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  • Tokyo is Prepared for Earthquakes, Missile Attack, and Making Diapers out of Plastic Bags

    In case of an emergency, want to know how to make a diaper out of a plastic supermarket bag and a towel? How to make a size D battery out of an AA? How to keep warm with newspaper?

    The Great East Japan Earthquake in Iwate - Tokyo The Great East Japan Earthquake in Iwate

    In Tokyo, city planners have been studying the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit less than 200 miles to the northeast. The disaster left more than 18,000 people dead or missing, damaged a million buildings, displaced a quarter of a million people and left 4.4 million people without electricity and 1.5 million without water. A nuclear reactor damaged during the disaster is still releasing radioactive material into the ocean, and a month ago, scientists found traces of cesium from the reactor accident about 1,600 miles off the U.S. West Coast.

    In response, Tokyo planners prepared a 300-page disaster guidebook and in December mailed it to every residence. Guides were also distributed to local bookstores, where they sold out at $1.15 each. They’re planning another printing. The book was translated into English, Chinese and Korean and is available to download free online here.

    tokyo how to 9 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office via AP

    The book is incredibly detailed – one of its suggestions is “exchange greetings with neighbors regularly.” Its main focus is how to deal with an earthquake and its aftermath while in an urban area. For example, in its first chapter the book points out that fire caused 10 percent of deaths in a 1995 earthquake. So if a fire is tiny, it recommends trying to put it out, but if it seems unsafe, like if flames are touching the ceiling, leave.

    It tells how to prepare before an earthquake, like how to stabilize furniture by putting anti-slip pads underneath and what to put in an emergency kit.

    In another chapter it talks about other types of disasters, like – no kidding – missile attack, tornado, volcanic eruption and pandemic.

    It had this advice for dealing with a nuclear incident:

    “If there is a nuclear explosion, hide behind cover and evacuate to an underground facility or strong building. An explosive called a “dirty bomb” will cause radioactive contamination of the area. Follow the instructions of the authorities and consult a physician.”

    tokyo how to 1 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office via AP

    Finally, it gives all kinds of substitutions for everyday products. To make a diaper, cut open the top and sides of a plastic grocery bag and lay it flat. Put a towel in the middle. Then tie the top and bottom parts around the baby.

    To make a size D battery out of an AA, wrap cloth around the battery until it is the width of a D, then use crumpled aluminum foil to adjust the length.

    To keep warm with newspaper, wrap several layers around like a cloak. Or fold two sheets of newspaper around your abdomen and wrap plastic wrap around them.

    Here’s a bonus idea: to make an emergency toilet, put two plastic bags inside a bucket or cardboard box then put torn paper in the bottom of the bag. After using the toilet, remove the top plastic bag and take it to a designated waste area.

    The book is easy to follow and mostly illustrations. It includes advice from people who lived through earthquakes and summaries and activities at the end of each chapter. After reading it, I’ve decided to add a bunch of grocery bags to my emergency kit – those suckers are incredibly useful. Also, I’m so thankful for where I live (Missile attacks? Hello.).


    What emergencies are you prepared for?


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Tokyo

  • How to Winterize your Car

    How to Winterize Your Car

    Winter is coming: the sparkling snowfalls, the unexpected storms, the chilly nights. Are you ready? Amidst the rest of your holiday planning, don’t forget to prep your car. Vans, trucks, cars, and SUVs all handle the winter weather differently, but there are five universal parts of your vehicle that you should winterize before the weather turns:


    Before a storm comes your way, get a standard inspection of your brake pads and brake fluid to make sure they’re working properly. Remember to give yourself extra room to brake during bad weather. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, then it’s better to pump your brakes when trying to stop to avoid spinning.


    Cold weather means less air pressure in your tires. Make sure to refill your tires as the pressure decreases to enhance their performance and your gas mileage. Also, it’s a good idea to fill your spare tire, just in case you need it during a particularly crazy storm. According to TireRack.com, “Proper tire inflation pressure . . . stabilizes the tire's structure, blending the tire's responsiveness, traction and handling.” Underinflated tires can lead to loss of steering accuracy and stability, and even tire failure.  For those of you who are living in a new area, check with the locals to see if you should be carrying snow chains with you (I’m lookin' at you, North Dakota).

    Well-worn tires can also pose a threat in the wintertime. Your tire’s traction is all that stands between you and an accident. If the tread depth of your tires is worn away, make sure to either buy new tires, snow tires, or get your “balded” tires siped.


    You can easily have your engine and anti-freeze checked at any car stop. Just make sure you don’t replace your anti-freeze with water! As temperatures decrease, the water will freeze, expand, and crack your engine.

    Windshield Wipers

    As relentless winter storms blow around you (especially if you live in areas that get snow), your wipers are what stand between you and seeing the road. Make sure your wiper blades are relatively new and that the wiper fluid is filled. Don’t use water, though. If the temperatures get too low, the water will freeze on your windshield and then you have a whole new set of problems.

    Headlights & Brake Lights

    Lastly, get your headlights and brake lights checked. If you can’t see, and more importantly if others can’t see you, then you’re just asking for trouble. Get your headlights aimed properly—keeping your low lights aimed low to reduce glare from storms (if you live in an area that gets snow).


    Finally, just in case something does happen this winter, don't forget your Emergency Car Kit, or your Auto Tool Kit and toolbox.

    It goes without saying that the best way to winterize your car is to keep up on your regular maintenance checks (but we are going to say it anyway). These checks will keep your vehicle in prime condition no matter what time of year it is. Now that you’re all set to brave the winter weather on the road, good luck with your other winter prepping!







  • Popular Mechanics Goes Prepper

    Hi Team,

    It shouldn't come as a surprise that preparing for unexpected events is becoming more and more common. With tv shows pushing everything from wilderness survival to zombie warfare, prepping is going mainstream. So mainstream that even Popular Mechanics is getting in on the trend. This April 2013 the PM cover will read, Survive Anything.

    In anticipation of their April mag, Popular Mechanics has posted several prepper-related articles on their website. Here's an excerpt from How to Stock Your Disaster Pantry (via instapundit):

    [...] We filled our pantry with enough food to build a 30-day diet made up of 55 percent carbs, 25 percent fats, and 20 percent protein. That puts us within the 2010 dietary guidelines suggested by the USDA for all age groups.

    Emergency Essential's Year Supplies provide a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, protein AND essential vitamins and minerals. If you'd like to analyze the content of your food storage pantry, check out our Food Storage Analyzer. It's a great tool!

    Read more from How to Stock Your Disaster Pantry. Look for their other related articles under Survival Tips (some more helpful than others).

    I think you'd like to read what they have to say, and I'd love to hear your feedback below.

    Happy reading.

    Source: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

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