Jul. 12th, 2015 01:25 pm
brighidn: Anastasia Krupnik (Default)
[personal profile] brighidn
This is a good community to keep going. Please do!

*Who are you?

*What are your interests?
Wilderness survival, rewilding, canning, ham radio, food storage, emcomm, volunteering, weather, water filtration and distillation... Being a desert rat means you kind of HAVE TO be a "guns in the wilderness" sort. But I would never ID as a "prepper" (ugh). I'm about sensible civil preparedness and community organization, especially in rural contexts.

*What brought you to this community?
The search function.

*What stories can you share about subject of disaster preparedness?
We had a horrible flood last year. Half the town was under water. Local volunteer responders were without an EoC for many hours, calling their own shots. Cell towers were nearly without backup power. (Get ham radio, kids.) It became apparent that we are on our own as far as the big city "authorities" are concerned... I had measures in place before then, but many of my neighbours didn't or couldn't. It was an eye opener. Things can get bad, fall apart fast, and it will be up to us to make it better.

*What would you like to see this community explore, or accomplish?
I'd like to see real involvement and talk about things. I can do the long-term chat, over months or years. But as a refugee from FB and other, ugh, social networks, I wish DW showed more use these days. I'd like to know more about canning and long term food storage. Also wilderness gathering and hunting. (I'm a hippie vegetarian, but would like the latter skill just in case...)

*What books, websites, articles, people, etc. do you recommend? Or not?
The Humanure Handbook is a great little reference for one's home to get off that pipe grid. I've also found the concepts helpful for dealing with waste in the boonies ("camping"). Mulch it up!

*Whatever else you want to talk about]
I like to make pizza and fry bread on an open fire. :>
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (Default)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph
And I discovered that I had subscribed to this community but never followed the rules. I know the comm hasn't been updated in a good little while, but... still worth doing, yeah?

I'm Ilyena_Sylph, or Yena.

I tend to be interested in books, chickens (ask me about our flock), cooking, gardens, farming and animal agriculture, home improvement, making things better, preserving food, sewing, sustainability, writing, and probably more than I can think of.

I believe in keeping my eyes and ears open, and I'd like to see more happening in this place.

I'm not sure I can share a whole lot. I mean, I live in the Midwest, so I know floods and tornadoes and droughts, but we've mostly been amazing fortunate.

My favorite writer on the disaster-prep front is Cody Lundin, of 98.6: the art of keeping your ass alive and When All Hell Breaks Loose, mostly because he's funny, smart, quirky, and determined to give you the best ideas he has. Also, he believes in helping your community, unlike several other writers I've poked at.
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
The NPR radio show, On the Media has an excellent segment about the H1N1 'panic', and what's really happening:

ERIC KLINENBERG: The email said that they're looking for someone who could talk about the way the public reacts in panics. And then she goes on, think fallout shelters, anthrax scares and buying duct tape before the Iraq War. [BROOKE LAUGHS] She just wants someone quotable who can give me a behavioral perspective on all this.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So what’s wrong with that?

ERIC KLINENBERG: Well, the problem is, if there’s one finding that’s consistent in the sociology of disasters over the last, say, five decades, it’s when there are crises, people don't panic. And yet no matter how hard we try to make this point, we always get emails and phone calls along these lines.

So I immediately responded in an email and said, look, I'd be more than happy to speak with you, but here’s the thing. It turns out that sociology of disaster mostly tells us that people don't panic, in general.

And furthermore, if we look specifically at what’s happening here in New York City, I don't see any signs of panic. I walk to work and haven't seen a single person wearing a mask at this point, no violence, no screaming, no people keeping their kids home from school en masse.

And I said, look, even, at Mexico City. I'm seeing images of people who are being cautious, far more people wearing masks, but the scenes from the streets that we've seen in the news, at least, don't suggest that there’s panic.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Well, that sounds like a sober-sided corrective. How did the story come out?

ERIC KLINENBERG: The headline of the piece is, Swine Flu Snafu: Ernst & Young Episode Reveals Pandemic Panic. And then the kind of lead story is that there was a case where one worker at Ernst & Young went home sick and many people were concerned that that worker had developed swine flu. But then they later verified that it was not a case of swine flu. So -

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Sounds terrifying.

ERIC KLINENBERG: Yeah. [BROOKE LAUGHS] I mean, there’s just no [LAUGHS] – exactly. I mean, there’s no evidence even in the lead anecdote for what became a five-page story about panic in the United States. The best they could do was a story where there doesn't seem to be any panic whatsoever.

Got that? People don't tend to panic in disaster situations, in general. That is good to know.
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
I get a regular newsletter from FEMA, since I am a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). I thought I'd share it with you:

Dear CERT Community,

The CERT National Program Office is pleased to announce that new "CERT in Action!" stories are posted on the CERT National website. The new stories feature CERTs who filled sandbags in response to local flooding, cleared snow from fire hydrants, removed debris due to an ice storm, and assisted with a car accident victim. Click on the following link to read the new stories:

This looks quite interesting.
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
[personal profile] purpletigron
I strongly recommend preparedness rooted in your geographical community - they will be your allies or enemies in a real disaster. There are lots of tools and models available through the Transition Network:

"Everything that you read on this site is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart."

Resilience is a concept from ecology - it is the ability of a community to thrive in the face of disasters.

"For all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how are we going to: significantly rebuild resilience and drastically reduce carbon emissions. Typically, self-determined solutions will involve some flavour of relocalisation."

There is a handbook of tools and ideas in Wiki format at:
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
On the sidebar, you'll find a link to a friend of mine's urban survival blog, called Gallimaufree.

This isn't your typical urban survival blog. It isn't a 'typical' survival blog at all. My friend advocates community and interaction, not separation and exclusivity. She believes that one can successfully survive a disaster or other event in place (if the building isn't destroyed), and in fact thrive. Her writings and photographs prove this without a doubt: plastic bags with potato seedlings, kiddie pool mini-gardens full of veggie plants, practical skills honed over a long and eventful life.

Noddy's blog is definitely worth reading, and it is updated regularly with insightful articles about attitude, community, and various interesting things. Go check it out and bookmark it, and see if you can emulate it in your area.
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
I do a lot of reading about disaster preparedness and similar subjects. It's one of my 'hobbies', but it's a hobby that has already come in handy for me- in many ways. I've been through a few disasters, and some major calamities- including being in the crowd during the ill-fated air show in 1988 at Ramstein AFB in Germany. I've been through hurricanes, blizzards, and an earthquake or two- happily minor. I've had to camp out in my home for days on end, trapped by ice and without power, hoping I wouldn't freeze to death. I've seen the aftermath of tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes and spent one memorable autumn cleaning up after a hurricane instead of attending tech school.

So, I suppose you could say that my own experience passport is truly stamped. But there were times when I would stand by and feel frustrated that I could not do more. In some cases, the best and only thing to do was run like hell. Or hide. But in others, I felt frustrated that I was on the sidelines, unable to pitch in and do more.

Disasters bring out the best- and sadly also the worst- in people. When tragedy strikes, our first impulse is to help in whatever way we can- even if it's just holding a flashlight or manning a cookstove. But there is always more to do- and more to learn. I think that every person should have some knowledge of basic first aid, and have some sort of first aid kit- well maintained- in their home, workplace and vehicles. With that first aid kit should be some heavy gloves, protective goggles, and a working flashlight. There are many other things that you could have handy, but you get the idea.

But I believe that there is something more important one should have on them at all times. Happily, it's an item that does not need to be stored or carried. That item is situational awareness. You're going to hear me talk about that a lot- situational awareness is the key to getting through any situation- no matter how great or small. Most people sleepwalk or automatically go about their days, not paying attention to details, not paying attention to things on the periphery of their awareness. This tunnel vision can be deadly. So can the clinging to disbelief that happens seconds before- and after- disaster strikes. "That's not a tornado." Oh, yes it is! "That's not gas I smell." Oh, yes it is! "That airplane isn't crashing." Oh, yes it is! "That water isn't running across the road!" Oh, yes it is!

That hesitation, that frozen disbelief, is natural. So is freezing up when something does happen. This isn't as common with an expected disaster as it is when something happens out of the blue, but there's always a feeling of disbelief when your normal routine is totally smacked.

Cultivating situational awareness- of the weather, of your neighborhood, workplace, vehicle, etc- helps to make that moment of stunned disbelief much briefer, or even non-existent. Learn to trust your intuitive hunches. Learn the patterns of your immediate environment, so that when something is 'off', you can respond to it.

And you can do more, too. Consider taking a first aid course. If your local city, county or area has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), see if you can join it. And if they don't, start pestering the local emergency response and law enforcement community to have one implemented. Get a ham radio license, and learn to 'camp out' with your radio on battery power. Ham operators often become the sole communication resource in a disaster- even when the cell phones are out. Get to know your neighbors, join the neighborhood watch, sponsor a neighborhood night out. See if your circle of friends, colleagues, fellow churchgoers, fan club, etc. is interested in disaster preparedness. Join Toastmasters International and learn how to speak to local social clubs like the Kiwanis, Shriners, Rotary, and Lions clubs.

Get involved. I started this community to help readers here to become motivated to learn about disaster preparedness, and how to deal with disasters when they strike. My hope is that readers here will have their own stories, lists, websites, and ideas to share. No one wants to think about disaster, but it is never an 'if'- it is always a 'when'. Don't get caught flat-footed.
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
This isn't a done deal yet, but it looks like the World Health Organization (WHO) is on the verge of going to full pandemic mode, Phase 6 on its pandemic scale. It is at Phase 5 right now.

The World Health Organization is likely to raise its flu alert to the top of its six-point scale and declare a pandemic, its director-general indicated in an interview published on Monday.

In remarks setting the scene for another alert increase, but without saying when, WHO chief Margaret Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of the H1N1 strain that has proved deadly in Mexico.

"Level 6 does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level 6 it will cause an unnecessary panic," she told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"Flu viruses are very unpredictable, very deceptive ... We should not be over-confident. One must not give H1N1 the opportunity to mix with other viruses. That is why we are on alert."

The WHO's pandemic phases reflect views about how a virus is spreading, and not how severe its effects are.

While flu season is ending in the northern hemisphere, it is just starting in the southern hemisphere, leading to fears that things will crank back up in the fall.


May. 4th, 2009 12:04 pm
sunfell: Half-vulcan b/w (Default)
[personal profile] sunfell
I'm in the process of putting this community together, but am happily welcoming new members, articles, links, lists, stories, etc. This is going to be a community effort, so come pitch in!