Monthly Archives: July 2012

Adventures of a Pork Rind

Yesterday as we were house cleaning, I found a treasure trove of old bottles of sunscreen. At first I felt annoyed because have you bought any sunscreen lately? Highway robbery! Anyway, my second thought was, “hey, do we have sunscreen in the go-bag?” Upon investigation, I found that I had a small travel-type tube in the go bag. Trust me, there are way too many people in our family for that to be enough.

My mental image is one of those apocalyptic moments where my family has been forced to leave the shelter of our home and attempt to move out over great distances on foot. If you aren’t ready to go down the apocalyptic path just yet, then instead picture your family standing in an enormous line outside an emergency shelter hoping to score a few beds for the duration or standing in a mammoth line outside to obtain FEMA assistance. If you and your loved ones are out there for any of these reasons without sunscreen and you aren’t blessed with the natural ability to tan, then you’re cooking, and the last thing you need at that moment is a sunburn. Somehow I figure baking yourselves into proverbial pork rinds will seem ridiculous afterwards when all you needed to do was pack some sunscreen.

Your next question is, “Does sunscreen expire?”.  Unfortunately, yes but I think the shelf life is reasonable. According to the Mayo clinic:

“Sunscreens are designed to remain stable and at original strength for up to three years.”

Later in the article, they note that extreme temperatures, over long periods of time can speed up this process of degradation. But as I’ve mentioned before, your go-kit should be located within your home in an easily accessible place, not in your sweltering garage.

I would also like to recommend a small tube of sunscreen for your work go-kits. If you ever find yourself having to walk over great distances to get home from work due to a regional event that might clog roads to the point of abandoning cars or if you are for some reason unable to retrieve your vehicle from work and forced to walk homewards, you will want some sunscreen. I would also recommend sunscreen for your car go-kits. However, you will need to rotate this iteration after every summer because of the heat/storage issue. A simple and cost-effective suggestion would be to take this summer’s leftover sunscreen and use that bottle for your car and just make that a tradition. At the end of each summer season, at least one unfinished container replaces the old bottle in the car go-kit. This will put you on a schedule and keep you from putting a brand new bottle in the car just to have to toss it next season.

Don’t make your apocalyptic event an adventure in becoming a pork rind. Embrace the almighty SPF! Get some sunscreen stashed away for a sunny, emergency day.

Your skin without sunscreen 🙂

This is a Test

Did you know that there is now a national program that is going push weather related safety warnings to your cell phone? The Commercial Mobile Alert System just started last week, although it has been in the works for some time. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) partnered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a wireless emergency alert system.

There are many state and local alert systems in place already that will deliver similar warnings; however, you have to actually sign up for those programs. The new Wireless Emergency Alert system is national and does not require any action on your part. If you possess a cell phone and cell carrier that supports the system (all do not), then you will receive the alerts. Don’t freak, you will not be charged for these texts. I personally think this is an amazing and yet “no brainer” leap in the right direction for our nation. We’ve all been forced to randomly miss what always works out to be the best part of our favorite television show for the traditional…”this is a test of the emergency broadcast system…” These new texts follow the same principle. Even better though, most folks I know keep their cell phones within arms reach at all times which makes them much more likely to receive these warnings. Also, though they will appear as text messages, they aren’t in fact actually “texts”. These use SMS-Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB) which allows them to be delivered immediately despite any congestion that might exist on cellular lines during an event. They are also location specific, so despite the fact that your phone might be out of Texas, if you are traveling to Georgia, you will receive GA alerts.  They even arrive with a special ring tone to alert you that this is no regular message.

All told, there are three types of alerts that will be sent as a part of this program:

  • Alerts issued by the President
  • Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life
  • Amber Alerts

There are methods to opt out of these (why would anyone do that?!) except for those issued by the President.

New cell phones on the market that are out of the box capable are labeled with this logo:


Several sites have more information and they are all worth a glance. Check out these sites for the details: