Monday, July 20, 2015

3 Ways to Avoid a Shark Attack

Not all of us will be as unlucky as Mick Fanning, the surfer who had a close run in with a shark on live television the other day. (Watch the video with footage of the attack above) Like Mick Fanning learned from his shark attack, you never know what may happen when you're in the water. A shark attack is less likely than getting struck by lightning, this is true, but the ocean can be dangerous and unpredictable, and by respecting it we can be safer. Here are a few quick tips for avoiding shark attacks:

Don't Bleed, or Pee, in the Water

If you follow one thing on this list, it should be this one. By bleeding in the water, you're telling sharks, "Dinner's ready!" Sharks can detect very small amount of blood in the water from far away, so even a small scratch can be dangerous. If you get a cut, or for women if you are menstruating, you are better off on the beach. Pee does the same thing as blood, it's just another dinner call.

You should apply this to fishermen, as well. If you see fishermen near by you should stay clear. Fisherman boats, even small ones, are full of blood and thrashing fish, a sure signal to sharks that food is near.

Don't Swim When it's Dark

In the morning and evening, when it's dark, it would be a good idea to stay out of the water. Sharks may have an amazing sense of smell, but there vision isn't very good at all. Without good lighting you'll look more like food to them then during the day.

If You see a Shark, Don't Splash

Splashing means there's an animal near by, and more than just an animal, a distressed animal. A shark will look for weak animals since they're easier to kill. Instead of splashing, try to slowly swim away from the shark without turning your back on it. If it's already decided to attack you, then go ahead and splash and look mean. You can deter them if you make them think you'll be a hard kill. Oh, and aim for the nose, that's the most sensitive part of a shark.

Most likely you'll never need this advice, but now you can feel safer next time you hit the beach!

Image of a great white shark attacking a sea lion

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

3 Tools for Surviving After a Hurricane Has Hit

Do you know how to survive a hurricane? The bigger question is: do you know how to survive after the hurricane has destroyed your home? You will find great websites about how to prepare for hurricanes, but the following 4 items don't make it on most people's lists. They are tools that help with surviving after a hurricane has hit. When the hurricane passes and has left you without a working home like you had before, you'll want these items. Enjoy!

N95 mask

N95 MaskYou've survived a hurricane and now you are left with flooding and having to clean up your house. Flooding following a hurricane can take weeks and mold and dangerous bacteria can develop. You don't want to be caught breathing that. I pulled this from about the effects that breathing mold has on your health: "Molds that produce airborne toxins . . . can cause serious symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and acid reflux." When you are cleaning heavily molded items, wearing an N95 mask for protection will greatly increase your chance of staying healthy. The 95 means it blocks 95% of harmful particles. You can clean up the mess and stay healthy at the same time.

4 in 1 tool

Designed and tested by professional fire fighters, this is handy for shutting off your gas and water valves before a hurricane, and then it also doubles as a cleaning tool after a hurricane. You can dig through debris and you can also pry open doors. This tool is manufactured using heat treated metal compounds that are used by the aerospace industry, which is why it's so tough yet so lightweight. Using heat treated metal means the tool won't make a spark, which is useful if you're digging through debris and there's a gas leak. Nobody want's to cause an explosion. It won't rust, either, which is nice to have after a hurricane for obvious reasons.

Portable Toilet

Honey Bucket Complete Toilet Set
This one is so obvious it sneaks up on most people.  If your house is severely damaged after a hurricane, using the restroom can get real messy really quick. The above toilet set is an inexpensive solution because it takes a regular 5 gallon bucket and transforms it into a toilet! Use the Blue Gel to keep the smell and mess from getting out of hand. You can get just the toilet seat here, or you can check out the complete toilet set as shown above by clicking here.

Potty Box - Complete Emergency Toilet Set
Another alternative is the potty box. It folds down so you can store it easier, then it unfolds when you need it. Despite being cardboard it has a durable construction and can hold up to 250lbs. Click here for more on a complete potty box set as shown above.

What do you think?

This isn't a complete list (for example, I didn't include food storage or water filtration methods) but these are a few things that shouldn't be overlooked. I bet there are lots of other great hacks for post-hurricane survival.  Comment below on what you think are important hurricane survival tools! We can all help each other to be a little more ready in case a disaster does occur.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7 Reasons to be Grateful for Hurricanes

Image of a rainbow at the beach after a storm
You may have heard the phrase "you have to be cruel to be kind" before, but probably not in relation to hurricanes. What most people don't know is that despite being capable of massive destruction, they actually provide necessary services to our planet. We fall into the common trap of focusing on the bad things, but not the good. In reality, hurricanes are one of nature's greatest gardener! Here are 7 specific things that we should be grateful to hurricanes for. . .

A person's hands catching rainfall
  1. Rainfall can be very needed some years, and obviously a hurricane is a great way to put lots of water into the ground. Granted the flooding causes an incredible amount of damage, but keep reading and you'll see even more benefits.
  2. Hurricanes can maintain islands by dumping large amounts of sand on the beaches, restoring lost dirt due to erosion. Keeping islands in tact is important because there are "barrier" islands such as Long Island in New York that can help shelter the inland from storms and lessen the effects of them.
  3. With strong winds, hurricanes can balance the world's temperature by sharing tropical heat with the rest of the world. It blows hot tropical air from the equator north, keeping the equator a little cooler and us a lot warmer.
  4. They also cycle nutrients from the seafloor to the surface, revitalizing and renewing wild life in the ocean.
    Underwater image of the ocean
  5. Hurricanes give genetic diversity to many ecosystems because they help spread and plant seeds. Scientists speculate that many tropical plants in Florida came from seeds farther south in the tropics.
  6. Yet another benefit is that hurricanes add variety to nature through a process called ecological succession. Through this process both large and small plants go through cycles, maintaining the variety of plants. When large trees are blown over, the smaller plants and bushes start to flourish in the new sunlight. However, the trees will eventually come back. Because of this process, the smaller plants don't completely die off, and neither do the trees.
  7. Flush saltwater from hypersaline lagoons, which benefits life there. Hurricanes can make a hypersaline body of water have less chloride and sodium, making them much more livable.
So next time you suffer through a hurricane or even if you just watch the aftermath on T.V. you can feel a little better. Not that the destruction is a good thing, but there is hope in the idea that in the midst of destruction there is cleansing and rejuvenation.