Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey: Disaster Prep 101

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey: Disaster Prep 101

A few months back, along with the rest of Texas and the Gulf Coast, we prepared for Hurricane Harvey to make landfall. The grocery stores were running low on bottled water in our area, but everything else was pretty plentiful. After all, we’re about 4 hours from the coast, so the worst we were going to see was some heavy rain and winds. Maybe power outages for a few days, but nothing catastrophic. Unfortunately, I can’t say that for the areas closer to the water though.

I decided to fill the gas tanks on our vehicles, top the extra gas cans (the gas was getting old anyhow), and make a quick grocery run for some perishables (meat, fruit, veggies and such). If it would be a few days without power or having access to the store, I at least wanted to have some good meals for the first few days, before having to resort to dry or canned food.

Well… It was a complete madhouse.

If you’ve been through any sort of natural disaster, the days leading up to it are pretty interesting to say the least. Everyone (and their mother) feels the need to stock up on all the crap they should have bought and had on standby. This creates a bit of panic, as the shelves in the stores start to deplete, which causes more turmoil. People who didn’t need a 40lb bag of beans from Costco, now NEED SEVEN, along with a damn pallet of water and a bunch of other crap they might need to “Survive” the next few days. Don’t get me wrong here. I certainly don’t fault these folks for trying to be prepared, but the last minute rush to pick up supplies that have been marked up, or are now in high demand, seems like a desperate attempt at preparedness. A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way.

My advice:
Next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up an extra case of bottled water… or better yet, a few gallon jugs of it. You’re much less likely to crack open the gallons than the smaller bottles. The mindset that “it’s just one bottle” or “I’ll pick up more next time I’m at the store” often pries us away from keeping bottles on hand for emergencies. Stockpile it out of sight, and just keep building your supplies. You’ll have a good amount in no time. Or, if you have enough room to store a few 55 gallon drums, all the better.

Canned food is another great thing to have tucked away. It lasts damn-near-forever, so having a few days’ worth is not hard to do, and can help tremendously in a pinch. It’s relatively cheap, easy to store and good insurance to have for a short term emergency. It does take up a fair amount of room though, so using it for any long-term disaster planning isn’t fully conducive. I’d recommend freeze-dried food in that case.

Either way, the one you really need to do leading up to an emergency is top off gas. In the case it takes a while to get the pumps back online, you still want to be able to get around.

Outside of the necessities of water, food and gas (in that order) a few additional items that can help out are:
- Firestarters (matches, lighters and duraflame type bricks)
- Batteries, lanterns and flashlights (LED ones are much more efficient)
- Generators with premixed gas. You can keep your fridge and freezer going for a long time.
- Entertainment: Boardgames, cards, books, any other games to get you and your family’s minds off the situation. Everyone is so glued to electronics, a day without an Xbox will seem like an eternity for some kids.
- Firearms & ammo: None of this is any good if you don’t have a means to protect it. Disasters can bring out both the best and worst in people, so just be prepared in that manner as well.

The list can go on forever, but these were the items that I stocked up on, and even though the damage to our area was miniscule, I slept a lot better knowing that we had ourselves covered in case it got any worse or lasted longer.

If you ever have any questions on the great disaster preparedness items that we sell here at Gear You Need, we are always happy to give you some friendly advice about what you might need, as well as which products are some of our favorites.

Thanks, and stay equipped.

Gear You Need

Welcome To The New Gear You Need Website!

Welcome To The New Gear You Need Website!

Welcome to the brand new Gear You Need website!

We are constantly striving to bring our customers the best products, service, user experience and fastest shipping. With the new website, we are also improving and streamlining a lot of our processes to achieve these goals.

As you take a moment to browse through our new site, please send us all feedback that you may have on how we can make it even better. We greatly appreciate our customers and want to serve you the best that we can, so all notes are welcome.

We have big plans for 2018 and beyond, so stay tuned. Thank you! 


Top Emergency / Survival Gear Items For 2017

Top Emergency / Survival Gear Items For 2017

Looking for the best emergency / survival gear in 2017?  Join the club!

We here at Gear You Need are always searching for the best products to sell, be it a firearm accessory, camping equipment, emergency preparedness gear, and more. Below is a short list of a few pieces of equipment that every prepper needs for their home, vehicle, or for a Bug Out Bag (BOB). They are in no particular order after #'s 1-3.

1. Water
While most humans can survive up to 3 weeks or more without food, water is a necessity. Since the body is made up of over 60% water, dehydration happens quickly. And, if no water is consumed within a matter of days depending on climate, death is imminent. Be sure to get your home / vehicles / BOB outfitted with water purification devices, no matter how big or small. Also, be sure keep fresh water on hand at home via a rain collection device, flats of bottled waters (change out every so often to keep fresh), and other means. We have a lot of great options for sale that will help keep you & your family hydrated during an emergency.

2. Food
Whether it be canned food / snacks, bags of rice & beans, or sealed emergency food buckets (such as Wise brand bucket pictured above), you need to make food storage a big part of your survival plan. Imagine if power goes out in your town for more than a few hours... maybe it's a few days, or even a few weeks. You won't be able to just run to the grocery store to pick up what you need as their power will be out too, and it will be a mad mob rush of those who have not planned ahead to pick up every last scrap of food & water. Therefore, it is very smart to have at *least* 2-4 weeks worth of food for your entire household. Ideally, gradually build up and work towards a goal of 3 months (or more) worth of food. Don't be caught with your pants down... and speaking of which, stock extra toilet paper / baby wipes while you're at it.

3. First Aid / Medical Supplies
Having a high-grade first aid / medical kit handy is always, always a necessity. We sell a lot of great options (such as the above pictured 'Lifeline Base Camp First Aid Kit 171 Pieces') that are compact, affordable and easy to store. You need to have everything from band-aids to sterile gauze, anti-bacterial ointment, ibuprofen, antidiarrheals, sting relief, and other items in your kit. It makes a world of deference having the peace of mind knowing that you can take care of yourself and your family should any injuries occur during an emergency situation. Be sure to also think of other items your family may need that are not standard to a typical first aid kit such as feminine care products, diapers, prescription drugs / medicine, vitamins, baby wipes, sunscreen, chap stick, etc. And remember... two is one and one is none; as the Navy Seals saying goes, have spare items for any and all important items for disaster prep just in case. If you want to live dangerously, you can live by the less-famous creed of 'one is three and twenty-seven is forty-five.' It doesn't make sense to us either, but it is fun to say.   

4. Fire Starter / Stove
Remember that food we just talked about two seconds ago? If you don't, be sure to stock up on your supply of memory pills as well... if you can remember where you put them. Well, most of the long-term food storage items will require you to heat up & mix with hot (clean) water. Depending on where you live, fire will be very important not just for cooking food but also to keep warm, provide some light at night, etc. However, you may be in a location where you either do not have wood for kindling & main logs for burning, or you cannot because of your living quarters (such as an apartment)... this is where a small stove would be ideal (such as a Sterno Stove that does not require gas). Either way, we recommend adding a small stove with gas / fuel to your emergency supplies, along with water-proof matches, fire rod / magnesium fire-starter, extra Bic lighters, etc. Be sure to have plenty of starter material as well such as Vaseline-soaked cotton balls, dryer lint, etc. 

5. Lanterns / Flashlights
Some of the most overlooked items in emergency preparedness kits are light; most only include a cheap, single, small pocket flashlight with a battery life of 10 minutes and a whopping light output of 3 lumens. This is a big mistake unless you enjoy the beautiful outdoors (or indoors) in a clean, pure black color palate and desire to fall into a bottomless pit or down a flight of stairs. This can both be a huge nuisance, as well as dangerous. This is why we stock and recommend getting everything from at least a couple of high-quality lanterns (such as the Streamlight Siege pictured above), as well as some good quality handheld flashlights (such as the Nitecore line of flashlights that we carry). Be sure to pickup and stock plenty of extra batteries for all of your lights as well (we offer some stellar rechargeable batteries for some of the lighting solutions which is even more convenient).

6. Shelter
Sleeping under the stars is always a wonderful experience... until it starts raining or some sort of swamp creature is stalking you. We're not sure how much proper shelter can protect you from aforesaid swamp creature, but it can at least make it confusing for him to try to unzip all of those noisy tent zippers (which also gives you a nice 'heads up' that he's entering your tent to tear you to pieces). Either way, proper shelter is always a must-have for any prepper. They are convenient to store in your home, and we even offer some more compact pup tent / shelter solutions for your vehicle or BOB. Plus, when you have one, it's a great incentive to use it for taking the family on some fun camping trips (which also gives you a great opportunity to test out some of your water filters, emergency food, blades / knives, fire starters, flashlights / lanterns, radios, and much more). Be sure to try to get one that is waterproof / water-repellent for a more pleasant night's sleep.

7. AM/FM Radio
The AM/FM Radio is an essential part of your disaster / emergency preparedness kit. Most are affordable, small, lightweight and can sometimes be your only method to stay informed during a power outage, severe weather or natural disaster. We carry a wide array of AM/FM Radio models (such as the above pictured 'First Alert Portable AM/FM Weather Band Clock Radio') that can be extremely beneficial with a multitude of additional features such as a flashlight, USB charging port (for your mobile phone), compass, and more. Be sure to stick with a good hand-crank / solar model so that you are not relying on standard alkaline batteries to keep it charged. Plus, you will need to know which direction the zombie hoard is heading so that you can seek shelter far away from their ravenous hunger. "I call the big one Bitey."

8. Firearms / Ammunition
God forbid that we ever have to do anything with our firearms as responsible, patriotic citizens other than simply go to the range, participate in a shooting match, or go on a hunting trip. However, it's always better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them, right? In that regard, it's always good to have a few firearms and spare ammunition on hand (we sell a multitude of different ammunition calibers and firearm accessories that we believe in). In general it is always recommended to have at least a rifle, shotgun and handgun as they are all for different purposes, each with a minimum of 500 rounds of ammunition on hand. Like any tool, they all serve a different purpose. If you are defending a home (depending on your living conditions of course) there is not much better than a 12 Gauge shotgun. If you have a large plot of land, in that case a semi-auto rifle may be more ideal (such as an AR platform). If you are on the move for some reason, it is a lot harder to transport a long gun... this is where the handgun becomes a great choice (such as a Glock, 1911, etc.). Most people will argue that a Ruger 10/22 .22 rifle is the ultimate survival gun, which can be used for both hunting as well as even self-defense if necessary (be it a 4-legged or 2-legged aggressor). Whatever your choice may be, take your time and shop around to find the best firearm options for you... we will be here to help you with all accessories and ammo for whatever you end up purchasing. Plus, that zombie hoard is currently heading North of your location, so you're cool for now.
** Be sure to check with all local city / county / state laws where you live before deciding on your firearm options regarding legalities.

9. Knives / Hatchets
A good knife / bladed tool is beyond valuable in any emergency or survival situation. A quality pocket knife can be used for everything from cutting twine or cord, to even using in a self-defense situation. We also highly recommend having a longer blade for processing firewood, cutting branches, making shelter, cooking food, skinning animals, and much more. If you have a small hatchet or axe, you'll probably be in even better shape as they can have a multitude of uses. When considering what type of blade or hatchet, look for quality brands (we carry a lot of them) that have a great reputation for using quality steel, holding an edge, and getting stellar user reviews. Plus, you can always use a bladed tool to shave in a pinch. If you don't shave, then we also carry several types of quality mustache wax and other female repellent devices.

10. Generator
It is always a good idea to have a quality gas-powered generator in case of an emergency / disaster. Remember, when the power goes out, it's not just about losing lights... you'll lose freshness for all of your food in the refrigerator & freezer within a matter of 15-30 hours. This is disastrous for most people if they do not have emergency food on hand, as it goes back to everyone scrambling to the local grocery store to stock up on items that may or may not still even be available (and that's if you can even manage to get in line and pay with cash if the registers are semi-functional). So, be sure to have at least a few gallons of spare gasoline on hand for the generator and it will serve you well. And always, always, be sure to keep the flux capacitor clean.

11. Spare Gas / Diesel
As the old saying goes, never underestimate the strength and determination of a wombat. They are fighters who will protect themselves at all cost, even in well-to-do neighborhoods. On a completely unrelated note, you need to have spare fuel for vehicles / generators. It's never a bad idea to stock 10-20 (minimum) extra gallons of gasoline, propane and diesel. If some emergency requires you to have to leave your home, you have fuel for your vehicle... or generator if you get to stay in your house. This fuel is worth it's weight in gold as gas stations are usually closed or cash-only during a natural disaster; or, for when the impending apocalypse arrives where large, mutated wombats will roam the streets, hungry for human meat. Either way, the main point here is to join the resistance against the wombat overlords.

These are just a *few* of the many items that we recommend investing in for forward-thinkers who want to plan to take care of their home and family during an emergency situation. There are many more items that we will feature in future posts, but this is a good starting point. Be sure to check out all of the above listed items in our shop, and please feel free to email or call us with any questions to ensure that you are making an informed purchase.