Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Spray Foam Insulation Can Help Save The World

We can all do our part to save the world from an early demise, and it doesn't have stop at recycling either. Making an effort to bring re-usable bags when we go shopping has become a growing trend, as well as paperless billing on behalf of utility companies. The construction industry has been given many incentives by local and federal governments to use green building materials and reduce their emissions. As such, manufacturers of materials are falling into line, offering materials that appeal to the environmentally conscious builder and homeowner.

So how can spray foam insulation help save the world? Many people may answer this question with the declaration that soy-based insulation is plant based and therefore biodegradable and better for the earth. That may be so, but the earth friendly component to soy-based spray foam insulation is the only benefit at this point in the development of the product. Soy-based formulas are open celled, much like a sponge. Imagi ne trying to insulate your home with sponges, there is no blockage of gaps, and even if you do block a hole in your attic, the cold air is absorbed in the sponge. The R-value will be tremendously reduced, costing you more to heat your home and thus the chain of efficiency is broken. The alternative is a closed-call polyurethane spray that fills in every nook, cranny, gap, and crevice. The closed-cell technology means the drafts are not absorbed, but stopped completely, increasing the r-value of your home by twice as much compared to fiberglass. That improvement in itself reduces energy costs and helps save the world.

When people think of spray foam insulation they usually picture a guy with a big truck coming to the house, donning a blue suite with goggles and spraying everything in sight. Well thanks to technology, you can be that guy in the blue suit! Green spray foam kits are now widely available on the internet, and far easier to operate than most people think . Many users liken it to painting with a spray gun. Just the decision to do it yourself will save on emissions that could have been dealt out by the installers truck coming to your house. Plus, if you choose to purchase your kit from a North American company, find out if their products are manufactured and assembled entirely in the same country the company is located. This is a huge reduction in the carbon footprint of the company, and ultimately your home.

Another thing to look for when researching spray foam insulation options is if the company is registered with Terrapass. Terrapass is a program in which the user purchases an annual certificate which is equal to the estimated carbon footprint of the company. The money goes towards independently validated projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thus if your company is estimated to produce one metric tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, then Terrapass will fund one of their sponsored projects for the same am ount equal to your carbon footprint. Further to this effort, many companies are choosing to match the efforts made by Terrapass with their own projects, such as the purchase of recycled materials. It is important to understand that the efforts of Terrapass are not a substitute for conservation. Everything we do on a daily basis has some sort of impact on the environment, and Terrapass is one way an individual or business can take responsibility for that impact. Conservation is still important.

Green building materials are given permission to use the 'green' classification by the US Green Building Council, who are also the founders of the LEED program. LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. They have designed a Green Building Rating System which offers guidelines for the improvement of both existing and new construction buildings. These guidelines are widely used by builders and contractors in both the US and Canada, and apply to all ele ments of construction, from framing to lighting. With the help of programs like Terrapass and LEEDs, simple choices like what type of insulation to use in your home will help save the world from an early demise.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Withstanding Extreme Elements - Tough Steel Roofing

Having a good, solid roof is a necessity in North America, where weather extremes mean we could face hurricane-force winds, forest fires and extreme cold and heat all in the same year. These weather variables put excessive strain on standard shake and shingle roofs, causing them to crack, break or even rot well before the manufacturers recommended life span expires.

Those who live in areas where high wind and hurricanes should certainly consider a steel metal roof as these types of roofs can withstand up to 120 miles per hour without damage. IN fact, many of the types of metal roofing that are offered by Absolute Steel comply with Dade County, Floridas hail and hurricane requirements.

Consider a steel metal roof for your home. Not only do they now come in nearly any color and pattern imaginable, they are much more suited for our weather and will last years longer than shingle roofs. Having a metal roof means never having to worry about moss or mold gr owth, insect infestation, or rot.
Additionally, with a roof that is fireproof your home has more chance of surviving should your neighbors home catch fire or a forest fire approach your area. Many residents of California and Hawaii are now opting for metal roofs because of their ability to withstand earthquakes and forest fires.

When you are looking at metal roof products, consider your local area and try to get a product that both compliments your home as well as blending in with the homes around you. For example, if the whole neighborhood has black shingles you may want to avoid a red metal roof unless you want your home to really stand out. Luckily you can find a metal roof in almost every color desirable as well as patterns that are made to mimic shake or shingle roofs.

Not only are steel roofs great-looking and incredibly durable, they are also and an environmentally conscious decision. Steel roofs last longer than shake and shingle roofs, with an average lifespan of 30-50 yea rs, so less material is used over the lifespan of your home. At a minimum a steel roof contains 25% recycled content and at the end of its use the steel can be 100% recycled instead of clogging up a landfill.

The maintenance required on a tough steel roof is very minimal, so it the perfect roofing material for homes where the owner does not want to spend time or money fixing his roof. It will stay looking great year after year no matter what kind of weather gets thrown at it.

Make an investment in your home and equip it with a metal roof. You will be not only be protecting your family from extreme weather but you will be making sure your home stays looking great for many years to come and also be more environmentally friendly.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Easy to Assemble Steel Roofing

With the average roof needing to be replaced on average every 10 years it is no wonder that homeowners are trying to find roofing material that lasts longer. Steel roofing is quickly becoming a favorite choice for homes and businesses because you can buy a metal roof that will last 30-50 years. In fact, many of the steel roofing materials available from Absolute Steel have a warranty on the paint fading, chalking or peeling for up to 40 years. Now if we can warranty the paint for that long how long do you think a metal roof from Absolute Steel will last?

A darn long time is what that answer is!

A metal roof offers many advantages over shake and shingle roofs. For starters they are much more durable and require very little maintenance.

Steel roofing is very easy to install and usually requires no expert help to get them installed. As long as you follow the instructions provided there is no way to go wrong. The panels are precut except for th e angles which need to cut in the field and then put together with fasteners that attach onto your roof deck. When putting metal roofing over existing roofs, be sure to order longer fasteners so they reach down into the roof decking.
A house with a steel roof can shed water more easily than other materials, meaning that new homes with steel roofs require less steep of a pitch to the roof. Metal roofing is lightweight, making it easy to install. In most cases a steel roof can be installed right over the existing roof, saving you the time and expense of removing the old roofing material. Getting your steel roofing panels up on the top of your home is a breeze since they weigh much less than shingles.

The new metal roofs come in all types of colors and patterns. You can choose from virtually any color of the rainbow and your steel roof can be made to mimic tile or slate. If you really want your home to stand out you can go with a red or blue roof. There are even styles made to look like Spanish tile if that is what you are looking for. The possibilities are endless.

Anyone who lives in an area that experiences significant extreme weather should seriously think about replacing thei r current roof with steel. Not only does steel withstand heavy winds, it also is fire resistant which is why it is preferred in areas that are often hit by forest fires. The strength of steel means that it provides structural support to the home, a great benefit if you live in an earthquake-prone area.

With all the advantages of metal roofing it is not surprising that it is becoming the top choice for builders and homeowners everywhere. Lightweight, adaptable and durable a metal roof saves you time and money. Once your steel roof is installed you can sit back and enjoy its beauty, and never have to worry about leaks, cracks or warping. Year after year your steel roof with remain looking great while protecting your home from extreme heat, cold, high winds and fire.

Check out the variety of metal roofing available and decide for yourself if a steel roof is right for your home. Installation is a breeze and your new roof will stand the test of time.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is Metal Roof a Good Investment for Your Home?

The application of metal roofs in the housing industry is nothing new; however, metal roofs have come a long ways since the 50s and 60s during which metal roofs were thought of as dull metallic coverings used mostly in commercial and industrial buildings. Today metal roofs are quite stylish and come in various flavors. Their functionality just as their style has much improved.

However, many homeowners wonder whether they will see a return on this otherwise costly investment. The main question is whether the energy savings and durability of the metal roof will eventually pay for the upfront cost. To answer this question, the document clarifies some of the miss conceptions surrounding the installation of metal roofs and then explains under which conditions the full benefits of metal roofing are realized.

Metal Roof Installation
There is some miss-information about metal roofs that can easily clout your judgment in regard to choosing the ri ght type of roof for your home. One such myth is that anyone can easily install a metal roof. I recently came across an article stating that if you know how to hammer a nail, you can install your metal roof and save yourself thousands of dollars in labor cost. Although you can learn how to install a metal roof, just as well as you can learn any other skill, you should be aware that proper installation of metal roof requires as much talent and effort as installing another kind of roof.

Analyzing Various Benefits of Metal Roofs
No one should ever dispute the benefits associated with metal roofs, but they should look at these benefits in comparison with other types of roofs and consider the environment where one lives as well as the duration one intends to stay in the same house. To be sure metal roofs offer lots of benefits such as light weight, energy efficiency, various designs, and durability. Another advantage with metal roofs is that it can be laid on top of the existing roof without the need to remove the existing roof which can lower labor cost. Let's look at some of these benefits in more detail.

Cost Savings from Thermal Efficiency Is Not Equal for All Climates
Metal Roof coating's can reflect the sun rays and thus keep the house cool during summer. This Thermal efficiency can assist homeowners with lowering electricity bill. In many warm regions this cost saving alone can pay for the upfront cos t of the roof in about 8-15 years. However, it is worth mentioning that thermal efficiency benefits of metal roofs are fully realized in high temperature areas. If your home is in a cooler region, you will not benefit as much as if you lived in Florida.

A Second Thought about Style and Design
Today there are many types of roofs that are stylish. Even though you hear about style in roofing, it is important that you don't make your selection purely based on style as your roof is not the most eye catching part of your home. It is said that majority of people are impressed more with the design of the kitchen, bathroom, interior, floor plans and exterior of the house than the style of the roof.

Labor Cost Are Not Much Lower
Even though metal roofs are quite light and can be installed on top of existing roof which saves the home owner replacement cost, it should be mentioned that this cost saving is countered by the additio nal cost of finishing which includes coating and painting the metal.

Among all the benefits stated earlier, the most important is durability. Metal roofs can last 50 or even 100 years if proper maintenance is carried out. According to National Association of Home Builders other types of roofs such as asphalt can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, if required maintenance is carried out.

Inc conclusion whether metal roofs are good investments depends on various factors such as the climate where your house is located as well as the duration you intent to live in your current home. Local regulations and incentives could also impact the answer to this question. In some states or provinces, insurance companies may lower your premium due to the fact that metal roofs are fire retardant. Some states may offer tax rebates for installing metal roofs, etc.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Metal Roofing's Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does a metal roof cost more than a typical roof?

A. Because metal roofing is a premium home product, you can expect your new roof to cost more than what an asphalt shingle roof costs. However, a metal roof is comparable in price to tile roofing or cedar shake roofing. If you currently have a slate roof, you can expect your metal roof to cost less.
No matter what kind of metal roofing style you choose, you'll never have to worry about your roof again. Most come with a true 30 to 50 year warranty. Plus, your new metal roof will add to the resale value of your home, save you money on your energy bills, and give you piece of mind that you'll likely never have to re-roof again.

Q. I'm concerned that a metal roof won't match my home and the roofing style in my neighborhood.

A. Today's residential metal roofing is made to look exactly like common roofing material - such as asphalt shingle, cedar shake, clay tile or slate roofing - only stronger and more durable.metal roofing materialscome in awide variety of styles, colors and patterns - there's certain to be a style and finish to match your home and neighborhood.

Q. Does metalroofs attract lightning?

A. Lightning is attracted to the highest point, not necessarily metal. A metal roof has no greater chance of being hit by lightning than any other type of roof. However, if your roof would be struck by lightning, a metal roof can help prevent your home from catching on fire because it can dissipate the electrical charge. More importantly, it is noncombustible.

Q. Can you walk on the roof?

A. Most metal panel systems can support the load of an individual walking on them. As with any roof system care must be taken to not cause damage to the roof due to abrasion or collapsing of raised portion of the panel. Appropriate OSHA approved safety procedures should also be followed.

Q. How heavy is metal roofing?

A. Metal roof systems in most cases weigh between 1 to 3 pounds per square foot. The actual weight is dependent upon metal gauge and profile of the panel. Metal roof systems are considered a lightweight roof covering compared to their counterparts. The following illustrates the different types of other roofing materials and their respective weights per square foot:
Asphalt Shingle: 2 - 3.5lbs psf
Textured Asphalt Shingle: 3.5 - 5lbs psf
Wood Shingles/Shakes: 3.5 - 4.5lbs psf
Clay or Concrete Tile: 5.5 - 10lbs psf

Q. What is the minimum roof slope for metal roofing?

A. Absolute Steel offers a wide variety of panel systems to meet a variety of slope requirements. Information regarding minimum slope requirements can be found on the specific technical Data Sheet for each product. Typically, metal panel systems can be applied to pitches of : 12 or greater. Actual minimum slopes may be dependent upon roof geometry, substrate, and physical location of the project.

Q. How much longer will a metal roof last than common roofing like asphalt or wood shingle?

A. You can expect a metal roof to last at least 2 to 3 times longer than a regular roof. In general terms, count on a metal roof lasting 40 to 60 years and beyond. To put it in context, the average life span of an asphalt roof is 12 to 20 years. That lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof and the climate in your area. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather. A metal roof, however, will never decompose.

Other roofing materials like wood shingle, shake and tile have varying degrees of weather-related problems that lead to breakdown. Wood shingle and shake roofs often need replacement before twenty years. Concrete tile roofs can crack and warp in the freeze/thaw cycle of more northern climates.
All of the above roofing materials are well-outlasted by metal roofing, which retains its good looks and durability decade after decade after decade.

Q. Is metal roofing noisier in bad weather than asphalt, cedar shake, tile and slate roofing?

A. This is a common question, and probably one of the biggest misconceptions about metal roofing. People usually think of an old barn roof where the metal is visible to the interior of the structure. On a residence, however, metal roofing is often installed over a solid substrate. Further, attic space and insulation serve as additional sound barriers. Research has proven that metal is not any noisier than traditional roofing products. In fact, you'll hear more bad weather noise from your walls and windows than you will from your metal roof.

Q. How will a metal roof stand up to extreme weather?

A. A metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather like high winds, heavy snow, hailstorms, and even wildfires. Metal roofing has a 120-mph wind rating, meaning it can withstand wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour - equal to an F2 tornado. Under high wind conditions metal roofing systems have wind resistance and uplift resistance that is above the new building code requirements. Naturally, this gives architects and engineers a sense of relief in that they can use the best material to meet those criteria.

In locations that see heavy snow, metal roofing has been the choice of homeowners for years. It sheds snow fast, which protects the structural integrity of the roof. And it can eliminate ice damming at the eves, so water can't back up and collect under the roof then leak into your home. If you live in a part of the country that is prone to wildfires, metal roofing can protect your home should burning embers land on your roof. In fact, you should check with your insurance agent as it's quite likely that the installation of metal roofing will save you money on your homeowners insurance.

Q. Is a metal roof environmentally responsible?

A. Not only is metal roofing great for your home, it's great for the environment.
The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 56% from production to installation to reuse - far superior to asphalt. According to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. If you loaded those shingles into tractor trailers, then lined them up end-to-end, they would make a line from New York City to Los Angeles, back to New York City again, then on to Chicago. That's a lot of wasted asphalt. But because a metal roof can often be installed over your current roof, without tearing off what's already there, metal roofing helps to reduce this excessive shingle waste.

Q. Would a metal roof be too heavy for certain types of homes, or for smaller structures like a detached garage or porch?

A. You'll be surprised to learn that a metal roof is, on average, 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile, fiber cement shakes and slate. With metal roofing, weight on a structure is never an issue.

Q. Can I add insulation under the metal panels?

A. Yes. Among the types of insulation that can be used under metal roofing, we recommend foil-faced plastic bubble insulation. This means you can save even more additional utility costs by making your roof more energy efficient through the use of this inexpensive insulation product.

Q. Are any special tools required?

A. Metal roofing and siding can be easily installed using standard hand tools such as a screw gun, hammer, metal snips, caulk gun, pliers, chalk line and tape measure. Cutting metal panels is best accomplished with an electric metal shear which doesn't cost much and attaches directly onto your drill gun; however, panels may be easily cut with a circular saw with a metal cutting abrasive blade. The best way to insure quilty and durablity is to hire a good Milwaukee metal roofing contractor. Where this might be your first time installing, they have been installing roofs for a liftime

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Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Go about a Home Remodeling Task

How to Go about a Home Remodeling Task

Our homes are constantly in need of repairs. Could be the bathroom faucet is leaking, door hinges are loose, electric sockets dangling loosely or cracked pavement blocks on your driveway. Might be you are seeking for a complete home remodeling. Some minor repairs can be done without necessarily getting help from outside. However, for a professional touch and finish, you might need to hire a licensed contractor to do the job.

Some simple repair tasks can be quickly fixed by a handyman. For complicated jobs, you are advised to hire a contractor more so a licensed contractor. Instead of engaging one person to do the home remodeling, a contractor would fare much better. Contractors employ workmen who are endowed with a wide range of experience and different areas of specialization.

Take a home remodeling project for instance. If you bring in a licensed contractor on site, the work will be done in a very short time. These guys come fully loaded with electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters. Your home is turned into a busy hub as the grinders hammers, drills and saws get into work. Contractors are very systematic. After the initial consultations, they will send over a handyman or several of them to your house. These will conduct a thorough check of the areas to be covered and note down on their work books.

What's more convincing is that most of the licensed contractors in your area do have a reputation for quality work. Take inventory of your home modeling task and decide how you want it done. Before selecting a licensed contractor, visit their website and pay special attention to their work portfolio. If the site has a feedback section, read through it for an insight of how past customers regard the contractor.

Visit other sites of licensed contractors and compare each with the other. Make notes detailing what you like about the contractors as well as what does not please you. This information will come in handy when deciding who to grant the home remodeling task. Obtain their contacts and make several cold calls seeking for catalogues and price lists. If they can provide you with details of their charges via email, the better.

Shortlist the contractors who seem to impress you based on their service portfolio, completion periods and feedback from clients. Focus more on licensed contractors. Check whether they specialize on home remodeling. Visit them and get a first impression. You can always tell a quack from a professional, their work premise easily gives them away. If possible you can request to be taken to the site where work is ongoing.

Be very careful with contractors. Some are known to do shoddy work. Always go for licensed contractors. Home remodeling jobs are meant to give your house uplift. Hence it should be done properly. In case of shortcomings, you can ask that the work be repeated or opt for legal recourse. Now you can go ahead and engage the selected licensed contractor. Discuss the nature and scope of work and agree on the overall fee.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Including the Outdoors in Home Remodeling

A backyard isnt the same as it used to be a place to grill, where kids play ball, or just an extra spot to mow. Now the trend is to make the backyard an outdoor retreat or an extension to the house. The Home Remodelers Group can help transform your outdoors into a beautiful year round sunroom, a deck for entertaining or even an outdoor kitchen.

As reported in the May 2006 Consumer Reports, designing and furnishing an outdoor room is the second most likely home-remodeling project to do. Specifically, approximately 1.2 million U.S. households will install a fully functional outdoor kitchen, according to a study by the industry research company inquiry.

In 2004, Better Homes and Gardens magazine received survey responses from nearly 60,000 Americans describing home improvement projects and future home-building aspirations. Better Homes and Gardens found that people want indoor/outdoor livability, technological innovations, flexibility for family needs and a kitchen-centric focus. (REMODELING Magazine, September 1, 2005)

Homeowners are seeking ways to make the outdoors a functional part of the living area. To accomplish that, the barriers between outdoors and indoors, such as walls and solid doors, are going away. As cited in A Simple Way to Increase Outdoor Living Space at, for homeowners looking to add to their living space, improve their lifestyle and increase the resale value of their home, the perfect solution is to extend living areas outdoors through the addition of decks, patios, outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas.
"The line between the house and the outdoor space continues to disintegrate," says Julie D. Taylor, author of Outdoor Rooms. "Many designers are using the same, or similar, materials both on the interior and exterior to extend the house to the outdoors. It breaks down the barrier and gives a feeling of a larger house."

Alternatively, instead of thinking of the barriers disintegrating, another solution is effective indoor-outdoor connections. These connections can include French doors opening up onto a porch, or the addition of a window to expose a lovely view. Indoor-outdoor connections can be as simple as adding a mudroom between the garage and the home, or more complex, such as an outdoor entertainment area placed just outside the doors of a home's main gathering space. Adding visual connections to the outdoors, such as through the addition of glass doors or enlarging a window, adds value to your home by making its interior space appear larger than it actually is. (Connect Inside of Your House with the Beauty Outdoors, Ann Robinson, Deseret News, April 2005)

To create the outdoor living space that you want, start by determining your budget and your desires.

Consumer Reports provides some tips about what to consider for building room extensions or outdoor entertainment areas:

* Determine how you will use your space

* Consider location

* Be sure to weatherproof

* Incorporate lighting and heat

* Consider safety

No matter what extension you decide to make, it will undoubtedly add value to your home. As cited by Ann Robinson in Deseret News, Exterior living space adds usable square footage to your home without costing you the $120-plus per square foot you'd spend for the construction of an addition.

The Home Remodelers Group can work with you to determine your indoor-outdoor remodeling desires. We have many gorgous sunroom plans and other renovating features available on our website at So, if you need a new area to relax and enjoy reading your favorite book, a place to create a new home gym, a place to add a spa to create your own special oasis, or an area for entertaining family and friends, a new sunroom, deck, or outdoor kitchen may be the perfect solution. We can help bring the outdoors in or take your family out in a comfortable and relaxing setting.

For more information visit:

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Remodeling to Make Accommodations

When you think of home remodeling, you probably think of extending a room or changing cabinets in a kitchen or modernizing an older home. Yet there is a whole new market of people needing home renovations - the elderly.

Renovations for the Elderly:

According to a recent CNN report, home renovations for the elderly are on the rise. These types of renovations are the fastest-growing segment of the remodeling industry, said James Lapides of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHBs recent study concluded that 75 percent of remodeling companies have seen an increase in requests for so-called "aging-in-place" work.

The Certified Aging in Place Specialist program, offered by the NAHB Remodelers Council to teach professionals how to modify homes for older adults, has increased in enrollment, according to Lapides. Representatives of NAHB and the AARP created the program in 2002. Over 1,000 participants have learned building techniques and structural awareness for accommodating physical needs. (CNN, Builders: Home Renovations for Elderly on the Rise, by Grace Wong)

Statistics Show Elderly Want to Stay in Their Homes:

According to the AARP, 83% of people over 45 own their own homes. A 2003 AARP survey, "These Four Walls," sampled this group and found that 75% expect to stay there for the rest of their lives. 51% envision making changes so that can happen.

In addition, The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of remodelers and learned that:

75% reported getting more requests for "aging in place" projects

60% had done aging in place projects. Of those:

43% were for customers aged 45 to 54
76% were for customers aged 55 to 64

67% were for customers 65 and older

Remodelers reported that clients wanted aging-in-place remodeling because:

75% were planning for future needs

53% were living with older parents

46% had acute, age-related disabilities

23% had acute disabilities unrelated to aging

(, Elegant Remodels Allow 'Aging in Place', by Marilyn Lewis)

A Remodeling Project:

Some families are bringing older relatives to live with them and extending a part of the house to accommodate that change. Others are making modifications for physical reasons, such as widening doorways for wheelchairs, lowering bathtub walls and adding support bars. Other modifications simply include updating an older home because of wear and tear. However, the going trend is to do it all with style.

An example of an accommodating remodeling project occurred in a California backyard. A playhouse was rebuilt to become a livable apartment for one familys 70 year-old father with Pagets disease. Building aspects of the apartment include a walk-in shower with no obstructing ledge at the entrance, two-inch-square commercial nonskid tile, lever handles instead of doorknobs and an anti-scald device to keep water temperature even. (, Elegant Remodels Allow 'Aging in Place', by Marilyn Lewis)

Suggestions for Remodeling:

If you are contemplating a remodeling project, keep the future in mind. You can make simple changes now for what may be needed many years in the future. Sam Clark, a builder and author of "The Real Goods Independent Builder: Designing & Building a House Your Own Way" and "Remodeling a Kitchen", provides the following suggestions for changes to make to your home to accommodate the physical bodily changes that occur over time:

Remodel your home so that you can live on the ground level if necessary.

Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs.

Plan the front entry to be as level with the ground as local building codes allow. Eliminate stairs with sloping sidewalks.

Try to think way ahead. For example, in a bathroom remodel, install reinforcement for grab bars.

Plan for a lot of storage within the "optimal reach zone" - the space between 20 inches and 44 inches above the floor to a depth of 20 inches away from your body.

Use drawers instead of cupboards where possible.

Install lever handles throughout the house.

Use hard flooring or choose an attractive, low-pile commercial carpet.

Place electric outlets higher than usual and switches lower.

Install a shelf outside the front door so you can put down packages while searching for keys.

Additional tips from the Home Remodelers in New Jersey ( further suggests vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is made to look like real wood and it never needs painting, preventing any hazardous maintenance or painting. Vinyl windows are also suggested; they are easy to clean and energy efficient.

For additional remodeling articles, visit

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Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Survival Guide

2012 Survival Guide


This Survival Guide is intended as a basic introduction on how to prepare for and react to events that may take place over the course of the years leading up to December 21, 2012. These skills and techniques are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to take the place of a professional survival or first aid training course. Rather, they are intended to increase your awareness of the lifesaving importance of preparation of the coming events, survival skills and to encourage you to research the events that may transpire.

For beginners interested in understanding the basics of December 21, 2012 and the Earth changing events, there is unlimited information available from many sources, and advances of knowledge and collaboration have led to a growing number of watchers and people that are preparing even though they do not believe something is to happen. Even so, at least they will be ready, and you should as well. Even if nothing is to happen then there will be ample number of supplies to last you for the coming years. What if the Earth does change rapidly, and you are not prepared? If you meet the minimal requirements to survive through Pole Shift, Volcanic Eruptions, Extreme Cold, Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, Land Shifts, Major Floods, Solar and Gamma Radiation then you are one more step in the right direction.

However, there is no substitute for experience in any of these extreme situations, and your reaction in a survival situation depends on your education and training. Always keep in mind that a survival situation mentioned above can happen to you. Be prepared and plan to be a survivor.

For too long, the term "survivalist" has called to mind paranoia, and the person that lives out in the woods. Nevertheless, as we continue on track towards our unknown future, we will not be called survivalist, but survivors as we will need every ounce of energy, every thought of our brain, and every inch of muscle to continue our existence here on planet Earth. The following pages are for the ones that may or may not believe what has been foretold, and what history has taught us throughout the years.

Read at your own discretion

Table of Contents

Chapter pg

1. The Basics3




2. Beyond the Basics...14

Developing a Survival Mindset

Survival Awareness

3. Disasters..18





Fire Storms

Volcanic Eruption

Asteroid impact


Polar Reversal/Shift

Extreme Cold/Heat

Riot/Civil Disaster

Electricity Shortage


Alien Invasion

4. How To29



First Aid

5. How can you Afford all this.............................................................................37

6. Check List..38

Chapter 1: The Basics

If you've given any thought to survival, you know that food, water and shelter are the foundation of any long-term survival plan. If you prepare to provide these three items for yourself and family, you will be farther ahead than 90 percent of the public.

Many would say water is the most important of the three, but we'll address them in the order of: Food, Water and Shelter. Below are some questions to ask yourself to better understand what specifics you will need to prepare for in your area of the world. (or to be safe, prepare for all)

What natural disasters or extreme conditions you likely to face in the next four years?

What other disasters or emergency situations might you face?

What are the ramifications of each?

What do you have now that you can use in any disaster situation?

How much is the minimum for you and your survival situation is an answer you'll have to come up with after reviewing this survival guide, but dont worry we will give a generic minimal survival pack.


You may be able to survive a few weeks or even a month without food, but without food, you will become weak, susceptible to illnesses, dizzy and unable to perform survival-related tasks. Water may be more critical to short-term survival, but you will need every ounce of energy to get out of harms way, this is why food is also just as important.

Will a months worth of food be enough? Or do you need a year's worth? 2012 Online cannot tell you what's best in your situation, but we suggest that two weeks or more is the minimum for anyone in any of these potential survival situations. Why should you stock up on so much food if the worst you're planning to prepare for is a just a little out of the ordinary?

Several reasons:

It may take a while for store shelves to be replenished especially as we approach December 21, 2012. Think back to a heavy storm that hit your area, was there enough supplies for everyone? Now imagine a whole country, or even the world needing the same supplies. Now there is a problem.

You may be asked to feed friends or neighbors.

You may or may not be protected from price gouging.

You need to be prepared for a crippling blow to our food supply system.

You will need an existing food supply and a future food supply

Your existing food reserve should not include food in your refrigerator or freezer because you cannot count on those items remaining edible for more than a day (fridge) or three (freezer), at most.

Examination of your existing foods in your cabinets will tell you how much you need to add to ensure you have enough food for a week. A suggestion of food storage is generally canned items (including items in jars) or dried foods. Review our list of commercial food items and their suggested storage times when making up your personal list but keep in mind your family's eating habits, likes and dislikes. Also, remember that you may not have access to electricity, so pick food items and packaging that can be prepared on a single burner of a camp stove or even over an open fire.

Rotation of Foods

The main difference between the commercially prepared foods you buy in the grocery store and the specially prepared "survival" foods is the shelf storage. You can't store grocery store items for five to ten years, as you can with specially freeze-dried or sealed foods packed in nitrogen or vacuum sealed. You need to rotate your items, either on an ongoing basis or every two to three months. This will ensure you have fresh food (if you can consider canned and dry food "fresh") and do not waste your food and money.

As a general rule, traditional canned foods should be consumed within a year. For cans with expiration dates, such as Campbell's soups, you may find you have 18 months or two years before they expire. Cans without a date, or with a code, mark them with the date purchased and make sure you eat them before a year passes.

Survival Foods

Simple raw materials for baking, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oil and shortening can be assets in a survival situation. For long-term survival storage, honey stores for years and can replace sugar in recipes. Rather than storing flour or meal, purchase the raw grain and a hand mill. Then you can mill your own flour whenever necessary. Red winter wheat, golden wheat, corn and other grains can be purchased in 45-pound lots packed in nitrogen-packed bags and shipped in large plastic pails.

Long-term storage falls into several categories:

Vacuum-packed dried and freeze-dried foods

Nitrogen packed grains and legumes

Specially prepared and sealed foods such as MRE's (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) with a five-to-ten year shelf life

All offer one main advantage: long storage life. Some, such as MRE's and packages sold to backpackers, are complete meals. This is handy and convenient, but they tend to be expensive on a per-meal basis. As the name implies, MRE's are ideal for a quick, nutritious, easy-to-prepare meal. They are convenient to carry in the car, on a trip or on a hike. They have very long shelf lives (which can be extended by placing a case or two in your spare refrigerator). On the downside, they are very expensive on a per-meal basis and they do not provide as much roughage as you need. (This can lead to digestive problems if you plan to live on them for more than a week or two). Large canned goods, on the other hand, are difficult to transport. But if you're stocking up your survival retreat or planning to batten down the hatches and stay at home, the large canned goods are easy to store and can keep you well-fed for months.

Remember, however, if you have four people in your family or survival group, purchasing a one-year supply of food will only equate to three months worth for the family. 2012 Online recommends purchasing the largest set of these canned, dried foods your budget can handle. Then supplement the set with items tailored to you and your family or survival group. You may also want to add a few special items, such as hard candy or deserts, to reward yourself or for quick energy.

While on the topic of supplements, don't forget to add vitamins and mineral supplements. Fruits, green vegetables and other items rich in vitamin C and other nutrients may be scarce, so a good multi-vitamin is well worth the space it takes up in your stash.

Home Made Survival Foods

You can try to dry, vacuum-pack and otherwise prepare food for storage. Vacuum pumps are available commercially or can be constructed in your own home. You can use them to seal dried food in mason jars and other containers.

When packing foods for storage, you want to eliminate oxygen. Bugs, such as weevils, and other organisms that can destroy your food need the oxygen to live. That's why commercial companies who prepare survival food pack grains, cereals, pasta, beans and other foods in nitrogen-filled containers. You can accomplish a similar packaging yourself by using dried ice.

Simply take the 10 pounds of noodles (or 25 pounds of rice or other dried food) you picked up from the warehouse and put them in an appropriately sized plastic bucket with a lid that can create a good seal. Then add several chunks of dried ice. As it sublimates, your bucket will fill with carbon dioxide, which will displace all or most of the oxygen (since carbon dioxide is heavier, the oxygen should rise to the top and out of the bucket). Place the lid on the bucket, but don't seal it all the way until you think the dry ice has completely turned to gas. Remember, as soon as you open the bucket the air will come back in.

Hunting and Gathering in the Wild

It's time to look to nature to help feed you. That's great if you have acres of tillable land that was not destroyed. But if not, or if it's too late, you will need to turn to hunting, trapping and gathering.

If you can identify wild plants that can supplement your existing diet, good for you. If not, better go out and buy a few guide books right away. Get ones with pictures, you'll need them. If you're a hunter, could you imagine what the local patch of forest would be like if everyone's dinner depended on hunting? How quickly would we strip this continent of all edible game? Planning on fishing? So is everyone else.

Tip - Always drink while eating, your body looses lots of water while digesting. If you do not have water to drink DO NOT EAT!


As mentioned previously, water is probably the most necessary element for human life, with the exception of oxygen.

When planning your water resources for survival you need to deal with three areas:

Storing water

Finding or obtaining water

Purifying water

Storing Water

For your in-home cache or survival stash, you should count on two gallons of water per-person per-day. While this is more water than necessary to survive it ensures water is available for hygiene and cooking as well as drinking.

Commercial gallon bottles of filtered/purified spring water often carry expiration dates two years after the bottling date. A good rotation program is necessary to ensure your supply of water remains fresh and drinkable (see the previous chapter on food for information on rotation).

If you prefer to store your own water, don't use milk cartons; it's practically impossible to remove the milk residue. If you have a spare refrigerator in the basement or the garage, use water bottles (the kind soda or liters of water come in) to fill any available freezer space. In addition to providing you with fresh, easily transportable drinking water, the ice can be used to cool food in the refrigerator in the event of a power failure. For self-storage of large amounts of water, you're probably better off with containers of at least 5 gallons. Food-grade plastic storage containers are available commercially in sizes from five gallons to 250 or more. Containers with handles and spouts are usually five to seven gallons, which will weigh between 40 and 56 pounds.

A 15 gallon and 30 gallon container used for food service such as delivery of syrups to soda bottlers and other manufacturers are often available on the surplus market. After proper cleaning, these are ideal for water storage as long as a tight seal can be maintained. 55 gallon drums and larger tanks are also useful for long-term storage, but make sure you have a good pump. Solutions designed to be added to water to prepare it for long-term storage are commercially available. Bleach can also be used as a last resort to treat water from municipal sources. Added at a rate of about 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons, bleach can ensure the water will remain drinkable.

Once you're in a survival situation where there is a limited amount of water, conservation is an important consideration. While drinking water is critical, water is also necessary for re-hydrating and cooking dried foods. Water from boiling pasta, cooking vegetables and similar sources can and should be retained and drunk, after it has cooled. Canned vegetables also contain liquid that can be consumed. To preserve water, save water from washing your hands, clothes and dishes to flush toilets.

Short Term Storage

People who have electric pumps drawing water from their well have learned the lesson of filling up all available pots and pans when a thunderstorm is brewing. What would you do if you knew your water supply would be disrupted in an hour?

Here are a few options in addition to filling the pots and pans:

The simplest option is to put two or three heavy-duty plastic trash bags (avoid those with post-consumer recycled content) inside each other. Then fill the inner bag with water. You can even use the trash can to give structure to the bag. Fill your bath tub almost to the top. While you probably won't want to drink this water, it can be used to flush toilets, wash your hands, etc. If you are at home, a fair amount of water will be stored in your water pipes and related system. To gain access to this water, you must first close the valve to the outside as soon as possible. This will prevent the water from running out as pressure to the entire system drops and prevent contaminated water from entering your house. Then open a faucet on the top floor. This will let air into the system so a vacuum doesn't hold the water in. Next, you can open a faucet in the basement. Gravity should allow the water in your pipes to run out the open faucet. You can repeat this procedure for both h ot and cold systems. Your hot water heater will also have plenty of water inside it. You can access this water from the valve on the bottom. Again, you may need to open a faucet somewhere else in the house to ensure a smooth flow of water.

Finding or Obtaining Water

There are certain climates and geographic locations where finding water will either be extremely easy or nearly impossible. You'll have to take your location into account when you read the following.

Wherever you live, your best bet for finding a source of water is to scout out suitable locations and stock up necessary equipment before an emergency befalls you. With proper preparedness, you should know not only the location of the nearest streams, springs or other water source but specific locations where it would be easy to fill a container and the safest way to get it home. Preparedness also means having at hand an easily installable system for collecting rain water. This can range from large tarps or sheets of plastic to a system for collecting water run off from your roof or gutters. Once

you have identified a source of water, you need to have bottles or other containers ready to transport it or store it.


Water that is not purified may make you sick, possibly even killing you. In a survival situation, with little or no medical attention available, you need to remain as healthy as possible. Boiling water is the best method for purifying running water you gather from natural sources. It doesn't require any chemicals, or expensive equipment, all you need is a large pot and a good fire or similar heat source. Boiling for 20 or 30 minutes should kill common bacteria such as Guardia and Cryptosporidium. One should consider that boiling water will not remove foreign contaminants such as radiation or heavy metals.

Commercial purification/filter devices made by companies such as PUR are the best choices. They range in size from small pump filters designed for backpackers to large filters designed for entire camps. Probably the best filtering devices for survival retreats are the model where you pour water into the top and allow it to slowly seep through the media into a reservoir on the bottom. No pumping is required. On the down side, most such filtering devices are expensive and have a limited capacity. Filters are good for anywhere from 200 liters to thousands of gallons, depending on the filter size and mechanism. Some filters used fiberglass and activated charcoal. Others use impregnated resin or even ceramic elements.

Chemical additives are another, often less suitable option. The water purification pills sold to hikers and campers have a limited shelf life, especially once the bottle has been opened.

Pour-though filtering systems can be made in an emergency. Here's one example that will remove many contaminants:

Take a five or seven gallon pail (a 55-gallon drum can also be used for a larger scale system) and drill or punch a series of small holes on the bottom.

Place several layers of cloth on the bottom of the bucket, this can be anything from denim to an old table cloth.

Add a thick layer of sand (preferred) or loose dirt. This will be the main filtering element, so you should add at least half of the pail's depth.

Add another few layers of cloth, weighted down with a few larger rocks.

Your home-made filter should be several inches below the top of the bucket.

Place another bucket or other collection device under the holes you punched on the bottom.

Pour collected or gathered water into the top of your new filter system. As gravity works, the water will filter through the media and drip out the bottom, into your collection device. If the water is cloudy or full of sediment, simply let it drop to the bottom and draw the cleaner water off the top of your collection device with a straw or tube.

(If you have a stash of activated charcoal, possibly acquired from an aquarium dealer, you can put a layer inside this filter. Place a layer of cloth above and especially below the charcoal. This will remove other contaminants and reduce any unpleasant smell or taste).

While this system may not be the best purification method, it has been successfully used in the past. For rain water or water gathered from what appear to be relatively clean sources of running water, the system should work fine. If you have no water source but a contaminated puddle, oily highway runoff or similar polluted source, the filter may be better than nothing.


Frequently, when we think of shelter, we think of either our home or emergency protection, such as a lean-to constructed out of cut branches.

In many survival situations, shelter may be as near as your home. If you don't need to evacuate, you may be better off at home, even if the power is off or the storm is threatening. Remember, your bug-out bag has the bare essentials; your survival stash at home should have enough food and water for weeks or even months.

If you are at home or in the vicinity during a natural disaster, your first course of action must be to determine where you will be safest. If you decide not to evacuate, you must then set about making your current residence as safe as possible. In many cases, this will mean moving into the basement or another protected part of the house. In an apartment or condominium, your best bet will probably be an interior room without windows, or even the basement of the apartment complex.

While many will find that there home, friends apartment or relative's house is the easiest and most cost-effective safe house, the ultimate safe house or survival retreat would be a second residence located in a very rural location. During normal times, this survival retreat can double as your vacation home, hunting lodge or weekend getaway destination. But when the flag goes up, you can evacuate to a safe house fully stocked with everything you need for self sufficiency.

Safe Home should be:

Well off the beaten track, ideally reachable by a single dirt road. This seclusion will offer you a good bit of protection. For example, you can cut a large tree down across the road to help eliminate unwanted guests.

Near a spring, well, stream or other natural source of water.

Equipped with at least a fireplace or wood stove for cooking and heat.

Within 10 to 20 miles of a village or small town where you can go (by foot, if necessary) for additional supplies, news and other contact with the outside world, should the emergency stretch into months or longer.

Arable enough land to grow your own vegetables and other crops.

Near a natural, easily harvestable food source (usually wildlife for hunting or fishing).

Provisioned with enough food to keep your family safe for at least three months, preferably a year.

Provisioned with tools necessary for long-term self sufficiency, should it become necessary.

Stocked with enough weapons and ammunition to defend it from small groups of marauding invaders, should it come to that.

If you are worried about caching goods in a unattended house, where they could be stolen, you can cache a supply nearby. While most caches are buried in hidden locations, a simple solution to this dilemma is to rent a commercial storage unit in a town close to your retreat. This has several advantages:

As long as you have access to the facility 24 hours a day (one of those outside storage areas where you use your own lock is best) you can get to your supplies when necessary.

It will be much easier to make a few trips to and from the nearby storage facility and your safe house than carry everything with you from home.

It's easier to check on the status and add materials to this type of cache than one buried in a secluded location.

In a worst case scenario, you can hoof it to the storage area, spend the night inside and hike back the next day with a full backpack.

Of course, for the ultimate protection, a buried or other hidden cache is hard to beat. The is especially true for the long-term storage of ammunition and weapons that are or may one day be considered illegal.

Chapter 2: Beyond the Basic

Based on the previous section, you should have a good idea of the potential survival situations you might be facing. Now the question is whether to stay and face them or move to another, safer location.

At the first hint of trouble and rising prices, visit the local food warehouse and grocery stores and buy as much as you can afford. Get the 50 pound bags of rice and the 25 pound bags of flour. Use your credit cards and part of your emergency cash stash, if necessary.

Hunker down at home and protect what is yours.

Keep a low profile and avoid contact with others, except fellow members of your survival group. Avoid trouble and confrontations.

Hope that within six months the country will have recovered or at least stabilized. If not, the population will probably be a lot smaller when this is over.

We all have a strong desire to protect what's ours. Thankfully, there are times when staying at home makes the most sense. If you can wait out the events of December 21, 2012 at your home, batten down the hatches and stay at home, it may be your best bet. There are many advantages to staying home in a survival situation, if you can safely do so:

The food in your refrigerator and pantry can supplement your survival stash (see the previous chapter).

If you loose power, you can quickly cook much of your food and monitor the temperature of your freezer (frozen food will usually keep at least 24 hours).

You'll have more time to improve your home's chances of survival (move items to high ground, put plywood over windows, etc.)

It offers shelter against most elements*.

You'll have access to all your clothing, bedding and other comforts.

You won't suffer from boredom as much as you might in a shelter.

You can protect your stuff from looters.

Of course, there is a downside as well:

You could be putting yourself in unnecessary, life-threatening danger. (The polar shift, flood, hurricane, riot, asteroid, volcano etc. might be worse than anticipated).

You will be without heat, electricity, hot water and other services.

You may feel cut off and alone.

*will not protect against any radiation

When disaster strikes, home isn't the only option.

In a large building, you can count on a security force that will probably be smart enough to lock the doors and take some action to prevent access to the building by a crowd. If you think the building is being overrun by rioters, pull the fire alarm. This will result in all the elevators being recalled to the lobby and they won't run again until they are reset.

On your floor or in your suite, bar the door, check your personal weapon and, if there are enough people present, assign some people to stand guard. If you are alone on the floor, or there are invaders in the building, look for a good hiding place.

Shopping centers, fast food restaurants and other public buildings also may offer some protection when disasters strikes, but they could be targets for looting, so you will want to avoid them. In a severe survival situation, you need to look out for your immediate family. So if you're trying to get out of the city in an emergency and your car breaks down, who's going to blame you for breaking into that empty house and seeking shelter? In a life-or-death situation, property crimes will be the least of your worries.

No matter how much you wish to stay at home, there are times when evacuation is the only choice. These include an asteroid, tsunami, nuclear or biological event as well as any impending disaster that is likely to destroy your home. So, if the survival situations you outlined in the previous section show several emergency situations requiring evacuation, you'll need to put together a plan:

The Evacuation Plan

There are several important elements to your evacuation plan:

Where to go

How to get there

What to bring with you

Sure, you can head to the nearest shelter, but if sitting on cots at the local high school gymnasium or National Guard Armory was your first choice, you probably wouldn't be reading this.

You need a safe house or survival retreat in a location where the current crisis will not threaten you. The easiest way to set up a safe house is to coordinate with a friend or family member located between 100 and 150 miles away, preferably in a different setting. For example:

If you're in the inner city, they should be in a rural area or at least a smaller town, preferably not the suburbs of your city

If you're near the coast, they should be inland

If you're near a flood plain, the safe house should be on higher ground.

Following these guidelines, you can be relatively sure of several things:

Whatever disaster you are facing should not affect them, and vice versa. This allows you to trade off, so when they are facing a survival situation, your home can be their safe house.

If you plan in advance, you can leave a few changes of old clothes, a toiletries kit, necessary prescription drugs, ammunition, some MREs or anything else you might need at the safe house. This will make your evacuation easier.

Chapter 3: Disasters


The best way to prevent damage from flooding is to move before one occurs. Seriously, don't live on a flood plain unless you have no choice. If you learned anything in the last decade, it should be floods can and do occur in low-lying areas previously thought safe. Rivers and streams rise to record levels, levy's break, and there's just too much concrete for the ground to absorb all that rain.

If you're stuck in a flood, follow your instincts and move to the highest ground possible. Exercise caution when traveling because it doesn't take much water to float a car or pick up truck.


The old advice of standing in a doorway or hiding in the closet or under a table is better than running around panic-stricken, and it may just save your life. If you live in an earth-quake prone area, prepare for it by ensuring your home meets current building standards and you have plenty of food and water stashed away.

If you live through the few minutes of the earthquake, and your house hasn't collapsed, the greater damage may be yet to come. Broken gas lines can cause fires and your house may be condemned, leaving you homeless. Plan for such contingencies by having a plastic (non-sparking) wrench available to turn off your gas main and including a good three-day pack including a tent.


Hurricanes are one of the few disasters for which you can anticipate some warning. If your home is near the shore and the rising surf is threatening, or you appear to be in the direct course of the hurricane, you may be better off evacuating to higher ground. Whether or not you choose to evacuate, tremendous structural damage can be caused by objects hurled through windows. Once a window is open, the power of the hurricane can actually blow the roof off the top of the structure!

To protect yourself and your property, windows should be covered with plywood or commercial hurricane shutters. 2012 Online recommends hurricane shutters, made from tough clear polycarbonate and allow light to enter the window, unlike their steel and aluminum counterparts. Garage doors should also be reinforced and the door between the garage and the house itself should be locked and secured.

Hurricanes cause damage in multiple ways: high winds, flooding, downed trees and utility poles and storm surges. The farther in-land your location, the less power the hurricane will have by the time it reaches you, so pick your location carefully.

If you decided to stay in your home, you should pick an interior room with no windows. If you plan far enough in advance, you can reinforce the room with 2x6 boards or otherwise construct a cage to protect you from fallen trees, caved-in walls or other storm damage. Move whatever survival supplies you will need into the room, especially a battery powered light and radio.


While tornadoes cannot be predicted as early as hurricanes, current weather forecasting technology will often tell us when atmospheric conditions are right for their formation. By sticking around the homestead during a tornado watch, you can help protect yourself from the tremendous damage twisters can cause.

A direct hit from a funnel cloud can turn a wooden home into a pile of chopsticks, toss a minivan around like a tumbleweed and knock trees down faster than Paul Bunyon. So if you live in a tornado-prone area, you might be wise to invest in an underground shelter, ala the Wizard of Oz. (You can use it as a root cellar or nuclear survival shelter as well.)

If you live in an area not known for tornadoes, but suddenly one is baring down on you, your next-best bet is the basement, preferably in the corner closest to the direction of the tornado.

If you are driving around and a tornado is looming, park under an underpass and run up as high as you can under it. If caught out in the open, head for the lowest ground possible, even a drainage ditch is better than nothing.


If a fire occurs in your home you may have to get out in dark and difficult conditions. Escaping from a fire will be a lot easier if you have already planned your escape route and know where to go. Make sure that your planned escape route remains free of any obstructions and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you. Everyone in the house should be made aware of the escape route

It only takes an unguarded or careless moment for a fire to start. A couple of minutes later and your home or land around could be filled with smoke. Smoke and fumes can kill, particularly the highly poisonous smoke from some furnishings. You will only have a short time to get out. Use it wisely and try not to panic.

If you can safely do so, close the door of the room where the fire has started and close all other doors behind you. This will help delay the spread of smoke.

Before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it. Don't open it if it feels warm, the fire may be on the other side.

Get everyone out as quickly as possible. Don't try to pick up valuables or possessions except your what you need for survival.

Make your way out as safely as possible and try not to panic.

It will help if you have planned your escape route rather than waiting until there is a fire.

What to do if you're cut off by fire

It is not easy, but try and remain calm. Save your energy to help you survive

If you are prevented from getting away because of flames or smoke, close the door nearest to the fire and use towels or sheets to block any gaps. This will help stop smoke spreading into the room.

Go to the window. If the room becomes smoky, go down to floor level - it's easier to breathe because the smoke will rise upwards.

If you are in immediate danger and your room is not too high from the ground, drop cushions or bedding to the ground below to break your fall from the window.

Get out feet first and lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.

Wilderness Fires

If you are caught in the middle of a dangerous fire storm, your best option is to seek a water source and stay near it. Go under ground if possible, but you need to leave an escape route if the fire changes course. With any fire situation, you always need to know escape routes and have back up plans.

Volcanic Eruption

Keep in mind the center of Earth is molten rock, and a volcanic eruption can occur almost anywhere, but there is not much an individual can do to prepare for a volcanic eruption. Be aware of the hazards that can come with an eruption: the flying debris, hot gases, lava flows, and potential for explosion, mudslides, avalanches, and geothermal areas. Prepare provisions, water, food, blankets, and medical supplies if you live around a volcano before anything happens.

Also be ready to get up and outrun flowing lava.

Use caution when around or near active volcanoes.

Do not venture toward any activity, and consult local experts on the area.

Follow all recommendations, regulations, or requests of officials.

Here are some things to watch out for:

Lava flows - Stay away from lava flows. Not all of them will be red-hot and obvious; some move very slowly and appear as dark and solid, but are liquid beneath the surface. Also, do not try to cross an active flow; you might get trapped by multiple lava streams.

Pyroclastic flow - Do not visit volcanoes that are having or are about to have Pyroclastic explosions. The high temperature around such a volcano can itself be life-threatening.

Volcanic domes - Volcanic domes and plugs in craters may seem harmless, but they can explode without warning. Footing and glassy rocks can also be very dangerous. Some cooled lava of this sort can resemble jagged pieces of glass. Wear good, solid hiking boots on the mountain - never go barefoot. Be sure of your step.

Lahars and floods - Be careful when crossing lahars (debris flows), for they can gush in large and small floods.

Gases - Avoid areas where volcanic gas is released. Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide can kill quickly and silently. You may not be able to hold your breath long enough. If you see a location around an active volcano with dead vegetation, carcasses, or bones, do not enter it.

Geothermal areas - hot springs, mud pots, and geysers are also very interesting, but dont go across unexplored areas that contain many of them. Stay on marked trails, because the thin silica crusts over boiling pools can break if stepped upon. If you Fall in, it can potentially cause third-degree burns or even death.

Before an Eruption Occurs:

Discover whether there are volcanic hazards in the area likely to affect you.

If you live in an active volcanic zone, always assume that you may have to deal with the effects of an eruption.

If you live in an area that could experience a lava flow during a volcanic eruption, know a quick route to safe ground.

If Vulcanologists agree that a life-threatening eruption is likely to take place, a Civil Defense Emergency will be declared and the danger area evacuated. Listen to your radio or TV if all is working, for information.

During an Eruption:

Save water in your bath, basin, containers or cylinders at an early stage - supplies may become polluted.

Stay indoors as much as possible.

Wear mask and goggles if you go outside, to keep volcanic ash out of your eyes and lungs.

Take your outdoor clothing off before entering a building, volcanic ash is difficult to get rid of.

Take your Getaway Kit with you if you have to leave. Turn electricity and gas off at the mains. If you turn gas off, have a professional check for leaks in case of damage before turning gas on again.

Keep below ridge lines in hilly terrain, the hills will offer some protection from flying volcanic debris.

A good pre-planned emergency plan should account for this possibility and provide alternative routes.

Near Earth Objects (NEOs)

A reasonably large asteroid of 200 meters (600 feet) in diameter crashing into the Atlantic Ocean could create a tsunami (a giant tidal wave) that would sink both Britain and the entire East Coast of the United States within minutes. If an asteroid at least 1 kilometer in size hit Earth, it would cause a dust cloud which would block out sunlight for at least a year and lead to a deep worldwide winter, exhausting food supplies.

So this threat is real, but the chances of an NEO over one kilometer (3,000 feet) long hitting the Earth soon are practically 1-100. Even so you do need to have an contingency plan in place if this was to happen. The evidence of impact is all around us. But we will focus on the smaller car size asteroids in this section, because if there was a massive asteroid heading our way we would be given advanced warning (hopefully).

So what do you do

For a land impact, it can be said that an object of roughly 75 meters (225 feet) diameter can probably destroy a city and a 160-meter (480-foot) object can destroy a large urban area. If there is an expecting meteor shower, stay tuned to local government officials and monitor the sky.

Impacts from smaller object are almost impossible to predict the impact zone

If you live near a cave system, you may want to go and set up a temporary shelter there, or if you live in the city, go to the lowest point of the building (in an emergency, but not recommended due to possible building collapse). Other possibilities are:

Nuclear fallout shelters

Steel structures

Subway systems

Do not:

Stay outside during a meteor storm

Stay on the top of buildings

Go to the debris of the Meteor

Always have your survival stash available

Extreme Cold

While people do die in their homes due to bitter winter weather, these deaths are often caused by kerosene heaters or other sources of heat. Fire is a danger with any secondary heat source, including wood stoves, fireplaces, kerosene, propane and electric heaters, but they can be managed to reduce fire hazards. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a concern which must be considered when using untraditional heat sources, such as gathering around the gas oven and opening the door.

Another danger is freezing to death if the power fails. People often think they will be OK because they have a gas or oil furnace. This is a fallacy, because the gas furnace needs an electric fan to move warm air throughout your house while even the oil furnace probably has an electric starter and/or fuel pump.

A secondary source of heat is important, and wood stoves are probably the most efficient. While fire places send much of the heat up the chimney they share with wood stoves the conveniences of being able to find fuel all around you, from books to furniture. (Let's face it, most of have too much junk in our houses anyway.) You can also cook over them in a pinch, and when the blizzard is howling around your house, a cup of hot chocolate tastes twice as good and restores the spirits.

Kerosene and propane heaters can also crank out the BTUs in an emergency but probably require ventilation (check the manufacturer's literature for specifics).

A key to keeping warm with these back-up heat sources is not to try to heat the entire shelter. Gather everything you think you might need into a single space and close it off. Use any blankets you can spare over openings, if necessary to reduce drafts. Gather together under your comforters and share your body heat.

If you find yourself in open terrain, a snow cave will provide good shelter. Find a drift and burrow a tunnel into the side for about 60 cm (24 in) then build your chamber. The entrance of the tunnel should lead to the lowest level of you chamber where the cooking and storage of equipment will be. A minimum of two ventilating holes are necessary, preferably one in the roof and one in the door.

Extreme Heat

Prepare ahead of time for the hottest days that may come. Freeze gallons of water in big blocks of ice if you have a large freezer (like we discussed in the previous chapters). Refilling plastic gallon water bottles with tap water and freezing works well. The larger the blocks of ice you have the longer they will take to melt when you need them so go for gallon size containers if you have the freezer space. These blocks of ice can be used to cool a fragile person by placing on a thick towel in a shallow pan and fanning the air with a hand held fan over the ice and over the persons head and neck area. They can also be used by wrapping them in a pillow case and placing them around the head, in the armpit area, and in the groin area. Be extremely cautious not to allow the ice to contact the skin. Place several layers of material between the skin and ice to prevent frostbite and check every few minutes to make sure you are not freezing the tissue.

Symptoms of dehydration

It is very important to recognize the first dehydration symptoms and act before your state becomes serious. Described below are the most common first symptoms of dehydration:


Dark urine with a very strong odor

Low urine output

Emotional instability

Delayed capillary refill in fingernail beds

Loss of skin elasticity

Trench line down center of tongue


Avoid overheating

When you overheat, your body starts to sweat. This may be good because naturally the body is trying to cool itself, but overtime too much sweat wastes your precious water supply. Always adjust your clothing so that you dont sweat too much. Open your jacket a little bit or remove an inner layer of your clothing.

Wear loose clothes

Do not expose your body directly to the sun

Protect your head

Find time to rest under a shaded area

If youre wearing your clothes too tight you may restrict blood circulation. It can also decrease the volume of air between the layers, which reduces the cooling value.

Solar Radiation

On Earth, solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the sun is above the horizon. This is during daytime, and also in summer near the poles at night, but not at all in winter near the poles. When the direct radiation is not blocked by clouds, it is experienced as sunshine, combining the perception of bright white light (sunlight in the strict sense) and warming. The warming on the body and surfaces of other objects is distinguished from the increase in air temperature.

Increased solar rays could possibly happen here on Earth, and you need to do what ever necessary to stay out of the Sun during the day. If there is a possible Red/Brown Dwarf the solar ray can be amplified ten fold as the object gets closer to Earth.

So what do you do

Previously mentioned, make sure to stay out of direct sunlight, or if you feel immediate warming to your skin you need to seek cover. This will not protect you fully but lessen the amount of radiation you receive.

Seek your shelter; preferably a cave or underground structure will help with the defense

Put on your PPE if you need to venture out during the day (see the next chapter)

Polar Reversal/Shift

In the next few years, polar reversal will take place on earth. This could possibly mean that the North Pole will be changed into the South Pole and South to North. The science can only be explained by the fact that the earth will start rotating in the opposite direction, together with a huge disaster of unknown proportions. Or the poles could actually shift positions by a few miles which would still cause unwanted disasters.

See previous disasters which would be caused by this shift (minus the asteroids)

Riot/Civil Disaster

After a disaster, you may have to protect your home and belongings from looters. Sure, they'll probably march out the National Guard, but like the police, they can't be everywhere all the time. Just as you are assuming responsibility for your survival by reading this guide, you'll need to assume responsibility for protecting yourself from human predators.


A tsunami is a series of destructive and very dangerous waves that result from earthquake activity or some other type of underwater disturbance (meteorite, landslide, underwater volcanic activity etc.). In order to survive a tsunami, you must be prepared, vigilant, and calm.

Your at risk if:

Your home, school, or workplace is in a coastal region, near the sea

The elevation of your home, school or workplace is at sea level or fairly low and on flat

or only slightly elevated land. If you don't know the elevation level of your home, school or workplace, find out

There are warning signs indicating that your area is prone to tsunamis

Your home, school, workplace etc. buildings are not tsunami resistant

Prepare in advance. If your research demonstrates that you are at risk, prepare both an evacuation plan and your survival stash.

Natural warnings can help to indicate the imminent arrival of a tsunami. Be aware that in many cases, these may be the only warnings you will get in the coming years. Be self-responsible and keep you and your family, friends and colleagues safe. Natural signs that herald the possibility of a coming tsunami include:

An earthquake: If you live in a coastal zone (by the sea), the occurrence of an earthquake should be immediate cause for alarm and evasive action.

Rumbling under the ground: Even if there is no actual "earthquake" but you can perceive sizable rumbling under the ground, heed this warning.

A rapid rise and fall in coastal waters. If the sea suddenly recedes, leaving bare sand, this is a major warning sign that there is about to be a sudden surge of water inland.

Watch for animals leaving the area or behaving abnormally, such as trying to seek human shelter or grouping together in ways they would not normally do.

Take action

If a tsunami is likely to make landfall on your coastal region, react immediately. Put into place the Evacuation Plan.

Move immediate movement away from the coast, lagoons or other bodies of water next to the coast is essential.

Head inland: This means going up to higher ground and even into hills or mountains.

Climb high: If you cannot head inland because you are trapped, head up. Although not ideal, if this is your only option, choose a high, sturdy and solid building and climb up it. Go as high as you possibly can, even onto the roof or sturdy trees.

React quickly if you are stranded in the water. If you did not manage to evacuate but find yourself caught up in the tsunami, there are things that you can do to try and survive:

Grab onto something that floats

Abandon belongings

Keep away for at least half a day, if not longer. A tsunami comes in waves

Try to get reliable information

A good pre-planned emergency plan should account for this possibility and provide alternative routes. Go into survival mode and be prepared for anything else that could happen, do not let your guard down.

Electricity Shortage

We have lived without it in the past, and we can live without it now.

That is simple to say when we rely so heavily on the use of electricity. It just make our lives that much easier, so in the event of a disaster and after you have made it to a safe haven, it is time now to review the basics.

Generators are a good way to provide energy, but awfully hard to lug around and are dependant upon a natural resource that may or may not be readily available. So you should plan for the worst, break out the matches.

Alien Invasion

At the time this survival guide was written, there is no information on how to maintain your existence if alien invaders showed up to visit. With that said, 2012 Online recommends hiding.

Chapter 4: How To


The ability to construct and know how to make a fire can make the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Fire making is one of the most vital survival skills. You should practice and learn different methods so you know how to start a fire anywhere, and under any condition.

Several needs:

A fire can fulfill several needs. It can keep you warm and dry. You can use it to cook food, purify water and to sterilize bandages. It can scare away dangerous animals and its smoke can keeps flying insects at bay.

To make a fire you have to understand that there are three components needed: air, heat and fuel. The correct ratio of these components is very important for a fire to burn at its greatest capability


You will have to decide what site and arrangement to use. Before building a fire consider:

The area (terrain and climate) in which you are operating

The materials and tools available

Time: how much time you have

Need: why you need a fire

Security: do you want unwanted attention

Look for a dry spot that:

Is protected from the wind

Is suitably placed in relation to your shelter (if any)

Will concentrate the heat in the direction you desire

Has a supply of wood or other fuel available

If you are in a wooded or brush-covered area, clear the brush and scrape the surface soil from the spot you have selected. Clear a circle at least 1 meter in diameter so there is little chance of the fire spreading. If time allows, construct a fire wall using logs or rocks. This wall will help to reflector direct the heat where you want it. It will also reduce flying sparks and cut down on the amount of wind blowing into the fire. However, you will need enough wind to keep the fire burning. In some situations, you may find that an underground fireplace will best meet your needs. It conceals the fire and serves well for cooking food. To make an underground fireplace:

Dig a hole in the ground.

On the upwind side of this hole, poke or dig a large connecting hole for ventilation.

Build your fire in the hole


Use a battery to generate a spark. Use of this method depends on the type of battery available. Attach a wire to each terminal. Touch the ends of the bare wires together next to the tinder so the sparks will ignite it.

Flint and Steel

The direct spark method is the easiest of the primitive methods to use. The flint and steel method is the most reliable of the direct spark methods. Strike a flint or other hard, sharp-edged rock edge with a piece of carbon steel (stainless steel will not produce a good spark). This method requires a loose-jointed wrist and practice. When a spark has caught in the tinder, blow on it. The spark will spread and burst into flames.


The fire-plow is a friction method of ignition. You rub a hardwood shaft against a softer wood base. To use this method, cut a straight groove in the base and plow the blunt tip of the shaft up and down the groove. The plowing action of the shaft pushes out small particles of wood fibers. Then, as you apply more pressure on each stroke, the friction ignites the wood particles.


If you find yourself not around any structures or your survival shelter, or if its not safe, a temporary shelter may be raised up in the wilderness. A small shelter which is insulated from the bottom, protected from the elements and contains a fire is extremely important in your survival situation. Before building your shelter be sure that the surrounding area provides the materials needed to build a good fire, and a good water source.

Wilderness shelters may include:

1. Natural shelters such as caves and overhanging cliffs. When exploring a possible shelter tie a piece of string to the outer mouth of the cave to ensure you will be able to find your way out. Keep in mind that these caves may already be occupied. If you do use a cave for shelter, build your fire near its mouth to prevent animals from entering.

2. Enlarge the natural pit under a fallen tree and line it with bark or tree boughs

3. Near a rocky coastal area, build a rock shelter in the shape of a U, covering the roof with driftwood and a tarp or even seaweed for protection

First Aid

If an accident occurs in the wilderness it will be your responsibility to deal with the situation. The specific sequence of actions when dealing with this situation is:

Remain calm, providing your patient with quiet, efficient first aid treatment

Keep the person warm and lying down. Do not move this injured person until you have discovered the extent of the injuries

Start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation immediately if the injured person is not breathing

Stop any bleeding

Watch carefully for signs of shock

Check for cuts, fractures, breaks and injuries to the head, neck or spine

Do not allow people to crowd the injured person

Do not remove clothing unless it is imperative

Decide if the person can be moved to a proper medical facility. If this is not possible, prepare a suitable living area in which shelter, heat and food are provided


Shock is a depression of all of the body processes and may follow any injury regardless of how minor. Factors such as hemorrhage, cold and pain will intensify shock. When experiencing shock the patient will feel weak and may faint. The skin becomes cold and clammy and the pulse, weak and rapid. Shock can be more serious than the injury itself.

Use the following method to prevent and control shock:

1. If there are no head or chest injuries, place the patient on his/her back with the head and chest lower than the legs. This will help the blood circulate to the brain, heart, lungs and other major organs.

2. If severe head and chest injuries are present elevate the upper body. If chest injuries are present, elevate the injured side to assist in the functioning of the uninjured lung.

3. If the injured person becomes unconscious, place him/her in a face down position to prevent choking on blood, vomit or the tongue.

4. Keep your patient warm and under shelter.

Stopped Breathing

If breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Place the patient on his/her back and follow these steps:

1. To open the airway lift the person's neck and tilt the head back

2. Keep the neck elevated; pinch the nostrils to prevent air leakage

3. Place your mouth completely around the person

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Foundation's that leak and what to do with them

More often than not a basement leaks if you experience lots of rainfall, your house is on a slope or in a low area or there is a lot of snowfall. If you find that your basement is leaking during all times of the year without having it be due to the common flood, hydrostatic forces are most likely at work.

And one of several big problems that frustrate property owners are leaky basements. A large number of basements become waterlogged due to common flooding, however you might also be interested to know that the majority of basement leaks are do to common forces that occur directly below and around your basement foundation. The following is information on why basements leak.

Hydrostatic forces are the process of water being pushed up against your concrete or stone foundation as the water level rises and falls. Most of the people really don't understand that concrete is porous and whenever hydrostatic forces push against the basement foundation, it force s water to seep through the basement floor causing your basement to become water logged.

Basement sealers are one of the simplest methods to waterproof your basement. Basement sealers are products that you or a contractor can usually brush onto the foundation walls of your basement to protect it against water seepage.

The following needs to be noted that basement sealers will not be a permanent solution and pretty much a band aid type fix. Many homeowners who apply basement sealers need to keep up with constant maintenance to prevent water leakage and seepage from occurring.
Basement sealers come in a number of products which include sealers which might be brushed on similar to polyurethane. There are sealers in the form of corks that require you to make holes in the concrete in order to pump sealing agents in to the wall. Basement sealers, although not the perfect solution, can stop the occasional leak and seepage and are very economical and easy to use. If you are looking to prevent some kinds of basement leaks and wall seepage, consider basement sealers.

Another way to waterproof your basement is by installing a drain tile. Most people will need to hire a contractor to put in the drain tile. A drain tile is really a trench constructed underneath or around the basement which can help in reducing the forces that cause water leaks as well as help remove water away from your home. . Drain tiles can cost several thousand dollars to install but if you want to end up with a dry basement they are absolutely worth every penny.

Installing a drain tile takes a great deal of work and is not for beginners or intermediate do it yourselfers. In case you are experiencing a leaky basement or seepage through your basement walls, look into the above suggestions on the ways which you can waterproof your basement.

For anyone who is a home owner looking to prevent your basement from water leaks and seepage, there are many precautions that you could take to keep water out from your home. Here are a few straightforward tips for preventing a leaky basement.

One of the simplest ways to reduce the chance of basement flooding and leakage is to capture water and remove it away from your home. Usually this can be done with clean and effectively working drainage. Most people have gutters that collect water and then remove it from their home, make certain these gutters are clean and in working order.

It's also advisable to make sure in case your gutters do not go into a drain that the y have a ground extension to go out and away from the home six feet is a minimum at that point water can safely drop into the ground without damaging the home

It is also smart to ensure that the area surrounding your basement foundation is sloped upwards, making sure that water moves away from the foundation. You can easy landscape your property to cause water to flow away from your property as opposed to creating pockets and puddles that can promote basement flooding.

Another tip is your basement windows must not be obstructed by bushes or other items. In case your basement is rather humid, it can cause lots of dangerous mold growth. You should open your windows from time to time to air out and dry out your basement, particularly if it has leaking issues. If you are wanting to prevent a leaky basement, follow the above simple tips.

Leaking basement are more than just a head ache they are causing damage to the foundation of the house and as t he old saying goes without a good foundation !!!

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