I try to keep this blog up to date and give the reader tid bits of information I’ve figured out along the way based on experiences and lessons I’ve learned. What I don’t want this blog to be is a place people go and read and take my word for it. It’s not my intention to try to be a know it all or a guy who’s claiming to be the world’s fore most expert on survival. The thing I want most is to peak peoples curiosity and realize their need to learn more about what they need to do to better prepare for an event which may put them and their families in harm’s way.

It doesn’t matter to me if you subscribe to the SAS Survival Book and the methods it teaches or Betty Crocker’s guide to preparedness. The important thing is you find some method which you feel fits in with your lifestyle and beliefs. One thing for sure is what ever method you feel is right, get two copies of said teachings, one for your night stand and one for your earthquake kit.

I was walking through the store the other day and something caught my eye. It was a bag of Kingsford charcoal briquettes. I realized these made a good fuel to keep around in case there’s a day when the power and the gas line doesn’t work any more. For all intents and purposes they don’t have an expiration date and they’re safe to keep in a storage facility with your earthquake supplies. In fact one of the secondary uses of charcoal is that it absorbs odors and when you store things for a while something could go a little stinky, so having a natural blocker to that problem will help out. You don’t want the only change of clothes you might have during an emergency to smell like some chemical or something nasty. The charcoal will help with this. I think this could be a back up to a back up. I keep two propane bottles and one is always full. A back up to that is plenty of camping stove fuel. Another back up is wood to build a fire. But perhaps charcoal would fit in-between the camping fuel and having to resort to an upside down campfire.

Another topic which came up last week was how many people do not know their blood type. For about $15 you can buy a blood typing test and with one simple finger prick you can have your blood type in a matter of minutes. It’s a simple test and it could quite possibly save your life. At one of my favorite sites: LA Police Gear they have various keychains, tags and patches which will designate your blood type. If you are ever in an accident there’s a good chance the rescue team will stumble across your tag. I can’t say for sure it’ll save your life, but it’s well worth the $15 for the test and $5 for the tag as a layer of insurance.

Another little tid bit I wanted to pass along is really geared towards the earthquake kit at your home. A very efficient stove you can build for around $10 is a rocket stove. There are a bunch of designs you can use but I found this one on YouTube and really like it. It uses 21 bricks, a square piece of wire mesh and an old pot holder from a gas stove to set your pot on top of the stove. The design is very simple but yet it is so efficient there is very little smoke that rises out of the stove because of the principle of air flow it utilizes. It is similar to another design called the J-Tube Rocket Stove which is based on a Dakota Fire Pit which Native Americans used because it burned fuel so efficiently no smoke would rise giving away your position. The J-Tube is a tad bit more difficult to build but works incredibly well.

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