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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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Here’s What Burglars Will Tell You About Protecting Your Home From Thieves August 7, 2017

I’d wager that no one leaves their home without being at least somewhat concerned about the belongings that they leave behind. Contained within most homes, is the sum total of the owner’s life, and not just in a material sense. There are plenty of items with sentimental value as well. And all of it is typically protected by little more than a few locks on the doors and windows. If someone really wants to break into your home and steal what you own when you’re not around, chances are that there isn’t much standing in their way.

But if you want to make it harder for any would-be burglar to enter your home, or at least make your home a less desirable target, don’t just buy an alarm system and call it day. You should really listen to people who are burglars and take their advice. An MSNBC affiliate out of Atlanta recently did just that. They sent letters to 86 people who had gone to prison for burglary and asked them a variety questions about their crimes. Their answers could tell you a lot about how to protect your home from this crime. What they told reporters included the following:

  • Don’t advertise what you own. One burglar admitted to looking for homes that had cars with NRA bumper stickers, which would indicate that there are plenty of guns to steal there.
  • Burglars don’t just look in obvious places. If they feel safe, they’ll tear everything up looking for hidden valuables.
  • The best time to break into a house was between 12:30 and 2:30, because it’s rare for both kids or adults to be home at that time period.
  • Not all burglars are intimidated by security alarm signs and cameras, and many admitted to knowing how to disable alarms. Some suggested that cameras would indicate that there are valuables in the home.
  • As you might expect, burglars are terrified of large dog breeds.
  • Burglars aren’t typically killers. They don’t want to a serious confrontation with a homeowner, so any sign that someone is home is a deterrent.

When asked what precautions homeowners should take to keep their homes from being burglarized, most of the inmates gave similar answers. For instance, many of them suggested that homeowners leave some sign that someone is home, such as parking a car in the driveway or leaving a TV or radio on.

But the biggest deterrent is visibility, and that applies in more than one sense. They suggested that you keep your bushes and trees trimmed so that your home is easy to see. Homes that were isolated, either by the distance from other houses or by being obscured by big fences and vegetation were definitely easier to rob. It seems that the things people build around their homes to make them feel safer have the opposite effect.

And of course, visibility means nothing if no one is actually watching your home. One inmate admitted to preferring homes in communities where the neighbors were very reserved and conservative, and others recommended that you get to know your neighbors. The implication is obvious. In neighborhoods where people don’t really know each other or care about each other, it’s quite easy to break into a home.

That’s because nobody wants to get involved when they see someone hopping your fence, nobody can tell if anything out of the ordinary is going on in your home if they don’t know you, and nobody is really paying attention. As a result, nobody calls the cops.

The bottom line is that neighborhoods, where people talk to each other and don’t feel the need to build barriers between each other, are safer. And that’s probably something that we’ve known intuitively all along.

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 7th, 2017
Comments Off on Here’s What Burglars Will Tell You About Protecting Your Home From Thieves

Here’s What Burglars Will Tell You About Protecting Your Home From Thieves

I’d wager that no one leaves their home without being at least somewhat concerned about the belongings that they leave behind. Contained within most homes, is the sum total of the owner’s life, and not just in a material sense. There are plenty of items with sentimental value as well. And all of it is typically protected by little more than a few locks on the doors and windows. If someone really wants to break into your home and steal what you own when you’re not around, chances are that there isn’t much standing in their way.

But if you want to make it harder for any would-be burglar to enter your home, or at least make your home a less desirable target, don’t just buy an alarm system and call it day. You should really listen to people who are burglars and take their advice. An MSNBC affiliate out of Atlanta recently did just that. They sent letters to 86 people who had gone to prison for burglary and asked them a variety questions about their crimes. Their answers could tell you a lot about how to protect your home from this crime. What they told reporters included the following:

  • Don’t advertise what you own. One burglar admitted to looking for homes that had cars with NRA bumper stickers, which would indicate that there are plenty of guns to steal there.
  • Burglars don’t just look in obvious places. If they feel safe, they’ll tear everything up looking for hidden valuables.
  • The best time to break into a house was between 12:30 and 2:30, because it’s rare for both kids or adults to be home at that time period.
  • Not all burglars are intimidated by security alarm signs and cameras, and many admitted to knowing how to disable alarms. Some suggested that cameras would indicate that there are valuables in the home.
  • As you might expect, burglars are terrified of large dog breeds.
  • Burglars aren’t typically killers. They don’t want to a serious confrontation with a homeowner, so any sign that someone is home is a deterrent.

When asked what precautions homeowners should take to keep their homes from being burglarized, most of the inmates gave similar answers. For instance, many of them suggested that homeowners leave some sign that someone is home, such as parking a car in the driveway or leaving a TV or radio on.

But the biggest deterrent is visibility, and that applies in more than one sense. They suggested that you keep your bushes and trees trimmed so that your home is easy to see. Homes that were isolated, either by the distance from other houses or by being obscured by big fences and vegetation were definitely easier to rob. It seems that the things people build around their homes to make them feel safer have the opposite effect.

And of course, visibility means nothing if no one is actually watching your home. One inmate admitted to preferring homes in communities where the neighbors were very reserved and conservative, and others recommended that you get to know your neighbors. The implication is obvious. In neighborhoods where people don’t really know each other or care about each other, it’s quite easy to break into a home.

That’s because nobody wants to get involved when they see someone hopping your fence, nobody can tell if anything out of the ordinary is going on in your home if they don’t know you, and nobody is really paying attention. As a result, nobody calls the cops.

The bottom line is that neighborhoods, where people talk to each other and don’t feel the need to build barriers between each other, are safer. And that’s probably something that we’ve known intuitively all along.

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 7th, 2017
Comments Off on Here’s What Burglars Will Tell You About Protecting Your Home From Thieves