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.
Plenty of articles talk about how to make large supplies and other preparations for various emergencies. In what follows, I want to take a different approach: I’m going to give you nothing but quick, down-to-earth tips of what to do and what not to do when these 4 disasters strike.
Keep in mind that, although the advice itself sounds simple, taking action on it when everyone around you is panicking will be a huge challenge.
Surviving a Riot
We’ve all seen numerous riots spark in the United States as well as in Europe. Here’s some quick tips on what to do should you get trapped in social unrest:
- Never move in the opposite direction of the rioters. You will stand out and they might pick you as a target, possibly dragging you along.
- If you see tear gas, run as fast as possible. Everyone else will. Tear gas will make you throw up and impair your vision, maybe even get you arrested once after the cops handcuff you and put you to the ground.
- Avoid wearing camo clothes, black hoodies and bandanas. Law enforcement might think you’re one of the rioters.
- If you can’t find a way out, try to find a building to take cover in until everything calms down.
- Walk instead of run.
Editor’s note: If you can avoid the area altogether, that might be your wisest course of action. Peaceful protesting is your right. But too many times in recent history we have seen protests and demonstrations turn violent. I would urge you to think long and hard before heading off to what could become a potential riot or chaotic situation.
A while back, I wrote an article for folks that are brand new to prepping. If you missed it, click here to read it. Anyway, I got some positive feedback on that article, but I also received a few emails asking me to be a bit more specific. They wanted to know where and what they should start with first.
In particular, one email from a lady told me she was on a fixed, very tight income. She had very limited resources, and was asking me what should be the priorities for her, even more so than in the above listed article. I could tell from her email she was feeling a bit overwhelmed. She wanted to be more prepared, but could not spend very much each month.
That’s understandable. Beginning preparedness can feel like a daunting task. You can also look at everything you might potentially need, and feel concerned because your funds are limited. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I have decided to break down that beginning prepping article a bit more, and go into detail as to what I believe should be your top priorities if you are on a budget. Keep in mind that these are the top priorities in almost every disaster scenario, NOT just a huge SHTF event. As always, I stress that you need to start with the most probable scenarios, and work your way outward.
For this article, I’m assuming that you already have developed emergency plans. That to me is your obvious #1 priority. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and hope is not a plan. Instead, this article will focus on what resources you should be collecting first. (For more info on preparedness planning, click here.)
These categories are listed in order of importance (in my opinion). For each category I list the basics for that category that you should work on first. Once you have the basics in that category covered, move on to the next. Or if you can, try to cover more than one category at a time! For example, I list water storage over food storage. (3 days without water/3 weeks without food.) But if you can cover both categories at the same time, you are that much further ahead.
At the end of each category I will list “additional” items. These are items that while I feel are important, they are areas/items that you can come back to once you have all of your basics covered.
Having a cell phone during an emergency is EXTREMELY handy, and in my opinion one of the best things you can have on you during an emergency. Being able to contact others for help during an emergency situation is one of the fastest ways to resolve your crisis.
As more and more people move away from landlines, (the CDC studies find that almost half of all US households no longer have a landline), the technology needed for contacting emergency services with cell phones has been slow to catch up. So there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to using your cell phone during a disaster.
Everyone knows that for an emergency, you simply dial 911. (The number is 112 in other parts of the world.) Smart phones today now have a feature allowing you to use that phone to dial 911 even when the screen and other features are locked.
But what happens if you are in a situation where you cannot get a cell signal? Or worse, your battery is about to die? Here are some hints and tips to help you out if you ever find yourself in this position.
The 411 on 911 and cell phones
Despite what you see on TV and in the movies, calling 911 on your cell phone does NOT give the dispatchers your exact location. According to a 2015 article in USA Today:
Today’s cellphone system does not automatically send location data when you dial 911. After the call comes in, the dispatcher’s computer transmits a digital request to the cellphone network seeking the phone’s location. The data exchange can take seconds or even minutes. Sometimes, it doesn’t return a location at all.
Uber (Uber Technologies Inc.) is an American multinational on-line transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. This app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 2016, the service was available in over 66 countries and 449 cities worldwide.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009. The app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates.
Uber processes all payments involved, charging the passenger’s credit card. Uber takes a cut for itself (which ranges from 5% to 20%), and direct depositing the remaining money into the driver’s account. This makes all transactions completely cashless. (Although riders can give tips.) So it is a great convenience for both the rider and driver!
Although Uber is considered a safe mode of transportation, there have been instances where an Uber driver or someone posing as an Uber driver have perpetrated crimes against unsuspecting clients. (And vice versa.) So I wanted to give you the latest security and safety tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
Before I get started, please know that this is NOT going to be a Public Service Announcement for driving sober, wearing your seat-belt, or not texting while driving. All of this is common sense stuff you should know and be following.
Instead, this article is about how to deal with other drivers’ with road rage, how to spot/avoid a potential drunk driver, and how to protect yourself while on the road.
Yes, this is important. It may not be as glamorous or exciting as reading about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But to date, there have been ZERO reported deaths due to zombies. NONE!
The same cannot be said about motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, there were almost 30,000 fatal car accidents in the US. This resulted in 32,675 deaths.
In 1988 there were 162 million licensed drivers in the US. In 2010, that number had grown to over 210 million. See a trend here? That number is only going to go up. As the number of drivers grow, so too will the number of car accidents. And so too will the number of road rage incidents and DUIs.
All this means that the chances of you being killed or injured in a car accident are astronomically greater than dying in a zombie swarm. Hence you need to pay attention!