Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Safety Tip: Vehicle Decals

So, I’m off work and trotting over to my car- being careful and all- and have to stop. And stare. And blink. There, on the back of the monster SUV is a stick figure family announcing to the world who everyone is that usually drives around in that Explorer.

All right, we all seen them, some of us love them and others hate them. Readers might even have those stick figure families on the back window right now on what ever they are driving. I personally prefer something other than the stick family figures- like the flip flops, dolphins or …well, anything but the stick figures, actually.

But I digress.

The important thing is that those decals don’t reveal any private information concerning you family. The ones that have your family’s name and- more vital- the names of your children you have to be careful with. Even the family pet could be dangerous. After all, to your kid, who else but a friend of the family would know Rover’s name?

So a stranger could walk up to your child playing and say, “Jenny Smith, your mom and dad sent me to get you. Rover got hit by a car and I need to drive you to the vet’s. They’re waiting for us. You want to see if he’s okay, right?”

Now, I love bumper stickers and the like. But think a bit before you over share. I did find on the web my personal favorite below. I bet they’re preppers.

Stay strong and be safe,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Disaster: FIRE Part 1

I wanted my first topic to be on a subject that everyone would find useful. And that is fire! I was shocked to read in several of my preparedness books that fire causes more deaths and property damage than most natural disasters combined. A house fire can be devastating and is commonly overlooked. There is a much greater chance of a house fire in a person’s lifetime than the world ending. One book said a house fire occurs every twenty minutes!

This disaster, and it would certainly be a disaster for anyone unfortunate enough to experience it, can threaten everyone. So would I like to write an article about building mountainside bunkers? Heck yeah, sounds like fun, except for the fact that I have no idea on how to do that. I’ll research those ideas for the future. Instead, I thought this topic would be universal and useful.

This last July we had fireworks in Las Vegas for the Fourth. Several nasty house fires were the result of carelessness. I sat in my front yard listening to the sirens and shaking my head, happy that they weren’t heading down my street. That made me think of fire as the disaster scenario for my blog.

Before I get into fire alarms and other topics, I want to mention a reality. Insurance. Make sure your house has the proper coverage. It’s a huge financial investment for you and your family. Have a copy of it in a safe place. Include pictures and a list of important items in you fire safe (another post), a safe deposit box or at another family member’s house.

You can also post your copies in “the cloud” on an online storage location such as Google Drive, Picasa, etc. Another technique is to take a video using your camera phone and go through each room, filming everything you own. Put that video in a safe place in case something happens because you will forget up to 30% of what you own in the event of a disaster.

Emotionally, it is awful not to have your belongings around you. Insurance will at least help you re-buy clothes, letting the Red Cross donations go to another family. Photos are often shown of people finding cherished mementos in the rumble in the aftermath of a tornado etc. That is less like in the case of fires. And what you do find might be unusable do to smoke and water damage.

If you rent, look into renter’s insurance. It doesn’t cost that much and you can link it to your car. Renter’s insurance runs between about $10 and $25 a month and will cover your personal belongings if they’re lost to a disaster or stolen. The other two key benefits are that it provides discounts to your other lines of insurance as well as establishes time with the company, which can save you money down the line when you purchase a home or condo and it provides liability coverage.

For example, if you’re cooking and step away from the stove to check on your kids or a text, and a fire starts and spreads, you are responsible for any financial damage caused by the fire or the efforts to put it out (such as water damage to apartments below yours). The liability protection in your renter’s insurance policy will protect you whereas if you don’t have one, you have to pay for that damage out of your own pocket.

In my future posts I am going to go into fire alarms and extinguishers. I’ve learned that some companies offer a discount on the cost of your insurance coverage if you mention it to them.

Hey, every penny counts.

A special thank you to Amanda Clothier for her consulting advice.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Intro to my new blog on being prepared

How 'Just in Case' came about.

That's me below doing a little recon and enjoying a beautiful day of hiking.

The idea for a Just in Case blog came from a desire to do a personal journal of things I’d learned or read about becoming prepared. But I wanted to share everything with my friends.
I consider myself a baby prepper. Not necessary for the possibility of end of world, but also for smaller disasters. Even a short time without the modern conveniences most of us are used to would be a bitch to deal with.
The first event that triggered my interest was watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the beautiful cities and towns of Louisiana. My sister sat next to me in front of the TV. She commented how if something like that happened in our city it would be total chaos. We live currently in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not only does it have a large population, but it daily has thousands of tourists needing to be taken care of while they try to GO HOME in a crisis. That’s a lot of people without even a refrigerator’s worth of food.

A secret hidden behind the bright neon lights is the fact that, since we are so close to Los Angeles, we have a significant gang problem. Also, we are surrounded by mountains with only a few roads in and out of the city. Being in a desert, we do not have the resources to provide for so many in the valley. There are not many corner farmer markets in my city.
Boulder Dam or the Strip full of vacationers would be tempting targets for terrorists. Even riots in Los Angeles are used as an excuse to do the same.
We just had a flash flood and severe lighting storm. The Strip was without power for a short amount of time, but it could easily been for a day or two. The week before a huge forest fire burned on Mount Charleston and all the homes and the ski lodge employees were subject to a mandatory evacuation. They had to wait for over a week before they could return home.
So, not the place to be if unprepared. Am I building a bunker in my backyard? Nope, but I’m certainly putting aside a few extra cans of soup.
I’m writing this from a beginner’s point of view and one on a budget to boot. As I use this blog to keep myself on the right track, I hope a few others find it helpful as well. Everyone that buys an extra item at the grocery store because it is on sale could be considered a mini prepper. I would rather have my neighbor be the shopper that frequents Costco than the one that relies on frozen diners and fast food joints.
Now I do not consider myself a die hard prepper. National Geographic is not knocking on my door to have me featured in an episode of Doomsday Prepper. I do love watching that show and have a great deal of awe and respect for those that can devote that much time, effort and money to prepping. I also love disaster movies and often critique the characters, much to my sister’s amusement. I don’t feel that have a few weeks to months worth of extra supplies is crazy, just a little added peace of mind for me as I watch the news.
Below is a funny pic made from ‘The Walking Dead’. I feel though, that the word ‘prepper’ could easily be substituted for ‘redneck’. (And Daryl Dixon can soooo be a part of my prepping team.)

I would love any comments or thoughts from others and I hope this might help or encourage you to buy that extra can of soup. (You can always eat it next month.)
Thanks for reading,