by Bill Pope | February 17, 2015
MOUNT CARBON, W.Va.- A train derailment in West Virginia raises an important preparedness question, “How can I be prepared in the event my water supply is compromised?”
According to the Associated Press–
A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed during a snowstorm in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one tanker into a river, igniting at least 14 in all and sending a fireball hundreds of feet into the sky, officials and residents said.
Part of the derailed train slammed into a house, residents said. Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river. And fires were still burning nearly nine hours after the accident, according to state public safety division spokesman Lawrence Messina. The plan is to let those tankers on fire burn out, he said.
The Kanawha River supplies the drinking water to both Kanawha and Fayette Counties. No word yet on the effect this will have on the citizens who depend on the river for their water supply. However, Governor Tomblin’s declared State of Emergency for both counties suggests an ominous outlook.
The West Virginia train derailment is a classic reminder that disasters take many forms and can strike without warning. It’s a lesson that survival preparedness is a good idea for everyone no matter where they live. So how can one prepare for the event that your main water supply is compromised?
Let’s review a few simple precautions you can take to help protect you and your family.
FEMA guidelines suggest you store at least 3 days water supply for emergencies. That is, 1 Gallon, per person, per day, for hydration and sanitation purposes. Personally, I believe this is far too low. Even your average disaster could leave you without water for much longer than that. If I didn’t have at least a months worth of water, along with multiple options for locating and filtering at least a years worth, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Understandably, for a lot of people, space and money could be an issue when it comes to storing emergency supplies. Those living in larger cities tend to have less space, yet ironically seem to be the most susceptible. A 2 week supply and a simple hiking water filter are good starting points. The cost could be kept to a minimum, and space could be found if you get creative. I defy you to tell me you don’t feel better already just thinking about it.
Bottled water is the easiest, but conversely, the most expensive. It’s extremely portable, which is a plus in the event the situation is so dire, you need to bug out.
Empty soda and drink bottles are the poor man’s means to water storage by refilling with tap water. Just remember to wash out the bottles thoroughly with dish soap and hot water, fill them completely and seal them tight.
5 & 7 gallon jugs are already familiar to hunters and campers alike, and can easily be stored in a garage or closet. They are made from food grade plastic, and are usually a dark blue or green color to help prevent light from penetrating, thus stopping algae growth. They can generally be found for under $10 a piece.
Whichever way you go make sure to rotate your water on a regular basis. Generally tap water should be rotated and replaced every 6 months to a year. Store bought bottled water will generally keep a bit longer but you want to make sure to keep rotating these as well. The last thing you want is big mouthful of stagnant water.
Water filters can range in size from portable units that can fit into one’s pocket or bag all the way to large family size units that are less portable but usually more effective. Most quality filters will do a good job of filtering out most bacteria, parasites, and possibly even viruses. In a pinch, you can also make your own water filter with a combination of sand, rocks, charcoal and some other basic items. Combine that with a chemical treatment or boiling and you can make almost any source of water drinkable. Although standard water filters aren’t recommended for oil contaminated water (you’re better off using a separator funnel), they could still prove to be an invaluable tool in the event you have to bug out and leave your stored water supply behind, have to eventually find a water source once you run out, or if the water you have becomes compromised in any way.
You can go all out, and create your own elaborate system, or it could be as simple as placing a rain barrel, or 55 gallon drum under your rain gutter. Since this water is running through your gutters and collecting in an open pool, this might be where you put you filter to good use. Water purification tabs are also a handy method for producing clean drinking water. Bleach can also be used once you familiarize yourself with proper dosage. Lastly you can also boil it with a simple backpack stove kept in your camping supplies, or bug out bag.
However far you take it depends on a number of factors, including budget, space and commitment level. One thing is for certain, when it comes to emergency preparedness it is up to you to protect your family from disaster. Be Prepared, Be Confident, Be Chaos Ready!
Editors note: The Following article, although localized to the Southern California region still highlights the importance a water supply can have for major cities. A regional disaster, no matter the cause, can have similar detrimental effects for the most basic human need, water.
by, Rosanna Xia & Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times | December 15, 2014
Los Angeles gets 88% of its water from three major aqueducts, flowing from the Colorado River, Owens Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
But as they make their way into the region, the aqueducts cross the San Andreas fault a total of 32 times.
Officials have long warned that a massive temblor on the San Andreas could destroy key sections of the aqueducts, cutting off the water supply for more than 22 million people in Southern California.
L.A. officials are for the first time taking concrete steps to address the problem. Making L.A.’s water supply less vulnerable in a huge quake will probably cost billions, and it remains unclear where that money would come from.
by Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon | December 12, 2014
Millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm that will disrupt the electric grid and cause cascading infrastructure failures, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document.
DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated in an internal 2012 fact sheet outlining its response plan for severe “space weather” that the actual impact and damage from a future solar storm is not known.
“An analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the US electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.
The FEMA fact sheet noted the findings of a 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that monitors sun storms, warning that an extreme solar storm could leave “130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.
by RT | NOVEMBER 4, 2014
According to research conducted by Channel 4’s Dispatches program and the Institute for Global Food Security, around 58 percent of rice-based products in the UK contain huge levels of arsenic.
If an individual is exposed to it over long periods of time, they risk a range of major health problems, including nervous system damage and bladder cancer.
While there is currently no formal regulation over arsenic levels in food, the EU is increasingly concerned about rice-based products, particularly those consumed by young children.
According to the research, products including puffed rice cereal showed high levels of inorganic arsenic, while some baby foods tested had arsenic levels nearly 200 percent higher than the EU’s recommended limits.
Rice is the only major crop grown in flooded conditions, where it absorbs large amounts of inorganic arsenic found in soil minerals. According to the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA), rice typically contains ten times more arsenic than other foods.
The pilot program will be implemented in 13 municipalities for six months. Participating individuals will receive 200 euros per month, plus an additional 100 euros per adult in the household and 50 euros per child.
Some version of a minimum guaranteed income plan—also called a basic income guarantee (BIG) or negative income tax—has been gaining tepid but bipartisan support in America. The proposal has managed to capture the imaginations of conservatives, progressives, and libertarians alike, although each tend to lend support for different reasons and envision a different finished product. The appeal from a conservative or libertarian perspective is that a basic income guarantee program could replace our current bloated, labyrynthian, work-disincentivizing welfare scheme (including everything from food stamps to unemployment benefits to Social Security) with one program that costs less, runs more smoothly, and empowers individuals to use benefits how they, not federal officials, see fit.
The cold war-style parade involving tanks, phalanxes of soldiers and a flyover by military jets will be the first of its kind that Serbia has held for nearly three decades. The last time, the country was still part of socialist Yugoslavia.
The event is to commemorate the liberation of Belgrade from Nazi occupation by Yugoslav Partisans and the Red Army 70 years ago. The date of the ceremony was moved forward four days to fit in with Putin’s timetable.
“…If you’re prepared for a zombie, you’re really prepared for…an infectious disease,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in 2012
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed more emphasis on a “zombie preparedness” campaign than preparations for Ebola despite a $6.6 billion yearly budget.
A simple Google search on the CDC web site reveals more search results for “zombie preparedness” (253 results) than “Ebola preparedness” (178 results), highlighting the misplaced priorities of the health agency which admitted Tuesday it did little to contain Ebola in Dallas, Texas.
The CDC’s “zombie preparedness” documents stem from a public awareness campaign the agency launched in 2011 to take advantage of the popularity of the TV show The Walking Dead.
“It was actually a great way to get people to think about, you know if you’re prepared for a zombie, you’re really prepared for a hurricane, a tornado, an infectious disease, just about anything,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told NPR in 2012.
The then-Director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Dr. Ali Khan, echoed a similar statement.
“If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack,” he wrote.
But it would appear this “zombie preparedness” campaign did little to prepare U.S. health workers for the Ebola pandemic in Dallas, Texas, now that a second nurse has the disease after treating the late Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
Additionally, the CDC only beefed up information regarding Ebola on its web site around Aug. 19, weeks after an American who contracted Ebola in Liberia died after flying through an international airport, underscoring the agency’s tendency to react poorly to pandemics instead of preventing them from occurring.
And the CDC’s poor response to U.S. Ebola cases occurred despite the agency’s $6.6 billion budget.
“With so much money being thrown at emergency preparedness, one would think these agencies would have a plan to deal with something like a pandemic outbreak, but they don’t,” Robert Richardson of Off-Grid Survival wrote. “With [the first] case of Ebola showing up in the U.S., we have witnessed the complete breakdown of the entire federal preparedness system.”
“From DHS and Border Patrol failing to shut down air travel during an active epidemic in West Africa, to the CDC’s complete failure to manage a single case of Ebola, no one in government seems to have an actual plan in place to deal with this type of emergency.”
“In fact, day after day the CDC comes out during their daily press conference basically admitting they’re making it up as they go,” he added.
Nurses “not prepared to handle Ebola or any other pandemics”
Nurses at the Dallas hospital where the first patient died of Ebola in the US insisted there were no protocols in place for dealing with the virus – and claimed that no hospital in the country was prepared to deal with the deadly virus.
The director of the National Nurses Union RoseAnn DeMoro directly contradicted the CDC’s initial claim that a breach in protocol lead to the infection of Nina Pham as she treated Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
She said: ‘Our nurses are not protected, they’re not prepared to handle Ebola or any other pandemics.’
‘The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place and are not in place anywhere in the United States, as far as we can tell.’
The warnings became even more poignant after it was revealed that a second female nurse who treated Duncan has been diagnosed with the deadly infection.
Both she and Ms Pham are being treated in isolation rooms at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.
Ms DeMoro and co-director Deborah Burger revealed that nurses from Texas Presbyterian Hospital have reported several grievous lapses in protection for healthcare workers who looked after Duncan.
The union, which does not represent any of the nurses at Texas Presbyterian, said the healthcare workers came to them because they believed they had no other way to report the dangerous security lapses.