Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness’ Category

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…)

Gathering Summary: Survival Skills: Water in the Wild and at Home, by Doug and Chelsey Luehr, May 15, 2013

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

by Catherine Haug, May 23, 2013

This is just a short synopsis; you can find more detail in the complete, printable pdf file: [a link will be added here when available]. See also presentation handouts:

This presentation was in two parts:

  1. Doug Luehr on water gathering and purification methods when in the wild or away from home; and
  2. Chelsey Luehr on how to live without running water, specifically hygiene and waste management at home.

See also their business website

Long Term Storage of Foods

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, December 10, 2012

We are hoping to have a presentation on long-term storage of foods in 2013. This is a great and pertinent topic to our mission.

I stumbled upon an informative site: Preparedness Advice Blog. It has lots of pertinent articles on “emergency preparedness, ‘prepping,’ and long term food storage.” For example, The Long-Term Bug-Free Storage of Dry Grains. It has advice on natural things to add to your grains to keep bugs away, ideal low-moisture level for grain storage, and best type of containers for grain storage.

If you encounter any great info on Food Storage, please send it my way so I can share with our readers as a “Kitchen Hint.”

Beware: While there is lots of food-storage information available on the internet, some of it is mis-information.

Preparing for widespread drought

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Dryland Farming-Palouse

by Catherine Haug, August 11, 2012

(Photo, right, from Wikipedia)

We’ve all heard about the disastrous drought in the high plains and midwest portions of our country – from Nebraska to Texas; Colorado to Kentucky. Just the other day, the Daily Interlake carried an article about the drying and heating up of rivers in Nebraska and Iowa, a problem that is cooking fish to death as the streams exceed 90° F.

While we haven’t yet felt the drought here in NW Montana (and the rest of the Pacific NW), that doesn’t mean that we won’t feel it in future years. Yes, it’s hard to look at the high water in our reservoirs and lakes, and think that a drought could happen. But our part of the state did experience drought during the dust bowl years.

As the drought conditions spread to more states, including ours, how will we cope? How will we feed and water our livestock? How will we nurture our gardens? Will our water supplies hold up? Where will our food come from? (more…)

Plan for emergencies in high heat/bad weather

Friday, July 20th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, July 20, 2012, revised August 4, 2012

There’s no denying that the weather across the US has been unusual the last few years, with enormous, raging wildfires & forest fires, flooding, lightening, high wind, cyclonic & hurricane activity. These can force you to evacuate your home, or leave you stranded from access to food and emergency help. Road trips can expose you to severe weather and fire hazards with which you are unaccustomed.

Its best to plan for such emergencies before they happen. Read on for more about personal/family preparedness, and AAA’s recommendations.


Event Summary: ESP at 2012 Preparedness Fair

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, May 12, 2012

Bigfork Emergency Response Team (BERT) hosted the first Bigfork Preparedness Fair on May 5, 2012. Although the weather was wet, windy and cold, the fair had an excellent turnout: over 300 people signed in and there were many booths both indoors and out, as well as several lecturers.

ESP had a booth in one corner of the main room, featuring a backboard of photos from past gatherings, books on sustainability topics to browse through, and Jeffrey Fund’s pedal-powered grain grinder for people to try out. We had several different grains to grind: spelt, Jeffrey’s wheat and Wheat Montana’s Prairie Gold wheat. (more…)