Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dead Letter Awards are over......

As some of you may have known, my zombie novel, Kings of the Dead had been nominated for the DLA Best Zombie Fiction Award this year. I was placed up against some excellent competition, especially that of Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.

The fact that I was nominated was an honor and for those of you that voted for Kings, I thank you. There is always next year and I hope to have my next novel completed in time for the DLA's.

Until then, I have to say, and this is my opinion, the best book of the bunch lost and I tip my hat to Jonathan Maberry for a hell of a tale!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cardboard Box Solar Oven

Okay, let's say power has gone out and you need to cook some food. You are not prepared so you do not have any wood, charcoal or propane tanks on hand.

What are you going to do?

Well, grab two cardboard boxes, one of them small enough to just fit inside the other one.

Line the inside of the bigger box with aluminum foil, reflective (shiny) side out.

Paint the inside of the smaller box with flat black spray paint.

Place the smaller box inside, then place your food inside the smaller box and cover the smaller box with a piece of plexi-glass. Using the foiled flaps of the larger box to reflect the sunlight.

Make sure it is in a position to receive direct sunlight and before you know it, there will be enough heat to bake a casserole, meatloaf, a loaf of bread or even boil water.

And you thought cardboard boxes were only good for making forts!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Bug Out Bag

Since I have noticed a couple of people referencing the bug out bag, I figured I would follow up with a list of recommended items for the bug out bag.

First off, place your supplies in an easy to carry bag or backpack. I have a large Camelbak pack just for this use. One of the things I used to tell my cooks when I was a Chef in regards to knives can easily apply to your choice of bag, the price doesn't matter as long as it is durable and comfortable. A $300 pack is not worth a damn if it is so uncomfortable you cannot carry it for more than 5 minutes. With that being said, do get one with waist/lower back support. The difference between a bag with this and one without is HUGE.

Keep your bag close to your primary exit door and all members of your family know where it is and try to keep a smaller version in your car. You will not always be at home when disaster strikes.

You may want to consider rotating your emergency clothing in and out of the bag based on the seasons. Your bug out bag does you no good in December if you have summer clothing in there.

While it is best to acquire the knowledge before you need it, a good first aid manual is a necessity. Do yourself a favor and take a First Aid Class at your local hospital, fire house or community college.

Water should be stored in plastic containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break. A normal person needs at least two quarts of water each day. Hot or dry environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. For my bag I use Datrex Water Pouches that can be bought from any emergency preparedness store on the internet. They have a 5 year shelf life and in the two years that I have kept them in my bag, I have never had one leak.

You should have at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. For this kit I highly recommend using a product that requires no heat or water for preparation. Again, a product by Datrex is what I use. They are a dry food bar, very similar to particle board in look, texture and taste. Who cares? We don't need 4-star dining here. What we need is food that will last ( a 5 year shelf life) and provide the necessary nutrients in an emergency situation.

First Aid kit to go along with your first aid book and knowledge. No sense in having a first aid kit if you don't know how to use it. At the minimum, your kit should include the following:
• Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
• Sterile gauze pads and adhesive tape
• Scissors
• Tweezers
• Needle
• Moistened Towlettes
• Antiseptic
• Safety pins
• Cleansing agent
• Aspirin or Ibuprofen
• Antacid
• Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting)
• Antibiotic Ointment (for example : Bacitracin or Neosporin)
• Prescription medications that anyone in your family takes on a regular basis. Grandma will not last long if you don't grab her heart meds on the way out the door.

Some of the other things I keep in my bag and recommend are:
• Flashlight and extra batteries (LED bulbs last longer and use less battery power)
• A 4-in-1 tool (pry, hammer and the ability to turn off water and gas if necessary)
• Knife or Multi-tool
• Poncho
• Fire source (I always keep a small bottle of purell and drier lint in my fire kit as they are both excellent firestarters.
• Spare clothing
• Toilet paper (try going a day without that!)
• Extra personal identification
• Extra cash (plastic will not be much use in a disaster situation)
• Emergency contact information
• Map of your local area, if you know how to use a compass, bring it
• Soap
• Duct tape
• Para cord or rope
• Can opener
• Sewing kit
• Sunscreen
• Paper and writing utensil

Firearms, the sticky situation. First and foremost, FOLLOW ALL OF YOUR LOCAL LAWS IN REGARDS TO THE CARRY AND USE OF FIREARMS. I live in a state that not only has a Concealed Handgun law but also has an open carry law (meaning you can technically carry a shotgun over your shoulder, you just better be prepared to be treated like a criminal until they know your intent). While I do have a beautiful AK-47 and a chest rig full of fully loaded magazines to go with it, it is not the weapon I will be taking out of my home and keeping close to me in the event of a natural disaster. Simply because my neighbors will be far less likely to freak out over my Remington 870 shotgun than they would a folding stock AK-47.

So keep my bug out bag close to my safe where the rest of my firearms are stored. I keep 50 rounds of good defense load 12gauge and 50 rounds of good defensive ammunition for the S&W Model 66 .357 magnum revolver I will also carry in the bag.

Please note the use of defensive ammunition. I am not a law enforcement officer, nor am I any longer a member of the armed forces. Any use of my firearms will be for defense only. I also recommend that you learn your state laws in regards to the use of lethal force in regards to the defense of yourself or your property. The line between self-defense and jail is very fine. KNOW YOUR LOCAL LAWS!!!

Those are my recommendations for a bug out bag. They work for me and my needs. If you find something that you think does not work, that is just fine, feel free to remove or add items as you see fit.

That is the most important thing, if YOUR bug out bag does not work for you? Then you need to retool it until it fits your mission.

Good luck and I hope you never have to use it!

Zombie Hunter Tony