How to survive a fire in the building?

Сooking on Open Fire

How to survive a fire in the building?

There is nothing scarier than being in a building while a fire has broken out. Whether it is an apartment complex in a residential neighborhood or a commercial skyscraper in the middle of the city, a fire can easily cause someone to panic. But don’t worry because you will be able to survive most building fires if you simple know how to handle yourself. That is why the first thing to remember is not to panic. People who panic often think irrationally and may do something foolish to make the situation worse. The next step is to grab a flashlight. This will come in handy in case you need to find your way down a dark or smoky hallway. It can also be used to signal to people for help. If you are near an open window then you can easily use your flashlight for this purpose. But don’t wait by the window for too long because you have to assume the fire is spreading. That is why you should find the nearest fire extinguisher and try to tame the fire, especially if it is near you.

Buildings that are equipped with fire sprinkler systems will certainly help tame the fire enough for everyone to escape. It will also let you know there is a fire in the building. You will want to know this as quickly as possible so you can escape the building before the fire escalates. Therefore try to get to the lower level of your building as soon as you know there is a fire. Now depending on the current severity of the fire and the floor you are on, you may be able to just jump out of the window without injuring yourself. For example, if you are on the third floor of an apartment complex then you will likely sustain minor injuries from a jump to the ground. If the fire department is already there then they will set up a net that you can jump into safely. For those who are too high up to jump into a net, you will have no choice but to make your way to the lower levels of the building.

Even though you know not to panic, that doesn’t mean other people are going to stay calm. You can be sure that people are going to rush out of the building quickly during a fire. This could result in you getting pushed around or even trampled on if you are not careful. The best thing is to wait for other people to get out first. It is better to be last in line with a fire extinguisher than to be in the middle of the chaotic line without one. So just keep the fire extinguisher on hand and get to the end of the line.

How to choose socks?

How to choose socks?

Many people don’t think too hard about the socks they are going to wear for the day. They just look in their dresser drawer and grab the next pair of socks to wear without thinking twice. But it is important that you choose the right socks, especially when you go shopping for them at the store. The first factor about socks that you have to consider is whether you want cut socks or crew socks. Cut socks are the kind that you don’t roll up past your ankles. The top of the socks touch your ankles and it leaves the rest of your shins completely bare. On the other hand, crew socks are the ones you do roll up past your ankle. They usually cover about half your shin if you roll them all the way up. So which is better? It all depends on your environment. People wear crew socks in cold environments because it helps keep both their feet and legs warm. But if you are in a hot environment then you will want to keep your legs exposed to the open air, which means you need cut socks.

Another factor to consider about socks is the cushioning. There are some socks with extra cushioning on the bottom that add extra protection to your feet. This protection comes in handy if you have sensitive feet that frequently hurt from walking, which is often seen in people with flat feet. So if you have flat feet then you might want socks with this kind of cushioning. They also protect your feet when you walk around the house and step on a small object. These cushion socks are usually a few dollars more than the regular socks, which is a small investment for the amount of comfort it will give you on a day-to-day basis.

Besides your comfort, you have to decide upon the color of your socks. The most popular color choice for socks is white. However, this color shows dirt and stains a lot easier. So you might want to consider a darker color, like black or blue. Of course other people might judge you by the color of your socks. For example, there is a stereotype that people who wear colored socks are gay. It doesn’t even matter what color they are because anything other than black or white will be seen as strange. Now some people may be concerned about getting stereotyped like this while others could care less. What you need to remember is to just choose socks that you think make you look good.

Best Advices to Survive Active Shooter Scenario

Best Advices to Survive Active Shooter Scenario

Best Advices to Survive Active Shooter Scenario

Best Advices to Survive Active Shooter Scenario
Best Advices to Survive Active Shooter Scenario

An active shooter is someone who basically goes on a killing spree with a firearm in a populated area. Some famous examples of this are the Colorado movie theater shootings and the more recent terrorist attack in Paris’ Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in France. These situations both involved gunmen entering a populated building and opening fire on a group of people, which make them active shooters. Even though we hear about these kinds of shootings in the news every day, the chances of it actually happening to you are rare. But still, it is best to stay educated on what to do in these situations in case an active shooter enters your environment.

There is no full proof way to survive an active shooter scenario, but there are safety precautions you can take to increase your chances of survival. The first thing you have to do is know your environment. Be aware of all the exits and areas where you can escape from a deadly encounter. Then make a habit of staying near these exit areas in case an active shooter does come in, and you have to escape. For example, when you go to the movie theater, sit in the back row. Not only will a shooter have trouble seeing you there, but you can make a faster escape that way as well. Remember that real life is not like a video game. If someone with an assault rifle comes into a room you are in and starts shooting, then you won’t want to stick around. You will want to escape right away. Just make sure you are the first to escape because there will be a crowd of people doing the same thing, which is another reason why being near the exit is important.

Now you may be in a situation where you are trapped. Perhaps you are in a classroom with the windows locked and the shooter is blocking the only door to escape. In this situation, the best thing you can do is take cover and try to barricade yourself behind some heavy objects. These could be chairs, desks or any piece of furniture near you. If you have your mobile phone then try dialing 9-1-1 and make them aware of the situation. However, if you are not armed then you will pretty much have to pray the shooter doesn’t come after you. That is why the best way to survive an active shooter scenario is to have your own firearm. Depending on your age and location, you should strongly consider getting a permit to carry a firearm. That way if an active shooter invades your environment, you can barricade yourself from their bullets and then use your own firearm to shoot back at them.

It may sound easy to survive an active shooter scenario by shooting back with your own weapon, but if you have never shot a gun at someone before then it can be quite scary. In a situation where someone is firing an automatic weapon and killing people, you have to be certain that you know how to handle your weapon. That is why if you are going to go through the trouble of getting a gun permit, you should practice shooting your gun at the local firing range. At least that way you can practice your aim and have a better chance of hitting an active shooter. But this still won’t prepare you for the adrenaline rush you will feel when someone points a firearm at your direction. This feeling could easily turn into fear, which will temporarily make you forget everything you learned at the firing range. So if you have no prior military training or experiences getting shot at, then active shooter scenarios may be too scary for you to handle a weapon. It all depends on the kind of person you are and how much real life drama you can take while staying in control.

If you do not believe in firearms or simply do not like shooting them, then you will need to find another way to protect yourself from an active shooter. In some situations, simply talking to the shooter and being friendly with them might help. Again, it depends on the circumstances of the shooting. Some active shooters have particular targets they go after out of an act of vengeance, whereas other shooters just kill everyone in sight. But if a shooter bursts into your classroom or office and doesn’t immediately start firing their weapon, this means they have some reservations about what they are doing. This is a good thing because it means they are likely acting out of emotional pain and not thinking clearly. So if you try talking to the shooter and rationalize the situation to them in a friendly way, they may decide to give up and not hurt anybody else. But whatever you do, don’t purposely put yourself in harm’s way. You should only try talking to the shooter if you are stuck in a room with them and have no other way out.

The last alternative to surviving an active shooter scenario is to play dead on the ground. If you are in a room with a lot of people and a shooter barges into the room shooting everyone, then just fall down to the ground as quickly as possible and play dead. If one of the bullets hits you in a nonfatal area, like your limbs, then try to remain calm and play dead anyway. Chances are the shooter won’t notice which people are being hit with their bullets because they are just shooting everywhere. Remember, the active shooter is probably on an adrenaline rush anyways and the experience of shooting other people is likely a shock to them. This means they are going to move quickly and not stick around very long after shooting up a room. So if this happens in your situation, then stay on the ground and don’t move until the shooter leaves. However, you should only do this if you are surprised by the shooter and do not have time to barricade yourself before they get to you.

In mass shooting situations, the shooter goes unnoticed up until the time they shoot their first victim or group of victims. Then people nearby will hear the gun shots and get into a defensive position. But for those first victims, they don’t have time to get into a defensive position because they are not aware of what is about to happen to them. This makes it very difficult and scary when a mass shooting is sprung upon them out of the blue. It means they won’t have time to barricade or protect themselves from the shooter. So when the shooter bursts into their room, the victims will need to quickly examine their options; escape, shoot back, talk with the shooter or play dead. In such an intense moment, it may be hard to choose the right thing to do. Therefore, you should try not thinking about your options so much during the attack. Just know what your options are right now while you are safe and keep them in your brain. This will make it easier to improvise your decision when an active shooter scenario arises. Hopefully, you will be able to choose the right option that saves your life and the lives of those around you.

Related post: First Aid Kits for Survival

Choosing a Hatchet for Survival

Fiskars Hatchet

Choosing a Hatchet for Survival

Fiskars Hatchet
Fiskars Hatchet

A hatchet or small hand axe is a multi-tool that can be used to cut, chop and hammer if you purchase a traditional type hatchet. The typical hatchet will have a cutting edge and a hammer edge that can be used to hammer nails, break glass for emergency extractions and you can do flint knapping to make arrowheads or even fishhooks. While it is not designed for flint knapping, it can be used for this purpose in emergencies.

In a survival situation a hatchet is indispensable because it can be used to chop wood, or even chop trees down to make shelter, chop through ice to obtain drinking water or to cut a hole for fishing. The striking end can be used to hammer stakes into the ground, smash rocks to make smaller cutting tools or used as a blunt instrument for non-lethal self-defense. The metal of the hatched head can also be used to create a spark for fires if struck with flint/hard stone or you can use with a Ferro rod.

Tactical hatchets while they have a cutting/chopping edge they are typically designed for when you find yourself trapped and have to cut or break your way through a door or even a wall. A tactical hatchet may have slots in the head to shut off gas meters or open the valves on certain oxygen tanks and these are typically carried by first responders or military personnel.

The piecing spike would be used to break through stone, brick, light metal, glass or wood barriers. Typically, a tactical hatchet would be lighter so they are not as useful for chopping larger pieces of wood and most have a straight handle, which can make chopping awkward. The holes in many tactical hatchet heads are designed to lighten the hatchet and do not serve any other purpose. Many of these types are designed for throwing and thus could be considered a self-defense or even a hunting weapon as well.

The typical so-called camp axe/hatchet is ideal for hikers, hunters and campers. You have the cutting edge and hammering edge combined. The shape of the handle is perfect for swinging and delivering blows, and at the same time allowing you to maintain your grip. You can still purchase hatchets with wooden handles and the handle is inserted into the hatchet head. Some prefer wooden handles and others like fiberglass or even all steel handles.

Obviously, a wooden handle will require maintenance to keep the wood from drying out and cracking. If you buy a quality product however, there is no reason why a wooden handled hatchet would not last you a lifetime. Note how the wooden handle is inserted into the hatchet head in the above picture. This means that over time, the head may loosen but on the other hand, you can change handles if you break or splinter it or it otherwise becomes unusable. A one-piece hatchet if for some reason you damaged or broke the handle it would be difficult if not impossible to repair.

Before buying a hatchet, know what you expect it to do. If you are a hiker or camper your hatchet will be expected to chop wood, cut rope and hammer in stakes and in some situations it may be needed for digging holes if you need to search for water or extract edible roots from the ground.
For bug-out-bags, or home emergency kits a traditional hatchet would be ideal as tool for cutting, chopping or even to help extract you from a damaged building. A tactical one is ideal if you are looking for a self-defense weapon that can also be used for chopping, cutting and for making, an emergency egress or used for rescue operations.

Survival: Finding Water in the Wild

Finding Water in the Wild

Survival: Finding Water in the Wild

Finding Water in the Wild
Finding Water in the Wild

Once you find yourself lost or stranded in the wilderness water becomes a priority. The average adult can survive up to three weeks or even longer in some cases, without food. You cannot survive longer than 72 hours however, without water and this timeframe is reduced in hot climates. You may need up to one gallon/four liters of water daily just to replace lost fluids.

Water Sources

Rivers, streams, ponds and lakes are the typical surface water sources in many wilderness environments. In some cases, you may find natural springs or cisterns that are filled from rainfall runoff. Direct rainfall is another source of water as well as morning dew. Morning dew is the condensation of atmospheric moisture that is heated by the sun during the day and as objects cool at night, the moisture will condense on the cooled surfaces. Surfaces where you can collect condensation include vegetation, metal and glass surfaces and pieces of plastic or rain gear you have in your pack.

Surface water sources must be filtered and purified before drinking. Filter using coffee filters, sand, charcoal, gravel, cheesecloth or clean pieces of cloth. Surface water found anywhere in the world is likely to contain harmful bacteria, pathogens and parasites. Surface water can be contaminated by animal and human feces, insects and animal carcasses.

Once filtered boil the water for one minute if you know you are at sea level and for three minutes if you know or suspect you are well above sea level. Water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations because of reduced air pressure thus you have to boil it longer.
You can also disinfect the water using water purification tablets. Follow the label directions carefully. In some cases, you may have to wait up to four hours before drinking the water after treating with purification tablets.

You can also use two percent liquid iodine (tincture of iodine) to treat surface water. Liquid iodine can be found in many first aid kits and in most pharmacies and retail drug stores. Add 5 drops per one quart/liter of water and shake well. Add the drops only after filtering and then wait 30 minutes. You can double the drops if the water is still cloudy after filtration and then wait up to 60 minutes.

Morning Dew

Lay a rain poncho or any type of plastic over some vegetation before going to sleep. The dew will collect in the numerous wrinkles and depressions in the plastic. You can also absorb the dew off grasses, vehicle windshields, metal surfaces and leafy vegetation using a bandana or any clean absorbent cloth. Squeeze the cloth into a container or directly into your mouth. Dew collected this way does not need to be purified before drinking. In some areas, you can collect up to two quarts using this method. Much depends on the cloud cover and daytime air temperatures however.

Collect rainfall using your poncho or plastic or absorb using clean cloth. You can also drink the rainfall as it drips from known vegetation. You do not want to collect water from poisonous plants.
Arid Environment

You may find yourself in an arid environment where surface water sources are not likely to be available. You can however, find water if you know where to look. First, look for any type of green vegetation because this is an indication of ground water or moisture below the surface. Dry washes are ideal places to find water below the surface in an arid environment. Dry washes are caused usually by flash floods and water may be just a few feet below the surface.

Find a bend in the wash that is shaded and begin digging close to the sides of the wash. If after a foot down the soil is moist keep digging until you see standing water. Once the depression is full, you can filter the water directly into your canteen or cup with a bandanna or any piece of cloth, without purifying it. Ground water is typically safe to drink unless there are obvious surface contaminates that have leeched into the soil.

Look for game trails and once you find where they converge into one trail follow it because this usually leads to a water source. Once you have collected the water, filter it by any means possible and then boil or chemically treat. In arid environments many times small pools are fed by underground springs and if you can find the source of the water it can be consumed in an emergency if you collect it as it bubbles from below ground. Collect the water as close as possible to where it comes out of the ground.
Dew is usually heavy in arid environments so make sure you take advantage of it by following the above-described methods.

Vehicle Essentials for Summertime Travel

Vehicle Essentials for Summertime Travel

Summertime heat can be hard on a vehicle. The engine is prone to overheating, and tires can be affected by the heat as well. This means if you are traveling in the summertime you may experience a vehicle breakdown on a desolate stretch of highway. The summer heat can be dangerous to you as well. Dehydration is a very real possibility in the heat and you must prepare yourself as well as your vehicle.

Essentials for Your Vehicle

Even if you only commute, a few miles to work you never know what might happen. You might decide to take a shortcut or for whatever reason you travel somewhere else. You need to be prepared, for a breakdown or an accident, involving wildlife or you simply run off the road and your vehicle becomes disabled. To survive a few hours or a few days in the summertime heat you need to be prepared. The following is a list of essentials everyone should have in their vehicle for summertime travel.

• At least three days’ supply of water and calculate the amount using the one gallon/four liters recommendation for each person daily. The average person needs at least two quarts/liters daily just for hydration and if you are sweating profusely you may need up to a gallon daily to maintain fluid levels in your body
• Food for 72-hours such as protein bars, MRE’s, trail mix and/or peanut butter and crackers
• Coolant for the radiator and avoid using water for coolant. Water boils at a lower temperature than radiator coolant. Only use water in the radiator as a last resort
• Quality spare tire and the tools needed to change tires
• Tools for roadside repairs
• Duct tape, electrical tape
• Cell phone and charger and have an extra battery
• Maps of the area and a compass
• Signal flags that can be attached to the vehicle and if your vehicle has run off the road into heavy vegetation place signal flags where the vehicle left the road
• Glow lights that can be placed in the back and front windows so the vehicle can be located in the dark
• Work gloves
• Fire starting materials
• Battery operated flashlight
• Multi-tool and a fixed bladed knife

If it is hot, stay close to the vehicle, try to avoid exertion to slow your perspiration and do not attempt to walk to civilization. You can become dehydrated in a matter of hours. The vehicle is your only shelter for the night and unless you fear your life is in danger never attempt to hike out of your predicament in the dark. Nocturnal animals begin hunting at dark and this includes dangerous reptiles such as snakes. Let rescue personnel find you and make their job easier by staying close to your vehicle. Start a signal fire if there is no chance of creating a forest fire, the smoke can be spotted from miles away.

If you are prepared, you can survive quite easily for three days or longer if you do not panic and begin blundering around out in the heat. Water is your main priority along with having shelter at night, so do not give up your shelter and avoid exertion to prevent heavy sweating.

Backpack for Survival


Backpack for Survival


Before you can put together a survival backpack, you first need the right backpack. Having the right pack is important because, after all it will contain all the essential items that will keep you alive in a survival situation. Your pack should be water resistant or even waterproof. It should have kidney straps for securing the pack around your waist, along with ample padding. The waist straps will reduce the weight on your shoulders, and transfer it to your hips, and it keeps the pack from banging against your lower back as you walk.

People tend to overload their packs and this is problematic. A few hours along the trail and they have to decide what goes and what stays. They simply cannot handle the weight. Be honest with yourself and realistic. Your bag should be around 50 pounds. You should have about 25lb/11kg of water, and the rest food and gear. Water weighs 8.5lb/3.8kg per gallon and the recommended daily amount per person is one gallon. To lessen the weight on your shoulders and to allow more room for other items use a weight bearing web belt for around your waist. Use canteens that have pouches that can attach to the belt. Have one canteen on each side, and as you use the water from the canteens replenish from the pack. Do not carry water in gallon containers, because this makes the weight distribution difficult.

A note about water, the average adult requires between 2.0 and 2.5 quarts/liters of water daily just to maintain proper hydration levels. In extreme heat, you may require up to one gallon of fluids daily. The one-gallon a day recommendation under normal conditions considers personal hygiene requirements such as sponge baths and oral care. Do not forgo personal hygiene if water is available, this will help prevent illnesses by reducing the spread of bacteria.

Your pack should also have straps either on the top or bottom to attach a sleeping bag, poncho, tarps or a tightly rolled nylon tent. This frees up room inside the pack and distributes the weight evenly. If you do not have, straps use paracord to attach rolled items.

Military issue Alice Pack this pack can hold up to 80 pounds of gear and comes with a metal frame. The pack can be worn with or without the frame. Your pack should have straps and/or buckles on the harness for attaching flashlights, compass, knives, machetes or hatchets.

Pack Essentials

Your priorities are shelter, water, fire and nutrition you cannot survive without these. It is assumed you would have cold weather clothing on if it is cold and if the weather is temperate then add a cold weather coat, gloves and hat for changes in the weather. You will not have enough room to pack to many extra clothes, but you must have extra socks.

Socks will need to be changed quite frequently regardless of the weather. Sweating feet will cause blisters and if your feet become wet, they must be dried as soon as possible to prevent trench foot. Trench foot is a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure to cold wet conditions. If left untreated this condition can cause permanent damage and result in gangrene and amputation. Trench foot is not a result of frostbite. The temperature does not have to be below freezing to develop trench foot.

Water of course is a priority and along with your supply, you should have water purification tablets, and coffee filters so you can collect, filter and purify a water source along the trail.

Avoid canned foods because of the weight, instead consider Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s). The packages are lightweight and are not easily damaged so they can be packed tight inside the bag. Each meal is roughly 1,220 calories each and the daily recommendation for an adult is two meals a day. You can also carry beef jerky and protein bars. Avoid high sodium and high sugar content foods.
Carry a quality fixed bladed knife many experts will tell you a quality knife is one of the most important items you can carry. You should also have a multi-tool knife.

Make sure you have rain gear such as a poncho and it must be large enough to cover you and your pack when shouldered. A quality poncho can also be used as an emergency shelter. Carry a small nylon tent if you have the room.

Have a sleeping bag, appropriate for the season, and keep it tightly rolled and secured outside the pack. Have two thermal blankets so one can act as a ground cover. Carry one or more nylon tarps that can be rolled tightly and secured outside the pack. Use for emergency shelter or ground cloths.
Carry fire-starting tools such as a magnesium stick, and Ferro rod in addition to matches. Have a camp axe, machete and/or a folding wood saw. Have nylon rope, fishing line and assorted hooks and tackle. Carry 20-24 gauge wire for animal snares, general bindings and gear repair.

Have a first aid kit along with personal hygiene items such as hand sanitizer, bath wipes and oral care items. Carry extra bandanas, sunglasses, flashlight, and personal protection. Consider a collapsible walking stick as well.