Monday, July 20, 2015

3 Ways to Avoid a Shark Attack

Not all of us will be as unlucky as Mick Fanning, the surfer who had a close run in with a shark on live television the other day. (Watch the video with footage of the attack above) Like Mick Fanning learned from his shark attack, you never know what may happen when you're in the water. A shark attack is less likely than getting struck by lightning, this is true, but the ocean can be dangerous and unpredictable, and by respecting it we can be safer. Here are a few quick tips for avoiding shark attacks:

Don't Bleed, or Pee, in the Water

If you follow one thing on this list, it should be this one. By bleeding in the water, you're telling sharks, "Dinner's ready!" Sharks can detect very small amount of blood in the water from far away, so even a small scratch can be dangerous. If you get a cut, or for women if you are menstruating, you are better off on the beach. Pee does the same thing as blood, it's just another dinner call.

You should apply this to fishermen, as well. If you see fishermen near by you should stay clear. Fisherman boats, even small ones, are full of blood and thrashing fish, a sure signal to sharks that food is near.

Don't Swim When it's Dark

In the morning and evening, when it's dark, it would be a good idea to stay out of the water. Sharks may have an amazing sense of smell, but there vision isn't very good at all. Without good lighting you'll look more like food to them then during the day.

If You see a Shark, Don't Splash

Splashing means there's an animal near by, and more than just an animal, a distressed animal. A shark will look for weak animals since they're easier to kill. Instead of splashing, try to slowly swim away from the shark without turning your back on it. If it's already decided to attack you, then go ahead and splash and look mean. You can deter them if you make them think you'll be a hard kill. Oh, and aim for the nose, that's the most sensitive part of a shark.

Most likely you'll never need this advice, but now you can feel safer next time you hit the beach!

Image of a great white shark attacking a sea lion

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

3 Tools for Surviving After a Hurricane Has Hit

Do you know how to survive a hurricane? The bigger question is: do you know how to survive after the hurricane has destroyed your home? You will find great websites about how to prepare for hurricanes, but the following 4 items don't make it on most people's lists. They are tools that help with surviving after a hurricane has hit. When the hurricane passes and has left you without a working home like you had before, you'll want these items. Enjoy!

N95 mask

N95 MaskYou've survived a hurricane and now you are left with flooding and having to clean up your house. Flooding following a hurricane can take weeks and mold and dangerous bacteria can develop. You don't want to be caught breathing that. I pulled this from about the effects that breathing mold has on your health: "Molds that produce airborne toxins . . . can cause serious symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and acid reflux." When you are cleaning heavily molded items, wearing an N95 mask for protection will greatly increase your chance of staying healthy. The 95 means it blocks 95% of harmful particles. You can clean up the mess and stay healthy at the same time.

4 in 1 tool

Designed and tested by professional fire fighters, this is handy for shutting off your gas and water valves before a hurricane, and then it also doubles as a cleaning tool after a hurricane. You can dig through debris and you can also pry open doors. This tool is manufactured using heat treated metal compounds that are used by the aerospace industry, which is why it's so tough yet so lightweight. Using heat treated metal means the tool won't make a spark, which is useful if you're digging through debris and there's a gas leak. Nobody want's to cause an explosion. It won't rust, either, which is nice to have after a hurricane for obvious reasons.

Portable Toilet

Honey Bucket Complete Toilet Set
This one is so obvious it sneaks up on most people.  If your house is severely damaged after a hurricane, using the restroom can get real messy really quick. The above toilet set is an inexpensive solution because it takes a regular 5 gallon bucket and transforms it into a toilet! Use the Blue Gel to keep the smell and mess from getting out of hand. You can get just the toilet seat here, or you can check out the complete toilet set as shown above by clicking here.

Potty Box - Complete Emergency Toilet Set
Another alternative is the potty box. It folds down so you can store it easier, then it unfolds when you need it. Despite being cardboard it has a durable construction and can hold up to 250lbs. Click here for more on a complete potty box set as shown above.

What do you think?

This isn't a complete list (for example, I didn't include food storage or water filtration methods) but these are a few things that shouldn't be overlooked. I bet there are lots of other great hacks for post-hurricane survival.  Comment below on what you think are important hurricane survival tools! We can all help each other to be a little more ready in case a disaster does occur.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7 Reasons to be Grateful for Hurricanes

Image of a rainbow at the beach after a storm
You may have heard the phrase "you have to be cruel to be kind" before, but probably not in relation to hurricanes. What most people don't know is that despite being capable of massive destruction, they actually provide necessary services to our planet. We fall into the common trap of focusing on the bad things, but not the good. In reality, hurricanes are one of nature's greatest gardener! Here are 7 specific things that we should be grateful to hurricanes for. . .

A person's hands catching rainfall
  1. Rainfall can be very needed some years, and obviously a hurricane is a great way to put lots of water into the ground. Granted the flooding causes an incredible amount of damage, but keep reading and you'll see even more benefits.
  2. Hurricanes can maintain islands by dumping large amounts of sand on the beaches, restoring lost dirt due to erosion. Keeping islands in tact is important because there are "barrier" islands such as Long Island in New York that can help shelter the inland from storms and lessen the effects of them.
  3. With strong winds, hurricanes can balance the world's temperature by sharing tropical heat with the rest of the world. It blows hot tropical air from the equator north, keeping the equator a little cooler and us a lot warmer.
  4. They also cycle nutrients from the seafloor to the surface, revitalizing and renewing wild life in the ocean.
    Underwater image of the ocean
  5. Hurricanes give genetic diversity to many ecosystems because they help spread and plant seeds. Scientists speculate that many tropical plants in Florida came from seeds farther south in the tropics.
  6. Yet another benefit is that hurricanes add variety to nature through a process called ecological succession. Through this process both large and small plants go through cycles, maintaining the variety of plants. When large trees are blown over, the smaller plants and bushes start to flourish in the new sunlight. However, the trees will eventually come back. Because of this process, the smaller plants don't completely die off, and neither do the trees.
  7. Flush saltwater from hypersaline lagoons, which benefits life there. Hurricanes can make a hypersaline body of water have less chloride and sodium, making them much more livable.
So next time you suffer through a hurricane or even if you just watch the aftermath on T.V. you can feel a little better. Not that the destruction is a good thing, but there is hope in the idea that in the midst of destruction there is cleansing and rejuvenation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What You Need To Know About Hurricanes

Palm Trees Being Blown by Hurricane

To Be Fully Prepared, One Must Have Knowledge
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” (Sun Tzu) Knowing more about hurricanes is important because they are, in a sense, our enemy. After this post you'll finally understand what they are talking about on the news when they say, "tropical depression," "category 3" or other technical term.

Why do they Name Hurricanes?
Up till the mid-20th century we named hurricanes based on which number hurricane it was in the year it occurred. It changed because it got too confusing when discussing 2 hurricanes that happened at the same time. We officially started using girl names in 1953. It wasn't till 1978 that boy's names were also used. The names are recycled through every 6 years, and particularly bad storms have their name retired. And it's not NOAA that names them, it's the World Meteorological Organization that takes care of the job.

How do Hurricanes Start?
Ever wonder where a hurricane comes from? Like most major problems, they start small. They are born as a "tropical disturbance," then they grow from there.

Tropical Disturbance- When a moving column of warm air clusters with thunderstorms.
Tropical Depression- Winds start spiraling around the eye of the hurricane, between 25 and 38 mph.
Tropical Storm- Winds greater than 39 mph.
Tropical Cyclone (Hurricane)- Winds greater than 74 mph. By this phase a lot has happened, the storm has reached 50,000 ft high and 125 miles across.

What do Hurricane Categories Mean?
So someone tells you that there's a category 4 hurricane that's about to hit the coast. What should your reaction be? Here's a chart to help you figure that out:

Category        Wind Speed                           Damage at Landfall
5Over 155Catastrophic

What is the Difference between a Hurricane, Typhoon, and a Cyclone?
All you need to know is that they are the same thing! Here's a table to explain that they are named different things in different places of the world:

Name Where it's Used
Hurricane Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Central and Northeast Pacific
Typhoon Northwest Pacific
Cyclones Bay of Bengal and Arabia Sea
Tropical Cyclone Southwest Inida Ocean
Severe Tropical Storm Southwestern Pacific and Southeastern India Ocean

I hope this information has been useful and interesting. By knowing what we're up against we increase our chances of survival.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Your Dad Will Love These Survival Gear Gifts

What Dad doesn't love survival gear? Most do, and for a few reasons. . .
  1. Dad's want to feel like they are good protectors and providers. It's an instinct. Survival gear is a tool for a Dad to provide for and protect his family. What could make him happier than that?
  2. Dad's, even though they are adults, still have a little boy inside of them. Hot wheels and toy guns turned into real cars and firearms when they passed a certain age, but it all comes from the same desire to have "cool stuff."
  3. Dad's love survival gear because it gives them an excuse to go on a camp out or hike to test it out. They get to show their kids the great outdoors, and maybe even teach them a few things about how to camp and survive. 

So, here are some good items to give Dad for Father's Day:

1. Folding Shovel with Pick- Handy, compact, and just plain cool. Oh, and it comes with a compass at the bottom and the handle is a waterproof match container.

2. Multitool Pliers- High quality and highly useful, get him a few so he can store them in his car, desk, backpack, etc.

3. Rope- Every dad likes to know he's got some rope in the trunk in case he needs it. If you want to go even cooler, get him a lightweight but strong tow rope.

4. Survival Knife- This Knife comes with (in it's handle) a compass and a small container that includes matches, fish hook, fishing line, a small sinker, needles and thread. Give him a survival knife and Dad can feel like he's prepared to protect and provide, in any situation.

There are some ideas, but anything automobile related would be great, too. Just remember Dad loves to protect and prepare his family, and there's plenty of gifts to help him do that!

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Build your Survival Kit for Beginners- 8 Commonly Overlooked Items

Emergencies are often survival situations- you get lost in the woods, you have to bug out to the forest, etc. Small survival kits are valuable for these scenarios, especially since you can take them anywhere. There are tons of survival websites that teach you what to put in a survival kit- a knife, rope, water purification, matches, lighters, flashlights, etc. However, a lot of them only cover these few things. I came up with a list of some small yet overlooked things that you should put in your kit. The cost-return is big on these, because they hardly take any space but they can save your life.

Why I Love Survival
Growing up I went on Boy Scout campouts every month. It was always the normal camping trip with a tent, fire, lots of candy, etc. It was nothing close to “surviving.” However, what was unique was that my scoutmaster, a professional at primitive survival techniques, taught us some of what he knew, like how to start a fire with a bow drill, how to use rope and wood to make a 20 foot tower, and how to throw an atlatl. Luckily I’ve never had to use any of this knowledge, but it keeps me at peace knowing I could if I had to. Okay, the atlatl might not be practical, but hey it’s pretty awesome.

 The Nitty Gritty
I’m about to give you a list of items that are easy to pack in any emergency survival kit but that don’t usually get included. Let me explain one thing before I start, though. If you don’t know how to use a tool then it’s useless. No matter how good your survival kit is, knowledge is priority number one. Get some knowledge so you can feel confident and actually survive in any situation. Learn to tie knots, to use a fire bow, to build a shelter, purify water, etc.
Okay, we’ve arrived at the list! Take notes and include these in your survival bags, you’ll be happy you did. 

8 Commonly Overlooked Items to Include in your Survival Kit

  • GI Joe Can Opener- This is a small but handy tool for opening cans. Chuck it in the bottom of your bag and it may come to good use some day. If not, it’s not like it's going to weigh you down or take up space.

  • Gi Joe can opener
    • Strobe Light- Let’s say you’re lost in the wilderness and you go to bed. What if a helicopter were to fly over? A flashlight only points in one direction, and if you’re asleep you can’t aim it at them. Strobe lights shine in all directions, so if you have one just turn it on before you go to bed and you’re set.
    • Extra Batteries- This is self-explanatory. Don’t get caught in the dark!
    • 55 Gallon Trash Bag- You can use this as a poncho, tarp, or stuff it with leaves and make some bedding. It weighs next to nothing, and takes up little space.
    Courtesy of
    • Duct Tape- Rather than carrying a whole roll wrap some duct tape around your lighter, flashlight, or other round object. Use it with gauze as a bandage, make a spear out of it with your knife, or reseal packages of food or bags of water. We all know duct tape fixes everything!
    • Brightly Colored Vinyl Poncho- If you are putting a trash bag in your kit, make it an orange one and you can skip this. If you don’t have an orange one or you want extra protection, it’s not a bad idea to also include a brightly colored poncho. Vinyl is best since it's more durable. Like the strobe light this is another tool for signaling a search party, but this one will actually work in daylight.
    • Redundant Fire Starting Tools- You will need more than just matches in a survival situation. You can buy ferro rods, they produce extremely hot sparks and are small. You can also use a 9 volt battery and steel wool to get some hot embers. If you bring para-cord (which I hope you haven’t overlooked) you can use it for a bow drill. The options are endless, so just make sure to include multiple ways to start a fire, just in case.
    Courtesy of
    • Whistle- With the poncho and strobe light you have visual emergency signals for day and night. However, It’s also useful to have an audible emergency signal like a whistle, especially since they take up no room at all in your pack. If you want a whistle, compass, and waterproof match carrier all in one, those are great options.
    So there you have it. I hope there’s something there that you didn’t already have. If you have already thought of these 8 things then way to be! You’re well prepared.

    Now, please share your ideas in the comments! What other things can you think of that are commonly overlooked?

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Choosing a Portable Stove for Emergencies

    Choosing a Portable Stove for Emergencies

    There are tons of articles written about which portable camp stove to choose for your hiking and camping needs. Hikers have plenty of websites to help them get the gear they need. What about those of us that just need something to cook our food storage in emergencies, but don't know what to get? Cooking solutions for emergency situations are similar to hiking and camping cooking solutions. In an emergency you may need to pack up your portable camp stove and take it wherever you're heading, just like a hiker would do. However, depending on which type you are looking at, camp stoves can be complicated, dangerous and expensive. A lot of gas and liquid fueled stoves, for example, cost more than $100. If you're not going to use it a lot, that probably isn't worth it. In addition to being costly, they are less effective in cold weather. As temperatures approach freezing, the gas doesn't flow as well and you lose heat. Also, gas canisters can be a safety hazard. You have to be careful when using windscreens and large pans, or else the canister can explode from overheating.

    Don't worry, there's good news! For those of us who need an affordable, reliable and safe stove there are many out there that don't use compressed gas or liquid fuel, lowering the cost considerably. They may not boil water as fast, but in a survival situation they are reliable, safe, and won't break your bank. I've compiled a list of inexpensive yet portable stoves that Emergency Zone offers. This list doesn't include every type of stove. For example, I chose not to include alcohol stoves, even though they are a very lightweight and affordable option. They don't put out as much heat, but if you're interested here's how to make one of the several kind that are out there.

    To find the following stoves and more outdoor cooking gear click here.

    Folding Stove (Uses solid fuel tablets)
    Folding Stove
    Pros: Light, Small, inexpensive
    Cons: Not ideal for larger pots, requires windscreen
    Cost: $8 (Comes with 24 solid fuel tablets)
    Buy solid fuel tablets here.

    Box Stove (Uses solid fuel, fire discs or wood)
    Box Stove
    Pros: Holds heavy pots, no windscreen required
    Cons: Bulkier than others
    Cost: $22 (comes with 5 fire discs
    Buy fire discs here.

    Fold Flat Aluminum Stove (Can use wood, charcoal, gas/liquid canister or StableHeat)
    Fold Flat Aluminum Camp StoveFolded Flat Aluminum Camp Stove
    Pros: No windscreen required, can use multiple fuel types, folds flat, lightweight aluminum
    Cons: Can't adjust height
    Cost: $14

    Backpack Stove (Uses solid fuel tablets)
    Backpack Camp StoveUnassembled Backpack Camp Stove
    Pros: Light, extremely thin
    Cons: Requires wind screen
    Cost: $10

    Bottom Line
    If you want to throw a stove into your emergency kit these are great portable stoves to consider. You don't have to spend serious money to be prepared! There are reliable and affordable options out there.

    Portable Camp Stove Cooking