Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Number 1 Recommended Prepaerdness Item - Weatheradio Receiver

In Canada, as well as most other parts of the world, a great percentage of disaster situations are caused by weather.  Although most of us like to joke about the accuracy of the forecasters, Environment  Canada has made weather forecasting a reliable science.

Weatheradio is a network of radio transmitters stretching from the Gulf of Mexico into the Canadian Arctic, coast to coast.  In Canada, the almost 200 transmitters are within range of about 90% of the population, making it the most accessible source of weather information.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Canadian Tornado Season - From The Prepared Canadian Podcast

Here is a podcast I put out last month about Canada's tornado season.
Given recent events in the U.S., specifically Moore, OK, I thought it fitting that I share this.

Listen to internet radio with American Preppers Radio1 on Blog Talk Radio

Moore, OK

As we have all likely heard by now, there has been a devastating tornado in Moore, OK.  At the time of this post, the death toll has risen to 51, with a reported 40 more being transported to the cororners office.  Sadly, a large number of these are children, many of which were in an elementary school that took a direct hit from the EF-4 tornado. 

As the area suffers from a great loss of life, the stress is compounded by disruptions in electrical, gas, water, communications services as well as the loss of one of two hospitals.  Never more than now has there been the need for a community to band together in support of each other.

We, at The Canadian Preppers Network send our thoughts and prayers to all those affected and remain hopeful that rescue workers will continue to find survivors.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - Get a Kit

 Although the jist of the 72 hrs campaign is to assemble a home emergency kit, I thought it might be a good idea today to go over how to pack up an evacuation go pack, more commonly known as a bug out bag.

Think of it this way,
You are awakened in the wee hours of the night by emergency crews pounding on your door.  A wild fire, hurricane, tsunami, or other natural or man made disaster is imminent.  You have to leave....NOW.  Your allowable time to pack is ZERO.  If you have been paying attention, you grab your BOB and go, if not, well, you're buggered.  If you still don't have a BOB for every member of the family near the front door...what are you waiting for? A disaster? Too late!  Trust me, get a bag together ASAP.  Here are some ideas what to put into it.

Complete change of clothing...
Consider the climate and current season, running out the door in February with a spare t-shirt and shorts is not exactly helpful.  Keep extra socks too...dry feet are happy feet.

Drinking water...
2l per day for drinking + 2l per day for sanitation.  Plan for a 3 day supply.

ready to eat, without heating.  Avoid dehydrated foods as they require precious (not to mention heavy to carry) water.

Flashlight & radio...
Forget about the battery types and get a crank model.  They are now inexpensive enough for everyone to afford.  I got mine at Canadian Tire for around $15.00.  Flashlight/AM/FM Radio combo.

Toiletry Kit...
toilet paper a must, feminin products for those who need them.

prescriptions for a week + over the counter stuff like pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.

very important....keep copies of important documents, family photos, and anything invaluable that can be digitized.  This includes insurance policies, house deeds, banking records.

Trust me people, this can make even government run shelter life more pleasant, or at least tolerable.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - Ice Storms By Cam and Michelle Mather

Cam and Michelle Mather run an off grid farm in Ontario, producing 100% of their own electricity wit solar panels and a wind turbine.  They have gracefully given me permission to repost from their blog, and I thought that this particular article would serve as a reminder that emergencies do happen.  Anyone in eastern Canada can well remember the ice storm that hit in the winter of 1998, leaving countless thousands without electricity for days or even weeks on end.  But it doesn't end there...although we have yet to see a storm of such destruction and breadth since, ice storms continue to be a real threat.  Have a read from Cam & Michelle's blog below then go visit for  yourself at

Spring Ice Storm 2013

Did you ever see the movie “The Ice Storm?” It had less to do with ice storms and more to do with those crazy 1970’s and what our parents were all up to. But I digress.
We had an ice storm here last Friday, April 12. In March, 2012 the temperature was 20°C (70°F) for two weeks. All the trees broke bud, and then many got damaged when the cold weather returned. This year, the winter seems reluctant to go away. Now, I have to admit I don’t mind, because I’m still finishing next year’s firewood and have a whack of jobs around the property that don’t require warm weather, so frankly I find I can accomplish way more when it’s cool. The ground is still frozen in many places so I can’t turn over the gardens, even if I wanted to.
In January 1998, 6 months before we bought this place, there was a huge ice storm that left millions without power for days or weeks. Last week’s ice storm left lots of people around us without electricity again, many for 2 or more days. I’ve been through ice storms before, but this was the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. Our area was hit extremely hard and there was a lot of damage. We had a lot of trees come down and tons of branches break off.
It was quite windy in the morning but the wind turbine had become iced up over night and so we didn’t get any “juice” from it. Nothing makes me more paranoid than seeing my wind turbine on a tilt-up galvanized steel tower held up with guy wires, rated at a certain weight and load, that is now covered with a quarter inch of ice. Yikes! It’s still standing though, as a testament to my engineering prowess (but more likely sheer luck, I think).
It’s a very bizarre experience to stand outside your house and hear the endless “cracks” as branches break off, then the “shattering glass” sound as the ice on the branch hits everything on the way down, taking more ice with it. It’s just brutal.
As I sat in the office late in the afternoon a huge poplar came crashing down outside the guesthouse. It just missed hitting my garlic drying racks, which would have really annoyed me if it had hit them. The weird thing is that the tree had basically fallen over, and its roots had been pulled out of the ground. That has never happened here. Poplars are a crappy tree and will break off at the hint of ice or big wind. But this time the tree had fallen over from the weight of the ice. I was talking to my neighbor who has been here much longer than I have and he had 3 poplars come down the same way. He said he’d never seen that before.
So in pursuit of my climate change confirmation bias, I found this article from National Geographic which suggests that scientists believe that the additional warmth in the arctic and lack of sea ice, exacerbated with more exposed dark water, is pushing that nice warm jet stream further south, causing us to experience a cool spring in the north and more erratic weather.
I hope ice storms are not the new norm, certainly not in April. I heat with wood, and the trees that came down won’t go to waste, but to see so many with damaged leaders, and lost limbs, well, it’s pretty brutal. Apparently nature can have a real attitude.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - Having A Plan

The second basic step to being prepared is also this year's theme for EP Week, making a plan.  Having an emergency plan in place before hand can avoid confusion and save valuable time during an event.  When disaster strikes, people naturally become confused or disoriented.  By taking a few minutes to make a plan can alleviate much of the stress involved with emergency situations.  Emergencies take on many scenarios which can be broken down into 3 types which are:
  1. Home 
  2. Local Neighborhood
  3. Wide Area
 Some of the most likely emergencies to affect your home would be fire, gas leak, or other such emergencies.  Plan how to safely exit each and every room in your home and have a secondary exit as well.  Designate a meeting place that is a safe distance from your home that everyone knows and can get to easily.  This could be a tree on the front lawn, the driveway, or other such area. 

Sometimes, your local neighborhood could be affected and access cut off.  Designate at least two meeting places such as a nearby school, library, or other safe place.  Make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are and how to get there.  You may be asked to shut off utilities before evacuating so make sure that everyone who is old enough to do so knows the location of utility entries and how to properly shut them off.  In the case of gas or water, a tool such as a wrench may be needed, so have one specifically for that purpose located at the service entrance.

Wide area emergencies can and do happen more often that we would like.  Make sure that every member of your home has and carries an information package at all times.  This package should include:
  • In town and out of town contact information
  • medical information such as the names of prescription medications, dosage and frequency (an old label from a prescription bottle is a great idea)
  • list of meeting places and maps of how to get there
  • emergency contact information
  • some change to make phone calls from a public phone
  • a cell phone with text capability
These are just a few tips on making an emergency plan and are by no means a complete guide.  For more information on creating your basic family emergency plan visit Get Prepared dot ca.  For even better information on emergency preparedness, subscribe to this blog or visit the Canadian Preppers Network Forum.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - By Farmgal

Being prepared is comings in many forms.. read on and you will see one of the things I have been doing for years and that have worked out to be a great thing in our home..

Well this week has been a interesting one, so far

1.    MIL got stung by a wasp on her eyelid, it flew in under her glasses.
2.    Got some nasty bug bites
3.    Got a nasty sliver of plant needle
4.    Had a sheep with a foot that needed care
5.    Had a pull over now event that required a into the bushes run, if get my pun?

Now what do these all have in common? Yup, minor treatable health issues that if untreated would certainly reduce you or your critters daily quality of life in the short term and could left untreated maybe cause longer health issues.

Which brings me to Mobile Health Kits, They can range from smaller kits with bare basic’s for your vehicles or backpacks to take with you on hikes, or they can be your bigger regular mobile kits for house or outbuildings, I personally make a vehicle kit, and have big kits in the house for human, critter (house) and critter (barn)  <>

I use a tool kit personally, the size I get depends on my own needs and how much I know I will want to stock, some things are crossover’s and can be got in bulk and used to stock all kits, a good example of that would be gloves, instant hand cleaner , safety pins etc.

I have a small battery powered LED light in each kit, along with a small flashlight, the LED is attached to the top of the lip of the box and turned out, will allow you to see even in the middle of the night no matter where you are, while still having both hands available. The small flashlight comes in very handy if you need a spot light or to see something in great detail. I keep a pair of reading glasses in each kit in case I need to see something up close, they were got at farm supply store for just a few dollars but I have seen them at the dollar store as well, great if you are trying to get out a sliver or see detail that you got a wound cleaned out.

Now my people kit covers a number of basic’s, ranging from colds, flu’s to all the basic’s in a good first aid kit, hot packs, cold packs, slings, sting remedy’s and the list goes on.  The critter kits do look a far bit different from human kits, and they are tailored for small or big critter care and I have a barn birth kit that looks quite different then the basic barn health kit, but the joy of this system is many.

One you can easily tell someone to get you the kit and then have what you need at your fingertips when you need it, instead of going, this is in that cupboard, this is in that drawer, this is in that box in the bedroom or under the bed etc.

Two, because its all in one place, its much easier to see if something has been used or need to be replaced due to expire dates etc, most things either are good for many years or if you take time when you are buying and looking at the items available on the shelves, means that you can normally find things good for two to five years ahead most of the time.

Three, its tailor made for your life, your family and your needs, this way you can take in your allergies, your families likes and dislikes of brands, basic kits that you can buy are great but if someone in your family can’t swallow pills, you need to adjust to make sure you have meds that will still work.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - Knowing The Risks

For today's post, we'll take a look at the first step to being prepared...knowing the risks.  There are two basic types of disasters that can affect you and your family, they are:
  1. Natural disasters
  2. Man made disasters 
Natural disasters are quite region specific.  For instance, a person living in BC would likely not need to prepare for a hurricane, however, being ready for an earthquake would be high on the list.  When researching the risks relevant to your region, history is the best teacher.  The Get Prepared Website will provide you with links to disasters that you should be preparing for on a province by province basis.  Also of great use is the Canadian Disaster Database, which is searchable by province, disaster type, and many other options.  By searching out various disasters that have occurred in your region in history, you can better assess the risks you face, therefore, allowing you to be more prepared for the most likely situations.

Man made disasters are far more unpredictable.  Of course, living near a nuclear power plant or chemical factory would be good indicators of the probabilities, the risk of an emergency can also be mobile, such as a train carrying hazardous materials derailing, or a trucking accident, or even terrorism.  Fast paced global travel has also opened up the possibility of a pandemic spreading as quickly as a jet can travel from one continent to another.  There are, of course, certain emergency situations that have no specific geographical limits, such as an extended power failure, drought, and others.

Knowing the risks is the first step to being prepared.  If we don't know what could happen in our specific area, how could we possibly be prepared?  Sit down and do a bit of research then make a list.  Look into the possibilities within your neighborhood, your province, and also world wide events in the past.  Having this information will be of great importance when you get to the next step, Making a plan.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - By Mountainman

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013
5 -11 May 2013

It is Emergency Preparedness Week again. Each year in Canada we use the first full week of May to acknowledge and prepare for the unexpected. Whether, we are talking a house fire, forest fire, flood or tornado, we need to be ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To help us from getting complacent, our government has established Emegency Preparedness Week.

Preparedness requires:

  •   Awareness
  •   Education
  •   Skills Training
  •   Gear
  •   Practice and Drills
  •   Review

 The government and supporting agencies and partners use Emergency Preparedness Week to raise awareness, through their advertisement campaign, website, and public displays. Such displays include the “Disaster Alley” presentation in Calgary, Alberta on Sunday 05 May 2013 at the McMahon Stadium Parking Lot. This presentation will be hosted by the City of Calgary and will be in cooperation with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), the Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services.

The purpose of awareness is to get everyday folks interested in their own personal safety during a natural disaster or man-made crisis. Once the interest is generated, the next objective is to direct those interested persons to a source of further education. The “get prepared dot gc” website has information on types of disasters and how to make a 72 hour survival kit, as well as, links to the provincial emergency management websites for more information on services and education available in your specific province.

Education can also be found at non-government websites, your local library, or community groups. In fact, volunteering is an excellent way to learn new skills, network with like-minded individuals and give back to your community. Many communities have a search and rescue unit or volunteer fire department, both are supported by first class training and are staffed primarily by volunteers, like yourself. Scouts Canada is another excellent place to volunteer. Scouts needs volunteer leaders and you will beneft from the courses that are required to become a leader.

A good place to start your training is with first aid. St. John's Ambulance or the Canadian Red Cross offer Standard First Aid with CPR & AED. If you live in a more remote location you may want to fortify your first aid training with either a 50 or 100 hour Wilderness First Aid course.

After first aid, another very useful course to take is your CERT – Civil Emergency Response Training. This is the course that converts you from a bystander at an emergency into a another set of helping hands, trained helping hands.

There are, of course, many skills to learn to be able to help your own family during an emergency and the good news is you do not have to learn all at once. You start with a core of essential course and gradually build from there. As mentioned earlier first aid and CERT area good place to start. Continue by adding a wilderness survival course or take up back country camping or canoe camping. The more you training to live without the modern conveniences offered in everyday life, the easier it will be to adapt when those modern conveniences are lost for a few days. Or check-out your local community college. Many have weekend courses on home repair and maintenance, basic automotive repairs, not to mention food preparation courses.

Gear. What do I need? What would I like? I suggest focus on needs first and wants later. In discussing gear we have to assign some sort of value system to determine a need from a want. So, let's start with the Rule of Three's.

The Rule of Three's states  - You can Survive:

3 Minutes without Oxygen
3 Hours without Shelter
3 Days without Water
3 Weeks without Food
3 Months without Companionship

What the heck does that have to do with buying gear??? Well, what it means is, if you are not breathing – it does not matter how much food, water or survival gear you have; because in 4 minutes all that stuff will belong to someone else.

Thus, first aid is more important than gathering berries – the short-term. You need shelter – which includes the proper clothes and footwear for the climate, location and time-of-year, in addition to a tarp or tent or cabin. You need water, a means to collect it, carry it and boil it. You will need food, a method to carry it, cook it and eat it. You will need a method to make fire. You will want a method to hear from others – a portable multi-band radio that has a crank or solar power.

So, the bare minimum gear list may look like this:

  •  A First Aid Kit – sized for your group
  •  Clothes and Footwear – weatherproof outerlayer, 2x sets of everything else
  •  Tarp – for shelter
  •  Water Bottle or Canteen & Metal Container to boil in
  •  High Energy Food (that does not need more than boiling water to prepare)
  •  Fire Lighting Kit – at least 3 methods of starting a fire
  •  Eton Scorpion Radio
  •  In a waterproof pouch: Copy of all personal documents & a copy on a USB
  •  A Backpack or duffle bag to carry all the gear 
           One bag for each person in your home, pre-packed and ready to go 24/7

You can add to your gear as finances and time permits. In the beginning it is most important to have a bag ready for each member of your household.

With you gear now in order, you need to practice. Practice, practice, practice. And then practice some more.

Start with a household fire drill. Learn how-to get out of the house in a hurry. Fire is the most likely reason you will have to evacuate your own home. KNOW where every fire exit is, from every room. If you can get out for a fire, you can get out for every other reason, too.

Now practice to take your evacuation pack/duffle with you. You will soon discover where is the best location to store your packs, so they are not forgotten. Yes, insurance will replace most material goods, but from the time of evacuating until the insurance funds arrive you will feel better if you still have some of your own possessions. Not to mention that in your pack you have copies of your home owners insurance, thus speeding up the claims process.

You will need to practice meeting up immediately after you evacuate your home. If it is 0300 and each member escaped from a different part of your home, you will want to meet-up to ensure everyone is out and safe. A location must be known to all members of the family a safe disatnce from the home. Having an alternate would be wise. Practice exiting your home and meeting at the place you have decided on. Walk through the process, during daylight hours and practice at night as well.

If the event that is causing you to evacuate, is larger in magnitude than just your home burning, such a forest fire approaching town, you may have more time to gather belongings, pack your vehicle and drive away. You will want to ensure that you have an address book with you so you can let friends and family know you are safe upon arriving at the emergency shelter outside the danger area. It is best to check in with emegency services at the shelter, but you are not required to be housed there. If you have been evacuated, the governing body that issues the evaucation order is responsible for your welfare – shelter, food, clothes, etc. If you do not check in, two things may occur: 

First, first responders may be asked to search for you inside the danger area, thus needlessly endangering their lives.
Second, you may be entitled to monetary compensation after the disaster.

Last but certainly not least, the review. If you are ever invovled in an actual event, after it is over review how you plan worked. What didn't work. And what could have been done better to make your plan work more effectively next time. Ensure all members of your household particpate in this process. This will help everyone feel included and it will reduce stress if anything ever happens again.

For those who did not experience an emergency event in the past 12 months, you should review your plan every year during Emergency Preperedness Week. Check your packs, rotate food and water. Ensure clothing items still fit and are in good condition. Repack and store you packs in their proper place. Maybe run a practice drill or two. Ensure your first aid training is up-to-date. Discuss with your family what events may cause you to leave your home and how you would accomplish it.

Keep safe out there.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week Begins

Welcome to Emergency Preparedness Week at The Canadian Preppers Network.

Each year, Public Safety Canada sponsors Emergency Preparedness Week on the first full week in May.  The "72 your family prepared?" campaign was launched in 2006 and each year, studies have shown an increase in the percentage of Canadians taking action to prepare.

The campaign promotes 3 basic steps to emergency preparedness:

  1. Know the risks
  2. Make a plan
  3. Get a kit
In addition to promoting these steps, Public Safety Canada also distributes a wide assortment of publications both on the internet and in print.  These documents can be seen on the Get Prepared website and print versions can be ordered free of charge.

This week, The Canadian Preppers Network will be publishing a wide assortment of articles from various volunteers, all in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of keeping yourselves and your families safe in the face of disaster.

I hope everyone will take the time to subscribe to the blog using the link on the right hand toolbar, or follow us on Twitter with the link on the left hand tool bar, where you will also see a Facebook like button.  For those of you who have Twitter accounts, you can keep up to date on all sorts of EP Week events using the hashtag #epweek.

Happy Emergency Preparedness Week Canada!