by Stacey Thompson
Hurricanes and typhoons are very powerful storm systems that pack powerful winds and rain that have the capability of causing massive destruction to property and loss of life. For us, two hurricanes have left their mark on our collective memories, hurricanes Katrina and Sandy
Whichever side of the fence you are on about global warming, it is an undeniable fact that the more erratic and forceful weather patterns are connected to this phenomenon. The ferocity and frequency of these destructive events are increasing, and thus, more people are affected, their property and lives at the mercy of nature’s wrath.
If anything, physical evacuation from the affected area is probably the safest thing you can do, provided you have both the luxury of time ahead of the actual event, the proper logistics, and a place to stay away from the potential calamity. For those that do not have such an option, or insist on staying in their homes, it is imperative that the proper preparations (Read more....)
December through March — the winter season — are the peak months for home fire deaths. Although being able to survive and cope with a disaster is great, avoiding disaster altogether is even better. Like they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
National Fire Prevention Week is a good time to think about keeping your home safe while you keep it warm. Space heaters can be a good way to heat individual rooms or zones within your home, but using them requires a bit of common sense, too.
First of all, when you buy a space heater, be sure to get one that has been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or another nationally recognized lab. UL listed appliances undergo a further level of third-party safety testing. You should also buy a space heater that will automatically shut off if it's tipped over.
When you're using a space heater, put these safety guidelines in place:
· Place a space heater on level ground well away from flammable materials like blankets, upholstery and curtains; as a rule of thumb, these combustible items should be kept at least three feet away (Read more....)
According to a study conducted by Moneysupermarket.com, energy customers generally use approximately 40 percent of their annual consumption throughout the winter months. The start of winter brings with it a spate of increasing prices related to energy consumption. Energy consumers could face quarterly bills of £530. Use the tips below to make your home safer and more energy efficient.
1. Caulk Baseboards to Eliminate Draughts
You need to check for draughts. Moisten your hand and then run it along the edges of your interior door and window trim. You should also perform this test on your exterior wall baseboards. The draught feels like wind blowing through a straw. While an eighth of an inch may seem tiny, if you multiply that by the length of your baseboards, it is a long, continuous gap.
2. Light Switch and Outlet Gaskets
Cold air leaks into your house via your light switches and outlets. There are foam gaskets available that fit inside your outlets and light switches. These gaskets are an inexpensive, quick and easy way to block some of the cold (Read more....)
We know that waiting till the last second is not a good idea, but for some it is the only option. So we have taken three possible average scenarios and broken them down for you. All scenarios will include a family of 4 – Mom, Dad and two kids under high school age – living in the suburbs of a megaplex city...
1. You have a few cases of water
2. You have some freeze-dried storage food, maybe a 30 day supply.
3. You have some sleeping bags and some basic camping supplies.
4. You have a general idea of the area to which you want to go.
5. You think maybe something might happen in which case you could need to get your family out of the city.
6. All supplies are in the garage, ready to load into your minivan should the need arise.
You live in a suburban area of a mexaplex city – first and foremost, where the (Read more....)
Superstorm Sandy was a stark reminder of potential climate change and a new normal when it comes to natural disasters. Some people in the Northeast were without power for weeks following the storm, while others had to wait hours in line for a couple gallons of gasoline. Every household should have a survival kit containing the essentials needed to weather the storm until normalcy can be restored. The cost to compile the kit is nothing compared to what life will be like without it in the aftermath of disaster.
Human beings can only survive a maximum of five days without water, and that is under ideal conditions. Floods, hurricanes and earthquakes can knock out municipal water sources for weeks at a time. Whether in the basement, attic or spare room, a few gallons of water should be stored in every home, especially when there are children. Some water may still flow through the pipes when the faucet is turned on, but it could be contaminated with bacteria. Purification tablets can be (Read more....)
Typically when you think about growing food you picture a large farm or garden. However it really does not take that much room to produce enough food to keep a family going. I am not saying you have to grow everything you eat, but even growing a little can help out your food bill and prove you with backups in case of emergency. Here are some simple ways to grow your own food with limited space:
1. Grow indoors – One of the easiest things you can do with limited outdoor space is to grow indoors. There are many grow lights and planting tables that offer the same great growth as an outdoor garden would but indoors. Not only is this a valuable use of space but you can reduce your pesticide use and also bring in some much needed oxygen to your home.
2. Vertical gardens –Vertical gardens are great in tiny outdoor spaces. Even apartment balconies can be sued as garden space. Using repurposed wood and shelving can turn a wall into a garden full of fresh veggies and fruits. It is the best of both worlds.
3. Think small – Some things take lots of space to grow like corn or whet. However some things take practically no space at all. Things like carrots, lettuce and even green onion take up very little room and (Read more....)
Most people will tell you that both flood and earthquake disasters are extremely rare today. Even if this is true, the most recent disasters that have occurred in both the United States and beyond have been extremely devastating both emotionally and financially. If you didn’t have insurance and your house ended up in the middle of a natural disaster, how would you pay for it? Do you think that you would have enough money to potentially rebuild your entire house from scratch? Will homeowners insurance alone be enough to cover you? These are questions that everyone should be able to answer accordingly.
To answer one of the questions asked above, most homeowners insurance will not cover earthquake or flood damage. If a natural disaster occurs in a large enough area, assistance is normally provided through loans or grants by the government. This area will then be classified as a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If this type of scenario concerns you at all, the first thing that should be done is to go over your current insurance plan with your provider to find out what is and what isn’t covered. If you live in an area that is prone to either floods (Read more....)
As we have been offering the remaining space in our community, we have been contacted by many people who wish they could join us, but just can't leave their current family obligations. Sometimes there is a spouse who is physically ill, sometimes their loved ones just don't “get it”. Besides expressing their deep longing to live the way we do – personally free and self-sufficient – they give us their apologies for not being able to join us. No apology needed.
To make the decision to stay in the midst of the coming chaos because those to whom you have a deep and loving commitment cannot wrest themselves from their current lifestyle is also a valid and courageous choice – as long as it is made with good information and open eyes. When chaos arrives (and it's coming on a fast track) those who remain dependent on the systems (corporate, medical, governmental entitlements such as food stamps, disability payments, etc.) will likely be left in the lurch and fending for themselves anyway, but (Read more....)