CategoriesDisaster Response

7 Tips for Living in Your Car in an Emergency

You never know how an emergency will affect your life. While you might have a home right now, a wildfire or natural disaster could take it away tomorrow. Preppers understand the futility of permanence, which is why they always plan and organize for disaster. If you were forced to live out of your car tomorrow, would you know what you needed?

1. Food and Water

The primary items you will need include food and water. For food, you will likely want to focus on freeze-dried items. You can purchase less stable food items if you are lucky enough to have a car refrigerator and a camp stove. You will also need a cooler to store water. The cooler is essential because it protects against heating and the leaching of plastics.

2. Safety Essentials

When it comes to safety, the obvious purchase is a personal protection device. You can opt for pepper spray, a personal alarm, a firearm, or a knife. If you intend to carry a gun or a knife, look into state regulations and licensing requirements. Additionally, you will want to pack a first aid kit and any medications for you or loved ones staying with you.

3. Communication

A cellphone and computer are essential for communication. While many people do not realize it, you can purchase a power converter for your vehicle to charge devices without an adapter. Cell phones typically come with car chargers, but computers do not. Another option for receiving mail is to rent a P.O. box.

4. Temperature Control

When living in your car, you cannot always have the vehicle running. First, it costs too much, and second, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, when staying in your car, you will want to invest in more practical means for staying cool or warm.

You can use a sleeping bag, wool blanket, emergency bivvy, or hand-warmers to stay warm. You also have the option of using public buildings or businesses like fast-food restaurants, malls, or grocery stores.

Staying cool is a little more challenging, but you still have the option of going inside a business or public building. Additionally, you can use car shades, curtains, and covers to block the sun. It would be best if you also tried to park in the shadow of trees and buildings.

5. Portable Toilet

A portable toilet is essential when living in your car. While you might be in an area with access to restrooms, there is bound to be a time when a portable option is your best option, especially at night when most businesses are closed.

6. Hygiene

Staying clean is a challenge when living in your car, but it is not impossible. With a bit of imagination, you can still have access to showers. Several options for remaining clean while living in your car include:

  • Gym memberships
  • Campsite showers
  • Truckstop showers
  • Solar showers
  • Wet wipes

7. Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep in your car can be a struggle. If you do not have the right tools and resources for a comfortable night’s sleep, you will face potential health consequences. The items you need for a decent night’s sleep include:

  • Tri-fold mattress
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag
  • Wool blanket
  • Earplugs
  • Carbon monoxide detector

8. Parking

You want to capitalize on free parking whenever possible, but do not put yourself in a dangerous situation. Park in well-lit areas and use campgrounds if you can — national forests offer free camping and parking.

Do you know of any other tips for those living out of their vehicles? Leave a comment.

CategoriesHunting

Considerations To Make Before Purchasing a Tree Stand This Hunting Season

Tree stand hunters have a distinct advantage over those who hunt on foot: they sit above the deer’s field of view. Additionally, elevated hunters enjoy the benefit of a somewhat aerial view, providing more opportunities for harvesting wildlife. 

While a tree stand is more beneficial than hunting on foot, you want to find a suitable stand for your hunting location. A stand that is too large, weak, or plain uncomfortable will not provide for a successful or happy hunting trip. There are several factors you should consider when selecting your tree stand this hunting season.

Considering Style

When looking into tree stands, you will likely come across four main styles: hang-on, ladder, climbing, and tripod stands. Hang-on stands are often the most affordable option but not the most comfortable. These stands attach to the tree using straps or chains and are typically a little shaky. You will also need to purchase climbing sticks or steps for access. 

Ladder stands are among the most stable because of the heavy ladder base. However, the stability comes at a price because two people will need to set the stand in place. Unlike some other types, the ladder stand comes in single and double configurations.

Climbing tree stands are not as stable as ladder options, but they are more convenient and easy to carry. The stand is a two-piece, and it is used to climb the tree.

A tripod stand is a freestanding option, and it is best used when there are no adequate trees in the area. While the construction of these stands provides greater stability than the other options, it is cumbersome.

Size, Weight Capacity, and Comfort

When looking into available stands, consider your anticipated use. Will you be hunting alone or with a partner? While a single-wide ladder stand might be efficient for you, a double is a necessity if you’re hunting with a partner. Additionally, a wider stand might be more comfortable in general.

Comfort is a significant concern when hunting. In most situations, you find a spot and stay there for hours, waiting for that buck to wander by, but if you’re sitting in a small stand with an uncomfortable seat, you might miss the deer because you had to stretch your legs or decided to return to camp early.

One aspect of a stand that contributes to comfort is the weight capacity. If you weigh over 300 lbs and are sitting 15 feet above the forest floor in a tree stand made for 250 lbs or less, you will not feel safe, secure, or comfortable. Always purchase a stand that can handle your weight; it’s a safety issue.

Safety and Accessories

Before you put yourself into the trees, consider safety. While tree stands provide straps, chains, or other connection methods, you should also find additional ways to secure yourself to the tree. A safety harness should be a part of every elevated hunter’s tool bag.

Additionally, don’t forget the purpose of an elevated position: to get a clean shot. You can usually purchase a shooting rest for greater stability and accuracy when shooting a gun, crossbow, or muzzleloader. The rest also provides an additional safety measure.

Elevated hunting is fun and exciting, often providing unique vantage points for hunting. However, you should not select your stand without considering your preferences and needs.

Do you have any other pointers for first-time elevated hunters? Leave a comment.

CategoriesWeapons

Looking Into the Top 5 Pieces of Navy SEALs Gear

The Navy SEALs are the most elite American military force responsible for numerous covert missions and renowned for their stealth, skill, and field expertise. Being the elite or the elite, Navy SEALs have a cultish following, and survivalists are among the biggest diehard fans, especially when it comes to the gear.

Not everyone can afford such expensive tactical equipment, with much of the gear coming in over $5,000 to $10,000 — that doesn’t stop many admirers from salivating over the possibility of wearing or owning a piece of military equipment deemed essential to one of the most elite forces worldwide. While there are many items necessary to the SEALs, six things are the most interesting from a survivalist standpoint.

1. The Helmet

The melon protector is one of the most critical elements for a SEAL team member. The Ops Core Maritime helmet offers full-dome protection in a lightweight shell, which is crucial considering all of the items mounted to the helmet during a mission, including the Manta Strobe, M-AX Mount, Ops Core Counter Weight, Peltor Comtac III, and Wilcox L4. The Ops Core Maritime helmet comes in at a staggering $45,937.60.

2. The Goggles

Also mounted to a SEALs helmet are the night vision goggles. However, these are not the same as a pair of night vision specs you get at a Bass Pro Shop. No, these are the GPNVG quad-tube goggles. While most dual-tube setups allow the viewer to see 45°, the quad-tube provides a broader vision field of up to 100°. Don’t get too excited, though; if you want to own a pair of these puppies, it will set you back about $43,000.

3. The Armor

When it comes to body armor, two pieces of equipment are needed: the plate carrier and the armor. The plate carrier often changes because of the variety of missions SEALs participate in, but for an assaulter, the most popular option is likely the LBT 6094, coming in around $500. Don’t get too excited; the carrier doesn’t mean much without the plates.

The armor is a mystery. The U.S. military does not advertise the specific armor they use — go figure.  However, even the go-to standard — the Harris PRC 153 — comes in at around $6,800. The SEALs likely use something more expensive, which means you would probably be looking at about $10,000 at least for the exact setup.

4. The Pistol

Every operator differs in their pistol preference. Two of the most popular choices include the 1911 and the Glock 19 gen 5. Essentially, the pistol must be reliable, portable, and allow for multiple accessories. For standard operations, a SEAL might need a pistol light and a red dot scope. The most popular choices for these accessories include:

  • Surefire x300u pistol light
  • Trijicon RMR red dot sight.

5. The Rifle

When it comes to rifle selection, most operators will have individual preferences, but many prefer the Heckler and Koch 416 battle rifle. While a bit much, the weapon is rugged and reliable. The gun will typically carry several accessories, including:

  • SureFire Socom 556 RC Suppressor
  • PEQ 15 ATPIAL IR Laser
  • VTAC 2 Point Padded Sling
  • SureFire Scout Rifle Light
  • Eotech Hybrid Sight

When all is said and done, if you want to dress like a Navy SEAL, it will cost you upwards of $100,000. Thankfully, most survivalists are not traveling through war-torn countries with the fear of enemy fire, meaning you can probably knock at least $40,000 to $80,000 off the tab.

What’s a piece of SEAL equipment you wish you could own? Leave a comment.

CategoriesDisaster Response

The Patriot Act and the Rise of Citizen Surveilance

The Patriot Act was one of the first significant pieces of legislation to pass Congress supposedly focused on surveilling terrorists. A mere 45 days after the 9/11 attacks, the federal government passed the surveillance law, stating it was in the name of national security, and yet the truth was far more unsettling.

The Patriot Act was the first of many changes that allowed the U.S. government to spy on American citizens without judicial interference. While the law initially held widespread public favor — garnered primarily out of fear from the September terrorist attacks — years later, people would realize the severity of the abuse of power afforded to the FBI and other investigative bodies.

The Allowances of the Patriot Act

The primary focus of the Patriot Act was to streamline surveillance tasks. Still, in the haste of approval, there were not enough limitations or checks and balances put in place to protect ordinary Americans. The law expanded the authority of bodies such as the FBI, allowing each to monitor phone and email communications, credit reporting records, banking information, and internet activity without judicial approval.

FBI agents issue National Security Letters to obtain personal information without oversight. These letters provide access to phone and computer records, credit history, and banking history. The Patriot Act has no provision to destroy nonessential information obtained by NSLs, meaning average citizens might have their personal information still floating around in FBI databases despite posing no threat to the country.

The Patriot Act also changed the process of searches, altering the Fourth Amendment privacy protections. Under the law, “Sneak & Peek” searches became legal, meaning federal law enforcement agencies no longer need to present a warrant before entering an American citizen’s home. Federal agents can now enter an individual’s property — even seizing property in some instances — without notifying the owner until later.

If your information was acquired through an NSL, it remains in a database forever. Over 34,000 intelligence and law enforcement agents can access your data whenever they want. While some people might argue that innocent people have nothing to hide, this stance does not address the invasion of privacy nor the program’s lack of success.

The Outcomes of the Patriot Act

The Patriot Act was passed by Congress and accepted by citizens under the guise of its anti-terrorism premise. Unfortunately, since its inception, the law has done little to prevent or capture terrorists. From 2003 to 2006, the FBI issued about 192,500 NSLs with only one terror-related conviction; that conviction did not require the Patriot Act.

Additionally, out of the more than 143,074 NSLs acquired from 2003 to 2005, only 53 resulted in criminal referrals to prosecutors, and zero were for terrorist activity. The criminal referrals included immigration, money laundering, and fraud-related offenses.

Out of the 3,970 Sneek & Peeks performed in 2010, most were related to drug offenses. Only around 1% of those searches occurred because of terror-related suspicions.

The expansion of surveillance under the Patriot Act permitted widespread abuses of power. American civilians became the targets of widespread investigations and deep-dives despite no apparent ties to terrorist activity. The law essentially because a tool for stereotyping and profiling based on ethnicity, religious preference, and several other slippery slopes. The law perverted the constitution and failed to fulfill its promises to detect and weed out terrorists.

What are your feelings about the Patriot Act or the iterations that followed? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesSurvivalism

Fundamentals of Designing a Cabin Shelter

While there are many forms of fallout shelters, most preppers automatically imagine bomb shelters or chemical fallout. However, the term fallout shelter for this article will refer to a safety retreat or refuge in a secluded mountain house or cabin.

Threats come in all shapes and sizes, and while log cabins or other domestic structures might not offer the best protection against nuclear warfare, they can protect against other human threats. There are many things to consider when designing and organizing a mountain retreat as a shelter, and it involves more than the view — although the view is important from a strategic standpoint.

Preparing for the Worst by Stocking up on the Best

Before you can even consider a house a shelter, you need to ensure you have an adequate stockpile for the number of people who will join you. You will want to gather a variety of supplies to ensure the survival of your homestead, including:

  • First-aid kits
  • Fresh water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Medications
  • Tools (Flashlights, screwdrivers, box cutters, etc.)
  • Weapons

You can find more specific requirements and suggestions for emergency kits on the FEMA website. However, no one will know what your family needs more than you. A lot of preparation is ensuring each member of your household has what they need to survive, remain calm, and feel safe.

Ensuring Everyone Has Enough Space

Survival situations do not often require comfort, but that depends on how long you shelter in place. According to FEMA, a healthy individual only needs 10 sq ft; that number jumps to 30 sq ft for bed-ridden people or those with mental health or anxiety issues.

However, when you plan on escaping to the mountains with your healthy family of five, is 50 sq ft going to be enough for months of survival? Anyone living with teenage daughters knows 50 sq ft is not enough for long-term situations.

While 50 sq ft is not enough, you do not have to find some luxurious mountain estate to keep your family happy. On average, an individual needs about 200 to 400 sq ft to remain sane and comfortable, meaning a family of five can survive comfortably in a 1,000 sq ft cabin.

Securing Your Property Is About Training and Vigilance

Aside from stocking up on supplies, a fallout shelter or retreat requires security. If possible, install security cameras and alarms. If not, install fencing and motion sensors around the property, allowing you to control who enters your property.

Additionally, if you are going to keep firearms on your property, it is ideal if everyone who can operate the weapon learns how. Firearms training is the best way to keep your family safe against enemy threats and friendly fire.

You might also want to invest in self-defense training — the hand-to-hand kind. Teaching your children the best ways to defend themselves can be highly reassuring to parents.

Preparation is vital in any survival situation. If you plan on maintaining a mountain retreat as a secure shelter for your family in an SHTF situation, be sure to study the fundamentals of fallout living.

Have any emergency shelter tips or tricks? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesSurvivalism

3 Best Survival Gadgets of 2021

Every year brings a new batch of must-have survival gear. However, not all of it is as advertised. When it comes to survival products, it is best to stick with the tried-and-true. Additionally, it is crucial that every survivalist focus first on survival essentials: water and shelter. 

Obviously, other gadgets and tools, such as firearms and knives, are also important to survival, but it is best to locate a clean water source and find shelter from the elements when you are in a real pickle. Therefore, the following top three list focuses on the fundamentals of survival.

1. LifeStraw

LifeStraw is not new, but every year the company focuses on developing newer or more efficient models. Regardless of the model, the personal water filter remains at the top of any survivalist list.

While newer models include a water bottle for more convenient drinking, the original LifeStraw is easy to carry and lightweight. Filtering out up to 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics, the straw is crucial for maintaining your health and hydration needs in actual survival situations.

The straw provides an individual user with 1,000 gallons of filtered and safe drinking water from any water source. The average person does not drink this much water in an entire year.

2. Icfun Water and Windproof Lighter

The Icfun water and windproof lighter is a dual arc lighter. It is among the top-rated USB, electric, rechargeable, and flameless lighters that have populated the survival industry in recent years; it is also referred to as a plasma lighter.

Because it is electric, there is no need for gas or butane. Additionally, the design means you can use it regardless of the weather conditions outside. 

The device comes with a thick lanyard, and the internal components are sealed to prevent any water access. It is made from ABS and zinc alloy, providing a high-quality and durable finish.

3. Go Time Gear Tent and Sleeping Bag

Go Time Gear prides itself on making portable and durable survival gear. The company’s life tent and sleeping bag are two products that demonstrate its commitment to mobile design.

The Life Tent weighs in at only 8.7 ounces, and when deployed, provides enough sleeping space for two people. The tent is made from puncture and tear-resistant reflective materials that return 90% of your body heat once inside.

The emergency sleeping bag can essentially act as a survival shelter, as it is made from the same durable materials as the tent. The 4.1 oz sleeping bag is big enough for a single adult and reflects 90% of your body heat, allowing you to stay warm in many situations.

Both the tent and sleeping bag come with a 120-decibel survival whistle. The sound is so loud it can be heard from roughly one mile out, even through trees and wind.

While the three items above might not be the most exciting to come out of the 2021 survival market, they represent the fundamental tools for survival. Obviously, there are items to debate, but when it comes to three core items for any survivalist, a focus on water and shelter is crucial.

What are some of the best gadgets you have seen come out this year? Leave a comment below detailing your favorites.

CategoriesFinance

The Future of the NRA

In May, a federal bankruptcy judge of Dallas, Harlin Hale, dismissed the chapter 11 filing of the NRA without prejudice — meaning the nonprofit organization can refile at a later date. The decision blocked the group from incorporating into taxes, postponing the current New York lawsuit, and potentially stifling the hopes of getting out from under impending financial scrutiny and collapse.

According to Judge Hale’s ruling, NRA leadership sought bankruptcy protections in bad faith in an attempt to achieve an “unfair advantage” in the developing case with regulators in New York. The primary regulator being addressed is the New York Attorney General Letitia James.

A Brief History of the Current NRA Legal Troubles

In August 2020, James’ filed a lawsuit seeking the organization’s dissolution, alleging leadership within the group diverted nonprofit funds to pay for personal trips, no-show contracts, and other questionable expenditures. The final alleged tally of this misappropriation of funds is in the tens of millions. Along with the chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, the suit names three other individuals. In response to the original lawsuit, the NRA sued James’, alleging the Attorney General is motivated by politics.

Why File Bankruptcy?

The NRA is facing multiple lawsuits and court battles. According to an NRA lawyer, the nonprofit sought bankruptcy as a last-ditch effort to salvage the business. In addition to James’ suit, the company is also dealing with lawsuits from Attorney General Karl Racine of Washington D.C. and its former advertising agency.

Filing for bankruptcy protection in Texas was an attempt to move litigation to a more favorable state, and this is not up for debate. In January, the NRA made it clear the filing was an attempt to escape the regulatory oversight in New York, where it received its nonprofit charter in 1871, and where James has regulatory power over incorporated nonprofits.

The Future of the NRA

For now, the NRA is still kicking and readying itself for its day in court. According to the current leadership, the plan is still to move to Texas, a more favorable state with powerful allies. However, James has no interest in making the organization’s transition easy. According to her, she has the authority to block any efforts by the NRA to abandon its incorporation.

Despite the loaded back-and-forth dialogue, the NRA will probably avoid another bankruptcy filing because of Judge Hale’s staunch warning about looking further into NRA lawyers’ “unusual involvement” in the group’s affairs. Still, that doesn’t mean the nonprofit will abandon the idea of incorporating in Texas. 

If the group does decide to continue its pursuit in a last-ditch effort to avoid prosecution in the more liberal-leaning New York, the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, and Attorney General, Ken Paxton, seem favorable to the move. However, each political figure has remained radio silent outside of a couple of Twitter posts.

When the future of the NRA is uncertain at the moment, people need to realize that the undoing of this once nonprofit juggernaut will not resolve the gun debate or end gun violence. The NRA is only an organization, and if they fail, another will likely pick up the pieces and step in to fill the void, hopefully with less drama and less corruption among the leadership.

What do you think of the current NRA fiasco? Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

CategoriesHome Defense

Home Defense: The Essentials for Keeping Your Family Safe During a Break-in or Attack

Before delving into the details here, you need to know that home defense is a broad term that typically encompasses defense strategies for everything from an intruder to a wildfire. The goal here is to address strategies to protect against intruders. While all forms of defense are necessary and critical to survival, most people fear and want to prepare for a human attacker. Defending your home against such attackers comes down to preventative and defensive tactics.

Protect and Secure Your Property

The primary goal of a home defense strategy is limiting the likelihood of needing a defense. In other words, focus on tools and methods of prevention.

A burglar does not want confrontation. They will spend weeks casing a neighborhood to identify the most vulnerable targets: homes that sit empty often, have no security lights, no video cameras, and poor quality locks.

Installing motion-activated cameras and lights around your property and positioning doorbell cameras on all your exterior doors is an excellent first step to securing your property and reducing the risk of a break-in. You can take things a step further by installing deadbolts on all doors and window security bars or bar locks on all your windows, especially on the main floor. Finally, purchase a home security system.

Establish a Safe Room in Your Home

With the exterior of your home protected, it is time to think of the worst-case scenario: an intruder is in your home. While your instinct might be to attack, it is better to retreat to an established safe room and barricade the door. 

When most people think of a safe room, they think of a welded-steel room with a vault-like door; while these legitimate safe rooms are nice to have, not everyone can afford them. A safe room within the frame of this article is any room that provides a defensible position. 

For many people, the safest room in their home might be a bathroom or bedroom. When selecting the room, keep in mind that everyone in the house must get to the space quickly. Additionally, you do not want the room to have multiple doorways. Last, you want access to an exit is necessary — a window should work, especially on the ground level.

Keep Weapons and Phones Close

Your safe room needs to have access to your weapons and a phone. When an intruder breaks into your home in the middle of the night, you cannot expect to have the wherewithal to collect everything needed. If your bedroom is your designated safe room, store a gun safe in the closet and keep your phone charger on a nightstand.

Identify Escape Routes

Staying in your safe room and calling for the police is the best decision until it’s not. In most cases, barricading yourself in a room will give you enough time for a police response, but that depends on where you live and how motivated the intruder is. Therefore, no home defense plan is complete without planning for an escape. 

When planning escape routes, you should think of at least two exits from every room in your home. The exits do not have to be complex; for example, the exits might be the door and a window for the bedrooms. 

With a bit of preparation, you can significantly reduce the risks of your home ever being a target of an intruder. However, in the event of a break-in, knowing how and where you will defend yourself is key to your survival.

What are your favorite home defense strategies? Leave a comment.

CategoriesDisaster Response

What You Need To Know To Build a Hurricane Shelter

Before delving into the specifics of a hurricane shelter, it is crucial to note that some situations and areas are not suited to such structures, for example, any site with known flood risk. If you call your local emergency management office and find that flooding poses no threat, it is time to get your plans together for your hurricane shelter, which can be either stand-alone or in-residence.

Stand-Alone Structure Costs and Essentials

When constructing a hurricane structure, you want to build something strong, stable, and secure — heft works too. In most cases, the frame is made with welded together steel panels secured to a concrete foundation. Essentially, you are designing a large steel box to sit near your home. According to some experts, a hurricane shelter built to FEMA specifications can cost upwards of $5,000.

Steel is not the only option when designing a hurricane shelter. If you would prefer, a shelter can be built of fortified concrete, insulated concrete forms, or fortified masonry blocks. Additionally, you can order a prefab shelter or request a site-built structure. Regardless of the materials and type of external shelter, you should hire a professional to design and build it.

Size Requirements for a Hurricane Shelter

The cost of your hurricane shelter will depend significantly on the size of the structure, and the size of the structure will depend on the number of people you expect to protect inside. According to FEMA, a hurricane shelter should have a minimum space per person of 10 square feet. However, if you shelter bedridden or sick people, you will need to increase that number to 30 square feet. Therefore, a family of five might need a shelter between 50 and 150 square feet in size. A sick individual does not have to be physically ill; they might suffer from a psychological condition. In any case, you will need a shelter that provides between 10 and 30 square feet per person.

In-Residence Hurricane Safe Rooms

Unlike exterior shelters, a hurricane safe room is within the house. The room is windowless and protects from external projectiles and other dangers with fortified walls. These types of rooms do not have to be original to the structure. You can add a safe room by fortifying existing walls with steel, concrete, or even plywood for an economical choice. The primary requirement is that each structure element — walls, ceiling, and foundation — are adequately fastened together, creating a united and fortified structure within the home.

There are two distinct advantages to building an in-residence shelter instead of an external stand-alone one: access and cost. When an emergency occurs, would you rather go down a flight of stairs to your shelter or run across your yard, bracing against high winds? An interior shelter is easier and often safer to access than external rooms. Additionally, a simple lean-to structure in your home’s basement is only going to cost about $2,000. If you want something more involved, you can plan a full-scale room into the house design for $3,000 to $6,000.

Preparing Your Safe Room for Disaster

Depending on how long you need to be in your safe room, you should stock up on essentials. While an empty safe room or shelter is fine for quick passing severe weather, like tornadoes, a hurricane can berate a cost for days. Stocking your room is up to you, but it is wise to have a supply of fresh water, non-perishable food, and medications, just in case.

What kind of safe room will you build? Leave a comment.

CategoriesDisaster Response

Subway Flooding: Keeping Yourself Safe and Dry

The climate crisis is causing shifts in typical or traditional weather patterns. Many metropolitan areas are seeing significant rainfall resulting in unprecedented flooding. Recently, in New York and other major cities worldwide, subway stations are becoming increasingly susceptible to flash floods. While the U.S. has been lucky to avoid any deaths from these strange incidents, other countries have experienced casualties.

Now that the world is seeing such disasters occur with limited frequency, it is time to prepare for the potential threat, to identify ways to stay safe and out of harm’s way. Thankfully, the flood safety protocols do not change too much just because the location is unique.

Stay Dry To Stay Alive

When in a location with flooding risks, it is vital to stay away from the most dangerous areas during inclement weather; for example, get to high ground during downpours or heavy rains. The lower you are, the more danger you put yourself in. Obviously, it is not always possible to stay above ground, especially in busy cities, but avoiding these lower levels during risky weather patterns is best.

Additionally, turn around if you are making your way into the subway and there is a buildup of water on the platforms. The federal safety adage “turn around, don’t drown” is true even in subways. During times of flash flood warnings, the goal of every individual should be to avoid rising water levels at all costs.

The Dangers of Low-Level Flash Floods

Flash floods do not always account for outrageous depths, but they do make up some of the scariest and most dangerous floods. A water depth of six inches is enough to knock a full-grown adult off their feet and into the current.

If you are unlucky enough to get swept into a flood current, do not try to swim against the current because that is a sure-fire way to exhaust yourself. Instead, point your feet into the current, float on your back, and try to steer around or over obstacles with your legs. Essentially, you treat a flood current precisely like a rapid that you’ve fallen into — don’t fight it, go with it.

Trapped in the Subway

If you find that waters are rising too quickly and pouring in from the stairwells, it is best to find something secure to hold on to — a post, rail, toll booth, etc. The goal is to avoid being swept away. Obviously, making your way to higher ground is ideal, but with water sweeping past you, it is best to stand firm where you are holding tight to something foundational.

In the U.S., cities are better equipped to handle the onslaught of flash floods, and many stations have hired specialists to help plan for emergencies like flash floods. With the resources and established protocols, it is — so far — unlikely that the U.S. will experience the type of subway tragedies experienced by China and other parts of the world.

When it comes to subway flooding, avoidance is the best way to stay safe. Before traveling on underground railways, check weather reports and emergency alert broadcasts. Know what the weather will be like and prepare accordingly. If thunderstorms and heavy rains are predicted, schedule above-ground travel using cabs, bicycles, or a good pair of walking shoes. Survival isn’t always convenient or easy; it’s about making smart and safe decisions for the day ahead.

How would you escape a subway flood? Leave a comment with your best advice. 

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