How to handle the big apocalypse in a big city

November 24, 2017

Interesting  article I found

Eugene K. Chow


Thanks to wildfires, hurricanes, and certain leaders trading threats of nuclear annihilation over Twitter, you’ve probably been thinking a lot about disasters recently — specifically how not to perish in one.

And if you live in a city, this kind of thinking can be extra fraught. It’s easy enough for doomsday preppers living in the woods to head for bunkers filled with canned food, but how are you supposed to get out of dodge when you don’t even own a car?

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, there are no realistic scenarios that would require a sudden, mass evacuation of an entire city.

Nuclear attack? I hate to break it to you, but nuclear-tipped ICBMs travel far too quickly to give anyone time to flee before all are incinerated in hellfire. Dirty bomb? Conventional explosives combined with radioactive material would not release enough radiation to kill anyone or cause severe illness.

Even most natural disasters wouldn’t require a sudden evacuation. Hurricanes are slow-moving and their paths can be predicted while earthquakes happen without warning.

“A lot of what drives big evacuations is often mass hysteria,” said John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.

So while you may not need to head for the hills when disaster strikes, you still need to be prepared. The key is to think more realistically about disasters, evacuation plans, and what you actually need to stock up on (fewer nail-studded bats, more bottled water).

Here are a few things city slickers should consider to realistically prepare for a sudden disaster:

1. Plan on staying put …

“There are really not a lot of scenarios where you would want to evacuate a whole city,” Renne said. “Panic leads people to want to evacuate, but that may not necessarily be the best thing to do.”

During some types of disasters — a chemical attack, for instance — it’s safer to shelter inside rather than evacuate. Even during the largest terrorist attack in history — Sept. 11 — only a small section of New York City needed to be evacuated.

“Most typically you would evacuate the parts of a city that are being impacted to a different part of the city,” explained Renne.

2. … But be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Most people won’t need to evacuate, but if you happen to be in the area that is directly affected, you’ll need to be prepared to leave quickly.

The fires that scorched California’s Napa Valley swept through residential areas so rapidly that in many cases people only had a few minutes to evacuate. Hesitation proved lethal, and many victims died because they didn’t hear the initial warnings.

To avoid getting caught flat-footed, listen carefully to any emergency alerts from local news stations and monitor social media for developments on evacuation orders. They could come at any time.

3. Stock up on the right supplies.

If you plan on riding out a disaster in your apartment, you will need to have a lot more on hand than just Netflix and a case of wine. At a bare minimum, you should stock enough water and non-perishable food to last three days.

It’s also a good idea to have a basic emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, first aid, and a solar charger to keep your smartphone humming. But if cell service goes down or the lines get overcrowded, having a hand-crank radio will be critical for receiving emergency updates.

And in case you do need to evacuate your neighborhood, you should have your “go-bags” already packed with important documents, non-perishable food, water, and medication. It’s also a good idea to include a flashlight, some extra batteries, chargers, some cash, and basic toiletries.

While it may be tempting to cram as much food and water into your bag as possible, you shouldn’t carry more than 20-25 pounds of gear. Unless you’ve got a fancy hiking pack that’s designed to carry heavy loads safely, stuffing more than 20 pounds in a regular backpack will put a lot of strain on your body and make it hard to move quickly.

4. Know your surroundings.

Whether you’re fleeing or staying put, you really need to know the ins and outs of your home and neighborhood.

For instance, depending on the type of emergency you’re in, you may need to shut off your gas, electricity, or water in your house or apartment. So figure out in advance where these controls are and how to access them. The last thing you want is to accidentally set off a gas explosion when you light a match.

And if you do have to evacuate your home, it helps to already have an escape route planned out. Bear in mind that exits can become blocked, so having an alternate is critical.

You’ll also want to figure out the location of your local evacuation center and how you’d get there. Cities with good emergency plans might even have fleets of buses ready to ferry people there, but you don’t want to count on it.

Lastly, if you do have to escape, please be sure to check in on elderly, very young, or disabled neighbors to make sure they have options to get to safety as well.

5. Relax.

More than a New Age mantra, a positive attitude is the key to surviving an emergency. Nearly every outdoor survival guide begins with maintaining a positive attitude, keeping calm, and not letting anxiety or negativity infect your thoughts.

Hopelessness is a dangerous feeling when under extreme duress. Only by maintaining a positive outlook will you be able to maintain the willpower to survive.

You might be drinking toilet water, but at least you’re doing it from home


Hunting season is underway here’s a couple ways to stay safe

September 20, 2017

General Safety:

Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will be returning.
Know the weather conditions in your hunting area and dress accordingly.
In an emergency, stay calm and stay put.
Avoid hypothermia. Know how to treat it if it strikes.
Keep rested, hydrated and well nourished.
Carry a survival kit and a small first aid kit with you at all times.
Know how to build a fire in all weather conditions and carry the supplies to start one.
Carry a map and compass or GPS unit and know how to use them.

July 9, 2017

Kern County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers robbed at gunpoint during rescue

Portion of the Pacific Crest Trail closed

8:51 PM, Jul 8, 2017

3 hours ago

UPDATE (July 9, 4:38a): The Kern County Sheriff’s Office confirmed two search and rescue volunteers were robbed at gunpoint.

Officials said it happened on Saturday while conducting a rescue operation for a hiker in medical distress on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

The incident occurred off a nearby trail, in the segment of the PCT between Highway 58 and Kelso Valley Road.

The suspects were two Hispanic male adults carrying rifles and handguns. The rescuers were not harmed during the incident, but were advised by the suspects to leave the area immediately. 

After the robbery occurred, the Kern County Fire Department assisted Sheriff’s personnel with a hoist rescue of the injured hiker and three others.

The Sheriff’s Office and USFS have initiated a hard closure of that segment of the PCT until it can be determined the trail is safe to reopen. Investigation into the incident is ongoing.


Kern County Sheriff’s are investigating an incident involving their search and rescue crews tonight. 

The incident took place in the Piute Mountains near the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Residents that live near Jawbone Canyon tell 23ABC they received a phone call earlier this evening, saying search and rescue crews were allegedly robbed at gunpoint. 

KCSO has not yet confirmed the allegations, but did say that no one was hurt in the incident. 

Self sufficient education

June 28, 2017

BUFFALO — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department hosted its “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” Workshop this weekend at Camp Roberts, north of Buffalo, WY.

Three women from Rock Springs were picked in a random drawing to attend: Eva Wasseen, Linda Kot and Susan Nichols.

Green River Information and Education Specialist Lucy Diggins-Wold, from Wyoming Game and Fish, taught outdoor survival. She caught a photo of two of the women, Eva Wasseen (photo right) and Linda Kot (photo left), during their Dutch oven cooking class.

Women from all over Wyoming, and all skill levels, learned to fly fish, shoot firearms, basic big game hunting techniques, outdoor survival, mountain biking and canoeing.


June 14, 2017

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Keeping ticks off

June 14, 2017


This Simple Tip Will Keep Ticks Off Of You All Summer Long

When winter is coming to a close and we are getting ready for the warmer weather, many of us look forward to heading outdoors and enjoying some sunshine. There are many reasons to go outside and it certainly can be a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, it is also the time of year when we need to be cautious about getting ticks. It can really ruin the day.

If you are somebody that tends to spend a lot of time outdoors, you need to be able to effectively protect yourself from ticks. They are more than just a nuisance or a pest that makes us uncomfortable, they carry diseases, some of which are very dangerous and even deadly. The next time you’re out enjoying what the great outdoors has to offer, consider this simple trick and you can keep ticks from latching on and causing problems.

Lint roller and essential oil

In order to use this tip, you will need a roller and some essential oils. The lint roller should use adhesive layers. Take it with you when you’re going outside and roll it on your clothing every once in a while. You might be surprised with what you pick up in a very short amount of time.

Adding some essential oil may help to keep the ticks from climbing on you while you are outside. Spray the essential oil on your clothing and rub it into your skin and the ticks may just stay away. It also works for mosquitoes and black flies. It’s a good alternative to insect repellent and reduces your chemical exposure.

Here are 5 essential oils that repel bugs.

1. Lavender – This smells sweet to us but bugs absolutely hate it. It works on mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

2. PennyRoyal – this is a member of the mint family and it is toxic to insects.

3. Lemongrass – This essential oil comes from tropical lemongrass and has a citrusy sent. It is a natural flea and tick repellent and can be sprayed directly on the skin.

4. Eucalyptus – use this alone or along with citronella oil to keep bugs away. According to the Journal of medical entomology, Eucalyptus extract can reduce tick bites and infections.

5. Lemon – some lemon essential oil can work against fleas and other bugs. Slightly dilute it and spray it on your clothing and skin.

Knife wear

June 13, 2017

A knife can be worn under the arm with the use of paracord. The Para cord can be slung from one shoulder across chest and back to under arm of the opposite shoulder. It can be raised or lowered depending upon individual likes.

Survival kit idea

June 13, 2017

Drone usage in sar

May 4, 2017

00:00Drones used for first time in major search at Grand Canyon


PHOENIX — Apr 22, 2017, 3:01 AM ET

The Associated Press

In these undated photos from 2016, a Grand Canyon National Park employee operates a drone at the park. The Grand Canyon is the only national park with its own fleet of unmanned aircraft for reaching people who have gotten lost, stranded, injured or killed. Under a program that began last fall, it has five drones and four certified operators. (Brandon Torres/Grand Canyon National Park via AP Photo)more +

The desperate effort this week to find two hikers who disappeared at the bottom of the Grand Canyonrepresented the National Park Service’s most extensive use yet of drones in a search-and-rescue mission.

The Grand Canyon is the only national park with its own fleet of unmanned aircraft for locating people who have gotten lost, stranded, injured or killed. Under a program that began last fall, it has five drones and four certified operators.

While the aerial search for the two hikers came up empty, it threw a spotlight on technology that can enter crevices and other rugged spots unreachable by foot while sparing searchers the dangers of going up in a helicopter.

With its steep cliffs, nearly 2,000 square miles and mesmerizing views, the Grand Canyon can be as dangerous as it is captivating.

Rangers were confronted with 1,200 medical emergencies, 293 search-and-rescue missions and 17 deaths in 2016, a year in which the park had nearly 6 million visitors. Last summer, a 35-year-old Yelp executive tripped while hiking, fell backward and was found dead 400 feet below.

“Our historic model was to take the helicopter to look and see,” said Grand Canyon chief ranger Matt Vandzura. But now, drones can offer “that same close look but without putting any people at risk. It has dramatically increased our ability to keep our people safe.”

The drones are about 18 inches across and 10 inches high, with a battery life of about 20 minutes. Drone operators watch the video in real time and then analyze it again at the end of the day.

The aircraft were used Monday through Wednesday in the search for LouAnn Merrell, 62, and her step grandson, Jackson Standefer, 14. The park also sent out three ground search teams of about 20 people in all, an inflatable motor boat and a helicopter.

Merrell and Standefer vanished last weekend after losing their footing while crossing a creek near the North Rim. They were on a hike with Merrell’s husband, Merrell Boot Co. co-founder Randy Merrell, and the boy’s mother.

The park soon scaled back the operation and stopped using the drones but continued the search. In a statement, the hikers’ families backed the decision and said they were “still praying for a miracle.”

The drones have been used a few times already.

In November, after a visitor drove off a cliff and died, drones were sent in to examine the trees and brush and make sure it was safe for a helicopter to fly in and lift the car out.

The next month, rangers used a drone to locate a woman who had jumped to her death. Then they rappelled down to retrieve the body.

The dangers of flying choppers in the canyon were illustrated in 2003, when a Park Service helicopter experienced a mechanical failure and crash-landed on the North Rim. Those aboard suffered only minor injuries; the helicopter was totaled.

Other national parks use drones, but for wildlife research. The use of private drones is prohibited in national parks.

James Doyle, a spokesman for the park service’s Intermountain region, said other national parks will probably seek their own drone fleets, too. He said the Grand Canyon’s extreme topography — it is a mile deep — makes it a perfect candidate.

“It’s a wonderful tool for the unfortunate situation we just found ourselves in at Grand Canyon,” 

Back packing rules of the road. Rucking

April 24, 2017

Rucking” is the military term for hiking under load. As you can imagine, this is a huge issue for the military, as soldiers must wear body armor and carry weapons, ammo, water, communications equipment, and other gear as they conduct patrols and missions. Rucking performance and injury prevention are hugely important for military operations and personnel.

Movement over ground under load is also key for many mountain sports, from dayhiking to backpacking to big mountain alpinism. In reviewing the research the military has already done on this subject, we discovered five rules that are just as applicable to mountain sports as they are to combat operations. Read on to make sure you’re following these military rucking rules on your next backcountry adventure.

1. One pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.

This old backpacking thumb rule holds true, according to a 1984 study from the U.S. Army Research Institute. They tested how much more energy was expended with different footwear (boots and shoes) and concluded that it take 4.7 to 6.4 times as much energy to move at a given pace when weight is carried on the shoe versus on the torso.

In practical terms, this means you could carry half a gallon more of water (a little over 4 pounds) if you buy boots that are a pound lighter, which isn’t hard to do; and that’s a lot of water. Now imagine the energy savings of backpacking in light trail running shoes rather than heavy, leather backpacking boots over the course of 7-day backpacking trip.

2. One pound on your feet equals 5% more energy expended.

Heavier footwear doesn’t just affect you because of its weight. Heavier boots are stiffer and less responsive as well. This reduces the efficiency of your body’s stretch reflex on hitting the ground.

Five percent doesn’t sound like much, though, so how does 5% translate to run times? Well, 5% would slow your mile pace time down by 30 seconds, depending on how long you’re running. But, the faster you attempt to run, the more that 5% will affect your performance.

3. Every 1% of your body weight in your pack makes you six seconds slower per mile.

Carrying weight in your pack isn’t free of cost, though. Each 1% of your body weight carried in your pack makes you 6 seconds slower per mile. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, each 1.5 pounds of weight in your pack slows you by 6 seconds per mile. For a 150-pound hiker, on an extended trip, cutting your pack weight down from 40 to 30 pounds saves you 40 seconds per mile.

4. A 10% grade incline cuts your speed in half.

Grade greatly affects speed. By “grade” we mean how much terrain incline or decline there is. At 10% grade, for example, for every 10 feet you travel forward, you’ll travel 1 foot up. In terms of angles, 10% equals 5.74 degrees. A 5.74 degree angle doesn’t seem like much until you’re humping up it mile after mile. You’ll know how hard it is because you’ll move twice as slowly over it than over flat ground with a given load.

That last little part—with a given load—is important. A 10% grade will cut your speed in half no matter if you’re carrying 45 lbs. or 80 lbs.

5. Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up.

Don’t believe you’ll make time up on the other side of the hill. You won’t. You’ll only make half the time up.

Why don’t you gain as much by running downhill as you lose running up? Braking forces. As you descend, you have to brake your speed with your quads to keep yourself under control. The steeper the downhill, the more braking. This added load on your muscles further affects your uphill performance if you have repeated bouts of up and down work.