Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
This week I was in the Phoenix area and it was hot. When I say hot, I mean 112 degrees in the shade. Two interesting things occurred. First, the radio newscasters continued to put out messages asking everyone to check on neighbors who might not have air conditioning. The emphasis was on the sick and the elderly. This was good to hear and I applaud these public service oriented messages.
A bit more distressing is that I asked at least six people how they cope when the power goes out and it is sweltering hot. The answers included jumping in the pool, staying in the shade, taking cold showers, and “I don’t know”. Honestly, doesn’t the power grid ever go down in Arizona?
This is not to say that I have any answers. To the contrary, I was attempting to learn some tips that I could pass on to others that might be in a similar predicament. The next step is to contact some officials in an emergency management position and see what they recommend. Still, tips from real people and families that have lived through a power outage or electrical brownout during sweltering heat would, in my opinion, be more useful. What do you do and how do you cope when the power is out and it is 112 degrees outside?
My trip was not without incident starting with long lines at the TSA checkpoint, a flight delay due to storms, and other woes of a more personal nature. Travel is exhausting, for sure, but at least I was prepared as much as one can be for life’s little events. I updated my emergency travel kit for this trip and as soon as I can get some photos, I will share it with you.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
This question came in from a reader.
“I am wondering like when a company has a sale is it because the use by date is becoming closer and closer to its end. would they be good still? if we are expecting to get a 25 year are they being relabeled? I do not want to buy something that is already old and expect it to last another 25 years.”
I don’t believe this is happening (and hope this is not true) but I did ask Mountain House for their opinion.Here is their response.
Our dealers run sales usually as a way to boost sales and create buzz. Same for us. If we have clearance items that have already run a little bit of its shelf life we always clearly state it in our sales copy. So no worries.
My advice is that if you do see a promotion that is too good to be true, ask a lot of questions up front.
Want to Get Rid of Old Food Storage?
Speaking of Mountain House, if you have some old MH products sitting around gathering dust, you might want to trade them in for fresh new pouches. Mountain House wants to continue testing older products to determine their maximum shelf life and will send you 6 new pouches for each pre-2008 pouch you send them.
They are specifically looking for the following:
- Rice & Chicken
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Beef Stew
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Chili Mac with Beef
- Noodles & Chicken
- Raspberry Crumble
If this is something you might want to do, contact MH at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have any old Y2K stuff sitting around? This might be a good time to recycle them for new.
Free Online Course in Disaster Preparedness from the University of Pittsburg
I know I have mentioned Coursera before but as busy as we tend to get, it is easy to forget that they provide universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses for anyone to take, for free.
I just received notices on a course on Disaster Preparedness being offered from the University of Pittsburg. This looks terrific and I hope to take it myself. Here is a summary:
This course will teach the student how to survive when everything we normally take for granted is gone, when the structures we depend on have failed. We will examine the Disaster Cycle, particularly the Mitigation and Recovery phases.
Students will prepare an extensive personal preparedness plan covering such topics as supplies, communication, food and water, shelter, security, and comfort (yes even in survival there can and should be comfort). We also look at preparedness on the institutional and government levels.
We will look beyond these plans towards the one aspect of survival, which will enable a person to survive when all planning has failed. Disasters, by definition, overwhelm all available resources. If all available resources are gone, only one thing will keep a person alive and that is their attitude. A persons awareness and attitude, the two are closely linked, allow a person the means to remain calm, avoid panic, and draw upon resources within and outside the person to survive when their world has failed. In truth not everyone survives in extreme circumstances; people die, but, even in death, attitude, if it cannot save you, provides some degree or comfort.
Here is a link for more information: https://www.coursera.org/learn/disaster-preparedness
This is the giveaway that many of you have been waiting for.
With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
Spark Naturals Free Shipping Offer
I apologize for the late notice since this offer is only available through Sunday, June 21. Still, any time you can get free shipping on any sized order, it is worth mentioning.
If you are just getting started with essential oils, I would like to suggest Lavender, Peppermint, and Rosemary. These inexpensive oils are components to my DIY Miracle Salve and I am confident that you will not be disappointed. This is also a good time to purchase accessories such as droppers, jars, and spray bottles.
As always, enjoy a 10% discount at Spark Naturals using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
Ramping up next month is the next Prepper Book Festival. The books are selected and ready to go; I just need to get the interview questions out to the authors. I also have four gear giveaways lined up so I hope you are not tired of them.
If you happened to have missed my article on Canning Jars last week, you might want to take a peek. It has already been shared thousands of times on Facebook which just goes to show you that there are a lot of jar-aholics out there.
The Final Word
Something I did not mention is that my garden is going crazy this year. I should clarify: crazy in a good way. We have harvested lots of lettuce and a couple bowls of pea pods. In addition, the tomatoes are way ahead of schedule, even though they are being grown in partial shade. The weather in the Pacific Northwest this year has been sunny, warm, and simply fantastic. We are lucky.
You might also have noticed that the Survival Buzz is a day late. A year ago, I would have been over the top frantic to get an article out on time. Now? Stuff happens and I just move on. I feel that letting go of these little bumps in the road, as difficult as they may be, are the only way to truly prepare for an uncertain future.
So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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The ALMOST FREE Department
It is time for a Survival Buzz “Almost Free” item. Shelly found these on sale recently. It is a great deal given that the match holders alone are worth the cost.
When I tested these matches last summer, I tried to drown them in salt water first; both inside and outside the waterproof plastic case. They really are waterproof! As of this writing, $2.29 with free shipping.
Bargain Bin: Here is a mixed bag of favorites for you to consider, including a number of solar items. Remember, the small commission I make helps support this website and the price you pay is the same.
SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing. In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.
Solar Powered LED Inflatable Air Lantern by Survival Frog: These are fantastic! I own two and want to get more. They just work! For more information, read: Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies.
Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack: This study solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit. I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. Value priced at about $50. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.
SunJack USB Battery Charger for AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries: Keep your AA or AAA battery powered devices fully charged anywhere. The SunJack USB battery charger charges your AA/AAA Ni-Mh/Ni-Cd batteries from any stable 5V USB port or power bank. It will charge fully drained batteries in about 5 hours.
SunJack Portable Solar Charger: SunJack® helps mobile users stay charged on the go anywhere the sun shines. The SunJack® is able to fully charge its internal battery pack in about 5 hours of direct sunlight, or directly power any USB device. When the sun isn’t shining, users can still energize their devices from the powerful SunJack® battery, which holds enough charge to power up to 4 iPhones.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness pantry.
Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none. Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people. This is worth the splurge.
Mason Jar Storage Caps Set of 8: These are fantastic! These plastic lids screw onto a mason jar and are perfect in the pantry or to cap you salves. There is both a regular and a wide mouth version. I can’t believe I have not mentioned these before!
NOW Foods Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals. For healing purposes, I feel they are superior. On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price from Amazon. Here are a few to get you started: NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil and Now Foods Lavender Oil.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
Are You Interested in Essential Oils?
The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there – all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product). The price is $15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price. Be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.