-12V DC ports, and 3-AC ports. 2 Boulder 30 watt solar panels are included.

Buying an emergency power generator doesn’t have to be fraught with guesswork. The four generators above are all highly rated and will provide you with power when you need it most. All you have to do now is decide which size and style is best suited to you and your requirements.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What to Do When a Tornado Hits

If you live in the central part of the US, you know that a tornado could happen any day and that these powerful cyclones destroy almost anything in their path. What may be less obvious to you is what you should do when a tornado does form in your area. In order to be fully prepared for this situation, we’ve outlined the proper safety guidelines for you and your family to follow when disaster does strike.

Where to go in the home?


When a tornado is approaching, the best form of protection in your home is any room underground, whether it’s a basement or storm shelter. Unfortunately, many homes located in tornado alley, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, do not have the proper soil conditions to be able to support a basement. If your home is without an underground shelter, find a bathroom and sit in the bathtub. Ideally, you would want this room to be one of the inner rooms of the house. Bathrooms are best because their walls are taller than they are wide, which decreases the chances of the walls severely hurting you if they were to fall during the tornado.

If you do have an underground shelter, take cover in this room as quickly as possible. Make sure the room is stocked with adequate emergency supplies. It’s very easy to purchase family survival kits online that include food, water, first aid kits and more.

Is your home the safest place?


Some will argue if you receive enough advanced warning, it’s beneficial to drive away from your home and the tornado path. For example, Terimy Miller of Moore, Oklahoma left her home with her three sons when she heard the tornado was approaching her home. The move ended up saving their lives since the tornado completely wiped out the family’s home. If you feel as though you have enough warning to drive to safety, experts recommend you drive at a 90 degree angle away from the predicted path of the tornado.

What if it’s closing in on your car?


If you’re on the road and a tornado is headed directly for you, the best thing to do is to exit the car and find a ditch on the side of the road to take cover in. This will protect you from flying debris. If there’s not a ditch around you, try and find a heavy object like a tractor or large tree and hide behind it in order to protect you from debris.

What about your kids in school?


Newer schools located in tornado alley are being constructed with underground tornado shelters. These rooms are equipped with heavy-duty concrete walls and offer plenty of protection. If the school does not have an underground shelter, students should hide under their desk or should line up in a hallway without windows with their heads down and hands covering their necks. We suggest parents ask their children’s school about the tornado procedures in place and go over them with their kids to make sure they’re prepared.

If you’re concerned about tornadoes, walk through your house and determine the best shelter place. Go over the emergency plan with your family at least once a year to ensure everyone is on the same page. Also, consider purchasing tornado survival kits from the leaders in emergency supplies, SOS Survival Products. Taking the time to know these proper tornado safety tips will go a long way in saving your life and your family’s lives.

Friday, October 10, 2014

5 Ways to Purify Water in an Emergency Situation

Water is the single most essential element necessary for human survival. Whereas the human body can last multiple days without food, water must be consumed every day in order to sustain life. In an emergency situation where you find yourself facing a shortage of drinkable water, there are several water purification methods you can use to help you in this time of crisis:

1. Boiling


The easiest and most basic way to purify water and rid it of any harmful bacteria is to boil it. Boiling requires only a heat source and a pot and can take as little as 7 or 8 minutes depending on how much water you want to disinfect. The water needs to stay at a full, rolling boil for at least 3 minutes (unless you are in higher altitudes in which case 5-7 minutes should be long enough).

2. Purifiers


Iodine is the most common chemical purifier for water, and it is available in easy-to-use tablets. Some form of neutralizer or flavored drink powder should be paired with iodine to remove the color, odor and taste of the iodine. However, be sure to not add the neutralizer to the water until the iodine has had sufficient time to eliminate the pathogens. This water purification set from SOS Products includes water germicidal and taste neutralizing tablets.

3. Distilling


Distillation is particularly useful when dealing with salt water. This technique relies on a heat source to evaporate unpurified water into water vapor. Only clean drinkable water will evaporate, leaving harmful bacteria behind, which means the vapor that condenses will be purified. Solar distillation utilizes heat from the sun and can be done using a pre-manufactured solar water still. You can also distill water by warming it on the stove and using a cloth to collect the water vapor and ringing out the clean water into a separate container until you have the desired amount of purified water.

4. Filtration


Filtration is simply the process of filtering out undesirable sediment or bacteria from your water. Purifying filters and pumps come in many different shapes and sizes depending on your specific need. This mini water filtration system attaches directly to standard disposable water bottles and hydration packs for instant water purification—the flow rate of the filter is as fast as you can drink!

5. Ultraviolet Light


Ultraviolet rays from the sun can be used to purify un-potable water by deactivating pathogens in the water. To carry out this method, empty clear bottles should be cleaned and filled partially with water. Shake the bottles for about 15-20 seconds before filling it up all the way. Then, the bottles must be exposed to sunlight for at least 6 hours (or longer if it is cloudy). An important note about this technique is that it will only be effective when applied to clear water.

In an emergency situation, you may find yourself in need of potable water in order to maintain healthy bodily function until emergency responders arrive. Familiarize yourself with these methods before embarking on any adventure trips, or in preparation for an oncoming storm or emergency to provide you and your family with a drinkable water supply. Find more water purifying products at SOSProducts.com.