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    Top 7 Tip You Must Put On How To Prepare For Earthquake

    By David Simpson

    Although residents of Southern California and other fault-riddled regions may be accustomed to riding out temblors, the latest earth-quake swarm, which struck Imperial County, 100 miles east of San Diego, left residents on edge and caused many people outside of the more common quake ready zones to wonder whether they would be prepared if an earthquake struck their area. More than 300 quakes shook Imperial County in August 2012. Though most were minor, two registered magnitudes of 5.5 and 5.3 large enough to shatter windows, knock trailer homes off their foundations, cause sporadic power outages and gas leaks, and prompt hospital evacuations, reported Maria Peinado, a spokeswoman for the Imperial County Emergency Operations Center. And they impacted nerves.
    “It felt like there was quake every 15 minutes, one after another,” said Mike Patel, who manages Townhouse Inn & Suites in Brawley. “My kids are small, and they’re scared and didn’t want to come
    back inside.” Though earthquake swarms like this aren’t necessarily the harbinger of bigger jolts to come, it’s a good reminder for those living in quakeprone areas and even those who aren’t in  hat
    are typically described as “earthquake-heavy” regions to prepare themselves … just in case. Check out these seven simple tips offered by the Federal Emergency Management Association and the United States Geological Survey.quake-house

    1. HAZARD CHECKS

      To reduce your risk of injury or death, conduct a “hazard hunt” through-out your home, neighborhood, workplace and school before a quake strikes, advises FEMA. Identify and fix hazards like unsecured televisions, computers, bookcases, furniture and unstrapped water heaters. Place breakable or heavier items on lower shelves, put latches on cabinet doors to prevent them from opening during shaking and keep flammable materials in latched cabinets or on lower shelves.

    2. SECURE YOUR HOME’S INTEGRITY

      Next, inspect your home’s structural stability. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, take a look at the building’s foundation, roof, chimney, unreinforced masonry, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories and vulnerable pipes. Speak with a contractor or engineer (or talk with your landlord) to help you identify your building’s weaknesses and begin to fix them as soon as possible.earthquake-preparedness-checklist-4

    3. BECOME SHUT-OFF VALVE SAVVY

      Learn where your electric, gas and water shut-off valves are located, and be sure you and your family members understand how to turn them off in case lines are damaged. Also make certain you have easy access to any tools you’ll need, like a wrench or pry bar, should the valve be stuck or blocked.

    4. ASSEMBLE A DISASTER KIT

      Put together disaster supply kits and store them in accessible locations at home, at work and in your vehicle. Having emergency supplies readily available can reduce the impact of an earthquake. Your disaster supply kits should include food, water, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, a first-aid kit (see sidebar for a list of must-have items), cash, extra medications, a whistle, fire extinguisher, tools and a blanket. Also make sure you have a list of emergency contact information in your kit, including

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      The Earth’s Anatomy and the Mechanics of a Temblor

      By David Simpson

      Whether you live in an earthquake-prone region or not, you know that the Earth can move in mysterious ways. Preparing for an earthquake might make you curious about the actual mystery behind a quake. Familiarizing yourself with the essential facts behind earthquake science can not only quell your curiosity, it can help you determine how likely you are to face a quake in your future.

       

      Earth’s Anatomy

      To understand how earthquakes occur, you first have to familiarize yourself with the Earth’s anatomy. Our planet can be divided into concentric sections: Crust or lithosphere on the outside, below which is the mantle, followed by the outer core and the inner core, explains Kate Hutton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. “The overall view is that there is heat escaping from the Earth’s interior, so part of it is undergoing convection (a ‘slow boil’ if you like),” Hutton says. “The outer core is actually liquid and the mantle is solid, on a short time scale, but flows on the time scale of geologic time. The crust is generally brittle, does not flow, but is riding around on top of the mantle below it.”the-earths-anatomy-5

      The Earth’s crust contains a dozen or so large segments, along with many small ones called tectonic plates. Where the tectonic plates move past each other at their edges, the motion is generally bumpy, Hutton says. Because there is friction between the plates as they try to move past each other, strain builds up until a break occurs in the brittle crust, typically on the plate boundary. “When the break occurs, rock moves suddenly, sending out vibrations (think ripples on a pond when you drop a rock into it) to the surrounding area,” Hutton says. “These vibrations (‘seismic waves’) are what people feel as an earthquake.” A small break causes weak seismic waves, while a larger break causes more intense and more widespread seismic waves. The break, where the rocks are offset, is called a fault. Although we all live atop the Earth’s crust, people in specific areas of the planet are more likely to experience an earthquake. “The places that are most at risk are along the boundaries between major tectonic plates,” Hutton says. For instance, California, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Japan, among other geographic regions, are at high risk.

      anatomy-of-an-earthquake

      Quakes Beget More Quakes

      If you’ve experienced an earthquake, you aren’t immune to another one in fact, the opposite could be true. “Most plate boundaries are splintered up from their past history of earthquakes, so there are more faults than just the actual plate boundary,” Hutton says. Southern California is an example of this, as are India, China and Tibet. “The Indian plate has been slamming into Asia at the geologic rate of about two inches per year, squeezing up the Himalayas in the process,” she says. “Most of the major earthquakes in China are due to ‘splinter’ faults caused or activated by this compression.” Even if you don’t

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        How to predict the weather with clouds

        By David Simpson

        On a warm evening in 1802, upstairs from a laboratory at 2 Plough Court in London, 30-year-old Luke Howard, a chemist and amateur meteorologist, rose before the Askesian Society—a jovial
        group of scientists whose irreverence was only matched by their affinity to inhale laughing gas for amusement—and presented his essay called On the Modification of Clouds, where the Latin terms “stratus,” “cirrus,” and “cumulus” were first used.

        With this, Howard became known as the father of clouds, and although the connection between clouds and the weather had been around for thousands of years, finally there was a universal naming system and, most importantly, it was in Latin. Today, the plaque on Howard’s house reads: “The Namer of clouds lived and died here.”
        For modern human beings, checking tomorrow’s weather is as easy a clicking an app on their phones or watching the evening news, but spend any amount of time high in the mountains and out of reach of modern methods of communications that we take for granted, and you’ll soon discover that the weather can change dramatically in a matter of hours, if not minutes. Sunny one moment, gale-force rains the next.

        Being prepared for any situation is all about reading the signs that hint at what the future holds, and when it comes to weather, the future is in the clouds. Essentially, meteorology is the study of the air’s effect on the environment and the various natural elements that affect the air—temperature, humidity, wind, and pressure.

        These elements, since the dawn of civilized man, have exerted a profound influence on the habitability and civilization of the very planet. To a professional meteorologist, the observation of the types of clouds and the forms of precipitation are one of the most important readings they can observe, so it stands to good reason that even a casual observer—especially one in a survival situation—would gain from knowing the physical process of the atmosphere.

        Predicting the weather

        It isn’t too difficult to predict the weather if you’re in familiar territory. Near your home base, the weather today will probably be similar to what it was yesterday. But remove yourself from your familiar territory and the weather will be as foreign as if it were another planet. It is important to understand the movement and formation of the clouds as a clear signal to decide whether you’ll be building a shelter out of branches and leaves or an ark out of logs and mud.

        Classification of clouds

        From the ground, clouds can be divided into four main groups based on their structure and location: cirrus, alto, stratus, and cumulus. These basic forms may be present simultaneously, evolve from one form to another, and combine into various permutations, but elevation is a predominate factor in classifying clouds: Cirrus clouds occur only in the upper part of the troposphere, while stratus occur only at the lower levels. However, the tops of cumulus clouds may thrust up to the levels of cirrus territory, while the bases … Read the rest

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          How do you get rid of a dead body after a catastrophe

          By David Simpson

          It’s the fourth month of the epidemic. The news from your shortwave radio announces that the death toll around the world has reached one billion people. You, your family, some neighbors, and close friends have escaped the worst of it by bugging out to a compound of remote cabins deep in the woods. Besides the 28 of you, you haven’t seen a soul since you left the city. Two weeks ago, your neighbor’s teenage son went missing but turned up three days later with symptoms of the epidemic. It spread quickly through his family before they could be isolated. By the next week, they were dead, along with six others. The remaining survivors don’t seem to be infected, but with death comes bacteria, infection, disease. There are 11 bodies slowly decomposing in one of the cabins that need to be dealt with. It’s time to bring out the dead. But how ?

          What to expect

          Being exposed to human beings who have died of unnatural causes is not a normal part of the human experience. People with access to hospitals and funeral homes have become unaccustomed to the tasks of handling dead bodies. In a survival situation in which death has occurred, you might have to touch the remains of a human, move them, and perhaps hear the brittle sounds of rigor mortis or of built-up gases escaping. These are not normal situations, and it will take some mental fortification on your part to overcome. Death isn’t pleasant. It will never be pleasant, and you’ll have to prepare yourself for it.

          In this situation (and many like it), the bodies you will encounter will most likely be damaged in horrific ways. There will be fluids, smells, sounds, and sights that will live with you for a long time. The discovery, removal and burial of these bodies will not be a tidy job, especially if you lack a few of the basic materials, such as gloves, body bags, tarps, etc. Although it might be difficult to restrain your empathy for a once-living person now lying dead before you—especially if he or she was a loved one—there is an important task at hand that must be dealt with quickly and properly. Survival is messy. It is best to get it over with before it gets even messier.

          Organization

          You are about to undertake an unpleasant activity. For a variety of mental and physical reasons, this will be difficult. Preparation is key. The better prepared you are for this, the quicker it will get done and the easier it will be. Ideally, you will have particulate masks, latex gloves, and body bags (or large garbage bags) to deal with the remains. This is why these things should be packed in your emergency bags.

          If available, have a camera to document the situation, a pen and paper to make notes and to record names, and boxes or envelopes to store personal belongings. You’ll need to make a plan with the remaining survivors. Graves … Read the rest

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            The 1984 Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal, India

            By David Simpson

            Thirty-one years ago, in the late evening and early morning of December 2 and 3, 1984, a silent killer slipped into the homes of thousands of sleeping residents in the slums of Bhopal, India. Shrouded in the night and tempered by the chaos of panic, they were blindly running for their lives—while each breath they gasped brought them closer to death. As clouds of gas filtered in through the cracks of their shanties, hundreds began to die in the worst industrial disaster in human history. The population of Bhopal is still reeling from that accident 31 years later.

            Jobs for All

            Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) opened the Bhopal plant in 1969, and hundreds, then thousands, of hopeful job seekers and their families flooded the area, setting up a number of bustees— the Indian word for slums. One of the largest of these was called Jaiprakash Nagar, or J.P. Nagar, and it was also the closest to the factory grounds. The factory was doomed from the start. Union Carbide, the American parent company (now owned by Dow Chemicals) opened the plant in hopes of tapping into India’s vast peasant farming community with the promise of a vast array of pest-control products. Unfortunately, India’s farmers had been dealing with seasons of droughts and floods and never had the means to purchase Union Carbide’s chemicals.

            The chemical plant was a money-losing proposition by the late 1970s; by the early 1980s, it had almost completely stopped producing chemicals. However, that did not mean Union Carbide had removed the toxic chemicals used in the production of its pesticides. Inside the factory, men such as Nadir Khan worked with dozens of chemicals (he never knew the names of many of them) that would be mixed to help create the pesticides Sevin and Temik.

            Tanks of Chemicals

            One such chemical, stored in three 57,000-liter stainless steel tanks half buried on the property, was MIC, or methyl isocyanate—a highly volatile chemical that reacts with water and is incredibly toxic. It is a colorless, lachrymatory (tearing), flammable liquid. At 5 ppm or less, it is odorless to most people, but at higher amounts, it has a sharp smell. Nadir Khan left the factory after his shift
            and strolled along the dirt streets of J.P. Nagar in the near-total blackness of the night.

            He passed bustees made of wooden slats so poorly cobbled together that the dry winter winds and dust would spin through unimpeded. He could never have guessed that behind him a technician was struggling to maintain a growing crisis with one of the plant’s MIC tanks. As the plant’s production dwindled, so had the elaborate safety systems that had been established to keep the toxic chemicals in check. Records seem to reflect that plant management assumed that because nothing was being produced, regular maintenance and safety systems could be disregarded. In all, six separate safety measures to protect Bhopal from MIC were left to rot.

            Looming Disaster

            Assistant stationmaster Madan Gopal Parashar sat in his … Read the rest

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              What is MERS ( Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome ) and What can you do to avoid them

              By David Simpson

              It could be headed our way. And if it arrives, it could cause more deaths than the SARS, the virus that broke out in Asia and appeared in secondary cases around the world. Sometime during the summer of 2012, within the Arabian Peninsula, a new virus emerged that researchers and physicians worry may cause the next global pandemic.

              Effects by area and numbers

              As of July 2013, 80 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (or MERS-CoV) had been confirmed, resulting in 44 deaths. This 55 percent mortality rate makes MERS, to date, more deadly than the SARS virus, which had a mortality rate of 9-12 percent.

              The majority of these cases have occurred in Saudi Arabia, plus a smattering in neighboring Middle Eastern countries, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. No cases have yet been reported in the Americas, but researchers say there is no reason why the virus could not be carried across the ocean by travelers who visit the Middle East—especially when many Muslim Americans make their annual pilgrimages to Mecca.

              What is MERS carona virus

              As is often the case with emerging viruses, researchers are still working to pinpoint the virus’ origin and mode of transmission and are unsure how long that process will take. While typical, this is cause for concern, because until tests confirm where the virus began and how it spreads, scientists cannot determine the most effective methods for prevention and treatment. For the time being, researchers on the MERS case are investigating whether an animal may be the source of this virus, as SARS originated in bats.

              And because outbreaks have thus far occurred in clusters, scientists say it is likely the virus is transmitted from person to person. Officials are not sure how directly someone must be exposed to MERS to be at risk of catching it: Is proximity enough (e.g. sitting next to someone carrying the virus on a flight), or is the virus transmitted only through physical contact with a carrier’s skin, saliva, airborne particles from sneezing or coughing, etc.? “There are teams of scientists trying to better understand how MERS-CoV affects humans,” says Dr. Susan Gerber, the lead clinical investigator for the Center for Disease Control’s MERS activities. “Human-to-human spread has been investigated in the context of family and health care settings.”

              According to a WHO webpage devoted to the MERS virus, the virus thus far has not spread quickly or broadly enough to indicate it is contagious without direct contact. As such, the WHO has yet to issue any travel restrictions for affected areas.

              MERS virus prevention

              The CDC and WHO are working in conjunction to learn more about MERS; however, because the virus has only recently emerged, no preventative vaccine or antidote yet exists. When the public can expect an antidote is “hard to determine,” Gerber says. “We are still learning about MERS-CoV. Research is underway to identify potential antivirals as well as research to develop a vaccine,” says Gerber.

              In the meantime, the CDC … Read the rest

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                How to purify water in the wild

                By David Simpson

                WATER, THE ELIXIR OF LIFE.
                It makes up about 60% of our body, and we can’t go for more than three days without it before we start having problems. Unfortunately, it is often an afterthought as we prepare ourselves to operate in a challenging situation. Fortunately, it isn’t that difficult to make sure you have adequate water in whatever situation you face; you just need to educate and prepare yourself. To put it simply, you need to know how to find it, clean it, purify it and store it. Follow along as we look at these actions in different scenarios.

                Purify!

                Use chemical drops or tablets that use iodine or chlorine; these take around 30 minutes to produce clear water in mild temperatures. Purifying filters pass the water through a ceramic, fiber, or carbon filter that removes chemical and bacterial contaminants. These filters can be gravity-fed (the water drains from one bag down through the filter into a clean water bag) or they can be pump-fed (you use a hand pump to move the water from source through the filter and into the clean water bag). This method provides drinkable water as soon as it passes through the filter rather than having to wait as with the chemical treatment.

                Ultraviolet light pens can also kill the bacteria and viruses that might be found in the water. If you’re on the move, you can use devices like the SteriPEN. If you’re staying in a single location you can use the SODIS technique. The UV treatment works well for clear water but not as well if the water is opaque; in addition, it takes time to work just as the chemical treatment does. The SODIS (www.sodis.ch) method of water purification, short for Solar Disinfecting, uses sunlight to kill the bacteria and viruses in water. You put water in a clear, colorless, glass or PET-type plastic bottle, fill it ¾ of the way up, shake it to add some oxygen to the water, then lay it flat and leave it out in direct sunlight for at least six hours from morning to evening, but preferably the whole day. If it is overcast, two days is recommended.

                Bugging in

                Pick any of the natural disasters that Americans have had to face during the past year and imagine that you are stuck at home, can’t get out to get supplies at the grocery store, and power and water are out in your neighborhood. You know that three days’ worth of resources won’t be enough because it takes FEMA at least that long to even get onsite. Where are you going to find a gallon a day for four people for 14 days, or 56 gallons of water? Well, you’d be surprised.

                You can find water in your water heater, in the pipes in the house, in the water tank of each toilet, in the ice cubes in the freezer and in cans of fruit and vegetables. If water pressure is down, open the tap … Read the rest

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                  What to do during a power outage today near me in my area

                  By David Simpson

                  During a sustained crisis when the lights go out for an extended period, you will be faced with camping out in your home. When I was a kid growing up in Michigan, we had a few power outings each winter when an ice storm rolled In and felled power lines. My father would plant us kids in the family room with our JC penney sleeping bags, my mom would bundle us in sweaters and snow-pants, and then they would get the fireplace blazing. My father would then seal off the other rooms and hallway with visqueen and tape. He’d slightly crack open a window to prevent carbon monoxide buildup and then turn on a camping lantern.

                  These outings were short affairs lasting only 1-3 days, but the emphasis wasn’t on trying to heat the entire house and resume our previous lifestyle. It was to heat the body and a very small space and then only intermittently to conserve fuel. Both of my parents grew up during the first Great Depression and knew well what a life of austerity and improvisation looked like. For us kids, it was an adventure, but for the adults, it was like stepping back in time to a life of perseverance.

                  When the power is out long-term, focus on heating (or cooling) the body and not the house. The Japanese live like this full time, emphasizing personal warmth over heating a large space. If it’s wintertime, then get down the jackets, hats, snowpants and sleeping bags or blankets. Gather up family members in one room for sleeping to concentrate heat, but remember to have 24-hour ventilation by keeping a window slightly ajar, especially if a woodstove or propane heater is involved. Seal up the rest of the windows with visquene and duct tape. At night, employ the old camping trick of placing a warm bottle of water at the bottom of each sleeping bag. Then go to sleep with a wool hat on and food in the belly, which will keep your internal woodstove cranked up.

                  Propane heaters

                  Some ranching friends of mine use a propane heater to warm their 12’ x 12’ bunkhouse, and it works perfectly for this small setting. I use them in canvas tents for a few hours when we don’t want to run the woodstove. These devices are intended for small spaces and won’t heat an entire house. The nice thing is that the propane tank can also be used as fuel for a campstove or lantern. There are “tree” fixtures you can purchase that will allow for multiple branches off the main propane tank.

                  Remember to crack open a window in the house to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning. In mildly cold weather, you can extend the life of your propane fuel by running the heater for 15 minutes every hour during the day. Remember to seal off the unused rooms in your home during a winter blackout as a propane heater is designed to only heat small … Read the rest

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                    How long will food last in the freezer after power outage

                    By David Simpson

                    It’s easy to ignore. You know, that first little flicker of light, when the power is struggling to stay energized. But after the second or third, you know the inevitable is coming. And once the power goes out, it’s impossible to guess when it will grind back on again, forcing you to guess how long your food will stay fresh in your refrigerator and freezer before you have to dispose of what could be hundreds of dollars of groceries.

                    Plus, if you have a temperature-controlled stockpile with no generator, you’re even more at the mercy of the food regulations. We went straight to the experts at usda.gov and talked with Technical Information Specialist Maribel Alonso to find out how to know when you can eat your food and when it’s safer to say goodbye to it. Follow along for some possibly surprising facts.

                    Don’t do the taste test

                    When the power goes out, you can try your hand at competitive eating and attempt to devour everything in your fridge and freezer before it spoils—but if you don’t have the stomach for that or don’t want the stomach that comes after that, then a little preparedness and knowledge can help you avoid losing valuable food due to spoilage, or worse yet, getting sick from a food borne illness. The first rule of thumb is to never attempt to determine if a food or liquid is safe based on smell or taste, even if your Mom was an avid promoter of such methods.How long will food last in the freezer after power outage

                    Just because the milk isn’t lumpy doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Alonso pointed out that salmonella, the most common source of food poisoning in the U.S., thrives in milk and other dairy products, along with eggs and poultry in the “temperature danger zone,” between 40 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. E. coli, found in red meat, can lead to diarrhea, kidney failure and death. You should never store raw meat above fruits or vegetables in the refrigerator, and if any meat juices come in contact with your produce, toss them.

                    If you have a hunch that you are going to lose power for more than four hours make sure you have a cooler or two on hand. Styrofoam chest coolers work perfectly, and prepare ahead of time by having some clean and ready to load nearby. Invest in some ice packs and store them in the freezer so when you need them they are frozen solid. When you do lose power, pack your meat, fish, poultry and leftovers in freezer bags and place them in the cooler. Cover the food with ice and keep the cooler shut.

                    Have an instant read thermometer on-hand for temperature readings—the magic numbers to remember are 40 degrees and two hours. Any perishable food that has been above 40 degrees for more than two hours should be tossed, the Red Cross advises. Liquids will give you the most accurate temperature readings, so consider testing your milk before you stick the … Read the rest

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