The Bay Area is safe from many of the natural disasters that plague our neighbors to the east. Mountain View Surplus sells a broad range of equipment for anyone facing a temporary loss of shelter.
California First Aid and Safety mainly offers safety, emergency and earthquake preparedness training to businesses throughout the Bay Area. The Fritz Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving disaster response and recovery.
The Bay Area Earthquake Alliance is part of the larger Earthquake Country Alliance and is dedicated to the coordination of earthquake preparedness and awareness resources in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Get the latest weather conditions to your favorite Northern California and Lake Tahoe ski resorts with the CBS SF Ski & Snow Report.
Here we list these nutritional foods that would make the best canned food choices for your emergency food supply. Read more on what we suggest for the different types of "survival foods" on our Survival Food List Page. The canning process actually is responsible for higher calcium levels in canned fish than in freshly cooked. Before opening, discard any badly dented, bulging, rusty, or leaky cans or jars that have broken seals.
Shepherd’s purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris) is a lover of waste grounds, roadsides and old fields. The vigorously growing new foliage is sometimes cooked like spinach and, although its turnip-like odor and flavor are disagreeable to some, it is relished by many people.
Chestnut states that by California Indians the seeds are sometimes gathered and ground into meal.
Shepherd’s purse flowers from mid-spring to mid-fall, and is found throughout the United States.
Shepherd’s purse is little used in herbalism, though it is a commonly used domestic remedy, being especially efficacious in the treatment of both internal and external bleeding, diarrhea etc. A tea made from the whole plant is anti-scorbutic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, hypotensive, oxytocic, stimulant, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator and vulnerary. The plant is a folk remedy for cancer – it contains fumaric acid which has markedly reduced growth and viability of Ehrlich tumor in mice. Flowering takes place mostly in late winter or spring, but can take place year-round under favorable conditions. Fruit consist of flat, heart or triangular-shaped pods making this species easy to recognize when mature and distinguishes it from other plants in the mustard family. This is another mixture that can target the bad bugs destroying your plants.  It will work great against soft-bodied bugs suck as aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs and will also repel ants.
Burdock (Arctium Lappa) has been traditionally used as a skin remedy for acne, boils, abscesses, eczema and psoriasis. As a food-plant the usually common, throughout southern Canada and the more norther United States, and much despised Burdock (Arctium Lappa) has greater possibilities than the neglected Pigweed. In many parts of Europe Burdock-roots, young leaves and young stems have been much used for food. The young stems, which are often an inch or more in diameter, are gathered before the flower-heads are well formed, in late spring or early summer, and carefully peeled, great care being taken to remove every shred of the tough, strong-smelling and bitter rind. Surely, when our sophisticated tastes have been trained to favor the Burdock (Arctium Lappa), there should be no trouble in exterminating this now obnoxious weed from many back yards. Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine.
The dried root of one year old plants is the official herb, but the leaves and fruits can also be used.
The root is thought to be particularly good at helping to eliminate heavy metals from the body.
The plant is also part of a North American formula called essiac which is a popular treatment for cancer.
The other herbs included in the formula are Rumex acetosella, Ulmus rubra and Rheum palmatum.
It has soothing, mucilaginous properties and is said to be one of the most certain cures for many types of skin diseases, burns, bruises etc. It is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, boils, bites etc]. The juice of the plant, when used as a friction, is said to have a stimulating action against baldness. Produced during the second year of growth.  Stems are erect, branched, hollow, hairy, and ridged. Cotyledons are egg-shaped and widest near the apex (obovate) with a waxy surface.  Young leaves are also egg-shaped, except at the truncated base.
Salt has been such an important element of life that it has been the subject of many stories, fables and folktales and is frequently referenced in fairy tales.
It served as currency at various times and places, and it has even been the cause of bitter warfare.
In the CBS apocalyptic series, Jericho, there were towns that literally went to war over salt. Food preservation – Table salt is the most important ingredient in curing food.  According to Wikipedia,  salt kills and inhibits the growth of microorganisms by drawing water out of the cells of both microbe and food alike through osmosis. Soaps can get an added boost when  adding salt, specifically sea salt to the soap making process.  The added benefits are that the salt will exfoliate skin and naturally heal the skin from it’s natural antiseptic factors. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918,lasted over a period of three years occurring in waves, one in 50 people died. The current flu that shows pandemic potential, the H7N9 strain, has a death rate of one in 5, about ten times more deadly than the Spanish Flu. Human to human transmission has not been sustained yet, but scientists are saying this particular virus mutates at an astonishing rate, so human to human transmission may occur soon. In the best interests of the family budget, food conservation, clean food and health, stored food items should be protected from contamination and damage from insect pests. Small flour beetles, dermestids, weevils, larder beetles, several kinds of moths and other stored food pests readily infest, contaminate, destroy, and consume accessible food supplies. To prevent insect infestations in bulk foods, keep all stored foods in tight, clean, metal, plastic, or glass insect-proof containers that have tight fitting lids and no open seams or crevices. To fumigate home stored wheat or similar products, spread about 2 ounces of crushed dry ice on 3 or 4 inches of grain in the bottom of the container, then add the remaining grain to the can until it is at the desired depth.
Since the fumes from vaporizing dry ice are heavier than air, they should readily replace the existing air in the container. Should pressure cause bulging of the can after the lid has been put in place, remove the lid cautiously for a few minutes and then replace it. Dry ice tends to control most adult and larval insects present, but probably will not destroy all the eggs or pupae.
Kerosene-based sprays should not be used around flour since the flour may absorb the kerosene. Household formulations of Diazinon, Baygon (propoxur), Malathion, or Drione, may be used for crack and crevice treatment behind radiators, under sinks, and in ant runs to destroy ants, roaches, earwigs, silverfish and roaming flour- infesting insects.See label directions for information on insects controlled by these chemicals and the appropriate uses. Small quantities of grain, 1 to 10 pounds, can be put in medium to heavy food grade plastic bags and placed in a deep freeze for 2 to 3 days. As a check spread the deep freeze treated grain on a cookie tray at room temperature until thawed. When packaged goods such as beans, cereals, whole grains, nut meats, and similar dried foods become infested they may be “sterilized” by heating in an open oven as follows. Heat is detrimental to the proteins in wheat and may reduce the ability of the bread to rise properly. We receive numerous inquiries asking about exotic treatments to prevent insect infestations in stored grain.
Experts at the FDA have said that the average adult will consume the following amounts of fresh food per year.
The figures above are nice guidelines, but they need to be considered from the technical angle of preserved foods rather than fresh foods.
Meat – Under adverse conditions, people can easily get by with less protein than 150 pounds of fresh meat per year, as that averages to almost a half pound per day!
Flour – The listed amount of 200 to 300 pounds of flour per year is fairly realistic, as in catastrophic conditions people would be making their own bread and pasta, for example. Sugar or honey – The recommended 60 pounds is the absolute minimum needed, in reality far below the actual amount desired, as sweeteners are the carbohydrates needed for energy, and survival is hard work.
Fats or oils – Again, this is an absolute minimum amount needed, as 60 pounds of fats or oils does not go far when used in baking, frying, and other uses. Powdered milk –  The 75 pounds recommended per person is fine, but for cooking needs a couple of cases (48 cans) of canned, condensed milk is an absolute necessity. Vegetables and fruits – In hard times, greens and fruits can indeed be a vital food item, as they provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies require to remain healthy.
Wild carrots, also called Queen Anne’s Lace, is Daucus Carota, which you may recognize is the exact species of cultivated carrot. Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota), which is such a pest in many old fields, belongs to the same species of garden carrot but its root is small and tough and there are conflicting traditions which indicate that it is scarcely edible, some people stating that it is actually poisonous. The main reason there are conflicting reports is that there are poisonous look-a-likes that are often mistaken for Wild Carrot, please be familiar with all the characteristics of this wonderful wild edible before you enjoy them.
Wild Carrot is a variable biennial plant, usually growing up to 1 m tall and flowering from June to August. Similar in appearance to the deadly poison hemlock, Wild Carrot is distinguished by a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves, fine hairs on its stems and leaves, a root that smells like carrots, and occasionally a single dark red flower in its center. The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet’s delight.
The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. The whole plant is anthelmintic, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, galactogogue, ophthalmic, stimulant. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones.
A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones.
An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems.
While the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all provide emergency-supply checklists, those lists can be intimidating in their breadth and their specificity.
This winter’s “monster” El Nino weather system is predicted to deliver wetter-than-normal conditions across the southern half of the country, meaning a heightened risk for flooding and mudslides in long-parched areas.
We’ve spent 120 hours researching and testing nearly 100 different products to bring you this large update to our emergency gear guide, with recommendations for a long-term, heavy-duty water storage container, water purification tablets, energy bars, a quality first-aid kit, a reliable emergency radio, face masks, an excellent lantern and headlamp, a backup emergency candle, a whistle, a power inverter for the car, and a sturdy container to store everything in. We're still working on a full refresh of our emergency guide, and plan to publish it this fall. This guide is on wait status for now, but we’ve begun work on a complete overhaul due for completion in early Fall 2015. In the meantime, we recommend visiting the Red Cross for information on what should go into a kit and cross referencing it with our leaderboard where picks exist. We updated this guide for 2014 with our latest picks in several categories and added a new item (duct tape). Half of all proceeds from this guide will once again be donated to emergency relief through the end of 2014. If you’re starting from scratch, picking up these 12 essentials will get you a best-on-the-block kit at a price affordable for almost any household (about $300 as of this writing): a long-term, heavy-duty water storage container, water purification tablets, energy bars, a quality first-aid kit, a reliable emergency radio, face masks, an excellent lantern and headlamp, a backup emergency candle, a whistle, a power inverter for the car, and a sturdy container to store everything. Kalee Thompson is a California-based science journalist who has reported extensively on natural disasters and survival skills.
Seamus Bellamy is trained as an occupational first-aid attendant and comes from a family that includes a former deputy fire chief and a number of fire paramedics. The easiest way to feel prepared for an emergency is to go to your local big-box store and pick up a ready-made emergency kit. The ones we looked at, priced from $69 to $200, were each designed to sustain two people for three days following a disaster, and they contained several dozen individual items ranging from basics such as water and “food bars” to protective gear like ponchos, survival blankets, or a tarp. We think FEMA’s three-day recommendation is unreasonably modest—especially for people in earthquake country. After talking with a half-dozen disaster-preparedness experts, we think FEMA’s three-day recommendation is unreasonably modest—especially for people in earthquake country. You could just stock up on bottled water, but that’s expensive (three 24-count cases of bottled water—a 10-day supply for one person—might cost about $25) and potentially wasteful (most bottled water generally has a two-year shelf life). This sturdy, 7-gallon plastic jug is ideal for storing emergency water for one person or using as a vessel to move and pour water stored in a larger drum. Rigid water containers made of blue polyethylene consistently perform better than opaque collapsible ones for both storage (they offer more durability and leak resistance, and prevent bacterial growth) and pouring.
The Aqua-Tainer (left) was easier to use and able to prevent spills better than any other jug we tested. A couple of caveats: Unlike some other Reliance models, the Aqua-Tainer is not designed to be stacked. Reliance officially advises that users replace emergency water stored in its containers every 90 days, a recommendation the company says was inspired by FEMA’s guidelines.
This large drum made of food-grade plastic allows you to store an entire family’s supply of water for five years before refreshing.
While the Reliance Aqua-Tainer’s size is a good fit for a one- or two-person household, a family of four would need eight of those jugs to store a two-week supply of water. You can find two models online that come with all the accessories you need to store and later use water: the Shelf Reliance Deluxe BPA Free 55-Gallon Barrel Water Storage System, which is sold at Costco as well as on Amazon, and the Augason Farms Emergency Water Storage Kit. The drums themselves are nearly identical, but we did like the Shelf Reliance’s accessories a bit better: Its pump seemed slightly more durable to us, and its wrench also proved more comfortable to grip and easier to use than the Augason wrench.


Even if you have a big barrel, keeping a smaller container for transporting water is a good idea.
If you want a stash of light, easily portable water containers, we like the long-lasting, durable Datrex pouches, which have an international seal of approval. A number of competitors sell similarly styled emergency water pouches, but we like that Datrex specializes in emergency preparedness and that this product is widely available online and in stores. Trusted by a range of professionals, these chlorine dioxide tablets kill more bugs than iodine does. You should use water purification tablets to treat stored water or tap water that you suspect has become contaminated, or natural sources of water when you’ve run out of tap or stored supplies.
Other chlorine dioxide tablets like Potable Aqua, MSR Aquatabs, and Katadyn Micropur should be equally effective.
A packet of 10 tablets, available on Amazon for about $6, will treat 10 liters (about 2? gallons) of water. Treating the water from your heater or toilet tank may not be strictly necessary, but if you feel more comfortable doing so, popping in a tablet is easier than messing around with bleach. For clear, relatively clean water, use 10 drops of plain, unscented bleach per gallon of water. Big containers are good for storage, but a durable small container is better for drinking from and taking on the go. If you choose to keep your emergency water in a large storage container, you’ll need a vessel to drink it from.
If you keep the freezer door closed, that food should stay safe to eat for 72 hours into a blackout. The best emergency-food strategy is to stock your cupboards full of the shelf-stable canned and dry goods you routinely eat and love—think soups, fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, cereals, pastas, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, and boxed milk (it doesn’t need refrigeration). These widely available energy bars taste good, last a year, and can be found for about a dollar each.
Energy bars are a convenient item to keep in the car or in a to-go bag to eat quickly on the run—say, if you’re evacuating your home in a storm. Dedicated emergency ration bars like Datrex or ER Emergency Ration bars do have the impressive advantage of a five-year shelf life, but after testing them, we can’t recommend them.
After going through nine hours of testing, 54 opened cans, and 16 rejected can openers, we can tell you that the $17 OXO Good Grips Locking Can Opener with Lid Catch is the best piece of gear for the task.
We like this model for its culinary prowess with charcoal, but in a pinch, you can burn anything in it. Portable stoves are a popular emergency-kit item, but if you have a grill out on your deck or balcony, they’re redundant. Staying clean helps you to avoid spreading germs or harboring infection—common problems in extended disasters.
The Sportsman Whitetail comes with a wide variety of supplies, instructional flash cards, and organization that makes providing first aid as simple as possible (even for the untrained). Our experts told us that the Sportsman Whitetail comes with more critical supplies and better organization than less expensive kits, without unnecessary extras. The Sportsman Whitetail (left) and the significantly larger Sportsman Grizzly both have great organization and instructions. While other kits we found, such as the Red Cross Deluxe Family Kit, come organized in sections based on injury type, none let you see all of the supplies you have to work with—clearly labeled with easy-to-use instructions—the way all Adventure Medical Kits, including the Whitetail, do. The Whitetail contains the basic supplies you’d expect any kit to come with—gauze, bandages of varying sizes, antiseptic wipes, and the like—plus more advanced tools such as EMT shears, which have a kink in the blades for cutting bandages and clothing away from an injury area (cheaper kits have only safety scissors), and an irrigation syringe for cleaning out deeper wounds.
The Sportsman Whitetail kit comes with easy-to-use instructions for a treating a wide range of injuries and medical conditions, as well as a comprehensive first-aid guide. Our paramedics also preferred the Whitetail over the cheaper Adventure Medical Kits Adventure 2.0 First-Aid Kit, which we recommend in our road trip guide. We previously recommended the $60 Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Bighorn kit, and if the Whitetail is sold out, the Bighorn is a good buy with the same organization and documentation as the Whitetail. The Sportsman Grizzly is more comprehensive than the Whitetail, containing additional supplies for treating severe penetrating injuries and broken bones. If you want something that can handle more serious injuries and offers more supplies, we recommend the $100 Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Grizzly. In addition to the supplies the Whitetail offers, the Sportsman Grizzly includes important extras for controlling serious bleeding and for splinting sprains and breaks. Supplies that the Grizzly offers but cheaper kits often omit include a one-way-valve CPR mask, antidiarrheal medications, additional doses of the painkillers and antihistamines found in the Whitetail, and a C-splint for stabilizing broken or sprained limbs. Although you could buy all of these items separately, the Grizzly kit includes instructions with every item, and it’s packed so that most anyone, trained or untrained, will be able to use the supplies properly.
Our paramedics noted that while both kits were well stocked, they still failed to supply enough of certain oft-used items.
Note: Most first-aid supplies have expiration dates on them, so you should expect to replace them every couple of years.
In the event of a fire, earthquake, or hurricane, airborne dust and debris could make breathing unsafe. Due to its exhale valve, the 3M Cool-Flow mask is far from ideal for preventing anyone carrying an illness spread by airborne particulates, such as the flu, from infecting other people. While Bay Area residents aren’t subject to blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes, we still have our share of disasters to prepare for, from earthquakes and wildfires to tsunamis.
In addition to providing training and disaster preparedness kits to businesses, its website has a massive selection of emergency supplies available for individuals to purchase. With classes throughout the Bay Area, ICE certifies participants for infant, child and adult CPR, and can train first responders to assist stroke and heart attack victims. Based in San Francisco, the organization works with local governments, agencies, corporations and other non-profits to coordinate humanitarian aid and smooth out supply chain issues to assist those in need of assistance after a disaster.
The BAEA offers an array of information on how to best prepare your home for an earthquake as well as how to stay safe during an earthquake. A tea made from the dried herb is considered to be a sovereign remedy against hemorrhages of all kinds – the stomach, the lungs, the uterus and more especially the kidneys.
The dried herb quickly loses its effectiveness and should not be stored for more than a year. The leaves are stalked, and the first leaves are usually rounded, while the later leaves are usually deeply toothed but may be rather variable. Even though I live in an arid climate with almost no humidity, my zucchini and squash always suffer from powdery mildew. It can be taken alone or mixed with other herbs such as dandelion root or yellow dock root, to balance its strong cleansing action.
The roots, at the end of the first season, are described as tender, nutritious, of excellent flavor, in this as well as in form and size resembling salsify, like which they are cooked. The tender pith of the root and the leaf-stalks when young, before the stem has begun to lengthen, boiled in two waters (with a little soda in the first water, to break the tough fibers, salt in the second water), make a really palatable and unusual potherb.
The remaining pith is a half-inch or more thick, tender, and succulent and, when cooked in two or more water (to remove the strong taste), makes a superior vegetable, in flavor like salsify. Inulin is a starch that cannot be digested by the human body, and thus passes straight through the digestive system. Its effectiveness has never been reliably proven or disproven since controlled studies have not been carried out. They are alterative, aperient, blood purifier, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic. There are different methods to the soap making process, and research should be done as to which process is right for you.  Additionally, a person can add 1 cup of finely ground sea salt to 1 cup of liquid soap to make a daily exfoliating soap. A total of 50 Million people perished from it, more than had died in the World War that had just ended. Many people took it when they got the flu, and because their fever broke they laid down to get comfortable and never got up again.
If fumigating large quantities use 14 ounces for 100 pounds of grain or 1 pound of dry ice for each 30 gallons of stored grain.
Allow sufficient time for the dry ice to evaporate (vaporize) before placing the lid on all the way (approximately 30 minutes). If a tight fitting lid is placed firmly on the container after the dry ice has vaporized, it may keep enough carbon dioxide inside to destroy some of the eggs and pupae.
It should not be accessible to young children or to adults who are not aware of its vaporizing properties. If the infestation is light, you may be able to salvage the product, but in most cases it will be to your advantage to dispose of any insect infested food you have in storage, including spices.
Clean the shelves, and as appropriate, remove the lower kitchen drawers and clean the areas behind and underneath the drawers with an extension to the vacuum.
If treating an area where flour is stored, remove the flour before treating and place it back on the shelves after the kerosene odor is gone.
Some reduced loaf volume and heavier texture may be apparent when using heat treated grains. In unofficial experiments we have conducted, it was noted that some insects will continue to feed when enclosed in containers with tight fitting lids, even in the presence of these exotic suggestions.
Whether you start a survival garden yourself or local farms start springing up – you’ll need to wait at least two months before anything will be ready to eat. A canned, cooked one pound ham, for example, would be a real treat once a week, and easily feed a family of four. Using a hand cranked mill to produce flour from whole wheat is a sure way to limit the amount of flour required, as it is hard work! The 60 pounds listed by the FDA does not take into account home canning, for example, and people will need to make jellies and jams and can fruits, all of which require a considerable amount of sugar or honey. Five pounds of iodized table salt would be the recommended minimum per person per year, but what about making kraut, salt preserving meat, or preserving fish in a barrel of salt? Morrell, who writes from a large experience with edible wild plants in Maine, states that the roots raised from the seeds of the Wild Carrot are remarkably sweet.
A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women.
In reality, for the most part you can assemble an emergency kit out of stuff you’d use anyway and may already own. After three hours of online research and interviews with sandbag-company presidents, we’ve found that Quick Dam Sandless Sandbags are the easiest option to stack in front of doorways or garages to block seepage, or to pile up to form makeshift mini dams to help control floodwaters.
But in the meantime we wanted to share a preview of our findings, which you can find below.
At $100, it's twice the price of our main pick, the FRX3 from Eton, but comes with a bigger battery, is splash-resistant, and customizable region-specific alert stations.
As usual, we will be donating half of all proceeds from this guide to emergency relief through the end of 2014.
In addition to 18 other pieces of gear that would be useful in any disaster scenario, we’ve also outlined a few important considerations to keep in mind for specific disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires. Develop a simple communication plan with your family so you know where to meet and who to call (ideally, someone out of state) if power and cell service go down. She has written about earthquake risk and wildfire tragedy for Popular Mechanics and discussed drought and power grid failures for Popular Science, where she is a contributing editor.
He spent close to a decade as a site medic for a number of high-profile organizations in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.
Unfortunately, after studying the contents of a dozen such kits online and getting four to rip apart in person, we can say with certainty that none of them are worth your money. But the key safety gear you need—a radio, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit—were universally of poor quality, far inferior to our picks of the Midland ER300 emergency radio and the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, for instance. The cheap, bundled radios from the preassembled kits (right) just couldn’t compete with our Midland ER300 pick (left) in loudness, reception, or features. But for the money, it won’t be half as good as a kit that you assemble yourself with careful consideration of your own family’s needs in mind.
We surveyed the field of large, rigid plastic water jugs and called in five models for testing before concluding that the oversize, rugged, 7-gallon Reliance Aqua-Tainer ($18) is the best overall choice for disaster-preparedness purposes, and car camping trips as well. The company recently introduced a new spigot design: An added plastic “skirt” ring ensures that the threading on the cap lines up perfectly with the threading on the container. But if you wash your hands vigorously before filling the jug to avoid contaminating the water with bacteria, and if you keep it sealed, there’s no reason why you can’t store water in the jug for a year before refreshing it, according to water-quality scientist Max Gyllenskog (PDF).
We liked the components that come with this brand best, but we advise choosing a drum in this category primarily on price. Still, these are minor details, and we wouldn’t pay even $10 extra for the “better” accessories. The pouches are tough, flexible, and slim enough that you can easily pack them around your other emergency items in a bag, and they don’t expire for five years. It also has the approval of the respective coast guards in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and New Zealand for use in their own emergency kits. We spent several hours on online research and surveyed hardcore backpackers and prepper sites before concluding that Aquamira water purification tablets are the standout choice. Though both have been proven to wipe out bacteria and viruses effectively, the CDC advises that chlorine dioxide has shown to be more effective than iodine against the protozoan cysts Giardia and Cryptosporidium, both of which can wreak gastrointestinal havoc. But Aquamira gets an edge in usability because the aspirin-sized tablets are easier to handle than smaller ones, which you can easily drop and lose.
That’s a good backup for most people, but those with elevated risk factors for a particularly devastating disaster with a long recovery period—such as people in the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest—will want a larger supply like this package of 50. For our guide to the best water bottles, we conducted over 50 hours of research to find the best stainless-steel, insulated, and plastic bottles.
The items are less likely to expire that way, since you’re eating and replacing them regularly. After comparing 10 popular bars, we like CLIF Bars for their balance of nutrition, taste, and value.


No problem: We’ve tested both of these methods, and they’ll get the job done—albeit with a bit more of a mess. Just be sure to keep a good supply of charcoal or an extra tank of propane on hand so you’ll be ready to cook if the power or gas goes out. At a good cost, it provides most of the items that trained and untrained individuals might need to help an injured person during an emergency. We also liked that the instructions are supplemented by a comprehensive guidebook that provides greater details on treatments and when it is important to get someone to medical aid right away. It also includes aspirin, which you use for treating individuals showing signs of heart attack; aspirin is increasingly uncommon in other kits, which tend to opt for painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) instead.
While the supply lists for the two kits seem similar, the Whitetail is better suited for times when professional medical help may be delayed.
Spending the extra $60 over the Whitetail is worthwhile if you want to be able to treat severe penetrating injuries, broken bones, and serious bleeding.
To stop serious bleeding, the Grizzly also comes with an additional trauma pad, a hemostatic QuikClot sponge, and a SWAT tourniquet (according to our paramedic experts, you should use a tourniquet only as an absolute last resort), as well as the instructions on how and when to use them—features that the Whitetail doesn’t have.
The experts recommended buying extra triangular bandages (for limb immobilization and stabilization, breaks, sprains, or large embedded objects), 5-by-9-inch trauma pads for stemming serious bleeding from large wounds (one paramedic, Ken, told us that he’s used up to 10 at a time on a single wound during a call), extra nitrile gloves (which you need to discard after every use), and an extra-large bottle of betadine solution for disinfecting wounds. While an expired bandage will still work, there’s no guarantee that the item will still be sterile.
Even the best face masks can’t completely block germs, but they’re at least useful for keeping particulate matter out of your nose and lungs.
Some of the best ways to prepare for an emergency are by taking CPR and first aid training, putting together emergency supply kits and creating a disaster plan for your family. Disaster kit resources to handle everything from wildfires to earthquakes can be found, including items for water purification, meal kits, fire-starting equipment and folding toilets.There are also a number of other hard-to-find emergency preparedness resources like triage kits and search-and-rescue supplies. ICE also carries a good selection of disaster preparedness supplies, which range from first aid equipment and power flares to family survival packs and defibrillators. The Institute’s BayPrep program is specifically focused on streamlining aid to more vulnerable parties such as the elderly, sick and poor who might not otherwise be able to obtain aid in an emergency situation.
In addition, look for information on prepping businesses and schools for earthquake safety, as well as free FEMA earthquake webinars.
This plant varies wonderfully in size and succulence of leaves, according to the nature and state of the soil where it grows. The four white flower petals are sometimes tinged pale pink, and narrow toward the base (clawed).
I think it’s because the leaves get watered by the irrigation from the lawn and nearby park. Burdock can occasionally worsen skin conditions initially due to its strong detoxifying action. Ancient Chinese medicine combined burdock root with other herbs to treat colds, measles, sore throats, and tonsillitis. They can be up to 120cm long and 2.5cm wide at the top, but are best harvested when no more than 60cm long.
The lid should not be made tight until the dry ice has pretty well vaporized and has replaced the regular air. Carbon dioxide will stay in the container for some time, provided the container lid is tight.
After 2 to 3 weeks another fumigation with dry ice may be desirable to destroy adult insects which have matured from the surviving eggs and pupae.
Then spray the area with a household formulation of an approved insecticide such as pyrethrum or Malathion. For weekday meals for a family of four, a 5 ounce can of tuna, canned chicken, 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, or 12 ounce can of corned beef can be used in a casserole (or whatever) and provide the required protein.
In every country in which food is rationed, cooking oils are one of the first items of scarcity. For those needs, a family should have at least 50 pounds of fine grade, non iodized salt, available for less then $5.00 from a feed and seed store. Combine the dried veggies with fresh greens from a garden and canned fruit juices and sauces, and the 600 pound per year amount becomes far more attainable. By the time the carrots are wild, they are white rather than orange and are much smaller (though the greens are still full and lush.) Some people are sensitive to these greens and can have a rash reaction on their skin. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms. There’s never a bad time to get prepared for a crisis by stocking up on gear and organizing it so you know exactly where it is when you need it most. The FRX3 is probably adequate for most people, but if you want to spend more, you'll get more features too. Find out if a comprehensive emergency-training class is happening in your area (you can attend at no cost). Thompson has participated in National Guard and Coast Guard survival-training exercises and investigated the physical and psychological aspects of cold-weather survival in her nonfiction book, Deadliest Sea.
He also spent four years working as a health and safety and training-design manager in the security industry before coming to work full-time as a journalist.
Many kits contained products we know are no good, like cheap collapsible water containers, junky multitools, and off-brand duct tape. Scientists fear that a massive rupture along the San Andreas Fault could damage the aqueducts and pipelines that deliver water to Southern California, and that “repairs may take weeks to 6 months or more.” The dreaded Cascadia megaquake in the Pacific Northwest could also leave millions of people without services for months or longer. Unlike the Reliance Water-Pak and the WaterBrick, the Aqua-Tainer has a built-in break-proof handle that is relatively comfortable to use.
Reliance containers have a five-year warranty, so buyers who have encountered subpar spigots can request a free replacement by contacting Reliance customer service at 800-665-0258 or through this contact page.
The 5-gallon Reliance Aqua-Pak  (about $22 on Amazon) or 4-gallon Aqua-Tainer  (about $17 on Amazon) may be a better choice for people who lack muscle, or who envision lugging water long distances. If you do abide by sanitary conditions, you don’t need to treat tap water before storing, but if you’re concerned about contamination you can use regular household bleach or a water purification tablet to treat your water when you’re ready to use it. Whether you choose to treat your water when you put it in the drum or when you take it out, tap water sealed tight in a dedicated water drum like this can last for at least five years, according to water-quality scientist Max Gyllenskog (PDF).
The key difference is that the Augason Farms barrel comes with a liquid water purifier (made of chlorine dioxide) and the Shelf Reliance drum comes with a water filter; both systems work fine, as does simply adding ? teaspoon of plain, unscented household bleach per gallon of water. These drums will weigh 480 pounds when full, so if you’re in an earthquake zone, don’t place them where they might potentially tumble off a ledge or down a hillside and hurt someone. Finally, Aquamira is a brand that many survival schools trust and recommend, and two record-setting long-trail hikers, Andrew Skurka and Liz Thomas, both named Aquamira as their chlorine dioxide brand of choice on the trail. Because all three of our picks resist impact, have leak-proof tops, and fit into a backpack, any one of them would be a great addition to your emergency bag (or, in less crisis-filled times, your gym bag). Popular Mechanics describes a stock-up plan that’ll feed a family of four for a month, all with grocery-store products you’ll eventually eat anyway. Fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals, they can help replace the nutrients you miss when you don’t eat full meals.
Based on the advice of two paramedic firefighters (one of whom is a CERT trainer), guidelines from the American Red Cross and FEMA, and over 15 hours of research, we can say that the $40 Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Whitetail first-aid kit is the best choice for most people to stash with their emergency-preparedness supplies.
Only the Whitetail kit includes a guidebook that covers injury treatments in greater depth. The only item the Bighorn has that we’d want in the Whitetail is the QuikClot sponge (for stopping bleeding quickly), but you can purchase that for about $12 on Amazon. Such scenarios are typically better left to medical professionals, but if you live in an area where a disaster such as an earthquake or flooding could make accessing medical aid difficult or impossible, this kit is a good buy. The FDA says N95-certified respirators can help to reduce the risk of illness in a public health emergency. Resources for disaster preparedness in the Bay Area can be difficult to find, so check out the following list for some of the best options. It even stocks military-style ready-to-eat meals and a selection of Swiss Army and hunting knives.
With workshops and conferences, Fritz Institute is helping to educate everyone in local communities on how to coordinate all available resources to best prepare for disasters.
Those from the gardens and highly cultivated spots near Philadelphia come to a size and succulence of leaf scarcely to be believed without seeing them. It appears that either it varies considerably in its effectiveness from batch to batch, or perhaps a white fungus that is often found on the plant contains the medically active properties. When practical, follow the above procedure in a dry atmosphere to reduce the condensation of moisture in the bottom of the can. If not, remove any insect fragments, put the grain in an  approved container and store it in a cool, dry place.
Indeed, in Russia last fall cooking oils were almost impossible to find, even though not specifically rationed. We did 120 hours of research and tested nearly 100 different products to come up with 30 products that will be indispensable in case of a natural disaster, and helpful in everyday life, too.
Participate in community events such as the ShakeOut earthquake drills coming up on October 15, 2015.
A proud graduate of Los Angeles’s CERT program, she recently loaned out her living room for her block’s first Map Your Neighborhood meeting.
Meanwhile, the gritty, block-like food bars weren’t anything you’d want to eat unless you were actually on the verge of starving to death. If you’re caught unprepared, know that the typical home water heater contains 32 gallons of potable water.
We’ve seen that floods and hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy can cause massive utility disruptions and contamination of municipal water supplies. The easiest and best way to ensure an adequate and easily transportable water supply is to get some dedicated containers. As with many Reliance products—including all three we tested—the spigot is stored inside the cap when not in use, reducing the risk of cracking or smashing. The 27-ounce Klean Kanteen is our overall favorite because it’s durable, affordable, and topped with a nicely sized opening for easy filling and drinking without spilling.
On average, each bar contains roughly 250 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 to 7 grams of fat, up to 5 grams of fiber, and around 40 grams of carbs.
We didn’t find a standout winner in taste, but we did like the fact that Datrex bars come individually packaged rather than in one large chunk divided into smaller pieces along scores like those you might find on a large chocolate bar. This portable, well-organized kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions and everything you’ll need to handle basic (and some not-so-basic) injuries for up to four people. The Whitetail also forgoes a number of items that the 2.0 kit has, such as a compass, a small emergency whistle, and insect-repellent wipes, in favor of more useful medical hardware such as a triangular bandage for immobilizing injured limbs or embedded objects, a wound irrigation syringe, and EMT shears.
Enter the 3M 9211 Cool-Flow N95 Particulate Sanding Respirator Mask, which comes in a box of 10 for about $20. For those who want to be prepared for every type of emergency, this is the go-to source for gas masks and ammo belts. The pith of the flowering stem can be eaten raw in salads, boiled or made into confections. To prevent or at least minimize insect infestations in stored food products it would be ideal to store them somewhere between 35°F and 45°F. Our investigations have shown these instances to only be effective when no insects were initially present in the food. Even in a bad quake or a once-in-a-decade storm, you’d be better off with a big jug of water and a handful of granola bars or energy bars.
The water in your toilet tank, which is replaced after each flush, is also generally safe to drink. Given those risks, and the relative ease of storing water, we think that stockpiling a 10- to 14-day supply is a reasonable goal if you live in an earthquake zone.
We’ll be using these regularly over the next year to see if they perform as well as promised, and we also intend to check out a new Reliance product—the stackable Armor-Dillo—when the company releases it in 2016.
They’re readily available online and at grocery and outdoor stores across North America, and they typically have an expiration date about a year from the date of purchase (though we’ve eaten three-year-old bars with no ill effects). These types of bars can be crumbly and greasy; once you open a large package, it makes a mess.
Cheaper kits will give you similar supplies and equipment, but the Sportsman Whitetail’s superior organization and documentation make it worth paying extra for.
Unlike our former N95 mask pick, the 3M 1860 Medical Mask N95, the 3M Cool-Flow mask comes with a valve to allow the moist air you exhale out of the mask. Tolerate the fever even if it’s making you a little delirious, the fever kills the virus. Next, remove the tray and cool the wheat thoroughly before returning it to a clean, dry storage container. Finally, at about $18 on Amazon, the Aqua-Tainer is a better value than 5-gallon models made by the same company. With 200 to 400 calories for a bar smaller in size than a CLIF, they are a viable meal alternative in an emergency, yes. That’s a win for anyone who wears glasses—the feature will help keep your lenses from fogging up.
Do not spray the insecticide directly on food, food preparation surfaces, such as bread boards, or on any food equipment or utensils. And then sleep easier knowing that you’ll be ready to take care of yourself and your family if disaster strikes. This mask is cheap and effective, but in a pinch you could cut a 2-foot square from a T-shirt, wet it, wring it out, fold it in half like a bandana, and tie it over your nose and mouth.



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Comments

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