Spring Preparation for a Pest-Free Bunker

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Securing your underground bunker from unwanted nighttime visitors and pests is a step many preppers overlook. Unwelcome strangers and people attempting to steal supplies may not be a large concern depending on how far off the grid you’ve placed your bunker. However, there is nowhere that a determined pest seeking food and shelter won’t go, and unfortunately no single way to deter them. The key is to identify weak points and take proper precautions to ward off pests from the get-go.

Identify, Prevent, Deter

There are a few types of wildlife pests that can be a serious issue for owners of underground bunkers. Every bunker needs proper ventilation and generally, houses significant amounts of food storage and water. Sure, your bunker ventilation can be concealed from passerby, but camouflage isn’t going to fool those pests with twitchy noses and empty stomachs. Spring is prime seasons for squirrels, raccoons, mice, skunks and bugs.

To prevent any unwanted pests around your bunker, keep all garbage and organic debris separate from the location. Once living in your bunker, burying your garbage isn’t going to cut it. You can bury it but do so far away from where you’re located.

The location of your bunker will play a role in the types of pests you may encounter. If the ground cover around your bunker is ideal for grubs or beetle larvae, then treat the area to prevent pests (like skunks and raccoons) that feed on these insects.

If you are near any type of farming or harvested crops, you might have mice. With this year’s high yield of crops there is likely to be an increase in mouse numbers which means all bunkers near areas of harvest should be wary of mice infestation on their food and grain storage.

The best way to deal with these pests is to proactively prepare your home and yard in advance of the spring. Consider installing tamper-resistant covers on your ventilation openings and look into an air-filtration system to safeguard you against unwanted pests entering through your ventilation. As a bonus, it will also work against environmental toxins that may become a threat. An NBA filter is a great addition for any bunker.

Maintenance is Key

Once you’ve identified the types of pests you’re up against, you can defend your weak points and make a plan to maintain these changes so pests never become an issue. Critters of all shapes and sizes can cause issues for bunker owners.

Don’t allow any of these animals a point of access into your bunker if you want to prevent contaminating your food and water supplies. If infestation gets to a point where you can’t fend off the intrusion, make the call to hire a trusted pest control service to eliminate the problem now and prevent it from becoming an issue again in the future.

With surveillance, proper storage of food and supplies, along with adequate tamper-resistant covers and shields for the various entrances to your bunker, you can prevent any pests from giving you a yearly headache or suffer the loss of any vital supplies. Plan, prepare and maintain, that’s the only way to keep those little buggers out.

About the Author: Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Different Types of Bows And Their Benefits

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Bows are essential tools in hunting and games. They exist in different forms and shapes. Over the years, bows have evolved and are now made of components like carbon fiber and fiberglass with improved shooting mechanisms. There are different types of bows namely; compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows and traditional bows with their distinct benefits.

Compound bows

A compound bow is a modern form of a long bow. It is easy to use, highly versatile, adjustable, more compact, longer life and extremely powerful and thus preferred by many people. A pulley system is used to draw back the arms which are stiff when drawn by brute force. This bow is considered better than the other bows for its draw weight that is less than half of the original weight. They are made of aluminum alloy that does not distort or warp in the case of temperature, humidity, and moisture. Its developed stabilizers cause less vibration in the release of an arrow. These bows are mostly used in 3D archery, bow hunting and some in target archery.

Recurve bows

These are the only bows allowed by the Olympics and historically they are known to be used by the horsemen. Recurve bow is known for its standard draw weight, low maintenance and highly versatile. Its lower and upper tips curve away from the archer allowing it to store more elastic energy. Less power is needed to use the bow thus a tactical advantage to the user. Recurve bows with a bare bow recurve made of a string, bow limbs, a riser and an arrow rest are mostly used to train the beginners. Some archers also use them in 3D archery and field archery. One can also use them in bow hunting with higher poundage bows.

Crossbows

Modern crossbows resemble firearms with a short bow attached horizontally to the muzzle. For the archer to fire, the string is attached to the trigger mechanism and locked in place. Crossbows have the best bow sights and their shooting range is longer than all the other types of bows. This is a modified bow and arrow mostly use in 3D archery, target field and sometimes in bow hunting.

Traditional bows

A traditional bow is also known as long bow or self-bow. It is the oldest form of a bow with a long piece of wood that is either straight or curved having a bowstring fixed on each end. These bows are easy to make since their materials are locally available. They are easy to maintain, easy to carry and easy to use. It requires a very clear environment to fire a target. When used in bow hunting, it is usually at higher draw weights.

Conclusion

There is a total of four types of bows; compound bows, crossbows, traditional bows and recurve bows. They are useful in hunting, shooting the target, shooting on a course, and competitive shooting. The purpose of the course determines the type of the bow to use. For instance, a recurve bow is instrumental in field archery such as Olympic Games, compound bows in target archery and crossbow in 3D archery with their best bow sights and traditional bows in bow hunting.

Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

4 Careers That Teach Individuals Basic Self-Defense and Endurance

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If you are looking a new, exciting, and rewarding career then you might want to focus you energy on enter a field that requires self-defense and endurance. Modern society is in constant need of professional and trained men and women that can bring safety and security to local communities around the country. As you think about this, consider the following four careers that teach individuals basic self-defense and endurance.

Law Enforcement Officer

To keep our communities safe, it is important to have law enforcement officers who are self-confident, physically fit, and able to combat the evil forces that lurk among us. A police officer is supposed to be defender of all that is right within society, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. But nonetheless, proper training still keeps good cops safe. It is important to have self-defense and endurance skills in order to stay safe on the job as well.

Correctional Officer

A correctional officer is tasked with helping protect society from criminals that have already been found guilty. It can be a dangerous environment at times, so prison guards certainly need to be able to defend themselves. It is also important to have the endurance necessary to see the job through to the end of the day.

Security Guard

With more and more businesses need round the clock security, guards play an important role. Not only to keep the premises and the surrounding area safe, they function as a hedge of protection for the individuals that visit the building during working hours. Some companies, like Trident Security, know that because of this, security guards need to be trained in self-defense in order to keep themselves safe in a variety of situation. They also need to be fit because of the demands of the job on a daily basis.

Muay Thai Instructor

Muay Thai is a traditional martial art that is growing popularity throughout the West. Muay Thai instructors must know how to defend themselves, because this is exactly what they will be teaching their students. In addition, the career itself is highly rewarding. Where else can you get paid to stay fit? This sports requires a great deal of endurance. If you have what it takes, you will have a great career opportunity at hand. These are just four of the many rewarding careers that one can enter and learn self-defense and endurance skills at the same time. These sure beat sitting at a desk all day, and all of them put you out there with members of society. This is also a great way to stay in shape and remain healthy as well.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Into the Wild: Everything You Need for Your Camping Trip

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The weather is warming up, which means it is time to think about a camping trip. The trees are starting to sprout leaves, some spring flowers are in bloom, and birds are returning from their winter migrations. Spring is a good time to check out nature.

As fun as it is, camping should not be done on the spur of the moment. You need to consider what to take with you. Consider the following items.

  1. Shelter

    When preparing for your trip, you need to cover all of your physical needs: shelter, water, food, fire and hygiene. The expected conditions and weather of your campsite will determine what kind of shelter you should have. For example, tents come in two main types: four-season and three-season. Four season-tents are made of thick, sturdy material that enables the camper to weather a snow storm, while three-season tents aren’t designed for winter weather. Tents also come in varying weights, with the more lightweight tents being designed for backpackers. It’s also a good idea to get a tarp that can serve as a floor so you aren’t lying on damp ground.

  2. Containers for food and water

    Sturdy containers with lids are a must for a camping trip. Food in open containers will attract bugs and/or animals in short order. The best containers for food and water will be like those made by WaterBrick International. As a rule of thumb, a single person needs at least a gallon of drinking water per day, and they need even more if they are physically active and/or camping somewhere hot. Make sure there is enough water to cover other needs like cooking or washing.

  3. First Aid Kit

    Things can go wrong during a camping trip, and it will probably take time to reach a doctor. Give some thought to the likely hazards you might encounter and stock the kit accordingly. For example, you should have aloe vera for burns and moleskin for blisters. If you know there’s poison ivy in the area, you should bring some calamine lotion.

  4. A fire starter

    Be they matches, flint, or a fire steel, bring something to get your campfire started. Do not use lighter fluid, for it is dangerous and the resulting fire will be hard to control. It will also give anything you cook or roast in the campfire an unpleasant flavor.

While this is an admittedly partial list, it will help get you start preparing for your adventure. Other items to consider include sleeping bags, flashlights and cooking utensils. There are also portable stoves designed for camping trips.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakleyFacebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

How to Learn More about Self Defense for Emergency Situations

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You never want to feel vulnerable walking down a lonely street at night or when approached by someone near your home. It may also be a priority of yours to be able to defend friends or loved ones if they are ever threatened while in your presence. What are some ways that you can learn to defend yourself or those who you care about?

Watch Training Videos Online

The internet has tutorials related to almost anything that you want to learn about. Therefore, it may be a good idea to watch a YouTube video or order training materials from a local self-defense trainer. This may give you a basic idea of what to do if you are ever threatened or attacked. It may also give you some insights into how you can keep a lower profile to prevent a possible attack before it happens.

Take a Job in the Security Field

During your training as a security guard, you will be taught self-defense techniques that you can use while on the job. Some companies, like Security Services Northwest, Inc., know that these tactics may also prove useful if you are ever attacked while out on the town or by someone who breaks into your home. In addition to your basic training, you may be given access to advanced classes as you gain more experience in your line of work.

Sign Up for Karate Lessons

Karate is a discipline that teaches you both how to defend yourself and how to use discretion when facing a possible attacker. This helps you control your emotions in a given situation, which may make it easier to resolve a conflict without having to turn to violence at all.

Talk With a Police Officer or Security Guard

If you don’t want to be a security guard, you could always talk to one if you want self-defense tips. Police officers may also be able to help you learn more about the subject. This may be helpful if you are doing a report or a project for school about the topic and don’t actually want or need to master defense tactics yourself.

Learning how to defend yourself can prevent a scenario in which you are the victim of a violent crime. Even if part of your strategy is to run, hide or call for help, the goal is to keep yourself unharmed. Ideally, you will be able to do just enough to subdue or outsmart your adversary until the police or other help can arrive.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

A Preppers Guide to Prepping for the Hunt

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After the SHTF, let’s assume you picked out a hideout spot far enough off the grid to avoid other hunters and in a region well populated with deer and other wild game. If you don’t have any experience hunting but plan to harvest game that you’ll ration throughout the year, consider these steps you to ensure a successful harvest season after season and year after year.

Location, Location, Location

Every region is different, and finding wild game can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. One of the best ways to locate top hunting spots is to break down these areas by elevation, including low, middle and high. Once you locate the mule deer based on elevation, you’ll be able to hunt across different terrain using the altitude as your reference.

Lay of the Land

Familiarize yourself with the area in which you plan to hunt. You’ll need to lay out a grid of the landscape and understand how to navigate the entire area. Memorize wind patterns and locate watering holes and well-traveled game trails, so you know where these animals might move if spooked. In other words, use the terrain to your advantage.

Additionally, stick to southern-facing slopes and areas with preferred vegetation for hunting mule deer. Plan out your hunting movea, as many mule deer will bed down on hillsides or against breaks. This activity protects them from attack above and allows them to scan for predators below. Pay attention to the weather as you get ready for your hunt. Something as simple as rain can move mule deer out of an area altogether.

Game Behavior

Familiarize yourself with the movements and behaviors of the deer you hunt. Mule deer tend to reside within a few miles of each other until it’s time to move feeding grounds. Pattern your game so you know their summer, fall and winter feeding grounds and when they make their move. Take note of the herd’s size and when they go into rut so you’ll know if more deer are in the area.

The hour before and after daylight is when deer move most, so plan your hunts at dawn and dusk. You won’t see much movement during the hottest portions of the day, so glassing hillsides or posting up by a watering hole is a great way to extend your hunt.

Your Weapon and Gear

Optics can help you spot mule deer from up to four miles away. When glassing, train your eye to look for the flick of an ear or the sun shining off the tip of an antler. Once you find your weapon of choice, learn everything about it and acknowledge your limitations. For example, you’ll want to be able to answer these questions:

  • From what distance are you most accurate?
  • Are you comfortable hunting with your weapon in all weather conditions?

Ethical Hunting Practices

The quickest way to hunt a species to extinction is to make that animal the only source of sustenance for a large population of hungry, desperate and panicked people. If you are far enough off the grid, then you won’t need to worry as much about hunting your local herd to extinction. Still, it’s important to consider the benefits of ethical hunting and where to draw the line.

Animal Harvesting

Learning how to properly harvest your animal is critical so that you waste little to no meat. If you’re hunting in hot climates, make a kill and quickly retrieve it before the meat spoils. You’ll then want to cool it down as quickly as possible. Be prepared with the right gear so you and your vehicle can navigate in even the most difficult off-road conditions. That means ensuring your vehicle has quality off-road tires, which will make your life easier if you find yourself in a difficult spot.

Casea Peterson: Creative copywriter and content marketing specialist living in the PNW.

4 Reasons Not to Rely on Social Security

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Many people are not relying on Social Security alone to satisfy their financial needs after retirement and for sound basis. Here are four major reasons why you too should consider other sources of income in addition to a Social Security check after you turn in your timesheet at work for the last time.

  1. Social Security is Not Secure

    While it is true that some creditors consider government income as stable, there are technically no guarantees as to whether or not you will get paid every month.

    Social Security benefits are solely funded by taxpayer dollars even though you paid into the program during employment years. The monies that you contributed were actually to support others who retired while you were working. Your funds now come directly from individuals presently laboring in corporate America. At anytime the government can opt to discontinue the Social Security program, and there would be no backup funds to make payroll for those presently reliant on the system for income.

    Ending Social Security altogether may seem like a far-fetched idea, but the concept may not be far away from fruition. Congress along with several presidents have expressed the need to renovate the Social Security sector of government as its policies and practices are outdated. No government official, however, has determined an appropriate course of action that does not involve doing away with the program altogether. You may find yourself in a serious financial dilemma if you rely on Social Security alone and the plan is discontinued.

  2. You Will Lose Buying Power

    The Social Security Administration tries to combat the possibility of senior citizens losing buying power by comparing Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Such index typically allows for an increase in wages due to inflation. The CPI-W scheme does not, however, meet the needs of seniors.

    Mature adults do not carry the same buying practices as young and middle-aged clerical workers. Seniors often pay through the nose to fill prescription requests due to pharmaceutical prices greatly outpacing inflation trends. The better idea would be to compare Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Unfortunately, though, the Social Security Administration has not determined it best to change its practices concerning this matter, which leads to the need for seniors to be frugal.

  3. You Cannot Live the Lavish Life with Social Security benefits

    Social Security benefits are based on how much workers paid into the system when they were working. You can expect to receive a modest paycheck, which will most likely represent a significant decrease in lifestyle – especially if you carry debt with you into retirement. Prepare to clip coupons and forego certain luxuries if you plan to rely on Social Security benefits alone. You certainly will not be able to buy that yacht with government checks.

  4. You Can Have More Money by Saving on Your Own

    The median income in the United States is just under $55,000 annually. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans typically set aside about five percent of their paycheck’s every two weeks for the purpose of savings. In order to retire well, you should aim for closer to 15%, and invest mostly in good growth stock mutual funds. If you have a knack for real estate investing and are willing to put in some work, rental properties are also a very strong investment option. It is usually worth your while to keep your long-term investments in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k to avoid expensive taxation on your growth. With the combined power of tax-free growth, long time horizons, and aggressive saving, Americans in almost every income bracket can retire with more than $1 million in the bank.

Some senior citizens choose to depend on their government to provide payment for the years that they contributed to the workforce by funding Social Security benefits. You should count yourself among the others who count Social Security checks as one of many sources of income.

Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on topics relating to business, personal finance, personal growth, and emergency preparedness. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie.

Prepping Lifestyle? 3 Unique Degrees That Fit The Survivalist Lifestyle

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If you’re the type who wants to live out in the wilderness on your own, or want to be well prepared to survive the apocalypse should it come to pass, you might be interested in degrees you can earn that would be best suited for someone who wants to live your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of degrees that offer practical survival skills, but these three are by far some of the most helpful.

  1. Agriculture Sciences

    To survive on your own, knowing how to grow your own food is essential. You will need to have an extensive knowledge of different kinds of crops, how to properly care for the soil so it is not stripped of nutrients, how to properly irrigate the fields, recognize and fend off plant diseases and more. You will also need knowledge of how to sustain your food supply and stockpile food, as well as maintain healthy plant genetics, all of which an agriculture sciences degree teaches.

  2. Gunsmithing

    Very few schools around the country offer this degree, but a select few do. Being able to make your own firearms is an invaluable skill if you wish to live out in the wilderness. Currently existing programs not only teach how to manufacture guns, but also to repair them – another critical skill for survivalists. You will need guns to hunt for food, defend yourself against animal attacks, and possibly against people. Most gunsmithing programs also have knife making elements as well, which is an added bonus for an aspiring survivalist. Knives are just as important as guns when you’re on your own, and can be used to defend yourself, create tools and prepare food.

  3. Nursing

    Nursing, or any medical knowledge like an msn degree, is very useful when you must fend for yourself. If you or a loved one is injured or sick, having intimate knowledge of the human body, various conditions, and how to treat them are invaluable. As an added bonus, treating patients in combat zones will prepare you even better, as you might not have access to modern technology. Any number of accidents or conditions could befall you when you’re out in nature, relying on yourself for survival, and so getting a nursing degree is a great choice.

So if you wish to live a survivalist lifestyle, and want a formal education to supplement it, these three degrees are some of the best choices. They are not the only options – among the others include engineering degrees, animal husbandry and culinary arts. Pick the subject you think you’d benefit most from a formal education, and then learn the other skills through other sources or on your own. You’ll be prepared to live a survivalist lifestyle in no time.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

How to Keep Your Students Safe in an Era of Random Violence

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An uptick in violence has taken place in the United States in recent years. With over 10 incidents of school shootings in 2016 so far and additional incidents expected before the end of the year, it’s more important than ever that school staff prepare themselves for these and other so-called “random” acts of violence.

Students and adult campus visitors acquire weapons from:

  • Family members and friends
  • 3D printer designs shared freely online
  • Merchants who don’t follow gun control laws
  • Domestic and international terrorist groups

To keep students and yourself as safe as possible when violence erupts, do the following at your school immediately.

Educate Students and Staff

Educating students and colleagues about random violence is critical to their safety. Speak with your school administrator about providing classes that deal with situational awareness and recognizing the signs of a potential sudden violent event, protocols for reporting these signs and appropriate reactions to violence. Run live drills involving different scenarios to help students and staff better understand what to expect so that they’re more likely to remember their lessons during the real thing.

Involve Parents and Guardians

A community that works together to prevent violence has a better chance of doing so. Beyond asking parents/guardians for permission to teach their children critical survival skills, ask them to become active participants in the process. If any parents/guardians or their relatives are emergency first responders, ask them to speak at the school about their jobs and their protocols for responding to different worse case scenarios of random violence. Prepare parents/guardians for the potential questions about random violence that they might receive from their children. Additionally, talk to them about their own situational awareness and the actions they should take if they observe questionable events taking place when visiting the campus.

Take Self Defense Classes

You can’t hope to protect others if you don’t know how to protect yourself. Seek out a self-defense teacher who has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Keep in mind that the degree is important as post-graduate studies often focus on individual and group security measures related to random acts of violence. Take notes so that you can pass the knowledge and guidance you receive from your own teacher to students, teachers, other staff members and parents/guardians.

You can’t always prevent violence from occurring on a school campus, but you can help reduce injuries and deaths. Be as prepared as possible by implementing these techniques into your educational routine. Preventative safety measures save lives.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

A Few Items for Your Dog’s Bug-Out Bag

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California Mountain Dog If you haven’t considered your pet for bug in and bug out situations, it’s about time you should. We’ve all seen videos of people caught in disasters who’re more concerned about finding their cat than they are about where they’re going to sleep at night. Besides, pets will be of immense value post-collapse when it comes to moral support. To them, all it matters is that you’re still together…

In today’s article I want to focus on dogs and their needs in bug out scenarios. Depending on its size and strength, a dog may or may not carry his own stuff. The rest will either go in your bug out vehicle’s trunk or inside your own BOB.

So let’s see some of these items that you should make part of your survival plan.

An Emergency Leash

If your dog is anything like mine, he’s going to be really, really scared if and when general panic sets in. You’re going to want to keep him on a leash at all times, particularly if you’re bugging out with your car. If you’re the one driving, you can’t afford Lucky to distract you, so have someone sit with him on the back seat.

Food and Water

Don’t pack too much, because they’re heavy. It all depends on the size of your dog. Store extra food and water in your car’s trunk and beware of high temperatures. Anything inside your car’s trunk that’s perishable should be rotated more often than what’s in your pantry or basement.

A Collapsible Dish

You can use it for other things, such as collecting rainwater or foraging. The more containers you have with you, the better. You never know what you’ll end up putting in them.

A Dog Crate… Also Collapsible

This is something you could add to your car bug out bag and even use it to store other supplies. Particularly useful if you’re going to camp in the woods, if you don’t want your dog to run away while you’re sleeping.

A First Aid Kit

You can opt for those pre-packed ones on the market or you can assemble one yourself. Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between a FAKs for people and those for dogs. If you do decide to assemble them yourself, I suggest you keep them separated.

Body Armor

Come again? Why would your dog need it? Because you’ll never know when a wild animal might attack him… or get hit by a bullet You don’t want him unprotected when he’s trying to protect you. Soft armor vests are lightweight and have lots of pockets where you can fit many of the items given in this article.

Two Inflatable Mini-Beach Balls

This may sound weird but consider the scenario where you all need to cross a large body of water. Even if your dog can swim, can he do it with weight on his back? If you add something inflatable on both sides of the backpack, it’ll be much easier. A couple of small inflatable 5” beach balls will do.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks make great emergency lighting because they have a 5-year shelf life (so long as you don’t crack them open), they pose no fire risk and are powerful enough to light your way. Tie one to your dog’s collar to be able to see him in the dark.

A Few Ziploc Bags

They have numerous alternative uses so it’s always good to have a few. These should be in every survival bag (GHB, BOB, car BOB) and even as part of your edc – they are crucial for survival because they have so many uses.

Vaccination Records

If you can laminate them, even better. If your dog gets lost and someone finds him or if he bites someone, they might help.

Dog Nail Clippers…

…because SHTF hygiene is crucial.

Dog Boots

During a bug out, it’ll be easier for your pup to run and walk on uneven terrain. Boots don’t add too much extra weight on its back. The only thing to do beforehand is getting it used to wearing them.

A Small Toy

A toy might keep a scared dog busy. If you put it in your own bag, you can use it to make him come to you if he strays away.

A Muzzle

A scared dog is an aggressive dog, and you don’t want him biting someone to hinder your bug-out. A muzzle will also tell other people that your dog bites (even if he doesn’t), and some of them will be discouraged to attack you.

A Respirator Mask

…in case Yellowstone decides to erupt, but also useful in case of a nuclear meltdown to keep radiation particles out of his respiratory system, though these respirators aren’t bulletproof; they’re just better than nothing, for larger particles such as dust.

A Few Items for Your Own Use

If you have enough room, you might as well put things that are really for the benefit of everyone. For example, you can put some dryer lint, because it’s a great fire-starter as well as lightweight…

Now What?

One you start getting some of these things, you’ll need to get your dog accustomed to wearing boots and having a backpack on his back. Heck, you can even go as far as simulating a bug out situation just to see how much Lucky will slow you down and see how easy it’ll be to keep him near you when you’re in a hurry.

The writer of this article would like to follow his own advice and remain anonymous.

Preparing Your Kids with Gun Safety Lessons

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If society collapsed, would your children know how to handle themselves in a world where knowledge of firearms was elemental to survival? Or, in today’s society, say your child visits a friend’s house when their parents aren’t home and they find a gun in the closet. Would they know enough to be safe? These are questions that matter to every mother. 41 percent of Americans have a gun in their home, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, so your child is likely to be around guns at some point whether you own one or not. Here are some basics that every parent should teach their children about gun safety.

Set the Example

The most powerful lesson is a good example. If you’re well-versed in gun safety, you’ll able to teach your child more effectively. Even if you’re already familiar with guns and gun safety, it’s a good idea to take a refresher course and brush up on the basics so they’re fresh in your mind when you teach your child. The National Rifle Association publishes a directory of training courses taught by qualified instructors that you can browse to find a course near you. Learn with the type of firearm you intend to use or the type of firearm you intend to get your child when they’re old enough. If you’re looking to save money, try browsing a wide selection of quality used firearms from a trusted online supplier.

Follow Gun Storage Safety Rules

A big part of gun safety is storing your guns where your children can’t get them. As they get older, you can take the opportunity to teach them how to properly store guns.

Project ChildSafe recommends that guns be stored unloaded and locked in a gun vault, safe or cabinet. Ideally, your storage location should not be known by your children, especially if they haven’t been taught gun safety. Furthermore, ammunition should be kept in a separate location, as should keys.

For additional protection, you can use a gun locking device to prevent the gun from firing. Yet another option is to break a firearm down and store the parts separately to ensure that it won’t be misused.

Guns should always be unloaded and cleaned after use and before storage. Even if you think the gun is already unloaded, double check. Sometimes ammunition remains in a gun’s magazine after it has been fired.

Teach Gun Safety Rules

Learning how to handle guns safely is another part of basic firearms safety. The most fundamental rule is to always point a gun’s muzzle in a safe direction, meaning away from yourself and other people so that if the gun were to go off, it would not harm anyone. When holding a gun at your side, make sure it points to the ground and not at your feet or another part of your body.

Another basic principle is to always assume a gun is loaded. Don’t assume a gun is unloaded just because you took it out of storage or because someone told you it was empty. You never know what someone else may have done with the gun before you had it, and you should never just assume that the magazine is empty without.

A third basic principle is to never load or cock a firearm before you’re ready to actually fire it; keep guns unloaded when not in use. Also, pick guns up with your finger outside the trigger guard rather than inside.

Teach Your Children What to Do if They Find a Gun

There’s always the chance that a child will come across a gun before they’re adequately trained and old enough to safely handle it. If this happens, they need to know what to do. Make sure they know that if they find an unattended weapon they should get an adult to deal with it rather than trying to handle the gun themselves. Explain that a gun can accidentally go off and should only be handled by someone capable of handling it safely. Some toys resemble guns, so teach your children to be careful about assuming a weapon is a toy and to assume it is real unless they know otherwise. Likewise, teach them to never to point a gun at anyone and to always assume a gun is loaded.

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

Disaster Ready: Best Ways to Insure Your Family Against the Worst

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Family Being the head of a family requires taking on many different responsibilities. The most important of which should always be providing security and safety for your family. To do this, you must always plan for the worst. Below are some ways you can protect your home and family from disaster.

Homeowners Insurance

First of all, you need to make sure you purchase homeowners insurance to protect your house against a disaster or act of nature. Homeowners insurance should cover acts of nature such as lightning strikes, fire, strong winds, and hail. According to Bachus & Schanker Law, good homeowner’s insurance policy should also pay for damage done by criminals such as vandalism or burglary. Check with your provider to see what might be missing from your policy and what you should think about adding.

Earthquake and Flood Insurance

Even basic homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover everything. In certain cases, you may need to purchase extra coverage to protect against certain kinds of disasters more likely to occur in certain areas. You may need earthquake insurance if you live near a fault line and alternatively, you may need flood insurance if you live within a flood plain. Keep in mind that even if earthquakes or flooding happen rarely in an area, it is still a possibility in many parts of the country.

Health Insurance

Not all emergencies affect your property, some affect the livelihood of your family directly, as is the case with medical emergencies. Make sure everyone in your family has adequate health insurance coverage. If you don’t receive health insurance through your employer, purchase it through a state run healthcare exchange to receive a discount from the federal government. Obtaining state healthcare insurance or federal coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or health coverage from the Veteran’s Administration is another good option to save money.

Legal Representation

Some injuries are the result of the negligence or malicious acts of others. You or your family members may have received a significant disability due to the action or lack of action of another party. However, health insurance may not provide for everything in this situation such as loss of income or loss of quality of life. If this is the case, it may be best to contact a personal injury lawyer in Denver or your local areas to represent you or your family members in court. Civil court exists to help correct losses brought on by the negligence of others.

These of course are only a few of the things you should do to protect your family members and home against disaster. Stay vigilant and be proactive about providing physical and financial security for your family. You’ll be able to rest much easier if you do.

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

Journalists in Danger: What Writers Face on the Front Lines

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Field journalists are daring enough to face the reality of a situation in order to reveal the truth and get the real story. Many have fallen prey to risks that not only hinder their ability to produce a hard-hitting story, but create a situation that could threaten their very lives. It’s crucial to learn what you can do to avoid these outcomes when reporting from the front lines. Here are three of the most common risks that apply to a broad base of field journalists.

Disease and Illness

When abroad, traveling journalists are at risk for mild to severe diseases after being exposed to a foreign environment. To avoid getting sick while in the field and thus jeopardizing your news story, be sure to be aware of the specific environmental risks of the location you’re visiting. For intercontinental travel, this would mean researching water conditions and food quality. Even US-based journalists visiting a neighboring state must look into the local health hazards of a location. For example, that restaurant you visit for lunch could give you food poisoning, so check the Yelp reviews before putting anything in your body that may have harmed others before you.

Legal Troubles or Imprisonment

Even if you have a Master’s in global affairs, there are undoubtedly some important laws you should be aware of in your new location. Do some research before risking becoming imprisoned in a foreign land. Though close to home, visiting a different state or province could be risky if you are unaware of regional laws such as speed limits, cell phone regulations, even eating while driving.

Culture Clashes

As a journalist, it’s natural to want to push boundaries, but sometimes this could cause a situation that not only prevents you from getting your story, but from leaving the area safely. A lot can be avoided by respecting a region’s local culture. This can come down to a question of altering your personality, such as keeping quiet when you disagree. Remember, your goal is to create a story worth sharing. Remain tactful and polite, so as not to spook the locals and spark suspicion. Before traveling, be sure you are up to speed with the local values and customs.

You may have noticed a common strain in avoiding field journalism pitfalls is research, research, and more research. Now that you’ve gotten some tips, it’s your turn to prioritize and research the stigmas, taboos, and legal regulations of the place you’re visiting. Remember, you have a greater purpose of spreading truth, so don’t get in your own way.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.