Monday, April 22, 2019

Are you THRIVING or SURVIVING? Science reveals your mindset is key

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by Michelle Simmons, Natural News:

A new study revealed that the key to thriving, rather than just surviving, could be as simple as feeling good about life and yourself, and being good at something, according to a report by the Science Daily.

Daniel Brown, a sport and exercise scientist at the University of Portsmouth, studied all the research on what makes people thrive, from studies of babies and teenagers, to studies of artists, athletes, employees, and the elderly. He found a common denominator.

“Thriving is a word most people would be glad to hear themselves described as, but which science hasn’t really managed to consistently classify and describe until now,” he said.

Brown added that it appeared to come down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastering something.

“In the simplest terms, what underpins it is feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something,” he said.

The study established that though thriving is similar to resilience, prospering, or growth, it stands alone.

“Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a quest in science to better understand human fulfillment and thriving, there’s been a shift towards wanting to understand how humans can function as highly as possible,” Brown elaborated.

Thriving had been examined at different stages of human life and had been described as vitality, learning, mental toughness, focus, or combinations of these and other qualities. In addition, it had been examined in different situations, including in the military, in health, and in child development.

He said that part of the reason for a lack of consensus is that the research so far has been narrowly focused.

“Some have studied what makes babies thrive, others have examined what makes some employees thrive and others not, and so on. By setting out a clear definition, I hope this helps set a course for future research,” Brown said.

The study, published in European Psychologist, included six recommendations for future research, such as the need for close examination of what enables thriving, and whether thriving has any lasting or cumulative effect on individuals.

In another study reported by the Science Daily, it was discovered that listening to happy music may help generate more innovative solutions than listening to silence.

Although many studies had discovered what promotes creative cognition and had proven the benefits of music to cognition, there is not much research on how listening to music affects creative cognition specifically. (Related: Music Shown to Facilitate the Development of Neurons in the Brain.)

The authors examined the effect of music on creative cognition on 155 participants who completed questionnaires and were split into experimental groups. Each group listened to one of four different types of music that were categorized as calm, happy, sad, or anxious, depending on their emotional valence and arousal. On the other hand, one controlled group listened to silence.

After the music played, the participants did various cognitive tasks that tested their divergent and convergent creative thinking.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, found that listening to happy music facilitated more divergent creative thinking compared to silence. Happy music was described as classical music that is positive valence and high in arousal.

The researchers suggested that the variables involved in the happy music condition may enhance flexibility in thinking and future research could explore how different ambient sounds might affect creativity and include participants of different cultures, ages, and levels of music experience.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Tragic Events Prove Not Having This Can Get You And Your Loved Ones Killed – Why ‘Situational Awareness’ Is A Key To Survival, Especially During A ‘Zombie Apocalypse’

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by Stefan Stanford, All News Pipeline:

In this new story over at the Daily Mail that Steve Quayle linked to on his website Saturday morning titled “What Would YOU Do In A Zombie Apocalypse?”, they report that most of those living in the UK who took a recent YouGov poll are totally ill-prepared for such a situation unfolding there. 

While only 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of those surveyed claimed ‘they even had a plan’ to deal with such an apocalyptic scenario, what stood out immediately was that the most common strategy (claimed by 45{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of those people surveyed) would be to FIND SOMEWHERE TO HIDE! With another 43{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} claiming their strategy would be to stock up on supplies while 29{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} would plan on ‘escaping the city’, it’s very easy to see why the UK after a zombie apocalypse could look like the small Caribbean island of Barbuda after Irma, now totally uninhabited, for the first time in 4000 years.  

As preppers and those living in Irma and Harvey ravaged areas of Florida and Texas now fully know, attempting to prepare for an apocalyptic scenario AFTER the scenario has arrived is virtually impossible, hence the reason we prepare BEFOREHAND. 

And while we agree that in a zombie apocalypse, having a place to ‘hide’ and food and supplies and making sure we’re out of the city are great strategies, they’re also strategies that need to be implemented well ahead of time – not after zombies start munching upon human flesh. As the iconic photograph from the fictional zombie TV show the Walking Dead below shows, those who waited until the last minute to ‘prepare’ by ‘getting out of the city’ quickly turned into ‘zombie food’. 

It’s very easy to see why ‘life’ will imitate ‘art’ under many different, very real catastrophic scenarios and why getting out of the cities before everybody else is trying to do so is the best way to ensure our loved ones survival. 

It’s long been warned within prepping circles that population density is an absolute key factor to consider in preparing for future survival situations, especially considering how quickly society could break down should our completely electricity dependent society be suddenly cast into a situation where we no longer have electricity. 

While the average population density of the US from coast to coast is 80.5 people per square mile, the population density of the Northeast Megalopolis (which encompasses the District of Columbia and part or all of 11 states: from south to north, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine) is 931.3 people per square mile

Thrown into a situation where food and resources are suddenly in very low supply, would you want to be in a location where there are another 930.3 people living in the square mile surrounding you? Fights and chaos breaking out in stores ahead of Harvey and Irma give us a small taste of what could be coming should a worst-case scenario strike America. 

And while the DM story discussed a hypothetical zombie apocalypse that will likely never come, as we read in this new story from the Daily Mail and see in the 1st video below, a ‘zombie apocalypse’ is already happening here in America. Proving to us just how important ‘situational awareness’ is as an absolute key to surviving just about anything, we see a man so busy on his cell phone that he neglects to pay attention to the situation surrounding him. As he’s paying attention to texts or whatever is on his phone, he’s attacked by two thugs he very well should have seen coming way before 4 UPS workers arrive to bravely shoo-away the trash who were attempting to rob him.  

As the Gardena, California police department wisely posted on their Facebook page, what we see in this video is an important reminder to always pay attention to your surroundings. 

On September 7th 2017 at about 2pm, our victim left a bank in Gardena and went to a nearby UPS store located in the 17100 blk of Western. As he walked through the parking lot, two male suspects attacked him from behind. One suspect was armed with a yellow crowbar. The suspects knocked him to the ground, struck him with the crowbar and tried to take his property from him. 

Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com

Hidden Storage For Strategic Tools and Security Items- Part 1, by Old Bobbert

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from SurvivalBlog:

The following are some hints and instructions on making a storage space for locating your backup strategic tools and varied security items within your home. This space also makes them nearly impossible to find and confiscate. While reading, please note that my strong belief that we are usually far too serious about most everything even remotely classed as preparedness activity has strongly influenced how this article has been worded. Every word has been considered both for humor potential (very subtle and low key) and for serious value.

This article, as titled above, will be presented to the readers with as much innocent humor and smiles as may be possible. Remember as you read, laugh, and smile that this is actually a very serious topic. It could very easily save a life someday, perhaps your life or that of a loved one. So let’s us start at the starting point, and the humor may well go downhill from this point.

The Location

In your bedroom in a clothing closet with double doors, empty the closet completely. Step into the now empty closet and turn to look at a side wall. It will be easy to discern which wall is the side wall as it will be one of the two shorter walls. Do not look at a side wall that is actually a side wall that is also a part of the building’s exterior wall. Go for the other side wall. It will be the side wall that you can readily see a part of something else. However, if you actually did start in the closet with your wife’s clothes, stop everything right now. Put everything back exactly where it was and never admit to anyone what you nearly did to ruin a good marriage…yours.

Pick a Spot

In the correct closet, pick a spot on the correctly chosen side wall and then use the ice pick tool you were supposed to remember to have with you to an approximate depth of two inches. If you are successful, you will be aware that you did not push the pointed end of the ice pick into a hidden wall stud. If so, move the ice pick two inches in your choice of horizontal directions and repeat the “push pick process” in a continuing manner. Your short-term goal is to locate any two adjacent hidden studs (the 2” x 4” four-sided wooden poles) hidden inside the wall. These two hidden poles should be about 16 inches apart from one another.

Pencil Draw High Security Storage Enclosure Area

Use the 12-inch level you were supposed to have handy to draw in pencil a very perfectly straight level line between the two hidden poles. Continuing your pencil line creating process, pencil in a second horizontal pencil line (18 x 36) inches above the first pencil line. Be sure that the the two ends of the second pencil line are exactly and directly above the two ends of the first pencil line you penciled on the correct side wall.

Your next step is to free-hand pencil in a vertical pencil line connecting the two left side ends of the two horizontal lines. Repeat the vertical creation line process on the two right side ends of the two horizontal lines.

Congratulations, you have successfully created a pencil outline of the high security long term storage enclosure area.

Partial Cuts of Horizontal Sides

Position the pointed sharp end of the box cutter tool you were supposed to remember to have handy at your best choice of the four corners of the outlined enclosure area and then push gently. Very slowly and carefully, cut a line on top of and only part way through the two penciled-in horizontal sides of the proposed security enclosure area. At this time, do not cut completely or all of the way through the drywall material we called the side wall. If the closet floor is carpeted, place a protective cloth or whatever will work and is readily available on top of the carpet because you are making a real home wrecker mess.

Partial Cuts of Vertical Sides

Now slowly and carefully cut all of the way through the dry wall until you meet the inner resistance caused by the hidden vertical wall stud. Start at approximately the center of one of the two horizontal pencil lines. Then, complete the same procedure cutting from the center cut line through to the other end of the pencil line, again stopping when you reach the other vertical wall stud.

Progress with Screws

Smile, you are making real progress. Next, get one of the two long wood screws and your ***electric drill***amazon.com/DEWALT-DWD112-Pistol-Grip-Keyless-All-Metal/dp/B0011XSEW6/ref, which you were supposed to have handy, and insert the first long wood screw and then the other into the dry wall approximately in the center area of the drywall and about 10 inches apart from one another.

Single Vertical Full Cut

Next will be your first vertical, all-the-way-through cut, on one of the two vertical pencil lines. You may find a slight resistance from a drywall screw being in the way of the cutting. (If this is your situation, stop now and gently pencil a very small curved line around the dry wall screw.) Now proceed to cut through the dry wall to the vertical wall stud starting at the other end and working your way back to the dry wall screw holding the drywall to the wall stud. Smile. No one is watching to see if you are doing it the right way, I think.

Gently Release Drywall From Screw

Take the screw driver with the tiny straight end pointing away from you. It’s the one that you were supposed to have handy, and then as carefully as you can use the screwdriver sharp end to chip away the drywall enclosing the drywall screw until you have freed the screw from the drywall at that point. Try to keep the small hole around the drywall screw as small and as neat/clean as is possible. Do not try to be fast; just be careful and be gentle. Do not remove the drywall screw from the wall stud, at least not now and not until it is time for that removal. You will need it again and soon to put back in place securely at a later point in the creation of your secure enclosure area process. (You needed to know that stuff at this point.)

Cut Through Three Sides

Now you can start to fully cut the vertical pencil line. Be sure to cut all the way through the drywall and just very slightly into the hidden wall stud. Continue working as needed on this, your first vertical final cut, completely freeing the pencil lined area of the dry wall entirely free, but only on three sides. If you cut through all four sides at this point, you will be making a much larger storage cavity, like it or not, because the smaller hunk of drywall will most likely break up when it hits bottom. A still-connected side four will hold it stationary.

The Final Cutting

Next, will be the final cutting. The two protruding wood screws will be your handles for moving the piece away from the cavity. That’s away and not down the hole or out the window. I tried that once, while doing apartment building maintenance. Once was enough and very expensive. You will most likely find a dry wall screw as you complete this final cutting through the drywall and slightly into the wall stud. This is the time when you should be most careful. Do not get frustrated and nick your pointing finger. You may need it later.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

Who’s Going To Eat The Losses?

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by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:

Unsustainable.

Many more people need to understand what that word really means, and how it applies to pretty much everything in the current human living arrangement. Especially the so-called ‘developed’ nations.

Here’s the dictionary definition:

Let’s take these three definitions one at a time.

First: our entire economic model, which dependent on borrowing at a faster rate than income (GDP) grows, is something that simply cannot be maintained at its current rate or level. Check.

Second: depleting species, soils and aquifers are all wildly unsustainable practices that are accelerating. Check.

Last (and most glaring of all): the world’s leadership (and we use that term very loosely) continues to insist on adhering to the indefensible idea that infinite growth on a finite planet is possibleCheckmate.

Said another way, the daily comforting stories we are told about how all of this somehow makes sense are just a load of nonsense. Each is entirely unsupportable by the evidence, facts and data.

What happens when a culture’s dominant narratives are not just unsatisfactory, but entirely unworkable? 

Well, for one thing, the younger generations that are being asked (goaded?) to step into an increasingly flawed future begin to resist. Which is completely understandable. They have nothing to gain if the status quo continues.

At the same time, the older generations mostly just settle into a stubborn insistence that everything will be fine if everyone will just do more of precisely what got us into the mess in the first place. Younger people should step up to make sure Medicare/Social Security/pensions remain fully funded, and buy the financial assets and homes of downsizing seniors at top dollar. The boomers have everything to lose if the status quo changes.

Why do I bother to tell you all this?  Why have I spent the last ten years of my life trying to alert the public of risks they keep telling me make them uncomfortable?  Because I care. Because I hope to help a few people preserve their hard-earned wealth. Possibly even save a few lives with this information. And, ultimately, to help people lead lives filled with greater connection, aliveness and joy.

The key to all of these better outcomes is having a clear-eyed view of “what is”, and then being able to predict “what’s next”. Which means that understanding is the first step. Informed action follows from that.

Mind The Gap

In the US, through selfish over-consumption, the baby boomer generation has screwed the prospects for following generations. It’s now doing everything to deny and defend its extraordinarily self-serving and short-sighted decisions, and delay the repercussions for as long as possible.

For the record, I seriously doubt the current younger generations would have behaved any differently were we to teleport them back in timeThe boomers came of age when net energy from oil was still climbing and that ‘taught’ them about ‘how the world worked.’  When you have abundant resources, especially high net energy oil, you can pretty much do anything you want.

But today?

Not so much. A BIG fallacy of the past is that wars lead to rapid economic expansion afterwards. A more correct version of this is that the destruction of war leads to rapid recovery and rebuilding ONLY IF you also have access to abundant high net energy oil. If you don’t, wars only lead to destroyed economies.

Think of it this way: an 18-year-old who injures his knee has the resources of youth to help them recover completely. But an 80-year-old? Not so much.

This fallacy of thinking that we can just have another nice major war (North Korea?), or a few major hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and counting…), and then not only recover, but return better than ever is a dangerous delusion to hold. It’s no different than our 80-year-old thinking that taking up downhill skateboarding would be a safe and sensible thing to do. 

Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.

(Source)

The inter-generational resentment mentioned above is growing ever more extreme and it’s creating a significant social (and soon political) disturbance that will prove to be utterly disappointing for all. Already we see the signs in failing pensions having to cut benefits, young people opting out of such bulwarks of cultural stability as car ownership, marriage and having children.

If the DNC hadn’t straight up stolen the primary from Bernie Sanders, it’s quite possible that he’d have handily won the US presidential election and we’d already be feeling the effects of the political power of the next generation.

In this view, Trump is nothing more than the first (but not final) reflection of boomer denial backfiring badly. The sclerotic remnants of the past held fast and tried to jam Hillary down the throats of a very unenthusiastic electorate that long ago concluded that business-as-usual is literally a vision without a future. And so Hillary was rejected and Trump, the only alternative left standing, got the victory.

Who’s Going To Eat The Losses?

The US economic data to back up this decidedly dim view of things could not possibly be more robust and unassailable.

If we were allowed just one chart, just a single piece of data to back up this assertion, it would be this one:

The oft-cited and worried over ‘US federal debt’ of some $20 trillion is the lowest dark-blue shaded area on that chart .It’s not even 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the predicament the country faces

No country has ever dug out from under a debt + liability load anywhere close to that amount. It’s just too big a hole to climb out of.

With GDP growth stubbornly anemic for going on 12 years now, and no fresh sources of high net energy to fund future GDP growth, we can say this very simply about the promises our politicians are soothingly singing to us:

Any thought that these promises will be kept is delusional.

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

Nightmare scenario for millions in wake of powerful hurricanes as unprepared survivors run out of food and water

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by JD Heyes, Natural News:

There’s an old expression that goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

I was reminded of that saying very often observing the situation before and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and Florida, respectively. And I’m quite certain I’m not the only prepper who was. I’ll explain.

As reported by The New York Times, survivors of Irma on the island of St. Martin “spoke of a disintegration in law and order” as they “struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages” caused by storm damage.

“All the food is gone now,” said Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident. “People are fighting in the streets for what is left.”

The paper also reported other predictable events following an apocalyptic event that destroyed 90 percent of buildings on some nearby islands, such as the breakdown of social order and the civil society. In addition to an absence of food and water, other basic services like electricity and telephone service are wiped out.

Then the Times reported this, which I found incredible:

As reports of increasing desperation continued to emerge from the region over the weekend, governments in Britain, France and the Netherlands, which oversee territories in the region, stepped up their response. They defended themselves against criticism that their reaction had been too slow, and insufficient. Both the French and Dutch governments said they were sending in extra troops to restore order, along with the aid that was being airlifted into the region [emphasis added].

For one, these are islands and they are located in the Caribbean, a region noted for warm water, sandy beaches, and great weather — until it turns severe, which happens often. Granted, Irma was an unusually large storm, but so what? When does it become anyone else’s responsibility to ensure you have enough emergency supplies to get by in the worst of times?

There are similar issues arising in the United States as well. Before the hurricanes struck, people flooded to stores and gas stations to stock up on supplies that they should have already had. Again, predictable.

I read an account where a family said they were “tailgating” up the Florida coast and sleeping in their vehicle off-and-on as they headed not so quickly out of state and north to Tennessee. They reported encountering empty gas stations, barren store shelves, and lack of water during the entire trip, at least the Florida portion of it.

Predictable.

The reports in St. Martin and the U.S. of societal breakdown and looting were also very predictable, which is why preppers will always ensure they have some means of self-defense. Even in the case of a massive weather-related natural disaster that has been seen coming for more than a week, there is still going to be a lag from the time the storm hits until the time increased aid and security arrive to bring peace and stability back to the affected areas. What do unarmed, unprotected people do in the meantime? That’s easy — they get victimized or killed. Because it does no good to prepare for disaster with extra food, water, camping, and survival gear if you can’t defend it and yourself. (Related: You need to know these 8 essential survival tips to prepare you for the next catastrophe.)

None of this is rocket science. In an emergency situation involving massive damage, there will be chaos and looting; there will be some degree of social breakdown; there will be death; there will be people taking advantage of the situation.

Even if all services are knocked out — phone, electricity, water — you must be prepared to shelter in place with enough food and water, and the ability to defend yourself, until the cavalry arrives. To see so many people so unprepared even though they live in a part of the world where violent weather is known to occur just makes me shake my head.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

What To Do If You CAN’T Evacuate Before a Hurricane

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

There are a lot of people stranded in the areas that are likely to be the hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. While it’s easy to say, “Oh, they should have left earlier” and run through the gamut of blame, the fact remains that there are all sorts of reasons that leaving didn’t work out.

Gas stations have run dry, which means that people can’t drive their cars to leave. Roads are at a standstill as people all try to leave at once in the biggest mass exodus in American history. Amtrak tickets are sold out. Plane tickets are outrageously expensive, in some cases more than three thousand dollars apiece. (However, American Airlines and JetBlue have capped their tickets out of Florida at $99, a service to keep in mind in the future if you plan to fly somewhere.)

The point is, for many, it’s too late. There is no further option for escape from what will most likely be a category 4 or 5 hurricane. (Good news – Friday morning, Irma was downgraded to a Category 4 Hurricane, with “only” 145 mph winds. Please don’t be deluded into thinking this lessens the danger dramatically, however. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 3 and we all saw what happened to Texas.

Here’s an explanation of the categories.

I can’t urge you more strongly: evacuate if you can at all. (Here’s an evacuation checklist.) This is a life-threatening hurricane, potentially the strongest to ever hit the country in recorded history.

(For more articles like this, please subscribe to my daily newsletter.)

What to do if you can’t evacuate

The hurricane is definitely headed toward Florida. That turn we were all hoping would send Irma out to sea didn’t happen – she’s headed west, straight for Miami. Not to scare the daylights out of you, but this is what it looked like on a webcam in St. Maarten. You’re going to want to do what you can to be ready.

If you’re in Florida, it’s too late to order online. There is practically no chance that the items will reach you. You aren’t going to be able to buy standard hurricane supplies at the store at this point, either, so you’ll have to make due with what you have or can still acquire.

Let me be absolutely clear, lest someone accuse me of recommending that people remain in their homes: remaining at home is not a wise course of action. If you haven’t been able to evacuate, here is a list of numbers that you can call to get help and get to a safe shelter before the storm hits. Do not wait until the storm hits to ask for help. Be proactive and do so now.

If you have absolutely no other option, below, you can find the best advice I can offer.

Water

Water is sold out across the state. But, your taps are running just fine, right?

Fill every container you can get your hands on with tap water so that you have something to drink. It’s likely that you can still buy containers that will hold water. Get Mason jars, pitchers, canisters…whatever you can find to hold water. Then fill ALL of them, immediately. Use empty soda bottles or water jugs, too.

Fill one-gallon Ziploc bags with water and freeze them, allowing room for expansion. Not only will this provide drinking water, but the ice will help keep your food safe for longer.

When the storm is about to hit, fill sinks and bathtubs with water. This can be used for sanitation.

Medications

Fill prescriptions for any essential medications immediately. Plan for at least 2 weeks of medication to be on hand in the event that pharmacies are closed after the storm

Food

If there’s anything available, buy food that doesn’t require any cooking. At this point, you can’t afford to be picky. Get enough for at least a week, preferably two.

Money

Keep some cash on hand, preferably in small bills. If there is a regional power outage, you won’t be able to use a debit card or credit card during the aftermath. I suggest keeping several hundred dollars if you can.

Shelter

There are shelters set up all across Florida for those who could not evacuate. You can find a list here. Florida governor Rick Scott said that if you need help you should ask now, because, “we can’t save you once the storm hits.” Particularly if you are in a manufactured or mobile home, there is practically zero chance it will be able to withstand winds of 180 mph or greater.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

‘The Ocean Is Missing!’: Irma Literally Sucked All the Water Away From Coastline

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by Aaron Nelson, The Anti Media:

The energy behind powerful Hurricane Irma is so massive that it sucked water into itself and away from shorelines in the Bahamas on Friday. Video footage from Long Island, Bahamas has quickly gone viral after being posted across social media when it revealed the ocean was literally missing as Hurricane Irma passed the island.

The surreal video shows an exposed dry ocean floor with no water around as far as the eye can see.

Meteorologists say the chances of seeing such an extraordinary weather phenomenon are extremely low. The Washington Post’s deputy weather editor, Angela Fritz, confirmed the video as real and explained what had happened:

“Basically, Hurricane Irma is so strong and its pressure is so low, it’s sucking water from its surroundings into the core of the storm.”

“In the center of the storm, where there is extreme low pressure, water is drawn upward. Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism — it sucks the air into it, and when it’s really low, it can change the shape of the surface of the ocean. As the storm draws water toward the center, it gets pulled away from the surroundings.”

Meteorologist Ben Gelber explains that Irma’s low pressure also contributed to this phenomenon, and called it a “hurricane bulge.”

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries

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by Backdoor Survival:

About a month ago, I learned that it was possible not only to test old alkaline batteries to see if they are still are usable but also that, with the right type of charger, you can bring dead batteries back to life and that you can actually recharge alkaline batteries.  To be quite honest, I was blown away.

Being a dutiful citizen of the world, when a flashlight, computer mouse or portable electronic gizmo such as a remote control stopped working, I dumped the old batteries into my recycle box and installed some new ones.  Of course not being wasteful, I favored the use of rechargeable batteries and was quite proud of my collection of various sized Eneloop batteries which hold their charge for up to three years, even while sitting on the shelf.

A LADY ON A MISSION

Do you every get a bug in your bum and decide that nothing will stop you from the mission or task at hand?  Well, that was me.  I wanted to prove to myself that old alkaline batteries were still usable and further, as Dennis Evers (Preparedness is Fundamental) says, you can have free batteries for life.

The first thing I needed to do was to gather up the gear:

Old “dead” alkaline batteries
Battery tester simple enough to use without a Ph.D. in electronics
Battery charger designed specifically for alkaline batteries
Test gear such as flashlights, remote controls, wireless headphones and more

Simple enough although I did have to purchase the tester and the charge.  But more on that later.

SORT THROUGH THE BATTERIES AND CULL THE DUDS

For years I have been saving all of my old batteries in a box in the garage, thinking that one of these days I would find someplace to recycle them.  Where I live that is easier said than done so the box was pretty darn full which was great because that meant I had a lot of raw material to work with.

While waiting for my battery tester and alkaline charger to arrive, I sorted through the box, weeding out any leakers as well as odd ball batteries such as cell phone and hearing aid batteries.  According to Wikipedia, the reason a battery leaks is this:

As batteries discharge — either through usage or gradual self-discharge — the chemistry of the cells changes and some hydrogen gas is generated. This out-gassing increases pressure in the battery. Eventually, the excess pressure either ruptures the insulating seals at the end of the battery, or the outer metal canister, or both. In addition, as the battery ages, its steel outer canister may gradually corrode or rust, which can further contribute to containment failure.

Read More @ BackdoorSurvival.com

Panic Buying of Gasoline in Florida, 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Miami Stations Out of Gas: Blame Anti-Gouging Laws for Shortages

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by Mish Shedlock, Mish Talk:

As Hurricane Irma nears Florida, everyone is in a rush to fill up their tanks. About 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the gasoline stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region are now without fuel. Floridians have turned to the Crowd-Sourced ‘Gas Buddy’ App to determine which stations still have gas.

The above image from the web version of Gas Buddy Tracker. Zoom into the area you’re looking for gas to see the red and green symbols indicating fuel shortages. Gas Buddy says the mobile app is more accurate.

Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst at Gas Buddy, said their newest feature – the Gas Availability Tracker – has now been rolled out to those who could be affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

“The tool seeks to help motorists in need to find gasoline, and certainly in some cases. will also help motorists find stations that have power,” DeHaan said.

The app was developed during Hurricane Harvey in Texas. People can log in to view gas stations in their area. A red fuel pump icon indicates the station currently has gas. A red lightning bolt icon indicates the station has power, especially helpful for those in areas affected by power outages.

The data is largely crowdsourced by users who submit information through the app.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced in Miami that he’s asked the governors of Alabama and Georgia to waive trucking regulations so tankers can get fuel into the city, which is experiencing one of the largest shortages statewide as residents prepare for the hurricane’s landfall.

He told residents of the Florida Keys that “we’re doing everything to get fuel to you as quickly as possible.” Tourists are under a mandatory evacuation order, which began Wednesday morning.

Residents will then be ordered to evacuate, but the fuel shortage is putting a hitch in that.

Governor Promotes Gas Buddy, Expedia, Google Maps, Xfinity

TechCrunch reports As Irma nears, Florida Governor tells residents to use Gas Buddy, Expedia, Google Maps.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott told state residents to turn to apps and other online resources, including Gas Buddy, Google Maps, Expedia and Comcast’s Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot finder, to help them find fuel, navigate safely, and stay connected both ahead of and following Hurricane Irma’s arrival.

The lack of readily available gasoline, in particular, has been a huge problem facing the state – something that Scott admitted he knew had been “frustrating” in this time of crisis. Not only have some gas stations had long lines, many simply keep running out of gas entirely, as people prepare for possible evacuations by topping off their tanks.

The company tells TechCrunch that it’s now seeing hundreds of gas stations across Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina without fuel. It says the hardest hit cities are Miami (30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of stations are out of gas), West Palm Beach (29{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}), Fort Myers-Naples (20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}), Tampa (13{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}), and Orlando (9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} are out.)

The app has seen a ton of usage following Harvey and ahead of Irma – its App Store ranking has jumped 150 spots over the past week or so, and is now in the top 50 Overall.

In addition to Gas Buddy, Scott noted that the state was working with Google to keep its mapping app updated with the most current information on road closures.

“Real time traffic information and evacuation routes is available at FL511.com,” said Scott. “We have traffic cameras on every major roadway in the state and are clearing traffic issues in real-time so we can keep people moving,” he continued. “We’re coordinating with Google’s emergency response team to prepare to close roads in Google Maps in real-time in the event that Hurricane Irma forces a closure of any roads in the aftermath of the storm,” Scott added.

Of course, the Google-owned Waze app may be more useful ahead of Irma’s landfall. The crowdsourced navigation tool is great for finding out about traffic incidents, road closures, speeds, and other hazards in real-time as well. This information is additionally fed into Google.org’s Crisis Maps, which displays other details like precipitation, public alerts, evacuation routes, shelters, forecasts and more.

“If you need a hotel, go to Expedia.com/florida,” said Scott. “Expedia is working on hotel occupancy in real-time.”

Scott noted that Comcast was opening 137,000 hotspots to help people stay connected, too. These Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots will be made free across the state for non-Xfinity customers and subscribers alike. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are all setting up additional Wi-Fi hotspots as well, he said.

Hurricane Preparation

The Florida.Gov website has updates on Hurricane Irma Preparedness.

Today, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Irma from the State Emergency Operations Center. The Governor is traveling the state today to meet with local officials, ensure communities have all the resources they may need, and to encourage families and visitors to be fully prepared. Evacuation orders have been issued in Monroe County and additional orders are expected as the storm nears the state. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, and utility officials who are also working to ensure the state is prepared to respond to any potential impacts from Hurricane Irma.

Read More @ MishTalk.com

Bugging Out: Preparing Multiple Escape Routes and Vehicles for a Major Emergency

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by Jeremiah Johnson , Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Readers, we are becoming “long in the tooth,” so to speak, regarding the current world events.  Some of this article will mention points previously covered, but only in relation to the “big picture” of E&E…that’s the acronym for “Escape & Evasion.”  In the end, no matter how secure your fortress, be it Castle Greyskull or Mount Olympus II, you may have to leave it for one reason or another: fire, radiation, severe flood/hurricane, or the IHM (Incredible Human Mob).

The first thing you need to do is establish your immediate location and route to where you intend to flee if you must.  There are several different types of maps that you should consult, if not own outright, and they are as follows:

  1. Local atlas/road type of map with streets and metropolitan areas readily identified
  2. Topographic map: preferably military (DMA, or Defense Mapping Agency is your source) of the immediate area
  3. Maps from the State/Federal Forestry services for your area

Once you have these resources, then you can accurately identify your route out of there, and your new location to hide/hunker down.  There are some avenues you should specifically consider on your E&E.  Let’s go over them:

  1. Railroad tracks: most of the time, railroads must make their tracks accessible for repair/refitting trucks and equipment.  This usually involves a “built up” area that holds the track, sloped off and then followed by a large “bare” stretch that can hold a vehicle, almost akin to an unpaved “secondary” road.  THE KEY TO THIS IS A SUCCESSFUL RECONNAISSANCE!  You don’t want to drive along such a route and parallel the tracks when the time comes for the first time…only to find you must stop at a railroad bridge that is about a quarter of a mile long…so you don’t do the “Nestea Plunge” into a two-hundred-foot gorge.  That’s a bad thing.  You need to know the whole route…all the way to your final destination.
  2. Rivers: What direction do they flow, in relation to your destination? East-West, or North-South…it makes a big difference and will be specific to your location.  Also, are there any large bodies of water such as a lake or a bay or such in your immediate area?
  3. All the Roads to your Destination: You need all of them…the highway, the road, the firebreak, the dirt trails…every possible conceivable route by vehicle.  Then you need to prioritize them…in numerical order of preference…as to the route you want.  You also must find points where these connect.  For example, you may have as your #1 route an “Interstate Highway 66,” but the bridge is out on part of it.  Where is a jump-off point to #2, #3, or #4 that you can use?  All this needs to be meticulously planned and written down.

Because you may die or be taken out of the picture, and your family will have to appoint a new or temporary “leader” and follow your directions out of there.

  1. Airports: It may just be that you’ll need to fly out of there, either by your own hand or with someone else as a pilot. It may behoove you to know where the nearest aircraft and the nearest pilot (friendly to you and your cause) can be found.
  2. Major Harbor points with access to open ocean: self-explanatory, but once you go there, do you know what you’re looking for? Types of vessels that can hold you and your family, and your entire vehicle?

When you conduct the E&E, will you be taking your entire family with you at once, or will you rendezvous at a location to continue onward?  This second option would mean that each family member traveling separately will need a plan of their own, and then to link up with you to continue the overall plan.  We are now going to pose a series of questions to help you assess where you are at this point in time.

There are some skills that will need to be assessed and then brought into play.  Do you know how to pilot a boat?  Do you have such a boat available for your use, if the time comes?  If not, the moral dilemma: will you commandeer one?  How about seamanship, regarding the open ocean?  Do you have any experience, and do you know how to navigate using only a sextant and compass, without electronic aids?  Do you know how to fly, either VTOL (as in helicopters) or fixed wing aircraft?

Regarding a driven route, do you have at least 3 good viable routes planned for use, with connecting points and checkpoints to enable you to switch from one route to another easily and fluidly?  What are you driving, and how much gear/supplies/equipment will you be taking?  More than one vehicle?  How about fuel?

One thing I’ll tell you about that will be a tremendous help if you can swing it.  A mini bike, all the way up to say a 200-cc dirt bike.  You can throw that bad boy in the back of a pickup and then use it to scout and perform reconnaissance on an area ahead of the “main element” of your family.  Although great on gas, motorcycles are not the most efficient way to get out of dodge as a family, unless you’re one of the Hell’s Angels or a family of Evel Knievel-type daredevils without a lot of gear.

Plan refueling points, rest areas and hide spots (to hunker down) along the way on your routes.  All this planning needed to be done a while ago.  If you’ve planned it out, then good job.  If you haven’t, then this article may be something to stimulate you to act.  That is the whole point: preparation promotes a good follow through.  The key to success is being able to act decisively when the time arrives.  You’ll have to go with your observations and go with your gut on it, according to the situation, making changes and adaptations as you go.  Keep in that good fight, and plan your route to get out of Tombstone before the gunfight at the OK Corral begins. 

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Two Nuclear Power Plants In Florida Are Directly In The Path Of Hurricane Irma

by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:

Hurricane Irma is more powerful than all of the other major Atlantic storms this year combined, and it has an eye as large as the entire Detroit metro area. It is being reported that “upwards of 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}” of Barbuda has already been destroyed by the storm, and it is being projected that some areas of Puerto Rico could be without power “for between four and six months”. You may want to view these photos and these videos to get a better idea of the immense destructiveness of this very powerful storm. The latest forecasts have Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida, but so far the two nuclear power plants in Florida that would be directly in the path of the storm have not even started the process of shutting down

In anticipation of powerful Hurricane Irma, which projections on Wednesday showed headed straight for South Florida, Florida Power & Light’s two nuclear plants were finalizing staffing plans and cleaning up the grounds. But neither Turkey Point nor the St. Lucie plant further up the coast had made the call yet to shutting down the plants.

Peter Robbins, spokesman for FPL, said shutting down a reactor is a gradual process, and the decision will be made “well in advance” of the storm making landfall.

We all remember what happened with Fukushima, and we definitely do not want to see a repeat on U.S. soil. The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed millions of minds about the safety of nuclear power, and as a member of Congress I will do all that I can to encourage the development of our solar power, wind power and geothermal power capabilities.

Let us hope that Hurricane Irma weakens before it gets to Florida, because the destruction that it is causing right now is off the charts. When it made landfall in Barbuda, there were some wind gusts that were “above 215 mph”

Irma first made landfall in Barbuda — an island with a population of about 1,600 — around 1:47 a.m. ET Wednesday. Local weather stations there captured wind gusts of 155 mph before going silent, indicating the instruments had been blown away. Irma’s sustained winds have been reported at 185 mph, with gusts above 215 mph.

When you have winds that high, there is little that you can do to prepare. According to one top official, “upwards of 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}” of Barbuda has already been destroyed…

At least one death was reported in Barbuda, according to ABS TV Antigua. Charles Fernandez, minister of foreign affairs and international trade for Antigua and Barbuda, told ABS that destruction on Barbuda was “upwards of 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.”

Irma destroyed government buildings, tore roofs from houses and left northern Caribbean islands without power or communications.

Considering what has already happened in the Caribbean, it astounds me that Miami is not being evacuated yet. If all of these communities in the south Florida area try to wait until the last minute to evacuate, it is going to create a traffic nightmare of epic proportions. According to CNN, we could be looking at “one of the largest mass evacuations in US history”…

Based on Irma’s projected path, which includes Florida’s heavily populated eastern coast, the enormous storm could create one of the largest mass evacuations in US history, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties combined have about 6 million people.

Monroe County, home to the Florida Keys, has already ordered mandatory evacuations. Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, issued a mandatory evacuation Wednesday for areas east of Federal Highway.

There is still a chance that the storm may not hit Florida at all, and let us hope that is the case.

Sadly, there are some out there that actually want the storm to hit Florida. In fact, some leftists on Twitter are actually rooting for the storm to destroy President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

How can people be so cruel? When I first made the decision to jump into the world of politics, I thought that I would be able to avoid much of the nastiness, but I quickly found out that people are going to call me all sorts of names too. I am starting to understand why it is so hard to get good people to run for office, because there is a great price to be paid for putting yourself out there.

In this situation, my hope is that people down in south Florida won’t wait for a formal evacuation order and will start getting out well ahead of this storm. According to CNBC, Hurricane Irma could cause a quarter of a trillion dollars in damage if it is still a category 5 storm once it reaches Miami…

But if it stays a Category 5 and hits Miami, the $125 billion estimate could be doubled, making it by far the costliest storm ever. At $105.8 billion, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is currently the leader, though Hurricane Harvey, which struck Houston two weeks ago, could well surpass that total.

Can you imagine what a quarter of a trillion dollars of damage would look like?

And let us not forget that another hurricane is following right behind Irma. This could easily become the worst hurricane season in all of U.S. history, and we still have many more weeks to go before the season is over.

Meanwhile, a disaster of another sort is unfolding out west. Large portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are literally on fire. One of the reasons why we are having such a huge problem with wildfires out west is because the federal government is not properly managing public lands. So when these fires hit areas controlled by the feds, they tend to burn more intensely than they should. I intend to fight to have control of those lands transferred to state governments, and I hope that you will support my efforts. Here in Idaho, it has been estimated that we have more than a trillion dollars worth of natural resources under our feet, and if we can get full control of our public lands it would end our state budget problems permanently.

Read More @ EndOfTheAmericanDream.com

5 Epic Disasters Are Looming Over Us Right Now

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Doesn’t it seem like all the disasters are coming at us at the same time? Just in case one catastrophe isn’t enough, we’ve got all sorts of other things either going on right now or headed our way. Here are 5 stories that will make you glad you’re a prepper. And if you’re not, perhaps this is a cosmic kick in the pants that is telling you that you should be.

Here are 5 epic disasters that are happening right now.

The five stories below will make you want to double down on your preparedness efforts because between mankind and Mother Nature, things are looking increasingly dangerous.

  • Get the supplies you need to survive here.
  • Sign up here to get daily email updates.

Hopefully, the disasters that appear to be en route will end up being non-events.

Texas was just hit with the biggest rainfall ever recorded in the Continental US.

Hurricane Harvey flooded the Gulf Coast of Texas with more rain than has ever been recorded in this country. The storm dumped 51.88 inches of rain on the state, flooding the coast and causing billions of dollars worth of damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. And the disaster isn’t over yet. With the flood and wind damage comes a whole new set of problems, like waterborne illness, mosquitoes, and explosions at flooded factories. (Read more about the aftermath of Harvey here.)

The Western United States is on fire.

The western half of the country is burning right now, with smoke so dense that NASA has tracked itall the way the way to western New York. More than 80 wildfires are spreading uncontrollably across California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and Montana. Pair the fires with extreme heat, high winds, and very dry conditions, and it’s a recipe for an unstoppable disaster. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, natural and historical wonders are going up in flames, and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. (source)

North Korea successfully tested a hydrogen bomb…and they keep threatening us.

Despite warnings from the international community, North Korea continues to behave in an increasingly aggressive fashion. In the past week, they sent a missile flying over Japan and they detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb. They’ve also pointed out that a nuke could be detonated in the atmosphere over the United States, resulting in an electromagnetic pulse that could take out our electrical grid for years.

But it isn’t just the US that is at risk from North Korea’s irresponsible actions. The mountain where the bomb was detonated is beginning to show damage, with landslides that are visible from satellite images. Chinese scientists say that the mountain is at risk for collapse, and if that happens, it will cause an unprecedented radioactive environmental disaster. Wang Naiyan, a former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and a researcher on China’s own nuclear weapons program, said, “We call it ‘taking the roof off.’ If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.” (source)

Two X-class solar flares are headed our way.

And if North Korea doesn’t take down our grid, the sun might. The sun just released two of the biggest solar flares in a decade. Space.com reports:

At 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT), an X-class solar flare — the most powerful sun-storm category — blasted from a large sunspot on the sun’s surface. That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT), by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006.

According to SWPC, the flares resulted in radio blackouts: high-frequency radio experienced a “wide area of blackouts, loss of contact for up to an hour over [the] sunlit side of Earth,” and low frequency communication, used in navigation, was degraded for an hour. (source)

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca