News for the Week 2023-08-28

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.


  • Comments (21)

    • 2

      Prepper Chat Night is this Friday evening, Sept 1, on Discord at 6PM Pacific / 9PM Eastern. Join our Discord now at this link so you’ll be ready when the event starts:


      Prepper Chat Nights are on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month. It’s a video call where we mostly talk about our recent prepping experiences and lessons. The video part is optional, and some choose to skip that part for privacy reasons.


      Note: The Friday chats aren’t the only reason to join Discord. While the website remains the better place for guides, articles, and experience reports, Discord really shines for conversation or helping someone through an immediate situation. The two work well together, and I use both every day.

    • 2

      A lot of news outlets are picking up the newly updated tick-borne Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS) information from the CDC because of the increased number of reported cases.





      There’s been a few articles on here about them.  Most people that have spent any time in outside, not just “in the woods” but even in nature parks, have had some kind of experience with ticks.  I’ve found them on me and several family members have contracted Lymes Disease from them.  The ones that cause AGS are particularly disconcerting because of the healthcare implications once you’re unable to take common medications and even some vaccinations.  Not to mention that it’d be a shame to survive an EMP attack and the resulting golden hordes only to die from starvation because you can’t eat the food you stocked.  Talk about irony.

      • 1

        CDC stats (30k cases per year) make Lyme disease sound quite rare, so I’m surprised to hear of several cases in the same family. Do you think the stats are way off or that your family has unusually high risk for tick bites?

      • 2

        I recognize you weren’t asking me, but I think the stats are way off.

        I personally know at least half a dozen people who’ve had diagnosed Lyme (one of whom died from complications of it in his forties, and another who ended up completely disabled from it in her fifties – though for context she did not follow medical advice and tried to ‘treat’ it with herbs), two who have had diagnosed Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and three with diagnosed Alpha Gal Syndrome (AGS).  

        It is AGS that keeps me slathering on the bug spray and tucking pants into my socks – no way am I giving up bacon! 

      • 2

        Yeah, it was over 20 years and different states.  If you look at just Lyme Disease, it may be just 30K per year, but the CDC is also saying there’s something like 476K cases reported annually (based on insurance claims) of tick-borne diseases.  This may be new and ongoing treatments; I haven’t dug into the actual numbers.  While it seems negligible if you look at the total US population, it’s more prevalent once you narrow the population down to the folks that visit or work in the areas where they’d come into contact with ticks.  It’s enough of a risk to where I’d definitely keep DEET on my extremities and permethrin on my clothing while I’m outdoors.

    • 3

      Hurricane Idalia hit Florida this week and continued north through Georgia. I live in Florida and spent most of the week preparing, which is why I haven’t posted much this week.


      • 2

        Eric, I hope you are safe/well and didn’t suffer any damage from the hurricane. 

      • 3

        Thanks. Yes, we were lucky this time.

      • 2

        Great to hear!

        What sort of last minute preps did you need to do? (FYI, I’m in So Cal, so I didn’t used to think much about tropical storm events, but I’m going to pay a bit more attention to this type of prepping going forward. I’m guessing I’m not alone in widening my view of what constitutes the realistic threats that I may face.)

      • 2

        Definitely start with TP’s hurricane guide which is comprehensive.


        Hurricane risks basically fall into three categories: flooding, wind, and infrastructure loss.

        Flooding is generally the worst. The sea level can rise by 5 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet… This is why a lot of people living on the coast just need to evacuate. There can also be local flooding due to heavy rain. My home is mostly immune to both because I’m inland, somewhat high elevation, with good drainage.

        Wind can cause some amazing damage when it blows at 100+ mph. Knocking down power lines, knocking down trees, picking up branches or lawn furniture and throwing them at your windows, removing shingles from your roof, lifting the whole roof off your house… Last year we removed some trees that were at risk of falling and pruned others so they wouldn’t catch as much wind. I’m far enough inland that 100 mph is on the high side of what I’ll likely see (125 mph on the coast was much worse) but I still worry about wind. A lot of my last minute prep time was spent removing weak branches from trees, picking up branches from the yard, and moving lawn furniture indoors. I also tied up a gate whose latch was missing because if that swings in the wind it will get ripped off.

        Infrastructure: It’s very dangerous to drive during a hurricane so choose a place to shelter (home in my case) and plan to stay there. Police and ambulances won’t be driving either so understand that you’re on your own for a while. And odds are very high that you lose electricity and/or running water. So be prepared to go without for a while. We keep lots of bottled water and food that doesn’t require cooking. We run the fridge/freezer on coldest setting so food will stay cold enough if power out. We buy fresh food and snacks because those are nice to have, even though we have plenty of non-perishables stored.

    • 3

      Test of USA’s national alert system scheduled for Oct 4. “This is a test” will be broadcast by phone, TV, and radio.

    • 2

      COVID news:

      Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax have all reformulated their COVID vaccines to target the XBB.1.5 variant. The EU has just approved Pfizer’s vaccine. US FDA is reviewing Pfizer and Moderna with a decision expected in a few days.


      England is starting their vaccination a few weeks early due to concern about the new BA.2.86 variant.


      • 2

        I’ve heard a few times that there’s a new COVID variant BA.2.86 with 30 mutations that *might* be more immune evasive. Here’s some evidence that it’s not.

        Eric Topol post on Mastodon

        We’re still in a COVID spike and COVID is still bad. Definitely get the new booster when it becomes available in a couple weeks. But the good news is that the new booster will work great on the new variant.

    • 2

      911 outage for the STATE of Nebraska

      After the recent tropical storm in So. Cal, when 911 was down in many desert areas, I learned that you may be able to text 911 when calling 911 won’t work. This seems to be the case here as well. (P.S. I don’t recall an event like this where 911 is down for an entire State.)


    • 2

      September is National Preparedness Month. Let’s take some time to remind ourselves why we prepare and to ensure that we have the basics covered. Making a plan to prepare for disasters is the best way to protect your family.



    • 2

      Watch out for fake books and articles targetting the preparedness community. Several mushroom foraging books were completely written by chatbots and contained dangerously bad advice.


    • 2

      Roughly half of sudden cardiac arrests had warning signs the day before, especially chest pain for men or shortness of breath for women. Other less common early symptoms included palpitations, seizure-like activity, and flu-like symptoms. If you have risk factors for cardiac arrest such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, consider getting medical help early when you experience these symptoms.


    • 2

      Thousands of Burning Man participants stranded in muddy desert with limited food and water, overfilled portapotties, and no cell service.


    • 3

      Maui Sent an Evacuation Alert. Why Did So Few People Get It?
      The Hawaii wildfire offered insights into the promises and shortcomings of a wireless alert system that relies on cellphones for emergency warnings.

      • 2

        Thanks, Colorado Jones. We’d previously found an indication that the alert went to some cell phones and not others cut couldn’t find an explanation for that. This article helps a lot. I’m copying your message to two other Lahaina fire discussions in Discord and in the forum.

        Discord > news > Lahaina Fire


    • 2

      Submerging a car in salt water is always bad for the car. For Teslas and other electric vehicles, symptoms can include spontaneous combustion weeks later.


      Preparedness tips:

      1) Move your car to higher ground when flooding is expected.

      2) If your car has been flooded, talk to your insurance company and a mechanic for next steps. This article mentions driving it 50 feet away from burnable structures, but I’m hesitant to recommend getting inside something that might catch fire.

      3) If an electric car catches fire, aim the water under the vehicle because that’s the main source of combustion. Water on top of the vehicle is ineffective at putting out an electric vehicle fire.