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Typical Patterns and the Unpredictability of El Niños

It is not difficult to understand an El Niño in theory, but each one plays out in reality with a good deal of variance. Considering that weather itself is generally unpredictable, it is not surprising that forecasting the patterns and potential impact of an El Niño each season is also not an exact science. The

How to Survive with Just a Knife

In the film 127 Hours, Aron, the character played by James Franco, finds himself in a terrible predicament. During a hike in Utah, Aron falls through a shaft, getting his arm wedged in between a boulder and the canyon’s wall. His knife proves to be lifesaving, although the price he has to pay is extreme.

How to Harvest and Store Seeds

In the beloved childhood fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack receives magic beans in exchange for a cow. The beans miraculously grow into a gigantic beanstalk which brings riches to Jack and his mother. Of course, everyone knows that seeds do not produce magical beans in real life, but if you find yourself in a

The Travelers Guide to Emergency Preparedness

The late, great American author and humorist Mark Twain had a unique perspective on the world, including travel. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds

Heating Your Home During an Emergency

If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, you have likely experienced a deep freeze with below zero temperatures this winter. For many, the El Niño warming effect from a few months ago feels like a distant memory. Perhaps you’ve even found yourself daydreaming about moving to a tropical paradise! Wishful thinking aside, have you

Effective Emergency Preparation for Seniors

Many older adults have issues that need to be taken into consideration when implementing an emergency plan. The same basic steps are involved as in family emergency planning, but there are some senior-specific things that need to be addressed. If your parents are elderly or you are a caregiver, you need to handle all of

The Dos and Don’ts of Emergency Food Storage

Many people make common mistakes when storing food for emergency purposes. You can easily avoid these missteps and prepare a well-stocked, durable, and versatile pantry. This starts with an assessment of every family member’s food needs, including sensitivities, allergies, and any health issues that affect diet. Three key elements should be taken into consideration—variety, balance,

How to Recycle Trees for Your Own Use

The holidays are over and you have put away the lights, ornaments, and tinsel until next season. You may live in a community that offers free, curbside Christmas tree pick-up on designated days after the holiday. Your community will chip the trees and put them to use for spring beautification projects or to replenish surfaces

How to Survive a Snowy Winter Night in Your Car

Every winter, thousands of people find themselves stranded while driving in the snow. In December 2000, a man survived 16 days on M&Ms, orange juice, and a quart of water when his car was buried in snow on a back road in Oregon. More recently, a man crashed into a snowy ravine in West Virginia.

How to Involve Your Children in Emergency Planning

It is important to involve children in emergency planning, so that if one occurs, they may be less frightened and can help. A good way to start is to teach your child the difference between an emergency and a problem. Experts suggest telling young children that an emergency is an unusual event that may cause

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