How to Protect Yourself From a Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm Protection

A thunderstorm can be defined as a storm with thunder and lightning. Thunder can be very frightening since it roars very loudly. Thunder and lightning mainly occur during the warmer months during which there is atmosphere instability and there are cumulonimbus cloud formations. They occur when a warm air pocket at the ground level rises to collide with the cooler air above it. Lightning is a fast and strong electricity discharge from a storm to the ground usually originating from clouds. There are a lot of myths accompanying lightning, for example; that the tallest buildings are always struck by lightning. Another myth is that it doesn’t strike the same place twice. Neither of these is true.

Dangers of Thunder and Lightning

When hitting the ground, a single lightning bolt normally carries around 25,000 amps of electrical current. This is around two thousand three hundred times more electrical current than what is used in a washing machine. People prone to strikes are those who spend most of their time outdoors in unsheltered places, for example; golfers, farm workers, or hikers. While the majority of lightning flashes take place and stay bound within a storm cloud, about twenty percent of lightning makes contact with the ground. One should not only be worried about a direct hit, but a strike next to an individual is also worrying since it can be dangerous. Whenever lightning strikes there is a high amount of electricity in the surrounding environment.

How to Protect Yourself from a Thunderstorm

The first strategy in protecting yourself is to be prepared. Doing some research before heading outdoors is the best way to avoid being trapped in a storm. Check the weather in your area or planned destination via a weather app or a newspaper. Before a storm, one should unplug all the electrical appliances such as televisions because lightning sometimes causes power surges. If you are outdoors you should look for shelter as soon as possible to shield yourself from the storm. When there is a thundering roar, you are normally within range of a lightning strike. Even at ten miles distance from a storm’s center, lightning can strike.

What to Do When Staying Inside during a Thunderstorm

While indoors, stay away from windows, doors and skylights as strong winds can break and shatter glasses. In addition, the blinds and drapes of windows and doors should be kept closed. Closing them prevents shattered glass from flying around or blowing in. During a lightning strike, metal pipes conduct lightning. Therefore, it is advisable not to shower, do laundry, and wash your hands or dishes. Furthermore, during thunderstorms do not use cell phones or corded electronics such as computers or phones. Electrical wires are good conductors of lightning.

What to Do if Outside during a Thunderstorm

If you are outdoors, look for shelter as soon as possible. However, if there is no shelter near you, try to keep all electrical and metal devices at least twenty centimeters away from your body. If you are exposed to bare ground, squat close to the ground with your head tucked between your knees and place your hands on your knees. Do not lie on the ground and try not to touch the ground as much as possible. Remember to keep a safe distance away from poles and water and locate an area of open ground that is low lying. Avoid contact with water because water conducts electricity and lightning strikes that hit water that is far away can be dangerous to you if your body is in contact with the same body of water. Low-lying areas are safer as lighting mostly strikes high objects. Furthermore, while sheltering in a tent, one should stay away from metal poles because metal objects attract and conduct lightning. A very safe place to be is in a car, if possible, because lightning will be transmitted all over the metal parts of a vehicle and run to the earth via the tires.

After the storm, broken cables or power lines should be avoided. If a person has been struck by lighting they normally experience severe burns. Also, the strike affects the heart. Therefore, the pulse of the victim must be checked. As soon as a person is struck by lightning, call an emergency number in your country because help is needed as soon as possible. Before approaching the victim make sure there is no risk of you being struck by the lightning or residual electricity.

Where to Find Safe Places during a Thunderstorm

During a thunderstorm, it is more likely that most elevated, pointy objects standing alone in an open ground are highly likely to get struck but this is not a certainty. Sometimes even an open ground next to a tree can be struck. Therefore, the safest places for shelter during a thunderstorm include;

  • A car or any enclosed metal device is the safest place because the electric current travels through the metal and is earthed on the ground.
  • A ditch or a trench can be helpful since these are usually below the ground and it is hard for the lightning to strike these first.
  • A group of shrubs that are of uniform height can be helpful.

Planning Ahead

It is always important to plan, even when there are non-lightning related storm threats. The key is to take action ahead of time while adjusting your daily routines when you hear of potentially frightening weather forecasts. To aid in lessening the risk, these plans can be put into practice:

  • Practical measures such as trimming overhanging branches or removing clutter from downpipes and gutters are some simple tasks that can be performed to prevent anyone at home from harm during stormy conditions. Storm-proofing can make a significant difference between a disaster waiting to happen or peace and safety.
  • If there is a prediction of a severe thunderstorm, you should park your car in a garage where it is protected.
  • Driving during a storm can be dangerous. However, if you are caught in a storm while driving, head for a strong roof area, such as a garage. If there is no available shelter, pull to the side of the road and cover your face with clothing for protection from broken glass.
  • The last, and essential thing to do, is to make sure that all loose items that could blow away are secured before a storm strikes.

Conclusion

A thunderstorm is a combination of both the lightning and the thunder. They can be frightening and even cause death from the lightning. People should always ahead before a storm happens to avoid being trapped in one. However, if a storm is suddenly upon you, you should look for safe places such as in uniform shrubs, inside a car or in a trench. While indoors, you should avoid using electrical appliances and specially coded ones as these all conduct electricity. When outdoors, look for flat, bare ground and squat. Avoid water surfaces as they transmit electrical currents from a far distance.

Wild Edibles: Amaranth Aka Red Root Pig-Weed

Wild Amaranth or Red Root Pigweed

Amaranth, or otherwise known as red root pig weed, is all over the place and is actually a very nutritious plant. You know them all to well if you are a gardener or crop farmer. As gardeners, we tend to fight the so-called weeds in our gardens or crops. Even in our lawns, many spend a lot of time and or chemicals trying to do away with pig weed. Why not just eat it since its edible and nutritious?

What if it were available in the grocery store like lettuce or spinach, or even as a grain or tea, would you feel the same about it? Would you allow them to grow where they are hardy and harvest their nutrition as a new but old food source?

Pig weed is an annual leafy green vegetable that many gardeners try to do away with. This wild edible is a great companion plant, serving as a detour or trap for leaf miners and other pests. The ground beetle is often found under pig weed which preys upon other garden pests. Some farmers grow it even today because of its nutritional value.

Pig weed is generally found in gardens, or cultivated ground.

Flowers/Seeds

The flowers are small, green and arranged into rough spikes at the top of the plant and in the leaf axles lower down the plant.

The seeds of wild amaranth/pig weed are extremely nutritious. I think they are best eaten roasted because I love the nutty flavor they bring when roasted. They are better than adding even sunflower seeds to your salads!

You can ground them to powder and use them as a cereal grain/mush, or you can sprout them and eat the sprouts. I have also added them as a whole grain in breads, and cooked them like oatmeal. It’s like a super nutrition to many people disregard!

Leaves

The leaves grow alternate on the stem. Leaves have long stalks, and range in color from green to reddish green. The single leaf or leaf blade is somewhat shaped like a diamond,with the wider area at the base. The leaves are smooth. The leaf tips have jagged edges like teeth.

The young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or on sandwiches. The flavor is mild, and I find it pairs well with stronger flavors. I often will search for wild leeks or garlic to add to salad or sandwiches alongside my wild amaranth/pig weed. The older leaves are not as tender as the young leaves, and are usually boiled like any other greens such as collard or turnip greens. Again, this is mild in flavor and pairs well with more pungent flavors.

The leaves can also be made into tea, or act as a medicinal treatment.

Roots

I have yet to eat the roots, but talking to some fellow weed eaters, I hear they are edible just as other root veggies are prepared for consumption. I still need a bit of research on the roots before I attempt it myself.

*** Important NOTE:

A caution about wild edibles is that you really need to know your plants before guessing on the ones you can eat. Always talk to a doctor or professional before ingesting wild plants. Always get multiple opinions from experts in the field of wild foraging.

The author of this article is in no way responsible for any negative reactions or occurrences resulting from your use of wild plants. You are encouraged to do your own research and talk to medical professionals before using any wild plants.

Surviving With an Every Day Carry Bag (EDC)

Are you searching for an informative article on what to have in your Every Day Carry Bag (EDC)? If you’re new to prepping or preparing and interested in it, but not confident, one way is by finding out what to carry in your EDC gear bag. Bear in mind that your EDC consists of items that you’ll commit yourself to carry every day. The only time you may not have to carry them on your person is if you’re at home on your bed.

The main reason for carrying your EDC gear bag is to ensure you have some basic resources or tools to help you in case that you’re trapped and unable to get any help, for example, from other people. You may be trapped under a building after an explosion or in a room with an aggressive or hostile person, or if you’re forced to flee to the woods or trapped in a car seat that’s jammed. The EDC bag acts as your survival travel protection, ensuring that you have ready tools to help you survive.

Keep in mind that the items in your EDC gear bag should reflect your situation. For instance, if you or your relatives have medical issues such as acute allergic reactions, diabetes or high blood pressure, make sure you include their medications in your travel protection. In this article, we’ll look at the types of scenarios to consider when preparing your EDC bag and things that you should carry on your person, which can be the difference between life and death.

Remote/Rural EDC. One situation or location that you should consider when preparing your travel protection or EDC is rural or remote areas. The reason is that you may need to protect yourself from wild animals or face the need to identify edible plants.

You may need to cut firewood, find clean water, start a fire or hunt and trap small wild animals for food. You may also need to cook outdoors, protect yourself from extreme weather or navigate a wooden terrain.

Urban EDC. You may be in an urban situation, that when preparing your bag, you need to think about the obstacles that you may come up against. For instance, there may be rioting, looting or dangerous debris on the ground, which means that you should have items for self-defense and first aid care. Bear in mind that urban areas may have many people around which means you need to create a smokeless fire. Another factor to consider is people behaving irrationally or panicking, loose dogs scared by noise, so you need to consider carrying a small baton or pepper spray or a fire arm. In the case of the need to protect yourself from communicable diseases or toxic waste, you also need to take into consideration personal hygiene items.

Recent technological advancements have made phones to be among the standard devices that people carry around. This means that you should make your phone part of your EDC travel things. There’s no way that you can know and memorize every survival procedure and technique. Mobile phones have hundreds of survival apps, which give you detailed information about all kinds of survival situations. These mobile apps have tips on how to survive in extreme weather conditions and how to carry out first aid. You can download apps that update you about the weather, and those that track your journey, which enables you to re-route if you get lost.

Consider finding out which items you can add to your keychain. They can include items such as pliers, a small screwdriver, cutting tools and a mini-flashlight. If you think you will get trapped in the wilderness sitting, consider carrying a waterproof cylinder that has some tinder and fire steel within. You can also consider having a flash or small thumb drive on your keychain, which enables you to keep copies of important documents, contact information or survival e-books. Once you have your keychain and cell phone organized, the next step is to consider other items to carry. Make sure that you feel the bulkiness and weight of your EDC gear bag items since it’s a bag that you’ll be carrying every day.

When preparing your survival travel protection bag consider which discreet items that you can wear every day without attracting too much attention to yourself. Find items such as Paracord as you can use them to replace your shoelaces, tie things up and out of the way and you can also get a paracord bracelet that you can wear on your ankle or wrist covered by your pant leg. Another device that you should consider carrying is a multi-functions watch. Have some safety pins in the sleeves or collars of your shirt, which enables you to use them if you need.

I would also consider carrying items such as your EDC knife, gun, spare ammunition and water purification tablets. The reason is that you may need your weapon or knife when faced with hostile situations. Water tablets can ensure that you purify water for drinking. Also consider the size of the item to add to your gear bag, making sure you factor in their frequency of usage, shape and weight. They will enable you to arrive at the best decision whether to include them or not.

Always carry your EDC travel protection bag to ensure that you carry all the above items at once. Ensure that it’s on your person or close at any given time. Your EDC gear bag should be discreet to avoid drawing too much attention. The bag should be wearable on your back, around your waist and cross body. Types of EDC bags that you should consider are the camera bags, laptop bags and small bags being made for this purpose.

The above informative post about Surviving with an Every Day Carry Bag (EDC) should make it easier for you to consider one together. Make sure you choose one that’s comfortable to wear, one that enables you to carry it at all times. Remember to customize your EDC depending on your situation and specific needs, allowing you to utilize it in any survival crisis.

Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”

Learn Why Smoke Alarms Are Important

Thinking about fire and the havoc it can wreak on homes and families is a devastating thought. Many of choose to ignore the though altogether in an attempt to not have to deal with the coinciding harsh realities of fires within the home. However simply ignoring the topic is one of the worst things you can do. Being informed and prepared in case of a fire within your home can be one of the best ways to ensure the future safety of not only your belongings but your family as well.

Smoke alarms are paramount to the safety of any home and having them installed in the right places and working properly can be the single greatest fire prevention tactic you can use. Following a few simple tips and suggestions when it comes to installation and prevention of smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death in many instances.

The most important tip, and for good reason, is to outfit your home with a number of working and reliable smoke alarms in a number of different places throughout your home. While many people do indeed follow up with the installation, a number of people forget to maintain them or check the batteries to ensure the alarms are working in the way they were intended. I’m sure you have heard all this before, but it simply cannot be said enough; check your smoke alarms regularly. If you are unsure, check them again. The protection smoke alarms can offer your family is immeasurable.

The best places to install smoke alarms are near appliances that can be fire hazards and as close as possible to the areas where you or anyone in your family sleeps. You should have at least one alarm on each floor and preferably one in each bedroom or guest room just to be safe. Some people will argue that smoke alarms are simply not that important. Many people think that they will know if there is a fire and do not need an alarm. This is simply untrue.

Most deaths that are related to fire are caused through smoke inhalation and not actually through burns. By the time you or your family feels the heat or smells the fire, you will already be breathing in smoke. Smoke alarms can warn you and help you get out of the house before the smoke has taken over your room. These extra few minutes can truly make the difference in terms of getting outside and to a safe place before the toxic gases from the fire start to damage your health.

While some people see smoke alarms as a nuisance, there is simply no set value that you can place on you and your family’s safety. Sure it might get annoying to check on the alarms once a month or to turn them off if you happen to burn something, but this is a small price to pay when it comes to a piece of equipment that can save your life.

Keeping A Calm Mind In Times Of Disaster

It is common that during any disaster, be it a massive earthquake or a surging flood, any person would not be able to have the right decision making skills. Combined with the adrenaline rush and the worry of being able to survive takes over a victim’s mind, it is apparent that making decisions, especially those that are crucial to their survival, is a difficult feat. The survival needs of a person depend on the decisions they make during that moment but with everything happening at the same time, can he or she make the right decisions?

For instance, if there was a magnitude 7 or 8 earthquake happening, one would be too scared to decide on what they should do. Should they keep safe under a sturdy table or go out to open ground? For people who know how to work under pressure, they would be able to decide what the better option for them is and it would also be depending on their situation. But for a person who is not, their survival skills may be at best, sloppy or slow.

It is a known fact that something as serious and big as a disaster can jar a person’s ability to make the right decisions especially when he or she is not only dealing with their own life, but others as well. Being panicked is normal but you have to be calm to save yourself and others as well. This turns things into an even bigger thing because you are now responsible for others as well be it your family or your friends.

When you are in a middle of a disaster and can’t decide properly, one thing that you should do is clear your mind first and take deep breaths of air. Calm yourself first because you cannot make right and decent decisions if you are stressed, pressured and in a hurry. Choose your options wisely with a calm and cool mind. If you need help, ask those around you, especially those who can keep a cool mind under duress.

If you do find yourself in a middle of a disaster, remember to never panic. If you are in a state of panic, you might never be able to use your survival tactics when you need it the most. It is normal to become panicky and stressed during a great calamity but keep yourself calm. Being calm and cool during a disaster, earthquake or not, can help you survive and others as well.