July 9, 2012

155 Hours - A True Story By Guest Writer Larry Neff

People are hardwired from birth for self preservation and survival, after all that's how we got here in the first place. This fact is often forgotten in a modern world containing all of the luxuries we religiously take for granted. Most people aren't prepared for anything out of the ordinary- be it a storm, a power outage, a water shortage, etc. They are comfortable on their cloud and overlook the thought that it can one day be pulled out from underneath them. 
When the haze of a modern world is lifted, most people find themselves in a panic- not really thinking level-headedly about anything  that they do. Not all people react this way, but the people who do largely affect the people who are prepared. In most survival scenarios the first thing you should prepare for is the people who are unprepared, because they are everywhere- and you will surely run into them on your journeys. Every once in a while I come across a personal disaster story that really sticks with me. The story I am featuring below, by guest writer Larry Neff- shows a man who is prepared survival wise for an unexpected disaster. The people who aren't prepared are the surprises in this story, and not the storm itself. Panic and unsurity are not things that people handle very well, and they will always be a big part of whatever disaster you encounter.

In situations like these it is best to avoid areas of panic, and if you are thoroughly prepared you can do this easily. One way to prepare is to make sure that you have enough supplies to get you through until order is restored, and forsake excess trips to areas of worry. Another simple way is to make sure you have always have enough gas and cash on hand to drive to an area that is unaffected by the disaster- where people are more likely to act civilized and altruistic. In the end, you can never be too prepared for the unknown- because you never really know what you will get.

155 Hours
"A major storm hit my little town here in West Virginia on Friday 6/29/2012 at about 7:30pm with hurricane-force winds.

Me, my wife, and our three kids were stopping by Gino's to pick up pizza's that we ordered, when all of a sudden, the sky turned black as soot. We were in line at the drive-thru and I said that this wasn't a 'normal' storm. I knew it was something else. All of a sudden, a big burst or puff of wind hit our vehicle and shook it pretty hard. I swear it felt like it shoved us back an inch or two and the dirt and dust that was hitting us, sounded like something getting sand-blasted- if you've ever heard that. I immediately peeled out and went across the street because there is a Lowe's there---so I headed for the loading bay around back.

The loading bay is a ramp that goes down into the ground about 9-11 feet, so I backed all the way down to the doors, and not a second too soon. We watched in horror as the trees bent over and touched the ground, repeatedly! There was stuff flying everywhere. My kids were crying and my wife was freaking out and I was calming them down the best that I could. It didn't last very long, but it was pretty scary. As the sky got brighter, and everything calmed down, we pulled away and drove through carnage.

The town that we just drove through, minutes before, was a disaster area. There were huge trees lying on top of cars and houses. Telephone poles were snapped off like toothpicks, while the transformers dangled by wires. Cars and trucks, flipped over. As we got on the highway to head back to our home about 12 miles away, the leaves were over an ankle deep on the roads all the way. It truly looked like a bomb went off. We were worried about what we would find when we got there.

As we tried to get to our house, we had to turn around and go back because the huge oak trees that lined the road were twisted and snapped off like twigs and lying in the road. We tried another way and it was worse--tress down everywhere. So I tried the back way, and after a little work, and maneuvering around many obstacles, we were able to get home. There were what seemed like thousands of limbs in our yard but nothing too bad. Our porch swing-glider was intact and where we left it.

I cringed at the thought of the trampoline in the back yard, but as I went around to look, to my amazement, it was right where we left it too! We got lucky, but so many didn't. There were no warnings on the radio or nothing. All we knew was that the power was out and would be for a while. We checked on neighbors (even though I don't like them) and of course, my mom and dad (they live down below us). I went in the house and dug out flash lights and dug out the candles. We lit some and just sat there in shock.

The next morning, we put batteries in a jambox and scanned to see if we could hear some news, but there wasn't too many talking about it in depth. They just said that 95% of the state was without power. Then, the day heated up. We opened all windows and doors but it didn't seem like it was helping. The next 8 days was some of the hottest on record--95°-100°+. Sitting in hot temperatures for long periods of time will make you very cranky, I can attest to that. We were putting cold, wet rags on ours, and the kids' heads to keep us cool. We would take cold showers but ten minutes later you couldn't tell that you took one. It was a bad situation.

Day in, day out, we just hung in there, hoping that the power would come back on, because the second that it did, the air conditioners were coming on with a quickness. At night, we sat around and talked with our 12 year old daughter and our 3 and 2 year old little boys. I got out my flat-top guitar and played silently in the background. My 3 year old had his nose stuck in the Nintendo DS. We had plenty of food, canned stuff and all that, so we were OK in that department. We also had water.

I went out to try and get some ice and propane bottles for my camping stove (because the ones I had in my building were missing) and what I saw enraged me. I've never seen people act the way they were acting. They were pushing little old ladies out of the way to get water. It was mass stupidity. Thousands of people were lining up to fill up there car tanks and gas cans (that's the first thing you do when it storms, dont'cha know). Lines were miles long. People were fighting and arguing. I went home because I feared for their safety had one of them crossed me.

The next day I went out and it was worse. I live by a huge lake and it was full of campers from other places. They were using up all of our resources. I went to a store to get propane bottles and this lady had about 50 of them in a buggy. I asked the clerk were more were and he told me that that lady got the last of them. She immediately looked to the ground. I calmly walked out with a fake smile on my face, known around here as the 'Insto-matic grin'. People were going crazy everywhere I looked, me knowing that most of them were NOT from here. All traffic laws were thrown out the window. It was dangerous.

I finally found a couple bottles of propane and made my way back home. All I needed it for was to make coffee, and trust me, none of those people wanna see me without my morning coffee or they would see CRrraaaaaZy! I have a propane wall mount hooked up to a hundred pound tank for back up in case the power goes off when it's cold, but I didn't want to unhook it and all that. I was sweating enough. People stopped by to see me daily to check and see how we were doing, with stories of how crazy people were acting.

As far as ice goes, there was none to be found. It was a thing of the past, like so many things that we take for granted every, single day. There was no FEMA or anything else for the first several days. Wait, I think FEMA did actually go to the Greenbrier the 2nd day, Tiger Woods was there playing golf. He must've needed water, it didn't help his game any from what I've heard.

To make a longer story a little shorter, our power finally came on Friday morning in the A.M.. I woke everybody with a loud WOOO HHHOOO! OHHH GOOODY! as I cranked the air on. I sat there and watched TV like it was the first time ever! We finally slept without being sticky-wet nastiness. I was relieved. But I immediately felt bad for all who still have not gotten power. back I want them to get it SO bad.

Little things we take for granted a lot, like power, cold air, lights, computer, etc., etc.. But it's also sickening how we've all become so dependent to these things. This has opened mine, and my family's eyes on some things like how we need to be better prepared and most importantly, become more independent. I mean, I like TV a little, and a lot of the other things, but, in a way, I would love to go back to the old ways and leave all of that behind. I can easily go into the woods and get something to eat the same as I can go to one of the many streams and get water. A lot of people here don't depend on nobody but themselves. We know the government is a joke, really. That is, unless you are one of the 1% at the Greenbrier. I think we all need to do an assessment and become more independent so we don't end up like all those crazy, panicky nuts running amok and fighting over the last loaf of bread."

A True Story Written By:
Larry Neff of West Virginia

Disaster Girl's Emergency Preparedness Articles

xoxo disaster girl

July 8, 2012

Hawaiian Islands - The Flip Side of Hurricane Daniel

Hawaii is rarely ever hit directly by hurricanes, statistically speaking most storms actually weaken quickly upon approaching the Hawaiian Islands. Some have likened the cause to be of volcanic origins but what ever the cause, Hawaii lies in the realm of "Near-Misses". The last near-miss was in December of 2010 when Tropical Storm Oneika brushed past one of it's smaller islands, but the last real storm that actually hit Hawaii was 20 years ago when Hurricane Iniki caused over $2 billion dollars in damage.

Hurricane Daniel is positioned to clip the Hawaiian coast much like it did in 2000, only this time at a different polarity. In 2000 Hurricane Daniel swiped Northern Hawaii, while this time it seems poised to swipe it's South. Hurricane Daniel, which was a Category 2 hurricane, was downgraded to a tropical remnant low on 7/11/2012.

I have chosen to monitor this storm for two reasons. The first being that it has been two years since anything came close to the Hawaiian Islands, also since this website has been up (I've also never covered a Pacific hurricane before). The second reason is because the area is now the home of two named storms both emerging from the same area in Pacific waters, the other being Tropical Storm Emilia.

Hurricane Daniel will be monitored every day, while Tropical Storm Emilia will be monitored as it becomes necessary.

Tropical      Storm      Fabio
Max Ssd. Winds:  50  MPH
Moving:  West  at 10 MPH
Min.  Pressure: 1000 MB -
Last Updated: 7 / 12 / 2012

Hurricane   Emilia -  Cat.  2
Max Ssd. Winds:  105 MPH
Moving: WNW  at 12  MPH
Min.  Pressure:   965  MB  -
Last   Updated: 7 / 12 / 2012

disaster girl

July 6, 2012

The 'Zombie' Trend - The Growing List of Causes and Theories

As the 'zombie' trend continues, the desire to have an answer for why this is all happening becomes much more necessary than when the list of events was only a couple incidents long. With the list of actual biting related attacks being close to a hundred, and the list of strange events quickly catching up- it is only human to want an answer to it all. After all, that's one of the fundamentals of human behavior- searching for an answer to the unknown.

Throughout the time that I have been writing about and covering these events I have been the host of an open discussion on the AboveTopSecret forums. There we have researched, talked, covered and theorized as to what the logical and probable causes may be. In over 35 pages of discussion we have tried tirelessly to figure out it all out- that discussion can be viewed by clicking here: Compiled List of People-Eating-People Events, you can read the discussions without joining- but if you would like to comment you will have to sign up.

Below is a list of theories and causes that have been cited in these events.

  1. Human Rabies / Mutated / Airborne Rabies - This theory stipulates that these 'attackers' all had a form of rabies, whether it be animal bite related rabies, a mutated version of animal rabies, or an airborne form of rabies. This theory also argues that both animal behavior as well as human behavior should be monitored, and is supported by the fact that animal attacks have been on the rise, these attacks not limited to dogs only, but rats, dolphins, sharks, skunks, monkey's, cats, etc. It is also supported by the fact that in 95% of the states that have  had human biting attacks there has either been a found case of rabies or warnings had been issued. by local officials. The behavior of animals and humans infected with rabies also fit the  exhibited symptoms of the attackers. Mutating rabies is also tied to warmer weather. [Resource 1 , Resource 2 , Resource 3 , Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  2. Synthia Bacterium - In this theory, the Synthia engineered life that was put into the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil disaster is the cause. Theoretically making it's way through the ecosystem by being recycled into rain water and deposited on land- it infect a humans body. No known signs or symptoms as this is new engineered life created in a laboratory. Supporting it is the fact that the parasite the lab used as a shell for Synthia is a human sexually transmitted disease that is extremely hard to cure with antibiotics. This parasite also has the capability to 'inject' itself into another cell in an effort to hide itself from immune responses. No known effects on the environment, animal life and human life are known to date. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  3. Combo 'Zombie' Virus / Bacteria - This theory involves several viruses, bacterias, and parasites- engineered into one virus to get the symptoms of many all rolled into one. The main components being rabies and flu and adding other viruses to get other 'desired' effects. This theory is only backed by the fact that scientific research could create such a thing, and that it probably already exists in labs. Such viruses have already been addressed as not of being plausible but relatively easy to engineer in a lab in several big media sources including NatGeo. The question of this is not "If" but in actuality "When". [ Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  4. Drug Induced Psychosis - This theory stipulates many things. First it says that these events may be the cause of 'bath salts' or 'synthetic drugs' alone. It also states that the drugs themselves many be tainted or have something in it they 'shouldn't'. This theory is incredibly hard to prove as most of these drugs do not show up on drugs tests, and the 'product' would likely have been 'used' before the event occurred. Many cases also show no concrete evidence of drug use. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  5. Human Evolution/Devolution / 'Changes' In Human Behavior / Non-Earth Environmental Factors - This heading is more of a result of many theorized causes. The causes are: Unknown Effects of Galactic Cloud on Humans, Solar Flare Effects on Humans, as well as changes in humans evolutionary consciousness, whether the effect be a negative or a positive. This theory as well is very hard to prove concretely as all of these things are not commonly researched- although some examples can be found for some. It is also impossible to tell that if we are evolving, what exactly we are evolving into, which is the biggest thing in making this theory work.  [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  6. Biblical Prophecies / 2012 Prophecies - This says that these events 'support' the idea that the world is 'coming to an end'. It also states that these events fall in line with biblical prophecies. Highly speculative, and completely unable to support with any tangible evidence. A vast majority of the 'support' ranges from things that are often left completely to interpretation.  I usually steer clear of biblical stuff, but I will provide resource anyway. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  7. Excess of Media Coverage - This theory states that these events are not special at all. That the Miami incident proved to media that the fans 'love this stuff' and 'want to hear about it' which has caused a plethora of reports to come out. It also stipulates that these events happening at this frequency may also be in the realm of normality. As well as stipulating that cannibalism and cannibalistic attacks are fairly common and a large part of human history., It also blames the media for the knowledge of such events, with so many forms now readily available every bit of news that can get out will. I am currently working on biting/eating statistics and will update this when my research is completed. [Resource 1Resource 2 , Resource 3]
  8. Toxoplasmosis Gondii - This theory is of a little known fact about humans as a species. There is a species of parasitic protozoa that lives in about half of the humans here on Earth. In the brains of animals it attaches itself to a rodent and controls its actions and allows the rodent to be eaten easily so that it can reach it's intended destination of a cat. Theories have cited that if it affects rodents this way there is a possibility of it effecting humans that way whether by evolving or mutating in order to effect a different host. The fact that it already lives in so many human brains alludes to the grave possibility of mutation and any effects the parasite already has as it has been linked to schizophrenia. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4, Resource 5]
  9. Mad-Cow Disease Variant / Prion - This postulates that mad cow disease has changed in someway that allows it to better infect humans or that another prion disease is the cause. As mad-cow disease does affect the brain it is in the realm of possible, though far off from being entirely provable. Mad cow disease is already the blame of one variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease which accounts for several symptoms that are present in these cases including: Changes in Walking, Confusion, Dementia, Hallucinations, Nervous Jumpy Feelings, Changes in Personality, Aggressive Behavior, Dangerous Behaviors. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  10. 'Zombie' Gun - This theory is based on the relatively new news that has come out of Russia. Russian President Putin had apparently requested that scientists work on a 'zombie gun' for him. While this many seems like a unworthy cause or theory, it shows that science is working on ways to build such devices and usually for Defense contractors working for Governments. It also shows that creating "zombies" is not on a No list for Governments. Aren't all countries competing against each other in areas like these? [Resource 1Resource 2 , Resource 3]
  11. American Trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease - This theory stems from the new research and media prominence of Chagas Disease - often billed as "The New AIDS". Chagas Disease, also known as American Tryanosomiasis already effects millions of people worldwide. It has also been linked to the African Nodding Disease which show many of the symptoms associated with the events including but probably not limited to: "zombie-like" movements, inability to form cohesive thoughts, inability to care for oneself, bouts of anger and attack. In Africa, nodding disease mostly affects children. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  12. CDC Leak / Lab Leak This theory states that the newly media introduced coverage of CDC building problems may be the cause. Over the last couple of month a couple of CDC facilities had problems with their ventilation systems, and these problems are now being looked at by Congress. It also states leaks in other facilities, such as the medical equipment that was thrown out and then stolen as supporting evidence in a growing scandal that these facilities do not take proper care of things and often make what could be considered horrible mistakes. [Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4 , Resource 5]
  13. Other Less Notable Theories - Morgellons Disease, Seoul Virus, Borna Virus, Kuru Disease. 

One of the first questions to cross my mind while contemplating writing this article was whether or not a hundred or so events warrants a list of causes yet. After all, the Government doesn't seem concerned and most of society has gone on with little regard for the eye catching headlines. Are there more arguments that require the primal urge to bite? Or are there more fights because of a gnawing urge to bite? Which came first, the urge to bite or the fight?

In the end I decided that biting is not as common as these events are, especially in some of the circumstances that have presented themselves. While the bite may be a defense mechanism, the simple act of biting something is largely food related nowadays- as we have moved far past our cannibalistic ancestry. I also think that defensive biting is more medium scaled and singular than these events- as a good amount either took multiple bites, chewed, spit out chunks, etc. Behavior like this shows me that something is wrong,  and at this rate it only reaffirms that thought.

The only real hope I have is that this trend diminishes, and gets lost in history. That twenty years from now, you won't read about this in a book and people will shake their heads in disbelief if you mention it. After all, people don't want a zombie apocalypse- they're more determined to kill a 'zombie'- which is all the more disconcerting. In a country with over 313 million people and at least 235,000,000 guns owned by civilians any real threat that scares the greater populace with bring a lot of Punisher's to the street. The real threat in all of this is the public's reaction to this and not the events themselves, a panicked mind makes mistakes. Whether that mistake is somehow becoming a victim to the trend, or making oneself a vigilante to fight off the trend- in the end it makes no difference.

Ironically enough you have no 'real' reason to fear, as the CDC Zombie Preparedness website states, they're got you covered: "If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas." - CDC

So if something was to materialize from all of this make sure you have an
emergency kit, stay indoors and let the professionals handle it and
don't be a 'hero' because you will be a villain in someone elses opinion.