How Many Languages Do You Speak? Survival tip of the week

How Many Languages Do You Speak? Survival tip of the week

I’ve been to France, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico and a few random Caribbean islands.   Sadly, I speak English.   I took Spanish in college, and spent enough time in France to pick up a few phrases, but not enough to carry on a conversation.  If I have regrets, not learning another language is probably one.   With the internet, it’s becoming easier and easier to learn things we want to know.  Unfortunately, the internet relies on our infrastructure of power, so it might not always be around in the event of a disaster.  Yesterday, hubs used youtube to learn how to fix both a dryer and car window issue.  I looked up a recipe and searched for repair parts. It’s a huge part of my life.   But am I really using it to the absolute fullest?  Here in the US, the Latin population is on the rise, quickly becoming the largest segment of people, and will continue to do so. Being able to communicate with neighbors and friends is critical in the event of an emergency, but what about my neighbors who speak Spanish? What if I’m on vacation in Mexico when The SHTF?   In an effort to fully prepare, I’d like to learn Spanish.  The boys are both learning it in school, and living where I live, I feel like it’s the most likely language I’ll encounter….and one that very well may save a life.  I’ve used Live Mocha in the past and really really liked it, but it’s time-consuming to learn a new language.   I found this list of apps and am going to start by...
Black Swan Theory

Black Swan Theory

During a recent project at work, I learned about The Black Swan Theory.  Basically, it’s the idea (and this is my generic summation) that a major event is so obvious in hindsight, it should have been expected.  A Black Swan is defined as a cumulation of these three factors: It’s a surprise (to the observer) It has a major impact. In hindsight, it’s so obvious it should have been predicted. Think 9/11…or the current ebook revolution/extinction of paper books. As I thought about a sequence of major events (the internet, ebooks, Occupy Wall St., the downfall of the SOPA/PIPA acts, and this recent reversal of the Komen foundation’s support of Planned Parenthood) I started wondering about the next Black Swan. The internet has changed the way we think, the way we interact, the way we learn: Kids can now search youtube to find a video on calculus that makes sense to them if they’re not getting a delivery method from their teacher that works. An earthquake is tweeted before the news can report it.  (100% of our real-time first-person news can come from individuals experiencing events vs. what makes good ratings on TV) As individuals, we’re no longer subject to gatekeepers who can filter our voices….EVERYONE has a platform. The phenomenal growth of Pinterest indicates (to me) how badly we want to share beautiful knowledge — photos, inspiration, attaboys, DIY projects–as a community. (something we’ve lacked here in the US for at least a hundred years) So what IS the next Black Swan? Obviously, it’s not possible to predict a Black Swan, the point is merely to account for the...

Register Your VOIP and Cell for Reverse 911

Does anyone even have a landline anymore? Most everyone I know uses cell phones for everything. After three years, I barely went back to a “real” landline.  In the event of an emergency, city/government officials activate the Reverse 911 system which, in theory, would call all the residents within a disaster zone on their landlines if they needed to be evacuated. In reality, most small sized cities/towns don’t have the resources for their own Reverse 911 system, and outsource it to other cities, which means when the Reverse 911 call comes, it’s not a local number. A friend of mine recently answered an out of state number to find out a SWAT team was down the street and he needed to stay in his house. After calling 911 to verify the call was legit, he was glad he’d answered. Do you answer your phone if it’s an unfamiliar out-of-state number? If you have a VOIP or cell phone, you can register it HERE, www.vecc9-1-1.com, to be certain you’ll be notified if the Reverse 911 call is activated for your area. Wickers Thermal Underwear – as seen on the History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ Share...

Hey! You can’t go that way!

When The Best Evacuation Route Is A Detour I attended a debrief for all the CERT Area Leaders last week, and the Chief of Police talked about evacuation routes and how sometimes the City Leaders will make changes to traffic patterns to aid in their process to get people to safety. Those decisions may hamper your original evacuation route to get out of the danger zone. Do you have an evacuation route planned? Do you have an alternate route? Do you have an alternate to your alternate? How much gas will it take to get to your bug-out location? Does your car ALWAYS have that much gas in the tank? <a href=”<a href=”http://www.mymadmind.com/”>http://www.mymadmind.com</a>/”> <img src=”<a href=”http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y340/cwitgotoday/th_tt3.jpg?t=1282766687″>http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y340/cwitgotoday/th_tt3.jpg?t=1282766687</a>” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”/> </a> Now, for the Tuesday Train!! I’m co-hosting the Tuesday Train @ My Mad Mind, so today the train is departing from a different depot! Be sure to follow My Mad Mind, Me and the other co-hosts: The House on the Corner, and With “Faith, Family, and Friends!” While you’re at it, be sure to swing over and see Boobies and the Follow Me Back Tuesday hop. Wickers Thermal Underwear – as seen on the History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ Share...

Emergency Communication

Emergency Communication How would you communicate with your city during a disaster? Is your community CERT team on Facebook? Any City Officals on Twitter? Follow your community and leaders on facebook and twitter.  IF THEY’RE NOT ON THERE – TELL THEM TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!! When the cell lines were jammed around here during the fire, Twitter was THE BEST SOURCE OF INFORMATION. Instant. Up to date. Ever changing. Even though the news was covering the fire as often as they could, without boring the crap out of the rest of their viewers, there were about 1000% more updates between TV spots on Twitter. We knew what areas were being evacuated, where the evacuation locations were, where the fire was, and what was going on….instantly. Find them. Follow them. Tell your neighbors. Wickers Thermal Underwear – as seen on the History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ Share...

When Search and Rescue Calls

When the Search and Rescue call comes at 1:30 AM, for a fleeting second, I wish we were chess players with no outdoor skills or resources. But we’re not, and so, in the selfless act of service, my husband crawled out of his warm bed, tossed his snowmobile gear in the truck, hooked up the sleds, and raced toward the mountain to search for a lost brother of an in-law. The missing man didn’t return to his cabin last night, and the rest of the party couldn’t search for him because he had the keys to the remaining snowmobiles with him. Helicopters were dispatched to search with infrared, and my husband and brother in law are on the teams of snowmobile riders set to begin searching on the ground at first light. It’s 2:30 AM, and 19 degrees out. Praying for a safe return of all. UPDATE: The chopper infrared found him at 4am this morning!! yay! Wickers Thermal Underwear – as seen on the History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ Share...