Editors note: Please welcome H. Davis to the site. H. Davis enjoys exploring the outdoors and loves reading up on new ways to prep his home (and car) for disasters. If you can’t find him online, you might be able to catch him at the gym or watching sports (Go, Broncos!). Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241
According to Eastern Kentucky University, an average of 139 million people are affected by natural disasters annually, and that number continues to grow given how unpredictable mother nature is. Disaster like earthquakes, hurricanes, and violent rotating columns of air we call tornadoes can rip a home to pieces in a matter of minutes.
That’s why it’s important to take necessary steps toward reducing your risk of injury by protecting your home. In return, you and your family will be safer, and your home will be ready to withstand the fight against those harsh weather conditions. Here are some steps to get started:
Create a Digital Cloud:
When the time comes to evacuate your home, there’s a good chance you might forget your computer along with your portable hard drive, which means the pictures you’ve captured over the years might never be seen again. To make matters worse, those important documents that contain financial information and social security records are also at risk of never being seen again – depending on the disaster. One way to ensure that you don’t risk losing any of your valuable documents is by storing copies of them on a cloud.
With that being said, if you are relying on the cloud, making sure you have some sort of digital home inventory is vital. Storing information on a cloud also gives you access to photos, videos, and other documents you might need for your insurance claim. As an added bonus, the cloud can be used as a communication tool as well. How? Well, some cloud software – like UCView and Enplug – comes equipped with digital signage – a critical response tool used for mass communication during emergency situations. This means users can contact someone if they’re stuck in the house, or to let close relatives know that they’re somewhere safe.
Editor’s Note: Please welcome James Burnette from SurvivalPunk.com. In his guest post, James talks about surviving in a “Tiny House”, and why is a good idea. After reading this article, be sure to view the video tour of his tiny house at the bottom of the page!
I’m here to prove to you that you can both survive and thrive in a tiny house. That you can be a prepper and not have a huge home. You don’t have to sacrifice food storage, survival gear, or your firearms to live in a tiny house. Not only that but you can be better prepared in a tiny house over a traditional home.
In case you are unfamiliar with a tiny house and the movement behind them; a tiny house is typically between 100 to 400 square feet. This is in contrast to the American average of 2,600 square feet for a home.
Most but not all tiny or small houses are built on trailers. This is for two reasons. First by building it on a trailer bed you bypass many home building laws. Doing it this way you will not need permits or to pass many codes and zoning laws. For us preppers, this means that the government does not get involved in our business. They don’t have a copy of our blueprints on file. No need to pay ridiculous amounts of money for permission to build.
Some folks also build or modify sheds to be tiny homes. This is in many ways an easier solution than building a tiny house on wheels. But there could be some legal ramifications and zoning issues. With a tiny house on wheels, it is considered an “RV”, and you can skirt some of the potential problems you might have with an “accessory dwelling unit” ie fixed tiny house. Be sure to check your local laws and ordinances for more details. Here is a great link for more details on this.
When it comes to prepping, I see so many get caught up in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) scenarios. It is a popular topic amongst the “prepared”. But I don’t see near the number of topics toward natural disasters. Why? We are FAR more likely to experience a tornado or hurricane than an EMP attack.
Being prepared for those should just as important if not more so.
With all of the natural disasters in the news lately, I thought I would take some time to give an overview of five natural disasters, ie what they are, and ways that you can be prepared for them.
Watch vs Warning
If you have ever watched the weather on your news channel, you may have heard mention of a “storm watch” or a “storm warning” and wondered what the difference was. So before we jump into the disasters, I wanted make you aware of what a “Watch” is versus a “Warning.”
A watch, be it for a tornado, hurricane, or flood, means that the weather conditions are favorable for that type of activity. It has not started yet, and it may not even start. But you should be prepared to take precautions should the situation warrant.
A warning means that the expected disaster is expected, imminent, or may have already begun. Precautions should be taken IMMEDIATELY!
A watch means it MIGHT happen. A warning means it WILL OR IS ALREADY happening. Also keep in mind that a disaster can go from a “watch” to a “warning” in the blink of an eye. The tornado that hit Moore in May 2013 went from a “watch” to the destruction of the city in less than 15 minutes. So stay alert and informed!
Interstate 40 is the 3rd largest highway in the United States, running from Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow California. Part of it used to be the old historic Route 66 that was popularized in the 1960s with a song and TV show. And I-40 runs right through my city where I work.
I have lost count how many times I have been called to assist with motor vehicle accidents on that interstate. At least 4 that I can remember were fatality accidents. (ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.) But what sticks out to me the most is just how often I came across people who simply were not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions outside.
So many times, when the outside temp was barely above freezing, (or colder) I’d pull up on an accident. Based upon the speeds traveled, the vehicles involved were usually damaged enough that they would not start. The people were not always hurt or not hurt very badly. But so many times the drivers and passengers did not have adequate clothing.
I always asked them the same thing. “Where is your coat?”
“I didn’t think I’d need one because I was only driving a few miles.” Or “it WAS warm inside my car” were the typical replies.
Normally, I would have been nice enough to let them stay warm in the back of my patrol car. But for many years, I was a K9 officer. I had no back seat as it had been replaced with metal bars/plates and a carpet for my loyal companion. And he was NOT nice enough to let anyone sit back there with him.
With all of my equipment I kept in the front seat, I had no room to place freezing passengers. (On the plus side, I never had to transport prisoners.)
Within a few moments a backup officer would arrive on scene, and the unprepared would cram into his/her back seat. People learned the hard way that they could not rely solely on their car’s heater or AC unit to keep them warm/cool. They should of had a backup plan.
Next to your need for oxygen, maintaining your core body temperature is the most important survival aspect you will face. Having a shelter from the elements is the number two priority in my opinion. It is more important than water, food, guns, or gear. Your clothing is, in a sense, a part of your shelter. What you wear and how you wear it could be the difference between life and death.
Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in clothing made from synthetic materials. But sometimes it can become confusing as to how the material would be a boon or a bane in an emergency situation. So let me break down the main types of clothing/bedding material out there.
A very popular material on the market (at least in the America), cotton is hydrophilic. This means that it transfers sweat from your body to the material, causing it to become wet. Once cotton is wet, it feels cold and loses almost all of its ability to insulate. In the winter time, the saying is “Cotton Kills”.