Category: Disasters

How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane

How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane

The U.S. has had its fair share of hurricanes in these past decades. Hurricanes Sandy, Rita and Katrina have hit pretty hard. They took so many lives and the process and produced massive infrastructural damage. No matter how far we’re willing to go as far as preparations go, we will never be completely safe from nature’s wrath. But every precaution can be a small battle won and +1 when it comes to our chances to survive in case of a hurricane.

In order to beat the storm and come out on top, we must understand what a hurricane actually is. Hurricanes are immense storms that cover great areas. Because the winds blow in a swirling motion, powerful air currents are created that can be strong enough to pull out trees out of the ground, lift cars and even lay whole cities to the ground. Wind speed is a major factor in considering how devastating the hurricane is going to be; according to wind speed, hurricanes fall into the following categories:

  • Category 1: winds reach speeds of 74 mph – 95 mph
  • Category 2: winds reach speeds of 96 mph – 110 mph
  • Category 3: winds reach speeds of 111 mph – 129 mph
  • Category 4: winds reach speeds of 130 mph – 156 mph
  • Category 5: winds reach speeds of speeds of over 157 mph

Hurricanes will most likely form over warm ocean surface, and they sometimes have the tendency of going towards land. When this happens, it also sends a wave formation (storm surge) towards land alongside heavy precipitation. These two combined can cause major flooding to urban or rural areas. Even though hurricanes cover large areas at a time, the intensity of the storm is not constant throughout the entire area, but it’s rather varied from zone to zone. Based on intensity, hurricanes are comprised of the following parts:

  • Zone 1: the eye of the hurricane is the portion in the middle of the stormy area (central zone); it’s the zone that’s least affected, where wind and precipitations are at their lowest
  • Zone 2: the eye wall is a circle of thunderstorms that swirl around the central zone (the eye); the wall is where storm activity is at its highest, with heavy precipitations and strong winds
  • Zone 3: rain bands stretch from the eye wall towards the outside; they’re a weaker reflection of the eye wall, comprised of storm clouds, precipitations and possibly tornadoes

Preparing for an incoming hurricane

As I’ve said before, there is nothing you can do that is 100% hurricane proof, but every measure of precaution you take might just be enough to save you or your property. First and foremost, my main advice is to consider of building your very own underground bunker or disaster-proof room somewhere in the vicinity of you home and have it filled with as many provisions as you can. Just be sure to consider flooding and the need for oxygen. If such a room would be too much trouble, you can also reinforce a room in the house (possibly the basement), turning it into a safe room and hope for the best. If you want to save as much of your property as possible and limit the damage, cover your windows with special, permanent storm shutters; if you can’t find any in your vicinity, just use some plywood instead. Roof straps will reduce the damage and maintain the structure of the house as whole as possible. Trimming your bushes, trees and shrubs around the house will make them less likely to fly off and damage or even kill somebody; the trimmer they are, the less “grabby” their surface will be when it comes in direct contact with the wind. Rain gutters should be unclogged, in order to fight off flooding.

What to do during the storm

If there’s a massive storm coming your way, you need to stay informed. Follow any sort of alerts and directions the authorities issue on the tv, radio or internet. Secure your house as best as you can by closing all the doors, even those inside the house. The less the air flows through, the safer you’ll be. Any sort of small object left in your shed or front lawn should be moved in the house. If they get picked up the storm, they could become serious projectiles that can do permanent damage or even kill. When the storm hits, turn off all the utilities and keep away from the phone as much as possible. Propane tanks should be switched off, as well as the refrigerator. If things get serious, go to your panic room or your provision room. Keep enough food and water supplies. You cars should be fully fueled, because if the opportunity should arise, you must be able to drive without stopping as far as you possibly can. Also keep cash on you; banking and ATM systems will most probably be shut down. If you’re eager to evacuate, take a moment and think things through; acting on impulse might cost you your life. Wait for things to settle down a bit and listen to the directives given by the local authorities.

Dealing with a hurricane is a stressful and life-threatening situation. Take all the necessary precautions you can in order to limit the damage, but remember that nothing’s more important than saving your life. You safety should come first, before everything else. So if you’re taken by surprise, flee for safety and don’t waste any time in securing your property.

By My Family Survival Plan

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea

How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea

Your worst nightmare and first thought upon boarding a flight (or even purchasing the tickets) is not to crash! It’s a possibility. One that you have to come to terms with. There is no such thing as a 100% safe flight, like there is no such thing as a 100% safe walk in the park. Disaster can strike at any time and any place. The chance of a plane crash however, studies show, it’s not that high. And even when it happens, a large portion (even 100%) of the passengers on board survives.

But as long as the slightest chance of danger exists, best be prepared. Follow all the procedures and unwritten rules in order to help your chances of survival. Crashing in water is serious business, and even if you survive the crash, the struggle is far from over.

The main concern though for surviving a crash at sea is to survive the crash itself. The numbers are good in this case, showing that about 95% of the passengers involved in plane crashes survive the initial plane crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Experts have agreed that in order to improve their chances of survival, passengers should be adequately equipped for survival. The clothes you’re wearing in the moment of the crash could make the difference on whether you survive or not. “Imagine having to run away from a burning plane. If you have to do that, how well are your flip-flops going to perform? How well are your high-heeled shoes going to perform?” asks Cynthia Corbett, human factors specialist at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Recent studies and research have proven that the passengers sitting behind the wings of the plane are more likely to survive the those sitting in front of it by well over 40% and that the seats situated near the exit row are the safest on the plane.survivors

After the impact with the surface of the water, the first 90 seconds are the most crucial. It’s essential to keep calm and react swiftly, greatly increasing your chances of survival. NTSB reports that because of overcoming panic or crippling fear, many crash victims are found placed in their seats, with their seat belts still on. Others just sit back and wait for instructions until it’s too late. Cynthia Corbett says that knowing what to do and how to cope in such a scenario is imperative. Act accordingly to survival procedures and don’t wait for instructions. They might never come and it will cost you dearly.How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage

Surviving the open sea is next and it’s the real struggle. Plane crashes at sea present special circumstances than other types of crashes, because the survivors face the adversities of the open ocean, whether they’re alive in life rafts or floating on pieces of debris on open waters. The life raft is the best survival tool for a plane crash survivor lost at sea. They are equipped with medical first aid kits, some drinking water, flares to help you signal your location to passing planes or boats, and a canopy that serves as shelter from the burning sun or incoming rain. It will greatly reduce the fatigue you face, as you can float at ease, without having to constantly kick the water, burning energy and attracting sharks. The bright colors and shape of the rafts might also attract fish and birds, which are the best source of food available. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), life rafts are mandatory for most commercial aircrafts that fly extended over-water operations (distances of over 50 miles offshore). However, if aircrafts don’t fly above 25,000 feet and provides life vests for everybody on board, the life raft ceases to be a necessity.

Fully-inflated life raft

Getting into a life raft doesn’t mark the end of all your troubles. You still have life threatening situations to overcome, dehydration and starvation especially. The human body can go for weeks without food, but only for days without water. Some have been known to survive even over a week without it, but it all depends on individual overall health and general temperature and humidity. You can rely on the surround faun (fish, birds, amphibians) as a source of sustenance. According to Dr Claude Pintadosi (professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Centre), most of the animals found offshore are safe to eat, because toxins among them is a highly uncommon thing. The flesh of the animals is a great source of protein and minerals, while the blood can be drunk fresh. Harvesting and drinking rain-water is also a good method to stack up on vital fluids.

Hypothermia is the main reason for concern, especially if you find yourself in waters of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can fight hypothermia as long as you’re in a life raft. Simply remove the wet clothes and cover the victim with dry pieces of clothing blankets. For crash survivor that’s permanently in contact with the water, hypothermia is fatal. Contrary to popular belief, sharks are the least of your worry.

As long as you’re not bleeding in the water in order to alert and switch on their predatory instincts, there is very little reason to fear and actual shark attack.

If you ever happen to find yourself in such a situation, don’t be surprised: it happened before, and it will happen again. Just keep calm, keep your wits about you and most likely you’ll survive to tell the tale.

by My Family Survival Plan

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