Not for minor interruptions in service, or as we pass through a zone without a wireless signal, but, what if the Internet … shut down? What if a terrorist act took down the infrastructure on which we hang our personal data and other documents?
Internet access, especially cloud storage and other means of paper-busting, creates a convenience, for sure. But when parts of the Internet are compromised, many of us will be left without things we thought were safe from just about anything.
As the technology we rely upon to create these virtual file cabinets advances, so too do the toolboxes of those who would harm us and take what we value enough to store. Or, at least, keep us from having access to it all.
The 2013 Internet Security Threat Report found:
Email spam at 69 percent of all messages
14 zero-day vulnerabilities
A 42 percent increase in targeted attacks in 2013
Attacks come from all angles. The report revealed a 125 percent increase in phishing sites for social-network websites. Information is stolen on 32 percent of all mobile threats. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees are in the crosshairs of 31 percent of all targeted attacks, according to the report.
How are we being protected?
The threat of cyber piracy, cyber attacks and cyber war are real. If the Chinese government can decipher as many as 50 million lines of code to reverse-engineer an American reconnaissance plane, as it did in 2001, anything we entrust to the cloud or any other web storage is certainly at risk.
Could China’s actions signal to the world that America’s civilian and military infrastructure is vulnerable, prone to compromise by anyone with advanced cyber skills? What can the U.S. Cyber Command really do to keep our Internet safe?
The vigilance we take to protect ourselves cannot cover our nation or our community. It’s upon us to take care of ourselves and family, and rely on those around us to do likewise.
How can you protect yourself?
The threats are extensive: Keylogging, phishing, trojans, worms, viruses. There’s enough for us to worry about without thinking about what the Chinese and other governments could do.
Here are three things you can do to protect yourself online, and three things to do offline, to ensure your valued data is always accessible to you.
Scan all files
No matter where they come from, scan all files you receive, be it chat, instant message or file-share service. Most email services do this automatically, but an extra scan isn’t a bad idea. You should scan documents you send, too. They might already be infected.
Look for unexpected macros
Most Microsoft Word macros are fine, but they can also trigger viruses. Don’t run a macro on a file from someone you don’t know, and on files you know shouldn’t need one.
Don’t automatically open email
Email programs that open a message automatically are convenient – and risky. It’s how viruses are spread. Some programs open or attempt to preview contents of an email before you even click on it. Ensure you have the right to delete any message before it has a chance to infect your computer.
Print out documents
Take a break from being green. Keep hard copies of important documents. We have the false sense of security that anything scanned into the cloud is safe and sound forever. Don’t make that assumption. If it’s worth storing on the cloud, it’s worth keeping locked up in an old reliable safe, too.
And don’t put your combination on the cloud, either.
Reliable Internet service – especially the kind you can take with you on the go – is essential for you to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected. Find a flexible plan by visiting sites such as CLEARinternetdeals.net/plans.
Share with permission. Written by Lewis Jacobs, a technology enthusiast and Internet Nerd. He enjoys writing about Internet technology, computer repair and social media. You can follow him @LewisJacobsblog.
Trapped in the vast wilderness of Wyoming, in the same area that hundreds died over several years...on foot...traveling with what they could carry, push or pull.
No cell phone service, little bit of food and water...
Freezing cold, hypothermia, severe shivering, not enough material to stay warm in this environment, even though we were out of the wind.
$500 to rescue and save us, and get us back home. But, 9 hours of worry, frustration, and real fear that we might freeze to death if we failed.
Yes. That was us. And that was our day yesterday. We saw what happens personally, when we aren't prepared enough to have what we need when we need it.
Spent the weekend down in Rawlins, Wyoming getting to visit with our three grandkids we had not seen since Christmas. They needed some special time and so did we. So, we got a hotel room at the Comfort Inn, and camped out with them for a couple of days of down time. It was much needed by all of us.
Monday morning, we took them home, since it was President’s day, and no school. We got our hugs and kisses goodbye, filled up the gas tank, and headed home to Riverton, a paltry 2 hour road trip, which we’ve made a 100 times in the last several years without incident.
Not this time. One of the longest stretches of empty rural two lane highway in Wyoming, extends from Muddy Gap, to Lander, Wyoming. This Highway, State highway 287, parallels and crosses many times the ruts and paths of the 150 year old wagon ruts and foot paths of The Mormon Trail, the Oregon Trail, the California trail, and the Pony Express routes. One near ghost town, several historic markers, one rest area, and vast empty wilderness (with associated wildlife) are what you find on this route.
We were doing 70 mph, traveling west, having just passed Split Rock, named after a mountain that has a large cleft and served as a landmark for folks walking the Oregon Trail, which also runs right through this area. As we were driving, we started hearing a squealing sound, every few seconds, lasting for a couple of seconds. Suddenly, the temperature gauge went from normal to WARNING, in about 10 seconds, so I pull over to the shoulder. Steam is pouring out from under the hood and the front wheel wells of our Xterra. Shit. Not good…not good at all.
I pop the hood, and it takes a good minute before all the steam has cleared from the engine compartment. It’s 11:30 in the morning, the sun is bright, there are a few high clouds, and thank God, calm winds…for now.
Having just replaced the entire engine last April, including the water pump, timing belt, many bearings, exhaust manifolds and a LOT of hoses, tubes, and smaller parts, I am concerned on just exactly what has failed. Everything is new…less than 20,000 miles on the engine. I look down into the space between the radiator and the front of the engine, examining what looks odd and out of place. There are three smaller serpentine belts on this truck, a 3.3 liter V6 engine. I notice the belt has come off the water pump. Why? That IS odd. I ponder what I’m seeing. Did a pulley on this particular belt seize, causing the belt to jump off truck? No. The pulleys I can reach from the two inch opening at the top of the engine all spin without drag. Hmmm.
I take off my thin jacket, to give me more reach into the depths of that engine area behind the radiator. I start paying close attention to the fan blades attached to the front of the pulley on the water pump. They look ever so slightly askew…as in, not exactly parallel to the front of the engine. Squeezing my hand farther down into the thin space available, I get a grip on the base of one of the fan blades, and move it around, up and down, in and out. Double crap.
The new water pump of less than a year old has exploded at the main bearing coming out of the housing, where the shaft exits the pump to the front mount, where the fan clutch and blades bolt on. We are dead in the water. We are now trapped in place, where the truck sits, in the middle of nowhere.
I climb back into the truck after wiping the grease and antifreeze off my hands, and tell Annie what I’ve found. Panic, while not out rightly showing, is starting to dig into the back of my mind. My Craftsman toolbox, normally residing in the back of my truck, sits at home in the garage on my workbench, last being used to replace the Mass Airflow Sensor on the truck a few weeks ago. Not that it’s going to help. I don’t usually carry a spare water pump in the truck.
What to do. Behind us, to the northeast, stands Split Rock, a natural geologic formation that could be seen for 50 miles on a clear day on the emigrant trail. The highway behind us has a rise that we can’t see past for any passing traffic heading west, until they crest the hill. To the west, the old uranium mining town of Jeffrey City, 14 miles away, with one roadside bar, no working gas pumps, and at least a known working phone. With my binoculars, kept in the back seat packet of the passenger seat, I can see at least 7 or 8 miles of highway and traffic coming from that direction.
We have no cell service whatsoever. Our carrier is Verizon, and they just don’t reach this far into nowhere. I do know that Union and AT&T work out here…but that doesn’t help us at the moment. I climb on to the rear bumper of the truck, holding my hand and phone as high as possible, getting maybe ten feet of elevation off the shoulder of the highway. No bars...no service. To the east; Split Rock, 4 miles away. To the south, Green Mountain, a famous hunting area known for lots and lots of elk, a few bear, and wolves. To the west; unseen, Jeffrey City.
Dare I go mountain climbing to try to get a signal from some distant, unseen Verizon cell tower? I decide…no. If I’m going to die, let it be somewhere that they can find our bodies, not deep down an icy crevasse in a cold Wyoming winter.
Annie can’t go anywhere. She can barely walk, and her wheelchair is needed everywhere but home. I’m not leaving her here alone. I can’t climb one of those mountains to seek cell service, because she’ll be alone for at least a few hours, or worse.
Solution? Sit and wait. Hood raised, flashers on occasionally. It’s half an hour before the next vehicle passes, then several more. After a while, some stop to check on us. I know I need to find somebody with Union Cell service, so I can call a couple of friends to start getting a wrecker sent my way. First two folks that stop are heading opposite ways, one to Rawlins, and one to Lander. I write a note for each, with our situation, our location, and our need of a wrecker. They head out. I learn later, that both made the calls.
In the next several hours, we are passed by 150+ cars, semis, and various other vehicles. 16 vehicles stop to see if they can help. A few have cell service. Some have passed us, than slowed down to turn around and come back to check on us. Angels. Every one. I was really starting to feel that we were going to need a higher power to get through this day, and get home safely. Turns out we do.
I make some more calls, to see if anyone has received the message of help needed, and if a wrecker is on the way. My son Kenny in Nashville has gotten the message, and is calling every wrecker service in Riverton, our destination. No one will come out this far, and especially not with payment by his credit card over the phone. Boy, I cannot tell you how much THAT sucks. We’re getting cold, we can’t turn the motor on for heat, and we’ve only got the clothes we are wearing, what we have in our suitcase, and a few pillows.
No blanket or sleeping bags, which are normally in the cargo area, and my two bugout bags don’t have any truly cold weather gear. My CERT bag has an emergency blanket, in the bag since 2005, but it’s plastic, and whatever was coated on the plastic has powderized, and when we unfold it, we have a tremendous amount of plastic/powdery dust that coats EVERYTHING in the front of the truck. In other words, we’re screwed. With the sun up high in the sky, we had some warmth built up and retained inside the truck, keeping us at least somewhat cozy. With dark approaching, we had nothing except our own declining body heat to say alive.
Finally, about 5:30 in the afternoon, the sun is setting behind the Rockies far to our west, it’s gotten much colder, and the wind has picked up. A couple traveling home to Cheyenne has passed us, turned around, and pulled in behind us, to see if they can assist us. They have AT&T, and we are able to make a couple of calls, again learning that no one, and no wrecker, is on the way. The driver, Jeremy, has an idea, at exactly the same time I do…call the highway patrol, which he does. The entire time we’ve been on the side of the road, not one patrol car or county deputy has passed us. Not one.
Every time I’ve gotten out of the truck to talk to someone that has stopped to check on us, I’ve gotten colder. My teeth are actually chattering, I’ve got a full body shiver, and I can’t stop shaking. This…is not good. Signs of hypothermia. Cooling off of my body’s core temperature. If not stopped soon potentially fatal.
The highway patrol checks their list, and contacts a wrecker from Fremont Motors of Lander, exactly where I bought the truck 4 years ago. They call back in 10 minutes, saying the wrecker is on its way. Thank God. The nightmare is almost over. Jeremy and his wife allow Annie and I to sit in the back of their SUV until the wrecker arrives 90 minutes later, to warm up and help us stop shivering. It takes Annie almost 10 minutes to walk back from our truck to theirs, and to get into the back seat, with me helping as much as humanly possible.
Finally, she’s in. They are the angels we needed to help us out of our desperate situation, letting us warm up, and they stay making sure we get loaded and on the road. We visit, talk, and get to know each other a little bit, while we wait for the cavalry to arrive.
Because of Annie’s bad hip, she can’t climb into the cab of the roll back wrecker. I talk to the driver, and he lets Annie and I ride all the way to town, and then home, sitting in our Xterra, perched high on the wrecker’s bed. I don’t care if it was safe, legal, or recommended. Annie had no choice, and I was not going to let her ride back there alone, as cold as it was. The temperature outside was heading towards the single digits as we started heading back into town. Too damn cold.
I cannot recommend enough to everyone else. DON’T do this, unless you have no choice. Possibly the worst, most uncomfortable emergency car ride I’ve ever made…worse than any roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Potential whiplash, snapped spine, and a whole myriad of other horrible physical injuries, JUST from the bumps, dips, sideways jerks, and horrible vertical bounces, magnified by the lack of the wrecker rear suspension, and our truck tied and chained down all the way to the bottomed out shocks. And, it was still very cold. We had ice on the inside of the windshield, and side windows, as bad as any frost I’ve every scraped off the windshield on a cold winter morning. We were freezing…absolutely freezing. The water bottle half filled, sitting between us in the cup holder, started icing up.
We get to Lander, still 30 miles from home, and stop in town. The driver has to call his boss, so we can figure out what this rescue is going to cost us. The entire trip, from our road side breakdown, to our home driveway, and the truck dropped off the rollback wrecker comes to $500. Looking at how close we came to dying of hypothermia out there, it’s worth it, and much cheaper than life flight helicopters and hospital stays, or funeral costs…our only other alternatives.
The driver gets us home, around 9:30, 10 hours after our breakdown. Buddy Mike has cooked dinner for us, and unloads the truck for me, after helping me get Annie from the truck to the front porch, and inside after climbing those three steps up to the porch…something both she and I thought was really going to be a problem. We plug the space heater in to increase the warmth in our bedroom, and pull out a very thick comforter.
I eat maybe half of my dinner, so tired that it’s actually hard to chew. Annie finishes hers, and I go put the dishes away. We turn the light out, and we’re both asleep literally within a minute. Dead to the world…figuratively and, thankfully not literally at the end of this cold, harsh, dramatic, and ugly day.
So…the next day.
I stay home from work, to take care of Annie, to restore my exhausted health, and begin to pull the radiator, hoses, belts, and other parts out of the way to pull the blown water pump. A replacement pump sits at O’Reilly’s Auto in Riverton, lifetime warranty for $69. I just need to hop a ride with a coworker to work the rest of the week.
What went wrong, in all the above? Well, there was nothing we could do about the water pump. It’s just one of those things. I’ve had two dozen or more vehicles in my life, and I’ve only had to replace water pumps maybe 6 times. Some vehicles we’re never had to worry about. A few, we have had many problems with, up to and including replacing engines and transmissions ourselves. No big deal. I’m a computer geek AND a motor head. Parts are parts, built to be repaired or replaced.
Next, the bigger problem. Winter in Wyoming. I did not follow through and keep my winter survival kit prepped and ready, Just In Case. No blankets, no sweaters, no extra coats, nothing to heat the vehicle with (such as a propane heater and fuel, which sits in my garage. I had kept a sleeping bag and an extra blanket in the truck for a long time, but they were taken out a few weeks ago for washing and cleaning while I was doing those engine repairs and sorting the tools, jacks, and other cargo area items. I never put them back in, and we paid the price for it.
Cell phone service. We’re really going to look real hard at an alternative to Verizon, because it nearly killed us. Union seems to have better coverage over the entire state. It’s time to change services. A life changing event, but needed if we’re going to continue living in Wyoming. And, we are.
Insurance. We currently have liability coverage on the Xterra. Time to go back to comprehensive coverage, at three times what we’re paying now for liability only. The tow into town and finally home would have been free, or much, much cheaper. Also just checked on Triple A Autoclub Membership. $148 a year, and that 100 mile tow would have been completely covered. Seems that hindsight IS 20/20. It would be a good idea to do both. Yesterday was the perfect example of WHY. Nobody was hurt, except me with a couple of scraped knuckles, from examining the water pump damage.
Two (or more) REAL emergency blankets, not the plastic mylar ones, but the ones that are quilted, with blaze orange material on one side and silver reflective material on the other. Like this…
Food and Water. We had some with us, but not enough. I have a rocket stove in my Alice pack bugout bag, but I had removed the hot chocolate and ramen noodles due to age. Keeping them freshly replaced and updated regularly would have solved this problem. Plan to keep this food in a small ammo box in the cargo area, to keep it from getting crushed or broken open, as might happen when moving the two packs around in the cargo area of the truck. Water. Hmmm.
In Wyoming, where it can stay below zero for days on end, bottles would freeze and explode if always left in the truck. Solution…keep several cases in the house, and when heading out on a road trip like this weekend, grab a couple of six packs of water, and if not used, bring them back inside at the end of the trip, or return trip home.
Transportation. I bought this Xterra for many reasons. It’s four wheel drive. I’ve got all terrain tires on it. It handles great on ice and snow (which is part of the Wyoming Lifestyle). It has helped pull other cars out of bad situations (two tow straps and a 20 foot tow chain always in the back). It’s low enough to the ground that Annie can get in (considering her walking and wheelchair issues), yet high enough for off road access and safety.
Dependability? I replaced the engine last year with a zero mile full block, as well as nearly every bolt-on component, including that damned water pump. I’ve got the tools, know-how, and skills to do a multitude of expedient repairs, and any and all major repairs at home (engine hoist and engine stand, 60 gallon compressor, air tools, and rolling tool box full of needed tools). Last year, my old 1982 Dodge Van finally croaked, the last vestiges of life taken slowly after hitting a deer at 60 miles an hour, a few miles from home, months earlier. I need a second vehicle for commuting, something that gets 30+ miles a gallon. We’ve already been looking for a few weeks. The Xterra WILL be taken care of, maintained, and used as our main transportation on any non-commuting trip…for the above reasons.
Bottom line. Due to an unforeseen mechanical failure, we nearly froze to death. Annie and I spent the hours before the wrecker arrived discussing what we should have done, could have done, and needed to do…to be able to better handle this kind of survival situation.
A tremendous teaching moment, for both of us. We suffered greatly, yet we lived…and made it home. We used humor to keep ourselves mentally aware and thinking positive thoughts, which we really needed. References to Monty Python (“If I go first, I want you to eat me.”), to Star Wars (Skywalker cutting open the Tauntaun with his light saber to survive on the ice planet Hoth…which by the way, you can get a Tauntaun sleeping bag here…ThinkGeek), to other strange and odd things that were humorous and funny to both of us.
We’re ok. We survived. We learned several shortcomings that we need to remedy. We WILL fix those shortcomings. Hopefully, you might pick up a tidbit or two from this story that can help you survive in a similar situation. Thank the Lord, for those angels that did stop to check on us, help us make a few calls, and even spared a few bottles of water for us.
I’ve helped hundreds of stranded strangers on roads all over the country in the past 30 years. I’ve rescued people trapped in the middle of nowhere, including one person trapped in an upside down car, down a ravine, pinned between trees, with a crushed roof. I only heard the accident, and then went and found them, and went back and got help on the way.
I’ve performed emergency first aid to traumatic accident injuries and kept people alive, more times than I'd like to count. I’ve pulled people and their cars a cumulative hundreds of miles with my vehicles, to get them home, or to some place of safety and resources. I’ve fixed cars with small mechanical issues, changed tires, fetched cans of gas, or replacement belts, and got them back on the road.
I’ve been that angel that those stranded travelers needed at that moment of despair. Yesterday, I was on the other side of the fence, and saw many angels stop to check on us.
Of all the passing traffic, fully one in ten vehicles stopped to offer aid. I’ve never seen that before…that high a ratio of nice and concerned individuals who care enough about fellow human beings to check on them. That should tell you something about the people of Wyoming.
On New Year’s Day,2001, I had a front wheel bearing seize on my one ton Dodge dually, on the side of the road between Mojave, California, and Lancaster, California (100 miles north of Los Angeles, 40 miles west of Edwards Air Force Base).
Thousands and thousands of cars and families were headed home from a holiday weekend in places north and east (Lake Tahoe, Reno, Las Vegas, etc). During six hours on the shoulder of that highway, the front wheel off, tools scattered all around me, and me trying to resolve the situation with hand tools, and a 44 foot flatbed trailer hanging off my rear bumper, I had NO ONE stop to check on me, except for the third highway patrolman to pass me (who had passed two hours earlier going the other way). It was him that got a wrecker coming my way, and finally towed into town. Strangely, my huge cell phone of the time just happened to NOT HAVE CELL SERVICE either.
I see a trend here.
I’ll close now…another survival story shared. Complacency nearly did us in. Freezing to death was a real possibility. Tools failed to work when needed most. Human beings saw an opportunity to show compassion.
It was a bad day…but, it was a good day. We’re home, and alive. We’re more broke than before, but we’ll work it through. Stay safe, friends, always.
Commentary and thoughts on the science of Doomsday
Our nearest threat...
The Mayan Calendar Reboot.
[tminus t="21-12-2012 00:00:59" style="carbonite" omitweeks="true"/]
1. What IS TEOTWAWKI?
It's shorthand for "The End of The World As We Know It". I'm pretty sure if you've been around people that call themselves preppers or survivalists, or you've seen even a couple of Doomsday Preppers shows, you'll have heard the phrase by now. It became popular in the 90's on the old newsgroup Misc.Survival. It has developed and aged and morphed into the massive, all-in, total destruction, everything crashes scenario for when all our worlds do a complete paradigm shift...and things get really bad, as in Great Depression, World War 3, Second Coming, Anti-Christ bad. Yes...I mean B.A.D.
Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast talked about the cultural awareness of change on his podcast on 12/11/12, titling his show as "UNDERSTANDING THE COMING SHIFTS IN SOCIETY". All throughout human history, and reoccurring time and time again, gigantic changes in human thought, human climate, or human living conditions were noted in the historical records, going back thousands of years.
Society overall, but especially in the United States, seems to be on a downward spiral toward some kind of massive change in collective thinking. A lot of people feel and share concerns that it's going to be a very bad thing, and the current administration in Washington seems to want to hasten massive change, even to the point of forcing economic failure...and that is scaring the crap out of everyone.
Doom. It's coming...and soon.
2. Who defines TEOTWAWKI?
In this article, we need to consider a standard definition of just how bad can it get. What I feel would be an end of the world scenario could be a different kind or type of doom than a lot of people would even ponder. Hollywood screenwriters have given us a plethora of potential world ending possibilities. From a simple nuclear exchange of super powers referenced in any of the Terminator films or a hundred other movies, to a complete and absolute reboot of the entire human condition, such as "The Knowing", there is plenty of essentially doom-filled opportunities for all of us to consider.
In a world that has always had a religious idealism causing death and destruction for eons, there are many who think doom will be brought upon us by God, any number of deities, nature, science, or extraterrestrial potentialities. Some think that our world will end at the hand of men, or perhaps a man...Hitler, anyone?
The Holocaust was an example of TEOTWAWKI for the Jews affected by the Third Reich. The Spanish conquest of all of the Americas centuries ago affected millions of indigenous native Americans over millions of square miles. Doom can mean the end of a race, a species, a people, or all life as we know it. Remember 65 million years ago? Me neither. But, the end of the age of dinosaurs came in a mere fraction of an instant in geological time. They didn't see the end coming. We may not either.
So...a standard definition of THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Something that covers all possibilities, all people, all life as we know it...right this very moment. The end of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom. Love. Descendants. The future...
Devastation...complete and utter devastation. The End of the WORLD.
Wow. Think about that. No more world. No more air. No more people. No more science, chemistry, biology, math. No one around to THINK.
Pretty depressing, huh?
End of the World. Extinction Level Event. ELE.
THAT is what TEOTWAWKI should be all about. Extinction.
The current zeitgeist considers much less to be TEOTWAWKI. Let's consider just what that means.
3. Different levels of TEOTWAWKI...
Ok. We've set up a pretty good definition for a REAL TEOTWAWKI. But, look above....read part 2 again. That part about the Holocaust, the Spaniards, the dinosaurs. A million more TEOTWAWKI-type sub-events. Consider TEOTWAWKI for nations...for societies throughout history...the communistic/socialistic genocide of 200 million people all through the 20th century. And then there's nature.
Think about being in downtown New Orleans in the heart of Katrina's pounding wrath.
Ponder being on Sumatra in 2004 when the massive quake and tsunami washed ashore killing a quarter million people in mere moments.
Reflect on downtown Hiroshima or Nagasaki and seeing that blinding flash up close and personal before the end of World War 2.
Study the events of the firestorms in Tokyo and Dresden, and what a firestorm does to a city you might live in.
Writhe in agony in an ocean front beach home on the Jersey shore, as the water from Superstorm Sandy's storm surge rises around your entire life.
Pray for salvation as the 250 mph winds from an F5 tornado pass directly over you while lying in a ditch, or inside a closet of your home in Jefferson County, Alabama on April 8th, 1998.
Mini-TEOTWAWKI events abound all throughout world history. Millions and millions of human beings killed by nature, by man, or by accidents of enormous proportions. TEOTWAWKI can also be up close and personal to you and yours. Families losing entire generations of members in highway accidents, house fires, flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.
For those left to deal with the aftermath, it seems as if their world has ended. Losing a parent...or both. Losing a child...or several. Grief overshadows everything. Tomorrow is a distant memory in the cold dark cloud of sorrow and despondence. Generations ago, a death, or deaths, in a family were expected. Disease, starvation, deprivation, and pestilence were a fact of everyday life.
In our current society and lifestyle, with science, biology, vaccinations, and a greater understanding of illness and medicine all on our side, expected life spans of the average man or woman have almost doubled.
Still...all men die. Not all really live. Life is what we wake up to each day, and go to bed with each night, hoping that our very near future is productive, successful, and filled with hope and joy. TEOTWAWKI is the end result of that hope vanishing.
Hope. That's the active ingredient in TEOTWAWKI. When you've lost hope...all hope...you've started down that ever quickening slope to TEOTWAWKI.
4. Is it REALLY TEOTWAWKI?
Who knows? Only YOU can know if whatever you're facing down at that moment of hope lost, total despair, physical agony, or absolute threat...is the end of everything in your life. Only in the midst of utter devastation, with a quickening pulse, a squirt of adrenaline, or a dash of fear, can you even attempt to measure just how badly things might get for you...your family...your neighborhood...or the entire world.
Some events roll up to our doorsteps with screeching tires, or crash through the wall of our solitude. Some happen in flash of light, a blink of the eye, a beat of the heart. Still other events come sneaking up on us on little cat feet...tiptoeing and approaching us from a different direction while we're busy doing something else.
Or, a disaster of incredible magnitude sits there right in front of us, waiting...simmering...ticking like a time bomb, and we either recognize, or don't, the inevitability of that TEOTWAWKI about to go off and affect our very lives.
Pompeii. Vesuvius. Toga. Mt. Rainier. Krakatoa. Yellowstone. San Andreas. New Madrid.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Look around you. Look at the horizon. Glance at your backyard. Look at the bottom of your shoes. Right this moment, go pull the map for your state out of the glove box in your car, and look closely. Is there something near you right now that just might be the end of your world? Think hard. Your life depends on it.
5. Planning for eventual TEOTWAWKI...
Did you find anything in the survey of your home, town or city that might be a sleeping giant of Doom? Something very obvious, or barely there? Something that, for the time being, is not a threat, but long term could eventually devastate all that surrounds your life? If so, it's something you can plan for. Planning is a GOOD thing.
Strategy. It's the key concept in creating a plan for your survival goal list. What is most likely to occur to me? List each threat, and then as many ways as possible to avoid that threat. Solutions...tools...skills...supplies...locations...transportation...medical needs...shelter, food and water. If you live where an F5 tornado may occur, do you have a place to hunker down when it's coming straight for you? Is it solid? Is it stocked? Is it accessible? Will it actually work? You've really got to spend some time on making a complete list of potential scenarios that are really possible in your area. Even those remotely possible events need to be considered. Layered responses to escalating threats is a good thing to consider during this phase of your investigations.
Denial. Most people, dare I say a vast majority, will never contemplate that their world could ever turn upside down in TEOTWAWKI. Most won't even be able to grasp the concept of a real doomsday scenario. Sure, they've seen all kinds of doomer movies in recent years, but actual earth-shattering disaster affecting them personally? Never!
These folks are the DGI's of the world. They just don't, and never will, "Get it." They'll stand there slack jawed and wide-eyed as the freight train of doom comes tearing down the rumbling rails of destruction, tearing towards their little compact car of life stuck squarely on the rails by the Grim Reaper.
Boom...it's all over. End of the game. They're gone, just like that. Shock and awe, frozen in fear, unable to move a muscle. Must be some kind of movie, eh? Nope. Guess not. Another one bites the dust.
A Whisker away. TEOTWAWKI is never what we all expect. It can destroy everything in an instant, yet leave a few lucky souls to pick up the pieces. Missing the doom by the space of a millimeter...or getting dragged into the vortex and vacuum as doom passes us by...or so we thought.
Years ago, in early 2001, I was a hot shot truck driver, driving a one ton Dodge dually pickup coast to coast with campers and RVs. Coming north out of Denver one morning, I was in the slow lane in medium to heavy traffic, pulling a 44 foot flat bed trailer (luckily empty at this time). A small red car was parked on the right shoulder of the highway...just sitting there. I saw it easily as I approached at 75 mph in the right lane of I-25.
Inconceivably, the brake lights went off, and instead of the car gaining speed to pull into traffic, this idiot hits his left turn signal, and proceeds to pull directly into my lane from a dead stop, obviously not looking to see if the lane was clear. I glanced in my driver side rear view mirror, for a millisecond at the most, scanning for traffic, and proceeded to try to avoid this car and driver by an exceedingly fast lane change...no time to hit the brakes. As I passed him, the truck was straddling the two lanes, and I was praying that there be no traffic that was between my truck and the grassy highway median.
Even here, 11 years later, I cannot tell you how I missed hitting and destroying that car and it's occupants with my 4 1/2 ton truck and 3 ton trailer. It literally was inches from total devastation for the car and the people inside, and potentially for me. I cringe even now, just thinking about what might have happened if I had not missed hitting it, visualizing a 1500 pound car being crushed under my 10 times heavier rig with its occupants, or worse, my truck losing control, jack-knifing, and rolling uncontrollably down the highway, crossing into oncoming traffic and killing how many more?
A hair's breadth. A nano-meter. So close, so very very awfully close to death. Yet, scraping by safely. This event is not the only near-miss in my life of nearly 52 years...just one of the more memorable and quite potentially bloody instances of luck (and driver's skill??? no...sheer luck) keeping my foot out of a potential grave.
In 1975, not so lucky...getting run over by a truck driven by a drunk driver, almost taking my right leg off, only 6 blocks from my home...nearly died that day...but didn't. Personal TEOTWAWKI can be graphically, insanely, ungodly close to us, breathing hot rancid air down our collars, raising the hackles on our necks...then turning away JUST at the last possible moment.
Luck? Yes, I think it plays a part in our lives. Fate? Not so much. Oh, and that red car? I pulled off onto the shoulder after getting past him, and stopped with my flashers on, trying to get my heart restarted. I was livid, bloody angry at what just happened. I looked back to see where that car was. It had pulled back over to the same shoulder 1000 feet back and stopped. I really hoped he had just shit himself.
I got out of the truck, and walked back to the end of my trailer, and waited, crossing my arms in defiance, and searing the laser-like heat of my gaze on that driver. He paused...and then he drove across the grass onto the service road...as far away from me as he could be, to get away from my anger. I toyed with following him off the highway (my truck WAS four wheel drive, after all), to whatever destination he might go, and beating the living daylights out of him for almost killing me, and nearly taking MY future away. I didn't...but I really wanted to. TEOTWAWKI can make you want to do that too.
6. Will there ever be a TEOTWAWKI?
Pretty much...yep. There will be. For each and every one of us. Will we survive it? Doing nothing now sort of answers that question for us. Figuring out what might be coming down the pike in our direction is what smart people do. For example, here's a news story from 12/11/12.
US intelligence study sees possible fight ahead over water, food
Nearly two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities by 2030, with most people middle class, connected by technology, protected by advanced health care and the United States and China perhaps cooperating to lead the way. That's the best-case scenario in a report, Global Trends 2030, released Monday by the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council.
In the worst-case scenario, the rising population leads to conflict over water and food, especially in the Mideast and Africa, and the instability contributes to global economic collapse.
The study is the intelligence community's analysis of where current trends will take the world in the next 15 to 20 years, intended to help policymakers plan for the best and worst possible futures.
Food, water and energy will be more scarce. "Nearly half of the world's population will live in areas experiencing severe water stress," the report said. Africa and the Middle East will be most at risk of food and water shortages, with China and India also vulnerable.
Among the anticipated crises is the worry of global economic collapse, fighting among nations that don't adapt rapidly enough and the possible spillover of instability in the Mideast and South Asia to the rest of the world.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/10/us-intelligence-study-sees-possible-fight-ahead-over-water-food/?intcmp=obnetwork#ixzz2ErUdQEoa
That can't be good. Food and water...people killing each other over basic sustenance? It's been a problem before. It could be again. Ever hear of the Potato Famine in Ireland? That nation's population dropped between 20% and 25% because of the failure of ONE CROP.
That's just one potential issue that the world, and us, need to consider in our "big picture" planning book. This one particular threat gives each of us an opportunity to do a little future planning and stocking of our own food and water supply...just in case.
Another potential TEOTWAWKI threat is disease, such as a global pandemic, as the world witnessed in 1918. The 1918 flu pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. Between 20 and 50 million died, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. Using the higher estimate of 50 million people, 3% of the world's population (which was 1.86 billion at the time) died of the disease. Some 500 million, or 27%, were infected.
Read that again. TWENTY SEVEN PERCENT OF THE WORLD"S POPULATION WAS INFECTED. 1 in every 4 people on the planet. The ENTIRE planet.
Seeing people drop dead all around you, including a lot of people you know, can be very end-of-the-world-ish. You can't plan on surviving a pandemic, any more than you can plan to survive a meteor strike in your hometown. Either it gets you, or it doesn't. Any amount of planning won't help if you're in the midst of a powerful global or regional disaster...but...some planning can help you stay out of areas where these kind of things will be more likely to occur. Goes back to that planning thing above. In other words, don't be where problems of any kind are most likely to occur, or occur with frightening regularity.
Bottom line...there are endless lists of potentially deadly or disturbingly painful ways for all of us to meet our maker. Understanding that life itself is precious and worthy of extra contemplation of threats and responses and/or mitigation will be what allows us to live a bit longer than the rest of the world when The End comes to some, or most, of us.
Doomsday Preppers shows the world some of the most popular fears and cultural worries in the age of instant gratification and timely global despair. Any preparedness for the major worries of most people, help those that act to have peace of mind, less stress, and easier acceptance, when the time comes, of having done all you can to make it through the end of the world in the best possible shape. Doing nothing beforehand pretty much guarantees your place in the annals of history...under "victim".
NEVER give up....
Don't be a number in the next catastrophe. Don't let your guard down when things look bleak. No matter what, don't give up. Hope is the one thing you have to keep a strangle hold on. Hope of survival..of a chance...of another day. Winston Churchill said on October 29, 1941, "... But for everyone... Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." This includes the Grim Reaper.
Don't lose your humanity either, when things are darkest. Katrina is a great example of a small portion of society turning into animals in the midst of destruction and chaos. Rwanda is another good example, or any of a number of genocides in our history. Lead with your heart, but think with it as well. Keep in mind that there will always be a small portion of society that is nothing more than a predatory, useless, and foul-tempered beast of destruction. Don't become that predator, but don't let yourself become the prey, either.
Think it through. Even the deadliest events will have some survivors, hanging onto a tree floating down the river, or hidden in a safe place until after the Angel of Death passes. Luck does play a part of survival, but so does initiative and action. An intimate understanding of survival psychology helps greatly to put things into perspective. Spend some time reading up on that, such as the book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why .
Do, or do not. There is no try, when it comes to TEOTWAWKI.
Good luck out there...
Today is November 26. In exactly 26 days, the world will end. Dead. Kaput. Dog meat. Massive instant evaporation of all cosmic and quantum material in the entire universe. Every proton, every neutron, every electron...but most importantly....every moron.
Or....not. In many ways, and my wife is going to hate me for saying this....Shit Just Got Real. The cacophony of disasters, wars, st0rms, deaths, threats, and terror are reaching a feverish pitch. She prefers me to use the phrase "Survival Just Got Real"...which is more politically correct, and not nearly as crude. We have a lot of current doom in our world, our lives, our politics, our natural disasters, and even our daily lives. I can personally vouch for two extremely life-changing events in my very own life in the last 5 weeks. One was the hack of my huge 15 year old web site, SurvivalRing.org (where you are right now...lol). The other happened on Thanksgiving Eve, to a member of my family, with life altering events still unfolding, yet I will not be sharing those details. But, I digress.
Since the rise of the new agers and doomers beginning in the 1970s, born and bread from the hippy, beatnik, peace on earth, anti-war, do no harm folks (well, wacko is a little harsh for these mindless drones), we've had an ever growing litany of doom Doom DOOM!!! Whether it was the ever feared total global thermonuclear war, starting with the Cuban Missile Crisis, the alignment of the planets in 1976 , the mass suicides of Jim Jones or the Hale Bopp Comet Catastrophe ( the latter created and fomented by Art Bell), the Coming Global Super-storm saga from Bell and writer Whitley Streiber), the 5/5/2000 Mass Dreams of the Future mess from Chet Snow (another planetary alignment), the late 1990's Ancient Prophecies series on the History Channel, all the pseudo-documentaries (now in the hundreds on every aspect of TEOTWAWKI). Let's not forget all the psychics, seer's, evangelists, and fortune tellers around the world who started sharing Earth Changes maps of the coming destruction of the entire North American Continent.
First among these was The Mayan Factor by José Argüelles, published in 1987, which brought forth to the mass media of the world (gee, thanks, cable TV minions of doom!), the issue of one, little, mostly forgotten hunk of carved rock found on a jungle floor decades ago. Unfortunately, Argüelles met his own doom in March 2011 (not sure if he was in Japan at that time....THAT would have been ironic. Argüelles was seen as a wondrous source of profound wisdom, in an ever maddening world, where hundreds of groups looked for meanings in time, events, history, and completely unconnected directions. He seems to be the main source of how December 21st became such a beacon of insanity to so many doomers of all lands.
This fairly thin and scantly scientific tome hit the new age market just at the right time...way before Y2k, but THAT is a whole other story. The many cycles of the Mayan circular calendar, all interlinking with each other, and at the same time, matching celestial cycles such as the great migration of the constellations as the solar system makes one 26,000 year long orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, posed a problem. It ran out. Or, rather, reboots...on December 21st. Or does it?
Thousands of science fiction books exist on every conceivable way for the End Of the World. Virii (Earth Abides). Asteroids (Lucifer's Hammer). Aliens (take your pick). War, after war, after war. Giant space elephants (Footfall). Ice Ages (Cave of the Clan Bear). Volcanoes (Google map the nearest volcanic caldera to your home. Ants (Them). Nuclear Testing (watch "Crack in the World" on Netflix). Movies, books, entire magazines entire TV channels now (watched an episode of Doomsday Preppers yet?). Can ancient Mayan religions really harken so much impending despair across so many cultures? Many think so.
I dare not mention any of the promises mentioned by and for various deities over the millennia...those things get really rude, crude and socially unacceptable in non-doomer circles, and sound even scarier.
And, just in the past 10 years, this world has seen with their own eyes, as it happened, catastrophic calamities the world over, with death counts totaling nearly a million people...LIVE...on TV, smart phones, computers and anything else connected to the Internet. Death...as it happens. Real time, Real Life, Real Death.
Sumatra's quake and tsunami in 2004, Katrina in 2005, Japan's quake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in March 2011, the southeast US in April 2011 with hundreds killed in massive tornadic storms...and now, in the most populous city in the entire nation, Super-storm Sandy, afflicting tens of thousands in New York and New Jersey. Hundreds killed, mitigation of real damage completely absent, no way to avoid what truly was an expected disaster in the making for decades (which, in a strange twist of fate, or karma...your choice) funds sent to plan and prepare for these inevitable threats went to bonuses, dinners, maps, charts, half-assed training, and EVERYTHING BUT the actual problem at hand...(Just Like Katrina), hundreds of billions in losses and property damage...and a President who promised swift action, and still sits on his ass weeks later...after using the disaster to win reelection. (Oops, sorry. Political doom still isn't politically correct yet).
And now, with all this pent-up, over the top, in your face, OMG REALITY CHECK that yes, doom is already happening blather...well, I for one will be glad to see an end to all of these scary, dark, foreboding, deadly, and mushy end of the world events. December 22nd will be a nice, quiet Saturday afternoon for me. The lack of a winter in Wyoming certainly not a harbinger of old Grampa Gore's Global Warming lies, I see a resting, relaxing day in either one of two places. Either sitting on my front porch enjoying the warmth of the low angle rays of the sun on this year's Winter Solstice, as huge flocks of geese and ducks fly by, with the occasion calls of the sand hill cranes, or even those few turkeys, providing the soothing ambient music of my nature preserve/yard, or floating around in complete and utter oblivion....wishing like hell I would have read that book I heard about many, many years ago...you'll know the one I'm talking about....On being, and Nothingness?
As my daughter always says, when idiots, or idiocy, abounds in her presence...."Really?"
I'm just sayin'.
My real thoughts on Doomsday are this. Sometimes it's when you are in a horrible, angry situation where you have no idea where to find safety and comfort...like being in any of those events mentioned above that I've shared, you'll be in the midst of your own personal doomsday. Sometime, someday...it MAY be global. This time?
Nope. I call Bullshit. Sadly, just like Y2k, people are going to profit off of other people's fears. It's sensationalism...it's news...it's anything...but real.
But, to counter-point ALL of the above Doom....I must truly share with you what my real, honest to God, life concerns are.
Natural disasters...earthquakes...floods....tornadoes....car wrecks...burglaries...homicides...pandemics...insidious wars the world over....terrorism...suicide bombers...domestic terror...family on family murders...and so many more things.
These things happen all over the world...but seemingly most prevalent here in the good old USA. My stomping grounds...your stomping grounds...and home to 330 million Americans who somehow, someway, are ignorant of what natural disasters occur with incredible regularity where they live. For example, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population—almost 3.6 billion people—live on or within 100 miles of a coastline. Estimates are that in three decades, 6 billion people—that is, nearly 75 percent of the world’s population—will live along coasts. Now, take a wild guess at what kind of disaster kills the MOST people in a single event, and what that event might be. Did you take a guess? Did you guess tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake? Hey, you've chosen wisely.
So, what's the smart thing to do? Tick tock tick tock....buzzz! That's right, you probably guessed "live INLAND". Sure, it's not nearly as scenic, but it's hell of a lot safer when nature goes on another oceanic rampage.
Many tools exist all over the web to help you figure out what the most likely natural or technological hazard is around your home or region. Find them, examine them, read them, and then take action. That's what SurvivalRing is all about...offering over a million pages of info JUST on being prepared for ANY life endangering event. From simple first aid, to global thermonuclear war, and everything in between...you will find documents, reports, and manuals that will give you details on what can happen, where it can happen, how often it happens, and how to prepare for when it happens.
If, at this point your eyes are glazing over, you're still thinking 12/21/12 is gonna kill us all, and you simply just don't give a damn about spending time and money for a little food and water insurance, fire extinguishers, some camping gear, and flashlights and radios, well....good luck to you. Hope you make it through the next local disaster with a roof over your head, food in your belly, and dry socks and warm clothes, without having to live in some government-run shelter for the homeless. You will rue that day...and I mean imminent rueage. A real heartfelt "it's gonna suck to be you" day.
Don't say I didn't warn you. More to come later.
Our update this week is all about helping ourselves and helping others. There are still so many working toward recovery in the aftermath of Sandy. Please read on to learn helpful ways to assist and get assistance.
We also ask you to continue to share information in the following ways:
The SBA, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is offering low-interest loans to help small businesses rebuild. Information is available on the SBA website.
TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR THOSE DISPLACED BY SANDY
Families and individuals in declared counties within New York and New Jersey, who are registered for federal disaster assistance and seeking rental resources, can search through hundreds of listings on the FEMA Housing Portal. The FEMA Housing Portal consolidates rental resources identified and provided by a variety of federal agencies and also lists rental properties provided by private organizations and property owners willing to help their neighbors during these difficult times.
FEMA is also bringing in contractors to perform basic repairs to thousands of storm-damaged homes in New York. These repairs will include patching holes in walls and roofs, replacing doors, running temporary electrical lines, fixing electrical meters and even repairing plumbing. Only residents in federally-declared counties, who have registered for FEMA assistance, are eligible to participate.
The first step to receive housing assistance is by registering for disaster assistance. To register for assistance by phone, please call toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA, or 1-800-621-3362. An easy, online registration process also remains available anytime atwww.disasterassistance.gov, or by using your web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS & COMMUNITY RELATIONS SPECIALISTS
As of earlier this week, 30 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open in New York, 23 in New Jersey and seven in Connecticut and more continue to open. FEMA is working closely with state and local officials in the hardest hit areas to identify future DRC sites that are accessible to those who need help and are large enough to handle the full suite of services. Do you or someone you know need a disaster recovery center location?
What do you do if you receive a letter from FEMA denying your request for disaster assistance? First of all, it does not necessarily mean your case is closed. Your letter tells you how to appeal the decision and what additional information you need to provide to FEMA, in order for your case to be reviewed again. It is important to note that survivors must submit an appeal within 60 days of the date on the determination letter they received.
To speak with someone directly about your particular situation, you may also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Either way, you can get more information about what to do next and give FEMA information that might change the determination about your eligibility to receive federal assistance. Learn more here.
VETERANS HELPING SURVIVORS ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Finally, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, we wanted to share a story about veterans helping survivors on the road to recovery.
With so many New Yorkers facing the overwhelming and exhausting task of cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy, a group of former veterans known as Team Rubicon have become very popular. And rightly so.
“We were exhausted after the first few days,” said Rockaway homeowner Barbara Millet, “but they just showed up. My mother-in-law calls them angels.”
Editor's note: in the newsletter that was sent last week titled: "Are You Prepared for Winter Weather Storms?" it should be noted that FEMA does not name storms. FEMA uses only the National Weather Service as its official source for storm names.
Tonight on the National Geographic Channel started the second season premier of their runaway hit "Doomsday Preppers", the channels highest rated show ever. Yeah...I'll watch it, both episodes being shown tonight back to back. Do I expect to learn anything? Not really. Last season gave us the overall view that any "doomsday" prepper has to be a little crazy. Whether it's "crazy like a fox" remains to be seen. Still, crazy is mostly the big draw of this series.
The overall focus on sheer amounts of material hoarding of food, ammo, tools, and sundries still took a backseat to the continuous references to guns, weapons, fortifications, bunkers, bug-outs, defense, and repetitive references to what we in this genre call the "Golden Hoard", or from the nineties on the old newsgroups such as Misc.Survival, the infamous "Spikey Haired Mutants". In layman's terms...what happens when society breaks down, and the folks that didn't prepare, find or dig out their guns and other weapons, and go find the folks that did prepare, to try to take their stores of goods by menace, force or outright war.
So many movies in the last 30 years (during and after the Cold War) had story lines that emphasized these good versus evil battles, that it has literally turned into real life. We saw it in Katrina, and we're seeing it with "Superstorm Sandy" victims and wide areas of the NYC/NJ portions of the northeast United States. Looters, robberies, and death. Decades ago it was Mad Max, Red Dawn, and Damnation Alley. Recently we've seen The Book of Eli, The Road, and countless horror flicks of every genre. You may have heard the phrase "Shit just got real"? Talk to the helpless victims of Sandy in New Jersey and Staten Island even today, and see what is happening in our own nation's largest metro areas.
Tonight's DDP shows again shared a few family and individual stories, of WHY they prepare. A new 5 area scoring chart (out of 100 point total) after each prepper's segment helped the prepper (and those of us paying attention), learn just how prepared these folks were...by those feckless self-described experts known far and wide now as the "practical preppers". Some of the reasons given in this evening's two episodes included prepping for F5 tornadoes, economic meltdown, small pox pandemics, nuclear attack and the like. Repeats from last season were shown before and after the new season's episodes, for a good straight six hours of Pure Unadulterated Doom.
As usual, weapons and gun use were a big part of each segment of tonight's shows. It seems that DDP truly feels that you aren't a doomer or real prepper unless you're really ready, willing, and able to kill to protect your stash of food and ammo. Why oh why does NGC almost require every prepper on the show to share their armory ideas (I can think of one prepper last season who did not even mention guns in their episode...good friend Bruce Beach).
Given all the above, is there anything to learn by spending an hour a week for the next 15 weeks watching future episodes of Doomsday Preppers? Hmmm. Let's see.
1. Feature preppers discussing the basics of prepping? Helps people new to the idea start understanding that prepping is a REAL thing, for real events, that occur over and over again in this nation.
2. Have some kind of measurement (even if it's completely arbitrary) to "rate" individual preparedness levels after reviewing their preps? Helpful for them, but not really for us. Really not real world science for the rest of us...just navel introspection by those practical prepper dreamers.
3. Make preparedness a topic for popular culture in times of strife and destruction? Look no further than Superstorm Sandy, Katrina, or last weeks election outcome. Yes, it DID just get real.
4. Create community discussion of how to better strengthen and enhance community resilience to natural and manmade disasters? NGC and DPP have only lightly glossed over the community aspect of prepping, but a few of the many participants did make sure to get THAT message across that community support and involvement is needed.
Bottom line, DDP is interesting, but assuredly not the end-all, be-all of the world of preparedness. On one hand, it's a good thing, making identification of real threats to life and safety important and worthy of discussion. On another, it could be a psychological tool to out this small portion of society, that our fearless administration, in all its inate and moronic stupidity, have now labeled subversives. Look it up, my friends. I kid you not.
Time will tell. If you feel the urge to prep, then by all means, please do. But, don't do what DDP'ers do...that is, don't display and discuss YOUR plans and supplies with people who have no reason to know anything at all. Prep yourself, prep your family, and help your neighbors. Do NOT invite strangers into your realm...those will be the ones that abuse trust, and in times of strife, will take advantage of you. Just like what DDP is doing with this series.
Last week, in the immediate aftermath of Sandy, we asked how you prepared, how you encouraged others to prepare, and what you learned from your experience. Many of you weighed in with your stories, creativity, and offers to lend a hand to others. Thank you for your outstanding preparedness efforts, and strength as a community.
There is more severe winter weather coming, and more you can do in this time of both recovery, and preparation. Please read on...
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER STORMS?
As winter storms Athena on the east coast, and impending Brutus on the west coast hit much of our country, we ask you to do the following:
Also, because social media is such a useful tool in emergency management, check out this post for ideas on other ways to share critical preparedness information.
HURRICANE SANDY: RUMOR CONTROL
As you share preparedness information on social media channels, also watch out for the false information being spread, especially on the response and recovery effort for Hurricane Sandy. Rumors spread fast: get the facts here! And after you do, please tell a friend and help us provide accurate information about the types of assistance available!
CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS, NOW THAT YOU HAVE CHANGED THE CLOCKS!
Finally, let's end on the topic of a different kind of preparedness: fires.
Now that we’ve moved back to Standard Time, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that everyone test home smoke alarms and replace the batteries if more than one year old.
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family of a home fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you're awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert scanning the air for fire and smoke. For more information on smoke alarms, fire escape planning, and fire prevention, visit the USFA website.