Is Your Child’s Classroom Equipped for an Emergency?

The kids are already back to school for the year and by now they’ve probably had their annual fire drill routine, where they remind all staff and students of their roles and responsibilities in the event of a fire. While this drill and all of its components are extremely important, we need to be honest: it’s not the only type of emergency you need to worry about happening at school.

All of the emergencies that could affect your home or workplace could also affect your child and his/her school if it happens to occur when school’s in session. This not only includes fires, but floods, hurricanes, tornados, storms, power outages, lockdowns, bomb threats, attacks and more.

It’s scary to think about, but we mention it because it’s VERY important to be prepared. As a parent, you have the right to know whether or not your child’s school has some type of evacuation and shelter-in-place plan established. Ask about it at your next Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) meeting, or the next time you’re on site.

In lockdown situations, students should be brought in from the halls, all doors should be locked, and all blinds and shades should be shut. After a headcount has been conducted, teachers and students should take shelter under desks, tables and heavy furniture and wait for a signal that it is time to evacuate. Once outside, the class should stay together in a safe area away from the building, and should not re-enter the building.

Natural disasters are a little more complex and the school should have specific plans for each type of natural disaster. For example, a snowstorm in the middle of January would be handled slightly different than a hurricane or tropical storm scenario in September. When “shelter-in-place” is required and students cannot make it home to their families, the building should be equipped with any necessary supplies. This includes food, water and first-aid items for every child in the building. Not just a few things here and there. If a blizzard strikes this winter, snowing in your child’s classroom and leaving them stranded overnight, will they have enough food and items to stay warm? Again, don’t be afraid to ask your child’s school what their plan is!

In the event that your school is not adequately prepared, let them know about Survival Supply Solutions! We offer a variety of child and school-specific survival kits. The Guardian Classroom Lockdown Kit is only $47.99 and contains all of the essentials for a class of 30 to get through an emergency lockdown situation. The Guardian Deluxe Kit is $93.99 and provides for a class of 30 over an extended period of time. All items are packed securely in a 5 gallon bucket which can then be converted into a toilet (the bucket contains a toilet seat lid)! To view the rest of our inventory, just visit our online store!

Celebrating Our First Aniversary


In one week Survival Supply Solutions will celebrate our one year anniversary.  At times it seems impossible to already reach that milestone and at other times it had appeared it would never happen.  A great big boost was provided to us by our two new product reviewers:  and  Their contributions of followers and exposure cannot be overlooked in advancing our audience participation.

In addition the Preparedness community has generously accepted Survival Supply Solutions into their fold and has offered daily support through the social media sites:  Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Pinterest.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the I-mentor group and their supporters and Small Business Success for their work on the website.

This year the input and assistance from iSite Biz Builder has kept us on track in becoming an active player with their behind the scenes support and actively assisting in continuing our education in social media.  I am hoping you saw the introductory video that Darin instigated as another step in the schooling process.

So a grand show of appreciation is intended for all of you.  And not least is the ongoing work of yours truly by not giving up the cause and entering each day with a positive attitude knowing that the future is what I make it. Thank you all.

Dara E. Peters, owner of

Will Indianapolis Become The New Murder Capital?

Gary Varvel: Indianapolis Violence
Erika D. Smith, columnist with The Indianapolis Star wrote a column this morning that I could not let pass without commenting: Indy teens endure a hopeless reality we must confront. And I quote: “The room went silent as a girl and a boy made their way to the podium at Light of the World Christian Church. Politicians, police officers, ministers, parents . . .were waiting to hear what they had to say. The boy sighed and then shrugged. “We just feel that there’s no hope for the world, especially Indianapolis,” he said. “No one wants to own up or fess up to anything because no one wants to become another murder statistic.” “It’s not that we don’t want to talk or help,” the girl said. “We’re not going to speak if we think no one is listening.” I just wanted to cry. Is there any wonder so many children are taking their own lives? Does anyone really listen to them? Because none of those present nor myself know what like it is like to “never hear(d). . .their parents tell them I love you or I care about you.” This is the reason these kids don’t know why or how to respect or care about their fellow human beings.
Why should we care? Because these are the people who will be trying to kill us for our food and comforts when the SHTF.
Why has no one, not even the pastors and child welfare advocates been able to see this and try to turn it around? Like the right to vote or serve on juries, should we all be obliged to mentor a child in these circumstances? No, not obliged, required. I know I have not a clue how to begin doing that but I do know that in my neighborhood we pay attention but not always with the best results. More than one neighbor has lent an ear and some money to offer kids the chance to trust adults and to engage them to let them know that someone cares. Big Brothers and Big Sisters? Local community centers? The United Way? Oh wait, those are closing down due to lack of interest and funding while the planning for 6 million dollar sports fields are funded. We must also remember that this is not a policing problem. It begins in their own homes and their own families. Hell, the police are just as afraid of these kids as their peers, yet we still wonder why the police use too much force and do not trust kids on the streets – because they could be killed by these “children”.
I have stood behind my privacy fence and heard conversations that scare me when teens talk of their escapades. But I have also made myself available to some of these teens to talk and ask their help to try to keep them busy. I do not forget these small episodes and neither do the kids. It is creepy when the parents don’t understand why you know their children’s names.
This is real people. The one you befriend may be the one who stops the others from harming you.

Where Will Your Lifestyle Take You To Live?

A question as relevant as what do you want to do with your life is how do you want to live your life? Where do you want to live? This is perhaps one of life’s more important questions as it will determine the direction your life will take you. Will the amount of money you make be the decider? Of course, money can be necessary to live depending on the lifestyle you chose but the quality of life can also be determined by the lifestyle choices you make. The pot at the end of the rainbow should be interpreted as the riches you can receive no matter how much or how little money you have but from the richness your choices give you outside of money.
In the United States we have the luxury of deciding for ourselves where we would like to live – in the country, in a city? It matters not where you live so much as how you chose to live. This century is not like any other encountered in this remembered earth history – technological changes have far surpassed any seen by societies in any written history.
As solar power and wind sources become less expensive and more readily available it will be no problem to live where we choose. If you have a connection to the internet, or if you are able to use smart devices to connect, could make it more difficult to choose (or possibly easier). But we come back to the advances in technology and cannot say how these options may change. Plus, some are choosing to live a lifestyle without the support of the internet or other electronics giving them the advantage of more locations. is where Home Spun Oasis has published an article on changing locations. This goes back to being able to adjust your lifestyle as you mature and gain more insight to make better choices. is an article from Off Grid Quest

    I Should Feel Bad For What Happened to This Family of a family that changed their lifestyle after surviving a disaster; and a pod cast with The Survival Mom on how one family created their homestead in an urban/suburban location.

    Your lifestyle choices do not define who you are do they? In the long run they probably do. But as we grow and change as human beings we are lucky to be able to change where we live and how we live there.

Injuries – How Will They Affect Your Survival?

http:// (Photo courtesy of everystock photo)
Injuries are a constant threat to older individuals due to longer healing time, the loss of mobility, and the medical costs. Injuries will affect your survival in many ways. Infection due to open wounds, poor healing time due to increased use, and the lack of mobility. Injuries will affect your survival no matter your age but are a major concern when you are older. I can now speak on this subject with some authority as I am one week and 3 days into dealing with a major ankle injury that I am hoping is only a sprain. I have no medical coverage so I have not dashed to the doctor for x-rays instead I have been referencing websites and consulting with others who have had the same injuries.
I became concerned because it does not appear any better to me and as I stated it has been almost two weeks since the injury. I have sought and found a cane I used when I broke my leg eleven years ago, necessary due to the times when I can put no weight on it to walk and I need the cane to get around my home. So here I am with my first real injury since losing health coverage and I must say this frightens me. Not just the lack of coverage but not being able to go to a doctor whenever I want or get treatment I feel is necessary. I was reassured this morning by a friend that also sprained an ankle telling me to worry at two months and not at this two week anniversary.
Will this affect my survival? Probably not as I can still drive and run a few errands. I began some first aid as soon as I came home: soaked the foot in Epsom salts and elevated it above my heart. I then recalled it should be iced so I iced it and while the swelling was decreasing I wrapped it with a compression bandage (ace bandage). Then I once again elevated the foot. This has been fine but every couple of days I stumble, or step on a dog toy or try to walk outside and I need to start over to minimize the pain and swelling. Even standing or sitting too long starts the whole process over.
Would this affect my survival if I was in the woods, or on the run (ha ha)? Yes it would. Ice in the woods? Not unless it was a short bivouac and I could put my foot into a cold cooler. Walk for any time at all without stopping? Not gonna happen. I must now be sure to add ace bandages to my first aid kits and probably some icy hot compresses.
Remember that injuries can occur to anyone at any age and try to be understanding of the older individuals in the group. Our bodies heal more slowly and are not as resilient which by itself may create more injuries. Now I must excuse myself to go lie down and prop up this foot.

PBS 3/27 Showing of “Preparing For Disaster – Starting Now” I would take a look at the showing of this presentation by PBS last night here in Indianapolis and I came away very impressed. It was done by first responders and they were very clear about why and how some things are done. Weather examples used were Hurricane Sandy, California and Utah earthquakes and western wildfires.
They began by explaining why it takes 72 hours for the responders and or Red Cross to arrive. The logistics of gathering supplies and personnel and allowing the first responders to determine what the priorities need to be make for an initial delay of three days (72 hours). The real possibility of those same responders having to work to get to you. This is when they started stressing the need for citizens to take responsibility for their own emergency plans and preparations. And the real importance of practicing such as our public servants do on a regular basis so that reactions become automatic and help delay the onset of stress.
Since most disasters occur in our neighborhoods or while sheltering in place the need to share plans with neighbors, family and friends is very important. It is your neighbors that will know if you were home; if children reside in the household; or pets and livestock are involved and come to the rescue first. You need to familiarize yourself and your family with the people you live around so that you will have some support and give some support before help arrives.
The damage done to infrastructure was also stressed. Electric, gas, water and phones. It was explained that even if cellular service does not allow calling texting may actually be possible to try and reach family and friends. This might also be a way to contact the Red Cross and get on the Safe and Well Registry. This list can be accessed anywhere by those outside of the disaster area when contact is not initially available
You will usually have only 10 to 15 minutes to grab what you need to have for up to 72 hours or even longer. This is when the ability to have premade kits and supplies in an accessible location become so important. The time to start is now. Be amazed at how many of the things you will need are already in your home and just need to be brought together in one place. Bad weather forecast? Fill up the gas tank and review your supplies. Practice turning off the electric, gas and water to your home. (it was noted that gas will be off until the utility can get to you so be sure it needs done) Update and install more fire alarms and practice those evacuations. Loss of power can happen anytime: strong winds, cars toppling transmitters, lightening, snows or even no reason at all. Some things are unpredictable such as earthquakes or come in the middle of the night as tornados so there is no time to get to a designated safe room.
Stay prepared, talk to your family, your neighbors. There is no way our police, firemen and others can do everything for everyone. We must take responsibility for ourselves and families and loved ones.

If you Camp, Can You Survive?

My first camping experience was while on a canoe trip where we camped each night along the stream we were following. It was not a good experience. By the last day I was cold, wet and thoroughly ready to return to civilization. I cannot even remember what we ate or how it was prepared. I do believe I had a cold to take home.
So, if you camp can you “survive”? If I had to base it on my first experience I would fail. I was very lucky to continue the camping experience with seasoned persons and went on to really enjoy myself. The longest I have spent roughing it is 5 days in one spot. I have never hiked in to a camp, but have done the canoe trip again with much better results. I feel that the experience of planning meals and packing a kitchen will go a long way towards making survival camping easier to handle. Remember, survival is not the same as setting a homestead or permanent living space it is temporary.
Therefore, practicing outdoor kitchen setup is really important even if only in the back yard or on the patio. Setting up a camp kitchen and having what you need is learned by making mistakes and then you learn to keep a check list for preparation and packing. I have not camped in years but my camp kitchen is still packed and ready to go. This will go a long way in making my survival more pleasant. There is nothing worse than finding you have no matches, or cooking utensils and there is no one else to offer assistance from their stock, or it rains and you have not prepared to cover the kitchen and eating area. You do not need special equipment you just need a way to keep everything together and ready to go at any time.
Camping will teach you how to start and maintain a fire which can be very useful if it is the only means for cooking. You will learn the best ways to keep bedding dry and how to maintain personal hygiene where there is no running water. This includes making options to keep you feeling good about yourself especially if you have no mirrors. Of course if you have a vehicle, those windows are real handy for a substitute mirror.

Recycling Rainwater


I can remember standing on the back porch of my great grandparents’ farm brushing my teeth, or bathing from the rain barrel there. Going to the family farm was my introduction into anything rural: using an outhouse, no indoor heating system, pawpaw trees, and that rain barrel. Nearly twenty years ago I made my first rain catching system using an old horse/cattle trough and used it for watering during the hottest summer months. The birdbath, the dog dish, rinsing paint brushes these were all done with the rainwater. It was my first introduction to mosquito fish (available free from the Health Department) which I have had to abandon these last years as they get baked/boiled to death, but allowed me to use the water for my dogs. I found most other mosquito controls were poison to animals and I couldn’t have that. I ended up using an aquarium net 2 to 3 times a day and scooped out as many as I could.
My only mistake was not covering the trough because last year I found 2 dead squirrels, 2 dead chipmunks and at least one bird floating. I am not a fan of squirrels except as entertainment for my dogs but it was really creepy see those dead squirrel eyes. Those episodes really brought home the need to have water out all of the time for the birds and other critters. Even my dog would rather drink out of the communal dish than the dog bowl.
When the real drought was here a couple of years ago I decided I needed a more complicated system for watering the vegetable garden. Using buckets and watering cans was killing my aging shoulders. It became necessary to water the trees at that time and there was not way I could only use the rainwater for that.
I dreamed of cisterns full of rainwater and rain gardens instead of flower beds. I started only buying drought hardy perennials and thinking of ways to reposition the gutters and downspouts to collect more rainwater. Then a dear friend offered some 50 gallon drums from a heating/cooling job and I became very happy. Unfortunately those barrels are still not being used but they have become full of water on their own and now I cannot move them.
I will be consulting other local sources this year to accomplish the goal.
There are plenty of resources available these days for ideas and necessary supplies to build your own rain recycling systems. When I googled I found many sources and price ranges for the do-it-yourselfers. ,, , Sam’s Club, Walmart, Sears, Ace. But the best prices I found while researching were at Home Depot. Not only will you find 30 to 50 gallon barrels, but also square and decorative containers; and now even 100 gallon and larger aboveground and underground models. That may seem excessive but an average household uses 320 gallons per day with 30% of that used outdoors. 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain is all it takes to gather about 150 gallons of water from a 1000 square roof! and that is only half of the daily usage. I know persons in California could tell you what they could do with that amount of water.
What’s old is new again. Help do your part in slowing water runoff in sewers, lakes and streams by creating your own rainwater collectors. You will have free naturally soft water to use in any way you can imagine. Contact your local city offices as many are offering information and classes to get you started.

Can We Rely Too Much on Our Technical Devices?

This is an oft debated topic these days by parents and teachers and preppers. How many still have a ‘land line’ or know how to use it? How many people cannot read a clock face with a dial? How many have never written a letter or received a letter? – cannot read cursive writing? Much can be said for instant gratification but without these toys many would be in the dark about communication. We must ask ourselves if our technologies are limiting our contacts with other resources because we need to be prepared to work without them. Even using library resources is computerized so few know how to do research in a library without them.
We must also remember how to communicate without our technical devices. Educators refer to three types
communication: oral, written and body language. (http:// However you may note that even when these educators are referring to business they are the same qualities used in all situations.
( Making eye contact, reading and reacting to body language signals, even understanding written instructions can impair or enhance communication. So many young persons today do not even want to speak on a phone,they would rather text. The problem is that emotion and emphasis are not ‘communicated’ with text but with voice inflection and body language. Many times feelings may be hurt and relations damaged by taking texted information in the wrong way. When needed communications are not effective, especially in a crisis, many things can go wrong. I wonder how many teachers wish their students could communicate better, also employment trainers, or even parents? These are skills needed in all situations.
I have never been trained to read a map or navigate with a compass. What do they have to do with communicating? If you have made arrangements to meet up with your party during a crisis and all you have are map coordinates what do you do if there has been an EMP and all you have is a GPS that no longer works? There will be no map app left, no Siri to ask for assistance or to light the way. Typewriters do not need electricity to operate but computers, and radar screens do. Digital clocks need power but a clock that is wound does not; washing machines, freezers refrigerators, coffee makers even. We must teach others to do the everyday tasks without machinery and electricity. We can and do communicate well without technical gadgets.

Look people in the eye as you speak, moderate your voice so you are not shouting or whining, have others repeat what is said or asked of them. Respect others by allowing them to contribute or ask questions and do not denigrate them by sneering or taking their concerns lightly. It is important for everyone to feel they are understood and that what is expected of them is also understood. Even frightened individuals can stay calm if they know what others expect of them and this needs to be communicated. Fear and the adrenalin it creates can be very useful in stressful times if it is directed properly. Who knows? Maybe singing without MP3′s and gathering in groups will once again become modes of entertainment and communicating.

What about Pet Survival?



Not many pet owners have prepared a first aid kit for their friends the family pets. If you have never gone through an emergency involving one of your pets this may seem redundant. You can just go to your own first aide kit and take it from there, right? Not always. It is easy enough to add items to your own kit to make it work for that pet you include as part of your family so please refer to the Humane Society of the United States where they have made lists very helpful for pet owners
All pet owners should do some research to find all the resources and lists they need for their individual type of critters. I must say I never knew that hydrogen peroxide would induce vomiting in your animal if they ingest something nasty. Yes I too can picture what fun that would be because I have tried this myself. Let me just say that a simple syringe from children’s meds is ideal and that we all would do what we needed to help our friends. Your Vet can advise you if you have more questions.
First aid is but one of the considerations necessary in survival preps. Yes, you can buy a premade kit ( but most owners will want to ‘personalize’ theirs. Water, food, entertainment, shelter and tags for identification are musts. If you are including your animals in your survival preparations you will have food for the one to two weeks that are advisable to add to the kit. Yes this goes back to preparedness. You may not have enough food to give yourselves so your pets should be prepared with their own food supplies. If your pets are on dry food still include some wet canned food for its longer shelf life. Take note of how much water your pets need for a day so that you can include this in your water storage plans.
Big dog? Little dog? Hamsters, gerbils even iguanas or birds. . . .all will create waste that will need to be dealt with so this is one thing we must remember. Piddle pads need to be in the kit and items necessary to pick up and dispose of the waste. If your critters are caged they will have other needs. Towels, bedding and other comforts, toys and leashes to be sure you can walk and exercise your friends.
One of your biggest considerations is going to be if the shelter will allow the animals to stay with you. Some shelters will have separate areas for animals but others will not and they will not usually let you keep them with you. (PETS) The Pets Evacuations and Transport Act was founded after Hurricane Katrina and includes animals in evacuation plans but this may not include housing. So what will you do? I, myself, have a friend on the local C.E.R.T. team and she was horrified at one time when she discovered I did not have any backup plans. Will friends or family be able to help? This is a conversation to be considered. Families would find it very difficult to shelter in a car with the family pets for any length of time. Being single I would never leave my companion and know we could shelter in the car if necessary.
Including the pets in preparing only makes sense and will give you and your family members peace of mind. Be sure all family members know of these plans and to include those BOBs along with their own.
[Portions of this article were taken from the Humane Society, The Survival Mom, and other publications]

Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking[/caption]

This is one of my favorite ways of eating as being outdoors seems to make me hungrier and the food always tastes better. I prefer open fire cooking and this takes some preparation as you are really cooking on the embers and not an open fire. Of course, the previous nights fire is usually still “hot” and simply needs to be stirred to air the embers and you need to add a little kindling to heat it up. Second option is to get the fire hot by actually starting a fire with more wood and/or some charcoal using this to heat up your water or coffee while you make preparations. I use an old flat campfire grill on four legs that can easily be moved out of the way when not using simply because it took up less space to pack and I would not spend the money for a tripod. You can even use logs to place around the fire and balance your cooker on those if you are without a grill, or any rocks that may be handy.
Grilled food Is probably the easiest to make. Cooking otherwise over an open fire may seem more challenging to those who do not use the method on a regular basis, including me! Sandwich presses, popcorn cookers, sticks or long forked metal hotdog or marshmallow cookers are ways most people are familiar with. The most practical item may be the cast iron dutch oven which can be set on the grill, directly on the fire or buried in the coals and used for one pan meals or baking. If a pole or stick can be rigged to stand over your fire it is possible to use cooking pans or pots with handles that will offer a less intense heat to cook with and a manner of keeping food or drinks warm.
Preparing for outdoor cooking might mean finding that cast iron skillet and dutch oven, seasoning them and practice using in your own kitchen to gain some comfort in using. You can use enameled pots, aluminum (for boiling water), and any other cookware you can pack to use. I always kept an old round covered pan for cookware and as my dishpan.
Be creative and you will find using an open fire can be great. After all our ancestors cooked over open outdoor fire as well as in fireplaces and managed just fine.
Lastly, if moving away from your campfire be sure to properly extinguish not only the fire but the embers by covering with water or dirt and mixing it up to be sure you have doused all of the fire. Starting fires can be discussed in a later post.

Another of my favorites is precooking baked potatoes to have “hash browns” with breakfast. Actually, I do this at home all of the time and it makes a one skillet meal for breakfast or whatever other meal you want to call it. Simply add sausage or bacon or ham or . . . .to a skillet, add the potato cut into cubes and brown, then add eggs stir to cook and BAM a one skillet meal.