Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness’ Category

Preparedness: Lighting a Fire

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

By Catherine Haug, Feb 23, 2016

The article below was submitted by Dr. Bruce Nelson, a member of BERT (Bigfork Emergency Response Team), who organized the Bigfork Preparedness Fairs for several years. I have edited his article for formatting.

Not all of us have wood stoves and know how to light a fire with matches and twigs. To avoid finding yourself without these tools when you need them most, what do you do? Dr. Nelson provides excellent suggestions, which I follow with a few suggestions of my own, and a list of related preparedness and survival articles on this site. (more…)

What to take/leave behind when get evacuation warning

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

By Catherine Haug, August 20, 2015

This information is based on an article in today’s Daily Interlake, by Samuel Wilson.

In light of the pre-evacuation order issued to residents in the Essex area along Highway 2, Ted Pettis, a fire information officer for the Thompson-Divide Complex fires, offers the following advice should you receive such an order. “Focus on the Five P’s – People, Pets, Pills, Photos, and important Papers.”

For more detail and additional things to consider, click the ‘more’ link, below. Here are links for additional fireproofing tips and other preparedness information:


Estate Planning for your digital/online accounts

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

By Catherine Haug, May 22, 2015

The information in this post is paraphrased from an article in the AARP Magazine, February-March 2014 issue: Online, Forever After, by Carrie Arnold.

Have you ever wondered what would happen with all the things you have online:  financial data, social media posts, photos, music, books, etc. purchased from iTunes and other online sources, passwords, etc.? I found this AARP article quite enlightening about topics I’d not thought of before.

The most important thing is to start planning now, before the unexpected happens. (more…)

Preparing for Disaster or Prolonged Power Outage

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Cat’s note, Feb 2, 2015:

The following article is by one of our members in Columbia Falls. You may remember our video slideshow about repurposing (see Gathering Summary: Repurposing & Other Innovations, September 21, 2011), and the segment on using cob to build an outdoor sauna and other projects; those photos and text were his. I want to thank him for this wonderful article. See Preparing for Prolonged Power Outage for a printable pdf of this entire article.

Topics include:

  1. One man’s experience and learnings during super-storm Sandy;
  2. Lessons learned;
  3. Author’s notes;
  4. Sizing the generator;
  5. Setting up the generator;
  6. How to run your furnace, boiler or other heating units and stoves without grid-power.


Surviving a lightning strike

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

How to Survive a Lightning Strike

By Catherine Haug, May 24, 2014 (Image, right and below from National Geographic)

We are heading into the season of thunder and lightning storms; do you know what to do if you are caught outside in such a storm?

We are lulled into believing we will never be a victim of a lightning strike, but your chance is not as remote as you might think. The Earth is struck by more than 100 lightning bolts every second (1); here in the US, there is o bea 1 in 3,000 chance for an individual to struck by lightning in the average lifetime.

Most of us have been taught to lie flat on the ground or seek shelter under a tree. However, this is very bad advice. Why?

Read on for tips and a larger version of the “How to Survive a Lightning Strike” image (more…)

2013 Alberta Flood: A call to action

Friday, July 5th, 2013

by Catherine Haug, July 5, 2013

We all listened with heavy hearts when we learned of the hundreds who lost their homes or died as a result of the recent flooding in Alberta. But while this was an unusual weather event (compared to past history), it may just be an example of what is to come as our weather systems become more extreme from the effects of global climate change.

Whether you believe climate change is a natural cycle of nature, or is at least partly caused by human actions, the fact is that our climate IS changing. And any one of us could experience intense weather and flooding of this magnitude. In fact, it has happened in the Flathead’s recent history: the 1964 flood.

Karsten Heuer of Canmore, Alberta writes of the flood, “This is our wake-up call. We know from climate change models that heavy rain events and flash floods like this will happen more frequently. Our infrastructure is not built for this extreme weather. Our communities – including major cities like Calgary – are situated on flood plains. And clear-cut logging near our headwaters undermines the forests’ ability to absorb and slow down the flow of water.”

There are things we can do to minimize the devastating effects of events such as were experienced in Alberta. Perhaps the most important is to protect the ecosystem of our headwaters, as described in the following essay by Karsten Heuer of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) team.

Read on for all of Karsten’s essay. (more…)