• 5 Ways the Chile Earthquake Affects You

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    Epicenter - Telegraph - Chile Earthquake via The Telegraph

    Yesterday afternoon, Chile was struck by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake causing tsunami watches from California to Hawaii, Samoa, and New Zealand. A 15-foot tsunami was generated along the coast of Chile near where the earthquake went off, forcing over a million people to leave their homes and head for higher ground.

    The powerful Chile earthquake slammed the country, toppling buildings and knocking out power. Near the epicenter was widespread power outages, and cellular networks essentially collapsed in some areas. Running water is still off in some places. The entire city of Illapel, Chile was dark Thursday night, and, with their homes destroyed, thousands of citizens were forced to sleep outside.

    Earthquakes are a devastating disaster that are hard – if not downright impossible – to predict. When an earthquake strikes, the time for preparing is over. While this recent Chile earthquake is a real, heartbreaking disaster to those effected, we can still learn how to prepare from their experiences.


    Power and Light

    Chile Earthquake CNBC via CNBC

    The Chile earthquake knocked out power in widespread regions following this earthquake. That means if those people don’t have another source of light and electricity, they may be left in the dark for quite some time. It was already late in the evening in Chile when the earthquake struck, and the sun had probably finished setting. An earthquake is dangerous enough in the daytime. When it’s dark and the power goes out, things can get even worse.

    In preparing for an earthquake, make sure you have extra light sources handy. Flashlights, head lamps, and other emergency lights are a must-have when it comes to earthquake preparedness. Tripping over rubble and debris in the dark can cause hurt and injury. If the earthquake doesn’t hurt you, other things very well could.



    Cell phone service became absolutely useless following the Chile earthquake. Networks were down, so there was no way to contact family, friends, or even emergency services. Without cell service, I’m sure many people were unable to receive the information they needed.

    Emergency communications, such as radios, can provide essential information when other forms of communication drops. Having an emergency communications plan can also help you find your loved ones following a disaster. If everybody knows where your family’s emergency meeting place is, then you will all be able to meet up afterwards. Plan ahead, because you won’t always have cell service when you need it.



    According to Reuters, running water was also hard to come by. Make sure you have a way to get water in an emergency. This could be from a water barrel, emergency water in cans, or by water filter. There are other options available, so do your research and know which method works best for you in your situation.



    Chile Earthquake Shelter via Reuters via Reuters

    Thousands of people were forced to sleep outside after their homes were destroyed or badly damaged. Sleeping outside without shelter can put you at the mercy of the elements, and we've seen this before in Nepal and the city of tents that sprung up after their massive earthquake. If you’re forced out of your home due to natural (or other) disaster, the last thing you want is for more natural elements to give you a hard time. Tents, both large and small, can be a great asset to your emergency preparations. If nothing else, emergency ponchos can at least keep you warmer than your shorts and t-shirt. Again, research your options, and choose what’s best for your situation.



    Crowd and Fire - Telegraph - Chile Earthquake via The Telegraph

    With the power out, you may be in for a cold night. In some raw video of the aftermath of this earthquake, people are shown around a large fire in the middle of the street. While it’s great that they were able to start a fire to stay warm, that might not always be possible. Earthquakes may also hit during the winter, and a fire might not be good enough (although it would most certainly be better than nothing).

    From big heaters to emergency blankets and other sources of heat, you should have at least something on hand to keep you and your family warm should the power go out.


    In just a few moments, the people of Chile went from comfortable to out on the streets. Things can change in the blink of an eye, but if you’re prepared with the gear and prep you need, emergencies such as this Chile earthquake won’t be so bad. They will probably still be unpleasant, but at least you can be comfortable, safe, warm, and taken care of.


    What is your must-have piece of emergency prep for an earthquake?


    Chile Earthquake Banner

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: 2015, Chile, Tsunami, Earthquake, emergency preparedness

  • California Fears Flooding in El Niño Winter

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    In a cruel, ironic twist of fate, California fears a very wet and rainy winter season.

    El Niño is expected to bring bucketloads of water to California, but that's not necessarily a good thing. After being in an intense drought for four years, one would think the thought of rain – and a lot of it – is a wonderful thing for the water-wanting state. But that’s not how the world works, is it? According to Emergency Management, “too much rain coming down too fast could sink low-lying communities,” of which there are plenty.

    El Niño floods thingsUnfortunately, that’s what happens when it pours rain over parched ground. The soil is just too hard, too closed-off to water to allow much at all in. Water will just collect on the surface, traveling the route of least resistance. This could mean your home will get flooded, and you can almost guarantee the streets will turn to rivers. California most definitely needs rain, but this might be a little bit counterproductive when it comes to beating the drought.

    Just one wet winter won’t do the trick, either. Phys.org describes in more detail what is needed for the drought to subside. For starters, one doctoral student stated that California needs “several consecutive wet years, and specifically several where substantial snowpack persists into spring so that it can slowly replenish our groundwater aquifers and provide long-term relief from drought.”

    For that to happen, California would need to receive more than double their annual precipitation this winter. The chances of that happening? Not good. Considering it’s never happened before, that kind of tells you what the state is up against.

    Despite not curing the drought, it will at least be some sort of relief to the folks there. However, watch out for flooding.

    The best time to start preparing, of course, is now. Throughout the Bay Area, trees are being trimmed, creek beds are being shored up, and other preventative measures are being taken so that when the storms do come, things won’t be as bad as they could be.

    Likewise, today is the day you should start preparing for floods and heavy rain. This goes for you folks not living in California, too. Just because El Niño and floods are expected in California doesn’t mean you won’t get any flooding in your neck of the woods, too.

    One thing to consider going in to this wet time of year is flood insurance. The time to act for that really is now, because flood insurance doesn’t activate until 30 days after you get it. So, if a storm is forecast and then the floods rise up to your door, the time for getting insurance is well past.

    Tree Trimming for El NiñoFollowing the example of the Bay Area workers wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. They’re going around taking care of trees, gutters, storm drains, and other things before they become a problem. You can do the same. Take a look at your home. How flood proof is it? Do you have sandbags to keep the water back should your street start flooding? Are the gutters on your home cleared of leaves, twigs, and other debris? Are your trees trimmed so they won’t crack and fall on your home in a strong storm? These are just a few things to watch out for.

    Floods can also cause a danger while driving. When you come to a flooded street, the National Weather Service says “it is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.” Their motto is Turn Around Don’t Drown, and that should be your motto, too.

    It is fortunate that California will be receiving more moisture, but that will come with a cost. You know it’s coming, so act now and start preparing. You don’t want to be caught high and dry (so to speak), especially when you have the time to get ready.


    How are you prepared for El Niño?


    Disaster_Blog_Banner El Niño

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: rain, California, el Nino, flood, preparedness

  • Blood Moons, Meteors, and Why You Will Be OK

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    If you’ve been on social media for any amount of time this month, chances are you’ve heard something about the blood moon coming on September 27. Some minority groups believe it will bring with it the beginning of the end of times. Other people, however, don’t think you should quit your day job.

    World Won't End TWEET - Meteor

    According to his Twitter account, Antonio Paris is a scientist, professor, and part-time zombie hunter (he said it, not me), and he’s one of many who isn’t buying in to the end-of-the-world mantra that accompanies the blood moon. While this mindset may or may not be an extreme reaction by some (we’ll see when the time comes), I will agree with Mr. Paris that we should keep paying our bills and stick with our jobs. Panic cannot help us.

    Speaking of panic…have you heard about the meteors heading straight for Earth? According to The Daily Star, we’ve got six large meteors that will pass close by Earth “within the final seven days of September,” which coincides pretty well with the blood moon. One is supposed to smash into Puerto Rico, causing all sorts of climate change and devastation. The Daily Star said that the smallest meteor could obliterate London (sounds like something out of a Doctor Who episode), while the largest one could decimate the entire continent.

    Fortunately, NASA does not expect any extraterrestrial collisions. In fact, all those mentions of meteor impacts threatening Earth on the Internet are just hoaxes.

    Meteor TWEET 01

    With all this talk of the blood moons ushering in the end of the world or meteors destined to slam into Puerto Rico, it seems like there’s a never ending supply of scenarios out there that are made to terrify. In regards to asteroids striking Earth, we’re safe. As for the blood moon, we’ll see what happens. Although, as Mr. Paris believes, there is good reason to believe the world will keep going the way it has been.

    And if the world keeps going the way it has been, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be disasters aplenty coming your way. Fires, tornados, earthquakes, job loss, disability, flood…you name it. This is why we prepare. It’s not for a massive meteor or a moon changing color, but instead it’s for the accidents that leave you without work. It’s for the trucker’s strikes that leave your stores without food. It’s for the natural disasters that come, well, naturally.

    Great Depression - MeteorWe can never truly predict when the next greatest catastrophe will strike, but we can at least do something about it. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start preparing. Begin now. After all, the world was all right and good on October 23, 1929, but on October 24, we saw the most devastating stock market crash in our nation’s history. Other disasters and crises are similar in nature. One day, all is right in the world, and the next…it’s all but ended.

    Of course, we all hope for and have enjoyed plenty of days and months and years of peace and prosperity, and I wish it would always remain that way. But as history shows, bad things happen, and if we want to come out of there relatively unscathed, we’re going to want to start preparing while we can.

    But don’t worry about any large objects falling from space, and don’t be too concerned about the world ending on the 27th. Instead, focus on the here, the now, and the future disasters that may (or may not, hopefully) come to you in your life. That way, if you’re prepared ahead of time, a blood moon will just be a moon of a different shade, and disasters can give you their best shot. You’ll be ready, and you’ll be just fine.


    Blood Moons Blog Banner - Meteor

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: end times, meteor, prophecy, Puerto Rico, tetrad, blood moon, be prepared

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