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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Overcome Your Normalcy Bias

Original Article

Normalcy bias refers to our natural reactions when facing a crisis that since something has never happened before… it never will. It is human nature.
Since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. It causes people to underestimate the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on anything to infer a less serious situation.
The normalcy bias causes people to drastically underestimate the effects of the disaster. Therefore, they think that everything will be all right. It is similar to the Ostrich effect, the apparent avoidance of risky situations by pretending they do not exist. (The name comes from the common legend that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger.

Having a strong normalcy bias will prevent someone from preparing or planning for a disaster.
Perhaps the very first survival skill that someone can have is that of eliminating their normalcy bias. The realization that your comfort zone can change, and change rapidly, is the first step towards being adaptable. It is quite impossible to think about or plan for disaster if your mind cannot accept that it could actually happen.
People are creatures of habit. We go to work the same way every day. Our routines are nearly the same (the weekday routine and the weekend routine). We tend to do everything the same or similar way we did the last time. Think about the things that you do in your life – in a given week, most of you do the same things from week to week, even with the same schedule. It’s just the way it is.
It goes against the grain to think or act beyond our ‘normalcy’. I can tell you though, that once you break through that way of thinking, it is exciting (and can be a bit scary) to get outside of your comfort zone. It is only then that you can truly begin to realize what is happening outside of your bubble, as well as the risks (and opportunities) that are present there.

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Coffee Filter Uses -1,000 @ Dollar Tree $1!!!

directly scanned filterpaperImage via Wikipedia

Original Article

This is from Rense.com

Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar

Tree for $1.00 - even the large ones. Here are some uses...maybe you can add to the list!

1. Cover bowls or

dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or

appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.


Securing Your Home: Windows

Original Article

Ornamental but very functional security bars.
Continuing our securing your home series, we'll take a look at an obvious weakness in most any non-bunker building. Windows. Windows provide two security concerns - first, visibility into your home, and second, a possible entrance into your home.

The first concern can be taken care of with curtains/blinds. In normal times, your basic home window coverings will work--and make sure to draw them, especially at night. A lit room at night stands out like a beacon to the dark outside work; your every move is visible, while you can't see a darned thing outside. Shut the blinds and pull the curtains.

After TEOTWAWKI, you will want to beef up your window coverings, especially if you have light sources inside. Maintaining a low profile is of prime consideration in any emergency, so avoid being lit up like a Christmas tree for every would-be looter or brigand sniper. Limit light use to a small portion of the house, and cover those windows with heavy blackout curtains.

For the second concern - people gaining entry via windows - the ideal would be a windowless bunker - or maybe a bunker with narrow, castle-style firing ports. You probably can't pull that off though and will have to settle for a boring regular home. So you will have some sort of windows, and you'll need to harden those.

I've got several good solutions for you. Interested? Click the link below!

The classic window security measure are burglar bars - prison-style bars over windows. These will definitely slow an intruder down or persuade them to move onto a softer target. They're not exactly subtle, though, and may attract more attention than they're worth. You can certainly invest in more decorative bars, like those pictured earlier in the post. If done on a limited scale and with the right home, a few security barred windows could fly under the radar. If you opt for bars, make sure that bars over any bedroom windows can be released from the inside in case of fire.

In many areas, storm or hurricane shutters are fairly common. These are great--you can batten down the hatches and cover any window with a sturdy, storm-proof metal shutter. If they're not already set up on your house, they will be a big chunk of change to install.

If storm shutters are out of your price range, you can get pre-set up for plywood boards like those seen during hurricane evacs. Measure your windows and then add eight inches to both height and width; you want four inches of overlap on every side. The plywood boards should be 5/8 inch thick, exterior rated stuff. Pre-drill your plywood boards - 2.5 inches from the edge, holes spaced 12 inches apart) and drill/set corresponding wood/masonry anchors in your home. Secure with 1/4" to 3/8" lag bolts. For pressure relief purposes, four holes are drilled in the middle of each board. Mark/number each board and store. While plywood boards can be defeated, they will slow an intruder down considerably, provide protection from storms and give your house that "abandoned" look. If you're in hurricane (or zombie) territory, you should have these at a minimum. If you're less concerned about your windows and more concerned about people prying the boards off, install them inside the window. More info here.

Window security films are another option. These can be applied to any ol' window and don't alter the appearance - they still look like regular windows. These films hold the glass together when it's shattered and make it harder and more time consuming to bust through a window. There's lots of demo and real life video out there - here's some of security film protecting against rioters during the Toronto riots. Here's some more about 3M Film standing up to bomb blasts.You can get the film installed professionally or buy a roll and apply it yourself; I'd start with the ground level, most vulnerable windows. Big rolls for DIY are available on Amazon for around $50-$75, though it appears to be no-name stuff and I can't vouch for the quality.

Finally, mesh screens over windows are also helpful, especially if you will be opening the window up for ventilation. A mesh screen isn't much, but it's better than nothing and keeps out bugs to boot. Heavier weight mesh can do a decent job of protecting against thrown objects, too.

So there you have it - burglar bars, storm shutters, plywood boards and security films are all possible ways to secure your windows. Security film is the best option for most of us, and can be paired with any of the others for added security.

Next time around, we will delve into a topic that I'm sure will generate a bit of interest - firing positions! Stay tuned!