Category Archive: Heat

How the California Drought Will Affect our Food Prices and Availability

The drought in California is the WORST it’s been in 500 years. The Weather Channel will be offering a special program soon entitled Cracked : The Soil in California.

Stock up now on the items that are produced primarily in California. as soon they may be extremely cost prohibitive or non-existent. California produces approximately 3/4 of all vegetables, nuts and fruits grown in the USA.

In California the following crops are grown:

  • Celery
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pomegranates
  • clingstone peaches
  • artichokes
  • black  and green olives
  • apricots
  • plums
  • prunes
  • figs
  • brussel sprouts
  • tangerines
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • cantaloupe and honeydew melons
  • lettuce
  • persimmons
  • strawberries
  • spinach

One company alone processes 6 MILLION pounds of carrots per DAY [True…..I verified that incredible number – Rourke]. The Modesto area of California is known as the WORLDS basket of celery. California wines will also be unavailable.


Recently we have purchased apricot jam, mango jam, dried celery, olives, almonds, raisins, dried apricots (we cannot find canned anywhere), apricot tea, mango tea, canned artichokes and canned and freeze dried spinach.

Calif. is the largest producer of dairy in our nation. California has 1.75 million dairy cows.

National Geographic magazine is doing a ten issue report on Food Scarcity and the relationship with changing climate. I recommend everyone read these excellent articles.


Parts of Texas and Oklahoma are in a worse drought then during the Dust Bowl era. The mainstream media isn’t showing this but Fox News did – hundreds of California residents waiting on extremely long lines for hours to get a gallon or two of drinking water. Many farm laborers are out of work now and more will be. Small town stores are closing. Where will these people move?

Beekeepers will no longer be trucking millions of bees to pollinate the almond groves which are now fields of dust. The dramatic weather and climate changes are now creating many areas of disasters. Spring wheat planting is being postponed due to flooding and hail in the Dakotas and Texas.

I highly recommend the book THE RESILIENT GARDENER – food production and self-reliance in uncertain times. Written by Carol Deppe, this is an excellent resource with practical information to help us all deal with these uncertain times.

Eventually there may be an exodus of millions of people from California seeking water and literally seeking greener pastures. The cumulative effect from the California drought will affect the US and the world for years to come.

[From Rourke in June of 2014: Although the drought in California is incredibly bad let’s hope it is short lived and does reach the critical disastrous levels of which Arlene speaks of. UPDATE April of 2015: Looks like the situation has not improved and is heading in the wrong direction.]


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: This post was originally published in June of 2014. It still holds true today especially with Governor Brown issuing statewide mandatory water restrictions

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Fire Reflector Made of Stones

In this video you will see the process of making a fire reflector out of flat stones. Fire reflectors are crucial to keeping your fire long-lasting and hot. A reflector will reduce wind, which will expend the burning wood faster; preserving resources will help to ensure your survival in an emergency. Thin, flat stones may break due to heat, but this problem can be circumvented by placing the thin, flat stones just slightly farther from the fire. Thicker is always better, if indeed you can find thicker stones.



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Via: survivalist

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How to Survive a Blizzard in Your Vehicle

How do you survive if you become trapped in your vehicle during a blizzard? With winter fast approaching, this is a good question.

The last few years have seen unseasonably cold and snowy winters in the U.S. Along with sustained cold temperatures, many regions experienced blizzard conditions including heavy snow fall and accumulation, combined with strong winds. Numerous areas were affected, including thousands of miles of roads ranging from major commuter highways down to narrow, twisty mountain roads. This became a recipe for motorists getting stuck in their vehicles during these tough weather conditions and they did.

Blizzards and winter storms are generally forecast by our nation’s weather services. What is not easily predicted is the true amount of snow, wind speeds, and the areas where snow and ice will accumulate.

This means that if you live in or are traveling through to an area that gets winter snow storms, regardless of whether it is urban, suburban or rural, you need to be prepared.

Here’s how.

Winterize Your Vehicle, personal gear and emergency equipment

Your Vehicle

  • Get your vehicle winterized including, engine, radiator and windshield washer fluids. Don’t forget new wiper blades as well.
  • Have your battery checked.
  • Get your tires checked. Do they have enough tread to last the winter or do you need to change them for all season or snow tires?
  • Put your tire chains or traction mats in the trunk.
  • Print out this free download of what you should keep in a vehicle emergency kit.

Emergency Equipment

  • Verify that you have a windshield scraper, tow rope, jumper cables, flares, or portable emergency roadway lights. If you have a larger vehicle, in particular, make sure your tow rope is up to the task. You don’t want a 10,000 lb. rated tow rope to pull out an Escalade, but you don’t need a 30,000 lb. one for a VW Bug.
  • Include a small folding shovel and bag of sand or cat litter (the old cheap kind, not the newer clumping kind) in case you get stuck and need to dig out or provide extra traction for your tires.
  • Check your first aid kit and replenish any used supplies.
  • Additional items can be found at

Personal Gear

  • Winterize your emergency gear with a couple of space blankets as well as one wool blanket or sleeping bag. The cheap mylar space blankets are great to have, but they rip easily so you might want to splurge on the reusable, higher-quality ones to keep in your car.
  • Make sure your emergency kit includes, among other things, glow sticks, knife or multi-tool, duct tape, flashlight, extra batteries, a lighter, matches, candles for melting snow, pen and paper.
  • It’s important to have a metal cup or can for melting snow into water. Even an empty soup can will do, provided it’s metal. Most H2O containers will freeze once your vehicle cools down.
  • Store some extra water and high energy foods or snacks like protein bars in the vehicle.
  • Pack a small gear bag with extra clothing. Jacket, hat, socks, and gloves are a minimum – preferably wool or something high tech and waterproof. If you dress up for work, add a complete change of appropriate winter clothing, including snow boots. I also add in a couple packs of chemical hand and foot warmers.

If You Become Stranded

First and foremost, keep calm and stay focused on what you need to do to survive.

Stay With Your Vehicle

It is much easier to spot a vehicle than it is a person. Only leave to seek help if you have 100 yards (a football field) of visibility or more and you have a clear, visible objective to go for. Do not just get out and start walking along the road way hoping someone will find you. That is a good way to freeze to death, literally.

Make Your Car as Visible as Possible, Quickly!

Turn on your emergency flashers and dome lights while your engine is running. Tie something bright, like a bandanna, to your antenna or roof rack, if you have one, or hang something bright out a window. If you have glow sticks, put one in both your front and back windows. This will make your vehicle (and you) much more visible, even when it is snowing and blowing heavily. Finally, when the snow has stops, raise the hood of your car.

Call 911 and a Friend

After you are sure you are stuck and in danger of being snowed in, do not hesitate to call 911. Answer all questions and follow all directions given by the 911 operator. Your life may literally depend on it.

After your 911 call, or if you can’t get through to the operator, contact a family member or friend and give them the details of what has happened to you. If you haven’t reached emergency services, have them call for you. Remember, you are in a blizzard and who knows how long phone service will stay up or the battery in your phone will last.

Stay Warm

Turn on your engine for 10 minutes every hour and run the heater at full blast. (Keep your tailpipe clear of snow.) At the same time, crack open a downwind window just a little to let in fresh air and prevent carbon monoxide build up.

Put on extra clothing if you have it, especially a jacket, hat, socks, and gloves (see above). Do you have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle? If so, take out the space blanket, wool blanket, and / or sleeping bag and wrap it around you. If you have all or some of these coverings, layer up. Use them all, but not to the point of over heating.

If you don’t have a winter emergency kit, use things like maps, magazines, newspapers and even removable car mats for insulation under and around you.

If you are traveling with someone snuggle up, huddle, and share the body heat.


OK, so it is a little hard to run in place in most vehicles. But it is important for mind and body to keep your blood circulating and muscles from stiffening up. You can clap your hands and stomp your feet. Move your arms and legs. Do isometric exercises and don’t stay in any one position for very long.

Fuel Your Body

Eat and drink regularly. Not a lot, just snack, so that you body doesn’t pull too much blood from your extremities to digest your food.


If you are stuck for any prolonged period of time, there are three things to be on guard for: carbon monoxide poisoning, hypothermia, and frostbite. The good news is these threats are fairly easily dealt with if you take action to protect yourself, as soon as possible. Keep a window slightly open periodically (usually when you run your vehicle engine) to allow just a little fresh air in. This will combat carbon monoxide build up. As for hypothermia and frostbite, layer up with your extra clothing and coverings, keep moving (see above), take in liquids and food frequently and in small amounts-snack. Stay moving and stay fueled!

Keep Motivated and Focused

The longer you are stuck in your vehicle, the easier it becomes be to get demotivated, thinking help will never come. It is vital that you keep a positive mental attitude. This one thing will strengthen your will to live. Stay focused on the positive things you need to do to promote your rescue and your survival. Attitude is everything in survival. Like the will to live, keeping and cultivating a positive mental attitude (PMA)  is central to your success. I would wager more emergencies have gone from bad to worse because of a lack of PMA, usually caused by fear and panic followed by depression and apathy.

Things to do to promote a positive mental attitude, defeat fear and control panic as well as ward off depression and the onset of hopelessness and apathy:

  1. Once you deal with any immediate and urgent safety or medical issues, Stop! Take a moment and be still.
  2. Focus on your breathing. Breathe slowly and deeply. This promotes relaxation and helps reduce anxiety.
  3. Slow down your thinking. Focus on positive thoughts and feelings. Fear and panic are at their strongest when your mind is racing and your imagination is running rampant with negative thoughts and ideas. Drive these thoughts from your mind.
  4. Create your survival plan. Focus on what you need to do to survive.
  5. Get busy and be proactive. Concentrate on the fundamental things you need to do and keep doing while you are stuck in your vehicle.
  6. Improvise: Be willing to think outside the box as you create your survival plan and act on it. Look around and be creative in the use of your resources at hand.
  7. Adapt: A blizzard means COLD! Adjust to your circumstances and surroundings, possibly including huddling for warmth with people you normally, literally keep at arms length. Be willing and able to tolerate discomfort. . Know your strengths and weaknesses: mental, emotional, and physical. Push your limits, endure what is necessary, and make “I will survive” your mantra. Stay Strong.

The vast majority of survival events, including getting stuck in a blizzard are short lived – less than 24 hours. That said, during any major weather event  including blizzards, road crews, law enforcement, and sometimes even rescue teams are out looking for stranded motorists. However, there is a lot you can do to help keep yourself safe and alive until help arrives or you are able to rescue yourself.  Remember, first and foremost, you are responsible for your safety and survival.

Additional Resources

Pamphlets and Checklists

Winter Survival Brochure

Car Checklist for Winter Survival

Winter Driving Tips

AAA Winter Driving Tips

News Clip

What do You Need in Your Car to Survive a Winter Storm


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



 Via :  thesurvivalmom

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How to Baton Firewood

Mother Nature often doesn’t like to play nice. While we’d hope that if we had to spend the night in the woods, it would be nothing but clear skies and perhaps just a bit cool, the reality is you are just as likely to be sitting in the middle of a steady rain with not a dry twig in sight for the evening fire. But, as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way.

If you have a sturdy knife, you can find dry wood, even in a downpour. I do have to stress, though, that the knife must be of good quality. A cheap “Made in China” knock off probably won’t stand up to this sort of abuse. Most folding knives aren’t going to have the blade length necessary, either. Ideally, your blade should be four to five inches in length or longer. Batoning firewood is an age-old technique for splitting wood in the field. The objective is to split thick branches so as to expose the dry wood inside.

To baton properly, as well as safely, you need your knife and a solid surface, such as a flat rock or a tree stump. You can do this on packed earth as well, but I’ve found having a harder surface makes the job much easier.

The branches you select to baton or split need to be thinner than the length of your knife blade. For example, if your blade is five inches long, search for limbs that are about three inches thick. As for branch length, look for branches up to about three feet or so. While I’ve successfully batoned branches upwards of five feet long, shorter lengths make things easier to handle. If need be, you can always break or chop long branches into shorter pieces.

Concentrate your search on dead wood that is off the ground, either low branches still attached to trees or branches that have fallen but are resting on rocks or logs. The reason for this is branches lying directly on the ground will have absorbed more moisture and are less likely to be dry inside.

You will also need one branch to act as a hammer of sorts. A solid piece of wood around eighteen inches in length and a couple of inches thick will do the trick nicely.

Position the branch vertically on your rock or tree stump. Place the blade of your knife across the top of the branch, with the blade edge facing into the wood, making a T shape.

The blade should extend beyond the side of the branch by a couple of inches at least. Next, pick up your “hammer” stick and gently tap the spine of your knife blade, driving the edge into the wood. As it digs deeper, strike the blade more firmly and toward the tip of the blade.

Continue driving the blade through the branch until it splits completely or until you’ve reached a point where you can easily pull the pieces apart by hand. The wood inside should be dry and ready to burn.

Batoning is an excellent addition to the wilderness survival skills toolbox.


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Via:   thesurvivalmom

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Keeping Your Cool – When There’s No Air Conditioning

Guest post by Helen Ruth

It was a record breaking 114 degrees in West Texas, and as luck would have it, our air conditioner broke! Pregnant, and living paycheck to paycheck, I had to find ways to cool down and QUICK!

What I remember the most about that time is how my family managed to stay comfortable at night. With the fan blowing on high, we’d cover ourselves in our beds with wet bath towels. Unbelievably, we’d wake up cold.

Fast forward 10 years later, and my family is handling another heatwave, this time in central Texas. With more than three months in a row of nonstop 100 degree weather, we were sapped of energy. I call that period in time, “the year I didn’t garden.”

It was the year I also took a good look around me and realized that I did NOT want to be caught unprepared during a heatwave with no power.

We naturally have an air conditioner, and plenty of fans, but I wanted to make sure my family would be able to keep our cool, even if we didn’t have electricity.

Lessons from the Past

While volunteering at Pioneer Farms on sweltering days my family would get asked lots of questions.

“Aren’t you hot in that long dress?” People would ask as they stood around in their tee shirts and shorts.

“How do you stay cool when there’s no air conditioner?” Another asked.

“Where do you get ice?” A child piped.

Those were the types of questions I enjoyed answering the most, as I wasn’t just repeating what our ancestors did, I was actually living through the experience!

I explained that believe it or not, the long cotton dress I wore, actually kept me more comfortable and cool, than if I were wearing shorts. Not to mention, the full skirt and sleeves protected me from sunburn, and bug bites.

Light and loose flowing clothes, in natural fibers like cotton, or linen, will actually draw moisture from the skin, evaporate, and cool a person down.

During extreme hot weather, we’d water the garden, and save the hard work for early in the mornings or late evenings when things cooled down.  We also made sure to check on the animals to see if they had plenty of shade and water.

Cold Beverages versus Room Temp

As for ice, there was no refrigeration. A respite from hot weather would be to walk inside the underground root cellar where temperatures could be 40 degrees or cooler than what is outside. This is where food was stored and preserved. Kept in darkness, the root cellar felt like a cave year round.

At first, I couldn’t imagine drinking room temperature water when my family first started volunteering. I had thought that in order to “cool down” my beverage needed to be cold. I have since learned that staying hydrated with lukewarm water is actually preferable. Not that I don’t enjoy a nice glass of ice cold tea on a hot sizzling day, but it is nice to know that we can survive without ice!

I also find it interesting that some studies have shown that athletes that drink cold water show a decrease in performance in comparison to those who consume room temperature.

Years ago, homes were built with no artificial air conditioning. Back then, people gravitated to their front porch to stay cool, or to enjoy the breezeway. Called a dogtrot, there would be two cabins built side by side, and the connecting hallway between would pull in the air currents, causing a cooler breeze.

Today, as I look at homes, I wonder about the lack of front porches and how families would stay cool during a heatwave with no air conditioning.

Keeping Cool, Without Electricity

Here are a few ideas for keeping your cool when there’s no air conditioning. Coolest of all, no electricity needed.

My first priority for preparing for hot weather without power, was to purchase plenty of battery operated fans. Just like in my experience in West Texas, I wanted to make sure I had moving air to circulate around wet clothes or towels.

I also make it a priority to have plenty of spare batteries, including batteries that can be recharged by solar power. There are solar powered battery chargers that you can purchase online, as well as pocket sized mini solar panels that you can hook up to battery chargers or cellphones.

Another benefit to moving air is mosquitoes and flies! That’s right, mosquitoes and flies find it hard to zero in for the landing when air is blowing. I learned this first hand while backpacking in Israel.

Cooling towels are a wonderful invention! My experience is with the  Frogg Toggs, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Initially they feel like cardboard, but once wet, they stay cool and rubbery until they dry again. These towels are perfect for those times when you don’t have moving air.

I keep these in my car for road trips where I could potentially break down during hot weather. Just pour bottled water over the towel, and presto! Instant coolness. One day, I took my Frogg Togg out for a trial run when my air conditioner went out on my Jeep. With suffocating temperatures inside the vehicle, I drove across town with a wet Togg around my neck. Life was bearable!

I’ve touched base on battery operated fans, but there’s also battery operated spray bottles on the market where you can have a fan blowing with water. I especially like using spray bottles, battery operated or not, with essential oils.

Essential oils like mint cool the skin on contact. Another reason I love spray bottles and essential oils is for those high humidity days. Imagine your house baking in extreme heat, with people and pets moving about. My favorite spray is lavender and water. I add about 20 drops to a small spray bottle and spritz the house. This not only makes your home smell wonderful, but the calming blend soothes the nerves and it’s healthy to breathe and natural!

How do You Keep Cool?

Again, these are ideas for keeping your cool when there is no power and air conditioning.

Please keep in mind that the elderly and young are more susceptible to heat injuries and need to be looked after.

Stay hydrated everyone, drink lots of water, wear natural fiber clothes, don’t overwork when it’s hot outside, wear a hat.



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Via: thesurvivalmom

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DIY Bucket Air Cooler for Camping and Other Uses

When I was much younger I didn’t need a sleeping bag, mat, or even a tent when camping.  We would take off for the wilderness with only an Indian blanket, a canteen of water, a Zippo lighter, or box of matches and have a great time.  Since I’ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate the things I didn’t need back then.

Temperatures in northwest routinely reach the upper 90°’s and low 100°’s during the sunny days of summer.  I’ve long been a fan of using solar energy to cook and power some of our phones and radios so I decided to research and build a small evaporation cooler for camping, work, and around the house that will also run off solar power.

There are a lot of great articles and videos on the Internet showing several different styles of “bucket coolers.”  After reading many articles and watching numerous videos on “Swamp Coolers” or “Bucket Coolers,” I settled on a design and began developing a parts list.  It should be noted that I took advantage of the works others have done previously by using the same fan and pump observed because they have been proven effective in some of the videos and articles.

 My parts list:

  1. 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid
  2. 4″ 90° PVC
  3. 12 VDC water pump (Model 66039, from Harbor Freight)
  4. Computer fan (Model # AFB121SHE, from
  5. Switches (SPST – I purchased two from Radio Shack – your choice on which type you want to use)
  6. Project Box, small (Radio Shack)
  7. 1″ L Brackets
  8. #6 screws, #6 flat washers, #6 lock washers, #6 nuts
  9. Filter material (minimum 24″ X 36″)
  10. Window screen, black plastic (minimum 24″ X 76″)
  11. Tubing (diameter to fit pump)
  12. T- fitting (diameter to fit tubing)
  13. Goop glue
  14. 4″ dryer vent hose
  15. Cigarette lighter plug (male end)

Tools I used:

  1. Drill motor
  2. 2 – 2 1/8″ hole saw
  3. Yardstick
  4. Razor knife
  5. Phillips head screwdriver
  6. Marker
  7. 5/32,” 3/16,” 15/32,” and ½,” drill bits
  8. Wire cutters
  9. Soldering iron
  10. Rosin Core solder
  11. Tape Measure
  12. Electrical Tape

I began with a white 5 gallon bucket and lid from Home Depot.  Two rows of 12 – 2 1/8″ holes were drilled in the bucket and the plastic burrs around each hole were removed.  The holes are drilled around the top, leaving the bottom free for holding water.

After drilling the 24 holes, a razor knife was used to de-bur the holes.  Once all the holes were cleaned, a piece of .window screen was cut to match the height and inside circumference of the bucket.  The filter material was cut to the same dimensions.  The pump was set in the bottom of the bucket and tubing cut to reach the top of the bucket.

At the top, a T-connector was installed and a loop of tubing was measured and connected to the T.  In the circle of tubing connected to the T, 3/32′ holes were drilled through the underside approximately every ¾” – 1″ for water to flow down the filter.The screen and filter were removed and approximately 2 ½ gallons of water was poured into the bucket and the pump tested.

A hole, corresponding to inside diameter of the large end of the 90° PVC was cut into the lid.  The fan was centered over the hole and connected to the lid with 4 – #6 screws, washers, and nuts.  The 90° PVC was connected to the lid Using 4 – 1″ L Brackets, screws, washers, lock washers, and nuts.  A bead of GOOP put between the lid and PVC 90°, sealing it from any leakage of air.  A dab of GOOP was also put on each screw and nut on the bottom of the lid to prevent them from loosening from the slight vibration of the pump and fan.  On the lid of the plastic Project Box, two equally spaced and centered holes were drilled for the switches (I used 2 with on-off tags).

The switches were mounted to the top of the Project Box and then the Project Box was mounted to the lid behind the 90° PVC.  A ½” hole was drilled through the box and lid.  The pump and fan were wired to the switches with each connection being soldered.  The power wires were connected to a longer wire with a fused cigarette lighter plug on the other end for use with our solar panels and deep cycle batteries.

The cooler works great on hot days.  It works better with lower humidity, but still cools the air on humid days enough to be an asset when camping.

When camping, we run the cooler using a deep-cycle marine battery.  A solar photovoltaic panel to charges the battery during the day. A standard dryer vent power cord installed  hose directs or focuses the cooled air into our tent.  If it gets too cool in the tent a night, we can switch off the water flow and still have air circulation.

This particular set-up runs very quiet.

After running the fan and pump together it was observed that two (2) wraps of window screen are needed to keep water from running out the 24 holes as it drips down the filter material.  Also, if used to cool a tent, the bucket cooler needs to be outside the tent and there needs to be vent or opening in the tent opposite from where the cooled air enters to prevent condensation from forming.  A good point to remember is if you keep the deep-cycle Marine battery connected to a solar charger or trickle charger, the water needs to be checked regularly to prevent a dry cell for forming.

Cooling a Tent with the Homemade Bucket Air Cooler

I spent two or three nights reading, watching videos, thinking about how to make a cooler, and a little over 3 nights building and testing.  Since the cooler will be used on a daily basis in the summer in my truck (for work), camping, and poolside, I decided to beef-up some areas.  The 90° PVC fitting was connected with “L” brackets and sealed with GOOP glue insuring now air leaks around the nozzle.  All connections were soldered and taped with a quality electrical tape.  The taped splices with be re-soldered in the future and heat shrink tubing with be installed on the slices.  The holes in the project box were sealed with the GOOP Glue.  And don’t forget there are 24 – 2″ or larger holes in the top of the bucket so it has lost a lot of structural strength and will not hold up much weight bearing down on the lid.

In addition, I added 2 SPST switches to allow the pump to be turned on first, wetting the filter material.  The other switch controls the fan.  If it gets too cool at night the pump can be shut off, leaving fan on and the circulating air.  The only change I foresee is changing the filter material to a more coarse material.

DIY Solar Air Conditioner/Bucket Cooler Cooling a Tent

This is an excellent evaporation cooler, just be sure to put both the cooler and the solar panel in direct sunlight. Sunshine is needed to evaporate the water in the cooler and make the air cool.

We used a 1-liter Dr. Pepper bottle that was filled with H2O and frozen It helped cool the air. We did learn that the higher the humidity, the less cooling effect it has on the air.

It’s not pure air conditioning, but it’s much better than just a fan blowing hot air and we are more comfortable while we rough it.


Some other ideas on cooling:


Back in the 1800,s Folks would cool there cabins by putting up cheese cloth over there windows with a flower box under the window filled with water and the bottom of the chesse cloth would be in the water. As the wind blew the wet cheese cloth nailed to each window would cool the air inside and being cheese cloth they could still see out.


Other bucket version:




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Via: offgridsurvival

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How to Stay Cool Without AC

Summer heat is upon us and it’s important to stay cool. With heat waves rolling across the United States, it’s essential to not get overheated and dehydrated. Many deaths have even been connected to power outages during the heat wave.

These tips will help you and your family stay safe in a power outage situation but might also help you save some money during the summer months.

Close Your Windows. Your first instinct might be to open your windows but often this will make your home hotter instead of cooler. Close your windows, blinds and shades during the day to keep the sun and heat out and trapping the cool in. Open your windows at night if it gets cooler outside.

Eat Cold Foods. Keep your body temperature down by consuming colder foods that will lower the temperature inside of you. This will also prevent you from using stoves and ovens that will raise the temperature in your house.

Install Attic Insulation. This is a great way to keep that cool air in your home and not escaping through the ceiling. This will allow you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Plant Trees Strategically. Everyone loves sitting in the cool shade on a nice hot day. Where you plant your trees can have a large effect on where that shade is. Be sure to plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home. During the winter, the sun won’t be blocked from getting to your home. You can also plant trees near sides of your house that have a lot of windows.

– Stay prepared with enough emergency water for your family –

Install Awnings. Just like a tree works to block the sun’s rays and provide you with shade, an awning can do the same thing.

Wear Light-Colored, Loose-Fitting Clothing. This will keep your body cool and breezy. Wearing dark or black clothing will absorb the sun and make you hotter. Wear light colors like white and tan.

Food and Refrigeration. If the power goes out for an extended amount of time, the food in your fridge might begin to go bad. You can use a cooler with ice to keep perishable foods good. You should also begin to eat the foods that won’t keep. If you have freeze-dried foods, you don’t need to worry, they won’t spoil!

Avoid Alcohol. To prevent dehydration, avoid drinking alcoholic drinks. Instead, stick to the water bottles and juices.

Drink Water. To avoid dehydration, continue to drink water. It’s recommended that you have about eight glasses of water per day.

Stay Out Of The Sun. This seems pretty intuitive but, to avoid the heat stay out of the sun!


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Via: thereadystore

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How to Store Fuel Properly

Fuel is one of the most important things that you can use in an emergency. Whether it powers a car, generator, or stove; you’ll need to make sure that your fuel is ready for when you need it.

Handle all fuels with care. Remember that all of these could light at a moment’s notice.

We’ve collected a few tips on how to properly store different types of fuels, where you should store them, and how long they can store.

Containers for liquid fuel
When storing fuel, or other fire-starting material, you’ll want to make sure to put them in a different colored container. Most of the time, liquid fuels are stored in red containers. At a minimum, containers should be obviously labeled.

Make sure that containers are sturdy, reliable and have a good seal on them. You want to make sure that the fuel won’t leak. You should also consider a container that isn’t clear or translucent.


The American Petroleum Institute recommends that you only store gasoline for up to two years. This recommendation does not include gasoline that has been treated with a stabilizer.

There are many types of stabilizers on the shelf that can get your gasoline to store for a few years longer.

While I’ve used gasoline that has been stored for years on my lawn mower, using “stale” gasoline that has been stored for an long time can have some diverse effects on your motor. The recommendation for 1-2 years of shelf-life would provide optimal gasoline.

Diesel Fuel

Surprisingly, diesel doesn’t have a very long shelf-life. It can only last for 6-12 months.

The problem with storing diesel is that it begins to oxidize as soon as it leaves the refinery. Sediments begin to form that would clog the motor. This reaction can be slowed by keeping the fuel cooler and by adding stabilizers. The condensation from the gasoline can also form algae.

Some people who store diesel for a long time (the Navy, gas companies) use methods to stabilize their supply. These methods can be pretty expensive though.

We recommend that you store only a maximum of two-month’ worth of diesel at a time and empty the canisters into your car or generator when you rotate. (Thanks to Oblio13’s blog for the insight.)


Kerosene is one of the easiest fuels to store, and is more versatile than most people think. It does not evaporate as readily as gasoline and will remain stable in storage with no special treatment.

Kerosene has a shelf-life of about three months in a plastic container. Storing kerosene for longer than that can result in bacteria and mold forming in the container.

When you store the kerosene, be sure to label the container properly. You want to make sure that it doesn’t mix with gasoline or another type of fuel. You should store your kerosene in a different color container than gas to ensure that they are not mistakenly mixed.

Be sure to store the kerosene outdoors but protected from direct sunlight. Prolonged sunlight can degrade the kerosene.


Butane isn’t as popular of a fuel as gasoline or kerosene but many people use the fuel for lighters or other small fire starters. Many backpacking kits use butane fuel.

Butane comes in pressurized containers and the canisters are required, by law, to have instructions on the label regarding storage and usage of the product. Following the instructions will ensure that you keep your butane supply safe.

Proper storage is the first element in butane safety. Keep it in a safe place at home that is out of any children’s reach. Many containers can withstand even high temperatures. Even if you live in a climate that is rather warm, your butane should still store well … find a dry and cool place, out of the direct sunlight and away from any other sources of extreme heat.

Additionally, also make sure that the tip of the butane container is not damaged or clogged. If the tip is damaged or is clogged through use, remove the clog or throw away the container and buy a new one. (Read the Ebay article.)


You’ll obviously want to store your propane in a well-ventilated area outdoors. Make sure that your propane tank is stored upright – probably on a concrete slab.

Don’t store the propane tank next to anything flammable. Also ensure that it is stored in an area where a large amount of water will not fall on the tank – for example, next to a gutter or in the open under the rainfall.

Never store the propane in a house or garage. Click here to read Propane 101’s article about proper propane safety.


Charcoal is a great option for cooking fuel. They might get your hands a little bit messier but that’s not always a bad thing. The good thing is that you can store this dry fuel inside your home! However, never cook with charcoal indoors!

You can store charcoal in a dry location – like a bin or metal canister. You can also make a waterproof container by placing the charcoal in a bucket and use a gamma lid to seal the top. This should keep the briquets by not letting moisture into the bucket!

According to the Fireplace Supplier Register, coal can be stored in damp places without harming it. It can also be retained in areas that have little or no protection from the rain and snow. If you choose, so you don’t have to handle wet coal, you can cover it outside with tarps to keep it dry.

Store bagged coal inside the bags until you’re ready to use it. It will be easier to store it and carry it to the stove. Coal either comes by the bag or by the truckload (if you order several tons). Loose coal is easier to contain if it’s stored in wooden bins, but it’s not necessary. (Reference to the eHow article.)

Avoid the temptation to keep a lot of firewood in your home. You can obviously carry in a few logs indoors at a time, but the best location to store firewood is outdoors. It’s recommended that you keep your firewood at least 30 feet away from your house – not leaning against the house, next to the door. Ideally, wood should be kept off the ground too.

You can make a simple firewood holder out of two-by-fours in order to stack the wood properly. Be sure to stack the larger pieces of wood on the bottom of the pile. This will help the pile from leaning or falling over.Here is an article on how to build a firewood caddy.

You’ll want to use a cover to protect the wood from getting wet. You can purchase a specific log rack cover or a simple tarp will do. Make sure that the cover is secured so it doesn’t blow away in the wind.

You may notice that there are some bugs in your firewood. Do not spray your wood with insecticide! This can seep into the wood and fume in your house when you burn the log. Instead, the best thing to do is dry out the wood as quickly as possible. This will encourage most of the bugs to leave the wood.

There are a variety of matches out there. Avoid placing cheap matchbooks in your kits and emergency supplies. They can absorb moisture a lot easier.

Instead, focus on matches that are waterproof and have longer stems. This will allow you to light things from a safe distance and make sure that your matches are safe from moisture.

If you don’t have waterproof matches, you can place your matches in a waterproof container. Make sure that the container is a thick plastic and isn’t stored in direct sunlight.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Make a Winter Survival Kit for Your Vehicle


Travel can be very dangerous this time of year. Black ice, slippery pavement, high winds and blowing snow, or reduced visibility due to fog, rain and snow storms can all happen within a few miles. It doesn’t matter if you live in the Oregon high desert or other frigid areas.


A survival kit for your car can be indispensable when the weather turns bad.

Midwest. If your car slips off the road in an isolated area, during a blizzard, a routine drive to visit the family can turn into a nightmare.

by Leon Pantenburg

Nationwide attention was brought to winter survival in a stalled vehicle in 2006.

In December, Californian James Kim, 35, died in Oregon’s Rogue River Wilderness after leaving his wife and children to get help. The family car was stuck in snow on a remote road for several days.

Mr. Kim departed from the car, he left the road and apparently got lost in the deep snow. He bushwhacked five miles down steep canyons, covering about eight miles through rough country, but ending up only about a mile as the crow flies from his car. Mr Kim’s body was found several days later, and he had apparently died of hypothermia His family was found alive in their car a few days later. (To view the complete story, click on Kim Tragedy video)

Here are some things you can do for a car trip – before you leave – to make that road trip safer.

  • Leave a note, telling someone your route, and when you intend to reach your destination.  If you don’t arrive on schedule, the designated person should contact the area highway patrol or state police. If you have changes in plan, call that person to update the schedule.
  • Warm clothing: Make sure everyone in the vehicle has, as a minimum, a warm coat, hat, gloves and boots along. Throw in a couple of blankets and a sleeping bag in the trunk for extra protection.
  • Lots of Gas: The vehicle should have a full tank of gas before you leave to go anywhere. Top off the gas tank when it gets to about half full.
  • Daytime travel: If possible, schedule your travel in the daytime.
  • Known routes:  Only travel routes you know to be safe – not rural service roads and cut-off roads that are unfamiliar to you.
  • Food and Water: Assemble a complete emergency kit to carry in your car. Periodically update the kit by checking the food and water and making sure you have spare batteries for emergency flashlights.  These days you can acquire car chargers and solar charging kits for cell phones.

Winter survival can start by assembling a selection of easily-obtained items. Here are some suggestions from Oregon AAA on what items to include in your car kit.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Carbon monoxide, a cold weather threat

To keep warm air in and cold air out in winter months, most of us strive to keep every door and window tightly closed. While that may help reduce heating bills, it may also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Each year we see emergency room visits and tragic deaths from carbon monoxide that can be prevented with greater awareness and actions to avoid these manageable risks,” said Stephen May, MD, medical director for the TDH Emergency Preparedness Program.

“While carbon monoxide poisoning is a year-round threat, it’s more common in cold weather when people are seeking ways to keep warm by using space heaters inside.”

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that causes more than 400 deaths and 20,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. each year. It is found in combustion fumes produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and gas ranges or by burning charcoal or wood in a fireplace. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces and people and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing the gas.

The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion and they are often mistaken for common winter illnesses such as severe colds and flu. Over time, exposure to carbon monoxide can cause brain damage and death.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. These work very much like smoke detectors, giving a loud beep or other signal when carbon monoxide is detected. The inexpensive devices are available at most hardware stores.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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