Chicago-Area Firefighters Survive Hurricane Odile, Escape SHTF Aftermath

“What we went through this weekend, the way we had to get ourselves out, the looting, the vandalism- it was like something right out of a movie.”

-Jim Kotrba, Hoffman Estates Fire Department, in a September 18, 2014, Chicago Tribune article

October 2005. I was in my office at a fire department in the northwest suburbs of Chicago when a firefighter/paramedic by the name of “Mark” stopped by. He had just returned from his honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico- early. The well-known resort had just been pummeled by Hurricane Wilma. “Mark” and his new wife paid attention to the growing number of warnings about the incoming maelstrom, and decided to pack up and leave the popular tourist destination two (?) days before it struck. I remember him saying the airport was pretty much a ghost town despite the ominous weather forecasts. In case readers don’t remember Wilma, here’s what the couple missed. From The Independent (UK) website on October 23, 2005:

Hurricane Wilma pounded the beach resorts and fishing villages of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula yesterday, whipping up 120mph winds and creating a 10ft storm surge that sent sea water racing through the lower floors of some of Cancun’s most luxurious beachfront hotels…

Cancun’s beachfront hotel district, constructed on a narrow peninsula, was completely evacuated yesterday. But in the city itself, only a small number of residents and tourists – 50,000 or so out of a local population of 700,000 – left on buses before the storm arrived. The others, including an estimated 30,000 foreign visitors, huddled in shelters and downtown hotels, where food and drink was due to run out yesterday.

With electricity cut off in advance as a safety precaution, the shelters – mostly in schools, hotels and gymnasiums – were hot, sweaty and crowded. Scott Stout, an American spending part of his honeymoon on an indoor basketball court in Cancun beneath a leaky roof, told the Associated Press: “After one more day of this, I believe people will start getting cranky.”

Weather experts in Mexico and the US said that Wilma’s unexpectedly long sojourn over the Yucatan meant that in effect local people were undergoing several hurricanes, one after another…

Fast forward to 2014. And the last several days in particular. More members of the fire service from that neck of the woods went to Mexico for a wedding-related event, and also ended up the victims of bad timing. Unlike “Mark” however, these firefighters didn’t make it out of town before a different hurricane struck. Becky Schlikerman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on September 17:

A group of 16 northwest suburban firefighters are stuck in Mexico after a hurricane ravaged the resort area of Cabo San Lucas.

The group had traveled to a beautiful oceanfront resort for the destination wedding of longtime Hoffman Estates firefighter Tom Mangiameli. About 50 friends and relatives traveled abroad, according to Mangiameli’s sister-in-law, Sharen Mangiameli.

The wedding was to be Saturday, relatives said. On Sunday, Hurricane Odile made landfall as a monster Category 3 storm.

Since then, electrical and water services have been out.

Tom Mangiameli and his group are still at the Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, said Sharen Mangiameli, 55, of Naperville.

“There’s no food, there’s no drinking water and there are looters coming into the hotel,” she said. “One of my nephews has been texting saying when they try to leave the hotel they’re being attacked by the locals who are looting.”

(Editor’s note: Bod added for emphasis)

Tourists and residents alike dealt with grave conditions in the aftermath of the hurricane. Pedro Juarez Mejia reported on the Agence France-Presse website on September 18:

Residents of Mexico’s Los Cabos resort armed themselves with guns and machetes in hurricane-battered neighborhoods to defend their homes from looters, as troops were deployed.

The government sent extra federal police and soldiers to the Baja California peninsula to counter widespread looting that erupted after Hurricane Odile tore down homes earlier this week…

Chaos took over this week as hundreds helped themselves to food, water, televisions and any goods they could grab in supermarkets and retail stores after Odile knocked out power and flattened homes.

But now residents fear their houses are next, amid reports of armed and masked gangs roaming neighborhoods.

Dressed in white and holding everything from bats to machetes, sticks and rocks, residents burned tires and wood…

Rodrigo Sanchez Villa, a lawyer for a hotel group, told local radio that masked gangs were pillaging shops, hotels and houses in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

“The situation appears to be getting worse all the time. A lack of security is being added to the problem of shortages of food and water and the lack of local authorities,” he said…

(Editor’s note: Bod added for emphasis)

Sound like it’s been a nightmare down there over the past week or so. Thankfully, this group of Chicago-area firefighters eventually escaped the carnage in Cabo San Lucas. John Keilman wrote on September 18 on the Chicago Tribune website:

One person in the wedding party found a transportation company that was willing to send six buses to the resort to ferry the group to the airport, Kotrba said. The buses arrived before dawn Thursday and parked away from the resort, while the group sneaked out of the lobby to avoid attention.

“There were hundreds of people in the lobby,” Kotrba said. “If the buses had been seen, there would have been a riot.”

And upon their return to the U.S., the firefighters’ tale of survival was being shared. Becky Schlikerman and Tina Sfondeles reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on September 18:

Sandwiches were handed out, then they ran out. Generators kicked in, then died because of lack of fuel and flooding.

“We were at the point where we made rope from a life preserver that was out by the pool and basketball nets and we started to build a little system to lift buckets of water from the waste buckets to flush toilets,” [Daniel] Pearson, 43, of Carpentersville, said from a Phoenix airport Thursday night.

“We had no cellphone service, food and water,” Pearson said. “We did whatever we could make do with. I have no dignity left. I took a bath in a fountain.”

Pearson is a former U.S. Marine. He spent nine months fighting in the Gulf War. And he has fought fires for 18 years. But he wasn’t ready for this.

I was in survival mode. I don’t think I was scared. It just got to the point where we had 48 people. What am I supposed to do? When we have to cut off our ironing boards to make weapons because nobody really cared about our safety?

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis. And I think that last line should have read “What am I supposed to do when we have to cut off our ironing boards to make weapons because nobody really cared about our safety?)

In addition to using iron boards to defend themselves, that Keilman piece noted the firefighters set up their own security system, with some men sleeping in the hallway outside their rooms and confronting anyone who walked through.

All this reminds me of something the English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin once said about survival:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

I’m grateful these firefighters and the rest of their party made it back to the United States safely. And I wish all the best to the newlyweds.

After learning about their harrowing experience, I’m thinking it’s probably not a bad idea for overseas travelers to bring/put together a small emergency kit if/when it makes sense, adding emergency supplies in the event of some looming threat.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Gumbel, Andrew. “Hour after hour, Hurricane Wilma batters Cancun.” The Independent. 23 Oct. 2005. ( 21 Sep. 2014.

Schlikerman, Becky, “16 suburban firefighters stranded in Mexico after hurricane.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Sep. 2014. ( 21 Sep. 2014.

Juarez Mejia, Pedro. “Residents grab guns to deter looters in Mexico resort.” Agence France-Presse. 18 Sep. 2014. ( 21 Sep. 2014.

Keilman, John. “16 firefighters returning from Mexico after being stranded by hurricane.” Chicago Tribune. 18 Sep. 2014. ( 21 Sep. 2014.

Schlikerman, Becky and Sfondeles, Tina. “Firefighter recounts harrowing aftermath of hurricane in Mexico.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 Sep. 2014. (]). 21 Sep. 2014.

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2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season began yesterday. And back on May 22, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told us what we could expect for the next six months. From the NOAA website:

In its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season.

The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.

The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico…

While the forecast is rosy, I wouldn’t let my guard down.

Those living in potentially-affected areas should pay a visit to the National Hurricane Preparedness Week page on the National Hurricane Center website to help prepare against these severe weather events.

You can read that entire 2014 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on the NOAA website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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Monday, June 2nd, 2014 Emergencies, Preparedness, Weather No Comments

IEMA: First-Ever America’s PrepareAthon! To Be Held On April 30

There’s no better time than right now to prepare for those nasty spring-early summer storms we get on a regular basis here in the Chicago area and elsewhere in the state, in addition to other severe weather events that might descend upon us in the coming twelve months. To help spur Illinoisans into action, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency issued a press release yesterday regarding a nationwide emergency preparedness event that’s scheduled to take place a week from today. From the release:

IEMA Encourages Participation in ‘America’s PrepareAthon!’ on April 30
First National Day of Action Expected to Draw Millions of Participants

SPRINGFIELD – On April 30, millions of people are expected to take part in the first-ever America’s PrepareAthon!, a national day for preparedness actions sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout the state are encouraging individuals, families, businesses, schools, community organizations and others to be part of the event by participating in a preparedness activity related to tornadoes or floods.

For its part, IEMA will conduct a tornado drill for 120 employees in its largest workplace in Springfield. The five-story building houses more than half of the agency’s employees and was damaged when tornadoes struck Springfield on March 12, 2006. IEMA will conduct tornado drills at its other facilities at later dates to ensure employee preparedness.

“Tornadoes and floods are two hazards we know well in Illinois,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “But just recognizing these hazards isn’t enough. It’s even more important to take action to prepare for those hazards. The national day of action on April 30 provides an excellent opportunity for people, businesses, schools and others to practice their plans.”

America’s PrepareAthon! is a new nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted twice a year. Nearly five million people already are registered to participate in the April 30 national day of action, which will focus on four specific hazards: floods, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Since wildfires and hurricanes aren’t major hazards in Illinois, state activities will focus on floods and tornadoes.

The fall PrepareAthon! national day of action is set for September 30 and will focus on earthquakes, hazardous materials, pandemic flu and severe winter weather.

Anyone interested in participating in America’s PrepareAthon! can register on FEMA’s website at The site includes informational resources to help plan and conduct events.

Chicago Storm

Storm rolling into my old Chicago NW side neighborhood

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

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On TV: American Blackout

A week-and-a-half ago, I received a press release from the National Geographic Channel about a world premiere movie event that’s taking place this Sunday, October 27, at 9 PM ET/PT on the cable/satellite TV network. From the release:

(WASHINGTON, D.C. October 7, 2013) Imagine 10 days of a catastrophic blackout across the United States. No cell phone service, no ATM withdrawals, no working street lights, no available gasoline … no escape. Fact: It could happen.

On Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the lights will go out. American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.

Gritty, visceral and totally immersive, see what it might take to survive from day one, and who would be left standing when the lights come back on.

American Blackout combines startling user-generated footage from recent real blackouts and disasters like Hurricane Sandy intercut with the dramatic shot footage in feature film style. Follow the struggles of ordinary Americans wrangling through the chaos, and witness one prepper family who prepared for the worst.

Who are these “ordinary Americans”? Nat Geo Channel says:

American Blackout focuses on five different storylines: A family about to have a baby in California, and using a handycam; a teenage guerrilla filmmaker in Austin; students in an elevator in Arizona using their phone cameras; a New York City couple trapped in a penthouse filming with their phone camera; as well as a prepper family in Colorado using a camcorder.

“American Blackout”
YouTube Video

Now, I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance screening copy of American Blackout from the folks over at the National Geographic Channel. And let me just tell you- the made-for-TV movie was pretty gripping stuff. The wheels in my head kept turning throughout the film as I kept thinking to myself what I would do/would have done if faced with the same situations.

I really thought After Armageddon, a 2010 History Channel production, was put together quite well. In my opinion, American Blackout is right up there with it. I did have some issues with the movie (both too optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, if that makes any sense), which I’ll discuss in a future review of the special.

In the meantime, if you get the National Geographic Channel on your TV, check it out Sunday evening.

(Editor’s note: Movie now on SPTV here)

For more information about American Blackout, visit the website that’s been set aside for Sunday’s event here.

(Editor’s note: Link added to SPTV and “Resources” page)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (

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What Effect Have (Post-) Apocalyptic-Themed TV Shows And Films Had On The Prepping Movement?

“i friggin LOVE “doomsday preppers”!”

-Milla Jovovich, American model and actress of Resident Evil-fame, Facebook post, November 24, 2012

Back in February 2012, the Daily Mail (UK) reported that “as many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubbed ‘preppers’- people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.”

(Editor’s note: Most mainstream media outlets drop that “as we know it” bit out, which is a shame as there’s an important distinction to be made between preparing for the “end of the world as we know it” as opposed to the actual “end of the world” where such activity may be thought of as futile. Kudos to the the British publication for keeping this scenario “intact.”)

That the ranks of individuals taking up preparedness have grown significantly in the last couple of years while (post-) apocalyptic-themed television shows and big screen productions simultaneously exploded in popularity is probably not coincidence. As a matter of fact, it’s something the National Geographic Channel, as part of an upcoming “Blog Carnival,” is currently exploring. The American cable and satellite television channel wants to know what effect these TV shows and films have had on the prepping movement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a strong correlation between the two. As more shows and movies of the (post-) apocalyptic genre were aired/released for public viewing, I can’t help but suspect increasing numbers of Americans bought into the idea of prepping.

I have a feeling the seed for prepping was already planted before watching such shows and films in many cases. Scientific and technological advancements in the Information Age have increased Americans’ knowledge of potential man-made and natural disasters beyond events fresh in the mind of many such as 9/11, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the Panic of ’08, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, and April’s Boston Marathon Bombings. Viewing such productions on a TV in the family room or at a local movie theater might have made such threats feel closer to home, thereby prompting action.

So the TV shows and films may have served as some sort of prepping recruitment vehicle. Yet at the same time, the preppers portrayed in such media have more often than not been of the extreme sort. These individuals probably aren’t a good representative of your typical prepper, if only because there are many different kinds of preppers out there.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed a number of production companies and cable/satellite television channels have come under fire because of the way preppers are portrayed. I can understand why this is, as some believe such depictions only serve to fuel ridicule and potential persecution of preppers by a number of parties including the mainstream media and the government. However, keep in mind that cable/satellite television channels and production companies are part of the entertainment industry, where these extreme prepper types can be quite entertaining to watch (cha-ching!). Those behind the ridiculing and potential persecution of American citizens for merely fulfilling the federal government’s recommendations as it concerns household emergency preparedness should keep this in mind as well.

At the end of the day, it must be pointed out that preppers actually perform a major public service in the event of a community/regional/national emergency. That’s right. Think about it. Preppers strive to be able to take care of themselves, family, friends, and even neighbors in many cases in the event of a real crisis. That’s one less person or group of people public safety agencies need to attend to in a significant emergency, where resources are typically stretched thin already. Because preppers can assume this “sheepdog” role, police, fire, and other groups can focus their limited amount of resources on others (more often than not, those who didn’t prepare).

One might even argue here it should be the civic duty of Americans to prep if they can.

Imagine if every American household had a couple of weeks of emergency food, water, and other supplies socked away in case of emergency. The next time a man-made or natural disaster reared its ugly head, think how much smoother the emergency response might be, especially when compared to those recent events I listed earlier.

Returning to the National Geographic Channel’s question as to what effect (post-) apocalyptic-themed TV shows and films have had on prepping, despite often portraying more extreme prepper types (it’s just show business!), it’s my belief such productions have increased the ranks of preppers in the United States, thereby assisting public safety agencies across the United States in the event of a real disaster as preppers should be able to take care of themselves and a number of other individuals in many cases, freeing up limited resources to be applied elsewhere in the emergency response.

Thank you for doing this preppers!

And production companies and cable/satellite TV channels like the National Geographic Channel- go ahead and give yourselves a nice pat on the back as well.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Brady, Tara. “Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION ‘Preppers’ in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world.” Daily Mail. 11 Feb. 2012. ( 20 Oct. 2013.

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Resource Of The Week: National Hurricane Center Website

Last week’s “Resource Of The Week” focused on forecasting severe space weather- particularly, Sun-induced geomagnetic storms

For this week’s ROTW post, I’ve decided to focus on predicting turbulent weather back here on Earth- namely, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Enter the National Hurricane Center, which is part of the National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

From the Center’s Facebook page:

The National Hurricane Center mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards through global outreach…

The National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Specialist Unit issues forecasts and warnings on tropical cyclones, and maintains a continuous watch on areas of disturbed weather that have the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone within the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Ocean basins. The NHC’s Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch generates analyses and forecasts of weather over the tropical Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Ocean basins year-round.

Founded back in 1870, I’ve been visiting the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center website for a number of years now. Ever since Hurrciane Katrina, come to think of it.

On the site, you will find:

-News of the day/past news
-Maps tracking Atlantic and Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone activity (first thing I look at to give me a good idea of what’s going on off each our coasts)
-Atlantic/Caribbean Sea/Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific tropical weather outlooks
-Hurricane preparedness info
-Additional resources

Looking at the Atlantic tropical cyclone activity map real early Saturday morning, there’s two potential cyclones (one with low, one with medium probability of forming) heading west into the Atlantic Ocean out of Africa.

Something tells me the Atlantic hurricane season is going to get quite a bit busier than it has been this year.

But, rather than wait for me to blog about it, keep a tab on the action (or lack thereof) yourself by visiting the National Hurricane Center website here.

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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NOAA Updates 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast: ‘Shaping Up To Be Above Normal’ And Possibly ‘Very Active’

Earlier this week, I blogged about meteorologists from The Weather Channel and AccuWeather warning the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season might be on the verge of picking up steam.

Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) followed suit.

From their website:

NOAA issued its updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook today saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – mid-August through October – yet to come.

“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”

The conditions in place now are similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, and include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes.

The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season. Across the Atlantic Basin for the entire season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:

• 13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including

• 6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
• 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

These ranges are above the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Although the potential exists for an active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA has now downgraded its forecast for “extreme levels of activity.” From the piece:

The updated outlook is similar to the pre-season outlook issued in May, but with a reduced expectation for extreme levels of activity. Motivating this change is a decreased likelihood that La Niña will develop and bring its reduced wind shear that further strengthens the hurricane season. Other factors are the lack of hurricanes through July, more variability in the wind patterns across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and slightly lower hurricane season model predictions. In May, the outlook called for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.

“The peak of the hurricane season is almost upon us and it’s important to remain prepared for hurricanes through November,” said Joe Nimmich, FEMA Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery. “Make sure to review your family emergency plan, check that your emergency kit is stocked and consider insurance options. Learn more about how you can prepare for hurricanes at”

You can read the entire updated 20113 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on the NOAA website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (

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2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Activity Likely To Increase

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season began back on June 1. Since then, there have been 4 tropical storms- Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian. Only one- Andrea- made landfall in the United States.

Seeing that August is here- the month storm activity in the Atlantic traditionally picks up- will the 2013 hurricane season continue to be seemingly “slow”?

Probably not.

Senior Meteorologist Jon Erdman pointed out on The Weather Channel’s website yesterday:

We’re in early August now. How unusual is this wait to the season’s first Atlantic hurricane?

Answer: It’s typical.

The average date we see the first Atlantic hurricane is not until Aug. 10, according to the 1966-2009 average calculated by the National Hurricane Center.

Looking at the past three hurricane seasons (2010-2012), 27 of the 29 Atlantic hurricanes formed after July 31.

Only 2010’s Hurricane Alex and 2012’s strange Hurricane Chris jumped the climatological early August starting line.

The larger point here, is the lion’s share of the Atlantic hurricane season lies ahead!

Meteorologist Courtney Spamer reported on this morning:

The Atlantic Basin seems to have had a rather quiet start to tropical season this year, but not so much when compared to normal.

The average number of named storms through the beginning of August is between two and three, a number we have already reached thus far this season.

Looking ahead, storms will have the opportunity to ramp up during late August and early September. This is the average peak of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin when the biggest weakening factors will die down.

“The atmosphere in the tropical Atlantic will moisten up as this cloud of Saharan dust dissipates/heads west and climatology says shear will relax as well as we go through time. As these factors go away, the amount of systems will go up as well and it could go from not busy to very busy quickly,” [AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mark] Paquette said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

From what I gather, a Saharan dust plume containing dry air coupled with wind shear have been sucking the life out of storm development in the Atlantic Ocean this summer.

And for those of you who reside in potential impact areas of this type of severe weather, the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center has a web page full of information on hurricane preparedness. Visit “Hurricane Preparedness- Be Ready” here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Erdman, John. “Hurricane Season: Quiet or Typical Start?” The Weather Channel. 5 Aug. 2013. ( 6 Aug. 2013.

Spamer, Courtney. “Atlantic Expected to See Sudden Uptick in Storms.” 6 Aug. 2013. ( 6 Aug. 2013.

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Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Weather No Comments

NOAA Predicts Up To 11 Atlantic Hurricanes Over Next 6 Months

It sounds like it could be a more active than usual Atlantic hurricane season this year. From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website today:

In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.

For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

NOAA also noted that next week, May 26 to June 1, is “National Hurricane Preparedness Week.”

Those living in potentially-affected areas might want to visit the NOAA webpage set aside for the event, where “hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator,” can be found.

You can read more about NOAA’s 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (

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Radio Appearance: Morning AMp, Vocalo Radio 90.7 FM Chicago

Last Chicago-focused post until next week- I promise.

However, this one’s not a “downer” like the other posts. In fact, I’m happy that I can share this with readers.

Back on Friday, February 8, I blogged about a terrific piece on Chicago-area preppers and guns that was done by Aurora Aguilar, a project editor over at Chicago public radio station WBEZ 91.5 FM. Published on the WBEZ website two days earlier, “Preppers: Guns are the most important tool in preparing for the end of civilization,” was the second story in a series by Aguilar entitled “Our Guns,” which are “conversations with gun owners.”

Now, later that Friday, Ms. Aguilar invited me to participate in a local show she was to be appearing on at the start of the next business week. I accepted, and on Monday, February 11, I found myself on the Morning AMp, a call-in talk show hosted by Brian Babylon and Molly Adams on Vocalo Radio 90.7 FM Chicago.

(Editor’s note: I didn’t have many details about the show beforehand, so I didn’t alert readers about the event)

From the show’s archive section on the Vocalo website:

Preppers: Preparing for the end of civilization with guns

George describes himself as “half-hillbilly, half-Viking.”

WBEZ’s Aurora Aguilar talked with George Drouillard (a pseudonym) about his preparedness plan. It maybe a devastating blizzard or a government takeover, either way George is ready with canned food, extra batteries, shovels, and lots and lots of guns. Aguilar joins hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon in the studio while Christopher Hill, editor of Survival and Prosperity, calls in to discuss the lifestyle choice that George has made and the community that supports it.

Brian and Molly were gracious hosts and were great to talk to. Aurora was terrific- again. As for me? I thought I could have done better, quite frankly. But I really appreciate having been given the opportunity to appear on the show and contribute what I’ve observed and learned over the last couple of years. Thank you so much Brian, Molly, and especially Aurora.

You can listen to our discussion of Chicago-area preppers and guns on Vocalo here (click on the “Play” symbol under the photo of “George” near the top-left-hand-side of the page).

By the way, before I said goodbye to the group that morning I pointed out there were still people without electricity as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast last October. CNBC noted the Friday before the interview that some 2,000 people in New Jersey and and New York were still without power from the costly severe weather event.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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Nitro-Pak--The Emergency Preparedness Leader Nitro-Pak Reviewed HERE
Food Insurance Reviewed HERE
BullionVault Reviewed HERE
Free Wallet w/ $50 Purchase @Chief CHIEF Supply Reviewed HERE
bullet proof vests BulletSafe Reviewed HERE
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RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

  • Related Reading: Austria’s Anonymous Private Vaults
    This morning I was reading an article on The Nestmann Group’s website entitled “Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank.” Offshore expert Mark Nestmann informed readers: Not that long ago, Austria had the world’s most stringent financial secrecy laws. Anonymous savings (Sparbuch) and securities (Wertpapier) accounts were widely used. The War on Terror, Money […]
  • Ireland: No Bank Safe Deposit Boxes For New Customers
    Further evidence that in some parts of the world, private, non-bank vaults are increasingly becoming the only game in town. Louise McBride reported on the Irish Independent website last Sunday: The banks have taken a lot of things from us in recent years. Here are ten things you can no longer do at your bank… […]
  • World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos For 2015, Honorable Mentions
    Last Wednesday, Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes started naming the “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos” for 2015. Third place in the “short program” category went to Siam Secure (Thailand), runner-up was Sovereign Safe Deposit Centres (England), and the winner for the TV commercial-style marketing videos this year was Custodian Vaults (Australia). Third place in the […]
  • World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos For 2015, Part 2
    On Wednesday, Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes started naming the “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos” for 2015. Third place in the “short program” category went to Siam Secure (Thailand), the runner-up was Sovereign Safe Deposit Centres (England), and the winner for TV commercial-style marketing videos this year was Custodian Vaults (Australia). Today, we’re going to […]
  • World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos For 2015, Part 1
    Back on June 25, 2014, I published a post entitled “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos.” I wrote back then: Earlier this year when I was developing this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults– I came across a number of marketing videos from the various non-bank asset storage facilities. This week, I thought it would […]