Are You Less Prepared Than Your Neighbors?

Are You Less Prepared Than Your Neighbors?

Written by Clayton Krebs

According to new research, the number of natural disasters per year has increased significantly over the last thirty years.  While the scientific community debates what the causes may be, disasters and destruction seem more and more prevalent in today’s world than 30 years ago and it is becoming increasingly important to prepare for emergency.

The following table taken from the Natural Disasters Data Book shows the increase in number of natural disasters per year from 1975-2010. (A disaster was entered into the database if at least 10 people perished, over 100 people were affected, was declared a state of emergency or there was a call for international assistance.)

How Do You Compare?
One year ago, National Geographic initiated a survey conducted by Kelton Research that found some interesting results on the preparedness of Americans.  The following are some of the findings:

How long will your supplies last?
If a disaster occurred, nearly 40% of people said they would only last two weeks based on their current supplies.  I’ll let you decide if two weeks is a long enough supply…

If you only had to take care of yourself during a catastrophe, about how long do you think you would survive based on the supplies you currently have in your home?

How prepared for emergency do YOU feel?
When asked how prepared they felt compared to their neighbor, 53% said they were “about as prepared” as their neighbors.  Ironically, 85% felt that “in the event of a catastrophe,” Americans as a whole will be under-prepared.

In the event of a catastrophe, do you think that most Americans will be…?

How much time would you need?
When asked how much time they needed to vacate town if there were a catastrophe, more than half, 52%, said they would need at least 30 minutes or more.  Again, I will let you be the judge on whether or not that is fast enough — after all, it does depend on what the catastrophe is.  Just keep in mind, you will be much better off if you can grab a bug-out-bag and stay ahead of that rush of people trying to get out of town.

Would you help a neighbor?
If you are one of the unprepared reading this you might be in luck, 24% of Americans said they would help a neighbor in a disaster by sharing resources or supplies.  Of course, they may be one of your neighbors that only have a two week supply so I wouldn’t bank on bumming off your neighbor as your emergency plan.

How prepared are you?
According to Michael R. Greenberg, Ph. D., Susannah Dyen, MCRP, and Stacey Elliott, BS, in the article The Public’s Preparedness: Self-Reliance, Flashbulb Memories, and Conservative Values, 56.8% of respondents say they have a family communication plan so that they can contact family members or loved ones if they get separated during an emergency. Only 40.8% of Americans say they have developed a plan for an extended stay at home in case of a disaster which also corresponds to USA Today’s survey that 56% of Americans “say they aren’t prepared.”

Let’s All Get Prepared
There is a peace and assurance that comes from knowing that you and your family is prepared for emergency.  If you haven’t already, we encourage you (no matter the companies used to become prepared for emergency)  and your household to start preparing now.  It doesn’t take much, just start doing a little every month or week to start building your food storage, emergency kits, and emergency plans.  We strongly recommend that you sit down as families to discuss  and practice your emergency plans so that, if the time comes, every family member knows what to do.

To learn more and find great ideas, please visit our website at


How To Build an Emergency Shelter

How to Build an Emergency Shelter

Written by Clayton Krebs

When you need to find a site to build an emergency shelter, you need to consider a few key elements to ensure your survival. Whenever possible, use existing terrain for shelter – look for hills you can camp between, or caves and overhangs for protection from the elements.

Energy. First, you have to think about how much time and effort you can spare to build the shelter. You also have to make sure the shelter will give you enough protection from the elements – is it raining, snowing, or windy?

Tools. Next, do you have the tools needed to build that kind of shelter, and if not, can you scavenge or make improvised tools?

Supplies. Finally, you have to consider whether you have the materials necessary to build the shelter. In order to best answer these questions, it’s important to know how to make a few different types of shelters, and what kind of materials you will need to construct them.

This is the most basic type of shelter. While you can build a lean-to with scavenged materials such as tree branches, most survivalists will at least have a poncho or tarp available. You can use a poncho and a length of rope about three yards long to build a lean-to out of a poncho. Find two trees that are between two and three yards apart. Check the wind direction before you choose the location for your lean-to so that you can make sure the back of the structure will be against the wind.

Cut the rope in half. Tie each half to one of the corners of the long side of the tarp or poncho. Attach a stick about a foot long to each rope about two inches away from the corners of the lean-to. These well prevent rainwater from running down the ropes and into the lean-to.

Tie the other ends of the ropes to each of the trees. Spread the poncho or tarp and anchor it in the ground using sharpened sticks. Put the sticks through the grommets on each corner of the poncho, and secure them with a heavy rock placed on top of each one.

Pile brush on either side of the lean-to for further wind and rain protection, and cover the ground with an insulating material like dried leaves or pine needles.

Basic Tent
This is a step up from the lean-to, since it protects you on two sides from the elements. Like the lean-to, it can be constructed with a poncho or tarp. It also has a lower silhouette than a lean-to, making it harder to spot from far away.

To make a basic tent, you will need a poncho or tarp, two ropes about three yards long, six sharpened sticks about two feet long, and two trees about three yards apart.

Tie a 3-foot rope to the center grommets on each side of the poncho or tarp, and secure the other ends of these ropes to each of the trees at about knee height, stretching the poncho or tarp tight. Pull one side of the poncho/tarp tight to the ground and secure it by pushing a sharp stick through the grommets. Secure the sticks with heavy rocks. Repeat this on the other side. As with the lean-to, you can pile debris or equipment at either end of the tent for further insulation from the wind, and scatter leaves or pine needles on the ground.

Dugout Shelter
If there are no trees around that you can secure a rope to for building a lean-to or basic tent, or if you do not have the materials to construct either, you can make the simplest kind of shelter: the dugout shelter. This is, very simply, a hole in the ground, but it’s one that has been designed to provide maximum insulation, comfort, and shelter.

The dugout shelter is useful because it takes minimum time and materials to build. While it is not meant to protect you from the elements for the long-term, it can certainly keep you warm and dry for a night or two, which in a survival situation can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Find the right terrain feature for maximum cover: you want to find a depression in the ground that already gives some natural cover. Try to find a depression in higher ground rather than at the bottom of a slope, since you want to avoid water collecting in it.

Clear all of the debris from the depression, saving it for later use. If necessary, dig out some of the depression to create a small hole a bit longer than your height that you can comfortably lie down in. You want the sides of the hole to be higher than your body.

Place large branches and deadwood over the hole to create a roof. Fill in gaps with smaller sticks. Pile leaves and brush on top of this layer. If you are going to need to stay for more than one night, make a few layers of branches, brush, and leaves for added insulation.

Other Types of Emergency Shelters?
What type of emergency shelter do you know how to build? Why would you recommend that one over others? Comment and share with us what the easiest types are to build.

Updated April 25, 2014


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How Big Data Is Changing Earthquake Science


Damage in San Francisco from the Loma Prieta earthquake

Most San Francisco Bay Area residents over 30 years old remember exactly where they were at 5:04 p.m. on Oct. 17, 1989, when the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake shook the region.

Today Bay Area residents live with the realization that another big quake is in their future. In 2007, earthquake scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there is a 63 percent probability of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake in the Bay Area in the next 30 years.

So what has changed since 1989 in terms of response capabilities? If a major quake struck today, how would emergency management be different than it was 24 years ago? There have been many lessons learned cumulatively since Loma Prieta in terms of emergency response, said Rob Dudgeon, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM), where he leads the Division of Emergency Services. “Things didn’t change all of a sudden in 1990,” he said. “But if an earthquake happened today, everything about the response would be different.”

Here are seven ways in which today’s response promises to be different:

1. Modern Emergency Operations Center

One of the most obvious differences is that today, there is a seismically reinforced and modern emergency operations center. “The EOC during the Loma Prieta quake proved inadequate,” Dudgeon said. Earlier this year, Emergency Management gave readers an inside look at the new EOC during the Golden Guardian exercise in May, during which agencies worked together on practicing for the response and recovery to a simulated magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

San Francisco now uses the WebEOC incident management tool for situational awareness and to help keep everyone on the same page. This year’s functional exercise focused on carrying out policies, response and recovery for up to 48 hours after the earthquake hit. Representatives of the agencies participating in the exercise relied on both technology as well as face-to-face communication to help each other follow protocol.

2. Standardized Emergency Management System

Earthquake response in California has benefited not just from previous quakes, but also lessons learned during other types of emergencies. In response to problems experienced during the Oakland Hills fires in 1991, the California Legislature passed a law requiring a clear incident command system during emergencies. The standardized emergency management system provides for a five-level emergency response organization, and is intended to structure and facilitate the flow of emergency information and resources within and between the organizational levels.

“Now we have a unified command structure, so we have experts in charge of their areas and not the mayor making all the decisions,” said Dudgeon, who was working on an ambulance in Oakland during Loma Prieta. “How we deal with multiple casualty incidents is different and communications with hospital emergency rooms is better,” he added.

3. Use of Social Media and Mobile Devices

The San Francisco DEM has adopted several social media channels and continues to experiment with them during events. The city uses a text-based notification system, AlertSF, and Twitter. AlertSF sends alerts regarding emergencies disrupting vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as citywide post-disaster information to registered wireless devices and email accounts. Registrants can also sign up to receive English-language automated information.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Joe Lewis

“We believe in the power of the crowd,” said Alicia Johnson, resilience and recovery manager at the San Francisco DEM. She oversees the development of the Resilient SF program and long-term community affairs and education. “We don’t know if systems such as Twitter will be up when we need them, but we plan as if they will,” she said. “We use them every day in planning events and in situations like the recent airplane crash. Although social media, just like traditional media, can be the source of incorrect information, the information passed on by social media tends to correct itself.”

4. Closer Ties with Community Organizations

A report published by National Academies Press and titled Practical Lessons from the Loma Prieta Earthquake was based on the 1993 proceedings of a symposium held in San Francisco.

It noted that pre-existing social problems such as homelessness, hunger and lack of health care are worsened immediately after a destructive earthquake. The report recommended that community agencies develop policies to address these issues and become more involved in emergency response.

In fact, the aftermath of Loma Prieta led directly to the creation of an umbrella group called SF CARD (Community Agencies Responding to Disaster), which connects nonprofit, faith-based and private organizations with the network and knowledge they need to continue providing critical services after a disaster. Vulnerable populations naturally turn to these organizations immediately following a disaster for housing, food and essential services.

“People who went through Loma Prieta saw the potential for a new way to help nonprofit organizations provide assistance, get involved in preparedness and make the city more resilient,” said Brian Whitlow, SF CARD’s executive director. “During Loma Prieta, there were people volunteering to help the Fire Department fight fires in the Marina District. Nonprofit organizations are working on ways to give those people tools to help. And SF CARD is the conduit between the DEM and those organizations.”

Dudgeon noted that after Loma Prieta, government agencies began to realize that they couldn’t do everything. Previously there had been less recognition of the role of community groups.  “There was definitely a reluctance to engage in the past, even 10 years ago,” he said. “But now there is recognition that emergency response is not a total government show.”

“I give the DEM a lot of credit,” Whitlow said. “They have done a great job of reaching out and helping agencies prepare. We are an advocate and liaison in their EOC.”

The city also has a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team program of volunteers trained and supervised by the Fire Department. Other cities and towns now have Community Emergency Response Teams as well.

5. Drill, Baby, Drill

Another lesson from the Practical Lessons report was that organizations that had developed and tested realistic earthquake planning scenarios prior to the Loma Prieta earthquake were better prepared than those that had not.

The region seems to have taken this lesson to heart. The Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), a regional effort to build core capabilities to respond to terrorism and natural disasters, has increased the number of drills in the region. In fiscal 2011-2012, the Bay Area UASI spent approximately $3.3 million on training and exercises. According to UASI’s reports, the region trained about 1,200 responders (as compared to approximately 500 responders in prior years) across a range of disciplines including emergency management, emergency medical services, firefighting, law enforcement and hazardous materials response.

In 2013, the annual Golden Guardian exercise involved a catastrophic earthquake in the Bay Area, with the goal of exercising and assessing emergency operations plans, policies and procedures for large-scale incidents at the local, regional and state levels.

6. Utility Infrastructure Coordination

More than 150,000 customers lost power during Loma Prieta. Today that figure would be closer to 500,000, because of the area’s increasing population density. Although many of the types of utility infrastructure that would be impacted by an earthquake are similar today, the resiliency and level of communication between providers is different, said Don Boland, executive director of the California Utilities Emergency Association. He said the association brings together utilities to study interdependencies, expedite getting systems back up and running as quickly as possible, and prioritize what needs to be done — providing pumping stations with power before stoplights, for instance.

“Energy, telecom, water and gas are like four legs of a dining room table. Without all four, the table is going to collapse,” Boland said. “We act as the state EOC’s utility arm. We hold mutual assistance compacts for all 41 power companies in the state, and are able to reach down to San Diego to help stand up resources if there is a 7.0 earthquake in San Francisco without waiting for any kind of damage assessment. The type of system we have for pulling resources from elsewhere did not exist during Loma Prieta. The utilities realize they are no longer silos and are working together.”

In San Francisco, a Lifelines Council is conducting an interdependencies study on infrastructure serving the city. The council seeks to:

  • develop and improve collaboration in the city and across the region;
  • understand intersystem dependencies to enhance planning, restoration and reconstruction;
  • share information about recovery plans, projects and priorities; and
  • establish coordination processes for lifeline restoration and recovery following a major disaster event.

7. Ongoing Efforts on Seismic Retrofitting and Land-Use Planning

Besides beefing up emergency response capabilities, the Bay Area is also doing a better job of understanding local earthquake hazards and addressing them before the next disaster. After Loma Prieta, San Francisco launched a 10-year-long study, called the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS), to evaluate the city’s risk from earthquakes. In late 2011, CAPSS developed into the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, a 30-year workplan and timeline implementing the Community Action Plan.

“A lot of the recommendations and the work of CAPSS are drawn from lessons from what happened during Loma Prieta, as well as during large earthquakes in other cities, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand,” said Patrick Otellini, San Francisco’s director of earthquake safety.

By the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake, the city and county of San Francisco had completed more than 180 seismic retrofits or total replacements of public facilities, ranging from small but critical pump stations and transmission mains to essential facilities like police and fire stations and the EOC.

The city also passed legislation that requires the evaluation and retrofit for “multi-unit soft-story buildings,” which are wood-frame structures containing five or more residential units, having two or more stories over a “soft” or “weak” story, and permitted for construction prior to 1978, Otellini said.

“We are working toward a more resilient city in terms of buildings and lifelines shored up so it will be easier to rebuild after an earthquake,” said Sarah Karlinsky, deputy director of SPUR, a nonprofit organization that works on a host of issues including disaster planning and regional land-use planning. “We have a variety of building types that are vulnerable, including these soft-story apartment structures that tilted during Loma Prieta.”

A 2013 SPUR report, called On Solid Ground, argues that good land-use planning can prepare the Bay Area for a strong disaster recovery.

No one knows how well the region will respond the next time a quake occurs, but SF CARD’s Whitlow believes the Bay Area is much more resilient today than it was in 1989. “The nonprofit organizations are embracing best practices in terms of working with emergency management, and groups like the Red Cross and United Way have really come together to work on drills. So we are not just talking about it, we are actually doing something.”

For more information on being prepared and how to find preparedness classes in your area, please visit





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15 Do-It-Yourself Natural Remedies

Written by The Ready Store

If a disaster occurred and the medical industry was strained, how would you get medicine? Or even closer to home, what if you were lost in the woods while camping this weekend and needed to relieve your pain?

There are dozens of items that you’re very familiar with that you’ve probably never used for healing. They can be found in your yard, in your food storage or flying around your home. Things like baking soda, salts, honey and ginger can be used for healing in case of an emergency.

Part of being prepared is knowing how to use items for multiple purposes. These ideas are perfect to help you stay ready for an emergency situation and be prepared while you’re enjoying the outdoors. Comment below to let us know what you’ve used to stay healthy and well!

Uses of Epsom SaltEpsom Salt
You would have never thought that simple magnesium sulphate – also known as epsom salt – could do so much. This mineral is great for skin-softening, stress-reducing and aching sore muscles.

Splinters. Add some water to a handful of epsom salt and apply it to the skin’s surface. Let it go to work for about 10 minutes. It will help to draw out the splinter and save your from digging around.

Sprains. Epsom salt will reduce the swelling of a sprained ankle or bruised muscle. Add 2 cups Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak the sprain.

Muscle pains. Epsom salt helps draw fluid out of the body and helps shrink swollen tissues. As it draws out fluid through the skin, it draws out lactic acid – which can contribute to muscle pain. Add a cup or two of salt to a hot bath and soak the affected muscle.

Baking Soda
Entire books have been written about the benefits of baking soda. We’ve even written a whole article on what you can do with the stuff. It comes at no surprise that baking soda is a natural healer too!

Stings. You can use baking soda to soothe mosquito bites and other insect stings. Apply a little water and make a baking soda paste. Apply this to the itchy areas. The paste can also be used against poison ivy and chicken pox.

Sunburns. Add baking soda to warm water and apply to your skin. This will soften the water and make a soothing remedy.

Bladder infections. Bacteria thrives inside acidic environments inside your bladder. Make a cocktail of baking soda and water to down after dinner. This will soothe your bladder infection problems.

Uses of GingerGinger
Ginger is one of the most used kitchen cures. It’s closely related to other spices like turmeric and cardamom and has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Ginger is used to ease nausea, vomiting and other digestive problems.

Migraines. Danish researchers have found that taking a teaspoon of fresh or powdered ginger at the first sign of a migraine, may reduce symptoms by blocking prostaglandins – the chemical that causes inflamed blood vessels in the brain. Unlike aspirin, ginger blocks only prostaglandins that cause inflammation, the the beneficial ones such as ones that strengthen the stomach lining.

Menstrual cramps. The chemical compounds in ginger act as antispasmodics. They inhibit painful contractions not only in the digestive tract but also in the uterus.

Honey is great for healing because it lasts for so long. Stored in the right conditions, honey can have an indefinite storage life. It’s good for soothing allergies, coughs and ulcers. Check out other uses of honey here.

Ulcers. Honey may reduce ulcer symptoms and speed the healing time. Honey reduces inflammation, stimulates blood flow and enhances the growth of epithelial cells on the inside of the stomach. Honey also kills H. pylori – the bacteria responsible for most ulcers.

Cuts. The sweet goo is great for taking care of cuts or scrapes that could end up getting infected. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and propolis – a compound that kills bacteria. Applying honey to cuts or scrapes locks out other contaminants and denies bacterial growth.

Uses of LavendarLavender
If you’re out in the wild and spot a lavender plant, be sure to grab some. It will probably come in handy! Lavender is great for treating headaches, insect bites, ear infections and athlete’s foot.

Skin infection. Lavender is a great way to fight infections in cuts and scrapes. Soak a clean cloth in a lavender infusion and apply and compress to the wound.

Ear infection. The same chemical compounds that fight infection in scrapes and cuts, also help sooth swimmer’s ear.

Pain reliever. Lavender has some minor pain killing properties. It appears to reduce the transmission of nerve impulses that carry pain signals. Mix a few drops of the oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil (an oil derived from nuts or fruits of a plant) and rub it in. It’s also great for relieving itching.

Uses of GoldensealGoldenseal
This herb can heal just as well as man-made medicines and drugs. In studies, goldenseal has proven just as effective against certain infections as prescriptions.

Infectious diarrhea. The berberine in goldenseal helps prevent diarrhea-causing organisms from clinging to the lining of the intestines. Fighting the spread of infection during a disaster is an important preparation.

Eye infections. Goldenseal is too bitter to enjoy as a tea or drink but you can strain the beverage, let it cool and use it as an eyewash to speed the healing of eye infections such as pinkeye. You’ll have to continue to apply goldenseal to your eyes to continue to fight the infection.

Your recommendations
So, what do you think? Have you found something that works really well as medicine in the wild? Share your knowledge below and help the community!


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Uses for WD-40

This article was written by Johnathon Dick

You might not have ever thought that WD-40 could be used for more than loosening up rusty parts or greasing up your bike chain. In fact WD-40 can be used for many purposes that might just lead to your survival. Here are 13 ways that you can re-purpose WD-40 to help you in any situation! Feel free to add your own ideas and experiences at the end of this article. Help spread the word to others by sharing this on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ pages.

Prevent Snow Build-Up on Windows
Does the weather forecast predict a big winter snowstorm? You can’t stop the snow from falling, but you can prevent it from building up on your house’s windows. Just spray WD-40 over the outside of your windows before the snow starts and the snow won’t stick.

Attract and Catch Fish
Many salmon fisherman in the Pacific Northwest will spray their lures with WD-40 to mask the human scent. It also supposedly attracts the fish. However, be sure that use of the chemical is legal in your state before you fish with it.

Protect Against Critters
If you have squirrels taking over a birdfeeder, for example, simply spray a generous amount of WD-40 onto the feeder and the squirrels will slide right off. They won’t be able to grasp as well.

Exterminate Roaches and Insects
You can spray your windowsills, frames, screens and doors with WD-40 to repel bugs and insects from trying to get into your home. It also acts as a good bug spray that will kill them on the spot.

Spray a Shovel
Spray the blade of your shovel with WD-40 along with your spading fork, hoe or any other garden tool. The soil will slide right off. This is especially helpful if you are working with clay. This also works with snow shovels.

Get Rid of Rust
You’ll want to spray and rub away the WD-40. Keep this up until the rust is completely gone. This works great for old tools, saw blades and anything that has rush on it really.

Remove Gum
WD-40 is great for removing gum from hair or off of your car. It will keep the paint on your car while still removing the sticky gum particles. It’s also great for removing the sticky mess from your hair but be careful not to spray it in your eyes.

Winterize Your Boots and Shoes
Waterproof your winter boots and shoes by giving them a coat of WD-40. It’ll act as a barrier so water can’t penetrate the material. Also use WD-40 to remove ugly salt stains from boots and shoes during the winter months. Just spray WD-40 onto the stains and wipe with a clean rag. Your boots and shoes will look almost as good as new.

Keep Wooden Handles Splinter Free
No tools can last forever, but you can prolong the life of your wood-handled tools by preventing splintering. To keep wooden handles from splintering, rub a generous amount of WD-40 into the wood. It will shield the wood from moisture and other corrosive elements and keep it smooth and splinter-free for the life of the tool.

Relieve Bee Stings
If you need fast relief for a bee, wasp or hornet sting, use WD-40!  Just spray the bite or sting directly and it should relieve the pain in a matter of seconds.

Protect Against Corrosion
You can protect boat’s outer finishes or other items near the sea against salt water and corrosion. Use WD-40 after each use of your boat or on a regular basis to keep your items looking new and fresh.

Bring a Spark Plug Back to Life
Can’t get your car to start on a rainy or humid day? To get your engine purring, just spray some WD-40 on the spark-plug wires before you try starting it up again. WD-40 displaces water and keeps moisture away from the plugs.

Kill Thistle Plants
Don’t let pesky prickly weeds like bull and Russian thistle ruin your yard or garden. Just spray some WD-40 on them and they will wither and die.

Additional Uses:

This is from Snopes:

1) Protects silver from tarnishing.
2) Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3) Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4) Gives floors that `just-waxed` sheen without making it slippery.
5) Keeps flies off cows.
6) Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7) Removes lipstick stains.
8) Loosens stubborn zippers.
9) Untangles jewelry chains.
10) Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11) Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12) Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13) Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14) Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15) Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16) Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17) Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
18) It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19) Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car. Removed quickly, with WD-40!
20) Gives a children’s play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21) Lubricates gear shift on lawn mowers.
22) Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23) Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24) Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25) Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, well as vinyl bumpers.
26) Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27 ) Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28) Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29) Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30) Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31) Removes splattered grease on stove.
32) Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33) Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34) Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35) Removes all traces of duct tape.
36) Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain
37) Florida’s favorite use ‘Cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38) Protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39) WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.
40) Ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41) WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42) If you’ve washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and Presto! Lipstick is gone!
43) If you spray WD-40 on the distributor cap, it will displace the moisture and allow the car to start.



Growing your Own Medicinal Herbs

Herbs have been used for thousands of years as a medicine to help your body heal naturally and effectively. Herbs such as Borage, Yarrow, Cayenne and more can be used to treat infections, fight blood loss, treat sickness and more.Check out this list of common herbs that you might use to help you in an emergency. Knowing how to use herbs to heal your body will help you become more self-sufficient and help you save money.

Before You Use Herbs
While herbs are natural, it does not mean they can be taken without caution. Medicinal Herbs can be very powerful and the compounds in them can interact with other drugs, medicines or herbs you may be taking so investigate before you start taking something new.

Grow your own medicinal herbsAs with anything, it is recommended to consult your physician before taking any medications, supplements or before making any significant changes to your dietary habits including the use of medicinal herbs.  Side effects can occur with any of these herbs, the most common of which may be an allergic reaction. Again, consult a physician about us­ing these herbs and proper dosing.

Children, women who are pregnant or hope to be pregnant, and those with compromised immunity should take caution before using these herbs.  Prolonged use may lead to lower effectiveness.

Borage is one of the few plants with a true blue flower which is also edible. Borage leaves and flowers can be eaten fresh or dried. The leaves eaten fresh have a taste similar to cucumber and the flower a sweet taste. Natural herbalist use Borage to regulate the metabolism and hormone system, some claiming it helps with PMS and hot flashes.[1] It is also used as an anti-inflam­matory as Borage is the highest known natural producer of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and is medically accepted as “possibly effective” for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lung function in ill patients and growth and devel­opment of premature babies.[2] Borage should not be taken if you have liver disease.Borage is typically made into tea or eaten fresh on salads.Plant borage in healthy, well-drained soil with full sun to partial shade expo­sure. Plant after the danger of frost has passed and plant in tight clusters so plants support each other as they grow (8 inches apart).

Calendula is also called a pot marigold but, as a member of the daisy fam­ily, looks more like a daisy. The pedals of the calendula flower are edible and thought to work as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.[3] It has also been used to treat acne, constipation and abdominal cramps. Calendula has also been used topically and reported to help reduce swelling and bleeding including hemorrhoids and to help wounds heal faster.[4] Dried Calendula is found in many ointments. Calendula may cause drowsiness so take caution.Typically fresh flower pedals are added to salads, or eaten directly. Dried pedals are sometimes used to replace saffron. It is also applied directly to the skin.Plant in healthy, well-drained soil with full sun. Plant after the danger of frost has passed about 1/4 inch deep. Plant about 16 inches apart and dead head flowers to keep the plant blooming. If the heat of summer begins to make plant appear sick, cut back heavily and keep watered. Plant will bloom again as weather cools.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. University of Maryland recommends same and offers that historic Adult dosages have been:

• Infusion: 1 tsp (5 – 10 g) dried florets in 8 oz (250 mL) water; steep 10 – 15 minutes; drink 2 – 3 cups per day
• Fluid extract (1:1 in 40% alcohol): 0.5 – 1.0 mL 3 times per day
• Tincture (1:5 in 90% alcohol): 5 – 10 drops (1 – 2 mL) 3 times per day
• Ointment: 2 – 5% calendula; apply 3 – 4 times per day as needed

Cayenne hot peppers have been used as both a food and a medicine by Native Americans for thousands of years. Cayenne peppers can be eaten fresh when they are red or green, used in cooking, dried and ground into pepper flakes, or pulped-dried and then ground into a fine powder.The main active ingredient in Cayenne is Capsaicin which has been used to treat digestive problems, help with pain relief and help with circulatory prob­lems. Capsaicin cream is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain and shingles. In addition, capsaicin is the key ingredient in personal defense sprays.[5]Start pepper plants indoors 7 weeks before the projected last frost date for your area and transplant when the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed in late spring. Peppers love warm soil, sunny locations and well-drained soil.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. University of Maryland recommends same and offers that historic Adult dosages have been:

• For shingles, psoriasis, arthritis, or muscle pain: Capsaicin cream (0.025 – 0.075% capsaicin) may be applied directly to the affected area up to 4 times a day. Pain may slightly increase at first, but then may get better over the next few days. Capsaicin should be applied regularly several times a day. It usually takes 3 – 7 days before you notice substantial pain relief.

NOTE: Be sure to completely wash your hands with soap and water after handling, water alone won’t remove capsaicin. If you are sensitive or want to ensure you wash as much capsaicin as possible try using a diluted vinegar solution.

Dandelion’s are a common site and frustration in our lawns, however, dande­lions are entirely edible and are a good source of vitamins A, B complex, C and D[6]. They are also high in iron, potassium, and zinc. The most common historic uses for dandelion are as a diuretic, to treat mild digestive problems or increase appetite, and to treat liver issues. Some people have had allergic reactions to the pollen so try in small doses if you are unsure.Dandelion can be eaten fresh in salads, blanched (which will also remove some of the bitterness) or dried. The flowers are used by many to make dandelion wine. Young leaves are much less bitter than fully mature leaves. The root can be dry roasted over high heat until the color of a good roasted coffee bean and ground up as a caffeine free coffee or tea substitute. When harvesting roots, second year crops, harvested in the autumn will give you the best yield and best flavor.As you probably know, dandelions will grow well just about anywhere and if care is not taken will quickly spread. If you are cropping dandelions they will be best if planted in light soil to give the root good development. Con­stant care should be taken to collect seed heads before they spread.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. University of Maryland recommends same and offers that historic Adult dosages have been:

• Dried leaf infusion: 1 – 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Pour hot water onto dried leaf and steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Drink as directed.
• Dried root decoction: 1/2 – 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Place root into boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Strain and drink as directed.
• Leaf tincture (1:5) in 30% alcohol: 30 – 60 drops, 3 times daily
• Standardized powdered extract (4:1) leaf: 500 mg, 1 – 3 times daily
• Standardized powdered extract (4:1) root: 500 mg, 1 – 3 times daily
• Root tincture (1:2) fresh root in 45% alcohol: 30 – 60 drops, 3 times daily

Echinacea, also a member of the daisy family, is one of the most common herbs used today and has of recent been heavily promoted as a treatment to prevent or shorten the development of the common cold. Historically, Echi­nacea was used by the Native Americans to treat the symptoms of the cold such as headaches, sore throats, cough, and fever.Echinacea can be eaten fresh, dried, made into teas, juiced, or applied exter­nally.Direct sow in spring under ¼ inch of well-drained soil in a sunny location. Echinacea is drought tolerant and can do well without lots of water once established.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. Suggested Adult dosages for general immune system stimulation, during colds, flu, upper respiratory tract infections, or bladder infections, choose from the following forms and take 3 times a day until you feel better, but not for more than 7 – 10 days:• 1 – 2 grams dried root or herb, as tea

• 2 – 3 mL of standardized tincture extract
• 6 – 9 mL of expressed juice (succus)
• 300 mg of standardized, powdered extract containing 4% phenolics
• Tincture (1:5): 1 – 3 mL (20 – 90 drops)
• Stabilized fresh extract: 0.75 mL (15 – 23 drops)
• Apply to wounds as needed

Herbs medicineFenugreek
Fenugreek is a very versatile and useful plant. The dried or fresh leaves are used as an herb, the seeds are a popular spice and the fresh leaves are edible. There is reasonable scientific support for the use of fenugreek in the treat­ment of diabetes.[7] It is also widely used to promote increased milk produc­tion in lactating women and increased libido in men.Leaves can be eaten fresh, sautéed, or dried. Seeds often roasted to open up their flavors and release some bitterness and are used whole or in a powdered form.Direct sow Fenugreek in a sunny location and thin as necessary with final planting about 4 inches apart. Seeds form in long brown pods that develop near the summer. Fenugreek is slow to grow in cold wet climates.

Hyssop has a very strong flavor which is similar to mint. Hyssop leaves are used in salads and soups. Hyssop also is used when cooking meat.Hyssop has traditionally been used to treat pulmonary conditions[8] and is most used as an expectorant. Hyssop tea is the usual means of taking in the herb with people either steeping the green tops or steeping the dried Hyssop flowers in hot water.Direct sow Hyssop seeds in the spring in a sunny well drained location about 12 inches apart. Hyssop is fairly hardy once established and can continue to be propagated from cuttings. Like other woody herbs Hyssop will need to be replaced every few years otherwise becomes too woody. Hyssop also will benefit from being cut back from time to time.

Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and has a strong lemony sent and flavor. It is frequently used to treat cold sores, promote relaxation and as a mosquito repellent. Research is also being conducted to look at lemon balm as possibly effective for Alzheimer’s. [9]Direct sow in spring or early fall in a cool and partially shaded location. Cover with 1/8th inch of soil. Trimming will result in additional branching producing a bushier more robust plant. As a member of the mint family, Lemon balm with self-propagate through its root structure and can quickly spread.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. University of Maryland recommends same and offers that historic Adult dosages have been:• Capsules: Take 300 – 500 mg dried lemon balm, 3 times daily or as needed.

• Tea: 1.5 – 4.5 grams (1/4 – 1 teaspoonful) of dried lemon balm herb in hot water. Steep and drink up to 4 times daily.
• Tincture: 60 drops of lemon balm daily
• Topical: Apply topical cream to affected area, 3 times daily or as direct­ed.
• For cold sores or herpes sores, steep 2 – 4 teaspoonfuls of crushed leaf in 1 cup boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes. Cool. Apply tea with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day.

Lovage is an extremely versatile plant. Its leaves are a very flavorful herb reminiscent of parsley and celery. The roots are a delicious vegetable that tastes great braised. The stalks can be eaten similar to celery. The seeds are a great spice that add tremendous flavor to bread. Because it is so similar in flavor to parsley and celery it is a common replacement for them in recipes.As a medicinal, lovage has been historically used to treat sore throats, treat indigestion and help rheumatism.[10] It has even been used in shoes as a deodorant  Of course, it is also thought to be an aphrodisiac. Like many herbs lovage leaves will become a bit bitterer after the plant flowers so leaves are best harvested before flowering. Lovage is best direct sowed in the fall is a sunny to partially shady location. Lovage can become quite large so give it about 2 to 3 feet.

Yarrow is a well-known herb which has been which has been used for hun­dreds of years. One primary benefit of yarrow is that it is easy to grow and tolerates drought and less fertile soil better than many other plants. As an added benefit yarrow attracts many beneficial garden insects.Yarrow is most typically used for its ability to slow bleeding and is used on cuts and abrasions or bloody noses.[11] The leaves can also be dried or cooked in a soup.Sow yarrow seed under no more than 1/8th an inch of soil in the late spring. Yarrow prefers a sunny location and can tolerate dryer conditions than most other plants.Discuss with a doctor before taking and to establish dosage. Suggested dos­ages have been:• Capsules: Take 300 – 500 mg dried lemon balm, 3 times daily or as needed.

• Tea: 1.5 – 4.5 grams (1/4 – 1 teaspoonful) of dried yarrow flower in hot water. Steep and drink up to 4 times daily.
• Tincture: ¼ to ½ teaspoon – 2 to 5 times a day
• Topical: directly chew root for temporary relief from tooth ache. For wounds, apply a clean cloth soaked in a strong yarrow infusion directly to wound.

Your Recommendations
So, what herbs do you find most helpful? Comment below to share your knowledge and help others along their way.

As always, if you are looking for emergency seeds, Survival Concepts stocks medicinal seeds to fruits and vegetable seeds that can be used in emergency preparedness!  Just visit our online store at

[2] US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health:
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health:
[4] Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center:
[5] University of Maryland Medical Center:–000230.htm
[7] US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health
[8] US Pharmacist Publication
[10] Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/crop843?opendocument
[11] University of Maryland. School of Medicine.


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Signaling For Help

Imagine you are driving across the country and your car breaks down in the middle of the drive. What are you going to do? If you’re prepared and know how to signal for help, you can create signs and signal aircrafts for help. Most people know the SOS sign, but here are other things that emergency personal will recognize as messages.

Three Fires
Building three separate fires is an international signal for distress. Ideally, they should be placed in a triangle at equal distances. However, if you are injured or fuel isn’t available, you might only be able to build one fire which is a great start to signaling for help.

Many people have even built small rafts that they build fires on. This allows them to float their three-fire triangle in the middle of a lake or in a river where a passing aircraft is more likely to see them.

Signal Fires
Smoking fires are a great way to signal for help from long distances. Be sure to set up your fire in a visible location so that people can see the flames or smoke before they dissipate. Typically, planes will fly from a high ridge to a low one

Ground-to-Air Codes
There are a few symbols that you can use to signify that you are in need. Typically, you’ll want to make these large and as noticeable as possible – usually a color that is contrasted with its surroundings.

Serious Injury, Evacuation Required Am Proceeding in This Direction
Need Medical Supplies Probably Safe to Land Here
Unable to Move Require Food and Water

Body Signaling
There are a series of signals that pilots and other airmen will understand and use. Make all of these signals in a clear and exaggerated manner.

Need Medical Attention Do Not Attempt to Land Here
Land Here (Indicate Direction) Affirmative
Pick Us Up Here Negative

If the pilot understands the message, he or she will continue flying the plane and tipping the wings in a rocking motion from side to side. If the pilot did not understand, they will begin flying the plane in a right-handed circle.

At night time, the plane will either flash a green (affirmative) or red (negative) light to communicate.

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