Forbes had an interesting article that I thought was worth sharing to our audience here.

Take a look at this map of what the future USA might look like:

Source: Matrix Institute from a map by Gordon-Michael Scallion

I’ve long known that billionaires like Ted Turner had very large parcels of land in the central United States. But I always thought that was just because they liked the privacy and the ranching life, with cows and stuff. But maybe there’s more to it than that?

What does this map of the US make you think of? This is what some experts are saying the United States might look like if a pole shift caused massive flooding along the existing coastlines. That Forbes article kind of goes into it all…in the early 1980s there was a “spiritualist” named Gordon-Michael Scallion who reportedly believed that he had been given visions of a very detailed future map of the US. He believed that a shift in Earth’s magnetic poles would result from nuclear weapons, global warming and misuse of technology and that it would unleash catastrophic flooding.

Another spiritualist named Edgar Cayce predicted that volcanic activity would result in massive flooding on the west coast. While NASA denies that there is significant risk to the Earth from collisions with asteroids, they do have an asteroid watch website. The Forbes article references a planetary science researcher who says that the most likely scenario to cause a future like the one predicted by Scallion is an asteroid impact.

Maybe, the billionaire’s plans to buy up property in America’s heartland isn’t just because they like cows.

The news reports we are hearing of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are heartbreaking. Tens of thousands of people in coastal areas in Texas have been evacuated from their flooded neighborhoods, if they could get out at all. On NPR a woman spoke of having to wade out of her house in water that was mouth high and that rescuers simply told her to keep her mouth shut as she waded to the boat through the dirty water.

Other people have said that they did not get enough information about how serious the storm would be. They simply did not know the risks they were facing in staying in their home. If they did know the risks, maybe they didn’t truly believe how bad it would be. Some people think that hurricanes are just a joke. I grew up in Florida and I have been through a couple hurricanes when I was younger person. And people who have not experienced hurricanes, as well as people who have been through some less severe hurricanes, can tend to think that the warnings or overblown. So I understand the attitude of “Oh, it’s probably not going to be that bad.”

The media is bad about over-blowing dire warnings. Like, the total solar eclipse in Oregon that happened recently…the state was predicting clogged roads, grocery stores running out of food, gas stations running out of gas, and emergency responders not being able to get through to people. It turned out to not be that bad. So, yeah, I get it.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell when you really will be OK in your home and when you will not be OK in your home. So what can we learn from a disaster like Hurricane Harvey?

Number one. Plan to take care of yourself because no one else will do it.

911 will not answer. The ambulance will not come. The firetruck will not come. Plan ahead to get yourself out of the area on your own with whatever resources you have because, bottom line, in a serious situation help will not come.

If you live in a place that is prone to flooding consider getting a small rowboat. Or a kayak. Or an inflatable raft at the very least that you can keep packaged up in your garage or underneath your bed until the time comes that you need to deploy it.

Stock up on portable food and water. This does not mean cans of soup, jars of peanut butter, and gallon jugs of water. Those are nice to have, but not practical in a flash flood/hurricane situation. Because if you have to leave on that inflatable raft I just mentioned, you will not be taking 50 pounds of food and water with you. This is the time to have water in pouches and high calorie food bars and bricks. Put a few in the bottom of your bag to survive on.

There are shelters in place for the Harvey victims but in the Houston area the news report said there are 10,000 people in the convention center. That is twice as many as the Red Cross planned for. They only planned for 5,000 people. There’s not enough food, not enough blankets and not enough space for the people who are in shelters. Again don’t rely on the government to help.

Remember your pets. Some people were forced to leave their pets behind, although news reports had pictures of people walking out carrying their dogs. No one wants to have to leave their pets behind but if it is a question of your survival or the survival of your family and leaving when you have to leave you, may be forced to make that horrible choice.

If you live in a flood-prone area consider investing in an inflatable life vest for your beloved pets. If you do have to leave them behind the inflatable vest could be their lifesaver. If you are able to take them with you the inflatable vest can make your trek easier. If you have pets an aluminum rowboat would be a better choice than a kayak or inflatable raft for your bug out vessel.

The other thing you must do is keep yourself informed. Many younger people nowadays don’t watch the news and don’t read the newspaper. They may only get their news from Facebook. Their knowledge and awareness of a deadly situation could be very minimal. It is up to you to keep yourself informed. Monitor websites you trust. Don’t just talk to your friends. Download some emergency apps like the one from the Red Cross. Sign up for weather updates from your local news station. Make sure you know what is coming to your area. If the authorities say it is going to serious, heed that warning. It is better to be prepared for an event that does not become life-threatening then to be unprepared for an event that is life-threatening.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the country. They can also be deadly if you’re unprepared.

It only takes a few inches of fast-moving water to knock down a person or lift a vehicle. If flash flooding is expected in your area, don’t risk getting stranded away from home.

1. Know where you’re going and how to get there fast.

If the area is already flooded, don’t try to go through it. Get to higher ground immediately. A car can be swept away by just one foot of moving water.

2. Keep your essential items with you and easy to access.

It is a good idea to keep a survival kit packed with food and drinking water in your vehicle. This kit will definitely come in handy if you’re stranded away from home in your vehicle. It is much safer for you to stay with your vehicle than it is to risk drowning by attempting to drive on a flooded street.

3. Get your information from trusted sources.

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, pay attention to the National Weather Service reports to find out if floods are anticipated. Flooding may occur due to heavy rainstorms, tropical storms, hurricanes or other events that cause rivers to rise rapidly. Evacuations may be ordered if an extremely dangerous storm is imminent.

4. Get your home ready for any incoming floodwaters.

Prepare your home for flooding by moving important items and documents to the highest point in your home. Unplug your electrical appliances. If flooding is expected, don’t leave your pets at home alone. Flooding can cause roads to be inaccessible and leave you without a route home.

Storms that cause significant flooding often cause other problems. They may cause a widespread power outage or affect the local water supply. Stock your home with plenty of non-perishable food and drinking water. You should also have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and a first aid kit available in case of an emergency.

Don’t get caught unprepared for a disaster. Put together survival kits to keep in your home, office and vehicle. These kits will provide you with the basic tools and supplies that you may need to survive an emergency.

A man put his skills to use so he could survive a monster flood in Springfield, Missouri. Jonathan Whitworth is lucky to be alive after he drove over Wilson’s Creek in West Springfield.

It can happen so fast you don’t even realize the situation.

To hear Jonathan tell it to KSPR Channel 33 News, it was dark and rainy. Once he made it over the bridge, “there was water.” His truck was floating down the river as the front end “started going down and filling up.”

Time was ticking for Jonathan to get out of the truck. He tried opening the door, rolling down windows, but nothing would budge. He then remembered that he had a wrench set in the truck’s back seat. He reached for that to break open a window.

At first Jonathan tried jamming it through the window, but it “just bounced off,” he said. After he hit a second time it made a hole.

Jonathan made it out, but his true tale of survival was only beginning.

Swimming was useless due to powerful currents of water preventing him from moving. Jonathan was repeatedly going underwater in panic mode. He felt helpless and found himself at a point where Wilson’s Creek would determine where he’d wind up next. He saw the bridge and braced for a crash.

According to the article, the water usually was 10-feet below the bridge, but on that night it hit the top of the rails. Jonathan said he reached to the third one up and grabbed it. The fierce water pressure caused his grip to slip and he was stuck against the rock face.

Even then he wasn’t able to hold on long before he was going underwater. He thought sure he was a goner, but his son, Easton, made him determined to not give up. At that point, he took a deep breath and went under. He then popped up on the other side where a massive oak tree was there for him to grab onto until rescue teams arrived.

Surviving Rapid Floodwaters

In this case, the drivers was lucky to have tools in his truck that were accessible. Keep a survival tool in your vehicle that you know you can access quickly.

In rapid floodwaters, swimming isn’t always the best tactic. Try to stay on your back with your feet stretched out in front of you. This way you can protect yourself from hidden dangers.

Stay motivated by thinking of your loved ones. This story shows that you should never think a situation is hopeless. A desire to fight for every opportunity will give you more energy and strength.

Winter weather can cause flash floods that make roads you thought you knew take on a new, and very deadly, risk.

Trevor Thorlakson, 16, didn’t notice the water until it was too late when he was driving on a rural road in in Gerald, Missouri. He and a friend were crossing a bridge when trouble began.

Trevor said that the creek was about 20 or 30-feet below, so he didn’t think that the water would’ve been over the road. After two straight days of torrential rains, the creek was flooded after water covered part of the bridge. The teen reveals that he didn’t see the water — which was about waist-high — before his car got submerged.

It was a nerve-racking moment, but the teen didn’t panic. Instead, he used smart survival skills in order to get himself and his friend out of the harrowing situation. He said that he and his friend stayed in the car as it floated. Eventually it stopped. The two managed to call 911.

Rescue crews found the pair clinging to the top of the car. They reached the teens by boat; both were uninjured.

His harrowing survival story should wake drivers up to the dangers of bridges and quickly rising creeks or rivers. The swift current makes these waterways unpredictable.Take note of weather conditions before getting on the road and tell someone what route you’ll be taking.

If you find yourself in a submerged car, don’t panic. In this scenario the car floated along with the current but every situation will be different. Attempt to get to the highest point possible and use a flashlight or bright clothing to remain visible to rescue personnel.

If you’re not sure about the depth of the flooded roadway, don’t try to test it. Water can move quickly and depth can be unpredictable. It’s tempting to speed through it, but it could end up causing you much more trouble than it’s worth.

The rush of whitewater rafting is pure adrenaline. Your first sight of the set of wild rapids just down the river sends your heart rate pumping. You grip your paddle with knuckles as white as the water.

While floating rivers and group river rafting tours are a common outdoor pastime, they aren’t without some inherent dangers. It’s that risk that makes rafting so exciting. Here’s what to do if you find yourself thrown from the raft, and into the whitewater.

1. Get properly equipped before you even hit the water.
If you’re going out with a guided tour, take a look over their equipment first. Helmets and maintained life jackets are crucial to whitewater safety.

Wear light clothing that dries quickly and won’t take on bulky weight when they hit the water. Items like boots and denim jeans get wet, they’ll weigh you down if you’re in the water.

Keep your life jacket snug and buckled, making sure that you can breathe but the jacket itself can’t be pulled up to your neck. If it’s too loose, or not buckled, you run the risk of turning the life-saving device into a hazard instead.

2. If you’re in the rushing water, keep your legs out in front of you.
If you’ve been tossed from the protection of a raft and into the whitewater, keep your legs out in front of you to defend yourself from rocks or tree branches hidden under the surface.

If your life jacket and helmet are secure, your legs are the first line of defense as you tumble downriver. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your body flexible.

Push off of obstacles or, if they’re unavoidable, try to use the momentum of the water to push yourself up and over anything in your way.

3. Help your rescuers.
If possible, keep in contact with those still in the raft. Watch for them to throw you a flotation device or rope that you can hold onto.

When you’ve reached your rescuers, allow yourself to be pulled in face first. This way, you’ll be able to bend at the waist and roll into the raft.

Before venturing out into water, whether in a raft or while wading for angling, keep the dangers in mind. If you stay calm and follow these tips, there’s plenty of fun to have out on the water.

When Carrie Mattingly lost control of her SUV on an icy road, she and her daughter went headlong into a nearby pond. The Washington state residents crashed through a fence and had precious seconds to get out with their lives. Continue reading “How to Escape a Sinking Car” »

“It was like a slap from a giant.”
This is how a survivor of the 2004 tsunami that struck 12 countries bordering the Indian Ocean described the first wave. An otherwise peaceful morning with crisp blue skies turned to a muddy brown nightmare in the blink of an eye. In an area of the world dominated by pristine beaches and putting scooters skimming along small streets, towering ocean waves brought destruction and snatched the lives of around 300,000 people in a single morning.

On December 26, the day after Christmas, locals and tourists in Khao Lak Thailand were forever changed by a few swift strokes from the mighty Indian Ocean. This area was one of the hardest hit, with a tourist mortality rate of 50% and local residents of around 70%. Because of the poor housing conditions in some areas, the statistics concerning those missing and injured will be forever unknown.

What to Expect in a Tsunami
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a tsunami is a series of waves, or a “wave train”, resulting from shifts in the sea floor that happen after an earthquake, volcano, or other types of natural events that alter the sea’s geography. Tsunami waves can regularly reach heights of 50 feet and can repeat themselves for several hours.

There are many stories to come out of this horrific event, but that of American John Thompson stands to teach us much about survival in such lightening fast scenarios. John arrived in Khao Lak a one day earlier and had spent the time exploring the area around his hotel and enjoying a Christmas dinner and dessert at some local spots. The next morning, while lying in bed, he felt some vibrations in the building that lasted maybe two minutes. Not thinking too much of it, he continued enjoying his day by riding a rented scooter around the area.

After heading down to the beach to snap some photos of a small boat and a bay that he thought seemed a bit strange, he realized just what was happening around him. John and others down on the beach began sprinting away from the oncoming wave. He ran beside other locals and beachgoers, desperately taking shots with his camera over his shoulder of what he considered to just be a “big wave” that was obviously not stopping at the sand like any other. The wave that ultimately tackled the peaceful coast that morning averaged a towering height of 24 feet.

Be Prepared to Make Split-Second Choices
During his life-saving sprint away from the rushing water, John was confronted with a choice that would eventually save his life. To continue running up the street meant putting distance between himself and the wave, but diving into a nearby hotel could offer crucial protection. John chose the sturdy building and sprinted to its highest point. This split-second decision was what most likely left him alive to tell the tale. It only demonstrates that survival situations demand quick thinking and reward wise decisions.

Perhaps the best way to honor the causalities and displaced survivors of the 2004 tsunami is to learn from what happened and carry those lessons with us in future excursions. Overall, the catastrophe teaches us that we could be separated from our friends, loved ones, and belongings in an instant. It may seem strange, but when you arrive in an area where tsunami’s might occur, become familiar with the local buildings and streets as they relate to the beachfront.

The Correct Way to Prepare for a Tsunami
Your familiarity with these routes and buildings could be what save you should disaster strike. As you do this, make a plan with loved ones so that if you are separated you will all know where to find each other. Pick a local landmark that everyone can find and designate a meeting spot or two so that no matter what happens a central location is set. Disaster does not wait for you to pack up your suitcase.  Be sure to have a small backpack with some necessities should you only have precious seconds to grab and go.

Understanding how rushing waves and water work can work in your favor. Water moves along the path of least resistance. This usually means waves hit hardest the streets and alleyways that offer little in the way of buildings or boundaries. A sturdy building that offers high stories or a path that heads uphill could be your best bet when given just quick moments to decide which way to go for safety. Since tsunamis often follow earthquakes, heed nature’s warning by moving to higher ground should you feel an earthquake. Concerning the water, a last chance effort can be made to grab onto some item that floats and is big enough to support your weight.

John Thompson’s story of survival shows us that disaster doesn’t wait or discriminate. What matters in situations like these is preparation and quick decisions that ensure survival. A tsunami is a devastating threat from the natural world, but you can still enjoy the beauty of nature while being prepared to survive.