I went to the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds this past weekend. This is the third such show I attended, two of which have been at this venue. I didn’t have anything in particular that I was looking for, I just wanted to see what was being showcased at this event. Here are my observations and thoughts regarding this show.

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Today’s preparedness tip involves spending money to save money.

Join a warehouse club like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Wholesale to save money on bulk purchases.

The money you spend to join a warehouse club (usually between $40-75/year) will allow you to save hundreds more on the items you purchase during the course of a year. Its a good investment and a great way to stock up for less.

A while back, I wrote about Jerry Cans and how valuable they are for storing and transporting liquids.  The article focused on fuel storage, but Jerry Cans are also a great way to store water and other valuable liquids.  Because the contents are important, it is crucial that you purchase high-quality, durable containers that will last for years and be ready when you need them.  The good news is, you can now buy new, all-steel, NATO-spec Jerry Cans through Smart Suburban Survival.

NATO Steel Jerry Can

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On the internet, every day can be Cyber Monday so be sure to practice safe online shopping.

Credit: DefenseTalk

Now that the long Thanksgiving weekend is over, thoughts turn from football and turkey to shopping and gifts.  More people are doing their shopping online, but there are risks involved.  Criminals can use a variety of means to steal important information from unsuspecting internet users.  Here are some simple security tips that you can use to secure yourself:

  • Keep a clean machine.  Make sure you have updated all your devices with up-to-date security software and patches.  A lot of legitimate websites don’t know they are hosting malicious code, which puts your system at risk of infection.
  • Think before you act. Got a great deal via email, tweet, posts or online advertising? If it’s suspicious, even if you know the source, delete or junk it. If you don’t know, don’t click on the link – instead, go directly to the site and look for the deal there.
  • Make sure the site is legitimate before you pay.  Look for a closed padlock in the address bar or the URL, and ensure it has HTTPS or SHHTP in the URL, before you enter your credit card or private information.
  • Use safe payment options.  Credit cards, PayPal (or similar) are your best option over debit cards. Note that some banks will not cover debit card transactions if there is a problem with the purchase, or fraud, on your debit card.
  • Protect your personal information. Understand what kind of information is being collected and how the merchant will use it. While it may not stop you from purchasing, you may be able to reduce spam or unwanted emails and texts.
  • Use strong passwords. If you create an account for an online merchant, don’t reuse the same passwords.  Never share your passwords with others.
  • Store your passwords by using a password vault program  from a trusted source (e.g. Microsoft, Symantec, Apple which usually have them pre-installed, or download and use KeePass or PasswordSafe programs)
  • Be careful about Wi-Fi Hotspots.  Don’t share personal or financial information over an unsecured network connection (if a password isn’t required, it’s not secure). Using direct web access over the phone (3G/4G) is safer than an unsecure wireless network when on your mobile device.
  • Keep a paper trail.  Print or save your online transaction records, this way you’ll know you got and paid for, what you ordered. Check the receipt against your credit card statement.

And always remember to practice safe online shopping!

Wondering what to give during this holiday season?  Here is the first annual Smart Suburban Survival Holiday Gift Guide to help you out.

Credit: Country Living

If you and/or somebody on your gift list is interested in preparation, here are some gifts to consider:

Hopefully the items you give this season will serve a purpose and allow someone you care about to become better prepared.  The gift you give this holiday season may really come in handy sometime in the future so choose wisely.  Happy shopping!

If you still aren’t sure about what to get the people on your gift list, a Road ID is a great option.

Road ID Bands

I’ve written about the importance of having identification and medical information on you at all times.  Road ID makes several different products that meet this critical need and help keep you safe.  Here are some ones to consider giving this year:

  • Wrist ID Bands
  • Ankle ID Bands
  • Shoe ID
  • Dogtags
  • Scout pet tags
  • Supernova flashing lights
  • Reflective bands
  • Reflective shoelaces

You can also purchase gift cards for the Road ID Store.

Take the time to read some of the testimonials from satisfied customers and you’ll see how important having one of these products is.  It could save your life while training, shopping, working, hiking, camping, swimming, or around the house.  Having a Road ID is an important part of being prepared for the unexpected, both for you and your loved ones.  If you buy anything during this holiday season, get some identification products from Road ID.

A while back I wrote about the importance of hardening door jambs and hinges against break-in attempts.  Since we’re on the topic of holiday gift ideas, why not give EZ Armor to homeowners on your list?

Armor Concepts EZ Armor

Why give EZ Armor?

  • It reinforces all the weak points of your door;  the jamb, the hinges, and locks
  • All pieces are made from powder-coated galvanized steel, making it resistant to corrosion
  • Police departments have tested it and recommend it
  • EZ Armor is Made in the USA

I have these installed on both my front door and garage door.  Its a quality product that I believe in and recommend to everybody who has a house with wood door frames.  EZ Armor provides a robust layer of security that you can add to your home protection plan.  For less than $80 per door its affordable too.

You can learn more about the full range of Armor Concepts products by going here.  Once you have determined the right products, click here to order them.  Give the gift of better security this holiday season, you will be glad you did.

Need another gift idea for the holidays?  Consider Smart Cap TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors) by Ride-On.

Ride-On SmartCaps

These are a great accessory for any vehicle that uses pneumatic tires since they flash when air pressure drops by 4 PSI.  The tire(s) can then be inflated to their correct pressure.

Why is this important?

  • Underinflated tires have higher rolling resistance which can result in a loss of fuel economy of 1-3%
  • Proper tire pressure extends tire life, improves handling, and reduces tires failures
  • Low tire pressure can cause blowouts which leads to vehicle damage

Smart Caps have some great attributes including:

  • They install in seconds and provide years of service
  • Self-calibrating, no false alerts during high or low ambient temperatures
  • Metal construction means long life and durability
  • Integrated anti-theft protection

I’ve had Smart Caps installed on my car for just over a year and they are great.  My vehicle doesn’t have a built-in Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors installed so these allow me to quickly check my tires to ensure they are properly inflated.  This gives me peace of mind knowing that my vehicle is safe and that I am saving money at the pump.  For around $20 per wheel position, they are a great investment.

You can order LED Smart Caps by clicking here, they make great stocking stuffers.