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Survival Learnings From A California Fire Evacuee

Survival Learnings From A California Fire Evacuee

They universally apply to any unexpected emergency

As I type this, there are over 16 large wildfires currently burning across northern and southern California. Hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced. Millions are without power.

My hometown of Sebastopol, CA underwent mandatory evacuation at 4am Saturday night. I jumped into the car, along with our life essentials and our pets, joining the 200,000 souls displaced from Sonoma County this weekend.

Even though I write about preparedness for a living, fleeing your home in the dead of night with a raging inferno clearly visible on the horizon drives home certain lessons more effectively than any other means.

I’d like to share those learnings with you, as they’re true for any sort of emergency: natural (fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, etc), financial (market crash, currency crisis) or social (revolution, civil unrest, etc).

And I’d like you to be as prepared as possible should one of those happen to you, which is statistically likely.

Your survival, and that of your loved ones, may depend on it.

No Plan Survives First Contact With Reality

As mentioned, I’ve spent years advising readers on the importance of preparation. Emergency preparedness is Step Zero of the guide I’ve written on resilient living — literally the first chapter.

So, yes, I had a pre-designed bug-out plan in place when the evacuation warning was issued. My wife and I had long ago made lists of the essentials we’d take with us if forced to flee on short notice (the Santa Rosa fires of 2017 had reinforced the wisdom of this). Everything on these lists was in an easy to grab location.

The only problem was, we were 300 miles away.

Reality Rule #1: You Will Be Caught By Surprise

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Malibu Evacuated As “Apocalyptic” Fire Rages; 75,000 Told To Flee Ventura County

The upscale California town of Malibu has been ordered to evacuate after a raging wildfire jumped the 101 freeway at approximately 5 a.m. and barreled towards the seaside community amid high winds.

MANDATORY evacuation is in effect for the entire area south of the 101 Fwy from the Ventura County line to Las Virgenes / Malibu Canyon, and southward to the ocean, including all of City of Malibu. (Update 6:55 AM) Residents should use PCH to evacuate and avoid canyon roads. -Malibucity.org


Embedded video

Fire has jumped the 101 freeway at Liberty Canyon and is well established on the south side of the freeway.Avoid 101 of commuting, large back-ups behind closure


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WOW: THIS is the 101 Freeway on Friday morning during rush hour with smoke from the coming fire(s) pushed by the high winds.

MALIBU: all of it is under Mandatory evacuation.


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Evacuations Ordered As “Monstrous Hurricane” Michael Intensifies Into “Most Powerful Storm In A Decade

In a repeat of the scramble for safety that preceded the landfall of Hurricane Irma during the 2017 storm season, residents of the Florida panhandle are boarding up homes and fleeing inland as Hurricane Michael, already a Category 1 storm following a rapid intensification over the past 24 hours, barrels toward the northern Gulf of Mexico, where it’s projected to make landfall on Wednesday, possibly as a Category 3 storm.


Hurricane Michael is moving north-northwestward over the Gulf of Mexico. Here are the 4 am CDT October 9th Key Messages on Hurricane .

“The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern U.S. Wednesday night and Thursday,” the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. New York time.

Michael

The hurricane could generate a 12-foot surge, and 4-8 inches of rain in the region, with isolated areas getting as much as 12 inches. Michael is arriving less than a month after Florence hit North Carolina on Sept. 14, causing devastating floods, killing at least 39 and causing about $45 billion in estimated damages. Duke Energy Corp. warned customers in the region to prepare for potential outages.

After initially forming over the coast of Honduras, Michael battered western Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend, causing flash flooding that left 13 dead, per CNN. With a hurricane warning in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida, and a hurricane watch in effect for the coast of Alabama, Florida’s governor Rick Scott called Michael “a monstrous hurricane“, and declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the panhandle to Tampa Bay.

Michael

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Whole Town Is Evacuating” – Tsunami Headed For Alaska After 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake

A powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake detected in the Gulf of Alaska has triggered tsunami warnings in Alaska and tsunami watches across several Western states through British Columbia all the way down to San Diego…

Earthquake watches are also in effect for Hawaii

“Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The earthquake struck about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, shortly after midnight in Alaska local time, according to preliminary figures from the United States Geological Survey. The quake had a depth of about 6 miles, according to USGS. That depth, meteorologists pointed out, is relatively shallow, raising the risk of dangerous tsunamis in Alaska.

In Kodiak, first responders drove through the streets warning residents to “evacuate immediately”…


@KoloheBoy@saimin@PHOTOlulu saw 1 data on one of the buoys in the AK area went up 32 feet. PHUQUE! @Meteo_Reporter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k104rX2QvxA 
VIDEO: Warning after 8.2 in , | Jan 23, 2018


Tsunami waves move surprisingly quickly, one meteorologist said, point to the following graphic.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

150,000 Flee Los Angeles As Wildfires Rage – “We’ll Be Fighting This All Week”

150,000 Flee Los Angeles As Wildfires Rage – “We’ll Be Fighting This All Week”

In what sounds like a replay of the devastating fires that killed dozens of people and torched a broad swath of California wine country this past summer, at least five discrete fires barreled across Southern California with extreme speed, torching more than 65,000 acres as firefighters struggled to contain the simultaneous infernos.

The first blaze started at about 6:25 p.m. Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination. It grew quickly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn’t burned in decades, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow said, according to CNN.

Powerful Santa Ana winds and extremely dry conditions have fueled the wildfires, according to the Washington Post, adding hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars in damage to what has already been a devastating year for fires. The winds that caused the fires were part of the season’s longest and strongest wind event – driving down from the desert and mountains into the city of Los Angeles.

So far, the latest fires have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, burned down more than a hundred buildings and triggered power outages in the region.

According to CNN, on Tuesday, the city of Ventura declared a daily curfew, beginning 10 pm to 5 am. The curfew is to protect residents and prevent crime such as looting in the evacuation areas, the city said. The largest fire, called the Thomas Fire, was seen crossing the 101 Freeway north of the city of Ventura. That fire had been burning at nearly an acre per second Tuesday. At that speed, it would have covered Manhattan’s Central Park in about 14 minutes.

The Thomas Fire spanned 50,000 acres (about 78 square miles) in Ventura County alone, which sits just north of Los Angeles. The fire was 0% contained as of Tuesday night.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You’re Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

rangizzz/Shutterstock

You’re Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

Lessons from the recent rash of natural disasters

It seems as if Mother Nature is waking up. Either she’s trying to send humans an important warning, or perhaps she’s just out to kill us all.

Massive storms across the globe, earthquakes, and collapsing ecosystems all combine to remind us that we are indeed intimately connected to our planet’s natural systems. And that our well-being rests on staying on Mother Nature’s good side.

Well, Mother Nature has seemed pretty pissed at us of late. Her recent punishments should be taken as a disciplinary wake-up call: It’s time.

It’s time to prepare, everyone. Way past time.

And it’s time to recognize that there are multiplying failure points across the many systems we depend on for our way of life — both natural and man-made. For example:

  • The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is now grossly obscene and yet still growing wider.
  • Our industrially-farmed soils are being depleted of their nutrients.
  • Species are going extinct every single day.
  • Global oil consumption ticks higher every year.
  • Stock price overvaluation is about the highest it’s ever been.
  • Bonds have never been more expensive (i.e. yields have never been lower) in all of recorded history.
  • Debt levels have never been higher (both globally and, in most cases, locally).
  • The planet’s population continues to explode (7.5 billion today, 10 billion by 2050) while key resources deplete at accelerating rates.

Only the foolish, or the seriously self-deluded, would think that these observations and trends will be consequence-free.

Which means we have to begin doing things very differently. We have to change who we are, the actions we take, the investments we prioritize, and even our most fundamental values and priorities.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s A Killer” – Florida Orders A Third Of The Population To Evacuate As Irma Hurtles Toward Tampa

“It’s A Killer” – Florida Orders A Third Of The Population To Evacuate As Irma Hurtles Toward Tampa

Florida’s highways and backroads are clogged with motorists after Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an unprecedented 6.2 million residents of central and southern Florida to evacuate. Meanwhile, Miami, along with many towns and cities along the state’s southeastern coast, resembles a ghost town, according to the New York Post.

To recap: The category 4 storm has already carved a path of destruction through the Caribbean, leaving 90% or Barbuda uninhabitable and nearly a million people without power in Puerto Rico. And now, with the storm’s outer bands already battering the southern part of the state, meteorologists are saying Irma has suddenly shifted westward and is now heading toward Florida’s Gulf Coast – specifically, the Tampa Bay area.

Here’s the Associated Press:

Forecasters expect Irma’s core to come ashore Sunday and strike the Keys, southwestern Florida and the Tampa Bay region, which hasn’t felt a major hurricane since 1921. The eye is expected to miss heavily-populated Miami, which may have dodged a bubble in the last minute, but that area will still get life-threatening hurricane conditions even without a direct hit, Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.


LATEST: currently Cat. 3 Hurricane with winds of 125 mph; expected to restrengthen as it heads towards Florida http://abcn.ws/2xcR82b  pic.twitter.com/6MStKhvII4

MORE: 175 miles SE of Key West, FL, moving west at 9 mph; expected head up western coast of Florida. http://abcn.ws/2xcR82b pic.twitter.com/b6XtIF92YI

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If You Think Your Friday Evening Commute Is Bad…

If You Think Your Friday Evening Commute Is Bad…

As the “biggest evacuation in US history” continues, stunning images are showing what a nightmare shifting 650,000 people out of state looks like.

The mass exodus began yesterday…

But, as you drive home tonight from work, ready for beer-0-clock, spare a thought for these poor displaced folk stuck in this utter disaster…

Called a “game changer” for the Marijuana industry, this stock is rapidly dominating one of the largest markets in the legal cannabis space.

As they flee this…

And it’s only going to get worse…

“Greatest Evacuation In History” – 650,000 Ordered To Leave Florida

“Greatest Evacuation In History” – 650,000 Ordered To Leave Florida

In what spokesman Michael Hernandez describes as “the biggest evacuation in history,” Miami-Dade has expanded its mandatory evacuations orders to Zone C, forcing over 650,000 to leave Florida in a “traffic nightmare” as Cat-5 Hurricane Irma bears down.

An earlier order included just Miami Beach, other low-lying and barrier island areas and all mobile-home residents, but as the storm grew in intensity and the cone of uncertainty narrowed, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued the order this afternoon expanded to Zone C.

The expansion now covers Zone B, which encompasses Brickell, Miami’s downtown area and South-Dade, including parts of Cutler Bay, Florida City and Homestead. Evacuation orders also touch Zone C, which includes parts of Coral Gables, South Miami, Miami Shores and North Miami Beach.

More than 650,000 residents are reportedly subject to the mandatory evacuation order – that’s up from the 200,000 who were asked to leave to areas outside of evacuation Zones A and B, Wednesday.

Downtown Miami is described as “a ghost town”...

Japan Prepares For Mass Evacuation Of 60,000 Citizens From South Korea

Japan Prepares For Mass Evacuation Of 60,000 Citizens From South Korea

It won’t be the first time that a near-panicked Japan has came close to the edge when it comes to North Korea, and in preparation for an “emergency” was planning to evacuate its citizens located in South Korea. The last such notable spike in escalations took place in April, when as the Yomiuri Shimbun reported at the time, the Japanese government had asked the U.S. to provide advance consultation if it is about to launch military action against North Korea, and “ramped up preparations for emergency situations”, including the potential evacuation of some 57,000 Japanese citizens currently in South Korea.

Fast forward to today, when moments ago Japan’s Nikkei reported that as tensions on the Korean Peninsula reach new heights following Pyongyang’s first (allegedly) hydrogen bomb test, Japan is planning a possible mass evacuation of the nearly 60,000 Japanese citizens currently living in or visiting South Korea.

“There is a possibility of further provocations,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a Monday meeting with ruling coalition lawmakers. “We need to remain extremely vigilant and do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people.”

In response to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, Japan and the U.S. are seeking a peaceful resolution by ratcheting up economic pressure on the rogue state through an oil embargo and other measures, while South Korea’s president has also called for a currency/FX blockade of the Kim regime. And yet, what has spooked Tokyo is that on Sunday, Defense Secretary James Mattis also said any threat to the U.S. or its allies “will be met with a massive military response – a response both effective and overwhelming.” Which means thousands of Japanese may soon be in harm’s way.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Freak storm rips though Sydney with tornadoes, flooding, hail, 200kph winds (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Freak storm rips though Sydney with tornadoes, flooding, hail, 200kph winds (PHOTO, VIDEO)

© Kang Seblak
A destructive storm has hit Sydney, Australia, bringing tornadoes, flooding, golf-sized hail stones, and up to 213 kilometer per hour winds, which caused serious damage, triggered evacuations, and trapped people indoors.

A Sydney suburb was labeled a disaster zone after a tornado ripped through its southern beaches with golf-sized hail stones and rattling winds that caused tremendous damage to the neighborhood.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Get Back Home Urban Survival Kit

The Get Back Home Urban Survival Kit

city URBAN SURVIVALMost of you probably have a bug out bag – having a bug out bag is good insurance in the event you are forced to evacuate your home or retreat for some unforeseen reason. It seems most of us are ready to bug out,  but few of us have considered the need to find our way back home if caught away during an emergency.

No doubt, many of you spend a lot of time away from home, with work, school and business sometimes taking you hundreds of miles away from home. Most of the time this isn’t an issue for me, but recently, I’ve had to make several business trips that have taken me out of state and far from home.

What would I do if disaster struck while I was several hundred miles from home? What would I do in the event of a terrorist attack, riot, earthquake or similar disaster. Could I get back home? What would I do if forced to stay in the area for several days or even weeks?

With any luck I’ll be able to drive out, but you never know – the roads could be blocked or impassable because of damage, the area could be quarantined or it could be too dangerous to move for several days.

As with anything related to survival, there are no guarantees and I doubt her father could make it under anything but the best of conditions considering his health. I just hope nothing bad happens with him in tow.

To increase our odds of making it back or surviving in the city if needed, I’ve put together a “Get Home Kit” that I take on extended trips. Sure I could have just taken my bug out bag, but it really isn’t the best solution and the gear  for the most part, isn’t what I’d need in an urban setting.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Prepping for a Hurricane: Are You Ready for Joaquin?

Prepping for a Hurricane: Are You Ready for Joaquin?

The East Coast is bracing for a hurricane that may rival the ferocity of Superstorm Sandy. Hurricane Joaquin is expected to reach Category 4 proportions today, as it gains strength in the Bahamas.

Current projections have it heading due north, and it’s predicted to make landfall in the US this weekend.

If you happen to live in South Carolina, North Caroline, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, you’re likely to get hit, particularly in the coastal regions.

When you’re thinking about how to prepare for an event like this, it’s best to look back in history at what went wrong.  The good news is, today is Thursday. There’s time to place some orders or purchase some items if you find that you are missing vital preps. Here are the things you need to do RIGHT NOW if you are in the path of the storm and prepping for a hurricane. Click the links for more in-depth information on each topic.

1.) Evacuate early

If you have a nice beachfront property, this is not the weekend to spend time there. Make plans now to evacuate inland if this is your full-time residence. For the love of all things cute and fluffy, don’t plan on evacuating just as the storm hits. You want to leave before a mandatory evacuation is called for.  The East Coast, especially as you go north, is highly populated, and you do NOT want to be stuck in traffic when the wrath of the storm strikes. Leave early.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shock Videos from California: Wildfire Evacuation as a Small Town Burns to the Ground

Shock Videos from California: Wildfire Evacuation as a Small Town Burns to the Ground

However prepared you think you are for an emergency wildfire evacuation, when it looks like you’re driving through the outer edges of Hell, it’s going to be a scary ride.

Wildfires are a real threat every year in California, but this season seems to be especially dramatic and uncontrollable. Chalk it up to the severe drought that has caused the grass and trees to become well-seasoned fuel for the fires.

Valley Fire Map

One particular fire rages out of control in Lake County, just north of the famous Napa Valley, putting thousands of acres of vineyards on the outskirts of the inferno.

That is far from the worst of it, though. Over the weekend, the tiny burg of Middletown, California was burned off the map.  The flames moved so quickly that there was barely time to notify the families of the town that they had to evacuate.

middletown fire

When the fire hit the gas stations on the edge of town, the fuel tanks exploded, worsening the blaze. The fire traveled to the down and destroyed virtually every single building More than 1000 homes and businesses burned to the ground. Pay close attention at 1:30.

Residents literally only had minutes to evacuate as the flames approached. This was not a calm, orderly evacuation. This was families fleeing for their lives.

Do you think you are prepped to evacuate? What if you had to literally drive through a wildfire? Here’s a dose of reality. This video was shot as one family left their home for what is most likely the last time. (Some very understandable harsh language).

I know what you’re thinking: That guy waited way too long to bug out.

The thing is, this fire moved so incredibly quickly that people who bugged out within minutes of notification had a scene exactly like this. They had a soundtrack of approaching flames roaring in their ears. One minute, the fire was a plume of smoke on the horizon, and the next minute it was in their backyards.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

China Sends In Chemical Warfare Troops, Orders Tianjin Blast Site Evacuation After Toxic Sodium Cyanide Found

China Sends In Chemical Warfare Troops, Orders Tianjin Blast Site Evacuation After Toxic Sodium Cyanide Found

Four years ago, following the Sendai tsunami and resulting explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Japanese government had just one goal: to minimize panic among the population, even if it meant blatantly lying about the resulting deadly radioactive fallout the public was exposed to. After all the top prerogative among government bureaucrats has always been to minimize social disturbance even if it means sacrificing countless individuals to a death that could have been avoided if only the government had told the truth from the beginning.

This was also the playbook followed by the Chinese government three days ago after the massive chemical plant explosion in China’s port of Tianjin where the casualty count is increasing with every passing day (85 dead at last check and rising fast), but where the real danger is that toxic gases and chemical fallout, just as dangerous and lethal as Fukushima’s beta and gamma waves, have spread in the air and water, and are jeopardizing the local population.

Initially the government did everything in its power to cover up the spread of deadly contaminants. As we reported yesterday, People’s Daily openly lied to the local population: “Authorities tasked with marine monitoring announced there were no hazardous chemicals detected in waters off the blast site in north China’s port city Tianjin on Friday.

A statement from the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said major measurement of seawater composition did not show any anomaly compared with historical records.

Hazardous materials such as cyanide and volatile phenol were not detected, while the variety of zooplankton was not affected either, it added.

The problem is that the Chinese government long ago lost all credibility and as we reported yesterday, local residents “wondered if even the air was safe because of the smoke, still billowing hours later from vestiges of the inferno, which destroyed an industrial zone near the port. Many people wore masks.”

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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