Surviving a Tsunami

survive a tsunami

A Tsunami can occur shortly after an earthquake and can vary in intensity depending upon how far you are away from the epicenter of the earthquake. Some waves will travel across long distances and can hit around the world but the waves ten to be less severe. If you live is a Tsunami zone there are several things you can do to prepare these waves should they occur.

After an Earthquake

If the water from the shore pulls away after the earthquake it means a Tsunami is imminent and you need to get away as soon as possible. If the earthquake was far away you will have more time to prepare. The waves can travel long distances and get larger as they reach the shore. The waves near the event can be the deadliest especially if the quake is offshore.

Know the Safe Areas

You need to know the safe areas around where you live. Typically this is high ground away from the water’s edge. Make note of the safe zones in your area and contact your local authorities if you don’t know. Once you are in the safe zone stay there until you’re told that it’s safe to go home. Don’t be curious and try to take pictures or get close to the waves as they are often deadly and look misleading in size and scope of damage.

Survival

In an earthquake and Tsunami event you must be able to support yourself for several days. You should have a portable radio in your car along with first-aid kit, food, water, and personal items. You may also want these items in a personal backpack for example, that you can grab in the event of an earthquake. You must move to high ground immediately after the earthquake if it occurred near you. One idea is to take a survival first-aid course so you’re ready. You may also want to have backups of important documents you can take with you. Try to keep survival packs as small as possible.

After the Event

Make sure you turn on the radio and listen for any instructions from local authorities that may be given to you. Never go to “investigate” the coast as the waves can come in one after another even if it looks clear, it may not be.  You must stay away from the coast until it’s safe to leave the area.

Stay away from damaged areas after the event and don’t go home as it may not be safe. These waves can cause immense damage and loo of property, even more than the earthquake itself. The water may be full of debris so don’t investigate. If there are people close by you that need help and it’s safe you can try and help them especially if you have some sort of survival training or are an emergency responder. Be careful around buildings that are flooded by water as the water can weaken the structure and it may come down after the event. Never drink water of food that has been touched by flood waters as it is usually is contaminated.

What’s a Go Bag and What should be in Yours?

go bag

Do you know what a go bag is? A go bag is a bag that you fill with essentials you may need in case of an emergency. A typical go bag is used for earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and similar disasters. Here’s what should be in your go bag.

Documents

You will want some documents for your go bag such as insurance papers, important files, and maybe some family photographs. You can get all of this on a disc or external drive form your computer so that is a good option a sit will save space in your bag.

Water/Food

Try to have some water and food in your bag. One person needs about a gallon of water per day but his can be impractical to carry so you might want to include water purification tablets too so you can purify stream and lake water for drinking. In terms of food you need non-perishable food. Canned food isn’t practical as it’s too heavy. Look for meals ready to eat, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other food items you can carry with ease.

Radio and Batteries

You need a good radio and batteries with you. If you’re gone for a long time your cellphone battery will die so a charger might be an option too as well as a small charged laptop to power the cellphone for some time. Another thing to bring is a flashlight as well as extra batteries for that.

First Aid Kit

You will want a good first-aid kit and taking a first-aid course is a good idea. Make sure you also have whistle so you can call for help if you get injured yourself and need assistance.

Supplies

You should have a dust mask in case there’s debris in the air. You may want duct tape, garbage bags, and plastic ties. A small tool kit with a wrench and other small hardware tools is an option too. Make sure you also have a can opener too and a knife. A map of the area id a good option as well as a compass.  Small stove, cups, kettle and other camping supplies are essential as well. Matched in water proof container is another option for your pack as well as a flint.

Personal items

An extra set of glasses if you need them and extra medication if you take medication often. If you have children you’ll also need items for them too. Your bag should also have personal hygiene items. Small travel size personal items will do for several days.

Clothing

You may also need extra clothing if you live in a cold climate as well as sleeping bag and some type of shelter such as a tent. An extra pair of shoes with steel toe boots is essential as there may be a lot of debris around.

Not every pack will have all these items. You’ll need to decide what you want to bring. Just remember that the pack should be portable, if it’s too heavy this will slow you down and you might not be able to drive around.

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Self Sufficiency in Today’s World

off the grid 2

Off grid, offline or even off the net, call it what you will, complete self-sufficiency is difficult in today’s world. Some may even believe they are totally off grid right now but may not be. You may say you have a solar, hydro or wind turbine system in place, but these systems will require maintenance and unless you have stockpiled any replaceable parts and can service the systems yourself then you will need a qualified service technician.

There will be things you need from manufacturers that supply materials and supplies to the local store, things you cannot produce or make yourself. If the country collapsed tomorrow, you would have to barter for items you need, so this notion of never needing or trying to reach the point where you never need anyone for anything is just not realistic. Bartering has been an accepted practice for thousands of years and it requires a need by both parties involved.

When stockpiling consider items that, you may not want or need but others might such as diapers, children toys, child medications and clothing, alcohol, tobacco products and so forth. Someone may have a certain medication or tool you need and you have something that person needs or want so the deal is struck.

Alternatives to Utilities Supplied By Your Local Municipality

An off-grid solar or wind turbine system requires a battery bank to absorb the surplus electricity and the batteries do not last forever. Typically, an electrical generating system ( connected to the grid) installed requires the home to be connected to the local power grid to absorb the surplus and then the surplus is credited and used at night or on days when there is not adequate sunlight or wind.

Therefore, in many cases you will find you need a backup system for your backup system such as wind or hydropower. Windmills can pump water from deep underground and can provide energy to certain pieces of machinery. Wind turbines can produce electricity as a backup to solar power.

Solar system only generate electricity when the sun is shining and every system has to have controls in place to absorb the surplus and then you need a system in place to provide power at night and on cloudy days.

Hydropower relies on the force of water to spin an electrical generator and this can be a problem because any water source such as rivers or waterfalls can be taken over, blocked or the force of the water reduced. Just because the river runs through your land does not mean you have complete control over it. The water can be diverted miles upstream when it is on someone else’s land.

Be realistic in your goals and first move toward loosening the bonds, so to speak, and become less dependent on society in general and the local authorities more specifically. There are so many connections and services that unless you sit down and list those connections you may not even be aware of them. Curb side garbage collection, plowed streets, sewage treatment, clean drinking water from your tap, electricity, emergency services, and hospitals are just a few.

Start Slowly but Start Now

Trying to get to the point where you live like a hermit and never see another human for months or even years on end is probably not possible. To survive you have to work within a framework of how society and the world work today.

Becoming 100 percent self-sufficient is not possible for most if not all of you because regardless of the situation there will always be something that you will need that can only be obtained from others. This does not mean however, that you should not become as self-sustaining as possible. Based on recent and not so recent events in the country most of you understand that you cannot depend on the local, state or even federal government in times of need. Surviving a catastrophe without outside help for an extended period should be your goal.

You have to realize that at some point you will need a self-sustaining and renewable food and water source that you control. You can only stockpile so much food and water. Your stockpile however has to be large enough to sustain you until you can develop alternative food and water sources such as a garden and wells. This means you need at least a 12-month supply of food and water to give you the time to begin your garden and digging your well. Depending on your geographic area however, you may need more food stockpiled because of a shortened growing season.

  • Start with a seed bank and make sure you know what will grow in your temperate zone raise produce with bartering in mind as well, fresh foods will be in demand during any extended crisis
  • Consider a greenhouse for all year around growing and/or develop a hydroponics (vegetables grown without soil uses water only) or Aquaponics system ( marine and produce raised using the same system by recycling the water the fish live in to provide water and nutrients to the plants which in turn filter the water the marine life lives in, these both are self-sustaining systems that can be developed in any garage, basement or greenhouse
  • Start a grove of fruit trees such as apples, peaches, plums and pears, berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries can be grown practically anywhere and preserved, a grape arbor can erected on your back deck or patio and as they develop take cuttings to start another one and soon you will have enough grapes to eat daily and then make jams and preserves
  • Make sure you have the tools and materials to sustain your garden
  • Know how to preserve your produce by canning and drying
  • Learn how to hunt and remember if the crisis is for an extended period everyone will be hunting and game will become scarce quickly, consider what livestock you can raise as a food source, chickens, goats and small game birds are just a few that require little land and resources to raise and consider fish ponds as well

You will have to dig your own well because you can only rely on lakes and other sources in your area for the short term. During a crisis, any body of water nearby will soon become a public gathering place. Local or state authorities may even try to block it or ration it and possibly even certain criminal elements may try claim the resource for their own financial gain. Then there is accidental or purposeful contamination.

You need a water source that you control exclusively, a private well on property you control.

Most Technology Will Be So Much Clutter Underfoot In a Crisis

You will need to know how to survive and do everyday tasks without the benefit of electricity even if you have your own source. Solar panels, wind turbines and hydro turbines can all malfunction. Start by having an off-grid weekend where you disconnect from everything for several days. You will be surprised how difficult it can be to even make toast without an electric toaster unless you have practiced. Just because the power is out does not mean you can let things go, there are many tasks that will still need to be accomplished.

  • You will need to know how to prepare meals without your electric or gas cook top or oven
  • Learn to do laundry without an automatic washer
  • Baths will still need to be taken, learn the art of sponge baths
  • Learn to accomplish your work using sunlight/daylight to conserve on lantern fuel and candles at night
  • You must know how to start a fire under any circumstance even once your matches and lighters have given out

Start now developing an alternative heat source, such as a wood or pellet stove. You may have to shut down parts of the home in cold weather, which by the way was a very common practice in years past during the winter months. The kitchen with its wood cook stove was the focal point and many times the family slept in close proximity to the stoves in the home.

Propane can be stored for an emergency but it will eventually run out as will wood if you clear-cut the area because while considered a renewable energy source trees take time to grow. Learn how to make combustible fuel pellets. The pellets can be made from sawdust, wood chips and dried vegetation and can be made by a hand-operated machine.

Having the means to generate your own electricity is ideal but again do not rely on it exclusively. Learn to do things without electricity. Humans lived for thousands of years without electrical power so you can too and up until about 50 years ago, most people in rural areas of the country got along quite nicely without the benefits of electricity in their homes.

Things to Consider

  • You will need an outhouse/latrine and know how to place it/construct so it does not leach into the water table/well
  • Proper sanitation methods must be adhered to so you and others do not spread viruses and bacteria back and forth
  • Have personal protection and know how to use it
  • Have some cash. Learn saving money tips so you can live off the land and only use cash when needed
  • Medical needs, this again touches on the point where you will need others and in a crisis you will need to identify medical professionals that can trade their services for services and goods you can provide

Self-Sufficiency Can be Costly

You cannot start today and expect to have all you need in a week’s time. Build slow to reduce the economic burden and to make sure you get what you need. Rushing will cost you more in the end. Gather supplies as you do your regular shopping and you likely have many of the tools and materials needed to dig and cap your own well and take care of a garden.

As far as solar panels are concerned this has to be a financial decision because they can be costly. Windmills can be purchased as a kit and can be used to pump water to livestock and to your home using gravity and wind power. Wind turbines are expensive and cannot be erected in certain areas due to code restrictions.

To sustain life you will need shelter, a reliable water source, food source that is renewable and an energy source. You may have to make many things by hand so make sure you have hand tools such as saws for woodworking and cutting logs for the fireplace or stove. You will need sledgehammers for spitting logs and rails along with shovels, hand axes and larger axes for felling trees.

This is a guest post from James Kearney who has a survival blog called doomsday news

Outdoor Survival Gear

I want one

This page covers outdoor survival gear and lists all the essential survival items you should have in any situation. You can always be more prepared and better equipped but some things simply aren’t optional and should always be quality and durable survival gear that won’t fail.

These are the things you should spend a bit more on and do your research because your life might depend on them one day.

The team from, readytribe, say the “essential” survival gear is whatever allows you to get water, shelter, and food. In a survival situation these three things are all that really matter and the rest is for comfort. We’ll expand on this a bit though by including a source for fire, first aid, proper clothing, and a form of navigation.

With food, water, shelter, fire, first aid, proper clothing, and a way to navigate you should be able to survive and even thrive in the outdoors. Just remember that there are no second chances, no repair shops, no doctors in a survival situation so always go for quality and durability when buying survival gear.

Survival Food & Water

Water is much more important in a survival situation than food so we’ll start there. There are a few ways you can approach water purification. One of the cheapest and simplest is water purification tablets.

This can be a problem if you have nothing to hold water in though so make sure you bring at least a cup if not a canteen. Another option is the somewhat newly created micro-filter portable water filtration systems.

These are often more expensive but have the advantage of being able to directly filter water from the source like a straw. Another option is to simply have a way to create a fire and boil water. One extremely simple way to do this that can be useful in the outdoors is a micro outdoor stove with chemical heating tablets.

You can survive for many days without food but that doesn’t mean it will be pleasant or that you’ll get much done during that time. If you need to hike out you’ll need food to keep you going. One essential survival food item in my opinion is bouillon cubes. These contain a lot of salts and sodium and are extremely small.

Just bring a handful with you and they can make a great pick me up when added to your water as a sort of soup. There are also plenty of survival food bars and kits you can get. One friend of mine always brought dog food because he knew he wouldn’t be tempted to snack on it and it would be there in a survival situation unlike trail mix or power bars.

Is the Threat of Nuclear War Still a Reality Post-Cold War?

nwar

For many Americans, the threat of all-out nuclear war ceased to be a threat in 1989. The threat seemed to disassemble to match the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. No longer was the news filled with the looming cloud of annihilation; the nightmare that started with the Cuban Missile Crisis seemed to finally be over. 24 years later, we are finally becoming aware of the storm clouds that have been brewing; even as the wall crumbled down.

Once upon a time, in 1962 the nuclear race had escalated to dizzying height; as it was essentially a free-for-all for any country that wished to develop nuclear weapons. The A-Bomb set off an arms race that saw countries battling it out to be the first to develop the ultimate endgame. 1962 is important because it is that year the Cuban Missile Crisis shook our country, and the world to its core. The concept of mutually assured annihilation finally took hold, and it became clear that nuclear armaments were best used as a deterrent. While some were assured by this concept, thinking it would discourage such tactics, many realized the harsh reality that tempers could still flare and situations escalate- only now we realized that no one would win.

In 1967 the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), inspired by those very real fears, was introduced and signed by all of the world’s superpowers. The treaty was based on the rationale that countries that already had developed nuclear weapons could not be relied upon to completely disarm, but that the arms race had to be stemmed. Therefore, the NPT acted as a sort of license to carry for countries that had tested and fired a nuclear weapon prior to January 1, 1967. All others were to be denied the status of becoming a “nuclear power.”

As are most treaties of this sort, time saw the gradual breakdown of the NPT. Countries that were left out did not want to be relegated to being defenseless against what was known as the “nuclear club.” Over time the NPT and its restrictions were loosened and grew impotent to stem nuclear proliferation.

The humanity has inched closer to the precipice of an all-out nuclear war than ever before, closer than it was even at the height of the historic Cold War standoff between the US and the Soviet Union. Since this time so many countries have developed nuclear weaponry, disclosed and undisclosed, that the number of members in the nuclear club isn’t known. A few countries sought to join the nuclear powers and flex their muscle to prove they could not be intimidated. While countries such as India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea made no effort to hide their nuclear development; they had no interest in joining in with the NPT. The feeling was that they had been shunned and denied the opportunity to defend themselves, and so resentment began to grow.

It is for this reason that the threat of all-out nuclear war still looms large, perhaps even more so than during the height of the Cold War. No longer is it just the powers that were willing to abide by the rules set forth by an agreed upon treaty; there were now elements that were just as armed (if not more) and had no desire to play by the nuclear club’s rules.

It is the first major players in opposition to joining the nuclear club that now pose the biggest threats- not only to the US but to every country in the world. South Asia has presented itself as a formidable force in these real-world War Games. Even China, who had originally agreed to the NPT, had turned against the agreement- not wishing to be left behind. Now China, India, Pakistan and North Korea loom as a dark shadow- rogues who do not play by anyone’s rules but their own. Their only equal appears to be the Middle East, primarily Israel- the only verified nuclear power; well-armed in their own right.

This shadow market has re-ignited a seemingly dead arms race, seeing countries such as Germany, Japan and Canada racing to arm themselves as well. As best as investigators can guess, there is anywhere form 30-40 countries currently on their way towards nuclear status; a terrifying number given the varying motives for armament.

The most looming threat of all, though, may be that posed by terrorist cells of different agendas. While smaller terrorist cells don’t have the capability to develop and deliver a nuclear bomb, their strength lies in subterfuge and guerrilla tactics. It is all too easy for a small group of devoted followers to attempt to pit nuclear powers against each other- one only look back to 9/11 to acknowledge this fact. In the days following the attack, many Americans (including a frightening number of those in power) pushed to employ nuclear weaponry to retaliate against Al Qaeda.

Our world has become more scared, and some would say paranoid, then ever before. Like a corned animal, powers around the world sit poised with fingers on the trigger to defend themselves against every threat- perceived and real. The reality is, much like a powder keg, it only takes the smallest spark to set off a devastating chain of events. Just one warhead launched will be the metaphorical domino, taking the entire chain down with it as it falls.