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Are you Prepared?

The Real Cause of Natural Disasters Might Surprise You August 21, 2017

What really causes natural disasters? At first glance that may sound like a silly question. We all know that natural disasters are acts of God/random occurrences that we have no control over. They don’t really have a unifying cause. They just happen.

That’s one way to look at it. But after hearing about the flooding that New Orleans experienced earlier this month, I realized that there’s another way to look at what causes natural disasters. Read the following account of what happened to New Orleans recently, and see if you can spot the real cause of the flooding.

Jamie Hill, a resident of the Mid-City neighborhood that has flooded twice in the past month, was clearing mud, sand, grass and other debris from the storm drain near her home. Her car flooded in an earlier downpour a few weeks ago. She said she’s learned her lesson and now moves her car anytime it rains.

“I’m doing what I can, not that it will really matter if the pumps aren’t working,” she said.

The city’s infrastructure was crumbling for years before the devastation unleashed in 2005 by levee breaches in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. The federal government earmarked billions of dollars for repairs and upgrades after the hurricane, but the problems have persisted.

Streets are pockmarked with potholes and sinkholes. The city’s water system has been plagued by leaks from broken pipes and power outages leading to boil water advisories.

So after enduring the worst natural disaster in American history, New Orleans was given billions of dollars to fix their flood control infrastructure, yet the city government has utterly failed to follow through. And let’s not forget what happened after Katrina. Multiple investigations found that the levees failed due to things like poor design, improper materials, and a lack of maintenance. And everyone knew for decades that one day those levees would fail, yet they kept kicking the can down the road. They’re still kicking the can.

So what really causes a natural disaster? Is it really an act of God, or are people to blame?

Earlier this week, city officials and spokespeople had said repeatedly that all 24 pumping stations were working at full capacity.

But after the system failed to keep up with a storm that dropped 9.4 inches (24 centimeters) of rain in three hours, the truth about the state of the water pumps began to emerge.

Despite what the public had been led to believe, City Council members were then told that pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half to two-thirds capacity Saturday, news outlets reported.

“It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,” Council Member LaToya Cantrell said in a statement Wednesday.

There’s nothing “natural” about corruption and mismanagement. That’s what’s really responsible for most disasters, and that’s what really caused the flooding in New Orleans in 2005, and in 2017.

And it’s not just New Orleans that we see human weakness written all over a natural disaster with massive casualties. Pretty much every time there is an earthquake, a fire, or a storm that kills hundreds or thousands of people, you’ll find that people failed to prevent the preventable. They built unstable buildings and failed to maintain levees. Or they built homes where they should have never been built. See this massive stone marker?

It reads, “High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point.”

The marker was placed near Fukushima, and there are hundreds of them all over Japan that were built by tsunami survivors centuries ago. They’re a warning to future generations, not to build their homes too close to the coastline. The village that resides above this marker was untouched by the Tohoku tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. The people who lived below it were not so lucky.

In reality, natural disasters are rare. The kinds of disasters that are completely unexpected and kill lots of people who didn’t know they were in danger, only strike once in a blue moon. But man-made disasters, the kinds that are caused by a lack of preparedness, willful ignorance, corruption, and normalcy bias, are very common. They happen every day.

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Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 21st, 2017
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Why Hawaii Might Be The Worst Place To Live If The SHTF July 31, 2017

As North Korea’s missile program continues to advance by leaps and bounds, and as the regime’s threats to the US become more aggressive, there’s growing concern that states like Hawaii and Alaska could be targeted with nuclear weapons someday.

It’s an understandable fear, considering the fact that these states are so much closer to North Korea. It’s not clear if the famously isolated nation will ever be able to target the mainland, but it seems very likely that they could at least strike a state like Hawaii in the near future.

That’s why Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency recently released a statement that informs residents of the state on what they should do in case they come under nuclear attack.

Citizens of Hawaii are advised to look out for emergency sirens, alerts, wireless notifications, or flashes of “brilliant white light” that will indicate that a nuclear detonation is incoming or underway. 

From there, the agency instructs citizens to get indoors, stay indoors, and stay tuned via radio as “cell phone, television, radio and internet services will be severely disrupted or unavailable.” Instead, expect only local radio stations to survive and function. 

If indoors, citizens should avoid windows. If driving, citizens should pull off the road to allow emergency vehicles access to population centers. Once inside, Hawaiians should not leave home until instructed to or for two full weeks, as dangerous nuclear fallout could sicken or kill them. 

The guide also informs Hawaiian residents that water and electrical utilities will likely be disrupted and that they should remain sheltered for up to two weeks. After that, they may be able to leave their homes to search for “food, water, and medical care.”

All of which brings up an important question. How should Hawaiians be preparing for major disasters, like nuclear war or an EMP? It’s a question that isn’t brought up very often in the prepper community, but it should be. The islands are home to nearly 1.5 million people, most of whom reside on Oahu, a densely populated island that is half the size of Rhode Island.

The people living there would have problems that would be daunting to most preppers living in the mainland. If you were stuck in a major city during an event that destroyed society, you would at least have a chance at escaping on foot. Hawaiians don’t have that option. If they were cut off from the outside world, they would have nowhere to flee to. They would be stuck on an island chain that has to import the vast majority of its food, and pretty much all of its fuel. So Hawaiians need all of the weapons, tools, and supplies that most preppers need, but they need more of it. Here’s a short list of what Hawaiian preppers need to consider:

  • They need to stock up on a lot of food. After a major disaster, it could be much harder for the US government to provide relief efforts to islands that are thousands of miles away from the mainland. That difficulty would be multiplied if Oahu’s harbors were damaged in any way.
  • Fuel would be scarce for the same reasons why food would be hard to come by. Hawaii is pretty much 100% dependent on imported oil. It would be wise for Preppers in this state to buy solar panels and stock up on propane.
  • Water would be another major issue. Hawaiians rely almost entirely on underground aquifers for their water needs, which probably aren’t too easy for most urban dwellers to reach. There are a few rivers, but they aren’t very substantial. While most preppers know that they should have some kind of water filtration device, it would be a good idea for Hawaiian preppers to have a water desalination kit, as well as a rainwater collection system.
  • Anyone with a sailboat would have a huge advantage. They could catch fish, or flee from densely populated places like Oahu, and head toward some of the other islands. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be a very affordable option for most Hawaiians.
  • Of course, the biggest challenge that most Hawaiians in Oahu would have to worry about is space. Hawaii has the most expensive real estate in any state, so most people don’t have sizeable homes. So while Hawaiians would need to stock up on more supplies than people living in the mainland, they have less space to work with.

Here is a list of 100 items that disappear first in a disaster

In the event of a massive disaster, Hawaii could be cut off from the rest of the world for a very long time. The people there would be left to their own devices in a place that simply cannot sustain their population, and there would be no way for most people to bug out. And to top it all off, most people don’t have enough living space to properly prep for that scenario. It would be a nightmare.

Though most people think of luxury and relaxation when the subject of Hawaii comes up, in reality, the people living there may have the most difficult time preparing for the possibility of social collapse. Maybe that’s why the prepping community doesn’t talk about this state very often.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 31st, 2017
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20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios May 10, 2017

 

Imagine this scenario: It’s the year 2005 and you are living in the heart of New Orleans. A hurricane is threatening to hit and even though the city sits 8 feet below sea level, you choose not to evacuate or even prepare because you’ve seen many hurricanes threaten to hit the city and it never makes landfall, so why prepare for this one? Days later, your great city is almost completely flooded from Hurricane Katrina and over 1,800 lives were claimed including some of your neighbors because, like you, they decided not to leave the city. Now you are left without electricity, water, and dwindling supplies. To make matters worse, supply trucks are cut off, the police and emergency services can’t meet the needs of the people and there are looters breaking into homes for supplies. 

Yes, the above scenario is a worst-case scenario, but aspects of this are very common following hurricanes. These tropical storms are extreme and have the capacity to cripple our entire way of life. They are erratic in nature in terms of where they land, the types of damages sustained, and if there will be disasters in the aftermath, such as water-borne diseases, bug infestations, etc. Because of the unpredictability of these disasters, some choose to be complacent and wait to get preparations in order until the storm is imminent and hours away. While some take this disaster seriously and are meticulous in making preparations each year in case this natural disaster hits. So, which group do you choose to be in?

I’ve been very honest about my ordeals in living through a hurricane and I learned from my mistakes. Long story short, after I went through Hurricane Ike and felt helpless and under prepared, I made it my mission to help others get their homes ready for living in off-grid disasters. We all have a life lesson to share, and I am not alone in trying to get the word out on preparing for these storms. I asked some fellow preppers in the community what advice they would offer on how to better prepare for hurricanes, and the community overwhelmingly stepped up to help their fellow-man. When you read this list, pay attention to recurring advice – prepare ahead of time. This is the key to having all of your preparations in order.

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

These are their words and, in my humble opinion, this is some very solid advice to follow.

  1. Put all of your important documents on a flash drive and put it in your bug out bag. If the time comes and you need to evacuate, you have everything all prepped and ready to go! – Tess Pennington
  2. My mom had supplies stored in new plastic trash bins. If they needed to bug out, easy to grab and put in the back of the car. Also, the bins would be useful. They also keep thing dry. – Judy Keller
  3. Keep enough cash in your BOB (bug out bag) for at least 1-2 nights in a moderately priced hotel and a few meals. A credit card with a zero or small balance would be beneficial as well. If you forget or lose your wallet, you want a backup method for paying expenses until you can return home. – Jim Cobb
  4. Well before the back to back hurricanes of 2004 in South Florida, I bought 28 gallons of water. I am glad I did because we had enough water for the police directing traffic. There was a lot we did. Whatever you think is best for your family and communities do it. Friends, coworkers so many lost their homes, businesses and more, so the things I regret not stocking up on are items such as diapers, toothpaste, etc. Essentials for all life is key. – Joanne DeHerrera
  5. They evacuated us several times after [Hurricane] Charley for Ivan, and people got stuck on the freeway, people died and animals etc. Ivan hit exactly where they said to evacuate too. We had 6 animals at that time. If I needed to squish them all in the car we would have but there was no gas, so glad there wasn’t. Our circumstances dictate how to respond, however, our gut instinct is always best. -Joanne DeHerrera
  6. We keep about 30 liters of water on hand at all times. I just save empty 2-liter bottles (the plastic is stable for room temp storage unlike plastic milk jugs) and treat the water using the 2:1 ratio with bleach. 2 drops to 1 liter of water. – Abigail Nicholson
  7. If you do not have a generator, get one! Have at least enough power to run the washing machine and microwave. A few solar cells to restore cell phone power, charge batteries for radios and flashlights is a must. Don’t forget the toilet paper and enough clean water for everyone in your family for cooking and drinking. You can use pool or rainwater for other purposes. Often overlooked in the city is a chainsaw with fuel mix, bar oil, extra chains. The bulk of damage outside the home is fallen trees. I was blocked in on my cul-de-sac for over a week by fallen oak trees from my neighbor’s yards. – Jim Alkek
  8. Those little solar lights that go in a garden or along your driveway come in handy to give you some light without candles or lanterns…I charge them up during the day and stick in a flower pot half filled with rocks…it’s not a lot of light but enough that you can see basically what you are doing.  – Sue Heath Reynolds
  9. Using my daughter’s experience from SC, the last time. In her area, her biggest problem was a lack of utilities because of downed trees and flooding. She had food, but no way to cook it. She has 3 daughters and had no way to bathe them. No light and so on…..it was the simple everyday things that made it hard. – Gary Rosenlieb 
  10. Hurricane veteran here. Each storm is unique but the main thing is to pay attention BEFORE everyone else does…that means at least 5 days in advance having everything in place so that all you have to concentrate on is securing your home. Also, knowing in advance if you will stay or go and LEAVING BEFORE they tell you to. Don’t forget oil (chainsaw/generator), a new chain for chain saw (all of which you should have anyways but most don’t replace); and well just making sure you have 2-3 weeks of supplies in place for being on your own. After several east coast hurricanes, it took WEEKS for stores to be back up and running, even 100 miles outside of the strike zone. Oh, TARPS and bug spray. I am not a bug out person, can’t really because of animal obligations (15 dogs, chickens, etc) so I have plenty of crates/kennels and such for them to come in (oh yeah baby, ugh, done it before). – Laura Bradley
  11. Also, a butane burner is great, like a demo chef at a restuarant…they can be used indoors, not expensive and easy to load…at SAMs and many places $22 and a case of fuel (like hairspray cans $12) – Sue Health Reynolds
  12. Around here, we don’t have to worry about water surging in from the coast, but winds can be an issue. When a hurricane comes, we usually tape the windows in an X or * shape. People closer to the water board up their windows, maybe sandbag around their house. All other preps are the same. Be ready to leave in advance of the storm if it looks like it’s going to make landfall close to home. – Cat Ellis
  13. Make sure you know all of the available evacuation routes in your area. The main roads and highways will be delayed due to from the heavy traffic flow, so you will want to plan multiple alternative routes in order to ensure that you are not trapped in a flood while attempting to flee the storm. – John Haskell
  14. Everyone should have these in their EDC/BOB! In a Zip Lock Freezer bag or waterproof sleeve keep a FAMILY picture, copies of your and your children’s birth certificates…parents/grandparents/guardians/siblings should have a clear picture of children they may have to “claim” because you were not together when a problem occurs. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be necessary for an evacuation type scenario but you just never know. No telling who would be in charge when you arrive to pick up kids…it could be teachers, leaders that don’t know you personally or outsiders from DHS/Law Enforcement/TSA…Heaven forbid…there are no guarantees with anything anymore! I’m sure you can add to the list copies of your vehicle title, home title…things that are irreplaceable! You don’t want to get to bogged down but it it’s ultimately important to you…you may someday need proof that it is YOURS!! A flash drive is a great idea but in an extended power outage (EMP/ SHTF) you wouldn’t be able to show someone “the kid is mine”! – Sue Health Reynolds
  15. Not sure if this was mentioned already but have at least one or two pics of you and your pets together. This will go a long way toward proving ownership should you and your fur babies get separated. – Jim Cobb
  16. After making it through Hurricane Matthew, flooding, a week without electricity, and 2 weeks without water, I revised my preps slightly and have 3 major priorities here; a lot more water (needed to drink, cook, wash, and flush) extra fuel for cooking (and multiple cooking types we have a propane grill and a fire pit but after a flooding everything too wet) and non-kerosene lamps (after 2 nights cooped up, and unable to ventilate the fumes get to you). – Deborah Middleton
  17. Put as much as you can in plastic tubs. Especially shoes. Came back after Rita and had a tree through my house. Went right through my closet. No shoes, actually very little of anything. SO PUT AS MUCH IN PLASTIC TUBS AS YOU CAN. Forget the furniture, appliances they can be replaced. – Sue Tidwell
  18. In case it helps everyone is welcome to download the Hurricane and Evacuation topics (and some others) in PDF from our preparedness book. – Janet Liebsch
  19. It’s very wise to unpack your BOB every three months or so, minimum once or twice a year. It helps to be sure what is in there…items you decide you don’t really need and more importantly…items you may not have and really should have. WEIGHT…it’s also important to put those suckers on and see if you can actually carry it 🙂 better yet we need to be walking with them ON 🙁 physical fitness should be one of our number one preparedness priorities…as I point a finger at MYSELF 🙂 – Sue Heath Reynolds
  20. Prepare to defend your home at all costs. You don’t know how long the grid will be down and there will be looters. – Mac Slavo

These pieces of advice are all from those who have lived through this ordeal. They shared their stories because they want to help others prepare and get ready – listen to them. If you need a guide to help you in your preparations, consider The Prepper’s Blueprint to get you disaster ready – step-by-step. Do not wait until the last-minute to prepare or the items you need to live through this ordeal will be limited.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with these basic preparedness items to get through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water – 1 gallon per person/per day for consuming only. Plan more for sanitary needs.
  3. Fuel for generators. Also, consider charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Flashlights and lanterns
  6. Generator
  7. Emergency lighting
  8. Ice
  9. Medical supply
  10. Items for baby needs
  11. Sanitation supplies

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, now is the time to prepare. Listen to the advice of your fellow man.

 

Additional Reading:

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

 

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The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 10th, 2017
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