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6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster February 17, 2017

 

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Have you ever pictured what it would be like to be ordered to immediately evacuate your home because of an impending emergency? Imagine only having enough time to grab your pets and your children and head for the hills. While many believe there is adequate advanced notice in evacuations, this isn’t always the case.

As many of you know, due to the higher than normal rain levels in California, water levels at Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest dam, were so high that an emergency spillway was used for the first time. Initially, dam officials believed the measure worked, but were soon disappointed Sunday afternoon, as more water from record storms flowed into Lake Oroville. This is when officials detected a hole in the emergency spillway. Officials put out an evacuation order Sunday afternoon telling around 200,000 people the emergency spillway at Orville Dam could fail within an hour. With no time to lose, panicked residents quickly left the area scrambling to get out of harms way. As evacuees made the mass exodus, they sat for hours in gridlock hoping to get to their destinations in time.

While the dam break is slightly diminishing and the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted, many residents are thinking twice about going back due to another series of storms that will hit the Oroville area over the weekend and are threatening to dump 10 more inches in water. One resident states, “I don’t want to live in Oroville anymore,” said Shelly Clarke, 52, who fled her home with her husband and slept in her car overnight. “After this, I’m afraid of the dam.” Source

When I wrote The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, I emphasized that every disaster teaches us another lesson in how to be better prepared and this one is no different. This essential survival guide stresses how important is to have plans and supplies in place in order to be better prepared for the disasters that are on the horizon.

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

Keep the following in mind the next time you think you don’t need to prepare or evacuate.

1. Evacuations can come at the very last minute and many may not be prepared in time.

image source: http://www.sacbee.com/

The mandatory evacuation order came Sunday afternoon and 200,000 residents were given one hour to leave. Even if you are given short notice to evacuate, it is very difficult to get your belongings in order under the stress of a mandatory evacuation. One Oroville resident recollects how most people barely had time to grab their kids and pets before leaving in all directions. Some fled on foot. Some fled without shoes. Deyan Baker, 19, Anthony Rhoads, 21, and their 2-year-old daughter, Rylee, of Oroville, had no car, so they ran into the street hoping someone would give them a lift. Source


“We were running. No one was stopping,” Baker said. “I started having a panic attack. I felt helpless.”


Preparedness experts suggest having an evacuation bag or bug out bag prepped for items for the entire family. Make sure these are easily accessible and ready to go for emergencies such as this. While a dam break may not be a disaster your area would encounter, what about a gas leak, or a refinery spill? What about a wild-fire? There are many reasons to have evacuation supplies. Here is an evacuation checklist to ensure you have everything covered. As well, consider preparing your evacuation vehicle.

2. Evacuations are dangerous.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Not only is a mass exodus arduous, but dangerous as well. During evacuations there is always some risk to danger. For instance, many are in a state of panic and do not always make the wisest of choices. One Oroville evacuee brings up the point of just how dangerous the roads are when evacuating.


“Cars were speeding by so fast, some careening on the shoulders to pass the traffic, “you could smell the engines burning,” Rhoads said. “You could smell the burnt oil, burned clutches, tires squealing.” Source


There are those who are in a mental state of its ‘every man for himself’. There are also others who are opportunists and take advantage of the situation and can cause injury as a result. One Oroville evacuee knows this lesson all too well. Cameron Asbury, 33, was packing up the truck with his family’s belongings after receiving the evacuation order Sunday afternoon when an unidentified man hijacked the vehicle, ran him over and sped away. You can read more about that here. The point here is during evacuations, it can be dangerous due to heightened emotions, desperation and opportunists taking advantage of the situation. Make sure that you have a way to protect yourself. While many do not believe in firearms, having one during these times would be advantageous.

3. No one knows when evacuation orders will be lifted. 

image source: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/

While the mandatory evac order has been lifted for Oroville, there is still an evacuation order in place and many are not sure when they will come back with the threat of the dam still fresh in their minds. When an evacuation is ordered the residents are left to the mercy of the local government in deciding when it is safe to come back. Having a short-term disaster plan in place before a disaster strikes will relieve some of the stress associated with evacuating. As well, with a solid plan (conceived while you were calm and rational) this will ensure that you won’t skip any important planning steps. Living out a disaster in an emergency shelter is not always the best choice, especially if you have pets or special health care needs. Consider how important having an emergency fund would be in a situation such as this. Having money set aside in advance to pay for hotel stays, food, etc. would prevent you from going into further debt.

4. Information is limited, imprecise and emotionally driven.

image source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/

Sunday’s evacuations in Oroville came after several days of state officials saying the dam itself was not in danger and that there was no serious threat to nearby communities. Authorities continued to maintain Sunday night that the dam itself was safe. But their assessment of danger to downstream communities from the spillway’s damage changed dramatically Sunday at 4:42 p.m., when DWR issued this tweet: “EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.” Source As the mandatory evacuation was ordered, news stories were quickly published about this situation and no one really knew all the facts. Many believed the dam was under the threat of imminent failure, thus causing more panic and heightened emotions.

5. Limited resources.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

During any type of emergency breakdown, there is strain on resources due to the demand of the same types of items needed: gas, water, food, for example. This causes a demand that many stores cannot keep up with and a breakdown inevitably follows. There are some stores who will take advantage of this and price gouge. Limited resources does not only occur during the evacuation route, but afterwards where the evacuees locate to. With 200,000 individuals scattered around the Northern California area, local grocery stores could find their supplies quickly exhausted.

6. The state, county and city officials were unprepared.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Although the local and state government are closely monitoring the situation, many state residents have raised questions on why the erosion of the dam wasn’t fixed 5 years ago when state officials were warned. According to one article, “Countless proposals have been floated over the past two decades to fund infrastructure out of the general fund, and prioritize critically needed upgrades to dams, roads and bridges. But Sacramento spends a pittance out of it’s $180 billion budget on infrastructure, and most of that is earmarked for the abysmal roads and a crumbling intrastate highway system.” Simply put, government officials were not prepared for encountering a damaged dam. Due to their negligence in planning and funds, a town’s livelihood is threatened – children are absent from schools, flooding of multiple communities could occur and an even more disastrous situation becomes more catastrophic.

Each time a disaster presents itself, it is important to recognize ways to better prepare so that history does not repeat itself. The Oroville dam disaster is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared and to be able to react at a moment’s notice. While many believe local and state governments have everything planned out, there are slip ups and those mistakes can be disastrous for the residents involved. The six points listed above frequently occur with disasters and it is important to recognize this. If you walk away with anything from this article, understand how important it is to plan accordingly. Emergencies happen at the drop of a hat and if you aren’t ready, if you waste precious time gathering emergency items at the last minute or have to come up with an emergency plan at the last minute, vital details will be left out.

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 February 16th, 2017
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The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide February 6, 2017

winterprep2
Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice – all that is needed is equipping yourself with the knowledge to do so.

Jeremiah Johnson, our own personal Green Beret, is helping us train to be winter ready. One thing he emphasizes in a lot of his articles is that our preps aren’t the only aspect of prepping that we should focus on.


“None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.”


He has been writing quite a bit about winter survival lately, and now is the time to put theory into practice. With the right gear, you can blend into your environment and survive in the harshest of environments. Here are some great articles to help you focus on winter survival!

 

Gear

What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

 

Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia

 

Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

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 February 6th, 2017
Comments Off on The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

Intelligence Insider: How To Protect Your Assets From Critical Infrastructure Failure February 1, 2017

cyber-warfare
Intelligence insider Jim Rickards has previously warned of asymmetric attacks using cyber warfare, financial warfare and domestic disasters involving chemical, biological or radiologicial events. The threat is multi-faceted and the consequences of such an attack, whether it takes the the form of state-sponsored cyber financial warfare or a rogue terrorist group detonating a dirty bomb, could act as a destabilizing event that wipes out everything from our power grid to the wealth stored in your digital financial profiles.

Having worked directly with intelligence agencies simulating and war-gaming the potential fall-out that could result, in his latest interview with Crush The Street Rickards explains the distinct Doomsday scenarios that could instantly collapse life as we know it in America today… and how to prepare for them.


These things are actually happening and your digital wealth is vulnerable to a number of calamities… critical infrastructure failures… whether it’s power grid, banking system, cyber financial warfare, etc.



(Watch At Youtube)

Last month cyber thieves figured out a way to steal $100 million from the central bank account of Bangladesh via the U.S. Federal Reserve. They could have gotten away with $900 million more had it not been for a small typo. The point, as Rickards notes, is that there is a realistic possibility of a much larger-scale attack that targets not a central bank, but the direct holdings of every bank account in America.

The only tool you have at your disposal to protect from such an attack, says Rickards, is gold:


You never want to go all in… I am saying that 10% of your wealth… put it into physical gold… put it in a safe place and that will be immune from power grid outages, exchange closures, digital asset seizures and cyber financial warfare.


And while the potential for a serious calamity that would affect our digital monetary systems is a compelling reason to own gold, in his book The New Case For Gold Rickards explains that a global monetary collapse is also in the cards. And that means gold could one day become the de facto global currency as confidence in a global economy awash in fiat money is lost.

In the interview Rickards takes on analysts who say that a currency cannot be backed in gold, arguing that supply of the precious metal through current official holdings, private holdings and existing gold mining operations is sufficient to support well managed currencies. And countries that refuse to follow sound money policies, he says, will simply have worthless currencies that will not be accepted on the world economic stage.


That’s the whole point of the gold standard… it’s to force governments and countries to do prudent things.

As it is now there’s no standard… there’s no enforcement mechanism… there’s nothing.

I’ve spoken to Ben Bernanke and the head of the IMF about it and they both used the same word to describe the international monetary system… it’s incoherent.


It appears that a gold standard is the end-game for countries like China and Russia considering that they have been aggressively accumulating the metal in recent years. And while the United States may maintain a monetary hegemony over global affairs right now, there will come a time when that will no longer be the case. With gold being used to back currencies, prudent monetary policy will be rewarded.


If people had confidence that you were doing the right thing they would happily sell you the gold…  if they lack that confidence [in your currency] they wouldn’t sell you the gold… but that is a market signal telling you you’ve got the wrong policies… you’ve lost the confidence of your citizens.


But we’re not there yet. A global monetary reset needs to happen first. And that means the government and Federal Reserve are going to stay the course, including quantitative easing for the people,  no matter how disastrous the next round of policies may be.

As Rickards suggests, this makes the case for $10,000 gold quite strong, because they will continue to push low or no interest rate policies while printing even more money to stem off a potentially deflationary environment.


Deflation is good for citizens… inflation is good for government. But if you’re fighting the government, the government will win in the long run even though it’s taking longer than they thought.

At the end of the day they’ll get the inflation… and you’ll be glad you have some gold. 


 

Check out Jim Rickards’ latest book The New Case For Gold.

For more interviews like this one visit CrushTheStreet.com. To learn how the smart money is positioning for gold’s bull run by acquiring precious metals assets click here.

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This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 1st, 2017
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