“Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” F.E.M.A.
September is NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH (PREP-tember)
In honor of National Preparedness Month, BulletBlocker will be releasing a comprehensive guide each week of September with information on how to stay prepared and be safe in the event of a disaster. Each week of the month will focus on a specific theme with included tips and recommended products to keep you prepared. September, or “Preptember,” is the best time of year to discover emergency preparedness strategies, innovative maintenance tips, and recommendations for mastering the prepping process. Prepping can seem daunting or overwhelming at first, but our weekly guides will ensure that the information is manageable and effective even for those new to the process.
Preptember Week Four: How to Practice for an Emergency
Throughout the month of September, we have provided tips for preparing emergency plans, reconnecting with family after a disaster, and making emergency supply kits. This final week focuses on consolidating that information and refining your acquired knowledge of emergency preparedness. The fourth week of National Preparedness Month emphasizes the importance of practicing for an emergency. Practicing is one of the best ways to prepare for a disaster. As disasters are unpredictable and can occur at any time, it is important to have an effective and well-practiced plan in your household, workplace, and community. Practicing regularly can prevent added distress in the event of an emergency, and ensures that everyone is informed and aware.
Developing an effective emergency plan within your household, workplace, and community is just as important as practicing it. Hosting a drill, preparedness discussion, or activity within your community is a great way to bring individuals together to make and practice a plan of action. From there, you can discuss community evacuation routes and shelter plan locations for specific disasters. During the meeting, it is important to develop a communication and re-unification strategy so that individuals can maintain contact and take the best actions upon separation. Familiarize yourselves with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area, and identify several other places to go in the event of an emergency.
Within your household and workplace, lead thorough discussions that encourage questions, and run through emergency drills every few months. Ensure that every individual is aware of the procedures to follow, and the evacuation routes and meeting places in case of an emergency.
Another easy way to stay prepared is by following local officials like police, fire, and emergency managers on social media for updates. You could also sign up for emergency alerts though the Integrated Public Alert and Warning system (IPAWS). This system allows alert and warning officials to quickly inform the public about serious emergencies and disasters. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a service that enhance public safety. You can learn more or sign up for the alerts here.
As the end of another National Preparedness Month approaches, stay safe and be prepared. The best way to prepare for any emergency is to practice regularly, stay informed, and be equipped with adequate supplies and resources in your household, workplace, and community. Being proactive in emergency preparation could save your life!
Preptember Week Three: How to Build an Emergency Kit
We are nearly halfway through September, and this third week of National Preparedness Month will focus on strategies for building successful emergency supply kits. Assembling and storing a basic emergency supply kit and a hazard-specific supply kit is essential to ensure preparedness in the event of any disaster. Depending on the nature of the disaster, necessary resources and care may not be readily available, as stores will likely shut down, and medical services and personnel may be unpredictable. This can devastate individuals and communities alike, leaving thousands without adequate food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic necessities. Keeping emergency supply kits on hand is a proactive way to ensure preparedness for any type of disaster.
Building a kit is one of the easiest ways to take action in preparing for an emergency. FEMA—the Federal Emergency Management Agency—released an easy-to-follow Emergency Supply List with an inventory of recommended items to include in a kit. Some basic disaster supplies include: food, water, clothing, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, a whistle, pet food, cash, and a radio. The amount of water you should include varies, but a general rule of thumb is that you should have one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Additionally, there should be at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person and pet. Other important emergency supplies include prescription and non-prescription medications, personal hygiene products, blankets, matches, important documents, and sources of entertainment. Additional considerations should be taken in households with individuals who are elderly, disabled, or require special care.
After assembling your kit, it is important to maintain it so that it can be ready immediately in the event of an emergency. Storing supplies in airtight plastic bags enclosed within a large duffel bag or backpack is essential for maintaining the kit’s integrity. It is important to replace expired items as necessary, and update the kit as your family’s needs change. Because disaster can occur anywhere at any time, it is a good idea to prepare supplies for your home, workplace, and vehicle. In your home, the kit should be kept in a designated location that every member of the household has access to.
At BulletBlocker, we feature a variety of backpacks that will meet the needs for a basic supply kit. Our Guardian and Everyday backpacks both offer NIJ IIIA Bulletproof protection and have the storage space available to create an efficient emergency supply kit for the workplace, household, or vehicle. Additionally, our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Survival Pack and Safety Kit is a great option for an emergency supply kit. The backpack has both a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic survival supplies kit with a 5-year guaranteed shelf life. The first-aid kit contains enough supplies for 25 people, and includes bandages, gauze dressing pads, antiseptic towelettes, cold compresses, and gloves, among other essentials. The basic survival supply kit includes water, blankets, a flashlight, crank radio, a whistle, tools, and tissues, among others.
Keeping an emergency supply kit on hand is an easy and effective way to ensure preparedness for any type of disaster. As you go throughout this week, take action to prepare by developing and finalizing your emergency supply kit for your workplace, home, and vehicle.
Preptember Week Two: Plan to Help your Neighbor and Community
Preptember is now in full swing, and preppers across the nation are refining and practicing their emergency preparedness strategies. The second week of National Preparedness Month focuses on planning to help your neighbor and community in the event of an emergency. Many people turn to their neighbors or surrounding community after an emergency occurs because emergency responders and public services are not always nearby or readily available. While local governments and disaster-relief organizations can help in the event of an emergency, they are not always able to provide immediate assistance to those who need it most. For this reason, it is imperative that individuals are prepared for disaster to strike, equipped with knowledge on how to respond to natural and man-made disasters alike in their own household and surrounding community.
Learning skills to help yourself and others until help can arrive is an asset and advantage in the event of a disaster. Taking a local CPR/First Aid training course is an inexpensive way to ensure that you are prepared. These classes teach basic life support and practical skills that can be utilized while waiting for external support. Volunteering to help local emergency responders is another great way to get involved in your community and better prepare yourself for emergency situations.
Unfortunately, most people are not as prepared for disaster as they may think they are. Research shows that 40% of people do not have emergency household plans, 80% have not conducted home evacuation drills, and about 60% do not know their community’s evacuation route. Many individuals rely on their neighbors following an emergency, especially the frail, elderly, and disabled, so additional considerations should be taken for individuals requiring special care. Organizing and facilitating community meetings among your school, workplace, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood is the best way to ensure that all members are prepared and equipped with knowledge on how to respond to various emergencies. FEMA—or the Federal Emergency Management Agency—released a Community Preparedness Handbook with simple activities and preparedness topics to discuss and use to bring awareness towards emergency preparation. The guide focuses on hazard-reduction and specialized preparedness strategies to implement within communities.
At BulletBlocker, we offer a variety of school and workplace safety solutions that can be utilized throughout the whole community. These include the NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Safety Seat—a portable and lightweight anti-ballistic shield disguised as a seat cushion that can be used at school, work, or local organizations. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof backpack panel inserts are another inexpensive and discrete way to keep the whole community prepared. The panels are lightweight and come in different sizes that can be individualized to different backpack dimensions.
Community safety and personal preparedness are vital to the overall preparedness of the nation, and its ability to withstand and recover from disasters, attacks, and emergencies. The needs of all people can be met when communities come together to respond and help recover from these emergencies.
Preptember Week One: Reconnecting with Family after a Disaster Strikes
To start the month off, the theme of Week One is reconnecting with family and friends after a disaster. Unfortunately, natural or man-made disasters can strike anywhere, at any time. It is imperative now more than ever to take action to prepare for these disasters by starting with the basics: making an emergency plan. After a disaster strikes, communication with loved ones is crucial to assess any potential repercussions. A good plan will address these four key questions:
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
What is my shelter plan?
What is my evacuation route?
What is my family/household communication plan?
As you prepare your plan, it is important to consider specific needs in your household, and tailor supplies to individual requirements. Some factors to keep in mind may include, personal and family safety, dietary restrictions, medical necessities, physical disabilities, and pets. Ready.gov has created a Family Emergency Communication Plan handbook that can be downloaded and filled in, or used as an outline to create your own. The handbook includes spaces to input emergency contacts, meeting places, evacuation routes, emergency health and safety services, and essential phone numbers. After you collect the necessary information, the next step is to share and practice your plan with all members of your family and household. The best thing to do is to ensure that everyone carries a copy in their backpack or wallet at all times. The plan could also be posted in a central location of the home to make it accessible and familiar. Additionally, maintaining regular household meetings to review and practice the emergency plan is imperative for preparedness and success.
At BulletBlocker, we feature a variety of products that can be used in the event of a disaster or emergency. Our bulletproof Tactical Organizer is a great place to store your emergency plan and additional necessary documents and supplies. The NIJ IIIA Bulletproof organizer is waterproof and lightweight, with six separate storage compartments. Additionally, our DefenderNotebook Folio is a great option for retaining emergency plans and documents, with ample pockets for storage and supplies, both of these products will also act as a ballistic shield if it becomes necessary to protect yourself or your family. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Tactical Backpack is an ideal choice for your bug-out-bag or when you are seeking a safe place for their emergency supplies and tools that also will aid you in defending your friends or family . This backpack features multiple storage compartments, mesh pockets, and thickly padded straps, and is large enough to store essential supplies for the whole family.
As September begins, we look forward to a great month of bringing awareness towards National Preparedness and safety. As you go throughout this week, take action to prepare by developing and finalizing your emergency plan for your family and loved ones. You may not have any communication devices in an emergency so having a written & practiced plan that all of the members of your family know is a key to preparedness. Stay safe & be prepared.
*Next week - Planning to help your neighbor and community.
School Lockdowns: What they are & How to talk to your children about them
Fifty years ago, air raid drills were the routine practice in schools, in which students were instructed to “duck and cover” under their school desks in case of a nuclear bomb blast. However after the Columbine shooting in 1999, preparing for an active shooter situation has become the new standard for school districts across the nation. According to Associated Press reports, there have been about 500 school-associated violent deaths over the past 20 years—which averages out to about two per month. These statistics have called for school systems and parents alike to face the disturbing reality that their very own students could become victims of school-associated violence.
School lockdowns are the procedural drills used in the event of a perceived danger present inside the building. They typically include the securement of each occupied room by locking the doors and directing students away from windows and doors. Hallways are cleared, and law enforcement officials will typically arrive to secure the site and arrange for evacuation if necessary. Students are kept in their classrooms until the lockdown has ended.
As many schools are required to practice these drills multiple times throughout the schoolyear, they have become the norm for students of all ages. Though still, many parents hesitate to discuss these lockdown drills with their children, as they can invoke unnecessary fear and distress. However, it is important now more than ever to ensure that students are prepared and equipped with an action plan in the unfortunate event of an active shooter present in their school. Clinical therapist Judith Simon Prager recommends that parents instruct their children to always refer to an authority figure for safety and information in the case of an active shooter. She also recommends instructing children to remain calm and on guard in emergency situations, and explain that it is necessary to practice the drills regularly to ensure preparedness. Prager wrote a comprehensive guideline for parents on how to talk to children about these lockdown drills, with emphasis on empowering them with the knowledge to stay safe and protected at school.
In recent years, however, many people have come forward and argued that these standard guidelines and drills are too reactive, and increase the likelihood of students becoming victims. Police Lieutenant Doug Allen of Colchester, Vermont, says that “just [locking] down” is not enough. He stresses the importance of teaching students to be “prepared to fight out against the aggressor.” State education agencies across the country are urging school districts to update the active shooter response plans with new guidelines and procedures that are more proactive and empowering for students.
At BulletBlocker, our NIJ IIA bulletproof backpacks were created to counteract the reactive emergency guidelines implemented in school systems. The discrete anti-ballistic panel weighs less than two pounds, and cannot be detected inside the backpack. The backpack can easily transform from a storage space for books into a mechanism to defend oneself against a threat. Students simply hold the pack between themselves and the threat by using the straps as handles, and using the pack as a shield to provide coverage for their upper torso. Dr. Seifert, forensic and child psychologist, believes that the BulletBlocker backpacks are “absolutely necessary” in this day and age. Seifert asserts that “every parent should buy a [bulletproof backpack] to protect their children.” Not only do our backpacks give children the ability to actively protect themselves in emergency situations, they also give parents the peace of mind and confidence they deserve when sending their children to school each day.
Lighten the Load: Choosing a backpack that won't break your kid's back
With September nearing, back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Searching for the perfect new backpack can be an annual headache for parents, while they look for a backpack that is functional and reliable, and students seek out a style that looks good. Finding a high-quality backpack that does not compromise on fashion is important to students and parents alike.
More than ever, it is necessary to find a backpack that fits properly according to individual weight and size. Time and time again, studies have shown that wearing a backpack that is too heavy, or worn incorrectly can cause back and neck pain, muscle soreness, headaches, and eventual injuries. Dr. Christine Brandner from Sioux Falls Chiropractic stresses the importance of finding a properly fitting backpack for students, and advises parents to find one that has “two straps, with a clasp in the front,” to ensure the weight is bearing equally on both sides of the body. She also recommends wearing the bag higher up on the back to take weight off the shoulders. Finally, Dr. Brandner cautions parents that their children should not be carrying any more than “eight to twelve percent of their body weight.” With that in mind, if a student weighed 100 pounds, the most their backpack should weigh is around 12 pounds.
Unfortunately, many students do not follow this recommendation—as their school workload rises, so does the weight of their backpack. Consumer Reports conducted a survey in 2009 to determine how much weight students carry as a result of an overloaded backpack. They found that on average, second graders in New York City schools carried about five pounds, while sixth graders carried an average of 18.4 pounds—although some backpacks weighed as much as 30 pounds. From this finding, it is inferable that as students move on to higher grades, they increasingly carry more weight, and consequently, inflict more strain on their body.
At BulletBlocker, safety is our main goal. We take pride in our quality collection of back-to-school safety solutions that includes bulletproof backpacks, panels, binder inserts, and notebook portfolios among others. Not only do the backpacks promote reassurance and confidence among parents, students will also be satisfied with the stylish options they have to choose from. In addition to providing security and style, our backpacks are ergonomically designed for all-day comfort and have adjustable features that accommodate individual size and height. The popular “Everyday Backpack” is compact with ample storage space for students of any age. The anti-ballistic panel weighs about as much as a water bottle, which keeps the backpack at a low weight of just 2.7 pounds. This allows students to fill their backpacks to their liking without worry of overloading weight on their back. The dual straps are thick and padded for comfort, and easily adjustable to individual size and height. Another favorite is the “Guardian Backpack,” which comes in five different colors and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. It features padded and ergonomically curved straps that stabilize the bag and provide all-day comfort. In addition, the backpack offers a clasp across the chest, which will ensure that the weight is stabilized equally on both sides of the body, as Dr. Brandner suggested.
With school starting back up again within the month, it is important to ensure that students are equipped with a backpack that will keep them safe, comfortable, and stylish. Luckily, BulletBlocker has the products necessary to fulfill the needs of parents and their students. For a limited time, customers can enjoy a 10% off discount on all orders with the code “schoolten.”
Survivalism and Survivalists encompass a very wide range of interests focusing generally upon disaster preparedness - for any type of disaster. When the power goes out, and stays out, what do you do? Well, if you're smart, you've done something to prepare for this possibility. Planning for virtually any disaster equates to planning for all natural and man-made disasters. Different situations may call for modifications, but the things you absolutely need are food, water and shelter. There are a lot of things that make being without electricity a lot easier. Flashlights and batteries, matches and lighters, canned goods and other foods with a long shelf life, gardens, fishing and hunting. Survivalism is about a lot of things - not just being prepared, but being self-sufficient, and practical education on how things work. There's more to cover about Survivalism, than I can cover here. To your right, you will find a great blogroll of the best Survivalist sites, blogs and forums available online. Below this article, you will find some short reviews on them, too.
"Something" Hit the Fan: Not knowing which disaster is on the way makes it easier to sleep at night. On the other hand, if you enjoy life, you want to do everything you can to preserve it and the lives of those you love and care for. The global economy is front and center, and has everyone's attention. The state of the dollar and other currencies, banks, financial institutions and government solvency are just one set of very critical issues that have many people very concerned. Disasters are "Something Hits the Fan Scenarios". The global financial crisis was a long-time in the coming. It is the direct and explicit result of not taking steps to confront risks. We have in the United States single companies requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in bail outs of taxpayer money. These companies did not take steps to reduce, eliminate or even balance their risks. That, unfortunately, is the mainstream.
Global Financial Crisis: Mass Coronal Ejections and Polar Shifts may sound far fetched, the global financial crisis is not. It is real. It is here, now. The only real question here is how much worse will it get? More than survivalists are preparing now. The United States is the world's largest economy without counting the European Union, being a collection of sovereign states. The State of California alone ranks 8th in overall world GDP - and could stand as a nation unto itself. California in addition to 40 more of our 50 states are in the midst of major budget issues. The United States has been significantly dependent upon China, of all countries, to buy US Government Bonds. On June 28, 2009 even the Chinese banks were deemed to be in financial trouble.
The Theoreticals - What If...? It's appropriate to ask a lot of questions. What happens if... your employer goes out of business? What if... your bank gets closed down? Odds are you are probably safe on up to $250,000 per account by the FDIC, but even that has limits. What if... California goes bankrupt? Okay, so that won't happen because it will probably get a Federal Stimulus Package. So, what happens if any one of the other 40 states without a balanced budget does not get a stimulus package? What happens when you go to your bank and you can't get money out? Even if you are prepared, how is everyone else going to handle any of this? How prepared are the millions of people who live from paycheck to paycheck to handle any one of these situations?
Fear Mongering! Promoting fear is to encourage people to run away from problems. Fear is trying to avoid problems knowing they aren't going away. Turning and facing them, planning and preparing for them is not promoting fear - it's promoting courage and decisiveness. Hope is not a strategy. Looking at what the numbers have been saying and are saying now is rational. Relying upon what may or may not exist in 3 or 6 months is not rational. Not being rational is what got us into this global economic mess. Watching Wall Street is not rational. It is normal to be scared when confronting problems. It is irrational to be dominated by fear. Oh, sure...the economy, it'll be fixed in three months. The banks? They're fine, just need a few billion more - no sweat. Jobs? Green shoots are on the way, man! That'd be fine if cows were unemployed.
Survival Community Blogs and ResourcesSurvivalistBoards.com - Extensive, friendly and educational. Just about anything you could want to know about everything related to disaster preparedness, contingency planning, and large portions of what is also associated with LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is on file here. Health, Fitness and First Aid is one section, Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping is another. Urban Survival to Farming, Gardening and Recipes - feature everything from how-to's to lists of things you will need and want. There's active conversation and debates on many topics, most of all you will find it to be a very friendly site more respectful of others than you're likely to find on any political forums. Think you are alone in your concerns? No.
SurvivalBlog.com is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Written by author and former military intelligence officer Jim Rawles, his site is viewed in over 100 countries. Lots of very good information - hundreds, if not thousands, of posts.
The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".
Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.
You can save money with BulletBlocker by getting our Bullet Proof Panels and Inserts and fitting them to your existing backpacks, briefcases, or just about anything. We can also make custom-made panels to fit whatever you need at just $ .92 per square inch.
Updated August 1, 2017
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