When your house is less than five miles from the Gulf of Mexico, thoughts of hurricane or storm preparation are never too far from your mind. Every few decades a monster storm blows in and is reported on for years to come. However, we all realize it doesn’t have to be the storm of the century to disrupt our lives.

While gulf coast residents are acutely aware of the power of nature, you don’t need to live along the water to understand that your life can be altered overnight by foul weather. Storm preparation is something all citizens should consider.

Storing Your Stuff

Water-resistant storage boxes from MTM (L to R): small Survivor Box, large Survivor Box, polymer Ammo Can.

MTM Boxes

We all like to buy “stuff”. That’s one positive aspect of storm preparation, you get to go out and buy new, cool stuff. If you are serious about your preparation you need to consider protecting that important stuff from the elements, particularly water or moisture. MTM Case-Gard has a catalog full of containers, large and small, that are watertight to protect your important stuff.

Everyone likes surplus ammo cans and if you can get your hands on gently used cans they are great for waterproof storage. Unfortunately, military ammo cans are metal and subject to corrosion. A lot of the cans you find on the surplus market are dented and pitted with rust.

The MTM Ammo Can is essentially a polymer version of the military standard available in OD green or orange. These plastic cans have a water-resistant “O” ring seal, carrying handle and they are lockable. Best of all, they don’t rust and are much lighter than a steel can.

MTM also offers their “Survivor Dry Boxes”, again available in orange or green polymer. These boxes come in two sizes: 10x8x3 inches or 10x8x5 inches deep. The Survivor boxes are water resistant and small enough to be carried inside a backpack or stored under the seat of your car or truck. As a bonus, MTM includes a rudimentary compass on the top lid and a reflective signal mirror on the base.

Moisture and humidity can be killers for guns and ammo. ZCorr corrosion resistant storage bags keep your hardware rust and corrosion free.

ZCorr Storage Bags

Water, moisture, and high humidity are killers when it comes to guns and ammunition. ZCorr Products has you covered for both. The original ZCorr Corrosion Resistant Storage Bags were designed for the US Marine Corps so they could put their M16A2 rifles into long term storage without having to pack them in cosmoline grease.

The ZCorr storage bags might look like simple plastic but they are made from a specially designed material that keeps moisture off and away from your firearms. Guns can be safely stored for extended periods of time without needing to worry about rust. ZCorr firearms storage bags come in multiple sizes to store pistols, carbines, and long rifles.

In addition to their firearms bags, ZCorr now offers ammunition storage bags. Sold in packs of five, the ZCorr ammo storage bags keep the moisture off of your ammunition or smaller metal parts. These bags are made of a see-through blue material allowing you to easily identify the contents.

After the Storm Passes

The Restore solar charger from Brunton stores enough juice to recharge your phone, GPS or other handheld electronic gear.

Brunton Restore

After the storm has passed, electricity or the lack thereof is likely going to be an issue. Brunton has a neat little recharger called the “Restore”. This compact unit folds open revealing twin solar panels. The Restore is rubberized and water-resistant and weighs only 8 ounces. Blue LED lights indicate the battery charge level and there is on on/off switch on the side. Each Restore comes with a USB/micro USB cable and a direct DC adapter.

The Restore unit holds a 2200 mAh battery charge. That’s enough power to juice up your cell phone, GPS, or an MP3 player if you really need your tunes. The Restore can be charged up by the sun or re-charged from the DC plug in your car.

While testing this unit I deliberately let my smart phone drop down to five percent battery strength then plugged it into a charged-up Restore. My phone was back up to 80 percent in a couple minutes. After the Restore battery was drained I opened it up on left it in the sun. After a couple hours it was back up and ready to charge my phone again.

In a crisis, basic navigation skills can be a life-saver. Two essential tools are a map and compass. Do you have the skill to use them?

Lensatic Compass: The Analog GPS

You might end up with no electricity and no GPS but still need to find your way to safety. This is where the Lensatic Compass comes in to play. A crisis or natural disaster is bad enough without having to worry about getting lost. Having a map is one part of the equation. We use a compass to orient our map and then guide our movement. Brunton offers a number of navigation tools in their vast catalog.

Unfortunately, most folks in our modern society have a woeful lack of ability when it comes to navigation skills. We’ve become so dependent on technology that when it’s not available we become paralyzed. Understanding how to use a map and a compass to guide you where you need to go is an invaluable skill and one that can pay off after a nature disaster.

Gear versus Skill

We all like to buy new gear. Some of the gear is pretty straight-forward in its use and not hard to figure out. Other gear, such as firearms, medical supplies and even the lensatic compass requires training and skill to use effectively. Gear, without the skill to use it properly, is simply stuff you own. If you have decided to invest in emergency or survival gear, you might want to spend some time and money and invest in training for yourself.

Author Bio: Paul G. Markel became a US Marine in 1987 and served this nation in time of peace and war. Mr. Markel has been a professional bodyguard, police officer and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. His lifelong training and skills are being put to use today as an instructor at the recently launched “Emergency Tactical Skills” program. The ETS program is an intensive, comprehensive training program designed to give the end user the skills they need to be victorious and survive the most hostile of situations. For more info go to: www.EmergencyTacticalSkills.com.

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