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10 New Ways to Survive Disaster

A lot of us have bug-out bags to help deal with potential disasters, but there are new and innovative  products coming onto the market all the time. Below we look at ten recent developments that can help save lives and survive disaster.

Enhanced GPS

Enhanced GPS

Enhanced GPS

GPS has been used for over a decade as a detection tool, and today the accuracy is even better. In 2013, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography combined regular water vapor sensors with GPS systems to predict flash flooding. In addition, retrofitting GPS systems to the meteorological stations with the latest accelerometers, the team was able to accurately predict the intensity of when, how and where waves would strike. The system is now on California’s San Andreas Fault, where it is capable of providing a warning several minutes before a quake hits. So, if you are in the area of the San Andreas Fault, it would be sensible to subscribe to the weather station’s SMS alert system.

Flexible Concrete

Concrete’s biggest selling point is strength and not necessarily flexibility. However, you can make concrete flexible by mixing in polyvinyl alcohol fibers, making it 400x more ductile. The material is being used in dams and buildings across New Zealand and Japan. So, if you’re building a new home or reinforcing an existing one, and you are located on one of the many fault lines across the world you may want to invest in flexible concrete.

Tornado-proof Windowpanes

Even low- to medium-intensity tornadoes can rip apart ordinary windows in a matter of seconds. The best way to protect against this sort of damage is to use reinforced windows. Architectural Wall Systems sells windows that are thicker and a lot more flexible than regular one, and a special glaze ensures that they are shatterproof.

De-icing

De-icing

De-icing

Ice storms can cause power outages when wires leading to your home are taken out by the weight of ice accumulations. The good news is that this can be prevented with off-the-shelf parts,such as car batteries and metal foil. Switches installed on both ends of the power line can allow the resistance in the line to be increased, which generates more heat to help melt away the ice.  It is only needed for around a minute, and it consumes just 1% percent more electricity.

Puncture Wounds

Puncture wounds can end up being life-threatening if the bleeding is not controlled quickly. This is a particular problem with shoulder and pelvic wounds, as a traditional tourniquet cannot be applied in these sites. A new product developed by RevMedx, called XStat,consists of small compressed sponges which have been treated with a chemical to make them antimicrobial blood-clotting agents.  When injected into a wound, the pellets can expand up to 10 times their original size, which exerts enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Extended medical studies on animals have found that XStat can reduce blood loss significantly, which in turn increases survival rates. The device may get FDA approval sometime in 2015.

Survival Capsule

After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, it was calculated that over 130 nations, in addition to the US, are at risk of a huge, potentially catastrophic, wave. But when you don’t have enough time to drive or climb to higher ground, your only hope is a Survival Capsule. The pod, as it’s called, has built-in GPS, locator beacons, storage space, and ventilation. It’s also strong enough to withstand heating, piercing, and crushing. The first 2-person models went on sale in Japan in 2013, and they could prove to be lifesavers if you live near the coast.

Water Purifier

A new tri-layered ion-charged mesh has been developed by Grayl to filter 99% of all the viruses, protozoa, and bacteria out of your drinking water. It is also capable of filtering heavy metals and various chemicals out of 16 ounces of water in just 15 seconds.

Backup Phone

Backup Phone

Backup Phone

SpareOne Plus sells a backup phone with battery life of up to 15 years. It is the best phone to have when in a disaster situation. The phone also has a built in SOS signaler which alerts contacts to your current whereabouts.

Solar-powered Generator

When you lose your connection with the national grid, which can often be the case in the event of a natural disaster, having a diesel generator around is a good idea. However, you may well run out of fuel if the crisis lasts for over 48 hours, and this is where a solar generator can come in handy. A 21 x 18 x1 inch solar panel can take a good day to charge a battery, but it can last for up to 24 hours on each charge. Plus, your home alarm system can remain powered for up to 10 days.

Charger, Heater, and Stove

The BioLite Campstove will burn twigs, cow dung, leaves; in fact, pretty much any type of biomass. Essentially it turns refuse into electricity which can charge your phone, keep a light going and even help  you cook. An especially good survival tool if you’re in trouble.