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Emergency Preparedness

  • “That Won’t Happen to Me”: A Customer’s Tale of Preparedness

    The phrase “That Won’t Happen to Me!” is used all too often. In actuality, disaster could be around any corner and can affect anyone at any time. Many of our survival products are purchased under the premise of “just in case”, but we realize few imagine what they would do if it did happen to them.

    Every once in a while, we hear from someone who considered the bad things that could happen and acted on commonsense, using the right equipment at the right time.  With his permission, here is the unsolicited account of Stephen H. from North Carolina:

     

    "Dear Best Glide,

    I would like to share my story about how your products save my life.

    Months back I ordered one of your Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit. I carried it everywhere! Mountain biking, hiking, and everywhere else. I never thought I would have to use it, however, I was always taught through the Boy Scouts and my dad that I needed to be prepared. My friends thought I was crazy for carrying all the extra weight. I do a good bit of solo hiking and just exploring alone.

    One day I went to Linville Gorge State Park in North Carolina. I was on a pretty remote section of the trail. It was not maintained well at all. A good portion of the markings were obscured or just not there. I made the mistake of getting started too late in the day (about noon) but I wanted to hike! I also forgot to tell my friends and family that I switched from my original plan. My hike got started off well. It was in the mid 70's but, it began to drizzle on me (as it normally does, I have bad luck). I hiked till about 5 that evening before deciding to turn back. With little markings on the trees I began to get confused.

    The landmarks all looked the same. I did not come to the realization that I was lost till about 8 o'clock that night. Then it hit me that I would be spending the night out in the wilderness. I had the sudden reminder that I had my Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit with me! I broke it out and sorted through the items. The first thing I did was use the emergency blanket, duct tape, and zip ties to make a shelter for the night. I made a semi lean-to with a couple of tree branches.

    After I used the wire saw to cut of some small pieces of wood for the night ahead. The derma safe knife was excellent to shave off some tinder to get my precious fire started in the first place. I then used the book of matches and fire gel to get a small fire going. They both worked like a charm! I used a combination on the snare wire and the utility cord to weave a small sleeping pad of branches and grass to get me up off the cold ground. I stayed warm for the majority of the night. Between the fire reflecting off of the emergency blanket and the sleeping pad I made, I was fairly comfortable given the situation.

    It was by no means a comfortable night. However, my survival kit made the night so much easier and so much less scary. The next day I packed up my stuff the best I could and broke camp. The walk out was just as confusing as it was the day before. I was starting to convince myself that I was going to be out for another night. I had the good fortune of running into another group of hikers. I told them how I got lost and had to spend the night out in the wilderness. They graciously showed me the way out off of the trail. I discovered that at a junction I had taken a wrong turn and ended up miles away from where I was supposed to be. Having the kit gives me a real peace of mind. The components are absolutely top quality. I am one of the most satisfied customers ever! I just put an order in for more supplies to make a smaller kit. Best Glide is a one stop shop for all your survival/ medical needs.

     

    Sincerely,

    Stephen H.

    North Carolina, USA"

     

    Stephen – Thank you for sharing that with us. It is a great encouragement to us to hear your story and we wish you well in the future!

    The invaluable guidance of both his Dad and the Boy Scouts, coupled with experience, taught him early to prepare for the worst. The fact that he had a survival kit says a great deal about Stephen. He understood the chances of  plans going awry and he prepared himself.  Stephen’s story turned out well – despite starting late and forgetting to tell others of his plans.

    Bad things can and will happen to us all therefore it is essential to take steps to ensure that a seemingly simple trek on the ground, in the air, or on the water will not turn into a challenge of you against nature. Be it a hiking excursion, a cross-country automobile trip, a flight in a small aircraft, or a natural disaster that has you either “bugging out” or sheltering in place, preparation will pay off when the time comes.

     

    Remember - " Fortuna favet præparaverat  -  Fortune Favors the Prepared!"

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2012 by Patrick Carey.

  • Medical Emergencies: How to Prepare Yourself

    Accidents can happen when you least expect it. Unlike other emergencies, medical emergencies are difficult to prepare for despite being the most likely to happen. Medical emergencies often require immediate attention and quick response times therefore it is essential to have the necessary training and equipment on-hand.

    Preparing yourself for a medical emergency is less about learning specific medical techniques and more about preparing yourself mentally for this type of emergency. Assuming you have access to professional emergency care, responding to a medical crisis is all about how you react and what you have to work with. Many people purchase first aid kits for emergencies yet few put thought into how they would actually respond. Begin by imaging emergency scenarios and discussing plans with your family.

     

    Make a Plan

    When it comes to emergency situations, it is essential for everyone in your family to have a plan of action. Where do you go? Who do you call? What kind of disasters are you prepared for? Discussing common emergency scenarios, such as a tornado, hurricane, car accident, or fire, can help prevent panic in the future. Medical emergencies require focus and quickness, don’t waste time trying to formulate a plan last minute. Creating a network of loved ones will ensure you always have someone to count on. Delegate tasks and responsibilities to help cover each possibility and make sure to involve your children.

     

    S-T-O-P: Stop, Think, Observe, Plan

    • Stop- Put down whatever you are doing to assess the situation. Overreacting can lead to broken equipment and extreme stress while a delayed response wastes time and often leads to panic. Devote your full attention to the situation while making sure your mind stays focused on the task; try not to become overwhelmed.
    • Think- Take a moment to breathe and organize information. Narrow your thoughts to the problem and consider all possible solutions. Where are you? Where are your loved ones? What resources are available? How can you travel?
    • Observe- Pay attention to as much as you can. Observing the scene can help professionals sort out the cause of the incident. If you have time, evaluate your surroundings as well as the injuries to provide as much information as you can. If help is far away, explore your environments for supplies and improvisations that could help (ex. cordage for a sling).
    • Plan- Making a plan means preparing yourself as well as your friends and family. Try to avoid making important decisions without considering each step as well as other possibilities. Emergencies can cause the mind to rush. Consider everything that needs to be done, compartmentalize each task, and organize your resources while delegating to others.

     

    Make a Kit

    Having an emergency medical kit prepared ahead of time saves a significant amount of stress and preserves precious time. Unlike traditional survival kits, emergency kits require specific item while other tools, such as a fishing kit, are unnecessary. Surprisingly, a great deal of common survival items can be used in a medical emergency. A parachute chord can be used to create a sling while emergency blankets or a fire starter can help with hypothermia or shock. Consider these essential items as you put together your medical emergency kit:

    • List of Medications, prescription and non-prescription
    • List of doctors, family numbers and address, family history, and known allergies
    • Copies of IDs
    • Flashlight
    • Insurance information, employer information, etc.
    • Change of clothes
    • Small blanket
    • Small packets of common over-the-counter medicines; consider the first aid medicine multipack
    • Store a few snacks in a strong sealable bag, like the LOKSAK Odor-Proof Barrier Bag
    • Don’t forget to add items for pets, such as Dial soap to clean wounds and backup food
    • Entertainment, such as a deck of card, notebook, or coloring book
    • Fit everything in a small, lightweight bag such as the medium Alpha Response kit bag

    Other Helpful Items

    • Add a notebook and several pens to write down observations, questions, or changes
    • Keep a small amount of cash for vending machine and parking
    • You can also add a prepaid card for higher expenses such as hotel stay
    • Make individual checklists for the family that includes a list of needed items in a hurry (clothes, bedding, medicines)
    • Make written plan that describes responsibilities for each family member, ex. who is in charge of the pet

     

    Although it seems impossible to plan for everything, communicating and keeping up with emergency supplies will make a huge difference no matter what happens. We recommend you keep several kits in several locations, including your office, car, and camping bag. Be aware of temperature changes in each storage spot, high temperatures can damage medications while low temperatures can affect some liquids. Re-evaluate your emergency plan once a year to check the quality of your items; some food rations and medications have shorter expiration dates than others. Update your family’s responsibilities as you update your kit. Smaller children may be ready for more duties and emergency contacts can often change.

    Overall, it takes little time and effort to prepare a medical kit yet some still worry they don’t have the right items. A.S.E. offers several options for emergency medical kits that can fit any budget. Adventure Medical Kits offers a variety of medical kits in different sizes with different price points to meet the needs of any family; add the ultra-light kit to every backpack, the weekender kit to every vehicle, or touch every base with the comprehensive kit. You can also explore a variety of A.S.E.’s own line of medical items to customize your own kit. Whether you purchase you kit or choose to make your own, having this kit means being prepared for an emergency anytime, anywhere.

    Jen Morgan 5/11/15

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Brian Greenlee on July 4, 2015 .

  • A True Survival Story from a Best Glide A.S.E. Inc. Customer

    From time to time A.S.E. is fortunate enough to hear stories of how our products have helped improve the lives of our customers. Unlike action-packed stories from Hollywood, survival situations are rarely predictable and a happy ending is not guaranteed. The story we present here is a verbatim account of the writer and his spouse as they cope with a dangerous situation using determination and self-awareness. They take through the moment they discovered (as many others have) how quickly things can change and what they did to ensure they survived.

    Personal names and identifiers have been changed, but the story has not been embellished or detracted from truth in any way. Read and learn from someone who has been there... not just because they used our Survival products, but because they had the foresight to prepare for an emergency.

     

    "Dear Best Glide,

    I wanted to email you today to tell you what great survival kits you have! They are truly superb. I've had a lot of different kits in the past, and I really favor yours.

    In fact, one of your kits saved my life and I would like to share the story with you. It's a bit long, so I hope you have the time to read it. I would love to hear back from you, so please read on!

    Okay, here goes... where to start...

    In April 2013, me and my wife set out on what was supposed to be a pleasant weekend stay in a remote cabin, about 20 miles outside the city of Juneau, Alaska. The cabin itself was a good 8 miles from the nearest road, which was seldom driven down at that time of year.

    At that point, we had only lived in Southern Alaska for about a year, and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

    Each with about 60 - 70 pounds of gear on our backs, we started the hike through the woods which took us down a winding path up around a mountainside. Although seasoned hikers and both physically fit, we knew almost immediately that we had made the mistake of overpacking for our trip, myself especially, and the extra weight on our backs was feeling heavy and cumbersome.

    Half way through the hike we had worked our way around the side of the wooded mountain. The opposite side was still thick with snowfall from earlier in the month, something we had not anticipated, and as we continued the snow-laden ground seemed to get deeper and deeper. Soon enough, it was almost impossible to make out where the trail was and we were using our map, compass and intuition to guide us to this fabled cabin – a place reportedly far from the trappings of civilization and a great place for a romantic getaway.

    We were wading knee deep in snow with heavy gear. Every other "wade" seemed to land me in a spot off the hidden track and my leg would plummet down into the hardened snow right up to my waist. It was painful. Trying to pull ourselves out of these pits was sapping every ounce of energy from our bodies, and with me being about 80% heavier than my girl, weighting in at a muscular 195 lbs., I was falling deeper, harder and with more regularity into these waist-high ice pits.

    2 hours in to the hike and the going was intensely slow. We had stopped to drink, eat a little, and replenish our energies, but the clouds overhead had darkened considerably and a blizzard was upon us. As the hail and wind thrashed across our already tired faces, the succession of minor leg and knee injuries from my falls was enough to make me want to call the whole thing off.

    It was at that time that I'd remembered the quality of "mental toughness" that the Army had helped instill in me all those years ago, and so, hoping that the worst was soon to be over, we pushed on.

    D, my partner, was looking exhausted but slightly better for wear than I, and surprisingly it was I who found myself relying more on her to pull me through the difficult hike than the other way around.

    Fall after fall, and cut knee after cut knee, we found ourselves questioning our navigation skills. "Surely this has been more than 8 miles?" " This has been the longest 8 miles of my life." "Did we go the wrong way?" "Can you even read a map?" "I'm trusting you." "Maybe I was wrong, maybe my map-reading isn't up to par" "What if we took a wrong turn?" "How far is the cabin from here?" "Didn't we already pass this tree stump a mile back?" "Should we call for a helicopter evacuation?"

    All these questions ran through our minds, some of those thoughts even came out of our mouths as the minus 20-degree wind tightened its grip on our chilled bodies.

    I fell once more into a pit, this particular one was so deep, worse than any trench you can imagine, more of a big hole really. My knee was in a bad way. The only way I could haul myself out was by ditching half the stuff in my pack.

    It was seven hours before we reached the cabin.

    A tiny little hut perched on the edge of a frozen lake, in an open clearing of the colossal Tongass National Forest. The lake was ice, over that, we guessed, perhaps 4 feet of fresh powder snow. Lucky the cabin looked out on the lake and we didn't have to cross the lake to get there.

    By the time, we had reached the cabin, it was dusk and all our water supplies had been exhausted. We literally fell in through the front door and collapsed. I awoke an hour later to the sound of my partner trying to get a fire going. Nothing in the cabin seemed to work. There was barely anything substantial inside with which to survive, other than a few small pieces of wood. A log book lay in the corner, with a story from each person who had visited. Mainly nice stories of people who had come in the Summer and had fun. I could tell that this trip wasn't going to be among those pleasant entries.

    I used the survival matches in my Military Scout Survival Tin to ignite some tinder and get the kindling going. We threw on whatever logs we had to get some warmth into the place. We now had shelter, we had fire (for the time being), our next priority was water.

    My partner decided it might be wise to search for water before we went to sleep. We needed to find a water source. My leg had been injured during the trip there, and I could barely walk. I gave her the whistle from my survival kit, along with a battery-powered flashlight and told her not to go too far. I wish I could have gone with her, and staying in the cabin while she ventured out seemed to drain all the manhood and morale from me. But I couldn't risk further injury.

    While she was gone, I checked our phones – of course, needless to say there was no signal all the way out here, and despite one friend back in town who knew where we were heading, we had no way to contact the outside world.

    She came back half an hour later looking pale and weak – no water.

    Our water supplies were out but luckily our food wasn't. We had packed enough for 3 days – all "boil-in-the-bag" type food in those sachets similar to Army rations.

    We slept.

    The next day, my leg felt slightly better after the night's rest. We awoke and made the decision to cut wood from surrounding trees and boil snow for water. It may take three times more energy to break snow down to into water, and then boil it, but we had no choice.

    The blizzard was largely over, but it was still cold. The surrounding snow was muddy, filthy and covered in debris from the trees. The cleanest snow looked to be over the top of the frozen lake, but standing on the iced-over lake would have been a foolhardy idea. So that morning, I edged myself across the lakes' surface, laying flat on my belly, crawling and scooping.

    We had snow, clean snow. Now all we needed was wood.

    I used the wire saw in my Best Glide survival kit to saw low lying branches from nearby evergreens and haul them back to the cabin, where we sawed them into smaller pieces. By lunchtime, my work was done, and we were able to start fire, boil water and eat our food, thanks to a little ingenuity and my survival kit.

    That night the weather calmed to an almost serene stillness. Frozen breath lingered in the air as you spoke like it would stay there for an eternity, and the moon shone down its approval on us. Across the lake, the howling of a small pack of wolves was audible.

    On Sunday, after having taken the time to repair and replenish our bodies, we did a stock take of our equipment and decided that the time was now. The weather was good, and had been so for 12 hours. But it could turn bad again at a moment's notice, so if we wanted to get out of here and back to civilization then we must make haste while we are in good spirits and sound health.

    We knew the trek back would be blisteringly painstaking. But after the challenges we had endured over the previous 48 hours, it did not seem as bad. No blizzard. No wind. Just cold and waist-deep snow, which thinned out to bare soil the closer we were to getting home. The sun was out and shining, telling everyone what a joyous day it was to be alive. Half way down the trail, the snowy section ended and the trail was visible once more.

    It took us 4 hours on the way back, not 7, and as we reached the final mile, 3 ladies hiked towards us, chatting, one of them casually holding a cup of Starbucks and preparing to do a morning hike to a cabin they'd heard about by word of mouth.

    But, little did they know what they were getting themselves into. Would the weather change on them? Just like us 3 days ago... would this hike, for them, be an utterly life-changing experience?

    So, I guess that is the end of story. I really owe it to your kit. I do not know what we would have done without your kit on me – buying and bringing the military scout pocket survival tin on that trip was probably the best decision I ever made.

    As you can imagine, because of this, I am a huge fan of your products and now, one year on, I try to make a habit of learning and practicing general survival skills whenever I have the time, because it's true when they say "you just never know..."

    The only minor grievance I had of my kit was when we traveled south through the U.S. in early 2014, the weather was naturally warmer, and the beeswax candles melted in the tin all over the other equipment and spoiled some of them. Unfortunately, I had to eventually ditch the kit.

    Perhaps, as some constructive advice, you might be able to start packaging the candles in a small plastic baggie or ziploc to prevent this?

    Earlier this year, we relocated from Alaska to the beach town of B Y here in Virginia. Quite a change from the wilds of Alaska, you might say. It's not as beautiful here, much more urban and a bit more polluted than I'd hoped for, but we do still enjoy camping and trekking during our weekends off.

    In fact, I'm planning us a weeklong trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in about a month or so. And I would love to be able to take something from Best Glide along with me. I would be a great pleasure to receive something from you, just for kicks.

    I want to wish the Best Glide team all the very best. Keep up the great work, and know that your kits are saving lives out there in some form or another.

    Kind Regards,

    B. (Former Soldier and Survivalist)"

     

    When we received this letter, we felt a great deal of enthusiasm and relief, for many reasons. The writer and his wife had survived a difficult situation with optimism and self-determination. We began our business with the hopes of making sure more people have the survival items they need, when they need them. Although we would like everyone to purchase their survival equipment from Best Glide A.S.E. Inc., simply knowing people have the knowledge and gear they need is our number one goal - no matter where they obtained it.

    We salute P. and D.'s determination and attention to their preparations. This couple took the time to examine their plans and build an adequate survival kit before their adventure. Not only did they prepare themselves with the right equipment, they used their knowledge and creativity to solve problems as they came along. This couple exemplifies the survival mentality: creative survival skills, calm mentality, and knowledge of their equipment. This letter, as well as thousands of other stories, demonstrates the point of the adage "Fortune Favors the Prepared".

    As a side note, we took P.B.'s suggestion to heart and now ALL Best Glide A.S.E. Inc. Survival Kits / Tins that have beeswax candles as part of the kit are now shipped within zip-close type plastic baggies. We encourage anyone who has used our equipment in a time of emergency to let us know about their experiences. Sharing your experiences helps us all learn from each other.

    “Fortuna favet præparaverat”

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 by Patrick Carey.

     

  • Preparing for Disaster: Dealing with Man-Made Disasters

    Whenever we turn on the news, there always seems to be a disaster or emergency that could've been prevented. Mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and environmental disasters are just a few examples of incidents that have become commonplace in modern times. When these moments happen, the whole world stops to watch and wonder yet many miss the larger point. How can we prepare for such an emergency?

    The answer is always subjective as there are different levels of preparation depending on the scenario. The everyday person has little control in preventing these tragedies, but they can prepare to adapt to the situation. It is essential you also anticipate the aftermath, which is sometimes deadlier than the actual event (remember Hurricane Katrina?).

    When you prepare to survive an emergency, you’re taking a pro-active stance to increase your chances of survival. When a hurricane, tornado, or winter storm is coming, you prepare. You prepare because you want your loved ones to survive. There's some negative connotations surrounding the survivalist culture - don't let critics prevent you from doing what you need to do to prepare!

     

    Purchase, Practice, and Maintain

    Purchasing trustworthy, reliable equipment will give you peace of mind when everything else around is called into question. Practice and train with your survival equipment so you'll know how to use it when the time comes. The best equipment is useless when you don’t know how to use it. Each week, take a few minutes on your day-off to practice one of these skills with your family. Maintaining your equipment and knowledge is essential. Routinely practicing your survival skills will ensure you stay sharp while giving the opportunity to check your equipment for damage.

     

    Man-Made Disasters

    Although man-made disasters are far less common, there are incidents that have left entire towns without access to basic services. This situation happens more often than you might imagine and often as a result of an unrelated event. This scenario became reality in towns in Louisiana following the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Areas, not hit by extreme winds or flooding, still found themselves without access to water, electricity, or stocked grocery stores. Those with skills in fire starting, water purification, and sanitation could have helped support entire communities.

     

    We cannot solve or prevent the violence and unpredictability in society. All we can do is protect ourselves and our community. By preparing for emergencies, both natural and man-made, we can protect ourselves and our community. Best Glide A.S.E. manufactures, markets, and delivers items needed for physical survival. We help others prepare for common scenarios, as well as scenarios we pray don't happen.

    Many of the best Survival items are already in your home. Make your own using a combination of professional and household items or purchase a complete kit. Regardless of where you purchase your survival gear, make sure you are getting the best you can afford and begin practicing immediately.  Prepare yourself before any vacation, severe weather season, or any other emergency that may turn your world upside down.

     

    "Fortuna favet præparaverat  -  Fortune Favors the Prepared!"

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 by Patrick Carey.

  • Practice Survival: Everyday Skills That Can Save Your Life

    In Police work, there goes the saying: "Train like you work". Officers use this term to emphasize the importance of familiarizing themselves with their equipment and practicing their skills in every imagined scenario. Police officers experience extremely stressful situations that require quick thought and swift action. Lives have been lost when someone doubts themselves or has to overthink. One of your best lines of defense is knowledge and experience with confidence to back it up!

     

    Practice Builds Muscle Memory

    The term “muscle memory” is a term that refers to commonly performed tasks becoming instinctual and essentially second-nature. It's said that to effectively develop "muscle memory", a person must perform at least 1,000 repetitions of a set series of movements. This may seem like a lot of effort but nothing can compare to the benefits of natural survival skills.

    Muscle memory is more than just becoming familiar with something new. Our brain is known as our largest "muscle", it needs exercise and challenges like any other muscle. As an exercise, take your survival kit and lay-out each item. Gather your loved ones to discuss how you use each one and practice. Try listing at least five uses for each item and make note of the more difficult items. If there is any piece of equipment that stumps you, more practice and education is essential.

     

    Fire as an Example

    Most survival equipment, including A.S.E. items, can be used more than once. Taking your equipment out of the package and trying it in the field is essential. It shows you how the tool works, what to expect, and gives you an idea of the time and effort needed for each task.  Can you start a fire with a magnesium and steel fire-starter? Few can light a fire immediately without any practice; experience teaches you tactic and the ideal tender needed. You may not need to start thousands of fires to feel competent, but a good understanding of how it works can go miles.

    Use Your Environment

    Your environment often provides everything you need. You can add simple household items to your kit that will help in the long run. For fires, you can fill a small container with dryer lint for tinder whenever you needed. It may not be water-resistant but it can help as you learn. As you become more experienced, you can upgrade your kit by investing in waterproof/water-resistant tinder, such as fire tabs or tinder cubes.  Don't forget - it is never hurts have an extra of anything if you can carry it. It is always advantageous to have several solutions to common survival problems. Keep a set of all-weather Survival matches for wet conditions and a Fresnel lens for everyday carry (its thin enough to fit right in you wallet!)

    Practice with Precaution

    Although you will be likely practicing in a familiar environment, precaution is always important. If you're practicing alone, make sure to check in with someone and tell them your plans. This is especially true if you go to the wilderness. As you begin to experiment with your gear, keep these tips in mind to ensure your safety:

    • Start with a simple flint and steel fire starter or a spring-loaded strike firestarter
    • Make sure to always practice your skills with caution
    • Keep a first aid kit nearby, just in case
    • REMAIN AWARE of your surroundings and environment
    • PAY ATTENTION to weather and wind conditions
    • Check for burn bans in your area
    •  DO NOT attempt any fire-starting exercises where there is ANY chance of losing the control

     

    The principles discussed above can be applied to all categories of survival equipment. Many survival items are intended for extended use and may even need some breaking in. Although it may seem like you are preserving your equipment, you do yourself a disservice by keeping those items in their packages. Practice your skills during a time when you can get it wrong, that way you know exactly what to expect when you need it. Keep secondary options for each survival item. A filtration straw can supplement water purification tablets, snare wire or fishing kit can supplement your food rations.

    Most importantly, make sure to involve your kids, significant others, neighbors, and friends. If you aren't available for some reason, your loved ones will thank you for taking the time to share your skills with them. A prepared individual can only go so far without the help of a community, reach out and learn from each other!

     

    "Fortuna favet præparaverat - Fortune Favors the Prepared!"

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2012 by Patrick Carey.

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