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Prepper speaks against stigma that all survivalists are nuts – Seattle News – MyNorthwest.com

By Jamie Griswold for My Northwest .com

“For me, I feel like being prepared for a natural disaster primarily is just being responsible,” said Jason Pedwell, a manager in a legal services company from Sammamish, who admits he falls under the title “prepper,” but said he doesn’t often advertise it.”

“I think if there’s any place in the world that was well prepared, even perhaps more prepared than we are here (the US – Ed), it’s Japan. They have a strong infrastructure, and this place, they had cities wiped off the map. Seventeen- thousand people died, a million and a half people were displaced for months without food and water. Fortunately, the world sort of rallied together and supported that effort,” said Pedwell.

For the whole article, follow the link.

Prepper speaks against stigma that all survivalists are nuts – Seattle News – MyNorthwest.com.

Copenhagen Consensus Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters Released.

The Copenhagen Consensus Centre has released a Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters, penned by Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan and distributed through CopenhagenConsensus.com

Summary. Downloadable PDF available below.

“In recent years, the world has experienced a series of truly devastating natural disasters that have taken many lives and triggered unprecedented economic losses. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the United States, the 2010 massive floods in Australia and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan, among other events, have demonstrated that even the most wealth and well prepared countries can experience large-scale damage and destruction when natural disasters strike.

The situation is much worse in low-income countries since they often do not have the financial means to protect their population and economy against catastrophes. In addition, building codes are lacking or not well enforced and the infrastructure is often poorly designed for disseminating information prior to a disaster, and assisting victims in a timely manner after its occurrence. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 illustrates the challenges of an unprepared and poor country…

…First, the authors propose designing schools that can withstand earthquakes to reduce damage and the number of fatalities to children, teachers and other staff. Retrofitting the schools in all 35 most-exposed countries around the world would save the lives of 250,000 individuals over the next 50 years. Costs obviously vary from country to country: in the Solomon Islands it would cost just $36 million to retrofit schools while the cumulative total benefits are $235 million, yielding a benefit/cost ratio (BCR) greater than 6. In Afghanistan and Myanmar the costs would be $698 million and $1,570 million, respectively, with a benefit of about five times the amount invested.”

Read the full Summary and Download the Report (PDF) from the Copenhagen Consensus website.

 

Disaster Archive: Pointe Coupee 1912

Carol Ann Blitzer for The Advocate.com

 — One hundred years ago, the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, was the leading news story on two continents. Americans and Europeans hung onto every report of the lifeboats, the survivors, the widows, the babies, the heroes.

The Titanic held onto the headlines until a natural disaster in the far northeastern corner of Pointe Coupee Parish grabbed them in America, when, on May 1, the swollen Mississippi River tore through a weakened levee at the tiny community of Torras.

The event, known as the Torras Crevasse, was “the greatest and deadliest natural disaster in Pointe Coupee and regional history,” said Brian Costello, historian and archivist for the Historical Materials Collection of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library. “It was a defining moment in our history.”

For the full article follow the link.

Washed away: Pointe Coupee 1912 | People | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

FEMA Uses Waffle House Menus to Gauge Disaster Severity.

No really, this is actually happening. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has revealed their new method of gauging the severity of localised natural disasters. And boy howdy is it a good ‘un.

In what was possibly a ‘three-in-the-morning decision’ (if you know what I mean), FEMA has stated that in the event of an emergency their first action is to contact a Waffle House in the affected area and ask what’s available on the menu. If the full range of waffles and accoutrements is available, then the emergency index is graded as Green. If only some of the menu is up for grabs, the index is Yellow. If the restaurant is shut, God help us all.

But, ridiculous as it might sound, the plan does have its merits. Local law enforcement is always over-burdened after a natural disaster of any size so could do without FEMA clogging up their phone lines as well. Also, America being the size it is there are a large number of local emergencies in any given week. FEMA (although I’m sure they would like to be) is not big enough to have a presence in every small town and settlement. Waffle Houses however, are nearly everywhere – they have roughly 1,600 open at any one time – and if they aren’t then something similar is.

Restaurants are open for one purpose. They want people through the door and buying their food. Something has to go very wrong for a restaurant, particularly a fast food restaurant, to reduce their menu or stay closed. With the amount of competition around for people’s cash, it would take a truly large scale, red index, disaster to keep them from doing business.

So, the plan is a bit ‘off the wall’ but actually makes sense. FEMA has been routinely lambasted for their lack of ability and general attitude (bad). Maybe this will serve to bolster their reputation a little.

I only wish I was in the meeting when the idea was pitched.

Prepare for Electric Power Outages – Survival Common Sense

Presented by Survival Common Sense .com

Emergency preparedness means you should have backup systems or plans for heat, lighting and water. If you’re lucky, the power won’t be off long, but batteries are gone after a few days, unless you have a way to recharge them. A generator will only work until it runs out of fuel.

One of the more important aspects of urban survival during winter storms is lighting. Without a lighting plan, you could end up in the dark from when the sun sets at around 5:30 p.m. until dawn. The right lighting supplies can make this situation more bearable. (Source)

Although I don’t completely agree with this author’s reliance on candles (what could be worse when you are bunkering down in your house than a house fire!) I do agree that they are easily stockpiled. There are also good tips and links to other articles embedded in the text. (WCS)

For the Full Article follow the link below.

Prepare for Electric Power Outages – Survive the Storm | Common sense survival tips and safety guide to surviving an emergency or natural disaster; Survival Common Sense – Wilderness or Urban Emergency Preparedness and Safety Guide.

Disaster Archive: New York Blackout 1977

The New York City blackout of 1977 ran from July 13 to July 14 and plunged the entire city, except southern Queens and areas of the Rockaways, both of which were mainly powered by the Long Island Lighting Company System, into pitch darkness overnight.

It was not the first time that New York had suffered blackouts, not was it the most widely spread, but the 1977 blackout has become infamous for the epidemic of violence, looting and general chaos that came with it and that had not been seen in previous emergencies.

Brooklyn 'Civic Responsibility' 1977 (Tyrone Dukes: New York Times) 

Brooklyn 'Civic Responsibility' 1977 (Tyrone Dukes: New York Times)

The blackout was the result of a series of lightning strikes hitting various substations and a subsequent catalogue of unfortunate events that made it nearly impossible for the engineers to get the power back online. For a detailed analysis and timeline of the cause of the events, you can see one on Wikipedia, but in short:

  • A lightning strike on a substation on the Hudson River tripped two circuit breakers in Westchester County. Faulty maintenance prevented the breakers from re-closing and allowing the power to flow.
  • A subsequent lighting strike at Indian Point – the nuclear plant that fed Westchester County – caused two transmission lines to fail, of which only one returned, and the loss of power from the plant. A remote-start on the plant was attempted but failed.
  • Yet another lighting strike caused two more transmission lines to fail, with only one re-closing, and a massive overload of power into the remaining lines. As a result, the power provider Con Edison had to reduce the load on another major generator at East River.
  • The call came to “shed load” but Con Ed operators and Power Pool operators had different understandings of what that meant. Con Ed intended to gently lower load by a few hundred Mega Watts, PP to suddenly drop load by 1500MW.
  • The last major interconnection to upstate NY tripped due to overheating which in turn caused the links in Long Island to overload and the New Jersey interconnections to struggle with their loads.
  • A miscommunication caused Long Island to open connections (trying to reduce overloading on their own lines) to try and redirect almost twice the power through the available lines between themselves and the city.
  • After trying to protect the system by dropping customers, Con Ed automatically began isolating its self from the ‘outside world’.
  • By 9.27pm, Con Ed’s city generators could not produce enough power and the lines feeding into the city were on the verge of collapse. The city’s biggest generator “Big Allis” shut down and the city went black.

Background.

The 1977 blackout could not have happened at a more unfortunate time. The United States as a whole was suffering a financial crisis and inner city poverty was endemic. New York was in the middle of a heat wave while also slipping into to panic over the Son of Sam murders. In effect, the blackout was the straw that broke the camels back, very much like the shooting of an unarmed man triggered the London riots last year.

The violence and looting spread across 31 districts. Shops were looted across the city, usually by people from the very same neighbourhood. Fires were widespread. The airports closed for hours. Road tunnels were shut because they couldn’t be ventilated. The cost of the damages was estimated to have reached $300 million by the time order was restored on the 14th.

So what is to be learned from the 1977 blackout? Firstly I would suggest that in times of financial hardship, all it takes is for the power to go off for ONE NIGHT before chaos reigns. This is particularly apparent in built up, heavily populated areas, especially those areas that are in the lower economic brackets. In the UK these days, we have very few areas that are as desperate as central New York in 1977, but they are not unheard of. If we live in these areas it needs to be considered that a night without power could see mass panic in the streets outside our windows.

In nearly all the other respects our society is almost identical to the society of seventies America. Our economy is struggling. Immigration is causing people to become tense in and distanced from their own communities. The concepts of civic and personal responsibility are but memories. Joblessness is always increasing. Crime is increasing. What is going to be the match that lights the blue touchpaper? A (metaphorically inaccurate) blackout?

So. Taking all of this into account, what is to be done in the event of a blackout.

Read More…

Why Extreme Weather Is Increasing! – Part One

Presented by The Real Truth . Org

David. C. Pack explores the possible reasons for the explosion in extreme weather worldwide and especially the increased rate of them in recent years.

The Real Truth is a faith-based website and puts a Christian twist on the answers they find. That’s no reason to ignore what they say however. All opinions are valid when we are looking at TEOTWAWKI (glossary).

Why Extreme Weather Is Increasing! – Part One.

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