SOS Blog

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.

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.