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?