{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Scuba Steve on Kauai
March 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

(This is part of a “Press Release” that I sent out to my divers and friends after last week’s “Tsunami Non-Event” )

Scuba Steve’s Personal Tsunami Encounter :

It was about 9:45 pm on Thursday night. I had fallen asleep while my wife, Ploy, was watching one of her favorite Korean Soap Operas (yah, I know … A Thai woman watching a Korean Sopa Opera with English sub-titles) …

She woke me up and asked me to listen to the announcement because she was not sure if she had been watching a “live” show or a previously recorded episode (yah, I know …. she’a a real drama junkie !!!).

I couldn’t tell if it was live or recorded, so I logged in to my favorite weather channels (links to follow) and saw that the entire State of Hawaii was under a Tsunami Warning !!!

I turned on the television just in time to see the first-run videos of the damage being done in Japan … and then we heard the sounds of the Tsunami Early Warning Sirens going off !!! (Understand … my wife and daughter are from Bangkok, and there is NO such early warning system in their country … when you hear a knock on the front door … the tsunami is HERE !!!)

You might remember that we had gone through a similar Tsunami Warning a few months ago … and even though the tsunami really never hit Kauai, it did force us to evacuate. It also caused me to re-evalutae our personal level of preparedness for disaster (more on that in just a bit).

This time, because we had prepared IN ADVANCE … we were able to get 7 people – including 2 babies, 3 women, 2 men and 4 vehicles out-the-door within 30 minutes!

No worries … No screaming (unlike many of our nearby neighbors) … NO panic … and because we were prepared we had EVERYTHING we might possible need to take care of us – including water, food, medicines, self-protection items, cash, et cetera – enough to last us up to 2 weeks in a worse-case scenario!

We spent the night at a pre-determined location where we had level parking, decent lighting and clean bathrooms and showers awaiting us. Our safety, both physical and emotionally, was secure!!!

“In the unlikely event that a dive buddy should have a problem with his/her air suipply while underwater … ” You have probably heard this before. It’s “why” we have an alternate air source on all of our dive gear.

Similarly … “In the unlikely event that we should have a forced evacuation due to Tsunami or Hurricane or toher reason” … we were prepared, and I would like to take this LIFE LESSON and share with all of you some of my resources.

Check out this web site for ideas on how to be prepared: http://www.SurviveInPlace.com and you can also click on this line for a special offer that is available:

http://landing.personalliberty.com/landing/disaster-preparedness/family-survival-guide_BICOE_LPO1.asp?doid=&SC=P12243357

(Sorry for all the coding.) This is one of the preparedness sites that I subscribe to and I share it with you all because “in the unlikely event that …” can happen to anyone … anwhere … at any time!

In our case, it was late at night … and BEAUSE we had taken the time BEFORE the unlikely event happened … we were able to mobilize and evacuate safely in the dark of night and maintain our peace and safety easily!!!

I will be sending you another email shortly with “Scuba Steve’s Favorite Links” that I use to monitor weather, oceaninc conditions, tide changes, et cetera.

Anyway …. I will say “Aloha” before this email grows any larger !!!!!

Stay Safe and Stay in Touch !!!

Scuba Steve and Family

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry Bowman
March 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

I’m glad all went well for you. How cool for you to be able to give us a blow by blow report on how the things you tell us actually worked for you in a real life situation. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation. Please rest assured that many of us take your advice and knowledge to heart and act on it as well. Take care my friend.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Doc Jim
March 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

Great report, David. Glad you and yours are safe & sound.

The biggest takeaway I see from this report (aside from you being so well prepared) was your AWARENESS. Awareness of problems or potential problems before they’re at your doorstep saved you untold stress and suffering -that impact would have been magnified had the waves hitting your locale actually been damaging.

I have forwarded this write-up, as you make so many great points that summarize all the messages you have in your course. Thanks!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pat Hughes
March 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

Great personal testimony on being prepared!! Thanks for sharing and a BIG thanks for the course…has really helped round out my knowledge base and corrected a few misconceptions. Cannot wait to complete the course…
God Bless you and yours!
Cheers

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Vote -1 Vote +1innate 1
March 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

FYI: Densest caloric and low glycemic index foods are fats.
Crackers and breads? in addition to being bulky are high glycemic and little nutritional value.
May I suggest ?: protein bars, nitrite free jerky, raw nuts like almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and water for carrying around. Lots of good things… heck, Hawaii? coconuts are really food for you and calorie dense.
For home, calorie dense fats like almond butter, organic peanut butter, etc… carrots, eggs, real butter.
no simple sugars, no artificial sweeteners or fats like hydrogenated vegetable oils etc…

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

When your options are coming from a convenience store in a vacation area, you take what you can get….my criteria was to buy stuff that didn’t require refrigeration, had a lot of calories per dollar and pound, and had as little simple sugar as possible. The foods I got WERE the low glycemic index foods :). Most of the “food” in the store was really bad junk. I wasn’t looking for perfect…I was looking for the best calories I could find to supplement what we already had.

I guess one of the points I should have made is that I chose the fast option of a convenience store that allowed us to buy some medium quality calories and relocate quickly vs. driving 30 minutes round trip to a “real” store and get perfect foods but get stuck with the masses, we chose the imperfect option.

Some parts of Hawaii may have lots of coconuts. I wasn’t in one and have never seen THAT many coconuts.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sue
July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

I live in Kona Hawaii, but am up 1000′, so we knew we weren’t in danger from the tsunami, but had several waterfront families stay at our house for the night. As far as coconuts being a survival food, groundskeepers at the waterfront typically remove all coconuts from the trees to avoid one landing on a person or car. Also, it’s pretty hard to get a coconut open. As far as the locals, there is a small faction here who are prejudiced, but many get frustrated with the rude and pushy attitudes of people from the mainland. Thanks so much for all your good work which has helped us prepare for the MANY natural disasters we have possible here in Hawaii.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Philbur
March 18, 2011 at 11:33 am

Typical thinking. These people feel that if anything happens the government or some other agency will take care of them, I work for a diaster contractor and have helped cleanup after several hurricanes. It is frustrating to see people with their hands out after a disaster.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Wenona
March 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

When we were looking to buy a house in Kona a few years back buying on the waterfront was not an issue as both my husband and I went through the 1964 Tsunami in Alaska we live at the 700 level here. We went through the Earthquake here in Kona in 2006 so knew what to expect as far as no cell phones working, lines at the store, lines at the restaurants that were not on the waterfront and lines at the gas station. One thing I wanted to say is, I think the Hawaii people are the kindest people I have met. The locals have welcomed us in, I just wanted to let people know that read your news letter that not all people here are like the ones your friends met.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Lynne
March 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Hi David, I wasn’t affected by the tsunami, but I do have a question for you. You said you always have a few days worth of supplies, and also mentioned that you checked your luggage when flew to Hawaii. Am I correct in assuming that you obtained your water when you arrived there? If not, how do you get around the strict guidelines of the TSA?

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm

You’re correct. I get water once I arrive, although, I either carry a 1 liter nalgene or buy a liter of water after going through security.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Reddog245
March 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I live in Oklahoma, so it is unlikely that we will even have a small change in the weather to actually affect us. However, one thing that this event has showed us in a way that even my wife can see, (I’m not saying that to dismiss her, but she tends to avoid all bad news and counts on me to take care of all that “Boy Scout stuff.”) is the way the news media is reporting/not reporting what is actually going on in a way to solely benefits them, not us. This event seems to take more digging than usual to get through all the hype and BS to get real news. We have friends from Sendai, and wanted to hear more about the physical damage and the status of the people. Instead the news is all nuke disaster this and meltdown that, gas cloud heading this way, lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A little research, (Very easy) into the type of reacters showed that explosions and meltdowns, and pretty much any danger outside the plant, was not only not very likely, but actually not very possible. The media is simply driving fear and panic to increase viewership. Of course, we are somewhat sensitized to this effect from our numerous tornadoes, but we have never seen so much nonsense replacing real news of real disaster.

Love your letter, thanks for your help in spreading the word. You might consider a column on getting/distilling real news from the chatter, or setting up information networks outside cell phones.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Calvin
March 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Dave,

Always interesting and always something to learn. I had emailed after last month’s bulletin re: nuke reactors (as I live near one) to get your perspective re: non-terrorist accidents and fallout. My request seemed eerily on target as the earthquake and reactor crisis in Japan started a few weeks later. I’m glad to read that you are going to talk about this in your next report. Thanks.

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Vote -1 Vote +1gettingby
March 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Dave, great info. I have done your entire course so it’s nice to see you practice what you preach BUT could you please be a little more specific on:

“I travel a lot, and always carry a few days of food and supplies with me so that I can self-support for a few days, no matter where I am. I also use a layered system that goes from VERY small and minimalist, to a camelback, to some bigger items that I carry in my checked luggage. In short, even if we didn’t get anything from the store, we were set for shelter, fire, water, food, security, medical, and trauma needs if things got squirrely.”

Specifics about what type of items you had in your checked luggage. What did you have packed for shelter and how extensive was your medical kit? What sort of items had you brought from home for food? What “security” did you have? I ask because I think of a tent, a gun and ammo, MREs and a full trauma kit but that seems like a lot in “checked luggage.” Were these items in some sort of backpack or BOB or just in the suitcases? It would be helpful to have a bit more detail so that when we travel by air I rethink how I pack. Thanks for all your great advice.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1shawn
March 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Nicely done! The only problem with being so prepared is that your wife will never feel the panic that could be part of these events and you’ll never be able to talk her into the cool gear that a little panic can justify. LOL

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rebecca Roddy
March 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Can you list the specific things you take with you when you travel???

I’ve been working through the Survive in Place course and making good progress.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Becky

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tom R
March 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

My youngest daughter and her husband have been in Tokyo for the past two years teaching. They love Japan and the people but they always encounter the us vs them mentality when trying to rent an apartment or even enter certain establishments. The Japanese do not share our ideas about prejudice.

They had already prepared their “go bags” and had some prestocked food and water as I have shared my survival thoughts and ideas with them over the past year or so. They really wanted to stay and ride this out but after the nuclear reactor situation appeared to be getting worse and the food and water was not getting resupplied in Tokyo they decided to leave and went to Narita airport they were bused 10 hours to another airport and flew out to Amsterdam where they are traveling to Stockholm to stay with my son-in-laws mother.

Trying to stay intouch was very difficult, no phone service at all but the internet was occassional up so we were able to get a few e-mails through and that was a huge Blessing.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
March 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

David

I was in Kawai, right on the beach of the west shore. As soon as we heard of the tsunami we gathered up our stuff and bugged out to a friends house on higher ground and be ahead of the herd.
Thanks to your survial course we were prepaired should the worse occurred

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Arthur
March 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Hi Dave, I keep a map of the Latest Earthquakes in the World – Past 7 days on my home computer Have been for years along with the Very Latest SOHO Images jest to keep up on top of things !! And I can say with some facts, that what is going on in Japan has never happen befor !! What it means, I don’t know ?? But there has never been so many earthquakes in one area in the 10 years I have been watching them, not even that many in the world !! At one 7 day time ! The most I can remember Is 300 world wide in 7 days !! Japan Had 550 or better in one small area or never so many 6 or 5s , but no body has had a 9.0 that we can compare with !! All the news has missed this one !! What do’es it mean if anything ?? Any one know ?? Do we need to watch this also, on my list for sure !!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Brad
March 19, 2011 at 5:07 am

have you looked at earthquakes in relation to volcanic eruptions?
the ring of fire is a curious geographical region.
I’m not an extremist but sugguest paying close attention to the Pacific as potential “triggers”, in relation to global and polar shifts – which could really effect us all no matter where you live

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Vote -1 Vote +1on my toes
March 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

howdy! thanks for sharing this info w/ us. my hubby and i are always watching the underground news and when we tell people, they just laugh at us and think we are paranoid. It’s annoying and sad, but we know that people shall die for lack of knowledge. It reminds me of Lot and his wife. How the angels had to grab Lot and family by the hand and practically drag them out of Sodom and Gomorrah. Why are people so stubborn and prideful? they think that just because we are in the US WE ARE NOT AFFECTED. God’s wrath is upon us, and still we are not repenting. Thank you for doing your duty by warning those willing to listen. God will surely bless you my dear!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandi
March 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thanks! Sorry y’all had to go through that, but thanks for the tips!

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I could cry a river about having to sleep in our rental for half a night in Hawaii :). It wasn’t bad at all, and we’re very thankful that we didn’t experience the devastation that they did in Japan.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
March 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Thank for the details of your experience David!

Amazingly, just two weeks prior I started your course. I bought it last year and while recoverying from surgery (still am), I decided to print out the lessons, buy a binder and organize the material. Two weeks into the course, then the disaster in Japan. Couldn’t have been more timely. First thing I thought about was, “wow, these people have to bug out”. You can bet over the next 6 months I’l be going from a ‘somewhat prepared’ to a completely prepared individual / family with a goal of being able to but out 5 adults and 2 children within 30 minutes! This brings up a pretty good topic of dealing with a medical issue like recoverying if you have to bug out. I had spine surgery and for the next three months, I am restricted to lifting nothing more than 10 pounds and then lets not mention managing the different meds I’m on then on top of that being a diabetic!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pat
March 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

You are exactly right about the Locals in Hawaii! I knew someone that was in Europe when we bombed Iraq. Locals can turn on you in a minute.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1E M
March 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

My husband and I own a condo in Waikiki and we were here for the February 2010 tsunami as well as this recent one. Last year, we thought about going to our church which is on high ground but after discussing it, since we are on a very high floor, we decided to stay in place and not bug out. It was a good discussion because we had been listening to information and felt like it wouldn’t be large. We also stayed in place again this year, where we have a comfortable bed, plenty of food and water. The streets in Waikiki are cleared and the likelihood of water doing damage to our building is slight. Of course, there is always fire to think about, but we chose to stay in place and were glad we did. If we are here for another tsunami, we will have to evaluate again whether to leave or stay.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Our friends who are higher up in the building where we stayed stayed put as well. There are models available that take past tsunamis and predict worst case surge levels. I cant tell you the name off hand, but in many areas of Hawaii, it’s between 50-60 feet.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Michael
March 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Wow so you were here for the tsunami too huh? My wife and I live directly in the inundation zone on the north-east corner of Oahu. We have had several tsunami scares over the years but this was the most serious so far. Living on the coast of a small island means that the threat of natural disaster is always present. We keep several 72-hour go-bags within arms reach; in the car, at work and of course at home. This time we had five hours warning so had plenty of time to load our truck and get to high ground. When we arrived several friends were already there ready and waiting. Here’s the scary part…we have one functioning gas station in the area I live in. As you can imagine the line was several hundred meters long when I passed by. My wife, who was on her way home from work when the alert sounded called me and asked if she should fill up the car. Since the truck was full I told her to skip it and get home ASAP so we could get to the fall-back area. At the gas station tempers and fear began to flare as people were nudging each other out of the way to get to the pump. There were no police around and you could feel the panic fear and anger setting in even though there were still several hours before the wave was due to hit.
If something was going to go off that night it was going to happen at the gas station or the grocery store. The lesson here is to be prepare as well as you can before the danger hits. Have your supplies and equipment ready to go at a moments notice incase you’ve got to move fast. After all, if the earthquake had been on the Big Island we have 30 minutes to get to high ground on Oahu. Keep the faith.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

We got lucky. There was a decent sized earthquake at 11:05 pm local time under kilauea volcano right after the first alarm sounded. Glad you were all set.

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Vote -1 Vote +1vikinglander
March 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hey Dave,

Hope you spent a lot of time playin’ in the surf with your kids, and lyin’ in the sand staring at clouds and groovin’ on just bein’ there. Do you surf?

Just to point out the average mentality of the public, here’s an observation:

I work for America’s premier organic supermarket chain, in the supplement and body care department in a store on Long Island NY. This past week with the media prattling on about the reactors at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, we SOLD OUT of every bottle of iodine and kelp and several other dried seaweed products we had in stock. While it IS a great source of natural KI, what do we REALLY think are the odds that even a major event in Japan is going to make it necessary to take doses of KI in NEW YORK?? As always, the crowds with the knee-jerk reactions.

Ready? We are.
Vikinglander

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
March 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hey Vik,
You are right; RE:the knee-jerk crowds. If one of those reactors were to go prompt critical (atomic bomb) which it could not, the released radiation would not be a cause for concern in even the western U.S.
In a meltdown the core will simply burn through the bottom of the reactor vessel and containment structure and continue to burn through the earth’s crust until it exhaust all of it’s fuel or breaks through to the earth’s core.
Jim

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

No surfing…spent almost all of our time playing with our boys, other family, and friends. When they’re older, I’ll be surfing and kite boarding with them 🙂

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Godzilla
March 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I live in Tokyo, and I was here when the earthquake hit. I was at work; the building shook hard, but there was very little damage (thankfully Japanese building codes have become very strict since the Kobe quake and anti-quake technology has advanced significantly). The trains were shut down for the night, so I had the options of staying put at work or walking home. Even though it was a chilly night, I wanted to check on my place so I decided to walk. (Others who live further away really had no option but to stay. One thing I realized is that although I do have some supplies and gear at my office I should probably have more.) The major thoroughfares were pretty packed, although there was no panic evident — the Japanese have an unusually calm reaction to this kind of thing. Pretty much *everybody* is “prepped” at least as far as an earthquake go-bag.

Over the days since, there were runs on some basic supplies at the stores, but there’s always been plenty of food. I wasn’t really worried about this once I got home, since I’ve got at least a couple of week’s worth of food and a lot of water there. Some of the stuff that disappeared from the stores quickly was predictable: bottled water, toilet paper, instant noodles (terrible nutritional choice, but easy “emergency food”, I guess) . But some of it seemed strange to me: milk, eggs, bread. I think this must have just been high-turnover stuff that ran out because the distribution channels were temporarily disrupted. As of now, the stores are stocked again, though they’re putting “one pack per customer” limits on some of the items that sold out before.

We’ve got rolling blackouts due to the reduced power from the Fukushima plants going offline. There hasn’t been any problem from this, but I keep a flashlight on me at all times now, in addition to my usual gear.

I’ve followed the events at the Fukushima plant closely but given the actual scientific information I can find (not the sensationalistic reports of the commercial media) don’t believe there’s any danger in Tokyo, at least from radiation. There might be some panic if there’s a really bad development in Fukushima, and I’d be ready to hole up for a while if necessary. For a number of reasons, bugging out really isn’t a practical option.

Of course, the situation to the north is totally different. They’ve still got no power/water in a lot of the worst-hit areas. I’ve gotta hand it to the Japanese, though — they just don’t go crazy like a lot of other people do. No looting, no rioting. You see people lined up at a store, go in and buy supplies in an orderly fashion, and when they run out, those waiting outside calmly disperse. “Can’t be helped.” “I’ll try again tomorrow.” Kind of hard to imagine this kind of attitude anywhere else.

I haven’t experienced any racial bias here in Tokyo, but it might be stronger in the countryside.

To sum up — I’m glad I’m prepped as well as I am, but haven’t really needed to use it, amazingly enough. Kudos to the Japanese for staying calm.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Good for you, Godzilla! God bless and stay safe.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jason
March 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm

On a semi-related note: Watching how the world (in essence) is panicking about the nuclear events in Fukishima…it’s totally mind-boggling how everyone is freaking out instead of just doing a little research for themselves into the situation, which totally helps put things into perspective instead of the scare-reporting that’s currently going on.

Media is totally influencing the uneducated/willingly dumb masses. I currently live and work in China, and it’s AMAZING how people are totally over-reacting to the situation and people are already profiting from it.

David, you said: “In a disaster, don’t trust the media to have your best interests as a priority. They need to fill time and keep you listening as long as possible.”

And it’s so true. Right now, the reporters don’t have much to report on so they’re spending inordinate amounts of time hyping up nuclear-related-stuff….just waiting for something to happen (either a disaster or a successful solution).

I have to go back and re-read Survive in Place, so maybe you covered it there…but perhaps a blog is in order to talk about the media and how to discern what’s needed to know vs. “edu-tainment” kind of stuff that does not affect the situation and survival of the situation directly?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dale
March 19, 2011 at 8:32 am

Count me among those who are glad for the coverage of the problems at the nuclear plant. I want to know what is happening there for many reasons, both humanitarian concerns,

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Vote -1 Vote +1Godzilla
March 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm

One other thing: I can second David’s experience vis-a-vis cell phones. The cell-phone systems (as well as most of the landlines) were totally overloaded — even SMS didn’t go through, much less calls. HOWEVER, I never lost access to email or internet via my iPhone. Facebook and Twitter were the most reliable way to touch base with others, and Google-based GPS maps were working, allowing me to get home easily and avoid the higher-traffic routes. Of course, with a really widespread power outage the data access would go down as well, but it was useful to know that even when calls and SMS didn’t work, email and internet did.

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-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ruroni
March 19, 2011 at 12:52 am

Mr. Morris,

After reading your story I wanted to let you know that there’s an app that’s an alternative to the standard iPhone text app available for jailbroken iPhones that will automatically retry sending failed text messages as well as allow you to respond to and compose messages while using any app amongst several other cool features. You share so much awesome information with the rest of us on a weekly basis that I felt it only fair that I try to return the favor. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like more info on jailbreaking your phone or the app i mentioned. I’d be happy to help out.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thanks, Ruroni

Ive opted to not jailbreak my iPhone. Everyone I know who’s done it has had stability issues and I use it too much to add any instability. Have you had any issues with yours?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ken Bucher
March 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Just a note on the Verizon iPhone – it does not use a sim card like the AT&T version. So, you cannot just pull it out and use it in another phone like the AT&T version. I also chose not to jailbreak my iPhone, but for somewhat different reasons. Please keep up the fantastic work!

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Vote -1 Vote +1sogone0
March 19, 2011 at 8:16 am

Hi David M.
What do you do with all the extra food? just curious. I feel sorry for all the gorrie, glory, news and blues hounds when a real disaster hits. They will be the first to complain and more than likely first to perish.
Thanks for your report better prepared than sorry.
PS: Those that scooted w/o any provisions would really be hurting for certain if a real disaster struck.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dale
March 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

There is an interesting and telling survival story underway in Japan at the moment. It doesn’t matter how prepared people were — with no time to do more than flee, they couldn’t carry much with them, and what they left behind was destroyed by the tsunami. Unless they had a retreat stocked somewhere, and could get to it, they are now having to survive by wit and will.

As the days have gone by without much help for people in the worst-hit areas, I have been mentally rationing the contents of our “bug out bag”. By now our provisions would be well past gone, and we would be using the tools it contains to acquire food and water, shelter and warmth. It’s an interesting measure, and I can see that I need to add some items to make it more valuable.

I’d be very interested in hearing people’s thoughts about this true survival situation.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Patrick
March 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

I live in Tokyo and have been dealing with this craziness for a week now.
But since this is my second major earthquake (Northridge Quake) and I’m from Socal (a lot o’ earthqiakes!!), I found myself more prepared with not only gear (food,water, fire,etc) but emotionally as well.

There are a lot of post tramatic cases wandering the streets of Tokyo right now, so I’ve been trying to give as much advice as possible and keep the people around me from freaking out too bad, since any type of gear you need right now is sold out.

From all of my experiences with earthquakes, I’ve realised the best thing to do when a big one hits is lay down next to something big (sofa , bed, desk,etc) curl up, stay calm, and ride it out. Because the force of it is too big and unpredictable to control (think swimming in the ocean)

Another big scare here in Japan is the whole radiaton thing. But since we are 120 miles away, everything (hopefully) should be okay.

As long as you are not in Fukushima, you are safe. The media is having a field day with this one. And since they have to sell papers, the press is going to keep the hype alive. So, long story short, if you do not live in Fukushima, don’t go out and waste your money on iodine tablets. But, if you do have a bunch o’ cash just burning a hole in your pocket, send it to the poor folks that are suffering in Fukushima, Japan.

Patrick

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

God Bless & stay safe Patrick.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel
March 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

One thing in my kit is a set of Peltor ‘radio earmuffs’–I use them at the shooting range and when I’m trying to sleep in on the weekend–dang roosters! They dampen sound very well, and while they don’t have the best radio reception, they are also not what I depend on for radio. They would be a valuable asset in a noisy shelter-type situation, provided there was someone on watch, of course. Also, the thankfully few times I’ve visited anyone in a hospital, I’ve noticed that the sound levels there are not exactly conducive to restful healing sleep, so they could come in handy there as well. As would a blindfold , or ‘sleeping mask’, if you prefer.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pam
March 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Thank You so much for the knowledge and how best to use it and how to stay aware of whats happening. I also wonder what foods you carry with you and last week or so you talked about storing foods that you eat normally. Could you give us an idea of what stores best? Thanks so much!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sue B
March 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm

To the gun and ammo comment. Remember Hawaii is not a gun friendly state. Unless David has his commission he along w everyone else has to be unarmed. I travel a bit and never go anywhere w/o my knife at least. I just hope if something evil happens I am home, otherwise I am unarmed too, if I’m on the road working.
Be careful out there
sue

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hawaii wants their people helpless and dependent. Knives and pepper spray are even difficult. That being said, I have taken firearms over there legally. The last I checked, the requirement was that anyone bringing a firearm into the state had to register it within 48 hours. They inspected my handgun, wrote down the serial number, fingerprinted me, took WAY too much information, and 1/2 a day later, I could legally have a firearm during my stay.

The waste of time wasn’t worth it to me. I frequently to places where only criminals are armed, so I’m uncomfortably used to the feeling.

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Vote -1 Vote +1K.Pinkerton
March 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Your experience in Hawaii is A-Typical. The Locals there are all good for taking your tourist money and glad when your leave . Put a disaster in the mix it does turn into Us vs Them. I can say this I’m third generation Local Haoli, but I no longer live there. My own experience that early Friday morning was a non event. I had been reading for a few weeks that allot people for some reason thought March 11-15th was going to have an “event”. Having been a Prepper for some time I happened to be going to San Diego from Portland Oregon via SUV to see my son graduate from MCRD “Marine Corps Recruit Depot” Having family from Hawaii we were awaken at 5pm Pst from my wife’s sister that Japan had a 9.0 and that Tokyo was in flames and a Tsunami was expected to hit Hawaii very soon. Having prepared for my trip 1100 miles from home with my wife and daughter-in-law with her twin baby boys, I silently gathered information as to the threat San Diego was facing as I secretly reflected to myself as I had placed a duffle bag of MREs and a case of bottled water in my SUV along with my Go Bag for the trip. San Diego was only under Advisory so the day went on without incident. Thanks to sites like Survive in Place and others, the mindset to being prepared for disasters kept me ready and able to respond to the March 11th Tsunami Threat to San Diego.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Mike Harlow
March 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

I was unaffected by the tsunami as I live 4700 ft above sea level. I used to live in Florida and became very aware of the potential for disaster with a big wave. It would slop over into the gulf of Mexico and take everything with it. In Florida, you won’t find a rise in the topography until you get to Gainsville. Most of it is about two feet above sea level. I started to get survival oriented about twenty years ago. I now have a bumper-hitch trailer, pulled by a 4wd pickup, a utility trailer pulled by a mini-van both filled with food and camping stuff. So far I have scoped out five very rural buggout sights with water. i have several water filters and a ton of long term storable food. Am organizing fellow preppers for a group as one man in the wilderness is a sniper target waiting to happen. If I have time & money, solar is next. I believe we are headed for a barter system very soon. Good Luck,
Mike

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
March 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm

This is just my little extra bit of advice but in terms of communication, when cell phones and even the internet fail to work, , its nice to have some old tech on hand, namely simple 2 way radios. Whether its the handheld CB’s with the long antenna, a CB in your vehicle, the newer small radios that claim to transmit a long distance (not sure of the band/frequency), or even access to portable HAM /shortwave equipment, any of those may help in seeing if there’s anyone out there that can relay a message or give the heads up to people (including yourself) that may need help. Especially with HAM/shotwave, if you’re lucky enough to transmit and have your signal bounce off the ionosphere, you may reach someone who can help thats halfway around hte world. Just be sure to have some batteries, or a power supply to power the larger units or recharge your other batteries.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JEAN
March 21, 2011 at 2:15 am

HI DAVID,
MY HUSBAND IS A GEOLOGIST THAT KEEPS A WATCH ON ALL THE EARTHQUAKES. HE HAS BEEN REAL CONCERNED ABOUT YELLOWSTONE. THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF EARTHQUAKES ALL OVER. THESE ARE PERILOUS TIMES. I BELIEVE THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEE MORE EATHQUAKES IN DIFFWERENT PLACES. THE AREA IN JAPAN IS CALLED THE RING OF FIRE. WE ARE WATCHING AND WAITING FOR WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. WE LIVE IN ARIZONA AND WE HAVE BEEN FEELING THE EARTHQUAKES HERE TOO, BUT THESE ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO JAPAN. WE ALL HAVE TO BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN. WE TRUST THE LORD TO SEE US THROUGH ALL OF LIVES TRIALS. I SUGGUST ALL THAT HAVE WRITTEN YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Drawer22
September 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

@Jean

Please trust also that you don’t need to SHOUT. If you and what you have to say are sufficiently important, those who want or need to hear you will be able to do so, even at a whisper, rather than a SHOUT. (That’s why a “still, small voice” is powerfully effective.)

Cogito, ergo armatus sum.

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Vote -1 Vote +1KenDawg
March 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

You wrote:
“My iPhone only tries to send a message once. If it doesn’t go out, it returns an error message and doesn’t try again.”

Is that all iPhones? Is it just the network? I just recently got an iPhone 4g on Verizon and haven’t had any issues with it sending messages, although I never lived through a SHTF scenario with it either. Is there a way to test it? How can I find out??

I am concerned about this because I was in NY on 9/11 and all the telephone systems went down. Landlines worked… sporadically. Cell phones were useless. I was running the Nextel with the two way PTT (walkie talkie) and that’s the only way I was able to communicate with my family. That alternative form of communication was a blessing during such a disaster. I hope there is a way to have a back up in one unit like I had with that system. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I have the course but have not gotten to that point yet (if one is in there).

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Vote -1 Vote +1BadVooDooDaddy
April 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It just goes to show you that having a plan no matter where you are at is important. It might seem anal to some to scout the area out and set up an evacuation plan should something happen but It could save your life. It also shows the importance of having a go bag with you at all times. Excellent post, it makes you think.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Oohrah
May 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

As I sit here I can now see the calm Pacific from southern coastal Oregon. As a member of several different groups, some dealing with this type of emergencies, and been involved with them since the 60s as a firefighter and a LEO. Retired, I still keep active as a Sheriff’s reserve, and a member of the State Defense Force/ State National Army Guard and a CERT member, Although I have lived through several major events, up to now there has not been much training on dealing with these emergencies available to the public. The last five to ten years, there has been a public awareness, and people have realized that in order to survive, self preparing and being a part of exercise to practice simulated happenings.
Self part is having a plan, and a to go bag if needed. A place of safety with supplies to last a minimum of three days. It’s up to you to find and move to this safety area, if you need to do so. A family plan where you have a family phone tree that a single call will take care of friends and family and a plan for your immediate family. A distant quake and Tsunami waves, there are warnings hours ahead of time. Don’t mess around, and trigger your planned move. A close up quake/Tsunami, the only warning will be a ground tremors, and maybe a half hour before the Tsunami waves will start hitting the coastline. If it is a 9 like is predicted, these waves on the west coast can be from 100 to 150 foot high. Head for the high ground above that elevation immediately after the tremors. There will be no further warning. It is thought that most communications ( perhaps not with the many HAM stations) will cease. Roads and major land slides on the coastal roads, and perhaps many miles inland will occur. It may some time before help arrives, as your area may not be the only one in need. Be prepared, and train!
This last Japan quake, the Tsunami affected only a very small part of the Pacific coast. Unfortunately it was where I live, and just across the California boarder in Crescent City. The damage was confined to the harbor areas, with the Crescent City being very heavy damaged and Brookings, Oregon, in the millions with several boats sunk, and the dock destroyed. Both areas were considered a FEMA, and state disasters.

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