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The basics of a survival kit

Are you prepared for the unexpected?  Do you have an emergency preparedness plan?  The importance of having a survival kit cannot be understated and can come in many forms, from a basic commercial survival kit to an ultra rugged and durable all-inclusive disaster kit like a survival package.  If you desire to build your own survival kit, there are basics that should be included in every emergency kit:
1)      Food and water – One cannot survive without food and water and cannot survive long term without the means of obtaining more safe and clean food and water down the road.  Your emergency kit should include some kind of water filter and water purification tablets to guarantee safe drinking water.  Trying to carry a lot of water can get heavy; however the filters and tablets themselves are not.  Your survival kit should also include a supply of emergency food bars or dehydrated food.  Again, carrying a lot of food might get heavy unless you plan to shelter in place.  You may need to be prepared to hunt or scavenge for your own food after a period of time.
2)      Shelter – This is another vitally important item for your survival kit.  In very poor weather conditions, a human will last only a couple of hours if they do not have a proper emergency shelter.  Popular shelters in commercial survival kits are the so called “tube tents”, these tents are compact, lightweight, and generally OK for a short period of time.  However, in poor conditions, you are going to want a sturdy 3- or 4-season tent packed away in your kit.
3)      Fire starting – Starting and maintaining a fire is an extremely important skill for outdoor survival if you are faced with many days out in the wilderness.  Carrying storm matches, flint starters, waterproof matches, and various forms of tinder is highly recommended.  Redundancy is the key as not all methods of starting a fire may work in adverse weather conditions.
4)      First Aid – Chances are when you are “roughing it” with your family, someone will eventually get hurt, sick, or injured.  Keep a quality first aid kit in your survival kit, one with enough supplies so that it can be used over and over again.
5)      Navigation – Carrying a compass, GPS, and/or local maps can mean the difference in staying out for a long cold night or being at home in a warm bed.  Make sure you are adept at using it before heading out.
6)      Light and Signaling – I recommend carrying some survival candles or lanterns, along with at least one compact and durable flashlight with a couple extra sets of batteries. Also, along with your campfire, carrying a small, pea-less whistle and a signaling mirror, it ideal for signaling and flagging down help.
7)      Communication – The obvious one is your cell phone, but what if the batteries go dead? or you are out of cell phone range?  Plan to take with an emergency radio as well, like the voyager radio.
8)      Sturdy Backpack or bag – All the contents of your kit should be portable and contained in 1 (or 2 if for a family) emergency backpack in case you need to evacuate or move locations in a hurry.
9)      Survival Literature – Keep survival books on general survival training or preparedness.  It is also wise to keep some kind of guide on what plants may be edible or could be used for medicinal purposes in your region.  It never hurts to have a quick reference guide handy as it can become hard to remember certain things when the mind is under stress.
If you wish to see any of the items we have for sale from the categories above, please visit our survival store at Shepherd Survival Supply.  If you wish to skip the hassle of trying to plan and prepare your own ultimate survival kit, we’ve already done the work for you; please visit our Survival Package page for more details.

Aug 26: Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Hurricane Preparedness Tips
With Hurricane Irene on the verge of sideswiping the entire East coast, I thought it would be appropriate to give some last minute Hurricane preparedness tips.
Tip #1:  Common sense.  Use it.  If the authorities tell you to evacuate but you are having second thoughts, seriously consider your situation and emergency plan if things do not go well.  Keep flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, and emergency supplies in a safe location and away from potential flooding on lower levels.  Charge up all cell phones, laptops, and gadgets before the power gets knocked out.  After the storm when you walk outside, keep your eyes peeled for downed power lines, leaking gas lines, and other hazards that are left behind.
Tip #2: Water. Your water supply can easily be contaminated by flooding.  Buy some bottled water, fill up old milk jugs with water from the tap, or if things start to look really bad you can fill up your bathtub with water.  Also, if you have time to buy some ice, do it. Pack it away in an ice chest or cooler to keep any perishables cool if the power goes out.
Tip #3: Food.  Buy at least 3 days worth of food for everybody in the house, including pets.  Food bars like these: Food Bars.  Or dehydrated, long shelf life food like this: Wise Grab n Go buckets are highly recommended as they will almost always ready when you need them due to their long shelf life: 5 years for emergency food bars all the way up to 25 years for Wise freeze dried food.  Never worry again about running to the store with everyone else just to find empty shelves.
Tip #4: Gas and Generators.  Fill up your gas tank in your car and any gas cans you have for reserve.  This also might be a good time to purchase that extra gas can or 2.  If you are without power for days, you may need the gas to run a generator.  Remember to always properly vent your generator or even better: keep it outdoors.  Carbon monoxide poisoning often kills more people following a hurricane than the hurricane itself.  If you do not own a generator, now may be a good time to purchase one if your local store has any left in stock.
Tip #5: Be prepared and have a plan.  If you are staying behind to ride out the storm, make sure you have a survival kit sufficient enough for meet the needs of everyone in the family.  Remember, the power may be out for days or even weeks.  Your house may become unlivable for a period of time so have a plan on how you will shelter.  Ask yourself, do you have enough food, water, first aid supplies, fire starting capabilities, and survival supplies on hand to last a minimum of 3 days until up to a week or longer?  Do you have any way of recharging cell phones or other gadgets?  If not, maybe you need a portable solar panel like This.  Have a plan ready and be ready to use it if the situation deteriorates more than you expect.
If you are looking for disaster preparedness supplies or survival kits so you are prepared for the next big one, we have it here at Shepherd Survival Supply.

August Facebook Giveaway

If you haven't already found us on Facebook now is the time! This month we are giving away a Benchmade 556 Mini Griptilian pocket knife, a $70 value!!

Benchmade knives are some the best pocket knives on the market. This is a great addition to your survival kit, every day carry kit, or a great tool to start you off in your path to preparedness! The winner will get to choose either a black or pink handle.

To enter the contest follow these steps:
1. Like us on Facebook
2. Share our Link
3. Like the giveaway post.

You must complete all three steps to enter!! Winner will be announced September 1.

July 19: The Importance of Potassium Iodide (KI) in a Radiation Emergency

How important is it to have potassium iodide (KI) available during a radiation emergency?
The thyroid gland in the human body is especially vulnerable to radioactive iodide during a radiation emergency.   The thyroid gland will readily absorb the radioactive iodine 131 that enters your body and the iodine could remain there for weeks or even months.  The advantage having and taking potassium iodide before you are exposed is that your thyroid will be inundated or flooded with the non-radioactive iodide, therefore “filling up” your thyroid and blocking the dangerous radioactive iodide from being absorbed in the gland. It is important to note that KI will not keep radioactive iodine from entering your body; it will only protect your vulnerable thyroid gland from absorbing the toxic radiation.
So how important is it to protect your thyroid gland? Well let’s take a look at history.  According to the World Health Organization revised estimates, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster will cause 50,000 new cases of thyroid cancer among young people living in the areas most affected by the disaster.  Children are especially vulnerable to long term thyroid problems associated with radiation.   The rate of thyroid cancer in adolescents aged 15-18 is now 3 times higher than it was before the 1986 disaster.  The incidence of thyroid cancer in children in the Ukraine is now 10 times higher than it was before the nuclear disaster.  The most alarming increase is in children who were ages 4 and under when the Chernobyl accident occurred.  Researchers have found that in certain parts of Belarus, up to 37% of these children have or can expect to develop thyroid cancer in their lifetimes.  It is still unknown what the long term effects of the Japan nuclear disaster might be.
One important factor to consider is that you will need to take a potassium iodide supplement (like Thyrosafe) at least 45 minutes - 1 hour before being exposed to radioactive iodide.  This highlights the importance of having a supply of potassium iodide included with your basic emergency supplies.  During a real nuclear disaster KI supplies will vanish within hours, or even minutes and it will be too late to run to the store or order any KI once an event has started.
It is recommended that you should take a potassium iodide solution only after being instructed by local emergency personnel to do so; however, I believe in some cases you will have you use your own discretion.  One dose of KI will last 24 hours. The recommended doses are as follows:
·         Adults (including women who are breastfeeding) or children who are adult size and over 150lbs should take 130 mg per day (two 65 mg tablets in Thyrosafe OR two mL of solution with the Potassium Iodide Vial USP Mixture).
·         Children between 3 and 18 years of age and under 150 lbs should take 65 mg per day (one 65 mg tablet of Thyrosafe OR 1 mL of solution of the Potassium Iodide Vial USP Mixture).
·         Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet of Thyrosafe OR ½ mL of solution of the Potassium Iodide Vial USP Mixture). This includes both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
·         Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet of Thyrosafe or ¼ mL of solution of the Potassium Iodide Vial USP Mixture). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.  Infants who receive KI should have their thyroid hormone levels checked and monitored by a doctor due to the risk of developing hypothyroidism. Avoid repeat dosing of KI to newborns if at all possible.
Taking higher doses than the recommended does not offer any higher level of protection.  You should stop taking potassium iodide once the threat has dissolved or once you have evacuated the area.  It is important to stock up on your KI now and not wait for the next disaster.  Visit the Shepherd Survival Radiation protection page HERE.
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July 6: July Giveaway!!!

Announcing a new monthly giveaway!

July's giveaway: You could win one of our Adventure Medical Sportsman First Aid Kits (a $38 value)! This first aid kit is excellent for the home, car, or any outdoor adventure.

 Want to win this product? There are three ways to enter! Here's how:
  1. Like us on Facebook
  2. http://twitter.com/shepherdsupply
  3. Share our link on your Facebook page
Each option counts as an entry into the giveaway. You must leave a comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page, letting us know all the ways you have entered, in order to be included in the drawing for the giveaway. Winner will be announced August 1!!!

July 5: Types of Radiation & Your Radiation Exposure Limit

Types of Radiation and your Radiation exposure limit
What is Radiation exactly?  A simple definition of Radiation is energy sent out in the form of waves or particles.  It is invisible, silent, and odorless.  You are being exposed to radiation as you read this: from the earth, the sky, the sun, and the world around us.  We refer to it as background radiation.  Radiation is given off by a wide variety of processes, such as thermal activity, nuclear reactions, and by radioactive decay.
The 3 most common types of radiation are Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation. 
·         Gamma radiation is essentially photons, except with much higher energy, that can travel hundreds of miles through the air.  Gamma radiation and x-rays are basically the same thing (a high energy wave), the difference being in how they are produced.  A massive amount of gamma radiation is released during a nuclear blast or a nuclear plant meltdown.  Gamma is considered the most dangerous form of radiation due to its ability to travel long distances and penetrate through the body.
·         Beta radiation is made up of fast moving electrons.  Beta, unlike gamma, is a particle and is capable of penetrating through several feet of air.  They are most dangerous when combined with fallout dust and is taken into the body through the lungs or with contaminated food or water.
·         Alpha radiation is made up of fast moving helium atoms.  They contain very high energy, but due to their large mass they can be stopped by simply a few inches of air or a sheet of paper.  The concern with Alpha, like Beta, is when it is absorbed into the body by getting inhaled or ingested.  The number of lung cancer cases from inhaled alpha particles among uranium miners is much higher than the general population.
How can these levels of radiation be quantified?  There are many different radiation units that are used, so it can get confusing.  The following units of radiation are what you will most likely run across: Roentgen (R), RAD, REM, Sieverts (sV), and Gray (Gy).  How are all these related?
·         Roentgen(R) is a unit of exposure used to measure the strength of a radiation field at some point in air. The main advantage of this unit is that it is easy to measure directly with a high range survey meter or Geiger counter, but it is limited because it is only for deposition in air, and only for gamma and x rays.
·         RAD stands for “Radiation Absorbed Dose” and represents the amount of radiation actually absorbed by some material.  Different materials that receive the same exposure may not always absorb the same amount of energy.  Therefore a RAD is used to refer to the total concentration of radiation that was absorbed in that material or body.  For simplification: 1 Roentgen of Gamma Radiation exposure will result in approximately 1 RAD of absorbed dose.  1 RAD is the equivalent of 0.01 Gray (Gy), the standard SI unit.
·         REM stands for “Roentgen Equivalent Man”.  Some forms of radiation are more efficient at transferring energy from one object to the next.  Therefore the REM unit levels the field by giving certain types of radiation multiplication factor (X).  REM = RAD * X.  For gamma and beta radiation, X = 1.  For alpha radiation, the X factor can be as high as 20. 1 REM is the equivalent of 0.01 Sieverts (sV).  1 RAD of Gamma or Beta Radiation exposure will equal 1 REM of dose.  Therefore, it can be said that 1 Roentgen = 1 RAD = 1 REM.  Devices like the Nukalert will measure radiation doses of 0.1 R/Hr, all the way up to 50+ R/Hr, which is an optimal range when finding your way out of a radiation zone.
What exactly are your radiation exposure limits?   The average American receives approximately 0.5 REMs (or 0.005 sV) of radiation per year from a wide variety of sources: cosmic, rocks, medical procedures (xrays, etc), Radon, internal sources, and consumer products.  The maximum annual dose permitted by US radiation workers is 5 REM (.05 sV).  The lowest dose that has been associated with a detectable increase in cancer rates is 10 REM (.1 sV) when absorbed over a short period of time.  For reference, the Chernobyl incident recorded doses of at least 43 REM for some of the closest to the radiation plume.   100 REMs when absorbed in a short period of time, is enough to cause radiation sickness in an adult.  450 REMs is the lethal dose for a human being.  In the case of a large 2-3 Megaton nuclear blast, those within a few miles of ground zero who survive but do not take shelter immediately will be exposed to up to 5000 REM per hour immediately after the explosion.  The extremely high initial release of radiation from a nuclear weapon shows the importance of evacuating immediately out of the potential fallout zone.  How will you know how much radiation you’ve been exposed to when you do find medical help?  The RADsticker personal dosimeter will record a dose rate of up to 500 RADs.  It could prove to be extremely useful to medical personnel to know how much dose you’ve received when treating you for various injuries from your exposure.
Don’t get caught in radiation fallout or near a radiation leak with no information and nowhere to go, get your Nukalert or RADsticker(s) today.

May 16: Guest Post-The 9 basics of preparedness

**Note from Shepherd Survival: The post below is a guest post from the writer at www.modernamericapreparedness.com. If you have any comments or questions for him please visit his website by clicking the link above**

Posted May 15, 2011 By: Modern America Preparedness
Today’s post lays out what I believe to be the 9 basic principles of preparedness, and why they are important to everyone.  I believe one of biggest problems facing Americans today is the loss of life skills. In one generation alone, such skills as home gardening and canning are all but forgotten in modern America. In one generation the importance of having 2 weeks worth of food in the pantry is fading from the minds of America.  In one generation the availability of clean, abundant water is taken for granted.  That is why I think each one of these core principles has a significant roll in our individual and family preparedness, and supports the 5 critical elements of survival: water, food, shelter, fire, and security.  We will cover each principle in detail in later postings.  Remember these are my thoughts and priorities and they may not work for everyone.
  1.  Determination - having the right attitude and mental focus (tenacity) is essential to dealing with any problem. Survival in life and death situations demands determination.  I'll share an example when I cover this topic in greater detail, maybe in the next post.
  2. Health - good physical health is important because emergency situations usually require extra physical demands from our bodies.
  3. Budget - most households have limited cash reserves, therefore a budget is critical in our prepping efforts.
  4. Action plans - It is important to have an action plan for just about everything, whether it is severe weather, civil unrest, long term unemployment, or a global flu pandemic.
  5. Gear - having access to the right gear is important in an emergency.  One way to facilitate this is to build emergency kits. One of my favorite kits is an EDC (Every Day Carry) bag, more on this topic very soon.
  6. Training - having the right skill sets in an emergency is helpful. In addition, training always increases your personal knowledge and ability, which promotes personal freedom from the bureaucratic system.
  7. Practice - practice, practice, and practice.  Using those skills from principle number 6 will help you perfect them, and make them seem like second nature.
  8. Silence - always fly under the radar.  It is best to keep your level of preparedness to your self. We should always be willing to help other people, but you don't want to compromise your safety, or the safety of your family.
  9. Life style - remember preparedness is a way of life, which means you should be in this for the long haul. True long-term preparedness consists of long-term goals and plans.  These goals include things like gardening, long-term food storage, remote property, debt elimination, knowledge, and skill base.

 I hope that today’s topic will inspire you to think and plan for possible hardships that life might bring your way. I look forward to covering these principles in greater detail.  Until next time be safe, prepare, and actively pursue your freedom.

**Visit Modern America Preparedness to read more from this writer or to leave comments**

May 9: Multi plier, Outside Blades, Mini-Tools: Leatherman Multitools have it all!

Leatherman is the originator and one of the top sellers of the multipurpose tool. The Leatherman brand products are all American made, high quality, and rigorously tested tools. Shepherd Survival is starting our Leatherman collection with three of their best multitools. We now carry two of Leatherman's Full Size Multi-tools, the Crunch and the Wave, and a pocket sized Leatherman Squirt PS4 to have with you at any time.

The Full Size Multi-Tools

The Wave
The Leatherman Wave multi-tool is hands down our most popular model, made famous by its outside-accessible blades that can be deployed with just one hand. It is a multi plier tool that boasts 17 tools all in one. When it was redesigned in 2004, it was given larger knives, stronger pliers, longer wire cutters, and all-locking blades. Perfect for any job, adventure, or everyday task, the Wave multi-tool is an international best-seller.

Leatherman Wave

 13 tools in one and vise grip pliers that fold away make the Leatherman Crunch unlike any multi-tool available today. The Crunch clamps up to a 1-inch diameter pipe, and if you remove the adjusting screw, you'll find a hex-bit adapter built right in. With locking blades that release with the push of a button, the Crunch will take a bite out of any job.

Leatherman Crunch
Leatherman Crunch detailed view
Keychain Sized Multi-tool

For years Leatherman customers had to choose between the handy little pliers on the original Squirt P4 or the scissors on the Squirt S4. Now you can have both in one lightweight mini-tool that comes in handy for everything from snipping fishing line to wrapping a birthday present on the go. With nine tools in one the PS4 is the perfect small sized tool that is packed with strength.

Leatherman Squirt PS4

Visit Shepherd Survival's Survival Tool Section to see more details for our Leatherman Multi-tools

May 5: Do you have the best pocket knife?

Introducing two of our newest products, Benchmade folding pocket knives, the Griptilian and the Mini Griptilian. Benchmade knives are some of the best pocket knives on the market. Benchmade uses a variety of modern materials specially selected for their superior performance characteristics. Here at Shepherd Survival we have decided to feature two of their best folding knives as these items are easy to add to your survival kit and take with you to be prepared for any scenario.

Benchmade 551 Griptilian
  The 551 Griptilian boasts a:

Modified drop-point blade with ambidextrous thumb-stud opener.

AXIS® locking mechanism with dual thumb-stud opener

154CM stainless steel blade (58-61HRC)

Valox® handle with 420J stainless steel liners and a reversible steel pocket clip

Blade Length: 3.45"
Blade Thickness: 0.115"
Handle Thickness: 0.640"
Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel 
 Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point
Weight: 3.25oz.
Pocket Clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
Lock Mechanism: AXIS
Overall Length: 8.07"
Closed Length: 4.62"
Sheath Material: Sold Separately
Class: Blue

Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian

The 556 Mini-Griptilian comes with a:

Modified drop-point blade with ambidextrous thumb-stud opener.

AXIS® locking mechanism with dual thumb-stud opener

154CM stainless steel blade (58-61HRC)

Valox® handle with 420J stainless steel liners and a reversible steel pocket clip

Blade Length: 2.91"
Blade Thickness: 0.100"
Handle Thickness: 0.510"
Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point; Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs
Weight: 2.56oz.
Pocket Clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
Lock Mechanism: AXIS
Overall Length: 6.78"
Closed Length: 3.87"
Sheath Material: Sold Separately
Class: Blue

 What is the best survival knife for you?

To read a survival knife review on the Mini Griptilian visit the following article Now that's a knife!!

Learn more about selecting the right knife for you and see the Griptilian in the video: How to choose a knife 

Visit Shepherd Survival's Survival Tool section to see our newest knives

May 5: Guest Post: "Pretty Pumps and Flip Flops"

**Note from Shepherd Survival: The post below is a guest post from the writer at www.modernamericapreparedness.com. If you have any comments or questions for him please visit his website by clicking the link above**

Posted May 4, 2011 By: Modern America Preparedness

Hello and welcome to Modern America Preparedness Blog.  Today I’m going to talk about the importance of having quick access to practical and functional footwear.  Before I get started and undoubtedly offend someone, I would like to say that I love comfortable shoes!  I actually like a lot of different types of shoes: Birkenstocks, penny loafers, boots, tennis shoes and the like.  I believe that most types of shoes have a specific purpose or function.  I’ll give you a couple of examples; cycling shoes typically have a ridge sole for efficient transfer of power to the pedal, steel toed shoes offer protection of the toes, and running shoes allow for a nice cushioned heel strike and rotation in full stride.  Over the years I have owned a lot of different types of these shoes myself, ranging from SIDI Dominator 3 cycling shoes to Dacor neoprene dive boots.  I still have all my specialty shoes in my footwear collection because I consider them tools for my feet.  I don’t know if America has lost all sensibility when it comes to shoes, or I’m just overly critical of people under the age of 30.  I mean you cannot go anywhere in inclement weather in an urban setting and not see the under 30 crowd rolling in flats or flip-flops.  I remember asking a young woman, seeing that she had on black flats and footies, at church on a snowy Sunday morning what she would do if she had car trouble.  I was taken back by her casual response, “Oh I have my cell phone.”  Not only was her response flawed, but in certain situations it could be fatal.

 I guess I retained more of my dads training than I thought because I still travel with my Northerner rubber boots during the winter months.  I have actually used them a couple of times over the years assisting motorist that had slid off into the ditch.  My point to all of this is that regardless of the weather, travel arrangements, or work environment, access to the right footwear is essential.  I think the perfect example of why having sensible footwear is important is the World Trade Center collapse.  I can still see images of hundreds of people thrust into a life and death situation with only the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet.  The overwhelming feeling of despair and urgency they must of felt as they ran from the collapsing buildings.  Men and women were ditching their dress shoes and high heels and running barefoot through the street toward safety.  How much easier it would have been for these people if they had stored a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in their desk drawer?  It would be interesting to know how many of these people learned from their experience and made a change to their lifestyle?

 Every time I see the videos of the World Trade Center collapse, I consider myself lucky that I do not work in a high-rise building.  It is so easy to take even the simplest of actions to help prepare for such a hardship.  I made some preparations about 5 years ago.  It was a lot easier for me to prepare for an emergency evacuation at work than most people.  I have a short 10 mile commute by truck, and I have ample storage space in my cubicle.  My preparations consisted of placing a pair of running shoes, socks, and 2 liters of water in the bottom drawer of my desk.  I almost always wear nice leather hiking shoes with laces (Merrell or Columbia).  the running shoes are for the days that I wear dress shoes.  I would never want to have to make that 10 mile walk home in a pair of leather sole dress shoes, my feet ache just thinking about it.  I hope this post will help people think about their own situation and how to prepare for emergencies or hardships that might occur in an ordinary workday.  I ask that if you have not already done so please take action to prepare for this type of situation, especially if you are responsible for the safety of small children.  Remember children can’t process information in a logical manner and they are totally dependant on you. The best way to start is to ask questions, so start by answering the basic questions: What is my basic mode of transportation?  and what does my job require me to wear?  If your answers  to these questions are public transit and dress shoes then consider getting an Every Day Carry (EDC) bag.  I’ll talk more about EDC bags and their value in a later post.  You can easily slip a pair of shoes into your bag, and just like that you have increased your personal freedom and liberty by not relying on someone else.  The safety and survival of you and your family depends on your planning and actions.

 Don’t let the paralysis of fear and uncertainty prevent you from taking action this week. Until next time be safe and vigilant in your pursuit of personal freedom and liberty.

**Visit Modern America Preparedness to read more from this writer or to leave comments**

May 2: A Real Reminder

**Note from Shepherd Survival: The post below is a guest post from the writer at www.modernamericapreparedness.com. If you have any comments or questions for the author please visit his website by clicking the link above. **

Posted 5/1/11 By: Modern America Preparedness

Hello, I hope you are safe and all is going well today.  Today's post is going to be different from what I originally planned on covering.  As a result of the devastating tornado outbreak in Alabama, I decided to share some general thoughts about preparedness. The high death toll from this monster storm really convinced me of how unprepared most Americans are.  I mean no disrespect to anyone that lost their life or anyone that was injured, but I truly believe that the lack of personal planning / preparedness resulted in the high fatality rate.  I know that there are cases where people tried to seek cover from the storm but still lost their life.  I feel a great sense of sadness for the families that suffered the loss of a loved one or physically lost everything.  It is really amazing to me that with the prediction from the National Weather Service about a severe weather outbreak the day before. not to mention the 24/7 coverage from the Weather Channel in the region and the actual tornado sirens, that the fatalities still exceeded 300.  I fault the complacency of our present society for the direct lack of respect for such a powerful force of nature. If only more people would have had an action plan for such an emergency, they might still be alive.  I know that it sounds like I'm berating those who perished, which is not the case at all.  I base my assessment from personal experience.   After living though an F5 tornado, my perspective on the violent forces of nature is different.  Having lived in the Midwest all my life, I knew that severe thunderstorms could produce strong winds, damaging hail, and even tornadoes.  I never dreamed how quickly things could go bad, but on the evening of April 26, 1991, I would learn that lesson all too well.

 I remember that it had been windy all day.  As I was leaving work I noticed how dark and green the sky looked to the west.  As I drove home I thought to myself that we would most likely get some large hail out of the approaching storm system.  I never would have thought that in the short time span of 10-15 minutes, the weather could go from possibly having a severe thunderstorm to a having a killer tornado on the ground.  Once the tornado sirens started sounding, I looked out the upstairs window to see the tornado approaching.  I thought that it looked like it would be a direct hit on my condominium.  Because I did not have a storm shelter at the condo, I knew there would be little or no chance of surviving a direct hit for this storm.  So I quickly grabbed my car keys and evacuated the premises.  Considering what I knew about tornadoes, I would need to be below ground level.  I decided to head down the street to the safest place I could think of, the 5 foot tall culvert that passed under the street.  It turned out to be a safe place and possibly saved my life, as the twister passed within 200 yards of my location.  I was one of the lucky ones, I did not lose my life and the tornado missed my condo by about 1/4 mile. 

 The whole area around Wichita and Andover, in my opinion, had developed a very casual attitude toward severe weather.  After the trail of destruction and loss of life that this killer tornado left, that attitude would change.  The mobile home parks put in community storm shelters, some homeowners created safe places in their basement, and some people developed action plans.  Possibly the biggest change after the storm was how people viewed severe weather.  I know that my experience altered my perspective of thunderstorms.  To this very day I check the weather forecast at least 3 times a day, even more if the forecast is calling for severe weather.  I put together emergency evacuation bags for each member of my family. 

 My personal favorite act of preparation is the action plan.  An action plan is something that is tailored to your own personal situation.  I believe that to really have a chance of surviving a tornado, you need to be below ground or in an engineered safe room.  This creates a big challenge for most people, including myself.  I, like many homeowners, do not have a basement in my house, and building a safe room would be cost prohibitive in most cases.  So this leaves the action plan as the most effective preparation in most cases.  My personal preparedness for a tornado consists of an action plan.  Modern technology (cable TV) and the early warning system (sirens) make this a safe reliable option for me and my family. The action plan for my family looks like this:

 ·    Prepared emergency evacuation bags for each member of the family, and placed by the back door. Each member of the family knows where these are located.
·    Mapped out 3 evacuation routes based on which direction the storm is approaching.
·    Keep vehicles in top working condition, and filled with fuel. Both of our vehicles have first aid kits.
·    Monitor the weather multiple times throughout the day and evening.  Keep the weather alert radio on during the night time hours.
·    Respect all warnings and respond to all calls to take immediate action.
·    Evacuate quickly if the storm will come within 5 miles of our home.  If we are unable to evacuate for some unforeseen reason, move to the interior hallway and place mattresses on top of ourselves.
·    Return home only after the storm has passed or the all clear is given.

 I have used this emergency action plan 3 times in the last 13 years and it has been effective for my family.  Every person and situation is different so their plan will no doubt look different.  If you do not already have an emergency action plan for severe weather, please start one this week.  Remember the best defense against a tornado is not to be anywhere close to it; you want to be miles away from it, if possible.  You should never be disillusioned about tornadoes they are killers and should be treated as such.  Storm spotting and chasing is extremely dangerous and should only be done by trained emergency personnel.

 Until next time be safe.

**Visit Modern America Preparedness to read more from this writer or to leave comments**

May 1: Donation to the Red Cross Relief Efforts

In the month of April, 10% of the proceeds of each purchase made with Shepherd Survival Supply was donated to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan. Your gift to the American Red Cross will support the disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On behalf of all our wonderful customers, Shepherd Survival Supply was able to make a donation of $1,553.16 to the American Red Cross.

If you would like to make a further donation to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan please visit the following website: American Red Cross donation-Japan/Pacific

On a similar note, there seems to be no let-up in the deadly weather plaguing much of the U.S. and the American Red Cross is responding all over the United States as floods, tornadoes and wildfires devastate communities. These affected areas could use any help you can offer.  Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. To make a donation for disaster relief please visit the following website: Disaster Relief donations or call

If you would like to help in other ways please contact your local American Red Cross chapter. To find you local chapter visit the following website: Local American Red Cross Chapter or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—down the street, across the country, and around the world—in emergencies. They are always in need of blood donations and volunteers.

Thank you to all of our customers for helping us support the recovery of those affected by such a terrible disaster.

-Mitchell & Emily Dille, Owners, Shepherd Survival Supply

April 27, 2011: New Line of Maxpedition Bags & Backpacks

Shepherd Survival is excited to announce one of our new product lines, Maxpedition hard-use gear.

Maxpedition products pursue the most user friendly designs, use the highest quality materials and have meticulous workmanship. Maxpedition's excellent reputation is based on
  • Expert knowledge in the science of hard-use nylon field gear engineering and fabrication
  • User-friendly designs with strict ergonomic considerations and distinctive style
  • Constant product innovation
  • Extensive outdoor all-weather product testing

Some of the high quality and well tested materials that make up their products include:
  • 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
  • Dupont Teflon fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
  • YKK high strength zippers and zipper tracks
  • UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures
  • Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
  • High tensile strength nylon webbing
  • High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
  • #AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
  • Internal seams taped and finished
  • Paracord zipper pulls
  • Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or "Box-and-X" stitched for added strength

To see all of our newest Maxpedition Products including Backpacks, Organizers, Gear Bags, and more visit

Even more Maxpedition products will be added in the next few weeks!

April 21, 2011: Welcome to the Shepherd Survival Blog

Welcome to the new blog for Shepherd Survival Supply. We are very excited to have our blog up and running so we can keep our customers up to date on the latest happenings. This also is a great space for your feedback on our products and tips for preparedness.

What can you expect to see on our blog?
  • Frequent posts by guest bloggers from the preparedness industry
  • Our latest sales and promotions
  • Announcements for all of our new products
 In the next month we will be adding many, many more products to our store that we think will be of great benefit to you and your family as you prepare for not only disasters but for everyday life.  If you would like to leave a comment on a post just click on the title of the blog post and a new page will open where you can leave your comment. We look forward to hearing your responses, suggestions, and thoughts!

Shepherd Survival Supply