Natural Disasters

Top Ten Natural Disasters

We live on a volatile planet. The earth’s crust is constantly shifting which changes land formations, forms mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Additionally the wind may form into cyclones and tornadoes while water sources such as lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, ocean harbors, and rain all may contribute to flooding. Droughts may contribute to wildfires. Heat and erosion may contribute to avalanches and landslides.   When events like these collide with humans, the results can be deadly. Despite it all, we all call planet Earth home.

We are fortunate that in most areas of the US there are weather and disaster warning systems. If we are paying attention, we should at least have some warning and hopefully be able to make wise decisions in precious little time that can save lives and minimize casualties. Beyond this, there are things we can do to prepare for the unexpected. Being prepared is one of the best ways to give yourself peace of mind and buy precious time in the event of an actual emergency.  One thing you will definitely want to have is a back up supply of food, water, pet supplies, necessary pharmaceuticals and toiletry items. You can see a detailed list of things you may need in my post on Terrorism.

Organize for Disaster

In addition to the same type of things needed in the event of a terrorist attack, Organize for Disaster by Judith Kolberg covers most natural disasters (also some man made ones) and gives specific suggestions as to how you can prepare. Of course many of the preparations will work for multiple events. Being well prepared for various disaster scenarios involves more than just stock piling food and personal items. Judith Kolberg suggests that you also have clothing (at least one change of clothing for each member of your household), blankets and/or sleeping bags, a well stocked first aid kit, extra tennis shoes and/or boots (waterproof would be best). It is also recommended that you have both a landline phone and a cell phone. A small portable radio and flashlights should also be readily available.

If you are fortunate enough to have the space (perhaps in a basement or garage) you can set up a disaster provision area. Pet carriers and  emergency pet supplies should also be stored in this area.

Basement prep   Garage prep

If you are not so fortunate to have such space luxury there are still things you can do. Here is an excellent way to pack a lot into a small space. You might consider doing one for each family member.

Home-emergency-Kit-flyer

It would be best if you used a waterproof trashcan on wheels since you may have to leave your home on foot. Wheels would obviously make it easier to transport supplies if needed.

If you are leaving your home to go to an emergency shelter you wouldn’t need to take something the size of a trashcan. A shelter should have its own stock of those sorts of supplies. Judith Kolberg recommends having a prepacked “grab and go bag.” For those of you with military backgrounds, this is basically the same thing as a bug out bag. Judith recommends having these bags stored in an easily accessible place. There should be one bag per family member (including pets) and each bag should be labeled by family member name. Weather appropriate coats, jackets, and sweaters should be stored close to these bags. Judith’s book suggests using backpacks hung on coat hooks with weather gear stored directly below them on another row of coat hooks. Some shelters will not take animals so be sure that you have a previously thought out plan about where your pets will go to get to safety. Other shelters DO allow pets so if a temporary emergency shelter is part of your plan, find out in advance the shelter’s pet policy. If you are going to a hotel, you should also find out the pet policy well in advance. Many hotels are becoming more animal friendly.

If you need to bug out and you will be taking pets with you, here are some examples of what you may need:
72_Hr_Bug_Out_Bag

Doggie_Bug_Out_LG-e1456966021606
cat bug out

Check to see if your cat still fits! You may need to purchase a small soft sided cat carrier that can be worn and then use the carrier at your destination to secure your cat.

Cat wear

If you need to bug out with small pets, birds, fish, snakes, reptiles, etc. think along the guidelines listed above. Birds should have a light cover over their cage during movement. Be sure that the cover allows air and light into the cage.  Small animals will require housing, food, water, toys, bedding, treats, etc. Fish will be more challenging. You may want to have a previously established emergency tank set up within a safe distance (for instance in a friends garage, basement, or shed with access to electricity in a nearby town or another part of the city that doesn’t flood). The emergency tank should be filled from the same water source you use for your tank at home. Be sure to have plenty of food, necessary water conditioners and stress reducing products stored here. If at all possible try to give yourself enough time to acclimate your fish to the emergency tank. If you must keep moving and can’t acclimate the fish yourself, be sure you have previously taught your friend how to acclimate fish–and leave written instructions near the tank as a reminder.  Have emergency transfer nets and carriers available. Fish can be transferred in almost any nonmetal clean container that holds water. Bear in mind that while you want your fish to be able to move freely about, you won’t want to completely fill the container–fish still need oxygen. Also, make sure the container has a lid (fish can jump out) with air holes.

If you must leave your home due to an emergency, no pets should ever be left behind. Having a previously thought out plan will make evacuating much smoother and less stressful.

In addition to all of the above preparations there are also several other things that you should arrange prior to needing them:

Your Family Plan– You should have escape routes well thought out for various scenarios and possibilities. Each family’s plan will be different from another family’s. For instance, I live in Indiana and it is highly unlikely that I would ever need to evacuate due to a tsunami (unless on vacation). However, you may live on the coast and need to plan for that possibility.

Your family needs a communication plan. Phone numbers should be in your phone and also written and stored in your bug out bag for easy access. Cell towers may be down, but if you can make it to a landline you may be able to make any necessary phone calls. Also, if calls are not going through, always check and see if texting will work. If you use a prepaid phone, be sure every member of your family has emergency minute cards (prior to the emergency-these would be packed in your bug out bags.) Taking a tablet or ipad with you for communication is an excellent idea if the internet is functional. Don’t forget chargers and accessories.

Have at least two places to meet each other if you should become separated. You need more than one location. For example if you have left your home due to flooding and your plan was to meet in front of the court house but the court house is also flooded you would have a problem if you became separated and phones are down.  Since you were well prepared though, everyone in your family knows the alternate location is to meet at the library. You can make as many locations as you want. It is a good idea to write this plan down and have it in everyone’s bug out bag. When people are under stress they may not remember even simple plans, but again because you are well prepared everyone knows exactly what to do and where to go.

Your Essential and Important Documents-Organize anything you would need to reestablish services, file insurance claims, prove identity, etc and all irreplaceable items such as treasured family photos, etc. Most survivalists recommend putting these documents in light weight containers such as plastic freezer baggies that will protect them from water. All of your family photos can be taken with you easily by having them scanned onto a flash drive and stored in a freezer baggie  in your bug out bag. If needed, they can be reprinted at a later date. It’s also a good idea to scan in all of your important documents although you may still need some of the originals with you like your driver’s license or ID card and your Social Security card. In most cases, one flash drive can handle all of this–and more.  By scanning in all of your important documents you will have all your account numbers and other important information available to you. Always have your flash drive backed up to a disc or other device.

Insurance-Insurance coverage should be arranged now while there is time to do it correctly. Do you live in a flood zone? Have you checked if your home owner’s policy covers flooding? If a tree falls on your roof during a tornado, will your policy cover it? Don’t forget to check on things like cars, boats, lawn mowers, and basically anything it would be expensive to pay for repairs or to replace. Do not just assume that certain events are covered. Ask specific questions and find out what all is covered.  I once went in for an insurance review on my car. The insurance agent said something like my policy only covered anything that was on wheels. In other words, he said, if a deer jumped out of the woods and hit my car (and that does happen in my area) it wouldn’t be covered because something with wheels didn’t strike me. I asked him about horses (there are a lot in my area) and he told me that horses were not covered. Then I asked him what if the horse was attached to a buggy (There are a lot of Amish horse drawn buggys in my area.) The agent looked puzzled and said, “I don’t know. No one has ever asked me that!” I made some changes to my policy.

Home Furnishings– It is a good idea to do a home inventory documented with photos and/or videos. This can be invaluable in helping you replace items in the event a natural disaster completely destroys everything in your home. (Things can be replaced, but people can’t.) This information can be included on your flash drive, phone, or other device.  Again, always back up your important information.

In the book Disaster Preparedness:Ready Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home-Before Disaster Strikes by Rod Brouhard, EMT-P and Crystal Kline, MEP the authors cover all of the topics listed above but they have also included many helpful checklists to help you prepare. The checklists make this book worth checking out.

Disaster Preparedness

 

 

 

 

If  you are unsure what to do in a particular weather (or man made) emergency, there are may books that describe weather and natural phenomenon and what to do. It is a good idea to acquaint yourself with these types of books now. Here are a few of the ones I looked at:

Devastation Tsunami

Natural Disasters

The three books above are pretty amazing picture books. There is also great information in all three.

Do you have any experience with natural disasters? Do you have friends and family who have had to deal with severe weather phenomenon? What will you do to prepare for the possibility of extreme weather and natural events?

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Self Defense

Home-Invasion-Defense-Plan-2

While self defense takes many forms such as taking common sense measures (see my post on Predators), other forms of self defense may or may not use a weapon. Some examples of self defense are using your telephone to call for help, using a home security system, using a dog (or dogs) as part of a defense system, using your body as a weapon (martial arts, kickboxing, etc), knives, swords, etc. Some ordinary objects may be used to strike an attacker and are referred to as bludgeons. Thus a ball bat could become a deadly weapon. Self defense is a very in depth topic which I could never cover in one post. Since I follow the books through the library, this post will mostly discuss guns used for self defense.

I live in an area of the country where guns are a way of life. They are used by the military, law enforcement, hunters, home owners, and as recreational target shooting just to name a few uses. I’m not particularly uncomfortable around guns because I have a healthy respect for them and know many very responsible gun owners. Although I’ve never personally been trained how to use a gun, my husband is a former soldier and an expert marksman. Being a gun owner does not necessarily mean a person is violent. In the majority of cases, gun owners want guns to prevent violence. In general its the misuse of guns that bothers me and it’s the reason that I believe in the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution which says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Hitler-Confiscates-Firearms

Many people in Indiana have guns in their homes for protection. If your personal self defense plan involves a gun, then there is also a lot of responsibility to learn about your right to self defense. Whether you currently own a gun or are thinking of purchasing a gun for self defense, I highly recommend that you read Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob.

Deadly Force

Massad Ayoob does a wonderful job of explaining how to properly defend your home and family with a firearm. There are many illustrative photos in his book so that there can be no doubt what he means as well as many very helpful suggested guidelines. One thing he says is a “must” is that if you choose to protect yourself and others as well as your home and property with a gun you should be trained in the proper use of firearms. Should the unthinkable happen and you are forced to fire your weapon, it will help you legally to have had that training. The author walks the reader through critical decision making and legalities of firing a weapon for the purposes of self defense.

Beyond guns, though, Massad Ayoob also talks about other methods of self defense such as reading body language and putting distance between yourself and a potential attacker if at all possible, the use of less than lethal weapons such as pepper spray, and billy clubs.

If you are a person who hasn’t made up your mind about guns for or against, I recommend that you and everyone else read USA Today’s Gun Control: Preventing Violence or Crushing Constitutional Rights? by Matt Doeden.

Gun Control

Gun Control is one book in a series called USA Today’s Debate: Voices and Perspectives. The authors vary according to subject matter. This book is small but packed with information both for and against stricter gun control. Written on about a 7th grade level, I think this would be a useful text for schools and would be great for a debate class or an in depth US Constitutional study. There are 107 pages excluding  a timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, organization contact information, further information section, and index. There are many colorful photographs in the book as well as many thought provoking topics; far too much information for me to cover in one post. Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, there is something in this book that would be of interest to you. Also, I think it’s important to discover what “the other side” is saying. By thinking about an issue from all sides we gain reliable information that we may not have had before. More reliable information will either alter your opinion or reinforce it.

Have you made up your mind on the gun issue? Do you know any gun owners? Have you ever been trained in the use of firearms?

 

The Blog-aholic Award

blog-aholic-award1 (2)

Dewey Hop has been nominated for The Blog-aholic Award! So what exactly is the Blog-aholic? 

The Blog-aholic Award” is an award for bloggers addicted to blogging with creative, ingenious and inspiring posts. They mesmerize their followers with their posts, keep them captivated and riveted to their blog. The Blog-aholic Award is also for bloggers who “Share and Inspire Others!” The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) 

After that description, the Dewey Hop blog humbly accepts this award and thanks Melinda at Purple Slob In Recovery for the nomination. In addition I would like to thank the originator of the The Blog-aholic Award, Esme at The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy).

As part of The Blog-aholic Award I am supposed to share some links to other posts. I am choosing to share a few links to the most popular and most frequently visited posts:

The Lighter Side of Law

Suicide and Survival

Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation

K9 Officers

Lastly I would like to nominate the following blogs:

kelleysdiy

no face woman

Brother Murf’s Corner

transforminglifenow

Claudia McGill

Should those nominated choose to accept, here are the rules:

  1. Put the above award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator, Esme, of this award and please provide a link or pingback as [Esmé of The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) ] would love to meet you!
  5. Write a post to show your award.
  6. Share a link to some of your posts.
  7. Share 3 interesting facts about yourself.
  8. Nominate and Notify some blogs/bloggers.

A few facts about myself:

  1. I am writing a book.
  2. I haven’t watched TV in almost 6 years.
  3. I use cinnamon to combat caffeine withdrawl headaches.