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  • Preparing for Your Super Bowl Party is Just Like Preparing for an Emergency

    Hosting a Super Bowl party this Sunday? There’s lot to prepare for, so if you haven’t started preparing, you’d best get on that! Speaking of preparing (like that segue?), getting ready for emergencies is a lot like hosting a great party.


    Step One: Planning

    Super Bowl Party

    First of all, do you even want to host a Super Bowl party? Personally, I’ve never even a Super Bowl before (the travesty!), so I don’t think I’d be too interested in hosting a shin dig for it. However, what if I told you the guests were coming anyway, whether you like it or not? Welp, might as well make the best of things!

    I’m no party planner, but I do know a thing or two about preparing for emergencies. And in this scenario, it is most certainly an emergency. So here’s what you do:

    Make a list of everything you need.

    Got it? Good.

    This list should include food, drinks, and other necessary supplies. Football props? You betcha. Red party cups? Better believe it. A backup power generator? Hey. If the Super Bowl venue can lose power, then so can yours.

    Living through an emergency situation is very similar to living through a party. You need food, drinks (preferably water in this case), and other gear to help keep you comfortable. If you’re stuck without power in the winter, how will you stay warm? Make sure these are some of the things you think about.


    Step Two: Acquire

    Empty Shelves Super Bowl This guy didn't make it to the store in time and now can't have his favorite disaster snack: milk sandwiches.

    Making a plan to feed your guests is all fine and good, but if you forget to do the shopping, there will be a lot of people wondering where the seven-layered dip is hiding (not to mention the chips). In order to avoid any potential embarrassments, make sure you get to the store before the day of the event. Better yet, go a week early. Otherwise, all the other party planners will scoop up the best snacks, leaving you with a tray full of chocolate chips (which are delicious, unless that’s all there is to eat for the duration of the game).

    The same thing applies for emergencies. Get the food, water, and gear you need well before the first warning signs of an imminent disaster. Leaving it too long may lead to not just empty shelves, but empty stomachs as well.

    Of course, most emergencies don’t give warning before they come. Without the proper preparations n place, any day could spell disaster. Just like that one guy who’s always more than a little early to the party, disasters can also show up well before you expect them. This is why preparing as early as possible is one of the best things you can do.


    Step Three: Practice

    Nothing kills a party quite like not knowing what channel the big game is on. Likewise, if you don’t know how to prepare your freeze-dried meals, work your generator, or know how you other gear functions, you might be in for a rough first night during an emergency. Get to know your gear. Learn how to prepare those freeze-dried and dehydrated meals. Walk through your home evacuations so you’ll know what to do when the time comes. And, perhaps most importantly, make sure you practice your best touchdown dance for maximum approval.


    Step Four: Enjoy the Show

    Sure, disasters and emergencies aren’t always the most pleasant of experiences, but the enjoyability of them can be increased through proper preparations. Ice storm knock out your power for three days? At least you’ll have emergency lights, heat, and the ability to prepare delicious meals. Car break down on a back road? Fortunately, you have blankets, food, and water to get you through until help finds you.

    Football game dragging on? At least there’s good food to keep you occupied.


    Written by Steven M.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Super Bowl

  • Lavish Bunkers and Laser Eye Surgery: Even Millionaires are Preparing for the Worst

    Bunkers that cost more than $100 million and have amenities like a bowling alley, movie theater, a pizzeria, or a swimming pool. Secret doors that can only be opened by playing a certain set of notes on a keyboard, a la “Goonies,” or by dialing a certain phone number. Executives who use “buying property in New Zealand” as a code for an apocalypse shelter.

    Hollywood Shelter - Illustration by Mario Wagner via Hollywood Reporter Lavish Bunker Nice and normal up top, secret and lavish down below - Illustration by Mario Wagner via Hollywood Reporter

    Many of the most wealthy people in the U.S. – one tech executive estimated as many as half of Silicon Valley billionaires, for example – are investing in lavish doomsday prepping.

    Companies are catering to them, offering bomb-proof, climate change-proof bunkers with air and water filters, underground greenhouses, off the grid power and water systems and armed guards. Oh, and interior designers to make sure they’ve got the best -looking shelters, with all the amenities.

    It’s not just shelters, either. Some are getting laser eye surgery, buying firearms and taking survival training

    “It's really just the newest form of insurance,” Robert Vicino, founder of a company that builds communities of bunkers in Indiana, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Most of us will never have access to these kinds of resources. (One bunker community costs $5 million per “chamber,” and residence is by invitation only.)  However, we may apply many of their principles of preparation.

    Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, spoke in-depth to The New Yorker about his preparations. He told the magazine if disaster hit, he would look for a community.

    Knowing neighbors and friends is not only sociable but also valuable if there’s a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its “Listen, Protect, and Connect” brochure offers ways to prepare so you can help those around you during a disaster.

    Even if you can’t afford a bunker or secret room, you should have a safe place for your most important personal information and an emergency fund.

    Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, told The New Yorker that two technology companies wanted him to design “a secure facility for their data center and a safe haven for their key personnel.” The same story said wealthy individuals are also buying Bitcoin and gold coins.

    And Steve Humble, president of Arizona-based Creative Home Engineering told The Hollywood Reporter, “There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors."

    “If there’s a natural disaster like a fire, do you know where your birth certificates are?” asked Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit” is a great organizational resource, she said.

    The 44-page booklet includes four sections that identify what information to collect, like social security cards, insurance policies, prescriptions and emergency contact information.

    She also recommends keeping a few hundred dollars in small bills with an emergency kit. That way, if you need to buy water, you don’t have to find an ATM or pay $50.

    Medical preparation is necessary too.

    Yishan Wong ,the C.E.O. of Reddit from 2012 to 2014, had laser eye surgery. He told The New Yorker it was to do away with his dependence on a “nonsustainable external aid for perfect vision.”

    Everyone else can keep glasses and copies of prescriptions with emergency supplies or important documents. If your insurance will let you, get a few days’ worth of medication.

    Trident Lakes - via Business Insider Lavish Bunker Trident Lakes - via Business Insider

    At Trident Lakes, a planned luxury condominium development that includes in its amenities fortified shelters, the cost of a condo could be above the mid-six figures, according to a story in Business Insider. However, the community will offer discount rates for police, teachers and other civil servants.

    Learning useful skills can help anyone prepare for disasters, both natural and events like job loss.

    “Learn new skills that could be turned into a small job such as a piano teacher,” Kayleen Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah’s Personal Money Management Center, wrote in an e-mail.

    Preparedness is also about ability to evacuate quickly. One Percenters can do that in style.

    In a piece for GQ,  author Michael McGrath described how Goop’s 2016 “Ridiculous, But Awesome Gift Guide” included the Jetpack Bag, an “all-in-one, 72-hour survival pack,” for $399.

    For the rest of us, this FEMA brochure is more apropos.

    And there is another commonality between these super-wealthy preppers and the rest of us: Everyone’s eating canned food.

    Or, as The Hollywood Reporter put it, “The rations are grim, ranging from beef Stroganoff to chili.”


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Lavish Bunker

  • Good Rain, Bad Rain: The Double Standard Facing California

    California got a lot of water. I mean a lot of H2O. I recently posted about how California is blasting out of their never-ending drought thanks to all that rain. But while that article was about the good times, we still need to talk about the not-so-good times.



    Too much of a good thing can be harmful. We need water to live, but too much in our body has adverse effects. Another good thing that we can have too much of is, unfortunately, pizza (don’t kill the messenger). But when it comes to rain, that’s a good thing for California. But then it kept raining…and it rained some more…and the rain kept coming. It was like someone opened up a fire hose above the state and just drenched everything in sight!

    Floating Phone Booth - LA Times Rain "Yes, hi. I'd like to make a collect call..."

    Of course, that’s just what California needed for drought relief. But there was still an after effect. Flooded streets was a problem for the urbanites, but in comparison to the rural regions, flooded streets no longer seem that bad. Many of California’s farmlands and vineyards have been flooded by the recent rain revolution. Much like how pizza can cure hunger but too much will start making someone feel sick, a good bit of rain is essential to curb the drought, but too much will start hurting crops.

    With so much rain, certain precautions were overwhelmed. One such barrier to flooding was a levee in a farming area near Hollister. On January 20, 2017, a levee failed to hold back the floods, causing a release of water so immense that farms and homes in the region were completely swamped. Water rescue teams were dispatched to help the local residents as well as wildlife flee the rushing, rising rivlets. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this scenario somewhere before…


    Rain is good. Too much rain still has good things about it, but can also cause a lot of troubles (just ask Winnie the Pooh). That’s why being prepared for many different scenarios is a good idea. Preparing for drought now while the water is good is a splendid thing to do. Preparing for flooding? Better now than in the thick of it. For any disaster, it’s better to be prepared well in advanced. Otherwise, you might up the creek (or street, in this case) without a paddle.


    Written by Steven M.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Rain

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