Halloween Preparedness

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Above, learn how to check for laced candy.

Haunting tales of Halloween past include ghastly details of razor
blades in candy apples or cyanide hidden in Pixy Stix along with
fears of cars careening into kids. What are your greatest fears?

  • Tricks not treats? Urban legend has it that a California
    dentist gave chocolate laxatives to unsuspecting trick-or-
    treaters on Halloween of 1959.

  • Candyman murders? Cyanide-laced Pixy Stix candies in
    1974 caused the death of eight-year-old Timothy O'Bryan.
    His father, Ronald O'Bryan was convicted of the murder when
    investigators discovered he had given Timothy and his
    friends the candy after having taken an insurance policy out
    on his children. The other children had not eaten their treats.

  • X-Ray candy? As a public service in the 1980s the Plano
    General Hospital in Texas offered to X-ray Halloween candy
    to see if any hidden metallic objects were embedded in the
    treats on Halloween night! Pins and needles in embedded in
    candy bars and razor blades in candy apples were among the
    very real fears.

What's in your child's trick or treat bag?
Tampered candy is always a concern, but there are things you can
do to help keep your child safe. Remind kids not to eat the candy
until you check it. Bring along "safe" candy from home in case
kids are tempted to dip into the treat bag.

Here's how to check your child's candy:

  • Throw away any candy that isn't fully sealed from end to
    end. That means you need to skip the tootsy rolls and Pixy
    Stix.

  • Have a good eye for detail and look for holes, punctures and
    tears in the candy.

  • Toss home made candies and popcorn balls.

  • Even candy from the mall could be tainted, so don't let down
    your guard just because you've selected a "safe place" to
    trick or treat.

  • Replace the candy in your kids bags with candy you bought
    yourself. Remember the after Halloween candy sales!

#9: Stock up on candy sales.
Investing in after Halloween candy sales amounts to big savings
of 75-90% off! Stay away from gummy candies, which will melt
and clump together, as well as milk chocolates which quickly
become rancid. As a general rule, the harder the candy, the longer
it will last. Chewy candies will last much longer than soft candies.

The fluffier the candy is, the less of a shelf life it has. For
example, Bubble Yum for example, won't last as long a gumball.

With these things in mind, be on the lookout for the following
candies:
  1. Altoids mints can last almost indefinitely!
  2. Bit-O-Honey
  3. Butterscotch
  4. Candy sticks and ribbon style candy
  5. Candy corn - made of sugar and beeswax it won't last
    indefinitely, though.
  6. Caramel - it may melt, but it's still great for cooking
  7. Chiclets
  8. Dark Chocolate without nuts - it is the longest lasting of
    chocolates.
  9. Dots
  10. Fireballs
  11. Gobstoppers
  12. Jelly Beans
  13. LemonDrops
  14. Lifesavers - Lifesaver Mints will last longer than hard candies!
  15. Nerds
  16. Necco wafers
  17. Rock candy
  18. Runts
  19. Skittles
  20. Smarties
  21. Starbursts
  22. Sweet Tarts
  23. Tootsie Rolls and Toostie Pops
  24. Twizzlers

Enjoy the incredible savings on candy, much of which you can use
in prepping during after season sales for Valentines Day, Easter
and Christmas, too! Keep candies in an airtight mason jar, away
from light and you'll get the most value for your money.

Better yet, don't eat the candy (experiment with it instead)!
Why not blow it up, melt it into bubbling puddles or find secret
ingredients with your kids? Candy Experiments, by Loralee
Leavitt, will teach your kids how to be candy detectives. They will
love floating the "m" in an M&M, taking the skins off candy corn,
or using that vacuum sealer in your preps for making
marshmallows go flat.

#10: Have a plan for leftover candy.
Plan it so the candy you give out to trick or treaters will be useful
for you if you have leftovers.

Candy is a source of energy and would be a luxury in hard times.  
Certain kinds of treats will add value in your preps, such as a
Snicker's bar which has peanuts and is almost equivalent of a
food bar. Dark chocolate treats, hard candies and chewing gum
are good kinds of candy to stockpile.

Here are some candy ideas...

  • Dark Chocolate: Chocolate is a survival item! Did you know
    that milk chocolate will store one year, but dark chocolate
    will store about three years? The difference in storage is
    because of milk fat present in the milk chocolate, which is
    much more than in dark chocolate. Generally fats don't store
    well (they become rancid quickly) and such is the case with
    milk fat in chocolate. Preppers should always rotate their
    oils, including their chocolates.

    If you want to put chocolate in your long term food storage,
    choose dark chocolate because it lasts longer than milk
    chocolate. The good news also is that dark chocolates will be
    among the leftover candies in Halloween candy sales,
    because most kids appreciate milk chocolate. Another reason
    to choose dark chocolate for your food storage is because it
    is high in antioxidants.

  • Hard candies and suckers: Hard candies can provide quick
    energy for long hikes, which is why it's a good idea to have
    some in your bugout bags and in your car survival kits. Hard
    candies also will last a long time. Eventually hard candies
    may deteriorate in cellophane wrap, but has a much longer
    life than milk chocolate.

  • Chewing gum: Trick or treaters will appreciate getting
    chewing gum (it's a candy that will stand apart from the
    others in the bag). Best of all, it lasts a long time. If you're
    able to find gum at a discount, you can keep it for next year
    and the kiddos won't know that it's last year's gum. Not only
    does chewing gum last a long time, but it has survival uses.
    Learn more about chewing gum for survival.
Jack O Lantern
Halloween Preparedness
WD-40 ~ the can with a thousand prepping uses
Chemical protection suits for prepping
Duct tape survival
How Superglue Could Save your Life
Chocolate for prepping and survival
Glow sticks versus chem lights
Above, the Centers for Disease Control shares Halloween safety
tips.

Want to know what's truly scary? That some people don't have
an emergency plan or an emergency kit.

Happy endings...
Halloween is a happy time with costume parties and parades, tricks
and treats; however, pedestrian deaths escalate on the fateful
night, teens get rowdy, and also police take on potential rioting.
With a little preparedness, you can stay safe, stash up on the
candy with long shelf life, and survive Halloween night!

Now you know that with a little prepping, you can stay safe, stash
up on the candy, and survive the night... Here's something else to
consider. Among the famous people born on October 31 is Juliette
Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts! Certainly she was a prepper
who has instilled a measure of preparedness for generations after
her passing. Now you can enjoy the night celebrating scouting in
America, too!

Related articles...
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Halloween Preparedness
Be prepared, not scared this Halloween with these safety tips

Halloween Preparedness — a prepper's guide.
What are your greatest fears this Halloween? Is it the tainted
candy or threat of cars careening into kids? Is it strangers in the
night or is it the rioting and vandalism?

Be prepared, not scared this Halloween with the prepper's
Halloween survival guide. Get out the glow sticks and flashlights,
gather your boys and ghouls for a safe and happy Halloween with
these Halloween safety tips...

Halloween Preparedness
Going trick or treating? You've spent a lot of time on the
decorations and costumes, now spend a little time on the safety.
Prepare to have fun and survive the night.

Be prepared , not be scared with these Halloween safety tips:

#1: Crack open the glow sticks!
Flashlights and headlamps are mandatory, but remember the glow
sticks will add visibility and fun. While the kiddie version of glow
sticks and bracelets will help ensure your child's visibility this
Halloween and enhance the night, you're a prepper and can step
it up a notch for extra visibility with Cyalume Snapsticks. Go
ahead and dig into your bugout bag and grab the real deal —
Cyalume Snapsticks! Stock up and have them ready for
emergencies and know that the green and yellow kinds are the
most visible of the colors.

Also known as chemical sticks, these are more powerful and
longer lasting than the kiddie version of glow sticks. Know the

difference between glow sticks and chemical lights
and how to
use all the colors.

#2: Take out the Halloween chill factor.
With the costumes and crisp fall air comes the chilly Halloween
weather. One way preppers can enhance the evening fun is with
hand warmers. Stocking up on handwarmers is easy to do this
time of year in preparation for emergencies too. Pick some up at
the Costco or order online so you're ready with an emergency heat
source. Stick them in the glove compartment of your car along
with a bivvy to ensure you stay warm if you're caught in a
roadside emergency.

#3: Keep costumes visible.
Many Halloween costumes are black, which means your kids will
be virtually invisible to cars. While dark costumes are fun and
scary, they also aren't practical at night, particularly if your tween
is roaming the streets without an adult. You can help ensure a
costume is safe with a few alterations. If your child must wear a
dark costume, you can add a "glow in the dark" effect.

Consider all aspects of a the costume. The costume to the right,
for example, is glow in the dark, but the mask offers very low
visibility for the wearer, and may be difficult to breathe. The
solution is to get rid of the mask. Use the body of the costume
and then add face paint instead of the mask. Finally, be sure to
add reflective tape to the back of the costume.

Sewing is a prepper skill, so get to it and sew a safe costume.
You can design costumes (or alter them) with safety in mind:

How to ensure your kids have good visibility:

  • Make sure kids can see through masks, hats and wigs -
    Masks in particular can cut vision, but if you decide to have
    your kids wear a mask, ensure kids can navigate the walk
    through their masks and heavy head costumes to avoid slips,
    trips and falls. Choose face paint over a mask whenever
    possible.

  • Choose light colored costumes. Many costumes are black,
    which is hard to see at dusk and by nightfall. Try to pick light
    colored costumes to increase your child's visibility with cars
    and trucks.

  • Add reflective tape. You can enhance costumes with glow in
    the dark accessories and reflective tape. If the costume must
    be black, you can at least add a reflective treat bag.

#4: Ensure costumes fit properly and are safe.
A comfortable costume is generally a safe costume. Here are
some tips to ensure your child's costume is safe:

  • No plastic swords. Stick to flexible costume accessories,
    such as inflatable swords and foam swords.  Plastic swords
    can cause injuries when kids improvise. More advice from the
    CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests they should be
    short and soft in addition to being flexible.

  • Breathe a sigh of relief. Make sure kids clothing isn't too
    snug. Be sure they can breathe adequately underneath it all,
    so you can breathe a sigh of relief.

  • Think about costume length. Long dresses and extra bits of
    material can trip your young trick or treater while walking on
    curbs or stepping up and down the stairs. Anything with a
    cape could snag or choke. What's more, candle-lit
    jack'o'lanterns may ignite your child's costume. Inspect the
    costumes to make sure they fit properly. If the costume is
    too long others may trip as well.

  • Remind kids to stop, drop and roll. Halloween costumes are
    mostly flammable! Jack'o'lanterns candles can get in the way
    of Halloween safety ~ whether it's costume beards ablaze or
    a caped crusader's cape caught on fire, accidents will
    happen. Remind kids to stop, drop and roll if their costume
    should catch fire.

  • No capes! You may recall The Incredibles "no capes"
    costume rule (spoiler alert: Edna's rule saved the day in the
    movie). Edna's rule could save your child's life. Think of a
    bandanna as a mini cape. It can cause a strangulation issue
    to say the least...
Above, President Trump surrounds himself by two very dangerous Halloween
costumes.

  • Don't allow your kids to wear political costumes. People
    have been beaten (even killed) just for wearing a costume
    that's politically offensive. Even though the elections are
    over, the tensions are still high with regards to political
    candidates. Ensure your kids stay away from political
    costumes:
  • No "Hillary for Prison" costumes.
  • No "Build the Wall" Trump costumes.

#6: Prep kids on pedestrian safety.
Halloween preparedness is something you may be considering if
you're a new parent or grandparent and you'd be right to worry
about pedestrian dangers and more. According to Fortune.com,

kids are twice as likely to be killed in car
accidents on Halloween
than any other night. October is the deadliest month of motor
vehicle deaths and knowing these sobering statistics you can do
something to reverse the trend by ensuring your kids are visible
and giving them some ground rules on pedestrian safety.

Don't allow kids under 12 to roam the streets without supervision.
Teach all kids about pedestrian safety:

  • Instill a measure of personal responsibility. Remind your
    children that they are responsible for their own lives and
    safety.

  • Go over the rules. No running! No electronic devices to
    distract them. Heads up! No messing around in the streets
    (no pushing and shoving).

  • Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers. As the night
    falls, and there's still daylight, ensure kids meet eyes with
    the person behind the wheel at crosswalks.

  • Cross the street responsibly. Never allow kids to cross
    between parked cars, which cut their visibility to drivers.
    Ensure they use cross walks and look left and right and then
    left again!

#7: Discuss situational awareness.
Remind teens and college kids that parties can turn into riots.
Riots happen, and during Halloween college campuses are among
the most active when it comes to partying. Discuss situational
awareness. Particularly with teens, also emphasize safety on the
street and caution with strangers, and have a communications
plan with cell phones and tips on avoiding alleys and isolated
areas.

#8: Halloween candy safety.
Save the candy counting for later. Never count your candy when
you're trick or treating. Just like that good old Kenny Rogers song
says, "There will be time enough for counting, when the dealings
done."  Kenny offers another valuable tip: "Every gambler knows
that the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and
knowing what to keep... "
Above, The Incredibles:No Capes!

#5: Set limits on costume appropriateness.
Halloween dress codes at school generally prohibit your kids from
wearing anything offensive, culturally insensitive, violent or crime-
related. The institutions may have rules about the kinds of
costumes kids can wear at school, but as a prepper you should
add your own rules, such as no scary clown costumes and no
"political statement" costumes and here's why...

  • Avoid scary clown costumes. Clowns aren't just scary, they
    are dangerous. In 2016 there was a "Scary Clown" threat.
    Schools were adequately warned and some news
    organizations called them hoaxes, but the threat still looms.
    Don't play around with the clown costume. Because of the
    such threats, don't allow your child to wear a scary clown
    costume. Most public schools are on high alert for the scary
    clown and your child could face discipline at school for
    wearing one.

  • Ban the body suits and burkas. In 2015, black mesh body
    suits were all the rage. While the presented the problem of
    visibility both for the wearer and for vehicles to see them,
    there's something more scary: who is really under that
    mask? Not knowing who is under the costume is a threat in
    and of itself. It's a matter of trust. When people don't have
    trust they may react defensively.