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Bill Gates: The Threat Of A “Disease X” Global Pandemic Is “Very Real”

When it comes to global health policy, Bill Gates has never been known for subtlety. So it’s hardly surprising that his charitable foundation’s latest report on the greatest challenges facing mankind might make some readers want to lock themselves in an indefinite quarantine.

Gates

Readers familiar with Gates’ previous warnings about the rising risk of a global pandemic will recognize the top three risks: antibiotic resistance, governmental reluctance to fund health-care solutions and the next global contagion. The latter risk factor has become so universally feared by health professionals that the World Health Organization already has a name for it: “Disease X”. The likelihood of an explosive global pandemic breaking out in the relatively near future increases along with the population in the world’s poorest countries, which are presently experiencing explosive population growth even as birth rates in the developed world plummet. And if the world’s wealthiest countries don’t invest resources to combat these issues in Africa, South America and Asia now, it will be infinitely more expensive grappling with the consequences on the back-end, as Gates explained in an interview with the Telegraph.

“We are not fully prepared for the next global pandemic,” he says. “The threat of the unknown pathogen – highly-contagious, lethal, fast-moving – is real. It could be a mutated flu strain or something else entirely. The Swine Flu and 2014 Ebola outbreaks underscored the threat.”

The risks associated with the population boom in the poorest countries in Africa has long been treated as “the elephant in the room” by global policy makers. Even if one sets aside the risk of disease, the developing world must step up to monitor the economic impacts of rapidly increasing populations, confronting issues like political instability to ensure that the expansion will yield unbridled growth like similar periods in China and India.

According to demographers projections, the population of Africa is set to explode to 4 billion by the end of the century.

Population

While the story includes few references to world leaders, Gates paused to praise UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her recent tour of Africa, during which she re-committed to UK aide spending…

Gates commends Theresa May’s recent Africa tour where she recommitted to Britain’s aid spending target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income. He says he has attempted to meet with Jeremy Corbyn, although so far failed, due to a schedule clash.

…And tried what looked to be her first attempt at dancing.

Embedded video

Moving on from this talk of global pandemics, Gates spared a few moment to opine on how governments should approach social media. And in his view, they should step up and regulate it with a heavy hand.

“They will step up in a pretty strong way to all those things. People who are super-successful need to be held to a very high standard. Some of that will lead to a very unfair personalisation as though these mistakes are somehow down to flaws in Mark’s character, or something like that. Mark knows he is in a position of responsibility and is trying to learn about this stuff.”

We imagine Mark Zuckerberg will be thrilled to hear that.

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Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Parents

Carolyn Miles, president & CEO of Save the Children, and Erin Taylor, Save the Children staffer, meet with children and families at a mega-shelter in Houston, Texas. Photo Credit: Susan Warner/Save the Children 2017.

Hurricanes – and their aftermath – can be especially scary for little kids. Did you know there are simple things you can do to reduce the toll a hurricane can take on your family? Here are top hurricane survival tips from Save the Children’s emergency experts on how you can protect your children from distress during and after disasters.

Preparing For a Hurricane

  • Talk to your children about hurricanes. Explain to your child what could happen in the event of a hurricane, using simple, age-appropriate words. Outline an emergency plan for the whole family, with an evacuation plan and meeting location and emphasize that their safety is your utmost priority.
  • Practice evacuation drills. Once you’ve created your evacuation plan and talked with your children about it, it’s time to practice. Be sure to run through different scenarios – at home, at school and at other places you visit often (like a grandparent’s house, or a second home). When planning your evacuation route, remember that bridges may be washed out, and low-lying areas may be flooded.
  • Learn your child’s school or daycare disaster plans. If your child attends school, daycare or an after-school program, ask for the facility’s emergency plan in the event of a hurricane. Learn their procedures for evacuation, notifying parents and if there is an alternate pick up location.
  • Stay informed. Use a NOAA Weather Radio or listen to a local station on a portable, battery-powered radio or television. Be ready to act if a Hurricane Warning is issued. Know the differences between a Hurricane Watch and Warning:
    • A hurricane watch – there’s a threat of hurricane/tropical storm conditions within 48 hours.
    • A hurricane warning – a hurricane/tropical storm is expected in 36 hours or less.
    • A tropical storm/hurricane statement is issued every 2-3 hours by your local National Weather Service (NWS) office. It will summarize all of the watches and warnings, evacuation info and most immediate threats to the area.
  • Pack a Go-Bag for each child. Every member of the family should have a Go-Bag packed and ready. Include basic hygiene items, a few changes of clothes, a notebook and games and any medications necessary. Does your child need a special blanket or stuffed animal? Children’s security can be tied to the simplest of items. Empower your child and ask them what they’d like to include.
  • Create an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card for your child in case they are separated from you. Use this valuable template or create your own. It should have the child’s name and at least three emergency contacts, including one person who is outside the affected area.

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HelpingWater Water Purifiers Flying out to Puerto Rico thanks to Fast Fres Oquendo’s Humanitarian group.

HelpingWater.org wants to give our many thanks to this amazing organization and all their support to help all those affected by hurricane devastation.  It has taken months for the island to begin repairs on the electrical grid, and water distribution system.  HelpingWater.org along with other supporters are helping to supply more than 1000 water filtration systems to the people of Puerto Rico that are still in need.  Every effort and dollar counts in this effort.  If you are interested in helping or just simply donating to the help, please contact Fast Fres Quendo’s group or you can donate for humanitarian efforts through our site.  100% of every dollar donated goes to direct cost of a water filter system for the needy, since we are both the manufacturer, distribution, and facilitator for these projects.

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Clarity of Mind and Survival- Part 2, by The Recovering Feminist

This is the second part of an article that focuses on the reality of forgiveness in a person’s survival mindset. It is not approached from a psychological perspective but recognizes that having a clear and sharp mind is critical not only for making good survival decisions but for making good decisions in general. In part one, we covered how forgiveness is essential to survival, vengeance v. mercy, and the sexual assault epidemic, including the harm of the “me too” trend. Let’s continue on.

Confront Evil

Some of the worst acts of betrayal happen to those in positions of vulnerability who feel helpless under the influence and power of evil men. We must be willing to listen carefully to the hurts of others and not be afraid to speak truth to both the victim and the offender. I am aware of a particular woman who was sexually assaulted by two medical … Continue reading

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Clarity of Mind and Survival- Part 1, by The Recovering Feminist

Survival and a Clear Mind

Survival necessitates recognition of both outer and inner realities, both material and immaterial truth. We tend to think externally about survival. For instance, we think of addressing food storage, first-aid, efficiency, self defense, physical preparations, et cetera, but we fail to realize that all of these decisions are influenced first by a clear and sharp mind. We all have an inner life. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the inner life affects every decision we make. Harboring bitterness over past scorn or wallowing in the life experience of betrayal influences a person’s clarity of mind. Likewise, the mind of an offender consumed with guilt and refusing to yield to the mercy of forgiveness is equally affected.

A clear conscience and a sharp mind produce the best decisions. When pressures mount and survival is at stake, these two (clear conscience and sharp thinking) are crucial. A … Continue reading

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Puerto Rico’s water woes raise fears of health crisis six weeks after Hurricane Maria

Oren Dorell and Atabey Nuñez, USA TODAY Published 6:05 a.m. ET Nov. 2, 2017 | Updated 5:08 p.m. ET Nov. 2, 2017

LOIZA, Puerto Rico — Massive damage to Puerto Rico’s water system from Hurricane Maria poses a looming health crisis for island residents exposed to contaminated water, health workers and environmentalists warn.

Doctors and nurses who traveled to Puerto Rico since the hurricane hit Sept. 20 said they treated widespread symptoms related to unclean water, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to conjunctivitis (pink eye), scabies and asthma. At least 74 suspected cases of leptospirosis, a dangerous bacteria, have been reported, including two deaths.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it is conducting ongoing tests on suspected leptospirosis samples.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s office said 82% of the island’s water meters are now active, but many residents say they still have no running water or the water they have is unsafe.

Many people are still collecting water from mountain springs and creeks that run alongside roads. Some know they should boil this water, and others don’t.

Puerto Rico health officials did not comment about the water and health problems.

Morovis Mayor Carmen Maldonado said that despite the governor’s claims, none of the 13 neighborhoods in her city has water service, and the water utility known as AAA is not doing enough to provide it.

“The humanitarian crisis that so many speak of is what we are living daily in Morovis, while the AAA refuses to look for alternatives,” Maldonado said in a statement.

“We’re worried that in places even that have running water whether that water is safe,” said Erik Olson, health program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

His group reported in May that Puerto Rico’s water system had the worst record under the Safe Water Act, with 70% of the people living with water that violated standards set by the U.S. law.

And now the situation is worse, Olson said.

“The drinking water system in Puerto Rico was already very fragile,” Olson said. “When you lose water pressure, what can happen is if there’s groundwater contamination with sewage or flooding, that water can get into those pipes.”

In the coastal municipality of Loiza, 20 miles east of the capital San Juan, municipal officials are providing water to 29,000 residents with tanker trucks and going house-to-house with bottled water, said Israel Morales Alicea, the town’s communications adviser.

Alicea said he is not worried about a health crisis because with each delivery, municipal workers emphasize the importance of drinking bottled water.

Iricelis Ortiz, 42, said municipal officials have yet to pass through her neighborhood, so residents organized a committee to ask the city for what they need.

Ortiz worries that the bad-tasting, blue-colored water that runs in her pipes is unsafe. She and her aunt use it only to clean clothes and dishes, and to shower. They had tried boiling it, but “it tasted weird,” Ortiz said.

Bottled water can be hard to find and gets expensive, said her aunt, Maria Ortiz, 66. “If you are lucky to find some, a pack of 24 water bottles that used to be $3.99 now is about $7.50,” she said.

Medical workers who volunteered across the island report similar patterns of symptoms almost everywhere.

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen a continuous stream of adult and pediatric patients with gastrointestinal illness, most often involving fever, vomiting and diarrhea,” said Christopher Tedeschi, an emergency medicine physician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, who returned last Thursday from Puerto Rico. “It’s hard to say the source — or more likely sources — of the illness, although contaminated food and water are very likely.”

Tedeschi said his team treated more than 1,000 patients in the town of Manatí, 30 miles west of the capital. They also met with dozens of residents who either didn’t have access to clean water or weren’t sure if their water was safe.

“While boiling is an easy way to decontaminate water, most people I spoke to either didn’t (have) electricity or cooking gas to get that done,” he said.

Llamara Padró, a nurse at New York’s Upstate University Hospital, who volunteered with a group of 40 nurses organized by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said they treated people with gastrointestinal symptoms and conjunctivitis. They also saw patients with scabies and asthma, which she suspected was related to sleeping in damp, moldy houses with damaged roofs.

“It’s right now a public health crisis,” said Padró, whose group worked in more than a dozen communities across Puerto Rico.

“They have no electricity, have no way of purifying water,” Padró said. “People are using PVC pipes and collecting water that is contaminated by dead animals, sewage and leptospirosis that comes from rat feces.”

The teachers’ union has raised more than $300,000 to send thousands of household gravity-operated water filters and a few larger filtration pumps that run on electricity to the island. But AFT President Randi Weingarten said the effort is no substitute for a coordinated federal response.

Alicia Schwartz, a home-care nurse in New York City, described treating people with a fungus on their skin from sleeping in moldy conditions.

In the town of Orocovis, Schwartz said her group saw a resident whose uncle died from leptospirosis after collecting water from a mountain stream.

“They learned their lesson. They stopped” using water from the stream, she said.

But many others continue.

“That day we were visiting that town we had to stop numerous times, because people were collecting water from the streams on the side of the road,” she said.

Read the entire story

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Water for the Less Fortunate

Every day, more than 1,400 kids under the age of 5 die from water-related illnesses.  We can make a change.

Just imagine if one day you went to your faucet and not only you had no water. Now let’s assume the closest water you had access to was down at your local river or pond it was full of bacteria and heavy metals from everyone else contaminating it from washing, dumping garbage, and run off from local farms.

Now, Imagine giving that water to your kids.

Our In-Case Systems Helping people in Puerto Rico after the hurricane
Our In-Case Systems Helping people in Puerto Rico after the hurricane

While this might seem unimaginable to us.  750 million people in developing countries live like this everyday.

We can make a difference in the global water crisis. Not only do we donate to humanitarian, disaster relief, and missionary groups, we require funding to make this happen.  Missionary groups purchase our systems and take them to the need directly.  Our ministry to make water sources of the developing world safe and disease free.

How you can help.

Purchasing our proven systems and either taking them to the need directly, or donating to our humanitarian effort and we get the water purification systems to those who need them most.

100% of the money we raise will go directly water project costs, funding long-lasting clean water solutions for people in need. When the projects are finished, helpingwater.org: will show you the exact communities we’ve helped using photos and GPS coordinates.

Please join us and give the gift of clean water!

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Colds vs. Flus

When you wake up sneezing, coughing, and have that achy, feverish, can’t move a muscle feeling, how do you know whether you have cold symptoms or the flu?

It’s important to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms. A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations.

What are common cold symptoms?

Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat, which usually goes away after a day or two. Nasal symptoms, runny nose, and congestion follow, along with a cough by the fourth and fifth days. Fever is uncommon in adults, but a slight fever is possible. Children are more likely to have a fever with a cold.

With cold symptoms, the nose teems with watery nasal secretions for the first few days. Later, these become thicker and darker. Dark mucus is natural and does not usually mean you have developed a bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection.

Several hundred different viruses may cause your cold symptoms.

How long do cold symptoms last?

Cold symptoms usually last for about a week. During the first three days that you have cold symptoms, you are contagious. This means you can pass the cold to others, so stay home and get some much-needed rest.

If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving after a week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means you may need antibiotics.

Sometimes you may mistake cold symptoms for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or a sinus infection. If cold symptoms begin quickly and are improving after a week, then it is usually a cold, not allergy. If your cold symptoms do not seem to be getting better after a week, check with your doctor to see if you have developed an allergy or sinusitis.

What are common flu symptoms?

Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly. Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Swine flu in particular is also associated with vomiting and diarrhea.

Most flu symptoms gradually improve over two to five days, but it’s not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia, particularly in the young, elderly, or people with lung or heart problems. If you notice shortness of breath, let your doctor know. Another common sign of pneumonia is fever that comes back after having been gone for a day or two.

Just like cold viruses, flu viruses enter your body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas, you could be infecting yourself with a virus, which makes it very important to keep hands germ-free with frequent washing to prevent both flu and cold symptoms.

Is it flu or cold symptoms?

How do you know if you have flu or cold symptoms? Take your temperature, say many experts. Flu symptoms often mimic cold symptoms with nasal congestion, cough, aches, and malaise. But a common cold rarely has symptoms of fever above 101 degrees. With flu symptoms, you will probably have a fever initially with the flu virus and you will feel miserable. Body and muscle aches are also more common with the flu. This table can help determine if you have cold or flu symptoms.

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Sometimes, usually mild Usual; higher (100-102 F; occasionally higher, especially in young children); lasts 3 to 4 days
Headache Occasionally Common
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue,  Weakness Sometimes Usual; can last 2 to 3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Usual; at the beginning of the illness
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort, Cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can become severe
Complication Sinus congestion; middle ear infection Sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infection, pneumonia; can be life-threatening
Prevention Wash hands often; avoid close contact with anyone with a cold Wash hands often; avoid close contact with anyone who has flu symptoms; get the annual flu vaccine
Treatment Decongestants; pain reliever/fever reducer medicines Decongestants, pain relievers, or fever reducers are available over the counter; over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to young children; prescription antiviral drugs for flu may be given in some cases; call your doctor for more information about treatment.

Usually, the time of year will give you some sense of what you’re dealing with. The standard flu season runs from fall to spring of the next year.

When do I call the doctor with flu or cold symptoms?

If you already have flu or cold symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor if you also have any of the following severe symptoms:

  • Persistent fever: A fever lasting more than three days can be a sign of another bacterial infection that should be treated.
  • Painful swallowing: Although a sore throat from a cold or flu can cause mild discomfort, severe pain could mean strep throat, which requires treatment by a doctor.
  • Persistent coughing: When a cough doesn’t go away after two or three weeks, it could be bronchitis, which may need an antibiotic. Postnasal drip or sinusitis can also result in a persistent cough. In addition, asthma is another cause of persistent coughing.
  • Persistent congestion and headaches: When colds and allergies cause congestion and blockage of sinus passages, they can lead to a sinus infection (sinusitis). If you have pain around the eyes and face with thick nasal discharge after a week, you may have a bacterial infection and possibly need an antibiotic. Most sinus infections, however, do not need an antibiotic.

In some cases, you may need to get emergency medical attention right away. In adults, signs of a crisis include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Persistent vomiting

In children, additional signs of an emergency are:

  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Lethargy and failure to interact normally
  • Extreme irritability or distress
  • Symptoms that were improving and then suddenly worsen
  • Fever with a rash

Can I prevent flu or cold symptoms?

The most important prevention measure for preventing colds and flu is frequent hand washing. Hand washing by rubbing the hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds helps to slough germs off the skin.

In addition to hand washing to prevent flu or cold symptoms, you can also get a flu vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. Seasonal flu activity in the United States generally peaks between late December and early March. Within two weeks of getting a flu vaccine, antibodies develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Children receiving the vaccine for the first time need two doses delivered one month apart.

Antiviral medicine may also help prevent flu if you have been exposed to someone with flu symptoms.

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Some Good Comes from Hawaii’s False Alarm.

Hawaii Emergency Test Photo: NYdailytimes.com

Residence of Hawaii had a wake up call and many in the press and government are calling this delayed warning a horrible event, but I disagree.

Chairman of the FCC Ajit Paisaid

“The false emergency alert sent yesterday in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable,” the chairman said. “It caused a wave of panic across the state — worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued.”

Pai added the false alerts, believed to have been caused by human error, “undermine public confidence in the alerting system and thus reduce their effectiveness during real emergencies.”

I contend, “Why shouldn’t we keep people on their toes?”  Reports that people were “freaking out” and in a state of “panic”, can lead to some good and people may realise that to live their lives in a “Daily Fog” or “LaLa Land”, can lead to being unprepared for a real emergency.  It is time to think about the possibilities of a real disaster or attack.

Have we grown so complacent in our world, that we get upset at a false alarm, when this in fact is a real world reality check.  Wake up and recognize that we live in a modern world that has forgotten that disaster and strife can affect us.

SHTFandGO – Plan, Prepare, Protect

 

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46 Earthquakes Have Shaken California Over The Past 24 Hours

 

It appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline.  Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes.  That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state.  In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now.  Unfortunately, most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it.

(Continue Reading)

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Taking the Past and Use it To Prepare for the Future

As preppers we are always trying to figure out the perfect combination of living simply, while taking advantage of today’s technology. There is quite a bit we can learn from how people lived a century ago. If an EMP, CME or something else took down the power grid, we could easily find ourselves in that type of situation.

In the early 1900’s, unless you lived in the big city, or had big money, you probably didn’t have refrigeration (1930’s), electricity, running water, automobiles, or grocery stores. While we try to become more self-reliant just in case, back then it wasn’t a choice…it was a necessity.

Life was simpler in the early 1900’s. The population was smaller, there was less technology, and nearly half the population were farmers. The typical family size (or household) was bigger out of necessity, their diets were different, and transportation was walking, horses and a few cars.

Because of all this, most people were a lot less dependent on others for their survival. In today’s society, people have become dependent on technology, and others for their survival. This is why if the power grid went down, 90% of the population would not exist.

 Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past

In order to give ourselves the best chance possible to live through a larger grid down event, or even just get through a smaller power outage, we need to learn how they did it 100 years ago. We don’t necessarily need to live like they did 100 years ago, or go back to the old west, but we need to learn how they did.

Lessons We Can Learn

Preparedness is about marrying the new with the old. We have the technology to harness solar power and communicate (ham radio) so why not use it. What we don’t want to do is be dependent on water coming from the faucet, food being at the grocery store, and the light coming on at the flip of a switch.

The basics of preparedness are pretty simple. The gadgets and trinkets are great, but won’t save your life. When it comes to any sort of disaster or SHTF scenario, life will be different, like it or not. We all try to do things today that will make life easier then, but we need to learn to live differently, and learning from the past is a good way to do that.

The 6 areas of preparedness

The 6 areas of preparedness, and how we can prepare in each of those categories. By taking the knowledge and supplies we have today, and coupling them with how they lived in the past, we can make life much easier when and if something goes down.

Were are a few topics we covered in the show…

Food

Liberty Gardens: Most people in the early 1900’s gardened to one extent or the other. During WW1 people began to plant Liberty Gardens. This was to help feed the soldiers, and also because most of the farmers were sent off to war.

Cooking From Scratch: Cooking from scratch was a necessity. There was no pancake mix, hamburger helper or Campbell’s soup. If people wanted beef stew, they had to make it from scratch.

Ranching: Just like gardening, a lot of people owned livestock in the 1900’s. This may not been a full fledged “Ranch”, but quite a few people had cows, chickens and goats.

Hunting/Trapping: Hunting was a little easier back then because there were more animals, but just about everyone who didn’t live in the big city knew how to hunt at an early age.

Food Preservation: Because you had to grow your own crops, and hunt your own meat, preserving your food was also important. canning, smoking, dehydrating and root cellars were widely used.

Water

Water Safety: Cholera and Typhoid are nearly non existent in the United States today, but that wasn’t the case 100 years ago. Today we have much more knowledge about clean drinking water, and this is one of the most important parts of preparedness.

Wells: If you lived in the city you might have indoor plumbing, but in the outskirts you were on your own. This meant people needed to dig wells, live close to a water source, and bring it into the house manually.

No Indoor Plumbing: If you lived in an Urban area, you might have had indoor plumbing. If you didn’t, you would have used used chamber pots or outhouses. This would be a huge culture shock to most people if the indoor plumbing didn’t work.

Shelter

No Handymen: While everything back then was a lot simpler (easier to fix), DIY projects weren’t projects…they were necessity. There was no “Angie’s List” back then, and if you wanted something done, you did it yourself.

Clothing: We think of shelter as a roof over our head, but clothing is also shelter. Most people back then didn’t have a closet full of clothes like we do. A lot of people has Sunday Clothes, and Work Cloths. There were no clothing stores like we think of them, so if you wanted something new, you made it, or waited for it.

Houses: If you drive through an older town you will notice that the houses are much smaller, even the “Mansions” back then are smaller than some suburban homes these days. Smaller homes are easier to heat, easier to build, and the average household occupancy was larger back then.

Security

Police: They didn’t have the police force that we have today, and the police couldn’t communicate like they do today. This meant that is something were to happen, you were probably on your own.

Culture: People had a different mentality back then. People we more self reliant, and didn’t like to depend on someone else for their livelihood or survival. These days it’s almost the exact opposite, most people expect (and feel entitled to) help from others.

Crime: The population was about a third of what it is today, and less population meant less crime. Because the society and culture were so different than it is today, you didn’t see some of the things we see today. Everyone pretty much knew everyone in smaller town, and sometimes criminals didn’t “get their day in court” if you know what I mean.

Sanitation

Supplies: Back then people didn’t have vacuums (or even carpet), air filters, or Swiffer Sweepers. The mops and brooms they used were very basic, and sometimes homemade.

Cleaning: Today it seems like we have never ending choices about what cleaning supplies we can buy, back than that was not the case. Cleaning supplies are a sometimes overlooked prepping supply, but are very important in preventing sickness and infection.

Indoor Plumbing: As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people did not have indoor plumbing, and this is what lead to many of the common diseases back then. It’s important that we learn about how they did things back then, and not make the same mistakes.

Trash Removal: People back then didn’t generate the amount of trash that we do today, but trash can also lead to health issues. In a SHTF scenario I doubt that the trash man will be coming around, so we need to figure out a solution.

First Aid (Medical)

Technology: The advancements we have made in science and technology would seem like magic to people in the 1900’s. If you’ve ever seen some of the equipment they used back then, you know what I mean. Medical professionals not only have better equipment, but better knowledge as well.

Medicine: Advancements is medicine have also come a long way in the last 100 years. With the advent of antibiotics, diseases and infections that would be fatal then, can be treated today. We have written a few articles about antibiotics for preppers.

Medical Help: Back then there weren’t hospitals like we think of then today, no flight for life, and no ambulances. Most towns had a town doctor with his doctor bag, and which probably had some Opium, snake oil and Heroin in it.

Incorporating Today’s Tools With Yesterday’s Skills

If we learn how people lived 100 years ago we can better prepare for any sort of grid down event, or SHTF event. We have much more knowledge and technology today than they had back then, but some of that technology may not be available.

By looking at all the topics covered above, and trying to figure out a solution for each, we can give ourselves a little better chance for survival, or at the very least, a little normalcy in a tough situation.

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Puerto Rico, A Disaster by any measure

Hurricane Maria: Puerto Ricans Plead for More Federal Aid to Devastated Island

Puerto Ricans described desperate conditions on the hurricane-ravaged island and pleaded for more help from federal agencies on Monday, with some saying they felt the U.S. territory was being forgotten.

“It looks like a bomb went off,” said Monique Casablanca, 37, by phone from Ocean Park in the capital of San Juan.

“I’ve seen very little to no police presence, I’ve seen zero military presence. Nights are excruciating, there’s screaming, there’s gunshots. It’s hot, so it’s hard to sleep right now I haven’t slept in 48 hours,” said Casablanca, a rental property manager.

 No End in Sight for Puerto Rico Relief Effort After Hurricane Maria 1:52

Casablanca said that while she had seen Federal Emergency Management Agency workers visit the area a few days ago, she had not seen them since.

“You feel like you’re forgotten. I’m in an area that’s flooded and there’s basically dead animals — cats, dogs, rats just floating around — the smell is crazy and I don’t see anyone here anywhere as of today or yesterday,” she said.

“We need more of everything, we need help,” she said.

Federal agencies rescuing people and delivering humanitarian aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria faced an island that remains largely without power, running water, fuel and access to cell service on Monday, five days after the storm first made landfall.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert arrived on the island on Monday and met Gov. Ricardo Rossello in San Juan as relief crews continued to work to provide much needed supplies to the island.

More than 10,000 federal staff, including 700 FEMA personnel, were on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, assisting with rescue efforts, restoring power and getting badly needed supplies to parts of the islands, a FEMA spokesperson said on Monday evening.

“While significant progress is being made, there is still a long way to go,” the FEMA spokesperson said in a statement Monday evening. “As access to ports, airfields, and roads continues to become available, additional resources will continue to flow into hard hit areas.”

“FEMA and our federal partners continue 24-hour operations, conducting search and rescue operations, bringing additional essential commodities to the islands, and restoring power at critical facilities with generators, and the fuel needed to power them,” the spokesperson added.

Nine search and rescue were working “around the clock” in the region, FEMA said in a tweet earlier Monday.

The agency said that it had provided more than 1.5 million meals, 1.1 million liters of water and nearly 12,000 emergency roofing kits.

 National Guard Units Across the Country Join Puerto Rico Relief Effort 2:30

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said Monday that Long and Bossert were sent to assess the damage from the ground.

“We’ve done unprecedented movement in terms of federal funding to provide for the people of PR and others that have been impacted by these storms,” she said during the White House press briefing. “We’ll continue to do so and continue to do everything that we can possibly under the federal government to provide assistance.”

Trump tweeted Monday night that while Texas and Florida were “doing great” in the aftermath’s of the recent hurricanes, Puerto Rico “is in deep trouble.”

“It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated,” he tweeted, adding that “Much of the Island was destroyed.”

Trump had not tweeted about Puerto Rico since last Thursday.

Maria was the third major storm to hit U.S. shores in just a month, after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and southeastern U.S.

Maria, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, has been blamed for 16 deaths on Puerto Rico, officials said Monday.

 Hurricane Maria: Dam in Puerto Rico is in danger of failing 2:24

William Booher, director of public affairs for FEMA, told the Associated Press on Saturday there was no difference in the agency’s response in Puerto Rico, compared with Texas, Louisiana or Florida after recent hurricanes. FEMA has had sufficient resources to deal with back-to-back-to-back hurricanes, he said, adding that “we’ve been able to address each one of them.”

Rossello also praised federal relief efforts on Monday and said FEMA was doing a “phenomenal job,” according to the Associated Press.

But earlier Monday, he also said the island was facing an “unprecedented disaster” and called for swift action from President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Given Puerto Rico’s fragile economic recovery prior to the storms, we ask the Trump Administration and U.S. Congress to take swift action to help Puerto Rico rebuild,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, advocates, residents and officials implored the federal government to send more help and take seriously the long-term impact Maria would have for Puerto Rico.

Image: A man stands on a car on a  flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan
A man stands on a car on a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico on on Sept. 25. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Frances Colón, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Cenadores, said the “scale of the federal response right now is not on scale with the level of devastation.” Colón formed Cenadores to organize Puerto Ricans on the mainland to volunteer to help the island.

“We still have townships not reached. The government had a diesel ship parked in the bay and the government and National Guard is so maxed out they couldn’t ensure security so the fuel could reach its destination,” said Colón, who lives in Miami and worked 12 years for the State Department as a science and technology adviser. “We need boots on the ground from the federal government. We need FEMA, National Guard, a federal response at [Hurricane] Katrina scale.”

“Everyone is overwhelmed because the disaster is bigger than everyone,” she said.

Image: People sit in their apartment with the window blown out in San Juan
People sit in their apartment with the window blown out by the winds of Hurricane Maria as it passed through the area last week in San Juan, Puerto Rico on on Sept. 25. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

“The response can’t be tepid. It’s been a week and still communication is down and there are towns that haven’t been reached.”

PHOTOS: Hurricane Maria Lashes Puerto Rico, Storm-Battered Caribbean

Armando Valdés Prieto, a lawyer who has been helping with volunteer operations in San Juan said he felt the sheer magnitude of the devastation on the island made distributing federal aid difficult.

“The scope and magnitude of what’s going on is so large that I’m not entirely sure that they really know where to start,” he said by phone Monday afternoon.

He said that while he felt a lot was being done, being unable to communicate with parts of the island compounded problems.

“We’re still kind of in an assessment phase where I guess it’s a little hard to gauge whether or not things are being done right,” he added.

Related: Puerto Rico Holds Its Breath Over Hurricane-Battered Dam

Image: Downed trees surround damaged homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria
Downed trees surround damaged homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Sept. 25 in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Adding to the island’s woes is stifling heat. San Juan tied for its maximum temperature at 94 degrees on Sunday, according to the NWS.

“It’s really, really hot and there’s not a lot of respite from the heat,” said Valdés Prieto, adding that many people did not have electrical power and could not use their air conditioners.

And the island’s Aqueduct and Sewer Authority said Monday that only about 40 percent of their customers, or 500,000 people, had water service.

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Hurricane and Other Natural Disasters Tips

We have had two major hurricane that hit many places and while some were prepared many were not. Here are some tips for preparing yourself and family.

  1. Anyone who isn’t a prepper is nuts. I’ll just start off with that blanket statement. Are you prepared for a hurricane as everyone is fighting over cases of water bottles at the store. Having a mean to filter and distill water would be the long term solution.
  2. Don’t go through any medical procedure the day before a hurricane hits. If it gets infected there are no medical service available short of a trip to the ER.
  3. Get flood insurance, even if you live in an area that doesn’t traditionally flood. Homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by water coming into your house.
  4. Charge all electronics, including solar battery chargers, in the days leading up to something like this. Afterwards, just keep them fully charged, since power outages happen regularly.
  5. Social media is an absolute necessity in times like this. Facebook groups have popped up, connecting neighbor with neighbor and allowing us to loan/borrow things like box fans, extension cords, chain saws, and the like. People are coming out of the woodwork to help out, and it’s because of Facebook.
  6. Nextdoor.com is another life saver.
  7. Heavy duty galoshes (rain boots) can be worth their weight in gold. Trudging through inches and feet of floodwater can be dangerous without boots.
  8. Always have a few filled gas cans around.
  9. If you do make a run to the grocery store in the days leading up to a big storm or something similar, go ahead and throw in some goodies you don’t normally buy.
  10. Get a few solar lights or lanterns.  When our power was out, these lights and lantern are just perfect for providing enough light for a work area or for reading.
  11. Your relatives and friends are going to worry about you, so just accept that and get used to repeating the same information again and again. How wonderful to have people who care about your safety!
  12. Call your insurance company or agent ASAP. They will respond to claims in the order received, so get in there early.
  13. If you experience damage that FEMA may help cover, register with them ASAP also. You’ll receive a registration number. Save that on your cell phone and email it to yourself so it will always be handy.
  14. If you do lose everything, or at least a LOT of what you own, go ahead and cry and ignore people who say things like, “It’s just things. You’re lucky to be alive.” It’s okay to grieve over ruined things. They were a part of your life. They represented what was once normal and now that is gone, at least for now. Cry all you want to and need to without making any excuses.
  15. If you think you may end up without power, go on that assumption and prepare. Run small loads of laundry once a day, run the dishwasher, even when it’s only half full. If the power goes out, you’ll be starting out with clean clothes and dishes.
  16. Pressure canning can be one way to preserve meat that is in the freezer in a power outage. Again, if you think your power may go out, start canning that meat right away. If you have a gas range, you can do the canning without electricity.
  17. You’ll need matches to light the burners on your gas range when the power goes out. Make sure you have plenty of matches. Buy 3 or 4 big boxes. They’re cheap.
  18. Prepare your home for guests. In the case of hundreds or thousands of people being displaced, a very simple way to help is to open up your home, even if just for a few hours. Provide a peaceful, safe haven for families who have lost everything. I think hospitality is greatly overlooked when it comes to disaster recovery.
  19. Not all phone weather apps are the same. Find one you like.
  20. Be prepared for emotional ups and downs.
  21. Get outside when you can do so safely.
  22. Bicycles can get places where vehicles cannot. On a bike you’ll be able to check out storm damage, visit neighbors, run errands, and get fresh air and exercise at the same time.
  23. Be aware of downed electrical wires.
  24. Think about all the volunteers who are going to be thirsty and hungry. Pack brown bag lunches for them and have the  kids help out.
  25. One thing we all take for granted is clean laundry. People with flooded homes will not be able to do laundry and wearing damp, dirty clothes for hours and maybe days at a time is uncomfortable and disheartening. Offer to do laundry for them as an easy way to volunteer.
  26. Buy a few respirators when you begin cleaning out flooded homes. During the Katrina clean-up, many people contracted debilitating illnesses due to inhaling mold and mildew spores.
  27. Consider how you’ll care for your pets both during and after a disaster. Stock up on pet food and kitty litter, if you have cats. If your home is damaged, how will you keep your pets from running away? Make sure you have kennels for them and they are wearing collars with ID tags and have been microchipped.
  28. If you see a stray pet, keep it safe until you can find its owner. Animal shelters are quickly overwhelmed and at capacity. Use Facebook groups for your town and community and Nextdoor.com to reunite pets and owners.
  29. Children may be the most traumatized group of all. Don’t overburden them with your every random thought about doom and gloom! Give them constructive things to do, so they feel they are contributing something important to the family’s survival.
  30. If you are going to help with flood recovery, be sure to wear protective gear, including the respirator mentioned above. Wear boots that go above your ankle a few inches to protect from snake bites and fire ants and heavy work gloves.
  31. Don’t advertise on social media or elsewhere that your home has been flooded and you’re leaving. This just gives looters information that will help them locate your home, specifically.
  32. Even if you can’t help with actual demo work inside flooded homes, you can loan tools, small generators, filled gas cans, work gloves, extension cords, and fans. Label them with your name and phone number but in the madness of storm recovery, you may not get them back.
  33. Stock up on those black, heavy duty trash bags. They’ll come in handy for storm debris, ruined food, mildewed clothes, pieces of wet sheetrock, etc.
  34. Fill your freezer with bags of ice. It will come in handy during while power is out and can be used to keep food and drinks cold for volunteers and rescue workers.
  35. When floodwater is coming in, turn off your electricity at the main breaker and keep it off.
  36. With road closures, you may not have clear passage to help out at shelters, help neighbors muck out their homes, and reach rescue workers, so be prepared to walk. A heavy duty wagon is super helpful at a time like this, as is a bike trailer, for carrying tools, food, and other supplies.
  37. Take both video and photos of your home’s belongings. Some insurance companies prefer one over the other so have both.
  38. As you replace ruined belongings, carpet, sheetrock, and the like, keep every single receipt. If you can, scan them and save them to the cloud or email the scanned images to yourself.
  39. Don’t be surprised if you are overwhelmed with kind offers of help.
  40. Take care of yourself. You’re going to need a mental break every now and then.
  41. Use some kind map app to find look for road closures, which is immensely helpful.
  42. If you don’t know your neighbors now, you soon will! Be the first one to reach out with offers of a hot cup of coffee, a couple of hours of babysitting for a stressed out mom, or heavy duty labor to help an elderly person clear out their yard.
  43. Don’t wig out every time you hear a news report, especially on social media. If it doesn’t come directly from an official channel, then take a few deep breaths and wait until it’s verified.
  44. It will take a while for life to return to a new normal.
  45. If you have skills in administration and logistics, put them to work! One neighborhood can set up their own volunteer check-in desk at the entrance to their subdivision! As volunteers arrive, they are directed to specific homes in need of help. To do this, you’ll need neighborhood maps, roving volunteers with walkie-talkies to assess damage and report to the control center, and, of course, food and water is appreciated. This is a brilliant example of micro-emergency response.
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Zika Virus: 10 Things to Worry/Relax About

Zika virus has been in the news since the beginning of the year, and there’s a lot of information out there; some of it is reassuring and some, well, not so much. Here’s some things you should know that will make you worry/not worry about this infectious disease that’s been reported worldwide. 

1.

WorrisomeReported cases of Zika in the U.S. and its territories will soon hit 20,000. The number of Zika cases IN THE U.S. and its territories reported to CDC’s Arbonet (ARthropod-BOrne virus) national registry has risen to almost 19,000. With some researchers suggesting infection in one quarter of the population of Puerto Rico before the end of 2016, 20,000 cases might be a gross underestimation.

Reassuring: While the Zika epidemic rages in Puerto Rico, the continental U.S has reported a total of 2,964 cases of mostly travel-related Zika virus illness (out of a population of 320 million).  South Florida is the only area in the continental U.S. where local mosquitoes are confirmed by authorities to have spread the disease (about 50 cases).

2.

Worrisome: The actual number of Zika cases is probably close to 5 times the number of reported cases. Zika virus causes relatively mild symptoms like rashes, fevers, joint pains, and reddened eyes, and even then in only 20% of cases. 80% have no symptoms whatsoever, which means that the actual number of cases is probably 5 times greater. This doesn’t count people who wouldn’t go to the doctor for a mild fever or a rash, so it might be even more.

Reassuring: Even if case totals are, in fact, much higher than reported, the virus leaves the bloodstream after a week or so in most people. It can, however, last for months in seminal fluid or, perhaps, the eyes. Once you have recovered from the acute infection, you receive immunity from the antibodies produced by your immune system. Future pregnancies won’t be affected.

3.

Worrisome: Zika is a bona fide pandemic. A pandemic is a widespread occurrence of a disease not normally seen in a place that spreads across different regions. Zika has now been identified in close to 70 countries and has been referred to as a pandemic by the National Institute of Health since at least January 2016.

Reassuring: Despite concerns raised by many health officials, athletes and tourists returning from the Olympic Games don’t seem to have sparked significant new outbreaks in their home countries.

4.

Worrisome: Newborns with Zika infections can have multiple abnormalities, not just microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a small brain leads to poor head growth. Beside this, however, other evidence of brain damage, deformed joints, and vision or hearing impairment may occur.

Reassuring: The percentage of abnormal newborns in Zika-infected mothers isn’t as high as you think. Statistics for the rate of birth abnormalities in newborns have ranged from 1% to 13% in Brazil and 1% in the previous outbreak in Polynesia in 2013-4, according to a CDC report released last May. There are no numbers that say a Zika-infected mother’s chances are very high of having a baby with microcephaly or other defects.

 5.

Worrisome: We can’t say for sure that Zika-infected babies born looking normal will be unaffected by the virus. Zika is shown in lab studies to kill brain and other nerve cells. What if the number of cells damaged is not enough to make the baby appear abnormal at birth but enough to cause delays in milestones like walking or talking? What if these infants end up having learning disabilities once they’re old enough to go to school? We won’t know for years.

Reassuring: Although our research into the effects of Zika virus is in its infancy, no hard evidence exists that a baby from an infected mother will have later developmental deficits.

6.

Worrisome: Zika virus may be passed through from human to human through seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, blood, and now, tears. Researchers are finding more and more ways that Zika might be transmissible from human to human. A study from Washington University in St. Louis reports that tears of mice carried parts of the Zika virus.

Reassuring:  The vast majority of Zika infections are still transmitted by mosquitoes. Sensible actions like the use of mosquito repellents, the wearing of long sleeves/pants, and drainage of nearby standing water are still the best way to prevent an infection.

7.

Worrisome: There is more than one strain of Zika, and there may have been mutations. Zika, like many viruses, exists in different subtypes (at least two) that could mutate from time to time. This fact might explain why a virus originally identified in 1947 only started causing community-wide outbreaks in 2007, and no reported cases of abnormal babies before 2013. A mutation that increased the severity of effect on humans (at least, newborn ones) may have occurred.

Reassuring: It’s possible that Zika just had never been exposed to such large populations without natural immunity. Researchers haven’t yet reported if the strain spreading rapidly in Singapore is the same one as that in Brazil.

8.

Worrisome: There may already be more than one locally-transmitted outbreak in the U.SDr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor’s College of Medicine, suspects that there may be more areas of local Zika transmission than just the one in Miami. The Guardian reports that he said, “…I think there’s not just Zika transmission going on in Miami, it’s going on all up and down the Gulf Coast and in Arizona, it’s just that nobody’s looking.” The CDC, although it stops short of predicting an epidemic of Zika, believes clusters of cases may still appear in warm-weather states.

Reassuring: Future local outbreaks are likely to be minor in the U.S.  A number of states, like Louisiana and other Gulf and East coast states, are recovering from floods dues to storms and Hurricane Hermine. Cases of Zika virus, however, don’t seem to be arising out of standing water there that would be excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Cities, like Houston, with low-income areas that harbor abandoned buildings and trash, also provide possible sites for the next generation of mosquitoes; Zika virus doesn’t seem to have taken hold there either.

9.

Worrisome: Aerial Spraying with chemical pesticides like Naled may affect honeybees and even humans. Use of pesticides that are neurotoxic might have ill effects on important pollinators like bees, or even human beings. It might be safer to use methods that kill mosquito larvae instead.

Reassuring: Aerial spraying is an effective way to eliminate large populations of adult mosquitoes quickly and rarely affects humans. Naled is a shorter acting pesticide than some others, and when used correctly (before sunrise or after sunset), is unlikely to cause major damage to pollinators, which mostly forage during daylight hours. The recent bee die-off after spraying in Dorchester County, S.C., was due to spraying which occurred at 8 a.m.

10.

Worrisome: A new local Zika outbreak is spreading throughout Singapore in Asia. The location is important because Singapore is an important financial hub for the region. Travel-related cases already have been reported in Malaysia and the Philippines from returning travelers. Given the widespread commercial travel to Singapore, where 300 cases have been reported in 10 days, the entirety of Asia may be affected in the near future.

Reassuring: Here in the U.S., the coming fall and winter seasons will decrease mosquito populations significantly throughout most of the country. USA Today reported in July that Brazil was recording fewer cases of Zika as the Southern Hemisphere entered its “winter”.

 

So, it’s your choice: You can decide either to go look for your worry beads or, instead, cover your eyes with your hat and order another pinacolada. Just don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid when Harvesting Rain Water

7 Mistakes to Avoid when Harvesting Rain Water

Rainwater is an excellent source of drinking water whether you’re living on a homestead or surviving after a disaster. However, it’s not as simple as setting out buckets when it rains. You need to set up a proper rainwater harvesting system. And even then, you have to be careful not to make any serious mistakes.

Look over this list of mistakes and make sure you’re not making them or you’ll live to regret it.

Here they are:

  1. Forgetting to make sure it’s legal in your area.
  2. Using the wrong kind of barrel (the wrong kind will leach dangerous chemicals into your water).
  3. Buying expensive barrels. If you’re search hard enough, you can find them used.
  4. Not setting up a system for getting your water out (such as a spigot or pump).
  5. Not keeping your barrels covered (with sheets, screens, or even cooking oil).
  6. Forgetting to let rain rinse your roof for 10 minutes before collecting rainwater.
  7. Using a small system. It takes a lot of water to live.
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Emergency and Disaster Information Service (EDIS)

The National Association of Radio Distress-Signalling and Infocommunications (RSOE) operates Emergency and Disaster Information Service (EDIS) within the frame of his own web site which has the objective to monitor and document all the events on Earth which may cause disaster or emergency. The main objective is to manage information about events endangering the safety of our own country. Our service is using the speed and the data spectrum of the internet to gather information. We are monitoring and processing several foreign organization’s data to get quick and certified information. This data will be continuously published on our Internet web site. Beside the official information, with the help of special programs nearly 1500-2000 internet press publication will be monitored and the publication containing predefined keywords will be processed. However, these „news” cannot be considered as official and reliable information, but many times we have learnt critical information from the internet press.

We are screening the incoming information and storing in a central database sorted by category. After processing the information we are sending it immediately via E-Mail (or other format) for the organizations and persons who have requested it. We are aspiring that the processed data will be validated and reliable in all cases, to avoid the possible panic situation caused by unreal information. That is why we are trying to create and keep contact with all organizations, which can provide validated information for us, to operate EDIS. Certainly we are publishing all incoming data and information at our website to provide up-to-date information to the citizens as well as we are publishing useful knowledge for them.

Emergency Map Details

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