Last month, I reviewed several products and wrote reviews for them to be published in Survival Life. These will be released in the coming weeks and I will link them here as well. However, the theme of these reviews is “playing with gasoline” since all of these products are related to fuel storage. To be clear, I was *testing* these products for their ability to store and dispense fuel…not to create fire and mayhem. The whole series will be worth reading because of some unexpected experiences I had along the way. There was even one product I could not review due to a design limitation. Anyway, stay tuned for more information because there will be some actionable steps you can take after you read these posts.

I’ve owned a Streamlight Nano for a couple of years now and have found it to be a useful backup light. It has gone with me on several overseas trips and has come in handy a few times when I needed illumination. You can read my review of this useful little LED unit over at Survival Life. SPOILER ALERT: I like it a lot.

 

I’ve been using PFI’s Z-Blade for several years now and have found them to be VERY handy. Not long ago I decided to write a review on this helpful tool over at Survival Life so hop on over there and give it a look. It is a great tool to have on-hand around the house and in your various kits. I own a bunch of them and they have also proven to be popular gifts. Give it some thought and consider buying some for your preparations.

 

The first article I wrote for Survival Life was a review of the Sunjack 14w Portable Solar Charger. Everybody should have multiple power backup sources for their battery-powered devices (i.e., cell phones) in case of an extended power outage. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight, a solar battery charger is a good option. Read the review and decide for yourself if the Sunjack is right for you.

 

For a few days, I had a chance to test my preparedness. It wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent but it did give me an opportunity to see how ready I am for the unexpected. The experience was one I need to repeat in other areas too, but for now the water filtration test was a successful one. After all, when your reverse osmosis faucet slows to a trickle it’s time to take action.

dripping-faucet

Continue reading

Back when I had Cable TV, I would scan through the channels from time to time looking for a show to watch. There was one in particular that I could only watch a few episodes of because it was so disturbing.

Hoarders

You can read a good summary here but the what it boils down to is some people chronically hoard possessions to the point where it adversely affects their well-being. In most episodes, there is an intervention staged and an engagement with professional help to assist the hoarder with their situation. Truth be told, this is a very disturbing show to watch, akin to another A&E series…Intervention.

Over the past few years, what has struck me is how many people exhibit similar, albeit less extreme, examples of this behavior. For example, when I drive through my neighborhood I see garages packed with stuff. Everything from boxes to mattresses to tools and other sundry items, it’s all jammed in there. Forget about parking a bicycle, much less an automobile, in one of those garages! It’s almost as if some homeowners have an urge to pack their domicile to the gills with stuff, even if they can’t get to it readily.

Keep in mind that being a prepper doesn’t require you to have massive amounts of everything. To do so would be a waste of resources and space that could be more effectively used elsewhere. Think about what events are actually likely and how long those events would last. Forget about TEOTWAWKI, think instead of an extended power outage, severe weather, or a prolonged period of unemployment. Those are the types of events one should prepare for, which won’t require a garage full of stuff.

The takeaway from all this, is take stock of what you have now and determine if you are likely to need it. Having the right amount of equipment, supplies, and (most importantly) knowledge on-hand is more important than hoarding as much as you can store.

A long time ago I wrote about the importance of checking your batteries. I had just lost a couple of flashlights and had some corroded terminals on some other devices, so I felt compelled to write about it. Since then, I have done a decent job of regularly checking the batteries in my various devices. However, sometimes I forget to take the summer heat of Arizona into account though. A few weeks ago, I was reminded how important it is to take seasonal temperatures into account.

A couple of years ago I purchased some Maglite XL200 LED Flashlights to go into some of my kits. One of these was destined for the car kit because I wanted a bright yet compact flashlight that could be used in multiple signaling modes. It worked well for me but for most of the summer, I forgot to check it’s batteries. What you would expect to happen next…happened. I had yet another ruined flashlight on my hands despite my best efforts to clean it up. Now it’s back to square one for my automotive emergency flashlight.

However, I do have a plan that should help address this problem in the future. I recently purchased several additional Powerex rechargeable batteries to add to my inventory, which means I have a few that I can spare for a new flashlight. The Powerex batteries retain more of their charge for a longer period of time, so I can leave them in my replacement flashlight without worrying about them being dead when I need them. Plus, I will pack some extra ones in the storage box in my trunk in case I need them. This should address my (recurring) problem with leaking batteries.

None of us is perfect, that is for sure. One takeaway from this is to account for mistakes and use more resilient equipment (in this case rechargeable batteries) as a guard against human error. Let’s hope I heed my own advice more often in the months ahead.

I purchased my current house over six years ago and have made numerous improvements to it. Some of the security upgrades include installing new doors, reinforcing door jambs, installing better locks, adding a single-side deadbolt, purchasing a home security system, updated the exterior lights, replacing my front gate, and putting a peep hole in my front door. The one area that I didn’t have a chance to update was my garage door…until last week that is.

Continue reading

Sometimes a hidden problem can cause issues over a long period of time. What’s maddening about this is that the damage is difficult to discern and the affects not immediately traceable to the root cause. I had such an issue that cost me a lot of money and frustration before I was finally able to get it resolved. Hopefully you can learn from my experience so you don’t encounter a similar problem.

Continue reading