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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 3rd Wave, Evacuation From A Disaster Location

Original Article

determine evacuation clearance times 800x800 The 3rd Wave, Evacuation From A Disaster LocationLet me preface this article by acknowledging the source for the idea of this article comes from another peppers’ video. Unfortunately, it’s been a long time I’ve mulled over this topic and I don’t recall who exactly it was.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
The subject of evacuation from a disaster location, or evacuation in advance of a potential disaster (such as a storm), has been written about here and on other sites ad nauseum. But the timing of an evacuation isn’t usually discussed in detail. That is the topic of this article.
In general, during an SHTF event there is likely going to be 3 waves of evacuations.
1st Wave
These are mostly going to be the people who already live their lives on a hair-pin trigger just waiting for any small sign that a disaster is brewing. “Neurotic” is certainly an accurate if not flattering description. It also includes a small number of people, either by gifted insight or blind luck, connect the dots early and come to the conclusion that a major SHTF event is approaching.
The number of people evacuating probably will be very low. Most people will either refuse to believe anything bad is going to happen (“normalcy bias”) or fail to see the early warning signs and connect the dots.
Supplies like food, water, fuel etc will be at normal levels of availability and you should make every effort to top-off with fresh supplies before leaving. Similarly, currency will still be readily available and accepted. Retailers should have little problem resupplying at normal schedules (if you choose to risk waiting a bit longer for additional supplies).
Traffic will be light to normal with little or no additional law enforcement/government control issues. People in surrounding communities will likely not even notice you as you pass through, perhaps pausing for more supplies, refueling etc.
2nd Wave
By this stage the danger (or at least the signs of the danger) is becoming far more apparent and harder to ignore, though many more will still refuse to accept what events seem to be leading up to (footnote: Some argue we are already in this stage). This wave will be characterized by a much wider swath of people taking their leave of the affected area(s). Not just preppers but “average” (non-preppers) too will be getting nervous and start leaving. Early signs of panic may be setting in too.
Supplies, especially of food, water, and fuel will start becoming noticeably harder to find (and likely more expensive) with less products on the shelves, even some empty shelves, and longer lines. Resupply to retailers will be slower. ATMs will start running out of cash. Bank branches themselves will run low or out of cash as branches only keep a small amount of actual currency on hand every day (for security and liquidity reasons).
Services too may become harder to obtain as “the [pick a color] flu” mysteriously falls upon employees in all manner of government and private business (i.e. people choose not to come into work to either stay home with their families or evacuate – a topic for another article soon).
A much larger number of people will be on the roads and other transportation methods. Traffic will be much greater and nerves tenser (more road rage). Also, the availability of other means of transport (train tickets, bus tickets etc) will be in greater demand and less available. There may be an increased law enforcement presence on the roads especially at bridges and tunnels, probably more for traffic control.
Surrounding communities and even further out from the affected area will see a rapidly growing influx of out of area people. Initially there may be some welcome as they bring a fast economic boost to the community, buying supplies etc. But that will likely switch over to resentment and possibly forceful rejection as smaller community supplies dwindle and people just keep coming and demanding more.
3rd Wave
In this wave all your neighbors, preppers or not, have reached the same conclusion: Time to get out of Dodge!
At this point the danger is upon you. The SHTF event has happened or is on the cusp of happening. It is acknowledged (perhaps begrudgingly but still acknowledged) by all but the most intransigent people who still refuse to accept the reality of the situation and cling to hopeless ideas everything will be fine and/or someone (i.e. government) will do something to make it all better. At this point these people are likely never going to be convinced and, cruel as it may sound, don’t waste any more time trying to. They may already be beyond helping.
Supplies will be very hard if not impossible to get. Store shelves will be wiped clean. Fuel may be unavailable as retailers have drained their tanks and resupply unlikely. There may even be fuel rationing as whatever local supplies are ordered saved for “official use only”. Bank branches will likely be closed and ATMs long since emptied of cash.
The roads will likely be packed and tempers will be high. Fear and panic will set otherwise calm people off at any little provocation. Some level of civil unrest may ensue especially if it is perceived there is an official policy to slow or prevent people from leaving (such as some kind of check point or vehicle searches).
The masses of evacuees will spread throughout the surrounding geography and likely overrun smaller surrounding communities thereby overwhelming their own stocks of retail supplies and services. Tempers will be high, violence likely. Don’t be surprised if small communities even try to block the main roads into their areas.
By the time the 3rd wave of evacuees comes if you still haven’t left most likely it’s too late to even try. For all the reasons above and more it will be impossible, or at the very least highly risky, to even attempt to leave. You are probably better off digging in and trying to wait out the event (depending what the event is).
I believe the key to success in this is to determine your “trigger event”. Determine clearly and precisely what actions or events prior to an SHTF event will prompt you to implement your evacuation plan. You have to be reasonable and specific. Life is full of daily unexpected events and you can’t be “bugging out” every time there’s a news flash.
Above all, I believe it comes down to trusting your gut instincts. Don’t be ruled by what others are doing, or more likely not doing. Don’t be afraid to make the decision to leave. You may get ribbed for it later if nothing bad happens. But I assure you deep down a lot of those people jabbing you wish they had thought to leave too and had the strength of character to actually do it themselves.



Top Tips for Driving in Winter Storms

Original Article

Almost anyone who has ever driven in the snow should be familiar with the queasy feeling you get when you try to stop and begin to skid towards a curb or car.  Driving in snow is something that is best avoided, but often unavoidable at some point during the winter.  As we approach the snow season, we felt that a few tips for safety on the roads would be helpful for all to review and be reminded of.
The best tip we can share is probably the most fun; find an empty, open parking lot after the first big snow of the year and spin some donuts!  While this doesn’t sound like the type of thing you would tell your teenage driver to do, it can be very helpful to learn how your car handles in the snow.  Learning how to spin the car and recover from spins is one of the best ways to be prepared while driving on the road.  Still use caution while you are practicing and be aware of light poles, hidden objects, or curbs.

Now, when driving on icy or snowy roads, remember the following tips and best practices:
  1. Slow Down – Be very cognizant of your speeds on the road and keep three times the normal distance between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake Gently – Never slam on the brakes, if you can avoid it.  If your wheels lock up, ease up on the brake
  3. Lights On – Make sure that you have your lights on so that others are aware of you
  4. Low Gears – Use the lower gears, they help to gain and keep traction, especially on hills or steep roads
  5. No Cruise Control – Don’t be lazy, it isn’t worth the risk.
  6. Stay Behind the Plows – Don’t pass in front of plows or sanding trucks.  The drivers of these vehicles have limited visibility and the road in front of them is much worse than behind them.
  7. 4×4 Myth – Just because you have a 4×4 or AWD, you vehicle cannot handle all conditions.  Be extremely careful thinking you can go anywhere or do anything in your big, off-road truck!
If your wheels skid…
  1. Let Off the Gas – Take you foot off of the accelerator.
  2. Turn Into the Slide – If you are sliding left, turn left. As you recover, you may start to slide to the other side, so make sure that you know steer the new directions.  You may go back and forth a couple of times before you can get back under control.
  3. Brake! – If you have standard brakes, gently pump them.  If your car has anti-lock brakes (ABS), don’t pump the brakes.  Apply steady pressure and realize that it is normal to feel the brakes pulse.
If you get stuck…
  1. Don’t Spin the Wheels – This only digs you in deeper and makes is harder to get out. Lightly touch on the gas and ease your way out.
  2. Turn the Wheels – Turn the wheels back and forth to get snow out of the way. Also, consider using a shovel to dig out some of the snow.
  3. Rock the Boat – Sometimes, it can help to rock back and forth to gain a little momentum.
  4. Sand the Ground – A little sand, gravel, salt, even kitty litter, can help your wheels gain some traction.
Winter Emergency Preparedness comes in all forms, and being ready for the winter road conditions counts.  The above information comes from the National Safety Council and Weather.com, so please listen to it.  We hope that no one has any issues this year on the winter roads.  Please be extra careful and remember so of these basic tips to keep safe. Emergency Preparedness tips need to be shared, so please pass this along to your friends, family, and neighbors so that we all can have a fantastic winter.



3 Tips For Crime Prevention While in Public

Original Article

3-tips-for-crime-prevention-while-in-public
Here are three survival (security) tips that are free, and won’t cost you anything. There is a caveat though, that is you may need to force a slight change in your behavior and habits.
In today’s world of increasing economic woes, more individuals are turning towards criminal behavior as they become angrier, looking for someone to blame, and may be downright desperate. You, as a ‘normal’ person, may be walking among them from time to time and you don’t even know it or recognize it.
To a large extent, the key to avoid being victimized is to simply be aware. Awareness consciously (and subconsciously) changes your own behavior such that you will be more likely to avoid dangerous situations that could escalate into violence.

Define ‘awareness’ in the context of your self-security:

  • Know what is happening or has happened in your field of travel
  • Look around you (and behind you) while moving (walking, driving, etc) outside your home
  • Make eye contact while scanning in crowded public places

Know what is happening or has happened in your field of travel

Whether by paying attention to the news or ‘hearsay’, understand the history of the area you are about to travel in. Most people over time will come to understand where the ‘bad’ areas are in their local region – areas especially vulnerable to crime.
If you are new to the area, or if traveling outside your own area, make an effort to discover where these ‘bad’ areas are. A great tool to look for crime reports is on CrimeReports.com, which shows maps dotted with crime reports in Canada, the U.S., and the UK.


(No, they’re not an advertiser… it’s just a really useful tool)

Look around you (and behind you) while traveling

This simple behavior is more effective than you may imagine. Reason being, is that so many people do not do this, are ignorant to their surroundings, and are the first to become victims. Predators look for the weaker prey. Someone who is looking down, or who appears to be in their own little world, are prime targets for criminals.
Instead, scan around you from time to time, with your head up straight, as you walk with purpose – shoulders back, and confident. Not only might you avoid an unruly-looking gang of troublemakers, but they might avoid targeting YOU.

Make eye contact while scanning in crowded public places

Making purposeful, but quick eye contact is another very effective deterrent to a criminal. Here’s the reason… Most people purposely avoid eye contact in public places. They want to remain in their own little world, and by looking down or avoiding eye contact, they are convinced that they will remain in that cocoon. The reality is that they are entirely wrong.
Sure, that type of behavior may avoid unwanted conversation that otherwise might initiate from a stranger, but that’s about it… By occasionally scanning and making quick eye contact with others, tells any potential criminal that you are not afraid. ‘Quick’ eye contact simply means don’t stare. Staring will provoke a stranger.


Paranoia

Is this type of behavior simply a bunch of paranoia? Do you have to walk around being paranoid to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time? No, of course not. Granted, for some people, learning to do these simple things will feel uncomfortable at first – and they may feel as though they are being paranoid. However, after awhile, this will become part of you, just like being able to carry on a conversation with someone while driving a car. It’s no big deal…
Bolster some confidence while you’re out and about. It may unknowingly ward off a pick-pocket, purse-snatcher, or worse criminal, without you even knowing it happened!

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