Technology in Vehicles

Disclosure: I have long had an interest in technology in vehicles and how that plays a role in emergency preparedness. For that reason I am a paid OnStar Ambassador through SocialMoms. While I am being compensated for this post, I believe passionately in the role of technology in vehicles for safety and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

onstar bat signalHave you ever thought of what you would do if your car turned over in a ditch on an isolated back country road? No? OK. Clearly you aren’t me. I think of these things. In fact, most people interested in emergency preparedness do. But as a beginner, you may think emergency preparedness is all about stocking your pantry with countless bags of beans and rice. It isn’t. Being prepared means thinking through the many many things, both big and small, that can go wrong in your life.

I am willing to bet that you spend a fair amount of time in your car and like any good prepper, you have a great car safety kit and you never leave home without a charged cell phone in case of an emergency. But how helpful would either of those really be in the situation I described above? Probably not very.

I have long been a user of the OnStar technology in my GMC car because I like knowing that no matter where I am if my car is in a collision and I can’t respond emergency services will be sent. I can call them at any time if I feel unsafe in my car just to have someone else on the line. The phone and the GPS signal have been a source of comfort as my kiddo learned to drive and the monthly maintenance report has been helpful in reminding me to do things that have no doubt kept me safer while driving.

OnStar just announced that they will be bringing 4G LTE connectivity to select 2015 Chevrolet vehicles. This will allow passengers to connect their personal devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) to high-speed wireless Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot that is built right into the vehicle. There are several implications for emergency preparedness:

  • With the transition from a 2G to a 4G LTE connection built into the framework the hotspot will offer superior signal quality making both voice and data stronger and faster. Signals will be lost or dropped less giving us less of a chance of being caught in a dead zone no matter where we are.
  • GPS signals may be more accurate and stronger.
  • Specially designed apps can be downloaded such as The Weather Channel giving us more accurate and up to date info on changing weather conditions

These were just a few that came to mind but more idea’s can be found on the OnStar page itself.

Here is a quick look at how The Weather Channel App will look in the new cars:

I am curious what you think of the latest technology in vehicles? Would you buy a car with features like this for safety reasons?

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Top Preppers on Pinterest

The social networking site Pinterest is a a great place to get ideas on prepping, homesteading and self-sufficiency. Last March we wrote a post on the top 5 pinners on Pinterest which became wildly popular. This fall we are discovering some new pinners (to us) and want to share this resource with you all. So, without further ado, we present….

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Of course, you know we are always going to list ourselves so those of you who are not yet following can start seeing the pins we share! Click on the picture of the profile to follow us and all of the preppers in this post!

Simply Preparing on Pinterest

Top Prepper on Pinterest

Glenn H. Levy on Pinterest

One of our favorite prepping friends, Mom With a Prep, suggested our Simply Preparing facebook page that we check out this monster prepping pinner and we sure weren’t sorry. Glenn focuses a lot on survival skills, weaponry and alternative shelters.

glenn levy-prepper on pinterest

Family Preparedness Board on Pinterest

Another one of our favorite boards is curated by Mom With A Prep. We were invited to contribute to this fine collection and are proud to do so. You will find lots of “quick tip” prepping posts links here.

family preparedness

Are You Prepared? Pinterest Board

ConnieSmith1 created a great Pinterest Board called Are You Prepared? You will be after reading through all the tips and tricks she posts here.

Are you prepared? pinterest board

Prepared Housewives on Pinterest

I love when people take the time to organize their board covers to make it easier for people to find things! I really need to do this but for now I will simply enjoy those pinners that are more organized than myself!

prepared housewives on pinterest

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Backwoods Home is a print magazine that is coming to life on Pinterest. They post mostly their own uploaded photos and tips from the magazine to their Pinterest profile.

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Of course, we still highly recommend our Top 5 Pinners For Prepping from last spring so click the graphic to visit them.

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

 

We certainly don’t claim to be perfect and we are sure to have missed some great pinners! Who are they? Leave us their name and pinterest profile URL in the comments so we can check them out and maybe include them in our next roundup!

 

 

The Pros and Cons of MREs

Most preppers and outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with MREs. MRE stands for meal, ready-to-eat, and they are most common as field rations for the military. MREs are meant to feed one individual for one meal. Fortunately, these meals in a bag or box have come a long way since hardtack, cans of Spam, and freeze-dried meat. Modern MREs offer a wide range of foodstuffs and now include heating elements, desserts, and beverage powders. There are even MREs made for cold weather that pack plenty of extra calories when you need them to stay warm.

All of the items included in modern MREs make them extremely popular for preppers and outdoor recreationists alike, including campers and backpackers. You might be wondering, though, if MREs are right for you as part of an emergency preparedness kit. Before you run out and buy cases of MREs to have when disaster strikes, it is helpful to know both the advantages and disadvantages of these.

pros and cons of mresThe Pros:

  • Versatility – Modern-day MREs offer a wide variety of options when it comes to food. MREs from the U.S. military offer a great diversity that was missing even just a few years ago. You can now select those with chicken, beef, or pork as the main dish or vegetarian meals. There are also a large variety of carbohydrates like pasta, rice, oatmeal, and applesauce. MREs come in breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices.

  • Heating Elements – MREs now come with some kind of heating element so that you can have a hot meal even if you don’t have access to a stove, and these heating elements come right in the bag. This makes MREs perfect when you are left without electricity or when you find yourself out in the wildness miles from civilization.

  • Sheer Number of Items – MREs come packed with numerous food items including a main dish, side dishes, desserts, energy bars, beverage flavoring powders, instant coffee, and, of course, the customary salt, pepper, toilet paper, spoon, chewing gum, and Tabasco sauce if you’re lucky. What is included in one MRE differs immensely, and no two are ever exactly alike!

  • Portability – MREs can be easily thrown into a backpack or bug out bag. Once you open a MRE, you have everything you need for a meal.

The Cons:

  • The Amount of Calories – Since MREs were designed for soldiers in combat, one meal contains a large amount of calories. Each MRE contains about 1200 calories and that makes it great for outdoor pursuits but hard on the stomach for more sedentary individuals. An entire MRE should probably not be consumed all in one sitting.

  • Weight – MREs weigh more than freeze-dried meals. It is something to take into consideration if you are thinking about packing them around all day.

  • Cost – MREs are more expensive compared to fresher foods and freeze-dried meals. On average, a single MRE costs around $8 to $10, and a case of twelve can cost around $80 to $100.

  • Availability – MREs are not something that you can find at your local grocery store. Special military supply stores or outdoor stores might carry them but they will probably be limited in quantity and variety. Thanks to the Internet MREs are now available from several online retailers. If you order online, however, you will obviously pay more for shipping.

Unpredictable Winter Weather

Snow is starting to fall and that means unpredictable winter weather is upon us. Taking simple steps now to plan ahead for winter weather emergencies can help thwart a disaster. Here are three posts that can get you started in your winter weather preparations in and around the home.

But what if that unpredictable winter weather decides to wreak havoc when you are on vacation?

unpredictable winter weather

Many of us travel to either play in the snow or to escape the snow during the winter months. Here are some tips for airline travel preparedness.

  • Always carry 3 days worth of prescription and over the counter medications on you at all times. Airport delays happen frequently in the winter. Don’t check your medicine in your luggage. You may get stuck in an airport and you won’t have access to your checked bags.
  • Always wear  a solid pair of walking shoes on an airplane. I can’t tell you the number of times I cringe seeing people wear flip flops and slippers. Think about what you would do if you had to suddenly walk a long a distance with what you have on you. When you get on a plane always think through what you will do if you get stuck on the other end without your luggage.
  • Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on and include things that can be easily layered. Always carry an easy to pack jacket with you with a hood. A small collapsible umbrella is a smart choice as well.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers. If your cell goes dead, you drop it, it gets stolen, would you remember all the numbers you need?
  • Carry cash. Don’t count on ATM’s and credit card machines working. If weather is that bad power can easily be lost, taking down ATM’s and pay machines.
  • Wear multipurpose clothing when traveling. I am a big fan of the SCOTTEVEST line. Particularly this vest that I have. I can carry a lot of essentials on me safely and conveniently.
  • Load your important documents to a secure folder of a cloud service. If you use iPhone you can use iCloud for free or anyone can use Google Drive for free. I personally like DropBox for this. Take a photo of your drivers license, passport, and insurance cards.

Traveling by car can present a different set of challenges in unpredictable winter weather. Here are some tips for car travel preparedness.

  • It’s time to update your emergency road trip kit.  In addition to everything I suggest in that post, lets add:
      1. Mylar heat blankets and hand warmers.
      2. Ice scraper (it is mentioned in that post but I want to make sure you have it).
      3. Snow shovel.
      4. Siphon pump and gas can.
      5. Kitty litter for giving your tires traction in the ice and snow.
      6. Protein bars, water and ready to eat meals.
      7. Matches
      8. Light sticks
      9. Flares
      10. Cell phone signal booster and extra battery chargers like a Mophie.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going, what time you expect to be there and what roads you are planning to travel.
  • Stay up to date on road conditions. Many states have apps now for your phone that will keep you up to date.
  • Set your phone settings to receive emergency alerts.
  • Turn on your geo locate on your cell phone so that the signal could be used to find you if necessary. Having apps like Find My iPhone or Verizon’s Family Locator service are perfect for this.
  • Make use of the many services offered for vehicles these days like GM’s OnStar features. There is an add-on mirror available now if you do not have a GM car. It does not have all the features of a built in unit but is better than not having the service. I use OnStar and always feel safe knowing someone is available at the touch of a button via a separate satellite phone that won’t go dead. They can geolocate my car and send help via GPS coordinates even if I am unresponsive after a collision. It’s like having a guardian angel in my car.

Something new I am trying out is the ISIS wallet for my cell phone. I have a pre-loaded American Express Serve card linked to it and I can pay for things anywhere you see those tap to pay machines at checkouts just by touching my cell phone to it. They seem to be everywhere. When I travel I plan to load the card with enough money to pay for one nights hotel room if I get caught without  a wallet or debit card. It’s one more back up. Prepping is all about having a back up plan of your back up plan.

We all know that emergencies can be big or small but interrupt our lives non the less. Travel insurance is one way to protect your vacation investment from mother natures winter sense of humor. I am using Travel Guard for the first time this winter on a vacation I would hate to be stranded on, or worse yet, never make it to because of travel delays. It was 1/2 the price of the travel insurance the cruise line company was trying to sell me and offers better protection. I do feel a better sense of security using this. If you want to learn more about travel insurance you can join me at TravelingMom.com for a #WinterHappens Twitter Party next Monday night, November 25th,  at 9 pm EST by using #TMOM & #WinterHappens. They are giving away some awesome Hunter Boots and a Hunter Umbrella which would make a great addition to your prepping gear. Make sure to RSVP on the post at TravelingMom to win.

*Proper disclosure: I have compensated relationships with TravelingMom.com, #VZWBuzz for Verizon Wireless and OnStar. I have long term relationships with each of these companies because I whole-heartedly believe in the companies and products. My mention of any of these relationships is purely out of benefit to the readers of this blog.The Prepared Mom signature

Preppers Wish List

Preppers Wish List Instead of the latest useless gadget this year, why not get some emergency preparedness gifts for your loved one? Here are a list of items that are guaranteed to be on your preppers wish list!

Stocking Stuffers:

Instead of putting them in a traditional stocking, I think it would be cute (and more useful) if Santa had a Bug Out Bag hanging in its usual place with all of the above in it!

Preppers Wish List Going Bigger:

  • Dehydrator
  • Canning Supplies (Tammy has some great money saving advice on canning supplies)
  • Pressure Cooker (not electric)
  • Foodsaver
  • Cast iron pans
  • Campstove (don’t forget the fuel)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Car emergency packs (Costco had a really nice one for $29 the other day)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Fishing Gear
  • Hunting Gear
  • Emergency Toilet (could be a good gag gift that is REALLY appreciated someday)
  • 100 hour candles

Going REALLY Big:

  • Rain Barrels (check Craigslist for people that deliver in your area and only buy food grade & pressure washed)
  • Generator
  • Solar panels
  • Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Sun Oven
  • Big Buddy Propane Heater
  • Hand grain mill

 Free DIY Prepper Gifts

The most important prep we can have in my opinion is close relationships with friends, family, neighbors and loved ones. Take the opportunity this Christmas to reach out and connect with people. Maybe plan a spring camping trip, or offer to volunteer teaching skills you have, make a date to have some friends over to work on canning and food storage, or even set a date to go thrift store rummaging after the holidays. Remember: the greatest gift we can give is ourselves!

Happy Holidays!

 

Dressing for Unpredictable Weather

The outdoors presents a large variety of physical activities to participate in, everything from hiking, backpacking, snow sports, water sports, hunting, fishing, and more. However, outdoor recreation can be challenging in the fall because of the weather. Fall weather is often unpredictable, changing from sunny skies to rain or wind at the blink of an eye. Temperatures can drop suddenly without any warning, and the days get shorter as winter approaches. There have been many cases of people dying because they were not prepared for sudden changes in weather, like this dad and his two sons in Missouri.

Dressing for unpredictable weather appropriately  is critical when spending time outdoors. The best way to do this is to layer your clothing. That way you can adjust what you are wearing to both your activity level and the weather, and you will be able to simply add or subtract layers. Experts recommend you have three layers of clothing and each perform a different function: a base layer, an insulating layer, and an outer shell layer.

  • The Base Layer – This layer, the one closest to your body, manages moisture. It is the layer that will keep you dry and regulates your body’s temperature by drawing sweat and moisture away from your skin. This is critical in the summer in order to keep you cool and in the winter to keep you from getting too cold. The best base layers are not made from cotton but synthetics like merino wool, polyester, or silk. Examples of base layers include things like a sports bra and thermal underwear in the wintertime.
  • The Insulating Layer – The insulating layer is the next layer that goes on top of the base layer. The Insulating layer does just that; it traps air close to your body and therefore helps you retain heat. The best insulating layers are those made out of wool, goose down, or fleece. Fleece is typically preferred because it is breathable, lightweight, and works even when wet. Insulating layers also come in a wide variety of weights to that you can choose one according to both your activity level and the weather.
  • The Outer Shell – The third and last layer is one that will protect you from the elements. It provides a barrier from the rain, snow, and wind. Most outer shells have some degree of water and wind resistance. Of course, outer shells come in a large variety, everything from waterproof, breathable coats to soft shell jackets that provide some of your insulation too.

As you find yourself outdoors, you can add or remove layers according to the weather. If it is a sunny day and a sudden storm moves in, you can then add your outer shell for extra warmth and protection. If the sun comes out and the temperature warms up, you can then remove your shell and insulating layer. Plus, this layering system works for both your upper body and lower body. It also never hurts to bring extra warm clothing like a hat and gloves just in case. How you dress is a critical component of spending time outside, especially in unpredictable weather.

Prepping on a Budget: Things to Buy at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has to be one of the best times of the year for prepping on a budget. Loss leaders are the items stores deeply discount to get you in the door in hopes you will buy the rest of your meal there. I admit, I am a lazy couponer and deal shopper at best these days but this is one week that all the ads are spread out and my strategies kick in. Especially if money is tight for prepping this week your extra $5-$10 will yield you much better results than most others throughout the year.

Loss leaders at Thanksgiving center around foods that are great for 2-3 years of shelf storage. I was able to pick up all of the below canned goods for less than 69 cents a can. The soups and veggies were 50 cents each.

Ideas for building long term food storage using Thanksgiving loss leaders.

I know Walmart price matching can be a pain for some. My store is really nice about it so I just gathered all my ads, made a list and headed in for one big stock up.

Here is a list of great prepping items to be looking for on sale the week of Thanksgiving:

  • Turkeys-Buy as many as you have space for in the freezer. Or plan to can the meat or make chili or soups with them to can.
  • Canned Fruit- pineapple, peaches, pears, cranberries are all good choices.
  • Canned Soups-Broth, Cream of Mushroom and Chicken are big this week. Broth takes the place of water when cooking rice or beans so you are helping to up your water storage with that one as well.
  • Canned Pumpkin-This is a biggie if you have pets.
  • Jarred Gravy-Will make emergency foods taste a little better!
  • Pumpkin, Squash, Onions, Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes- All of these store well if you can ‘root cellar‘ them. For those of us that have no ability to root cellar, there are many creative ways to can or dehydrate these veggies to store. My favorite ways to use a bounty of pumpkin is on ParkerMama’s blog.
  • Butter- I freeze mine but I know it can be canned.
  • Flour-If you would like to store it for more than a year, you can put it in airtight mylar containers. I’ll post a tutorial soon on how to do this easily.
  • Sugar, Karo Syrup and Honey-check how long Karo lasts cause it’s not something I use.
  • Salt-You need salt in your diet in an emergency. It also works well to cure and preserve foods and has actually been used as currency throughout the word. It’s amazing what this undervalued thing that sits on our table is useful for!

Check expiration dates as you are shopping. Digging around a bit can produce dates almost a year apart. Duringcanned goods expiration date 2015-long term food storage my shopping I was able to find 2015 dates in most cases.

 

I’d love to hear from you: 

  • I am not a canner so if you are and have good links to share, please leave them in the comments.
  • What’s missing above? Is there something great I forgot to share?

Pressure Canners Tutorial

Tis the season!  No, not that season.  Canning season! The season where families like mine harvest their garden goodness, plop it into little jars, and process it in one of my pressure canners to last at least through the winter.  If we’ve had a really great harvest we might even get lucky enough to can up enough of summer to last a couple of years.

Often people hear the word ‘canning’ and run for the hills.  I promise it’s not that hard, and it is very safe as long as you follow a few simple directions.

how to use a pressure canner

The Pressure Canner.

This is the type of canner you might be the most familiar with.  This is actually an All American Canner.  You can find cheaper varieties, but after years of canning we finally traded up to this baby and I wish now I would have done so much sooner.  The All American has no need for the rubber gaskets that other pressure canners require.  It also comes in a size that allows you to process 14 quarts at a time.  It’s built to last too.  I’ll be passing this sweet thang down to my kids when I cross over to the great canning season in the sky.

Modern pressure canners are lightweight, thin-walled aluminum or stainless steel kettles. Most have twist-on lids fitted with gaskets. They also have either  a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge (which both regulates the pressure and indicates…..that’s the ‘rattling noise you’ll hear). Pressure canners can usually handle either one layer of quart or smaller size jars, or deep enough for two layers of pint or smaller size jars.

Foods that REQUIRE a pressure canner:

  • vegetables
  • low acidic fruits
  • meat

These items need a pressure canner rather than a water bath canner because ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and can not to kill the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods. This temperature can be reached only by creating steam under pressure as achieved in quality pressure canners.

A few thoughts on canning dairy.  I know a lot of people who are now ‘canning’ butter.  The professionals at my canning extension suggest that home canning butter is not a safe idea.  There may be a ton of people who have canned their own butter and lived to tell the tale.  I choose not to put my family at risk.  The fat found in butter can actually protect C. botulinum and toxin formation even if the butter has been pressure canned. I may be a wuss, but I’m a wus that won’t end up in the emergency room.

Here are a couple of the best websites for canners-

National Center for Home Preservation:  This website gets into the nitty-gritty of canning including safety requirements.

Food in Jars:  I dare you to spend time on this site and not want to start up your own canning engines.  From book reviews to their Canning 101 posts, this site is pure canning crack.  Go ye now and dream.  You can come back and thank me later.

Now there may be those of you wishing I had written this post much earlier in the season…..like when your area hadn’t already been blasted by the first frost of the season.  The idea that canning isonly a summer/fall activity is no longer true.   Do you participate in Zaycon Foods?  You could spend a day or two pressure canning hamburger or chicken!

Are you an experienced canner?  A beginner?  What do you can the most of?

What will YOUR emergency preparedness need be?

We’ve always had food storage.   Wheat.  Sugar.  Oil.  Beans.  Rice.  Water.  Powered Milk.    When I thought about emergencies I thought earthquakes, fires, the usual stuff for my state.  I prepped more for short term than long term emergencies.   I know now that having an understanding for all the possibilities of a potential emergency is as important as your actual prepping.

What will YOUR emergency preparedness need be?

Our emergency came in the form of a tiny, premature, 5 pound baby boy.  Along with my 6th child came Life Flights, oxygen bottles, a list of diagnoses I’d never heard of before, 15 medications, so many surgeries we’ve lost count, durable medical equipment that would fill my home, and a list of specialists a mile long.

Even though we had savings and insurance, we found ourselves in sort of a no-man’s land between what our insurance paid out, what we were responsible for out of pocket, and what we brought home each month.

Grocery shopping didn’t make it as one of the line items of where our paycheck would go for months at a time.

Good thing I had my food storage, right?

Except.

In the midst of my emergency I discovered :

There simply wasn’t time to grind my own wheat and make my own bread.

My family HATED the brand of powered milk I had purchased.

I had no where near the amount of protein stored that my family needed.

I couldn’t make everything from scratch and still have the time and strength keep my kid alive.  It was one or the other.  More quick and easy recipes and prepackaged stuff would have been nice.  While I prefer homemade chicken noodle soup, the canned stuff at least kept my kids happy.  And  why hadn’t I ever found the time to can some of my own homemade soups  before?  That would have been the perfect solution.

I discovered that if you don’t keep stuff rotated, it will, indeed go rancid on you.

The most frustrating thing was to go down to my food storage room and discover that I had most of the ingredients for a lot of different meals, but not all of the ingredients for any of them.  This kind of sucks when you don’t have the money to go to the store to purchase the remaining ingredients you need for your food storage menu plan.

No matter how much your family has always loved rice, they WILL get tired of it and refuse to eat it if you serve it every single day.

oats for family home storage

No matter how hungry my family is, they will never, ever, ever, ever eat oatmeal.  And yet I had 100 pounds of the stuff.

Eight years later, and I’ve learned a lot during our emergency.  I learned to try and envision events that I may have never thought could happen to us.  I learned to make sure I had ALL the ingredients for a set amount of meals.  My family has discovered a brand of powered milk they will drink.  I’m working on increasing my storage of protein and making sure I have more than just peanut butter and tuna to fill that need.

I’ve increased the size of our garden and planted raspberries and strawberries.  I can more.  I freeze more and have learned how to dehydrate stuff.

food storage

As a Prepper I’d encourage you to sit down and think of the possibilities that could make their way into your life.  Job loss.  Illness.  An incredibly adorable medically fragile kid with special needs.  Unexpected rains.  Unexpected droughts.  You get the idea.

Then take the time to plan out how you would get through them.  Envision yourself in the situation and what you would need.  Then make a list of the most important to the least important and work your way down that list.

For my family, while we prepare for an earthquake with great attention to detail, an atomic bomb attack is much further down on our list.  While I am a huge believer in stashing away savings in the form of junk silver, I’ll make sure my food and water preps are up to snuff before I focus on the silver.

It’s great to read about what all of the ‘experts’ say.  But the fact of the matter is that we are the Captains of our own ships…..is that how the saying goes?  Each one of us needs to take the time and identify what our emergency might be and to be as prepared as possible for it.

What is your Number One Emergency Preparedness need right now? 

Dangers of Standing Flood Water

Floods are a force of nature that bring many dangers, but after the initial flood, one danger that is often over looked is all of that standing water. Standing water poses many risks to our health and should be avoided. I cringe thinking of people letting kids play in it of all things.

dangers of standing flood water

Why Is Standing Water Dangerous?

Infectious Disease and Diarrhea to start.

Eating or drinking standing flood water can cause diarrhea. Flood water that collects after a large storm can cause many infectious diseases like E-Coli, TB, Encephalitis and West Nile Virus. To prevent this, first, keep your children and pets out of the water! But if they come in contact with it, practice good hygiene by washing hands or taking a shower and disinfecting objects that may have come in contact with it with a bleach solution: 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 gallon of clean water. It’s very important to see a doctor if someone in your family becomes sick after exposure to standing flood water. Water borne illnesses can spread quickly in a family.

If you have a dog, it would be a good idea to make sure they are current on their immunizations and they have had a leptospirosis vaccine and booster. Dogs love rainwater puddles.

It’s also very important to limit your exposure to bugs (especially mosquitoes) that may be drawn to the standing water:

  • avoid going out during times when they are most active: dawn, dusk and early nighttime hours.
  • wear long sleeves and long pants when practical
  • cover infant stroller with mosquito netting
  • use a commercial mosquito repellent

The most effective solution though may be to treat the area with products you can buy that interrupt the larvae cycle: mosquito dunks and quick kill granules. The granules would work faster on standing flood water.

If you most work around standing flood water during the clean up process make sure to cover any open scrapes or wounds you may have with waterproof bandaging. Seek immediate medical attention if a wound exposed to standing water shows any signs of infection like redness, warmth or swelling. If your home has been flooded you will need to follow many more precautions. Please refer to the CDC’s Guide to Flood Water Cleanup After an Emergency for more ideas.

A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwater after the recent floods in Colorado. John Wark/Associated Press

A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwater after the recent floods in Colorado. John Wark/Associated Press

Other Dangers of Standing Water From Floods

    • Chemical hazards. Chemicals spill or leak into flood waters frequently.
    • Electrical hazards. Downed power lines can be hiding under all that water.
    • Drowning. It is difficult to tell how deep standing flood waters really are.
    • Displaced wildlife. Think snakes and other creepy crawlies.
    • Wounds. You don’t know what may be floating in the water. Pieces of glass and metal are likely.
    • Sewage. 

 

Standing flood water should never be a source of potable water. In an extreme emergency you could likely filter it and disinfect it for drinking using various methods if you were reasonably sure there were no electrical or chemical issues but the focus of today’s post is to keep you safe when you have standing flood water near your homes now.