What Can You Do When Disaster Strikes Somewhere Else

Several of the largest natural disasters have occurred recently. These include the earthquake and tsunami in South East Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the Southern United States. Thousands of disasters occur every year. They all don’t affect thousands of people, but the impact is as dire for each one that has to experience it. Each time a disaster occurs our hearts go out to those affected. However, what can we do when we are many miles away?

The following are some of the ways you might contribute to others affected by a disaster:

1. Pray. If you believe that miracles happen every day, as I do, then prayer should be at the top of your list.

2. Give Blood. There is always a need for blood. Especially when major disasters occur. Contact the Red Cross to learn about giving blood and schedule a time to donate at 1-800-GIVELIFE.

3. Send Notes. Give hope to the victims of the disaster as well as the relief workers by sending an encouraging note. If you do not have specific individuals to send to, send your notes to the local area through relief agencies, churches, schools and newspapers.

4. Volunteer. Go with a group to the location of the disaster to be a part of the rebuilding process. This could be with a local church or organization. You can also donate your time to volunteer organizations that respond to disasters. One of the first to respond is the Salvation Army. You can register your desire to volunteer by contacting your local Salvation Army office.

5. Donate Funds. Make a financial contribution to organizations that support the victims of the disaster. The Red Cross responds to thousands of disasters each year. You can donate at 1-800-HELP-NOW.

6. Donate Items. When disaster strikes, people can be without necessities for a long time. You can help by donating some of these items. If you want to support relief efforts by providing items, one of the best ways is to build and send relief kits. The United Methodist Committee on Relief and Operation Blessing are two organizations that teach you how to make the relief kits and where to send them. You can contact these organizations at 1-800-814-8765 and 1-757-226-3401, respectively.

7. Provide Shelter. If you are a property owner with vacant rental housing, you might help those driven from their home. Contact Disaster Housing Resources Online to learn more and register your available space.

8. Have a Fundraiser. If you cannot afford to donate funds, conduct a fundraising event. The event does not need to be extravagant. I am aware of adults and kids that raised money for a cause by having a yard sale and selling lemonade.

9. Purchase Items. Shop at stores and eat at restaurants that donate a portion of their profits to support disaster relief efforts. You will discover several businesses making this kind of contribution following major disasters.

This list is a sample of things you could do. I challenge you to identify two or more ways you plan to contribute to disaster relief efforts. Act on them starting today.

Prepare Yourself For Whatever Comes Your Way

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood, workplace or school or can confine you to your home.

What would you do if basic services-water, gas, electricity or telephones-were cut off? Local officials and first responders will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Therefore, the best way to make you and your family safer is to be prepared before disaster strikes.

Here are some tips for preparing for natural disasters:

** Get to know the types of disasters that can occur in your community.
** Make a family communications plan that includes an evacuation plan and coordinates with your school, work and community communication plans. Practice this plan with your entire family.
** Create a disaster supplies kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for at least three days. Remember to check your kit every six months.
** Make sure your child knows what smoke alarms, fire alarms and local community warning systems (horns, sirens) sound like and how to respond.
** Teach your child how and, equally important, when to call for help. Even very young children can be taught how and when to call for emergency assistance.
** Children should memorize their family name, address and phone number. They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. Some children may not be old enough to memorize the information. They could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter.
** If you commute to work, make sure you know alternative routes and carry appropriate supplies, such as a disaster supplies kit in your car and a compact kit with bare essential items such as a flashlight and whistle on public transportation.

Being prepared helps you and your family minimize the impact of a disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake or an emergency such as a fire or a broken leg.

The Red Cross has tips and tactics to help you prepare. The time to get ready for unexpected situations is now-while you have time to plan.

Is The End Near?

During the past year, hundreds of thousands have perished at the hands of a mother nature run amok. Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and torrential rains have served us notice that for all our brilliant achievements, we are not masters of the earth.

Those who adhere to the prophecies of the past suggest that the cataclysm of world destruction is coming, that the rapture is at hand, the end is near.

Certainly, the recent natural disasters have been extreme, eclipsing anything in living memory, but do they signify a terrible end?

The human race is now enormous, exceeding by a thousand percent the world inhabitants of the not-too-distant past. Communication is instantaneous: a boulder falls on a house and a picture is flashed around the world before the dust settles.

Consider the news in historical context, a far vaster landscape than human memory. And consider that until 100 years ago, news of events traveled slowly, if at all.

The earthquake in Kashmir claimed perhaps 40,000 valuable lives out of a planetary population of 6.4 billion souls. An earthquake in Shaanxi, China in 1556 claimed over 800,000 lives out of a contemporary population of only a few million, most of them totally unaware of the disaster.

The horrors of AIDS and the looming threat of ‘flu pandemics may kill a few million of us. In 1347-1350, the Black Death wiped out over a third of Europe’s population and it took 400 years to grow back to its former level. There were no news flashes or video coverage, just the word of straggling strangers of the terrors they had seen.

Think of the Ice Ages that have periodically crept across the earth’s surface, wiping out hundred of species each time and forever leaving the mark of their ravages on the continents. Envision an enormous meteor crashing into our planet, leaving a killing residue of dust that blotted out the sun’s rays for decades, destroying the dinosaurs that had dominated the landscape for 100,000 years of endless summer.

Our spaceship earth is a living, breathing and highly unstable vessel. It explodes, erupts, and trembles on its own timetable, far removed from the brief memories of mankind.

The forces of nature are doing what they have always done. There are just so many more of us to get in the way and so many more to bear witness to the recurring catastrophes.

Heroes Needed In Times Of Need

Natural disasters have devastated natural landscapes and the lives of millions in recent years. While technology is aiding us in keeping proactive in avoiding our presence in times of these traumatic events, many people are being seriously injured. The aftermath of these events has raised the need for professionals such as emergency medical technicians and trained nurses.

Extreme times call for extraordinary training and measures. Local communities cannot rely on a ‘normal’ chain of events to follow in the wake of a natural disaster. Trained Disaster Management professionals are needed in exigent times at the local, national, and international level.

Professionals are needed for analyzing risks, implementing strategies to reduce risks, planning and instilling public education, response to crisis events, coordinating with pertinent agencies, etc.

Disaster Management professionals organize medical relief as well as search and rescue operations, provide water and food supplies, set up emergency shelter, etc. They work closely with organizations like the Red Cross to provide optimal care for emergency situations. Hospital based professionals plan, train, direct doctor efforts, educate nurses, and help all other health care providers.

There is a great deal of opportunity available to those who study disaster management and emergency management. Classes are available online for those interested. Well paid jobs are available in hospitals, police agencies, fire departments, and in local and government agencies. Many private companies that deal with hazardous chemicals, industrial machinery, or are engaged in other exigent situations need educated professionals for consultants or on-site jobs.

Disaster Management demands the dedication of knowledgeable and noble professionals and is a most rewarding duty to fulfill. Those interested should seek out available training courses at local schools or online.

Nurses and EMTs are much needed in all parts of the world because of the vital nature of their jobs and the chance of disaster striking at any time and place. The advances of technology has only increased the need for more medical professionals to develop, implement, and teach others to use the technology.

Cold Weather Survival

Six hours from the trailhead, 2 hours past his turn-around time and with storms filling in from the valley, Alex Theissen was at the edge of panic. What had started as a unremarkable spring outing in the White Mountains was going south quickly and the prospect of spending the night exposed at the timberline, with plummeting temperatures and not much more than some hard cheese and a foil survival blanket was becoming a distinct reality.

The impending sense of panic is familiar to any individual stranded on a windward shore with a gale coming on, disoriented in a maze of bike trails or caught, like Theissen on an exposed ridge with foul weather on the horizon. In many cases, what happens next is the crux moment wherein survival or full blown disaster ensues. In the case of Theissen, survival started with the acronym, S.T.O.P.

Sit … Think …Observe … Plan …Rather than giving in to an all-too-human panic response, Theissen sat, took stock and acted in a way that likely saved his life. What follows is a briefing on what went through his head … it’s a lesson applicable to all hikers, hunters, canoeists and others who find themselves exposed and unprepared in falling or already frigid temperatures.

Shelter / Warmth

In cold temperatures, exposure can kill before anything else has a chance. In Theissen’s case, staying above the timberline was untenable; thus getting below the treeline was his first priority. After that he would need to find or create shelter, and finally (if possible) create warmth.

While it’s beyond the scope of this article to describe shelter making or fire building in detail (shelter can be found in tree wells, in snow caves, and in the hollows of river banks; tinder is less available in winter than summer, none-the-less evergreens will often yield dry needles, pitch impregnated bark can often be sourced and if the snow-pack is not so deep as to disallow it, reserves of dry leaves and grass can be found under trees, rock overhangs and in tree wells), suffice it say that without either, chance of survival diminish.

What Theissen did was find a root cavity that provided both shelter and tinder; he sealed it as completely as possible with packed snow, and insulated himself from the ground using evergreen boughs. He managed to nurse a fire which, while it really never took, provided a certain degree of comfort and localized heat.

Route Finding

There was no way Theissen was going to find his way back to the trailhead in the impending whiteout. And it needs to be stressed; there was NO way he should have tried … even descending to the treeline was a challenge. That said, he was not lost and he had to keep it that way.

Route finding depends on visibility; thus traveling at night, in a white-out or in heavily wooded terrain increases the chances of becoming lost. It’s doubly important in these conditions to think, observe and plan … and to acknowledge that it’s not always prudent to act. It’s often better to stay put than it is to flounder around in unfamiliar terrain risking further disorientation and injury.

By marking his return route to the ridgeline, and traveling only so far as required to ensure shelter, Theissen knew that once visibility returned he would be able to find his way back to the trailhead.

Creating Visibility

If all went well, Theissen would hole up for the night in his makeshift shelter and walk out the following morning. This presumes of course, that he wasn’t lost. If he were, creating the conditions to be found would be his next priority. Experts agree that the three following elements will increase the chances of a rescue party locating a lost hiker…

Visibility – created by smudge fires, markers, signals
Positioning – on ridgelines, open riverbanks, at the treeline
Mobility (or lack thereof) – stationary targets are easier to find

Had Theissen been lost, he would have returned to the ridgeline when conditions allowed, created visibility (stamped a signal in the snow, anchored his foil blanket, built a smudge fire …) and not strayed from the area.


It hardly needs said, that if you’ve got fuel and a means to light it, the ice and snow you’re surrounded with are a viable source of hydration. If not, there are other sources. Depending on how cold it is, flowing water is frequently available under the snow pack in the bottom of creeks and at river bends. Animals and birds will keep patches of swamps and ponds ice-free. In the alpine, solar radiation can be powerful enough to create ice-melt against dark rock faces.


Nutrition can be more difficult, and needs to figure heavily in any self-rescue plan. Cold weather requires more calories from the body and, while it is possible to live weeks without food, hunger is debilitating and lowers the bodies resistance to cold and the ability to cope.

There is good reason why survival literature frequently describes frozen landscapes as arid … there’s not much alive, and there’s not much to eat. As flippant as it seems to say it: getting out sooner than later is a very good idea. Once the situation has stabilized all efforts need to turn towards positioning one’s self to being found or logically and methodically finding one’s way out. One dies of starvation sooner in winter than summer.

As it turns out, the Theissen’s storm passed and by 3am the White’s were lit by a brilliant moon. There was enough light for Theissen to return to the ridge line and find the marked descent by dawn. The previous day he had stupidly decided to ignore his turn-around time. Every decision after that however was the right one, and by early afternoon the following day he was back at his car hungry tired and sheepish…but alive.

The Ultimate Bug Out Bag: How to Make a Flawless 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit that WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE


Disaster can strike at any moment. From earthquakes to virus outbreaks, it’s never expected, it’s never avoidable and it’s always a matter of life or death. Those who have prepared ahead of time have the best chance to make it out of a situation like that unscathed – and to bring their loved ones to safety with them.

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Wise Foods 5 Day Survival Backpack, Camo

5 Day Survival Backpack with food, water, first aid and warmth. 32 Servings of Gourmet Meals. Includes: Apple Cinnamon Cereal, Brown Sugar Cereal, Creamy Pasta, Southwest Beans and Rice, Rice Pilaf and Whey Milk. 5 Water Pouches. Portable Stove Including 24 Fuel Pouches. Stainless Steel Cup, Squeeze flashlight, 5 in 1 Survival Whistle, Waterproof Matches, Mylar Blanket, Emergency Poncho and Playing Cards. 42 Piece First Aid and Hygiene Kit. Includes Bandage Kit, Dust Mask, Pocket Tissues, Wet Naps and a Waste Bag.

Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own

Essential survival advice from the world’s preeminent expert in preparedness

In his earlier bestselling nonfiction book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, James Wesley, Rawles, outlined the foundations for survivalist living.

Now, he details the tools needed to survive anything from a short-term disruption to a long-term, grid-down scenario. Rawles covers tools for every aspect of self sufficient living, including:

• Food Preservation and Cooking

• Welding and Blacksmithing

• Timber, Firewood, and Lumber

• Firefighting
Field-tested and comprehensive, Tools for Survival is certain to become a must-have reference for the burgeoning survivalist/prepper movement.

Praise for James Wesley, Rawles:

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Maxam Survival Knife

Features 1/8 inches thick blade storage compartment in zinc alloy handle that holds bandage, tweezers, safety pin, razor blade, fishing line, pencil, thread, needle, and compass; 7 inches skeletal frame knife with 1-1/2 inches wide blade fits in molded sheath with large knife. Measures 14-1/8 inches overall, with 7-3/4 inches blade. Limited lifetime warranty. Gift boxed.

SE MT908-1 11-Function Survival Pocket Tool

SE is proud to present our 11-Function Survival Pocket Tool—great to use while camping, hiking, trekking, biking, at school, at work, at home, or to keep in your car, purse, backpack, drawer, emergency/survival kits, etc. With so much functionality in one credit card-sized tool, it can be used anywhere, any day.

Features of our 11-Function Survival Pocket Tool include:
(1) Can Opener
(2) Knife Edge
(3) Screwdriver
(4) Ruler
(5) Bottle Cap Opener
(6) 4-Position Wrench
(7) Butterfly Screw Wrench
(8) Saw Blade
(9) Direction Anxillary Wrench
(10) 2-Position Wrench
(11) Keychain Hole
(12) Comes in a leatherette carrying case

Avoid getting counterfeit items. Genuine SE products come with our SE logo on the packaging.

SE is committed to providing the customer with the best source for value possible on the market. You will enjoy the quality, function and usefulness this?11-Function Survival Pocket Tool has to offer.

SE is a registered trademark protected by US Trademark Law.

Survival Kit, KUNGIX Emergency SOS Survive Tool Pack for Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Biking, Climbing, Traveling and Emergency


★ High quality, box with plastic material,shock resistant, resistance to fall.

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★ Flint, Can not be directly ignited, need to dip some water, then wipe and dry immediately ignition. Rain, low temperature, snow can be lit.

★ Pocket folding knife with LED Light,Including six daily Home Furnishing repair tools, a good helper.

Package Included:
1 x Stainless Steel Versatile Tool Card
1 x Fire Starter
1 x Compass
1 x Wire Saw
1 x Emergency Whistle(Color is random between red and silver)
1 x Multifunction Flashlight Pliers(Color is random between red and silver)
1 x Plastic box

SE 8787MS-SP 9-IN-1 Mini Shovel

SE is proud to present our 9-IN-1 Mini Shovel—an ideal tool to use while camping, gardening, working on construction projects, and other various activities.

9 Functions in 1:
6-inch Knife
6-inch Saw
Can Opener
Bottle Opener
Nail Puller
Gut Hook

Additional features include:
1) Overall extended length: 17”
2) Collapsed length: 12-¾”
3) Shovel head dimensions: 4-¾” x 6 ¾”
4) Shovel thickness: 2mm
5) Hardened steel material in black
6) Comfort grip handle
7) Comes with nylon carrying pouch

How to use:
Assemble – Align and slide the tension lock to the side hole.
Disassemble – Press and hold down the tension lock and slide the attachment out.

Avoid getting counterfeit items. Genuine SE products come with our SE logo on the packaging.

SE is committed to providing the customer with the best possible source for value. You will enjoy the quality, function and usefulness this 9-IN-1 Mini Shovel has to offer.

SE is a registered trademark protected by US Trademark Law.

True Utility TU200US 20 Tools in 1 Utility FIXR Pocket Tool

True utility has created a ‘revolution’ in multi-tools…the fixr — it’s 20 tools in 1. The fixr features an easy, portable solution for all of your everyday tools. It’s the perfect tool that does everything for the person who does everything! equipped with a quick release clip, the fixr easily attaches to a key ring or belt loop. A gold plated revolving disc allows tools to be exposed while in use, so they are never in the way when you don’t need them. 20 tools in 1 (quick release clip, bottle opener, cutting blade, pry bar, nail file, box opener, large flat DRIVER, medium flat DRIVER, eyeglass screwdriver, medium PHILLIPS DRIVER, small PHILLIPS DRIVER, bicycle spoke wrench, measuring ruler, 1/4 inch wrench, 5/16 inch wrench, 3/8 inch wrench, 1/2 inch wrench, 9/16 inch wrench) features: fixr is 200 tools in 1 easy to use and portable tools attaches to key ring or belt loop gold plated revolving disc product specifications: manufacturer: true utility.