CNN reports on the current lack of leadership at FEMA and NOAA. Read article here.
If ever there was a time to prepare your family, now is the time.
Canned food and easy-to-prepare meals are a good start, but taking additional measures is a good idea. For example, we find most families do not have a working camping stove, yet having the ability to cook/boil water can be very important in an outage.
We strongly urge our customers to have a solar generator or a deep cycle battery with an inverter, so you can keep your refrigerator running. Most families have hundreds of dollars worth of food in the fridge, and remember, food only stays good in an unplugged fridge for approximately 24 hours. Smaller solar chargers are also crucial to have when the electricity is out.
A key idea we emphasize is that candles should only be used as a temporary light source. We suggest that each person in the home have a working headlamp, a flashlight, AND a lamp or lantern. Always keep extra batteries stored in an accessible location.
Hurricanes can have devastating effects, including flooding, property damage, and electricity loss. Having the ability to “camp” in your home can be a matter of life and death, but there are also many things you can do to make life more comfortable. Scroll through our survival gear section for many ideas on how to prepare for emergencies.
We always suggest trying to conduct a home survival system test. It will show you what you need, and help you prepare more fully if your electricity or water services are lost. Please use our home survival checklist to ensure you think of everything.
Service outages create urgent issues, so don’t be complacent.
Every now and again, the HSS team runs into interesting articles that deserve to be passed along.
Here is just such an article….entitled “11 Effective Ways To Preserve Meat.”
This article provides an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive look at how to manage your meats. It is definitely worth a read!
When your water system suddenly shuts off (for whatever reason) it can make life very uncomfortable…very quickly.
In previous articles we have mentioned that many families do not generally store enough fresh drinking water. We have also pointed out that most people have no way of safely harvesting, filtering, purifying, or storing water. But what we failed to properly emphasize is that you can order water (and drinks) ONLINE!
HomeSurvivalSystems.com sells entire pallets of drinking water, with FREE shipping!
With Amazon’s amazing fulfillment programs, we can offer U.S. customers the ability to order literally thousands of bottles of drinking water–in a couple of clicks.
Kind of amazing!
When you need backup water and drinks, it makes a lot of sense to order them online, and have it all delivered right to your door, free of charge!
One of the problems with coaching families on how to design a home survival system is that every family is different. Different priorities, plans, skill-levels, needs, and budgets. We think the single best way to develop a home backup plan is conducting a test: pick a time, and actually try (as a family) living without electricity, running water, or being able to leave the house. In a single 24-hour period you will develop a keen sense of your family’s preparedness-level. Continue on from there into a second or even third day, and you will deepen your appreciation, understanding and mastery of truly adequate home-preparedness. Use our preparation checklist, assess what you have, create a list of the things you need, then proceed to the ‘design a system‘ page below, where everything is assembled in one place for your convenience, comfort and safety.
Evaluate your existing ‘home survival system’:
– Food systems – Water systems – Energy systems – Lighting systems – Survival gear –
Know what types of disasters you are preparing for (and are most likely to encounter). But realize that in this day and age, it pays to be prepared for almost ANY type of threat, anticipated or not. We find that most families do not store enough drinkable water, do not have easy-to-prepare meals, have almost no way of keeping their refrigerators running (so they are forced to prepare–or lose–their food), don’t have energy back-up systems available, like solar chargers (much less solar generators), and many of our customers report that they can’t run gas-powered generators for various reasons, so they lack adequate energy resources. Families rarely have a working port-a-potty, do not have proper breathing protection, and are poorly prepared for having to “air-tight” their homes (per FEMA guidelines, with duct tape, etc). The list goes on.
Again, we suggest trying to conduct a home survival system test. It will show you what you need, and help you prepare more fully if your electricity or water services are lost, or if you are forced into “self-quarantine.” Families almost always ignore the significant risk of infectious diseases and outbreaks.
If you have to ‘shelter-in’:
- Make sure everyone is safely inside, including pets.
- Lock all doors, close all windows, shut or turn off all air vents, including fireplace dampers.
- Turn off all fans, air conditioners, and forced-air systems.
- Go to a designated ‘Safe Room’ that has emergency supplies and stores, preferably an interior room with the fewest number of windows.
- With duct tape and pre-cut, 2-4 mil thick plastic sheeting, seal all windows, doors and air vents. Definitely measure and cut your plastic sheets in advance (remember: cut the plastic sheeting several inches wider than the openings and label each sheet with permanent marker).
- Apply duct tape to the plastic sheets at the corners first, and then tape down all edges.
- Make every effort to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any outdoor contaminates.
- Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, if possible, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions, as they become available.
Remember, when we give in-home presentations, when we are allowed to shut off the electricity-breaker to the home before we begin the presentation and then give our presentation in the darkness, we find customers almost always take these topics MUCH more seriously.
Losing your electricity and water services creates urgent issues, so don’t be complacent. Please be sure you have the right gear.
Being prepared can truly be a matter of life and death!
Images courtesy of Google Images.
Creating a comprehensive home survival system requires a combination of knowledge, planning, and yes, financial investment.
It reminds me a lot of buying life insurance. You may not feel like you need it, but you sure can rest-easier if you have it!
Emergencies come in different forms–and present different types of challenges. There are literally thousands of articles on this topic, all across the Internet, and hundreds of videos as well. Experts from all varieties of first-responder disciplines and emergency management service agencies have published exhaustive lists of everything you need to prepare. It’s all a Google/Bing search away.
We feel the best way to help customers who have made their way to this site, is to tell you what WE have learned, as home survival system consultants.
1. People do not store enough water.
I have written on this subject and I will write about it again. Families almost never have enough drinkable water stored. We recommend a minimum of TWO GALLONS of drinkable water, per person, per day. One of the best products we sell is a space-saving storage device that ties to your water system, and holds 260 gallons of drinkable water.
2. Port-a-potties for all
People forget they can’t flush toilets if the water shuts off, and we find that families rarely have a functioning, ready-to-go port-a-potty.
3. Be ready to BOTH camp-at-home AND/OR evacuate
VERY few people are truly prepared to camp, in their homes, at a moment’s notice, for up to 72 hours. I will add it is alarming to us how unprepared some families are. They just seem to take everything for granted, and have no real plan whatsoever.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO CAMP IN YOUR HOME OR EVACUATE AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE.
Have copies ready now of all your important documents, especially car, medical, flood, and home/renter’s insurances, banking information, accounts and passwords, etc. Ideally keep them in a safe, waterproof container. It is crucial that you try to keep a decent store of cash on-hand, safely hidden away (because remember, ATM’s don’t work during electricity outages). Further, it is extremely important to have all your important prescriptions, medications, contact lenses, and other medical-related items, stored in a safe place and easy to access. Have all pet gear, food and water ready to go.
4. Don’t lose your food!
When the lights go out, there is a sudden, almost OMG/eerie quiet that comes over the room, as the machines and fans etc whir to a stop. Nothing works. No lights. No Internet. No charging. We’ve all been through it. The dreaded “power’s-off” silence! Depending on what time it is, most of us go into reaction mode, and grab a flashlight (we actually prefer a combination of both a headlamp and a flashlight!), and attend to whatever is next. But the ticking time bomb of course, is the refrigerator, and your food inside of it. Food lasts 48 hours if it’s in the freezer, 24 if it’s not. The temperature rises inside the fridge every time you open it.
In an electricity outage, your first action should be to get out your solar generator or a rated power supply and get your fridge up and running. There is a well-explained article for extending the life of the food in your refrigerator here. While refrigerator food thaws, keep in mind that you will need alternative cooking implements, including a safe and portable stove, or outdoor grill, to prepare the food. Cleanup sure is different without a dishwasher! This is why having emergency food stores is so very important.
5. Prepper vs. Prepared-to-camp
There is a segment of our Home Backup Systems business category that involves survivalism, or prepping. What prepping means is being fully, and entirely prepared for self-sustenance–and self-protection. Sometimes with the cooperation of neighbors, friends or family, entire communities of like-minded people have given rise to a real national movement. The prepper movement. Most of the preppers who publish articles tend to emphasize the most extreme threats out there. We recognize and respect these types of SHTF threats, and we do our best to prepare for the worst, but the vast majority of outages ARE RELATIVELY SHORT TERM in nature. By that I mean, three days or less. That is why FEMA, state, and most county agencies, as well as the experts, talk about the 72-hour concept. We believe all Americans should be prepared to camp in their homes for up to 72 hours.
Photos courtesy of Google Images.
This past week was a VERY busy week.
We received our new Synchpress incorporation EIN number from our law firm, and re-applied with Amazon.com for a new affiliate account (under our new company formation). It’s official. We are now a Delaware C-corporation!
For those of you that don’t know, Synchpress is the name of the software architecture we wrote that makes our HomeSurvivalSystems.com site run. If you are interested in our Synchpress technologies, please contact us.
HomeSurvivalSystems.com: Recent site updates
– Last week we worked on changes to parts of our software that display Amazon.com pricing, including how and where prices are displayed. HSS offers views of product pricing on both the grid view AND on product pages, and it is incumbent upon us to make sure all pricing is kept as up-to-the-minute as possible.
– By turning off superfluous ISP plug-ins and compressing images, we achieved significant improvements on our page load speeds.
– We changed the entire ‘order array’, including the buttons that enable you to ‘add to cart’ or ‘order’.
– We completed extensive work to our ‘Add to Cart’ tool.
– Part of this important, site-wide change is the inclusion of ‘Quantity Selection.’ We have been looking forward to completing this.
This week coming up:
– We will be working on a few internal notifications and minor site tweaks in the early part of the week.
– We have been establishing our social media profiles and have started writing a few articles, just getting used to the systems we are using.
– We will be finishing up a new header treatment on the ‘Design a System’ page, including our disclaimer text, a passage of text that explains approaches on how to properly back up your home, and a new ‘Product Search’ element.
– We will start work on ‘Subcategory Product Sorting’.
Remember, this is our maiden voyage building an ecommerce site, so everything seems exciting to us!
More news soon
The journey to market for any small business (like ours) is filled with learning experiences, trials and tribulations. You could say it is a journey of self-discovery, because the experience of doing it truly tests you.
Starting a small business is more that just a lot of hard work. It requires a mix of money, a deep commitment to your mission, the skills to make it happen, and a kind of blind faith when the going gets tough.
This HomeSurvivalSystems.com business started out several years ago (!), the brainchild of myself and my partner. Like any couple who tries to start a business (with three kids), it has taken some juggling to pull this off! Now, after bringing our website to “soft launch” over these past 2 weeks, we are delighted to see everything indexing across the Internet. To see countries around the world visiting our site is very gratifying!
Above and beyond the acknowledgements I have expressed, it is now time for us to turn our attentions and energies from “Starting the business,” and “building the website,” to helping people, to blogging, and to meeting our soon-to-be customers out there.
We couldn’t be more excited!
Our “Invisible” National Business Category: Home Backup Systems
Disasters and disruptions are everywhere on the news. America’s power and water supplies are often run on antiquated, outdated and retrofitted technologies that are inefficient and highly vulnerable. Add to that:
• The rise in major storms and weather events like hurricanes, ice storms and tornadoes.
• Natural disasters like fires, earthquakes, floods, droughts, heat waves and tsunamis.
• Cyber attacks and terrorism.
• The well-documented threat of solar flares.
• Climate change and global warming.
• Pandemics, epidemics and medical quarantines.
Because this is such a big problem, and because we believe families are unprepared, we are hoping to establish a new national business category called Home Backup Systems.
At the nation’s largest retailers, places like Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Sam’s Club, Costco and Walmart, there is no designated location in the store where home backup supplies are organized and displayed. Some (but not all) of the products people need are scattered around in different aisles. But there’s no place where you can easily access everything you need, all in one place. When a storm is bearing is bearing down on a community, time is of the essence. HomeSurvivalSystems.com was designed with this in mind.
When we have to define our business category, we have to select “Other,” because we don’t really fit into any that exist at present. We believe that a formalized Home Backup Systems category has enormous potential, both because of the noble mission it serves, and because it is a vibrant, growing–albeit unrecognized–retail category, already. Our plan is to become a national leader in this effort: to establish a Home Backup Systems category.
Here are some of the leading players in our arena, groups like us, who are trying to help people prepare in various ways. Some of them are “preppers,” some are more like us, focused on short-term emergencies, and staying in compliance with local preparedness guides.
The Ready Store
The Ready Store is a very well-organized and constructed site specializing in food and food storage. We encourage you to check out their site.
We have always been impressed with how this group organizes their information, and in particular, how they emphasize savings.
This site has a rich and informed point of view and focus.
Beyond the fact that this site has an attractive design, and is very well-organized, we also approve of their decision to offer product “groups.”
The Sweet Home
This is an impressive site that publishes truly useful and helpful content.
Photos courtesy of Google Images.
One of the most alarming parts of being in the Home Backup Systems business is seeing how few families are actually prepared for emergencies.
Especially when it comes to water outages.
People will tell you they are prepared. Insist they “don’t need a thing!” But upon further analysis, almost without exception, we find that families do not calculate their water needs correctly, much less with any way of being able to reliably capture, filter, purify, test, or store, drinkable water–on top of the fact that they don’t even have enough on hand at any given time!
We see it over and over. People say they have enough. People even THINK they have enough. But then it turns out…when you really look at it…they DON’T have enough!
Why is this?
Why this water over-confidence?
This persistent aqua-gance?
BECAUSE PEOPLE TAKE WATER FOR GRANTED, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH THEY REALLY NEED TO LIVE COMFORTABLY FOR UP TO THREE DAYS.
The effects of not having drinkable water can be devastating, especially for families with kids. As we all know, human beings need water to live. But they also need water to live COMFORTABLY. And this idea of “living comfortably” is always where we find the deficits begin.
When the faucets suddenly stop working
Several times I have experienced water outages in my own life. For whatever reason, with little or no warning, there was no water. Once it was due to an ice storm in New England. Another time it was caused by a water main break during a terrible rain storm in California. Yet another time it was caused by a powerful Nor’easter. Still another time it was a wildfire. Then a construction accident. It goes on and on.
Every time this happened, I always vowed afterwards: “I am never going to get caught unprepared again.” But guess what? I DID get caught unprepared again! I can’t tell you how many times I have had to suddenly react to the loss of running water. Every time I knew better, ignored the warnings, and wound up having to scramble. Please, don’t make the same mistake!
Don’t be water-complacent or water-deluded
With the people we talk to, one of the first questions we ask is: “Do you have enough water on hand?” There are two answers you get. One where they insist “YES,” counting sources like their upper toilet or hot water heater. But the truth is, almost every time, upon inspection, we invariably hear a second answer, which is almost always “NO.”
People will tell you they have enough water on hand, but they almost always DON’T.
Not only do they not have enough water available, but they also do not have the proper equipment for “harvesting water,” and rarely have the ability to capture it in any kind of efficient way. Especially if they have to leave their homes to escape a perceived or actual threat.
Here is what you need to do: DOUBLE the “recommended” quantities!
The CDC suggests storing one gallon of water, per person, per day. HSS suggests doubling that, to two gallons of drinkable water per person, per day. Why? Because it is better to have too much than not enough—and two gallons isn’t very much! Plus activities like washing and rinsing dishes, personal hygiene, etc. require a surprisingly large amount of water, and even at 2 gallons per person per day, you are in a “conservation” mode. Any camping experience bears that out. The more water you have, the easier life is. Period.
We also suggest considering sustainable water SYSTEMS
– If you are forced into “camping,” to convert stream and lake water into safe and drinkable water, you must have the right tools on hand for purifying, filtering, testing and storing fresh water.
– Fresh water tanks are now available that tie to your water system, enabling you to store 260 gallons of fresh water at all times, in a space-efficient way.
– If you are storing water, make sure the containers you use are BPA-free, and most experts suggest rotating your water stores at least every 6 months.
– While having bottled water is awesome, and we strongly urge you to have as much as possible on-hand at all times, bottled water is obviously much more expensive than natural sources, and is a temporary, but not sustainable, solution.
Don’t forget, when the water stops running, you can’t flush the toilet, and it is critical that you have some sort of port-a-potty system. Almost nobody does.
Don’t get caught without enough fresh water. Your life, as well as your general comfort, will depend upon it.
Photos courtesy of Google Images.