Archive | October, 2012

Preparation – Just Crazy or A Good Investment?

Wow…and this is the actions of civilized people under duress.  Imagine this…this can get worse!  When the power and water are off for days, or weeks, and the food becomes very scarce that is when our homes turn into these trashed out stores from civilized people under duress.

Do a search for “Empty Store Shelves from Hurricane Sandy” and look at all the date stamped photos of store with empty shelves.  Events like this help to reassure me as to why I look at preparation as an investment.

http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/29/14783169-storm-shows-retailers-rely-on-brick-and-mortar-despite-technology?lite

 

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/staten_islanders_out_shopping.html

 

There is just way to many to post!

“No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident!”

I can’t help but post this. I think it is great that the government is pushing the issue to get prepared…really I do. However, using the “Zombie Apocalypse” theory is getting used way too much. I know…it is a great way to get the younger masses involved in the prepping movement!  Alright, I had to share this story from my brother who lives in a very rural, cold and northern state.  He too like me is a retired Jarhead which makes listening to the story even better.  So here is the cleaner & shorter version.

Brother – “So, there I was sitting in a restaurant feeding my face, when I couldn’t help over hearing this Goth dresses couple in the next booth discussing their survival plans. You got to be kidding me I said to myself”.

Girl – “I think it is so cool the way you and your buddies have started…like…preparing for the Zombie attack”. 

Boy – “Yeah, I know it is really rad.  We have this place in the woods.  It is all stocked up with our food, guns, ammo and stuff.  You should like come with us. This is about the safest place for you.  Especially, like when they run out of food in the cities…they are going to like make their way out here to the country you know. That is why I have like…this scoped rifle so I shoot the zombies from way out there…long before they can get to me.” 

Girl – “That is totally so awesome…yeah I am in.  I need to be some place safe.  My place is…well my parents are…well they are going to be zombie food.”

Girl – “So like I see you are still driving your mom’s car!  I thought like you were getting your own?”

Boy – “Yeah, so I need to get my own place first though.”

Brother –“Ok, I had I enough.  I took the last bite of my burger and I was on my way.  It took everything I had not to slap the pinhead in the back of the head on my way out.”

Yeah, there are some out there that really think the “Zombies” are coming!

Here is another interesting read…

Marines, police prep for mock zombie invasion

Saturday – 10/27/2012,  5:25pm EDT
By JULIE WATSON Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.

“This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party,” said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. “Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn’t happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we’re having a little fun with.”

Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.

In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.

“No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do,” Barker said. “If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, `Freeze, get your hands in the air!’ What’s the zombie going to do? He’s going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he’s not going to react to you.”

The keynote speaker beforehand will be a retired top spook _ former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

“No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident, so we’re making it happen,” Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they’ve had calls from “every whack job in the world” about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.

Called “Zombie Apocalypse,” the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.

The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they’re prepared for a zombie attack, they’ll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” which included “always carry a change of underwear” and “when in doubt, know your way out.”

San Diego-based Halo Corp. founded by former military special ops and intelligence personnel has been hosting the annual counterterrorism summit since 2006.

The five-day Halo counterterrorism summit is an approved training event by the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provide funds to pay for the coursework on everything from the battleground tactics to combat wounds to cybersecurity. The summit has a $1,000 registration fee and runs Oct. 29-Nov 2.

Conferences attended by government officials have come under heightened scrutiny following an inspector general’s report on waste and abuse at a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that led to the resignation of General Services Administrator Martha Johnson. The Las Vegas conference featured a clown, a mind-reader and a rap video by an employee who made fun of the spending.

Joe Newman, spokesman of the watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight, said he does not see the zombie exercise as frivolous.

“We obviously are concerned about any expenditure that might seem frivolous or a waste of money but if they tie things together, there is a lesson there,” Newman said. “Obviously we’re not expecting a zombie apocalypse in the near future, but the effects of what might happen in a zombie apocalypse are probably similar to the type of things that happen in natural disasters and manmade disasters. They’re just having fun with it. We don’t have any problems with it as a teaching point.”

Defense analyst Loren Thompson agreed.

“The defining characteristics of zombies are that they’re unpredictable and resilient. That may be a good way to prepare for what the Pentagon calls asymmetric warfare,” Thompson said.

Organizers can also avoid the pitfalls of using a mock enemy who could be identified by nationality, race or culture _ something that could potentially be seen as offensive.

“I can think of a couple of countries where the local leaders are somewhat zombie-like,” he joked. “But nobody is going to take this personally.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/407/3096034/Marines-police-prep-for-mock-zombie-invasion-

Hurricanes, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes Oh My!

Federal, State, and Local Governments are frantically trying to get the word out to residents of the Eastern United States in helping them brace for the “Perfect Storm” or Hurricane Sandy as she has been named by NOAA.  British Columbia coastal residences are trying to assess the damages left behind from the 7.7 earthquake that shook things up and Hawaii is under another Tsunami watch.

Emergency agencies and officials have established very informative websites with directions to shelters, how to prepare guides, equipment list, all way down to what to do when you lose power.  These agencies are flooding the many media outlets right this very moment to get the people this information.

Great information but too late!  As we have seen previous large emergencies…the storm is on the door step… those that have failed to plan have also failed to prepare…and those are the people that started getting supplies two days ago.

Sense of Urgency – the quality or condition of being urgent; pressing importance: the urgency of the call for help; pleading with urgency.  The opposite of a sense of urgency is a sense of complacency. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Sense_of_urgency

“The Zombie Metaphor” – There are creeping feelings of panic and a sense of urgency beginning to set in on those who have not set themselves up for success by planning ahead.   Along with this new found sense of urgency a realization for many develops.  A scary picture of “We are screwed unless we get help”.  We see the effects that this state of mind can have on individuals in media coverage over and over.  The photos showing anxious hoarders stripping the grocery store shelves empty, at the local fuel station the security cameras display the sea of cars with angry hordes waiting to suck out the last bit of gas, or the Sky News chopper coverage of the building traffic jams from the ensuing exodus.

The Food – Below is a very good example of the conditions the grocery stores will encounter during emergencies and when the anxious hordes bum rush the isles.

The Truth About Your Local Grocery Store, By Jay M. Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles – SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved

 The problem occurs when some outside factors come into play. This can be as little as the weather man predicting a snow or ice store. If that happens people go nuts buying everything they can get their hands on. The system is not set up for this. If the situation only affects a few locations then they can get back in stock within 2-3 days on most of the basic supplies. However if it affects a large region such as half a state then the warehouses run out fast also. They are on the JIT program as well and aren’t stocked in a way to restock 100 stores all at once. Many areas of the country are primed to be affected by an earthquake. If that were to happen the shelves would be cleaned out within hours and wouldn’t be restocked for who knows how long. Even if the stores local area wasn’t affected, most likely the roads between the store and the warehouses would have bridges that if not destroyed would certainly be shut down for a time in order for inspectors to clear them as safe before trucks were allowed to cross.

The other factor I explain to folks is that when they shop day in and day out it looks like a ton of merchandise on the shelf. For example a store may stock 60 propane bottles for camp stoves on a regular basis. But in an emergency situation whether it has happened or only predicted the customers who get there first to buy some don’t just buy one or two. They will buy at least 10 so then only the first six customers get any. Many of the big box and grocery stores you shop in every day average between 3,000 and 6,000 customers a day. Do the math.”

The Fuel – The average 7/11 stores holds anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of fuel in the underground tanks.  The average car holds 14-16 gallons of fuel in the gas tank.  For simplicity we will use 15 gallons for the car and be generous at the 7/11 with topped off tanks holding 15,000 gallons.  Take the 15,000 gallons divided by 15 gallons per car and that gives a total of 1,000 cars or families to be fueled.  How many gas stations are in your town?  What is the population of your town?  With the average home having 2-3 cars, that 1,000 families per gas station just fell to 333.33.  A similar type of scenario can unfold for the fuel stations as we saw above for the grocery stores.  Do the math and plan ahead.

The way out – Really, why is this always an issue?  Outside of a surprise event like an earthquake and etc we usually have some notice to an event.  Seriously, we have amazing weather forecasting, news, TV, internet, and other technology that provides many days of notice to an event.  Why must there always be scenes of mass traffic jams during a known emergency?  The only reason I see is because people do not take planning and preparing serious enough until it is too late!  Plan your routes out of town. You need to have several routes planned to get to your destination.  Make sure to plan for stops and fuel as well. 

Plan to succeed not fail – There is a great deal of information out there to help us help ourselves plan to be ready for an emergency.  Don’t let yourself become one of the anxious hordes who failed to plan and failed to prepare!

Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  ―  Benjamin Franklin

Part hurricane, part nor’easter and  all trouble: That’s what threatens 60 million Americans

Published October 28, 2012

Associated  Press

WASHINGTON –  The storm that is  threatening 60 million Americans in the eastern third of the nation in just a  couple of days with high winds, drenching rains, extreme tides, flooding and  probably snow is much more than just an ordinary weather system. It’s a freakish  and unprecedented monster.

How did it get that way?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/10/27/part-hurricane-part-noreaster-and-all-trouble-that-what-threatens-60-million/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbgpUyI9

Hawaii under tsunami advisory as  first waves hit following Canadian quake

Published October 28, 2012

FoxNews.com

  • CanadaQuakeMap.JPG
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/28/tsunami-warning-issued-for-hawaii-after-canadian-quake/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbhZ3ceH

Will you be ready …as the North American Grid Gets Less Reliable?

Is the Grid Really Unreliable?

Chiefly, most of those concerned with preparedness don’t want to live off grid, but fear that they may have to with the state of decay of the North American Power Grid. There is a compelling case for investing in power outage contingencies, since a substantial risk of outages is growing annually.

Many in preparedness do not think the grid has become totally unreliable at this time, but they say that it’s getting less and less reliable each year.

Some questions recently we asked: Does the question “Is the Grid Really Unreliable?” have a solid basis in fact? The answer, scrutinized from whichever direction, by any authority in the field: Yes.

Is the state of the Grid likely to get worse?

The posed questions so far address solely outages caused for reasons under the control of the companies that collectively run the bulk power systems. Examples include failures due to human error, component failure, and inadequate system resources and “smartness” to prevent a small outage from cascading into a big one.

Most data collected leaves out a substantial proportion of outages that fall into the AOG or acts of God — those caused by external events that could not be controlled, like hurricanes.

Because of how reliably data is collected, excluding acts of God skews our conclusions toward understating the current problem.  Take the example of a heavy rain storm with high but not extraordinary (50 mph) winds. Most of the outages from such storms are due to tree branches falling on power lines, ice buildup on power lines, or even decaying power poles.

Many of such failures are avoidable, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. They took Pacific Gas and Electric to task a few years ago, compelling PG&E to hire more personnel to trim trees that posed an obviously high risk to power lines.

Nonetheless, failures from natural disasters — preventable or not — are not included here in our definition of “outage”.

So is it a wise decision to invest in power outage contingencies?

Aging power grid on overload as U.S. demands more electricity

By , The Washington Post

They began to bend in the roaring wind, then their steel girders snapped like twigs, the towers toppled and the lights went out.Minutes before the windstorm arrived to pummel the Washington area on June 29, it swept east through West Virginia, crushing three electrical transmission towers that are a tiny part of an intricate power grid that’s supposed to keep the lights on in America.

The term “grid” suggests a certain uniformity to the power system’s structure, but the network more closely resembles a patchwork quilt stitched together to cover a rapidly expanding nation.

The United States doesn’t yet face the critical shortage of power that has left more than 600 million people in India without electricity this weekBut the U.S. grid is aging and stretched to capacity. More often the victim of decrepitude than the forces of nature, it is beginning to falter. Experts fear failures that caused blackouts in New York, Boston and San Diego may become more common as the voracious demand for power continues to grow. They say it will take a multibillion-dollar investment to avoid them.“I like to think of our grid much like a water system, and basically all of our pipes are at full pressure now,” said Otto J. Lynch, vice president of Wisconsin-based Power Line Systems, “and if one of our pipes bursts and we have to shut off that line, that just increases the pressure on our remaining pipes until another one bursts, and next thing you know, we’re in a catastrophic run and we have to shut the whole water system down.”India’s blackout was a power generation problem: It is saddled with aging coal power plants and facing resistance to new nuclear plants. This week, several plants closed suddenly and the lights went out. Although the United States will need more power plants to meet the demands of a growing population, the most immediate threat is that the delivery system will continue to fail.The huge steel towers whose power cables crisscross the country — and the transmission stations they feed — are the pipes of that system. It’s not easy to store electricity for very long, and most of it is used within a second of being produced. At the push of a button, the grid routes power where it’s needed, from state to state or region to region. It is supposed to sidestep bottlenecks or hiccups that might slow the flow.Towers are designed to withstand winds far stronger than the almost 70 mph blasts that struck Ritchie County, W.Va. But three towers in a row running parallel to Route 50 north of Ellenboro collapsed, early victims of a storm that would devastate power delivery throughout the Mid-Atlantic.“A fourth tower didn’t come down but had to be removed because it was pulled off kilter,” said Todd Meyers, spokesman for FirstEnergy, a power company that supplies electricity to five states, including Maryland. “I don’t remember a time when this many came down. This is an unusual occurrence.”Engineers are trying to figure out why the 40-year-old towers collapsed in a freak storm — whether through corrosion, foundation cracks or flying debris. But there have long been warnings that local systems, which began linking to one another in the 1920s, need an expensive overhaul.MORE LINKS:http://www.americainfra.com/news/fixing-the-us-power-grid/

http://www.simplepump.com/PREPAREDNESS/Grid-Reliability-1.html

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