Forecasting

Forecasting

Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and analysis of trends. 

As kids we would regularly check the surf report for information regarding the current scene at whatever beach we were planning to go to. The goal was to get the best, most current information available so we would know where the best surf was at.

A small but crucial portion of the information provided was wave measurement and quality. An example would be “Sunset Cliffs - 2-3 feet, knee to waist high, fair to poor conditions”. This information would tell us that going to this location on this day would probably result in a poor surfing experience, so go elsewhere or stay home.

There was also additional information that would increase one’s awareness of the scene, such as: “Large cracks are beginning to appear at Sunset Cliffs, so please exercise caution if in the area.” This information could prove to be invaluable if you surf or buy real estate. Being aware of the forecast can enhance your daily living and save you from disaster.

The world is changing rapidly and staying current can take a considerable chunk out of your day, so we usually opt to focus on areas of interest that we share around the watercooler. Because of the volatile nature of some of the currents, such as politics or religion, we either keep our awareness to ourselves or bypass information collection all together.

What happens over time is that we lose awareness of these topics of volatile nature and create a comfortable cocoon which insulates us from minor shifts and awkward situations. This is a great tactic for getting along with the day and not worrying about tomorrow, but it can be folly if you ignore an approaching storm.

Another ill-advised tactic is to siphon off someone else’s perspectives and adopt them as your own because they make sense with your worldview. This is lazy, potentially dangerous, and can lead down some crazy rabbit holes.

Being aware of a storm is not the same as being prepared for the storm…but both require accurate forecasting.

Give yourself 5 minutes a day and check out the geopolitical, national, or domestic scene. Inform yourself of what is occurring in other locations and you will broaden your awareness and expectations of what happens during a storm.

Don’t be storm focused, be storm aware.

Storms happen…ride’m!

Stormwatch

Stormwatch

The horizon is dark & cloudy. Rumblings warn of approaching storms. It is time to be ready. 

Look at how animals react to an approaching storm. They seek shelter and live off their stores. Domesticated animals don't have the same reaction because they have been taught to rely upon the systems we've created; we feed, shelter and protect them. If they are caught in a bad storm, their chances of survival go way down.

I attended a preparedness symposium sponsored by NPR and the attendees were all the big players: Red Cross, the utility companies, state officials, local law enforcement, EMS... The bottom line was that the systems we rely upon are not prepared for a catastrophic or even large scale incident. The first reaction of the governing bodies would not be to save or assist you, but to salvage the machine; the communication & transportation lines, hospitals and government buildings, etc.. 

Their advice to the populace was be prepared. Not for a 72 hour hiccup in services, but for a protracted event where the cavalry would not arrive for weeks or months. 

While the politicians are raking in votes promising to protect, their subordinates who run the systems are telling us to take care of ourselves. You will be left to your own devices. In the aftermath of a storm, the politicians will speak about preventable tragedies, point the blame at others, and fly off to their next speaking engagement. While you are left to pick up the pieces.

Wild turkeys are very smart creatures. Once domesticated however, they rely upon the man for everything. They can't even fly very well. Wild turkeys are excellent flyers and perch in high places out of danger. Domesticated turkeys instinctively try, but they don't fly very well or far, because they're too fat.

While turkeys don't literally drown in the rain, they do become so domesticated that self preservation and familial responsibility fly the coop. Young turkeys are covered with down instead of feathers which make them quite vulnerable to weather. In the wild, the mother hen will quickly respond to an approaching storm and hustle the chicks out of harms way. But the domesticated turkey, having been rendered spineless by generations of relying upon their systems, fail to do so.

You can lose a generation in a storm if the system fails and you're counting on someone else.

Be ready for the storms.

 

Cascadia Rising

Cascadia Rising

The very real scenario of the coastal NW being plunged into darkness, cut off from supplies, and left to fend for themselves is being explored with Cascadia RIsing. 

Cascadia Rising is a joint intergovernmental exercise of 20,000 personnel that tests the readiness and response of US government, National Guard, military, state and local emergency leaders. The scenario is based on the real potential of a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that would literally take out the NW coast, this can include or even originate from the California region.

The stated goal of this exercise is to gauge responses, minimize loss of life and property. With a force of 20,000 personnel for a population of 7.2 million, the response will be sadly wanting. FEMA has sent Portable Disaster Morgues to the most impacted states in preparation for this event.

Although the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600 mile fault that runs from northern California to British Columbia, the awareness that faults such as the San Andreas or Hayward fault could trigger or respond to the CSZ is obvious, since these faults don't follow our maps and geographic boundary lines. The resulting devastation and migration would overwhelm services, EMS, etc... with the big picture being the crippling of trade, military readiness, communication and transportation. 

A logical end conclusion of this type of devastation could be martial law to control rampant looting and crime. Rationing, quotas and scarcity would be the norm in the former land of plenty.

When an event like this occurs, the governing power has a responsibility to make sure it can continue to function. Think of an airplane disaster where the oxygen masks drop down; you secure your oxygen first, before aiding your child or anyone else. 

So the first goal will not be search and rescue, extinguishing fires, stopping floods, or finding lost loved ones. Instead, surveying the damage and performing triage to the most important and sensitive areas that would threaten the continued functionality of the government: reestablishing communication, transportation, role call and accountability, the goal being to gain some semblance of control over the situation. 

Translation: If a federal building is burning while your home is burning, resources will be sent to save the federal building.

Bottom line: You'll be on your own for quite some time. 

This would be a very big storm. If something of this magnitude occurs, you will either be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

How do you want to ride this storm?

Prepare.

New Friends

New Friends

(Using their nom de guerre) Enola Gay, Sir Knight, and family invited me up to their place. They live off grid, and have refined their lifestyle into an art form.

They enjoy modern conveniences, but are not tied to them. Case in point the recent windstorm that knocked out much of the region:

While many had to grapple with no heat, they were cozy with their wood cook oven (this contraption is a beast and would heat a warehouse).

While many had to no power, their solar array provided them with more juice than they could use (and the lack of regional utilized bandwidth allowed them envious access to the net!).

While many worried about food, water, and other necessities that we don’t think about till we’re without, they worried about neighbors and friends and how they would assist. (Prov 6:6)

They get it, they got it, they’re good.

In an age concerned with diversity, these wonderful folks were the epitome of diverse living. While many of us live in our cookie cut neighborhoods and convenience stores, they are choosing an alternative way of life that will enable them to sustain and thrive during any storm.

Thank you Enola Gay & Sir Knight for a wonderful day!

Check out Enola’s blog at: http://paratusfamiliablog.com/

Watching a Collapse

Watching a Collapse

The mayor of Chacao in Venezuela’s capital Caracas has warned that Caribbean islands and Colombia may suffer an influx of refugees from Venezuela if food shortages continue in the country. 

Español Ramón Muchacho said that people have been reduced to hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food. “As hunger deepens, we could see more Venezuelans fleeing by land or sea to an island,” Muchacho said.

Venezuela saw a new wave of looting last week that resulted in at least two deaths, countless wounded, and millions of dollars in losses and damages, as desperation sets in among hungry residents and the country appears to be on the verge of complete collapse and chaos.

Panampost reported that last Wednesday morning a crowd ransacked a supermarket in the central region of Venezuela. People from across the entire state came to the supermarket because there were rumours that some products not found anywhere else would be sold there. Authorities were unable to control the massive crowd.

“There were 250 people for each National Guard officer… lots of people and few soldiers. At least one officer was beat up because he tried to stop the crowd,” another source told El Estímulo.

Other food outlets run by the government were also looted by the people.

Over the last two weeks, several provinces have seen looting in pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets, and food delivery trucks. In several markets, shouts of “we are hungry!” were heard.

On April 27, the Venezuelan Chamber of Food (Cavidea) reported that the country’s food producers only had 15 days left of inventory.

Oscar Meza, director of the Documentation Center for Social Analysis (Cendas-FVM), said that measurements of scarcity and inflation in May are going to be the worst to date.

“We are officially declaring May as the month that [widespread] hunger began in Venezuela,” he told Web Noticias Venezuela. “As for March, there was an increase in yearly prices due to inflation — a 582.9 percent increase for food, while the level of scarcity of basic products remains at 41.37 percent.”

Meza said the trigger for the crisis is shortage of bread and other foods derived from wheat.

Meanwhile, as protests rocked Caracas on Saturday and civil war appeared all but inevitable, opposition factions are vying to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who has blamed the United States for the unrest in his country.

Addressing the nation on Friday, Maduro declared a “constitutional state of emergency … to tend to our country and more importantly to prepare to denounce, neutralize and overcome the external and foreign aggressions against our country.”

He also called for military exercises to take place next weekend to prepare for “any scenario”, including a foreign invasion.

Thanx to the Curacao Chronicle for the info.

While hunger is the focus of this article, Venezuela has been experiencing scarcity of everything from toilet paper to electricity to fuel. Pressure is building. 

Watch and learn, so if a storm like this occurs, you'll be able to ride it.

 

South of the Border

South of the Border

Politics aside, what would be the American response if a natural disaster hit Mexico?

About 50 miles southeast of Mexico City, Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano (poe poe cat u petal) stirred from its slumber and announced its presence; this has been occurring since mid-April of 2016.

The eruption climbed up over 6500 ft. and spewed lava, rocks, and clouds of ash into the sky.

Popocatepetl is Aztec, and translates to smoking mountain.

Popocatepetl had been mostly dormant till 1994, since then it has become one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes. Situated 50 miles from the most populated metropolises in the western hemisphere, this volcano could pose as a serious threat to the 25 million people who live in the region, as well as the ripple effect it would cause globally.

Some questions to ask:

Imagine what the human response would be if Popo popped?

The United States infrastructure could not handle a disaster of this magnitude, how well could Mexico’s?

Millions would flee… where?

In a region already plagued with corruption and crime, what would become of the remaining law & order? How would the world respond to this power vacuum?

The world can’t effectively deal with Syria’s refugee problem, what would happen if this dilemma became exponential?

This post is not to spread alarmist fear or conspiracy tangents, but instead to serve as a tool to stay informed of the world around you... to be aware of potential storms. 

Ride'em!

Determination

Determination

In autumn the tern leaves its home in the Arctic Circle and begins its journey to the opposite end of the planet. It covers a distance of 22,000 miles. Considering all side trips for food and shelter the actual number is greater.

The Arctic tern completes this enormous task by concentrating on smaller, achievable goals. Each day it covers approximately 150 miles, and in doing so, flies around the world in 20 weeks.

Think of the tern, or eating an elephant for all I care, but remember that its possible to surmount the impossible by breaking it up into manageable steps; and that you can accomplish a lot more than a bird.

 

Value

Val·ue

1. the importance, worth, or usefulness of something; the regard that something is held to deserve

2. a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life

I was talking with an uncle about value vs. cost and he educated me on an aspect that enlightened me, “I spent about 10 years doing market research business consulting, and then 10 years with Visa International, ending up as VP (Ret.), Risk Management, and I know the real money is meeting real peoples' wants, not just the lowest price.  Someone can always price lower, but they can't necessarily deliver value, and in the end that's what they need.  Especially when the value is right now, when your boat is sinking!”

If it does not meet our standards, it does not belong in a Stormrider system. Your life may depend on what you have.

Allow me to illustrate.

The Suntactics S8 is an integral part of the Brick design for several reasons: quality, ruggedness, functionality, and ease of use. There are many solar panels on the market today, but the reason the S8 is part of the Stormrider Brick Systems is that it not only meets this criteria, it excels.

Let’s take each of the 4 points above and demonstrate.

Quality over the other products is the main reason I was first attracted to the S8, watch it take on the competition: 

Ruggedness and the ability to endure not only the elements, but also misadventure: 

Functionality is key to any piece of quality gear. If it does not perform the way you want, why do you have it? 

Ease of use… there is not a whole lot to show, find a sunny spot, plug in your devices, and soak up the rays! It takes less time than putting on pants. (yes, we timed it… no, we’re not gonna show it!)

Let it Snow

Let it Snow

The most powerful and modern spot on earth just got put in a holding pattern because nature caught a cold and sneezed.

The East Coast is immobilized, not by arguing officials, but by Mother Nature. She recently dumped a metric crap ton of snow on our nation’s capital which resulted in travel bans and shelter in-place warnings. Look at this view from Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD. 

Why we need "power" in a crisis...

Why we need "power" in a crisis...

A wind storm drove through our city during the winter. The temperature was below freezing and much of the city was without power and water. Fallen trees had knocked over power lines, and the utility boys could not keep up with the demand. Grocery stores were closed, schools were closed, and services had exceeded their capabilities; several people lost their lives during the storm. Our city was groaning under the pressure, and priorities switched from keeping folks happy, to keeping them alive....

The Storm and the Rider

The Storm and the Rider

A storm is anything bad and unexpected that throws normal life off kilter and forces you to adapt & overcome or suffer the consequences for failure.

 Webster defines a storm as such:

1. A disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting by extreme winds of unusual force, rain, snow, hail, thunder, lightning, sand or dust.

2. A violent disturbance of affairs, as a civil, political, social or domestic commotion.

 Everyone gets to grapple with a storm during their lifetime. It is part of the programming of the universe. (This is a guess on my part, because I didn’t get a brochure on what to expect when I was born; but I’m pretty sure I’m not far off the mark.)

 If you’re driving and suddenly lose control, this is a violent disturbance of your affairs; a domestic commotion. The same applies when lil Timmy comes through the door bleeding profusely, or when the power gets knocked out by wind or weather.

 Here is a short, incomplete list of storms that are very real to somebody on this planet right now: war, earthquake, tsunami, terror, blackout, being stranded, injured loved ones, homelessness… what do these folks do when the convenience of calling for help is gone?

 Many flee to safety, most rely upon the systems their society has put in place. This is an unfortunate gamble if the systems they rely upon are overtaxed or no longer functional. Lesson: Don’t rely entirely on the system.

 Knowing how to keep your wits and what to do in these situations can make you the hero. Relying on the assumption that everything will work out because help is only a phone call away is gambling on the system and can make you a zero.

When the suck meter is pegged and you’re trying to keep your head while those around are losing theirs, a window of opportunity opens. How you are educated and equipped can make the difference between successfully riding out a storm, or being swept away, failing, helpless and hurt.

Since storms are occasional and oftentimes rare, we don’t spend a whole lot of brainpower preparing for the next one. These things happen to others. I've heard of folks who only watch the news so they can see other people’s misery from the safety of their living room. Twisted…but true.

When an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or war happen to us, we hurriedly think through our previous, dusty preparations and hope that they will be enough this time; if we live through this one, we promise ourselves to do better next time.

There are some basic skills and character traits that can put you ahead of the pack during a crisis. By increasing your knowledge and refining your attitudes you increase the odds that you’ll ride out a storm successfully.

Resilience, creativity, basic medical skills, and some tools that will help in these situations will put you a good position to perform at your best when the worst occurs.

We want to equip you with the tools, knowledge and skills that may not be used daily, but when they are needed, will allow you to be a storm rider.

 

 

Be You

Be You

Be the best you in an emergency. An emergency requires the best we’ve got to give. What does your best you look like to you?