• Do as I say AND as I do.

    CPR Instructor saves a life.

    An instructor teaching a class on CPR ended up saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest outside of her classroom.

    The man, who was shoveling snow outside of the American Red Cross building in Rochester (Minnesota, not Mew York, FYI) recently, came inside to take a break, FOX 9 says.

     CPR instructor and  student save real man's life during classroom session

    That’s when he started having a heart attack, ABC 6 reports. Jennifer Brandt, an instructor with Twin Cities Safety, put her skills to use – she had her students call 911 and she began CPR.

    Learn CPR - Schedule at class at your location! Learn CPR - Schedule at class at your location!

    “Everything went from there and I did what I’ve been teaching people for several years,” Brandt told ABC 6. “It gave the students a real live look into what a scene actually looks like and what needs to be done in order to give somebody that chance of life.”

    "If there is not someone there to help when somebody goes into cardiac arrest, that person will die,” Smith said.

    The response time was approximately 30 seconds. And in this case, those seconds mattered.American-Red-Cross-Emergency-Kits

  • Life likes to throw you a curve ball

    Life is unpredictable, be prepared

    Twice a year my family takes an inventory of our immediate assets. I don’t mean our investment portfolio. I’m talking about immediate access to life-preserving essentials: water, food, warmth, light, and basic first aid. The stuff we take for granted until we’re up the proverbial creek. We have seen alarming trends demonstrating how vulnerable we are to circumstances beyond our control. We’ve grown accustomed to relying on others to respond on our behalf. We’ve become so distraught with our inalienable rights and personal freedoms, that we’ve become negligent to our civic responsibilities as contributing members of a free society. It’s great that FEMA and the National Guard show up when there’s trouble, but taking a little accountability for ourselves helps alleviate the collective stress on the immediate response.

    We’ve seen how a handful of precarious variables can completely derail the day. Fluctuations in the world economy promote turmoil. Malicious people wreak havoc. Mother Nature has proven her ability to kick some ass. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or a cynic, but life is unpredictable. If we cover our own basic needs, when things go awry, we’re individually better positioned to help out, rather than grab our heads in a holy panic. Cody Lundin reminds us in his book “When All Hell Breaks Loose,” that “Ultimately, your safety is not the government’s responsibility; it’s yours. The emergency response chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Make sure the weakest link is not you.” Buy the book and read it.

    FEMA and the CDC now recommend that all families in the United States maintain on-going reserves for every man, woman and child for a period of no less than two weeks. I like to error on the side of a month or more. These are allocated rations specifically designed to sustain your family during an initial response. If every family in every community had these reserves, people in general, would be less panicky about meeting basic human needs. When shelves go bare at the grocery, there’s a buffer in your pantry. That’s the point. Think ahead. Prepare a small cache for your family. Consume things as they get close to expiring and then replace them. Balance your supply with items that meet your nutritional needs. My family is gluten-free, so our cache reflects what we eat year-round. Stock a closet with a few dozen gallons of water. It costs almost nothing, takes up virtually no room, and is absolutely essential for life. Supplement with a gallon of bleach, a Katadyn water filter, and a LifeStraw for everyone in your household (

    Our “fire box” pantry is stocked with dried fruit, canned vegetables, beans, nuts, jerky, rice and more. Quinoa and hemp hearts are super high in protein and easily prepared with little or no fuel. We have a stash of flour, sugar, salt, honey, coconut oil, almond butter, and chocolate. We watch expiration dates on a wide variety of household medicines, vitamins and toiletries. Buy whatever you normally use. Write expiration dates in big magic marker to keep dates visible. We keep extra propane, candles, batteries, flashlights, toilet paper, and matches. We also use a solar powered sun oven year-round like a crock pot.

    We keep our first aid kit well-stocked with a practical manual for first responders and combat-medics, written and illustrated for people without advanced medical training. A few strategic guidebooks provide tactical information, but don’t wait for a crisis to pick them up and read them. Also keep your household CPR and basic first aid certifications current. That’s just sensible for the entire family.

    My preparations are not politically driven; they just seem smart and responsible. People make investments all the time. If twice a year, I invest in a stash of provisions that will help my family endure an unpredictable adventure, it’s priceless. Worst case scenario, we consume our assets. Now, that’s an investment I can live with.

    Are you ready to Bug Out? Are you ready to Bug Out?
    Evan Zislis Life. Simplified. Evan Zislis
    Life. Simplified.

    — Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of, delivering hands-on organizational solutions for households, businesses, nonprofits, students, and life transitions. For more information about simplifying your stuff email


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