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Category: Nature's Fury


Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

Cogitation is concerted thought, reflection, meditation, or contemplation. “Cogitation” highlights cognitive ideas that cross our paths. These ideas and thoughts don’t really warrant full articles. They are important enough to be shared as food for thought before forgotten. Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You! hu·bris: noun \ˈhyü-brəs\ : a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence via Merriam-Webster.com The death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the foreign national who recently passed away in Dallas, becoming the first US ebola death, is raising alarms. What I find even more alarming is the CDC’s, and US administration’s public response to his death and the subsequent infection of not one, but two of his nurses as well as the general threat that Ebola poses to our nation and the world.  At every turn the CDC and administration’s statements have turned out to be untrue, or patently false.  The most glaring examples of this are the following: The threat of Ebola coming to American shores is small:  Less than two weeks later Thomas Eric Duncan was dead in Dallas and several potential cases are being monitored in Dallas, TX,  Atlanta, GA and Kansas City, KS. The threat of others being infected is small:  One of Thomas Eric Duncan’s nurses has contracted Ebola, and his family and those that are around him are being closely monitored and there is a real threat that they have been infected as well. The chances of health care workers becoming infected with Ebola is almost non-existent:  Two nurses in Dallas have been confirmed to have contracted Ebola, with another 70 possibly exposed.  No one is 100% certain is was human error that caused the nurses to get infected, and there are conflicting reports that the virus may have mutated so as to be airborne. At every turn officials have had to back pedal, or “clarify” what they previous meant to say. In at least...

The Most Severe Health Emergency of Modern Times

[The 2014 Ebola outbreak is] the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times… World Health Organization via News from The Associated Press Also see the World Health Organization’s Ebola Virus Disease Page FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Supervolcano 2.5

Supervolcano 2.5…  We’ve written about the supervolcano hiding under Yellowstone park…really the whole region several times but now a team of scientists from the University has discovered that the magma chamber under Yellowstone is 2.5x bigger than previous estimates. They are describing the next Yellowstone eruption as a nation killer…not just a northwest central region killer.  Yellowstone erupts every 600,000 to 700,000 years and last erupted about 640,000 years ago…read more from the New York Post at Beneath Yellowstone, a volcano that could wipe out U.S. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Incidents & Hazards

Andrew’s Note:  For today’s lesson in preparedness we return to our U.S. military manuals, notably the MULTI-SERVICE DOCTRINE FOR CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, AND NUCLEAR OPERATIONS , FM 3-11, MCWP 3-37.1, NWP 3-11, AFTTP 3-2.42 dated July 2011, Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.  Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear is abbreviated as CBRN.  Today we introduce the types of incidents and the introduce the hazards.  Check back later this week as we go into more detail on those hazards. INCIDENTS 1-19. A CBRN incident is any occurrence involving the emergence of CBRN hazards resulting from the use of CBRN weapons or devices, the emergence of secondary hazards arising from counterforce targeting,  or the release of toxic industrial material into the environment. A CBRN incident is characterized on the basis of the intent, opportunity, and capability of the occurrence. There are three basic reasons why a CBRN incident happens, regardless of the type and nature: Intentional. An intentional CBRN incident may include: Criminal acts such as the deliberate dumping or release of hazmat to avoid regulatory requirements. Malicious acts such as the poisoning of one or more individuals. Terrorist acts that involve serious violence to persons or property for a political, religious, or ideological purpose and/or that are a matter of national interest. Accidental. An accidental CBRN incident is an event caused by human error or natural or technological reasons.  Accidental incidents are usually referred to as hazmat accidents and may include: Spills. Releases. Leakages. Natural. A natural CBRN incident is a second- or third-order effect from a natural disaster.  Examples include: Toxic chemical release. Biological waste. 1-20. Intent is the distinguishing difference between the three reasons that CBRN incidents happen. To ensure proper assessment when filtering through the information pertaining to an incident, it is important to know the intent category. Note. A CBRN weapon is a fully engineered assembly that is designed for employment to cause the release...

Disaster Preparedness – Today’s Quote

We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness. Tsunami Survivor Petra Nemcova FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Everybody Lives on A Floodplain

Floods are currently hitting parts of central Europe that haven’t been flooded in living memory…and then some.  In fact, the water levels in Passau, Germany have topped the highest recorded flood levels ever recorded there…and that was in 1501.  Just another reminder that you must plan for the unexpected and not put all your eggs in one basket…or preps all in one place. Now I’m not saying that we’re all going to suffer a flood, but your preps may be vulnerable to fire, earthquake, theft, tornado or any manner of other trouble…just don’t let your trouble become a tragedy by relying on one location, stockpile or cache… spread your preps among several locations, enter into a prepper compact with a like minded family that’s lives a distance from you…or both.  Of course if you read the Bible, the Torah or the Qur’an…everybody lives on a floodplain. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Physical Security and the Forms of Protection

From a security perspective, many preppers concern themselves primarily with tactics, techniques and procedures for use in a long term WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation but I believe that all preparedness functions (see Full Spectrum Preparedness) especially security preparedness should be considered in light of a continuum of a security environments from today’s rule of law (imperfect though it is) through increasingly degraded security situations, short term WROL situations and all the way to a full, long term, WROL environment.  Even in today’s ‘normal’ your security environment may change several times each day.  Knowing this, you should frequently assess your security environment.  You can find yourself in several very different security environments just by driving across most U.S. cities or even while standing still as day turns to night or crowds dissipate.  Today I’ll provide you with a the first part of a framework to assess and adapt to various physical security environments by considering the Principals of Protections and Forms of Protection that the U.S. Army uses to adapt to their physical security challenges. Physical Security Challenges When it comes to understanding physical security challenges preppers should learn from the experience our military forces.  Our troops face a myriad of security environments from service at home facing the same criminal acts and potential acts of terrorism that the rest of us do to service in war zones where the opposition employs a variety of tactics including, but not limited to snipers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), ambushes, complex attacks, the use of civilians and non-combatants (often through coercion) as well as numerous other forms of attack and sabotage. Our troops must also perform their duties in a variety of locals from urban areas to rural farming areas and in true wilderness.  We also operate in a variety of legal environments, jurisdictions and under different rules of engagement (ROE). ...

Flu Shot – It’s Not Too Late

I’ve talked with so many people the last few weeks that didn’t heed the warnings about what’s turning out to be a horrendous flu season.  It’s not too late, get your flu shot.  Here’s the information on the flu shot that we first brought you in October… It’s time for that once a year health prep again…I mean the seasonal flu shot.  The Army Reserve orders me to ‘take my medicine’ (yes, it’s a lawful order) every year…but I’d get one anyway. In fact, I believe that the flu shot is so important that I pay for all my employees to get their flu shots as well.  Many health insurance programs pay for the entire vaccine…but even if you have to pay for it yourself…it’s a cheap prep at about $25.  You don’t even have to go to the doctor’s office to get it anymore…you can find a vaccination site near you by searching at www.flu.gov. The shot (or nasal spray) includes the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) three best guesses of the strains that your body will need help fighting off this year.  Here are some additional flu facts from the CDC: The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu protection It’s especially important to get vaccinated if you: are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are pregnant Are 65 years and older. live with or care for others who identified in People Who Are at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as possible because: influenza is unpredictable and can begin as early as October it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in...

Water in Cold Weather Survival Situations

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on Water in Cold Weather Survival Situations.  While written by the Army for Arctic survival, much of the information presented is applicable to any cold weather survival situation. WATER There are many sources of water in the arctic and subarctic.  Your location and the season of the year will determine where and how you obtain water.  Water sources in arctic and subarctic regions are more sanitary than in other regions due to the climatic and environmental conditions.  However, always purify the water before drinking it. During the summer months, the best natural sources of water are freshwater lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, and springs.  Water from ponds or lakes may be slightly stagnant, but still usable.  Running water in streams, rivers, and bubbling springs is usually fresh and suitable for drinking. The brownish surface water found in a tundra during the summer is a good source of water.  However, you may have to filter the water before purifying it.  You can melt freshwater ice and snow for water. Completely melt both before putting them in your mouth.  Trying to melt ice or snow in your mouth takes away body heat and may cause internal cold injuries.  If on or near pack ice in the sea, you can use old sea ice to melt for water.  In time, sea ice loses its salinity.  You can identify this ice by its rounded corners and bluish color. You can use body heat to melt snow.  Place the snow in a water bag and place the bag between your layers of clothing.  This is a slow process, but you can use it on the move or when you have no fire. Note: Do not...

Fire in Cold Weather Survival Situations

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on the importance of fire in cold weather survival situations. FIRE Fire is especially important in cold weather. It not only provides a means to prepare food, but also to get warm and to melt snow or ice for water. It also provides you with a significant psychological boost by making you feel a little more secure in your situation.  Use the techniques described in Chapter 7 to build and light your fire.  If you are in enemy territory, remember that the smoke, smell, and light from your fire may reveal your location.  Light reflects from surrounding trees or rocks, making even indirect light a source of danger.  Smoke tends to go straight up in cold, calm weather, making it a beacon during the day, but helping to conceal the smell at night. In warmer weather, especially in a wooded area, smoke tends to hug the ground, making it less visible in the day, but making its odor spread.  If you are in enemy territory, cut low tree boughs rather than the entire tree for firewood.  Fallen trees are easily seen from the air. All wood will burn, but some types of wood create more smoke than others. For instance, coniferous trees that contain resin and tar create more and darker smoke than deciduous trees. There are few materials to use for fuel in the high mountainous regions of the arctic.  You may find some grasses and moss, but very little. The lower the elevation, the more fuel available.  You may find some scrub willow and small, stunted spruce trees above the tree line.  On sea ice, fuels are seemingly nonexistent.  Driftwood or fats may be the only fuels...

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