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National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out Bag

By Off The Grid News Staff – Off The Grid News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The majority of Northern California remained under a flood warning Tuesday as record rains continued, and the National Weather Service even urged residents to gather essential items in the equivalent of a bug-out bag.

More than 14 million people are under a flood warning until Thursday, including the area around the Oroville Dam which experienced a mass evacuation just before Valentine’s Day.

Sacramento has received 26 inches of rain since Oct. 1, double what the city normally gets during the same time, The Sacramento Bee reported. San Francisco has seen 24.38 inches of rain.

With mudslides and floods threatening the region and reservoirs at capacity, the National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a dire warning:  “Gather important items, documents and medications in a ‘go bag’ in case you need to evacuate quickly. Don’t forget to plan for your pets, too. Make sure your vehicles have a full tank of gas.”

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out Bag

More information on what to pack in a Bug Out Bag Here

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How do you survive a flood, mudslides, avalanches, power outages, and gale force winds? You're going to be so disappointed when I tell you the secret.:

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

How do you survive a flood, mudslides, avalanches, power outages, and gale force winds? What about sinkholes and buckling roads?

You’re going to be so disappointed when I tell you the secret.

Because it’s not dramatic. No firearms, carabiners, or specialized equipment were used. I didn’t need to consult my beloved SAS survival manual even once. If it were a movie, you’d fall asleep within 15 minutes.

We just stayed home.

We stayed home because we know that when one disaster happens, others soon follow. In most cases of natural disasters, boring is better.

The atmospheric river that hit California brought numerous disasters.

Residents of California are learning right now that disasters are rarely single events.

People often overlook the fact that catastrophic events are often followed by other dangers. Too often, people relax their guard and focus on the incident at hand, then fall victim to a related event.

Take the massive storms battering California, for example. The state was hit this week by an “atmospheric river.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association defines the phenomenon:

Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the horizontal transport of water vapor outside of the tropics. While ARs come in many shapes and sizes, those that contain the largest amounts of water vapor, the strongest winds, and stall over watersheds vulnerable to flooding, can create extreme rainfall and floods. These events can disrupt travel, induce mud slides, and cause catastrophic damage to life and property.

And boy, are they right about the catastrophic possibilities.

The good news is, for many parts of the state, the drought is over. Lake Tahoe has amassed more than 33.6 billion gallons of water since the first of the year. The Weir Dam in Sacramento had to be opened for the first time in a decade. The state has directed the overflow toward fields to keep cities from flooding.

But this atmospheric river has taken a toll in other ways.

There is massive flooding.

There are mudslides, rock slides, and avalanches.

High winds with gale force gusts have caused downed trees and power lines.

There was even a fluke tornado and a hail storm.

And this doesn’t even take into consideration the blizzard conditions in higher elevations.

The point is, whenever one disaster strikes, you have to think ahead to the ramifications. What is this likely to affect? How could the situation escalate?

Here’s how it went down in my part of California.

As with most storms of this magnitude, we had a warning. A week ahead of time, local news stations urged residents to get prepared for the onslaught.

Many people did, while others blithely went about their day to day lives, not adding anything extra to their supplies. The first couple of days saw an incredible amount of torrential rain. It was an absolute downpour.

Flooding began to occur on the second day. The trees that had been weakened by the 5-year-long drought were most susceptible to the high winds. They began to topple, taking power lines with them in many cases.

The curvy roads cut into the mountains became victim to massive amounts of erosion in the form of mudslides, and in some cases, rockslides. Both major and minor highways had to be repeatedly closed so Cal Trans could remove the debris from the roads.

Flash floods swept over small bridges, sweeping vehicles off with them. Foolish drivers attempted to ford areas where the water was over the road and ended up overturned by the powerful force.

Disasters are rarely just a single event. This storm didn’t begin and end with a flood. It included many other dangers and variables.

The survival plan of my family was not very dramatic.

For us, the storm included a lot of mud, some flooded roads, an issue with our propane tank, and a power outage.

And the solution to all of it was simple.

We stayed home.

We had everything we needed already on hand but added a few no-cook items and some milk before the storm.

We avoided being swept off of a mountain road by a mudslide by not being on them.

We avoided being pulled into a raging river by not driving across it.

Our home is well-positioned on a slope. It is gradual enough to keep the property from being flooded, but not steep enough to be subject to a mudslide.

Some flooding affected our propane tank briefly. We were surprised when we were able to get a service call very quickly, but while the propane was off, we used our wood stove for heat and cooking. We boiled water in an electric kettle while the power was on. No big deal.

Later, when the power went out, we brought in more wood from the shed and continued using our wood stove. We had secondary lighting. We each had a pile of unread books. Our freezer, well pump, and fridge are hooked up to a generator that we ran for a couple of hours as needed. (One reader asked me about the generator. They’re a huge expense, and I never recommend buying them unless you can easily afford it and have all of your other preps in order. In this case, ours came with the rental of our home. Our temperatures are in the 40s, which means it’s too warm to simply move the freezer outside, which was what we did during a lengthy power outage in Canada.)

We had absolutely no reason we needed to leave the house.

Often, the best plan is the simplest. Avoid danger by staying home. If you are new to prepping, you can download a quick-start guide to prepping right here. (It’s free.) If you’re really serious about getting prepped, sign up for the next Prepping Intensive class. (It’s not free, but it’s a reasonably priced 8-week course that will get you ready for anything.)

It isn’t very sexy. It’s not what people think about when they discuss survival. But in most cases, it is the very best way to keep your family safe.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: An Unsexy Survival Plan for California’s Epic Floods, Avalanches, and Mudslides

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

By Suspicious0bservers

Alerts Heighten, Big News Day | S0 News Dec.16.2016

Published on Dec 16, 2016

weather-forecasting

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to cover the weather in this article: how important it is to forecast for bugging out, for your retreat location, and for your operations in a survival scenario.  There is no foolproof method to determine the weather, as it is constantly changing with the introduction of many variables.  You can, however, utilize certain clues in your surroundings as well as arm yourself with knowledge of how the weather works and how to determine changes that are significant for you.

In some of these cases, depending on your locale, determining the weather can be a matter of life or death.  Here in the Rocky Mountains, you need to know when the snowstorms are coming in, as well as the arctic storms and the serious drops in temperature.  If you’re in the outdoors or at home here, you are subject to the temperature and the amount of precipitation and must adjust accordingly either with protective clothing, cessation of travel, or increased measures to protect and heat your home.

Firstly, pick yourself up some kind of reference material on the weather.  Keep it simple and perhaps pocket-sized.  I really like the old “Zim” guides by Herbert S. Zim on a multitude of subjects ranging from weather to fossils.  They’re pocket guides that you can slip into a Ziploc bag to protect that give you information at your fingertips.  Always work from low-tech to high-tech.  Your Garmin or your Internet-connected Cell Phone are paperweights without power or if they are smashed.

6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Forecast the Weather

Cloud reading

This is a great way to determine the changing weather patterns that help you forecast ahead of time.  Usually, you can figure out what is going on about 12-18 hours out, or longer.  When clouds clump, the weather will dump.  An increase in cloud size and thickness usually mean the weather is heading south.  Know your types of clouds, as follows:

Cirrus: long, high swirls, usually indicators of fairly good weather.

Cumulus:  these are the puffed-up “cotton-ball” types of clouds.  These when gray (especially in the morning) usually herald a rainstorm.  When they form an “anvil” with a flattened bottom, they have changed/denigrated into cumulonimbus clouds, and this means heavy rain with electrical discharges (lightning), and sometimes hail.

Stratus: these have no true top or base, and are unformed layers.  These clouds are usually precursors to activity within 24-48 hours, with their graying and massing being late indicators that they are ready to dump some rain or precipitation on you.

The faster the cloud movements across the sky, the greater the change in the wind velocity, usually followed by a change in barometric pressure.  Factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind are heavily affected and influenced by the sun.  Air rises in the mornings and falls at night.  The ground is heated up, and the heat rises, as the cooler air stays closer to the earth when the sun departs.  Terrain is a major part of this, as mountains will block or impede air flow, and valleys will hold on to moisture and cold air a lot more readily.  Elevation is another big factor, as the temperature of the air decreases by 5.5 degrees for every thousand feet of elevation.

There are some tools you can pick up to help you.  An anemometer measures wind speed.  It is a four-tined device shaped akin to an “x” with equal parts with cups attached to the ends.  As the wind blows, the anemometer measures the speed of the wind.  The person recording should continuously note steady wind speed as opposed to gusts, that occur less frequently.

Another good tool is a barometer, that measures the change in air pressure.  You may have to search a little to find a good one that is not computerized.  Mine was made in West Germany (yeah, it’s that old!) with a little needle you can adjust to mark where the air pressure is, and then (with time’s passage) to see whether the pressure is rising or falling.  I stress once again, pick up a model with glass and brass and the needles…no batteries required.

A good sturdy thermometer is also a useful tool to have.  Most are “El Cheapo” Chinese-made pieces of junk.  There are good ones to be found in scientific supply companies.  Anything made by the Germans or Japanese are usually top-flight.  Compact, sturdy, and legible are the qualities you’re looking for.

Let’s also explore some other methods to forecast what will occur that are indicators of the natural world.  Here’s a few:

Mosquitoes, No-see-um’s, and Black Flies

These guys really bug you, no pun intended, to their maximum potential about 12 hours before a major storm…and they’ll hightail about an hour before the storm hits.  Yes, it works.  You don’t know when it’s coming, but they do, and by watching them…you’ll know.

The Cricket

Yes, they’re a pain in the backside when you’re trying to sleep, but you can determine the temperature from them.  The number of chirps by a cricket over 14 seconds, you add the number 40 to it.  Say the cricket chirps 40 times in 14 seconds, then add 40 to that, and the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is accurate to within 1-2 degrees most of the time.

Your Campfire

If the campfire’s smoke is sort of akin to a fog…close to the ground and oozing away toward the rest of the woods?  This indicates the potential for rain, because there is a low-pressure system in your area.  If the smoke rises straight into the air, it’s high-pressure that is in your area, and the weather will most likely be good.

Frogs

In the spring and summertime, the increased sounds of frogs singing indicates an increased humidity…just prior to the weather heading south.  As the low-pressure system moves in, the humidity in the air increases and allows these guys to stay out of the water longer (they breathe through their skin).

Animals and Birds

Sense the approach of storms and (with the former) usually seek shelter out of open areas, or (with the latter) fly to a safer position, such as a tree branch or a niche in the rocks or cliffs.

We haven’t delved into the tactical considerations for knowing the weather.  That will be covered in a future article, as it is beyond the scope of what you need for an introduction.  Wind, temperature, humidity, and altitude are the factors for consideration when you’re shooting, specifically, when distance shooting for accuracy.  All of these factors influence, or are influenced by the weather.

So, in conclusion, we have covered some basics to start you with weather forecasting.  Whether you’re in a field environment in a backpacking or camping mode, or just trying to figure out whether you can repair the shingles on your barn before the rain hits, it is important to gauge what you see and compare it to what will be.  All comments and information you may wish to share are welcomed and encouraged.

JJ

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: 6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Predict the Weather

 About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

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By Kristina Pydynowski – AccuWeather

The coldest and most far-reaching arctic blast so far this season will spread across the majority of the contiguous United States next week.

Frigid air from the depths of the Arctic will plunge into the United States as the jet stream (a fast-river of air along which storms travel) drops southward.

The coldest days of next week will yield highs and lows of generally 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal from the Northwest and Rockies to the Gulf and East coasts.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Polar Plunge to Grip Majority of Contiguous US Next Week

By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 7, 2016

By  – AccuWeather

Dangerous Hurricane Matthew will bring great risk to lives and property from Haiti and Cuba to the Bahamas this week.

Matthew will continue to weave a general northward path around the large islands of the northern Caribbean through Wednesday.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Powerful Hurricane Matthew to Unleash Life-Threatening Flooding in Haiti, Cuba and Bahamas

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