How To Be Prepared And Stay Safe During A Hurricane

How To Be Prepared And Stay Safe During A Hurricane

Preparing for before and after a storm
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Due to recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, in our country, being prepared and dealing with the aftermath of such events is a big deal. These natural disasters can have life altering effects that include the loss of your home or even the loss of life.

I live in Cape Coral, FL and I’m sure as many of you know we just went through Hurricane Irma, but fortunately for me, my house is still standing, not under water, and all my family made it in one piece. This storm had no life-altering effect on me, but I was lucky while many were not.

This is where being prepared would come in handy. First, keep your eye on the news and the progress of the storm. It can look as though the storm is heading towards you, but at the last minute, it can change direction. Because of this need, any warnings were given, especially those calling you to evacuate. With Irma, there was a strong chance of a storm surge of up to 10 feet where I live. I live on very low land, so my family and I evacuated to higher ground. Always remember you can hide from the wind, but you can’t run from water. Storm surges are serious and can be very deadly so if you are in a zone that calls for more than two feet of flooding, evacuate.

If you have made the decision to stay and stick it out, you need to be prepared. What I always say is hope for the best, but expect the worst, this way you are always ready. However, when you are out and about getting all your supplies be mindful of others. I know water is very important and you want to stock up before the storm, but when you buy six cases at one store you’re not really leaving much for other people. Same goes for anything else: gas, propane, batteries, flashlights, and even food. I get you want to be as prepared as you can, but there are others who are trying to do the same. So, when buying your water limit yourself to two cases per store or one tank of gas per station because I can assure you if you were the one looking for these supplies and there are none left, but the person in front of you has six cases of water, you will be very annoyed.

So, now you have decided to stay and you have all your supplies. Next, is preparing your house. This all depends on the storm. Boarding up your windows with plywood or shutters is always a good idea. If there is a chance of flooding, sand bags will help deter the water, depending on how much you are expecting. Also with flooding, anything you has sitting on the ground that you don’t want to be ruined or on low shelves, should be moved to at least above knee level to be on the safe side. Lastly, find your safe haven. If you have a room in your house that has no outside walls, that is your best bet. If you don’t have that, the room with the fewest windows should be fine.

Okay, so now your house is prepared, what’s next? You. You need to be prepared. Power is most likely to go out so charge all your electronics and batteries before the lights go out. Grab a book or two or any other activity to keep you busy. The less you think about the storm the better and easier it will be. Also, shower before the storm because I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of cold showers, and if you are on a well you won’t have water at all. Also, while you still have refrigeration, freeze as much ice as you can. Fill bowls with water and stick them in the freezer if you must. Trust me, when you are living out of a cooler you will be happy you did this.

Now the storm has passed and your power is out, what do you do? First, be thankful you are still here and the storm didn’t take you with it. Material objects can be replaced, you cannot. Next, if it is safe, go out and assess the damages. With me, we had a few down trees and half of our back fence was on the ground, but nothing too serious and all very fixable. If you have serious damage, do not freak out. Freaking out is the worst thing you can do. Get ahold of your landlord or insurance company and let them know what’s going on. It can all be fixed in time.

Also, before the hurricane, go in your front and backyard and bring in everything that you don’t want going. Because chances are the winds are gonna pick it up and take it away. Also, if you have anything that could be picked up and be flying debris, bring that in too. We all want as little dangers as possible out there. So, pack up your trampolines, pick up loose stepping stones, and if you have small above ground pools, I’d take those down as well.

Next make sure whatever cold food and drink you have is already in the cooler because you are not going to want to open that fridge. Hopefully, you have propane, unlike me and my family, so a hot meal shouldn’t be a problem, but in the off chance you don’t, improvise. It won’t be great, but a PB&J and/or a can of fruit is better than nothing at all.

Here’s a little reminder: Just because the storm is over, doesn’t mean stores are going to open right back up or if they do, it doesn’t mean they are suddenly going to have all the supplies you need. I work at 7-Eleven and I can’t tell you how many people have come in wanting ice or food that we simply do not have. If the stores are out before the storm chances are they are out after it. Wait at least a week for these stores to restock because they have to wait for the deliveries to be up and running again.

I am thankful that after Irma’s treacherous path, I still had a home to come back to and all my family made it through ok. However, my family and I were not as prepared as we could have been and waited till the last minute to evacuate, which wasn’t the smartest. So, take what I have said to heart and keep yourself and your family safe by getting prepared as early as you can. Like I said, objects can be replaced but you and your family cannot.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.


Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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8 Things To Do To Make Your Rainy Days Less 'Bleh'

Just because the sky is gloomy doesn't mean you have to be.
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Either you're stuck inside, having no idea what to do, or you leave the house and again, have nothing to do. We've all been faced with them (especially this year) - rainy days.

But rainy days don't always have to be miserable and just, bleh. Here are 8 things you can do to make your rainy days fun, productive, and a lot less bleh.

1. Try something new.

Learn to knit, try a new recipe, read that book that's been sitting on your desk! Push yourself to do something new and exciting rather than sitting around waiting for the storm to pass.

2. Get work done.

Finish that essay you've been putting off, do some homework, or even write your Odyssey article...

3. Release your inner child.


Go jump in puddles, play some video games, or make a blanket fort! Let your inner child go crazy!

4. Have a movie marathon.

Have some friends come over, pop some popcorn, and pop in your favorite movies!

5. Have a spa day.

Throw in a bath bomb, put on a face mask, and just relax! You deserve it.

6. Catch up on sleep.

On a nice day, it's hard to convince yourself (and others) that it's okay to sleep the day away. But, when it's gross and dark outside, you can definitely catch up on some Zzzz's.

7. Go shopping.

Rather than sitting home being bored, do some retail therapy mourning the bad weather. Throw on some comfy clothes and head to the mall! All the stores you could possibly want (and you don't have to go outside in the rain in between stores)!

8. Clean your house.

Organize your desk, finally sweep the floor, or dust the top of your dresser. If you're going to sit around the house anyway, might as well get some chores done!

Cover Image Credit: Josh Calabrese - Unsplash

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