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Yesterday at 03:52 PM Puerto Rico - Real Large-Scale Emergency by Pete

The situation in Puerto Rico now ... fits the true definition of a large-scale emergency. Many neighborhoods are flooded with deep water. Streets are blocked. For poor people, their simple houses have waist-deep water throughout the dwelling. The same goes for a lot of local markets. Under these conditions, people will run out of fresh drinking water very quickly. And they cannot use the normal bathroom system. So the hazard of water-borne illness will grow rapidly.

There needs to be a massive airlift to PR. Especially for basic things - water purification and blankets. But that task is not easy for a population over 3 million.

If folks here want to give some thought to "true survival" ... the situation in PR fits the definition.

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09/21/17 10:46 PM Earthquake Early Warning Systems by hikermor


This is a nice summary of the tech involved in earthquake warning systems. Not as much advance notice as one gets for hurricanes, but still way better than nothing....

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09/21/17 06:18 AM PSK Reviews by Burncycle

Doug's site stood out for me by reviewing in detail various commercial PSKs available at the time.

It renewed my penchant for being prepared and sparked my interest in making my own kit, and since I was a poor college kid at the time was a relatively cheap exercise and a lot of fun to do.

This was before the huge survivorman, naked and afraid, man vs wild, dual survival media craze, and the subsequent explosion of available "PSKs" out there. While he's a busy man I hope sometime someone can find the time to compile a new, updated list and present their thoughts in a similar well organized way!

I just went through my old kit and updated some components, swapped out some expired meds, and adding in a fresh pair of backup contact lenses

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09/18/17 03:04 PM Drones, Social Media & Disasters by Dagny

Technological advances since Hurricane Andrew (1992) and Katrina (2005) are being lauded for their performance before, during and after Harvey and Irma this month.

Hurricane Harvey is being hailed as a seminal event in the utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in search, rescue and recovery operations. The Federal Aviation Administration has so far issued more than 250 emergency permits for drone use in Harvey and Irma operations.

Florida Power & Light is using 49 "drone teams" in conjunction with their repair teams. This allows them to assess their transmission lines and other infrastructure in flooded areas where vehicles have been unable to safely go. Drones are being used in Texas and Florida to inspect roadways, bridges and railways. Drones have obvious utility for SAR. Insurance adjusters are finding drones useful for surveying flooded homes. Safer for an adjustor to use a drone to view a roof than to climb up a ladder.

Social media, I can personally attest, was invaluable for keeping in touch with loved ones. And also for assisting from out-of-state. "Zello" -- a phone app -- was made famous by the "Cajun Navy" an all-volunteer rescue effort out of Louisiana. Zello allows your phone to function as a virtual Walkie-Talkie and the Cajun Navy used it for people to report their need and Cajun Navy dispatchers would transmit to boat operators. My family used it for pre-landfall group conversations. Large public Zello groups were formed around Irma. It's a free app and worth checking out.

During Irma's landfall on Naples, the principal apps my brother and I utilized were Messages and RadarScope Pro. Priceless in those hours.

So in addition to the traditional forms of prepping for disasters, thought should be given to the tools that technology is giving us. Will require having backup phone chargers or other source of power.


355 Views · 11 Comments
09/18/17 06:01 AM 1950s Canadian Paranurses by rafowell

I was unaware of the existence of Canadian Paranurses in SAR in the 1950s until this evening.

I found two articles online tonight - this one from March 2017:

An Air Force pioneer: Grace MacEachern, para-belle

And this other one (about 85% of the way down this page on nursing sisters in Canada):

Remembering ... The Para-Belles

There's also this illustrated newspaper article from 1951, but a bit hard to read if you don't sign up for the service: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/7044002/

What led me to these was my signal mirror obsession - one of my searches led to this photo, probably during her training in 1951:

"Pilot Officer Isabelle Thomson, a nursing sister from North Bay, Ontario, and a student of the third peacetime para rescue course in Jasper, Alberta, uses a signal mirror. (DND Archives Photo PL-52552)"

[ The signal mirror appears to be an American ESM/I "cross-in-glass" double-sided tempered glass signal mirror, first issued in 1943, and used by Canadian forces in WW2 ]

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