Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tsunami Preparedness And Survival


A tsunami is a series of waves that may be dangerous and destructive. When you hear a tsunami warning, move at once to higher ground and stay there until local authorities say it is safe to return home.
Find out if your home is in a danger area.
Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast. Evacuation orders may be based on these numbers.
Be familiar with the tsunami warning signs.
Because tsunamis can be caused by an underwater disturbance or an earthquake, people living along the coast should consider an earthquake or a sizable ground rumbling as a warning signal. A noticeable rapid rise or fall in coastal waters is also a sign that a tsunami is approaching.
Make sure all family members know how to respond to a tsunami.
Make evacuation plans.
Pick an inland location that is elevated. After an earthquake or other natural disaster, roads in and out of the vicinity may be blocked, so pick more than one evacuation route.
Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police or fire department, and which radio station to listen for official information.
Have disaster supplies on hand.
Flashlight and extra batteries
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
Essential medicines
Cash and credit cards
Sturdy shoes
Develop an emergency communication plan

In case family members are separated from one another during a tsunami (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, often it's easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on tsunamis.

Listen to a radio or television to get the latest emergency information, and be ready to evacuate if asked to do so.
If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once. Climb to higher ground. A tsunami warning is issued when authorities are certain that a tsunami threat exists.
Stay away from the beach.
Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave you are too close to escape it.
Return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so.
A tsunami is a series of waves. Do not assume that one wave means that the danger over. The next wave may be larger than the first one. Stay out of the area.

Stay tuned to a battery-operated radio for the latest emergency information.
Help injured or trapped persons.
Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.

Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
Stay out of damaged buildings. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Enter your home with caution.
Use a flashlight when entering damaged buildings. Check for electrical shorts and live wires. Do not use appliances or lights until an electrician has checked the electrical system.
Open windows and doors to help dry the building.
Shovel mud while it is still moist to give walls and floors an opportunity to dry.
Check food supplies and test drinking water.
Fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters may be contaminated and should be thrown out. Have tap water tested by the local health department.

Health Effects of Tsunamis

Immediate health concerns:

After the rescue of survivors, the primary public health concerns are clean drinking water, food, shelter, and medical care for injuries.
Flood waters can pose health risks such as contaminated water and food supplies.
Loss of shelter leaves people vulnerable to insect exposure, heat, and other environmental hazards.
The majority of deaths associated with tsunamis are related to drownings, but traumatic injuries are also a primary concern. Injuries such as broken limbs and head injuries are caused by the physical impact of people being washed into debris such as houses, trees, and other stationary items. As the water recedes, the strong suction of debris being pulled into large populated areas can further cause injuries and undermine buildings and services.
Medical care is critical in areas where little medical care exists.
Secondary effects
Natural disasters do not necessarily cause an increase in infectious disease outbreaks. However, contaminated water and food supplies as well as the lack of shelter and medical care may have a secondary effect of worsening illnesses that already exist in the affected region.
Decaying bodies create very little risk of major disease outbreaks.
The people most at risk are those who handle the bodies or prepare them for burial.
Long-lasting effects
The effects of a disaster last a long time. The greater need for financial and material assistance is in the months after a disaster, including
surveying and monitoring for infectious and water- or insect-transmitted diseases;
diverting medical supplies from nonaffected areas to meet the needs of the affected regions;
restoring normal primary health services, water systems, housing, and employment; and
assisting the community to recover mentally and socially when the crisis has subsided.

More Tsunami Information
Source: FEMA
E-mail the above link for Order, Shipping, or Credit Information

Monday, October 12, 2009



Survival kits can make the difference between hardship and adventure.
Learn what to put into your survival kit.
So, who needs survival kits anyway? With today’s emphasis on health and fitness, more people are taking to the outdoors to find fun and entertaining ways to get and stay physically fit. As advanced as civilization is, people still get lost, stranded, or become involved in some kind of accident and can suddenly find themselves dependent on their own resources for survival.
Survival kits can range in size from very large to quite small. (You could even turn your fanny packs and carry-alls into survival kits.) Assemble several survival kits and keep them in numerous places such as your home and any recreational vehicle you own, including your bicycle. The more you know, the less you need, so the best thing is to educate yourself on some basic survival techniques. Have a good book on wilderness survival on hand as well as one on first aid. Both can be small paperbacks. A knife is probably all an old wilderness sourdough needs, but most of us need a bit more in our survival kits just to get by. What do we want in our survival kits? Water, food, shelter and warmth are the issues you will need to address, so your survival kits should give you the means to get them.

For water: boiling, purification tablets and filters are viable ways to make it potable.

Food: some protein or energy bars will sustain you for a few days while you go about obtaining hardier fare.

As for shelter; a cave, lean too, a tent or even a sheet of plastic will do in a pinch.

For warmth we need to be able to get and stay dry and be able to make fire. Being able to signal for help would be a definite plus.

Though the more you know the less you need is very true, the more you have the easier it is, is also true. A small kit of hand-crank tools in your survival kit could become your very best friend in many situations.

Here are some suggestions as starting points for your survival kits.

1. Some first aid supplies.

2. At least one good knife.

3. A spool of small nylon cordage.

4. A small sewing kit.

5. A tin cup ( a complete mess kit would be nice.)

6. Water purification tablets.

7. Water filters.

8. Water proof matches AND a new bic lighter.

9. A magnifying glass.

10. A small hand mirror.

11. A whistle.

12. A couple pieces of plastic sheeting approximately. 9’x 12’

13. Space blankets

14. Toss in some dehydrated foods and some energy bars

and you will be set for a little while.

15. 100 Mile An Hour Tape will come in handy for
most emergency repairs.

All of these things will fit into a small back pack or book bag. You can add on from here with any extra medications you might need, a dry change of clothes or some extra socks, and don’t forget those two books I mentioned earlier in this article. Your survival kits can never be too complete and the best tool you can have in any survival situation is your brain. It is truly the best of survival kits.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

The 5 Basic Survival Skills

Acquiring survival skills is an ongoing process that will last for your entire life. There is always more to learn and experience, which is part of the fun of being a survivor.
As your survival expertise grows the knowledge and abilities you gain are often useful in other areas. For example survivors prepare ahead of time, and they are experts in the art of ingenuity and inventiveness. Excellent attributes for anyone.
The possible environments and situations you could find yourself in are innumerable. Although each situation has its particular requirements for successfully surviving, in the final analysis it is mastery of five basic survival skills that are essential. Proficiency and preparedness in these 5 basic skills will give you the edge and put you on your way toward becoming a talented survivor.

First Basic Survival Skill - Fire

Knowing how to build a fire is the best survival skill you can have. Fire provides warmth, light, and comfort so you get on with the business of survival. Even if you do not have adequate clothing a good fire can allow you to survive in the coldest of environments.
Fire keeps away the creatures that go bump in the night and so you can have the peace of mind and rest you need. And that is not all. Fire will cook your food and purify your water, both excellent attributes when you want to stay healthy when potential disease causing organisms are lurking about. Fire will dry your clothing and even aid in the making of tools and keeping pesky insects at bay.
But even that is not all. Fire and smoke can be used for signaling very long distances.

Always have at least two, and preferably three, ways of making a fire at you immediate disposal. With waterproof matches, a butane lighter, and a magnesium fire starter or firesteel you should be able to create a fire anytime anywhere no matter how adverse the condtions.

So the lesson here is to learn the art of fire craft. Practice and become an expert. Your ability to create a fire is perhaps the most visible mark of an experienced survivor.

Second Basic Survival Skill - Shelter

Shelter protects your body from the outside elements. This includes heat, cold, rain, snow, the sun, and wind. It also protects you from insects and other creatures that seek to do you harm.

The survival expert has several layers of shelter to think about. The first layer of shelter is the clothing you choose to wear. Your clothing is of vital importance and must be wisely chosen according to the environment you are likely to find yourself in. Be sure to dress in layers in order to maximize your ability to adapt to changing conditions.

The next layer of shelter is the one you may have to build yourself, a lean-to or debris hut perhaps. This is only limited by your inventiveness and ingenuity. If the situation requires, your shelter can be insulated with whatever is at hand for the purpose. Being prepared, you may have a space blanket or tarp with you, in which case creating a shelter should be relatively easy.

Before you are in need of making a survival shelter, be sure to practice and experiment with a variety of materials and survival scenarios on a regular basis. Should the need arise you will be glad you did.

Third Basic Survival Skill - Signaling

Signaling allows you to make contact with people who can rescue you without having to be in actual physical contact with them. There are a variety of ways to signal for help. These include using fire and smoke, flashlights, bright colored clothing and other markers, reflective mirrors, whistles, and Personal Locator Beacons. Three of anything is considered a signal for help: 3 gunshots, 3 blows on a whistle, three sticks in the shape of a triangle. In a pinch, your ingenuity in devising a way to signal potential help could very well save your life.

Fourth Basic Survival Skill - Food and Water

Whenever you plan an excursion be sure to always bring extra food and water. Having more on hand than you think you need will give you that extra measure of safety should something happened and you have to stay out longer than anticipated.
It is important that you know how to ration your water and food as well as find more in the environment in which you find yourself. You can go without food for a number of days, but living without water for even a few days will cause your efficiency to drop dramatically.
If at all possible, boil any water you find in order to kill disease organisms that may be in even the cleanest looking water. Filtering or chemically treating water is second best.

Fifth Basic Survival Skill - First Aid

Always bring along your first aid kit and a space blanket. Most injuries you are likely to encounter in the wilderness are relatively minor scrapes, cuts, bruises, and burns. Larger injuries are going to need better facilities than that which you have at your disposal, which means you will need outside help.

Panic is your number one enemy when you are in any emergency situation, be it injured, lost, or stranded. What you need in these situations is first aid for the mind.

Think STOP:

Your best defense in any emergency is your ability to think and make correct decisions. Building a fire is often the beginning first aid for the mind. Doing so will keep you busy and provide an uplift from the warmth, light and protection fire provides.

Practice Survival Skills

The expert survival skills and know-how you have accumulated through practice and experience will serve you well. When the real thing comes along, you will be prepared and adept at staying alive. Where others have perished, as a survivor you will know you can make it. And that is a good feeling--to be sure.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Survival & Self Reliance Studies Institute


State of Being Survival Savvy

A clear sense of purpose, or - in the extreme - paranoia, instead of a sense of assuredness and the self-confidence of knowing what's going on around you (and which way to jump if things go wrong). School buses stop at all rail crossings for a reason. Sometimes things don't work the way they should, and everybody knows that trains love to eat vehicles. We live in survivalism, by any method chosen, is to increase the odds for the continued existence of its followers, when faced with a threatening situation.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an "activist" tautology. Most survivalists are reserved and quiet individuals who have lost faith in society’s ability to protect its own, and who have taken steps to lessen their dependence upon society for aid in an emergency situation.

Survivalists realize that modern society is a long and twisted chain of interdependency. Each link of this societal chain is dependent upon every other link to maintain its integrity. At various points within this chain are links that provide the rest of the chain with food, shelter, power, water, communications, transportation, and medical and physical protection. Should one or more links fail, those placed before and after the broken link(s) may find themselves without these necessary resources. Should enough of these links be suddenly broken, the entire chain may collapse.

Survivalists attempt to reinforce the chain of society by strengthening their own links. They do this by actively learning and practicing the necessary skills to provide or obtain the basic necessities of life for themselves, their families and their friends. They learn to build and maintain their own homes, provide their own clothes, find, store and purify their own water, establish and maintain their own communications and transportation. They learn to grow, hunt or gather their own food and how to process and store it. They learn to produce, maintain and distribute their own power. They learn to maintain their health through diet and exercise, and how to avoid or handle basic injuries and illnesses. And yes, they learn to defend themselves from aggressors when there is no one else there to protect them.

Survivalism does not necessarily concentrate on global catastrophe or the collapse of civilization. The profile of a "true" survivalist is someone who is concerned with planning for and avoiding the pitfalls and dangers of daily life and short-term emergencies and disasters of a local and temporary nature. In fact, since the frequency and likelihood of personal and local emergencies are more common, these situations are of primary concern. Long term and widespread disasters are of concern to the survivalist, but they are extremely difficult to plan for. The individual (or single family) often does not possess the resources – either financially, materially, or intellectually – to efficiently plan for a long term, widespread disaster.

What Does It Take To Survive?

A lot of people have their own ideas about survival and what it takes to survive. Whole (expensive) books have been written on the topic. This is how I feel on the subject, with the most important qualities listed first.


Among survival experts and survival communities it is generally accepted that the preeminent requisite for survival - beyond all the doo-dads and gewgaws and training and know-how - is simply this: the WILL to survive. Without the will to survive, there is no hope, no desire, and no chance whatsoever that, barring rescue from an outside source, anyone can survive a perilous situation. It doesn't really matter what the situation is or where it is taking place: a fire at home, a shoot-out at work, a pile-up on the freeway, a combat mission in Iraq, or being lost and stranded in the wilderness... without the WILL to survive, all is lost. There are countless astonishing tales of people surviving well beyond the expected norm - people who have had no significant survival training, skills or tools - simply by refusing to lay down and die when circumstances, the pain in their bodies, and the ravages of their minds told them that there was nothing left for them to do but die. Babies, children, women and men - few people really know how to survive, but the common denominator among those who do is the indefatigable desire to make it through one more day. Happily, having found this website and actually making it this far down the page, you too have demonstrated a certain degree of perseverance in your quest for knowledge of survival topics. Whether this is because you actually have an interest in surviving trying times and difficult situations, or because you are simply doing research for a paper on "those nutty survivalists" is beyond my ability to discern. If you are here to learn to survive, go ahead and pat yourself on the back - for you are in fact exercising, through your own will, that gift that nature has provided each of us: the instinct for survival. If you are only here to research an article because you are "curious" about what makes us tick, you might be surprised to know that most of us are just as curious about you - and at what point it was that you decided to turn your back on the natural inclination of self-preservation and relegate your personal well-being to that amorphous entity (society) that you seem so smugly content with. I have my own theory about "civilized society" and how its insidious effect is to numb natural instinct to the point of despair... witnessed by the rise of suicide and suicidal tendencies in direct proportion to the size of cities... but that's a discussion for another time.


The term "ability" might (and usually does) encompass many things, but in this context it focuses on mental and physical freedom of thought and action. If you can't think straight (because of dementia, intoxication, etc.), can't think for yourself (cults, taboos, peer pressure, etc.), or are physically restrained (shackled, imprisoned, restricted by "authority") from acting in your own best interest, then your chances of surviving a direct physical or environmental threat are severely limited. This does not necessarily include physical handicaps. If the will to survive is stronger than feelings of self-pity or helplessness, a physical handicap may only serve to enhance other aspects of a person's capabilities - including the determination to succeed where others might simply give up. If you are healthy, clear-headed, free to act in your own best interest, and have a developed will to survive, your chances are very good that you can weather most hazards, provided that you've been paying attention.


Survival awareness is a developed faculty which, like a muscle, grows stronger and better with practice. If abused, however, it can also become "sprained," resulting in harm. Sprained awareness may result in an over-abundance of caution, hesitancy where action is required, indecisiveness insa wonderfully intricate world filled with all kinds of potential hazards. In the "civilized" areas we have traffic and crime and drive-by shootings. Various solid objects occasionally tumble from unseen heights for no apparent reason. Buried gas, sewer, and water lines in obvious as well as the most unexpected places. High voltage lines and toppling construction cranes. Innocent looking stairways and cracks in the sidewalk. Chemical plants, and aircraft that fly into buildings. Muggers, molesters and panhandlers. In the wilderness we have storms and crevasses and wildfires. Hungry - or just exasperated - wild animals. Ticks and chiggers and gopher holes. Crumbling trails and avalanches. Bad water - or no water at all. Poison Ivy, oak, sumac - and those boys from "Deliverance." Survival awareness is about recognizing where you are and where you are going and understanding the potential hazards that might confront you on your journey. It's about thinking through the task at hand and understanding the consequences of a failure to focus on what you are doing. It's about being proactive, avoiding unnecessary risks, acknowledging unavoidable risks, and doing whatever you can to ensure a positive outcome. With the acknowledgement of unavoidable risk also comes a plan for handling them, should they present, and minimizing their effect after an event. This sounds like a lot of work. It's not, really. The more you exercise your survival awareness, the more "automatic" and effortless the correct proactive solutions become.


Survival knowledge could be an endless odyssey. With something in the neighborhood of 800 pages and tens of thousands of links on this site, I'm still finding new information or things I've forgotten about - as well as many I never knew. I'd have to say that it is, if not completely in the realm of then right next door to, impossible to find it all, learn it all, know it all or even compile it all. I've given it a pretty good try - but I've got way too much time on my hands. Aside from us obsessive compulsive types, no one should feel compelled to know everything there is to know about survival in every conceivable circumstance. None of us operates in every conceivable aspect of life, and so you should learn to "let some of it go" when it comes to survival techniques. If you don't expect to be sailing or flying or mountain climbing or hiking to the North Pole, chances are your need for survival techniques specific to those actions and environs, while interesting, are of little value to you in the real world. Survival knowledge is as much about knowing what you need to learn as it is in knowing about the topics you eventually choose. Knowing 1001 things about tsunami survival in the middle of the Gobi desert may be a source of fantastic amusement to the natives, but unless they are really, really desperate for entertainment it is not going to help your chances of survival. Knowing which mosses and lichens are good to eat in the arctic is unlikely to keep your belly full in west Texas.


Knowing how to start a fire, build a shelter, set a broken bone, or fly an airplane is not the same thing as actually doing each of these tasks. Knowledge is not skill. "Skill" is the well practiced implementation of knowledge in the correct manner and to the exact degree necessary to produce the desired result - under any conditions you are like to face, with or without the preferred and recommended assortment of tools. The only way to develop and perfect your survival skills is to actually do them - over and over again - until they become second nature to you.

To learn how to start fires, you begin with the easiest method under the best of circumstances - on a clear, dry, warm day with little or no wind, in a secure location. You learn how to set up a proper fireplace, how to collect available fuels in your area, which fuels burn best, hottest, longest, and produce coals or smoke. You learn about tinder, what types are available to you, which types are best and what will work in a pinch. You learn how to prepare a fire and then you learn how to start it. You burn fires of various fuels and sizes, in various places, and learn how the fire and smoke patterns change with the conditions or placement or configuration. You learn how reflectors affect heat and light output and burn conditions. You learn all this by doing it. In doing it - even under the best of conditions - you learn about smoke in the eyes and lungs, flare-ups and sparks and burns (and burn care). Cuts and splinters and blisters, and how to treat each of them. Once you become proficient and confident in your ability to start a fire under the best conditions with the best tools, you begin to throw in variables: wet or cold or windy days, damp or poor quality tinder and fuel. When you can successfully create a proper fire under adverse conditions, with inferior material, while using the best tools, you begin to vary the tools and methods. Eventually you will be able to start a fire under nearly any condition, with or without modern tools and techniques. It is then that you have acquired the survival skill of "fire making.


Survival Savvy is a combination of INTUITION (knowledge + awareness), CREATIVITY (will + skill), and ADAPTABILITY (intuition + creativity + ability) and is the ultimate culmination of the above five qualities developed to a degree of confidence. With intuition, creativity and adaptability there is little that life can throw at you that cannot be turned on its tail and taken advantage of. Developing and perfecting these qualities is essential to nearly any circumstance in life and, having been once attained, cannot be lost, broken, or taken from you.


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