Tsunami Survival Tips
Feb 04

West Coast Tsunami’s & Vacation Planning; Lessons from Nature – Part 1

By Chris Gilmour | Uncategorised

​What a Scary Sea Kyaking Trip Taught me about Awareness and Preparing for Tsunami's & Earthquakes ​

​Can you imagine living in a state of "ignorant bliss", then one day being on vacation with your family, hearing the tsunami warning sirens go off, and not having a clue what to do?
​Or not knowing what the game plan is for the days that follow with no electricity, running water or help? 
Prepare for traveling
​​​Last weeks (Jan 23, 2018) Tsunami Watch​ on the west coast of North America ​made this situation real for thousands of people. My Mom happened to be on vacation in Victoria, BC when it occurred... with little idea of what to do next and what the options were.
How to prepare for tsunamis
This may surprise some of you, but when she contacted the lobby of her hotel to ask what to do, all they could do was repeat generic warnings from the news, "get to higher ground". They did not know either.  And the irony was that they were already on the higher ground, yet this is what they told her.
If this is not a case study to show you need to take your safety into your own hands, I don't know what is!
​A lot of people choose to live in "ignorant bliss" when it comes to these kinds of topics, I know because I used to be one of them.

Many people feel thinking about these matters is scary, uncomfortable, and what is the likelihood of it even happening? But again I ask, is it not WAY more terrifying to be ignorant and then hear the sirens ringing or feel the ground shaking with no game plan?

​​Let me share a quick story about a wake-up call I had
​In my early twenties, my girlfriend (now wife) and I made a trip up to Haida Gwaii, a remote island, eight hours by ferry out into the Pacific Ocean. You can see Alaska from the Northern tip. It is one of the wildest and most beautiful places I have visited in my life.
Picture long ocean coastlines with a convocation of twelve to twenty Bald Eagles feeding on fish. Local folks harvesting crabs on the beach, misty rolling mountains and the silhouettes of black bears and mule deer moving through the northern rainforest habitat. It is an absolutely stunning and invigorating place to visit.  
Bald Eagle in Haida Gawii
BC Earthquake Preparedness
Sea Kyaking safety
Coastal Rainforest Survival
​To make a long story short, we rented sea kayaks one morning, headed out across a still and sunny inlet to tour the coastal shores of some of the nearby islands. We were in ignorant bliss.

Well, our bliss turned to fear and potentially deadly consequences on what felt like the turn of a dime. While heading back across the inlet, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and suddenly we were out on open ocean water. Four foot plus rolling waves were quickly growing larger.

We could not paddle straight across the 2km stretch as this would leave us broadside to the quickly growing waves. We had to paddle in a zig-zag formation continually turning into and away from the waves to avoid flipping our boats. This was exhausting and time-consuming. Every turn had to be timed perfectly to avoid capsizing. Keeping our kayaks close to each other was very difficult.

Both of us became mildly hypothermic, and we were well aware that if we flipped;
1) We would become severely hypothermic quick and 
2) No one would be likely to even see or notice until hours later. We were in serious trouble, the consequence of flipping was possible death. There was also the risk of the waves taking us further out to sea.

So, in the end, we made it to shore. We were in shock and disbelief. The lessons from this experience were nothing short of life-changing for me. Ignorance is NOT bliss! Hazard awareness is well worth considering and can lead to more enjoyment of the natural world. I still take risks at times, but now I take calculated risks. I know the hazards, the indicators of things getting worse, and I almost always have a plan A, B, and C.
​​​​I am also always growing my ability to read the signs of nature. I'm sure on that day in Haida Gwaii there were many signs from nature telling us of the shift in weather, but I never used to consider things like that or their importance to my survival.
reading the weather and clouds
​I have come to enjoy the process and the amazing learning that comes from considering hazards and learning to read the signs of the natural world. Whether sea kayaking on the ocean or traveling to coastal areas where earthquake and tsunamis are a real threat, we can use these hazards as opportunities to enrich our experiences and be better people.

We can learn about ecology, grow our awareness and knowledge, build our confidence in our ability to weather storms and the unexpected situations thrown at us. We can become more adaptable and resilient humans like our ancestors and the explorers that have come before us.

I have learned a lot in the thirteen years since my sea kayaking adventure. In part two of this post, I will share how I recently prepared to visit a place where the threat of Tsunamis is real. Where statistically and geologically we are "overdue" for a MASSIVE earthquake.

Want to be better prepared while having fun and learning about the ecology and beauty of the world? Part two has actionable steps you can integrate now and into your next vacation.

Stay tuned, part two will be out later this week with how I planned for tsunami's and earthquakes on my recent trip to Vancouver Island. 

preparing for extreme cold and winter storms
Jan 06

Preparing for Winter Storms & Extreme Cold, Part Two; 8 Less Known Tips to Thrive

By Chris Gilmour | Preparedness

​As I write this post, a HUGE winter ​"Bomb Cyclone" is walloping the east coast of North America called winter storm Grayson. Extreme cold blankets the continent and it is snowing in North Carolina and Florida.

In this post (part two), I share some less common tips and things to consider in preparing for a winter storm.
​In Part one, I chat about lessons from nature in becoming hardy to cold weather and preparing for winter. Click here to read part one.

Scroll down to read post two.
learning from deer

​8 less common, but important things to consider if you want to ​THRIVE in #ExtremeCold, Winter Storms & Survive the #BombCyclone, #BeSafe.​​​​

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learning from nature
Jan 06

Preparing for Winter Storms & Extreme Cold, Part One; Lessons from Nature in Resiliency

By Chris Gilmour | Nature Inspired , Preparedness

​What ​lessons from nature teach us about being prepared for winter storms and extreme cold?

Part one of this post will focus on lessons from nature in being more cold hardy, adaptable and prepared for extreme cold, winter storms and bomb cyclones. If you prefer to skim articles, watch for the bold text highlighting key points.

In part two (scroll to the bottom for the link) will cover winter storm preparedness tips that people often do not consider. These can take you from surviving to thriving!​

Part one of this post will focus on lessons from nature in being more cold hardy, adaptable and prepared for extreme cold and winter storms.

In part two (scroll to the bottom for a link) I cover winter storm preparedness tips that people often do not consider. These can take you from surviving to thriving!
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Oct 22

Build Resiliency With These Top Preparedness Apps

By Chris Gilmour | Uncategorised

SCROLL DOWN to go directly to the list of top emergency preparedness apps or check out the intro video (differnt information than the blog post) or read the whole post to get the most!

​In today's post, we are going to look at ​my top 10 apps for emergency preparedness. These could be incredibly helpful and even save someone's life in the event of an emergency or disaster. ​
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Oct 13

10 Lessons We Can All Learn From The Recent String of Natural Disasters…

By Chris Gilmour | Disaster Events , Preparedness

​I had the great fortune of conducting an interview with Emily Ruff from the Florida School of Holistic Living and the Herbal Action Network. Emily was in Orlando, Florida during Hurricane Irma. We spoke in the days before the storm and again the week after about her lessons in disaster preparedness and community resiliency.
​During our conversation, we debriefed her experience and all the lessons that came from it. ​The intent was for her, myself and you, to be able to learn from her experience and implement these lessons proactively into our own lives.

This blog is a summary of 10 lessons from our conversation.
Enjoy AND… Take Action!
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Ready for Climate Change Adaption
Oct 05

Manifesto for Adapting to Climate Change & a Changing World

By Chris Gilmour | Uncategorised

    ** Warning: The next three paragraphs recap recent world events. They may at first seem pessimistic ​or heavy, this is not AT ALL the intent. Their is a need for ALL of us to create climate change adaption strategies for ​our lives and communities. Please stick around until paragraph four, when I shift to staying optimistic, proactive, and helping you in taking steps that can make a difference in your personal safety and world outlook.**

​Adapting to Climate Change & a Changing World

​     I wonder if you can relate to this? Over the past week, friends, family members, people I have never met, even high school mates I have not spoken with in close to twenty years have been asking for my thoughts. How can they can be better prepared in an unpredictable and not-so-stable world? Are people in your community or family asking these questions yet?
climate change adaption needs to start now
The planet has experienced a string of major natural & human caused disasters. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; two massive earthquakes in Mexico; record-breaking monsoons in India and Nepal, out-of-control wildfire fires; (and next to some of the indigenous massacres) the largest mass shooting in the United States to date in Las Vegas.  ​
These stories have been dominating the news one after the other and are ​happening in our communities. On top of all this, it feels like there is a rising domestic divide ​and increase in civil unrest. In North America & Europe we have a vocal Alt-Right movement taking to the streets. They are clashing with anti-racism protesters. Riots are happening across the United States as a result of inequality. NFL players are protesting the United States National Anthem (symbolically, this is a big deal in the context of the greater narrative). As if this were not enough, we also have world leaders and the media speaking about the threat of Nuclear War. It’s no wonder that many people are feeling on edge.

If these and other recent events have you on edge, or feeling overwhelmed, then I write this blog for you.
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Sep 30

Getting Started in Personal & Family Disaster Preparedness – Part 1

By Chris Gilmour | Uncategorised

​Getting Started in ​Personal & Family Disaster Preparedness

​Personal and ​Family Disaster preparedness can be an overwhelming topic. I hope to simplify it and make it actionable for you in the next couple of posts. 
​The other day, someone asked me, “How do you sleep at night when you’re always thinking about climate change, disasters, and emergency preparedness? I get so overwhelmed, I don’t want to even think about it.”

Feeling the weight from considering family disaster preparedness
My answer was this: “I’m not worried about the future because I’m not JUST thinking about it. I am TAKING ACTION and doing things to set me and my community up for success. I’d be a lot more worried if I was pretending things weren’t changing and ignoring them."
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Sep 05

6 Lessons from Hurricane Irma & Harvey in Preparing for Natural Disasters & Climate Change

By Chris Gilmour | Preparedness

Want the key points? - Scroll to the 6 -  "What We Can Do Now.." Sections 

As I write this, my Facebook feed and every major news station is full of stories of all the "extreme" weather events happening simultaneously around the world. Hurricane Irma & Hurricane Harvey have just occurred. People are ruthlessly debating whether or not it is caused by climate change. 
​I see people so frustrated and fed up ​with the state world ​that it is either starting to boil over or leave them frozen in their tracks. ​Some people are becoming depressed​ and others choose to ignore ​everything ​and stick their heads in the sand. Tension are high and many are starting to fight ​ each other in the streets and on the computer, quickly passing blame on others they likely know little about.  ​
​And some people are CHOOSING to be truly COURAGEOUS & PROACTIVE in these changing times. It is in this spirit ​I write this blog. I hope you find it inspiring and actionable. Enjoy!

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