Saturday, September 22, 2018

Remembering a talking Crow led me to write about floodwater and the impact on wildlife, read about it here.

Jimmy could talk, Crows are survivors.
There was a farm down the road from where I lived when I was young, it was during the late 1950's and early 60's. One of the many subdivisions developed after the second world war providing jobs and homes for the generation that returned home from that war. Soon the subdivision would be completed and the farm would be no more. Living on the farm were the farmers family which included a young boy a few years older than I was, he was a natural with animals. He had taught a crow to talk, one sentence, "Hi, I'm Jimmy the Crow". The bird was free to fly the entire area, landing near us we didn't really understand what it was all about, but it was fun to play with Jimmy. The Crow was lucky, he could fly to escape any threats that may have come his way. One wildfire occurred while we lived there, and other than the normal blizzards, tornadoes, and heavy rainfall it was a very secure area. I was thinking about the contrast between that environment, safe from flooding even though we were about 3 miles from the Minnesota River, and 5 miles from the Mississippi. The river banks were high, 50-75 feet so it would have to be a monumental amount of water to flow over the top. Even so, Jimmy would have been able to fly to escape any threat, Unfortunately, all animals are not so fortunate.

My attention turned to the impact that the monster Hurricane Florence has had on humanity in that vast flooded area, the human suffering is always first on most peoples minds. During floods many families lose everything forcing them to rebuild from scratch, some have no flood insurance. Those that do have flood insurance still suffer greatly from having to spend much-needed money on emergency repairs and ruined furniture, vehicles, and equipment. Cleaning up the mess is always monumental, most residents have few choices other than to rebuild and keep going. Sure there are always problems with infrastructure that is poorly designed causing much damage, there is also a lot of worn out infrastructure as well as bridges, dams, and levees that are stressed to the maximum experiencing a 1,000-year event. Reclaiming their farms, homes, and places of business after the event, when the water begins to recede is when all of the hard work begins. Farmers lose livestock, families lose pets, and the wildlife must cope with the disaster.
Nothing but hard work remains.

My thoughts today have been pre-occupied with the wild animals and how they survive the disasters, wind, tornadoes, but most of all the high water invading their habitats in which they were born and now exist in. I have visions of snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles being swept away by the raging water destined to be deposited where ever the water stops flowing. Jimmy the Crow would be one of the lucky ones, he could fly as most birds are able to do, some like domestic chickens have a very limited flight distance. There are the mammals also, what do they do during an event as huge as Florence? Let's take a look at some of the reptiles, mammals, and birds.

Some of them will die from the floods, the mortality rate is impossible to calculate, it varies from one location to another. Young and old animals are the most vulnerable, most of the healthy, middle age animals have adapted to high water situations and most will make it through the disaster just fine. The amount of area taken over by the flood and how long the water remains affects the mortality rate.

Follow this Link for suggestions on what to do if wildlife is encountered in a flood emergency.

Deer seek high ground when a flood begins, they are able to swim very well in normally flowing water, a raging flood stream is another matter entirely. Some will drown but surprisingly most of them survive, searching for the high ground they normally find it. They form herds which deplete the food supply in short order, if that herd gathers around a house the temptation is to feed them. It is recommended not to feed them, the idea is that it will encourage the animals to remain on the property dependent upon being fed by humans. We have good intentions and the idea of not feeding a herd of starving deer is hard for most of us to contend with, we may cause more harm than good, however. The large animals are stressed and being in an unknown environment they are easily spooked, approaching them may cause them to panic seeking escape in a deep raging torrent or water. Encouraging a large group of them to congregate may spread disease, after being in flood water for an extended period of time they are exposed to many toxins, viruses, and bacteria which is able to spread to all of them causing a mass die-off.
These are Mule Deer, they will form herds also.

If the situation is dire and the animals are starving to death and must be fed caution must be taken, some feed is not appropriate. One would think because the deer commonly invade our fields of corn that would be a proper source of food, that is not the case. The potential danger is aflatoxins which are increased if the product is exposed to the wet ground. Deer can sustain high levels however birds (such as Wild Turkeys) are likely to die from it, isolating the feed to just the Deer would be impossible. As soon as the corn is placed in a feeder the birds would show up most likely leading to their demise. Long-term consumption of corn and other grains (Wheat) will lead to rumen acidosis causing long-term health effects and most likely death to the Deer. Cattle feed such as  Hay is not suitable due to the lack of essential nutrients for the animals. Dairy Cattle feed, however, is acceptable, in pellet form with at least 12% crude protein placed in an above-ground trough type of feeder is the recommended way to provide them with the food.

Feral Hogs do not cope well in a flood disaster very well at all. they are an invasive species which cause extreme damage to every environment they encounter. Unable to swim well when caught in the rapidly moving water during its downhill rush they drown, many do survive. They face another dilemma being an invasive species they can be dispatched after permission from the property owner is achieved. It is seen by many as a unique opportunity to rid the area of a very destructive pest, but caution must be taken to be certain not to be mistaken for another breed of animal. Checking with the local wildlife authorities is a prudent necessary step that must be taken to ensure all laws are adhered to.

Squirrels experience high mortality rates. Squirrels lifespan is 1-1/2 years on average, if they escape the flood waters they have a higher risk of death from predators, traffic, and starving to death. They breed all year long, a flood greatly impacts the reproduction rate. They produce more young during the summer breeding season which extends from June through August. January through March is the winter season typically producing less offspring.

Rabbits like Squirrels experience high death rates under normal river flows, during a flood it is greatly increased. Fifteen months is the lifespan of cottontails, 2 years is normal for swamp Rabbits. Typically breeding from January through September the normal litter size of 4-5 is reduced during high water, but they have 4-5 litters per year. Swamp Rabbits breed from February through July averaging 3-4 young with each of 2-3 litters per year. It sure seems like the Rabbits around my place have a lot more litters than that per year, it seems they have one every month of the year.

Alligators may appear on roadways or in yards, stay very far away from the reptiles even though they are non-aggressive normally unless they feel threatened. Keep pets on a leash when one of the large predators is nearby, if there is a threat to humans call the State Department of Wildlife to have reptile removed.

Snakes will seek safety anywhere, in homes, buildings, outbuildings, and wood piles during natural disasters. Cottonmouths and Rattlesnakes are the most probable species we may encounter depending upon the location. Be cautious when moving through the high water in boats, walking, or clearing debris. After the water recedes check the entire house, attics, storage cupboards, outbuildings, and ventilation ducting. Protective clothing, long pants, boots, and gloves must be worn when walking through standing water. Wash your self off after being in contact with flood water, it is toxic.

Bear encounters are rarer, but if one comes into a residential area remain at a safe distance, some are a protected species protected by federal law. Arbitrarily shooting one may lead to serious legal issues with the Federal and/or State officials. As with Alligators and Snakes call the State Wildlife Department, they will trap and relocate the animal.
A photograph of a Fire Ant raft, stay clear!

Fire Ants flushed from their nests will form rafts making their escape from the high water efficient and swift. Floating on top of the water they will occupy any high ground, they are extremely aggressive and are capable of causing serious bites. If a raft is encountered they may see a human as high ground and attempt to occupy us, stay far away from them.

Humans need to take precautions to protect ourselves from becoming ill from the flood water. The blog I wrote two days ago talked about the many toxins in flood water as well as some of the illnesses we may be inflicted with. Avoid handling animals without gloves (dead or alive), never eat food that has come into contact with flood water, under no circumstances should flood water be used for any reason, it can not be purified well enough to consume. Hygiene is extremely important, after being in contact with flood water wash/bathe/shower with hot water and soap if available, there are chemicals, pesticides, and feces in that water. Do not use well water until after it is tested and given a clean bill of health by a qualified lab.

Follow this Link for an informative article on What every animal owner needs to know about pets and floods.

By no means is this a comprehensive listing of all of the animals affected by the disasters, but it gives us a pretty good idea of what the wildlife must contend with, it affects us as well. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog, I hope I pass on some useful information, my next article will be on livestock and farm animals. Thanks again.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Perils of Flood Water it is much more toxic than it appears to be, read this blog and discover why.

Rinse off after coming in contact with the flood water, it's toxic. 
Flood water appears to be merely another body of water, some of it is moving rapidly some doesn't move at all. It comes from many different places winter snow run-off, breached levees, heavy rainfall, and natural disasters. Coursing its way across flat-lands, down mountain slopes, past industrial facilities, and recreational areas picking up any and all contaminates on its way. Everything from fertilizers, pesticides, and solvents all the way to animal feces, petroleum products, and industrial chemicals are carried away by the immense quantities of water. During flood events exotic pets, reptilian and mammal alike are either drowned or during the violence of the storm cages are broken open and the animals are released to breed and overpopulate the area. There are many faces of flood water, the initial flow cascading through towns and highways, then evolving to stagnant pools harboring habitat for insects, molds, and amphibians. the subject of this blog is the "Perils of Flood Water", in it I describe some of the dangers, safety precautions, and toxins carried in it. 

While looking through the National Geographic website I came upon a disturbing photograph of a young girl chest deep in the flood waters generated by the Hurricane Florence. Understand I am of the mind that a child's photograph should not be displayed on the internet for any reason, but that's just me, this one was particularly disturbing. Flood water should never be used for any reason what so ever, let alone recreation. 45 years after being exposed to agent orange in Vietnam the symptoms became apparent, I fear the same for this little girl so innocently playing in the seemingly safe pool. What is in the flood waters that make it so very toxic? Read on to find out.

What dangers are carried in the flood waters? 

Snakes habitat is commonly near waterways and when a flood occurs they are swept away from their familiar surroundings and end up in some of the most unsuspecting places. Normally living in environments well removed from people, the ones we see on the roads and paths are a minority, when flooding dislocates them they may be seeing humans for the first time in their lives. That initial exposure makes them especially watchful and on alert ready to strike at a moments notice. Carried by the flood waters current they are destined to ride the current out until they are deposited on the high ground or a structure exposed above the water line. Thirty-seven species of snakes are native to North Carolina, six of them are venomous.  First is the Copperhead, Canebrake, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, followed by the Pigmy Rattlesnake, the dreaded Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth), and last the rarest of them the Coral Snake. During normal times Snake bites are relatively rare, the Copperhead is the most likely culprit when a snakebite is suffered. The Copperhead is the Carolina's most common venomous snake. If you are bitten call 911 immediately, do not attempt the old failed responses such as cutting, sucking the venom out, or the use of a tourniquet, those actions may cause infection leading to loss of a limb, or in extreme cases death.
A Photograph of a Copperhead Snake.

Petroleum Hydrocarbon Fuels; gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and oils, spill from vehicles, are lifted from underground tanks, and industries manufacturing them. The level of toxicity varies depending upon the location of the fuel, additives to improve engine performance, altitude, the intended use of the fuel, and climate among many other factors. Making the establishment of a broad brush response usable during any flood anywhere impossible. However many potential health effects of most fuels and the toxicity of the chemicals have been studied and are well known, this makes treatment relatively standard for some commonly shared additives. Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Ethylbenzene (BTEX) are the chemicals contained in gasoline and diesel fuels. Entering the bloodstream through inhalation, or absorption through the skin they are then absorbed by every organ in the body. All creatures mammal and reptilian, suffer the same consequences. Often displaying very obvious symptoms helping to narrow down the cause of illness.

Symptoms of exposure to BTEX include: 

Exposed to a high level for a short time;
1) Dizziness 2) A headache 3) Nausea 4) Vomiting 5) Fatigue 6) Disorientation 7) Depression 8) Loss of consciousness 9) a cough 10) a sore throat 11) Nose lesions and blisters

Low-level long-term exposure;
1) Dry cracked skin 2) Short-term memory loss 3) Concentration becomes difficult 4) Decrease in the attention span

Treatments depend upon how the toxin entered the body, the length of exposure, and the level of the toxins that enter the bloodstream. That is why inhalation causes respiratory problems, and absorption through the skin manifests itself in the form of rashes, welts, and blisters as well as irritating chronic skin issues such as eczema. Seek medical care if any of these symptoms appear after exposure to floodwater, or a fuel spill.

Overflowing of water treatment plants, hazardous wastes sites, large-scale animal feedlots, and sewage systems contaminates the floodwater with all of the nastiness imaginable. Feedlots for raising the animals used in our food chain create a large amount of waste in the form of urine and feces. It is a common practice for the operators to have an area designated as a disposal site for these materials. Pens must be cleaned out daily and separated from the animals to keep them safe from disease. High water fills these areas during a flood and upon reaching a high level will carry the contaminates with it as it flows downhill. Water takes the easiest route, the path of least resistance which translates into meeting up with a stream, river, and eventually when the amount of water reaches flood stage the solids are deposited on lawns, highways, and inside homes. Receding water deposits the filth on the ground when it stops flowing, meaning it is everywhere the water was.
Bodies of animals that have drowned in the flood, this is a very
grim sight.
Thousands of animals die during floods, drowned and bloated they are also carried in the water to the lowest points, it's all heading downhill. The rotting carcasses in stagnant water create a very deadly illness known as Cholera, so effective in causing illness that in centuries past water sources were contaminated with corpses by advancing armies.

Water treatment plants when flooded send human waste out with the water when it overflows the containment areas. It may also be carried for many miles distant from the purification plants to be deposited where ever the water stops and lets the sludge settle to the ground to be exposed when the once flooded area dries.

Tetanus, E-Cola, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Paratyphoid, and Shigella are common illnesses suffered by victims of flood water. Tetanus may be contracted when an open sore is exposed to the contaminants, the remaining illnesses are brought on by ingesting the water or contaminated foods. Known as "lockjaw" Tetanus may appear weeks after exposure, making the connection is critical for the type of treatment needed.

Agricultural and Industrial sites are swept clean by the water racing through the fields, plants, and structures carrying all of the chemicals along with it. Often the contaminants are unknown, the water has been exposed to many different locations, and every type of chemical used to maintain our lifestyle. Symptoms similar to exposure to fuels are common when industrial and farm chemicals are the cause.

Recreational areas contribute to the toxic stew as well, Golf courses, Parks, entertainment venues, airports, and roads contain hydrocarbon fuels and oil, pesticides, fertilizers, paint, and cleaning chemicals all carried in the flood of water. Contaminating all in its path, making matters worse we do not know the concentrations or makeup of the nastiness.

These are by far not a complete accounting of the toxins or dangers in floodwater, but there is another very important issue that must be addressed when the floodwater recedes or dries.
Disease and nastiness is not the only outcome of flooding.
It is paramount for residents in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance, without it all of the costs incurred after a flood is upon the property owners. In many locals, such as the one I live in, make flood insurance mandatory, purchased through FEMA it costs me $2,000.00 per year.

Equally as important is paying attention to our water supplies, the utility supplied water may take several days or even weeks to be re-established and safe to be used. An entirely different aspect of potable water is if it is supplied by a water well, after a flood the well is contaminated. The floodwater enters the well from the top of the well, sinking to the bottom of the water supply all of the toxins carried over the wellhead enter our wells. The entire well system must be inspected and cleared by the local permit department for the equipment, the threat of electrocution is very real around soaked electrical equipment. The purity of the water must be determined in a lab designed for water quality testing, do not use the water until it is given a clean report by your local health department. The well may have to be flushed for many days or perhaps up to a week or longer. Do not use well water after a flood.

As I was looking at the little girl in the photograph playing in the water all of these issues and more went racing through my mind, we don't know what is in that water. Whatever is floating in it is not good, and the long-term health impacts may not be known for many years, as in my case with agent orange, decades. I realize first responders, rescue personnel, and law enforcement are tasked with caring for the victims, most of them wear protective clothing. Hip boots, rubber gloves, respirators, and goggles are some of the gear worn by them, they are well aware of the dangers. Consumption of water is critical, only drink from containers that had been sealed prior to the flood, being sure to wash the container if it contacted the intruding water. Food as well should be consumed with caution, and that had been in contact with the water must be disposed of. Food crops and animals that came in contact with the flood must be avoided as well, it sounds dire because it is. A flood is a genuine apocalyptic event, evacuation is the normal course of action, preparation for the disaster is one of the most important activities those of us in a flood zone can participate in.
We are foolish to wait until the storm is upon us, make a decision
to make a plan and get prepared for a disaster.

Invariably prior to a disaster, the major news outlets show the lines of people outside grocery, hardware, and big box stores to prepare at the last minute. Unfortunately, that is far too late, a lucky few will be able to purchase the needed supplies, most will end up not getting the amount of water, food, and emergency gear needed. Most of us are well aware of FEMA's recommendation to keep on hand ample supplies for our families lasting 72 hours. I have always recommended a one week supply for each member of the family, that is one 24 count case of pint bottles of water for each family member. That is enough to supply one person for a seven day period, from the looks of it that is not enough for Hurricane Florence, the rivers won't peak until tomorrow in many cases. We are in a classic position, these numbers can be applied to almost all of our lives challenges. It is estimated 30% of us have a 72 hour supply at the ready in the form of a portable evacuation kit, 30% of us know we should and want to supply ourselves and families but for a multitude of reasons we just don't do it, then the remaining 30% refuse to realize the threat, taking the attitude of it will never happen. It does happen, and to many of us it will happen, determining what our particular areas threats are then preparing for them takes a small amount of time compared to the possible outcome.

{Follow this Link to FEMA's planning templates}

This blog could go on for another 6,000 words but I feel as if I have made my point, don't mess around with floodwater, we don't know what's in it. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog, I feel this is one of the most important issues to stress in the niche I occupy with my blog and website. My wife and I live the preparedness lifestyle, we have kits set up, water stored, and a nominal amount of food. It may be because we live in a flood and earthquake zone, as well as a wildfire area. If I rely on Government aid to rescue me and my family I believe I am fooling my self, we will expect rescue at some point, but how long may we have to wait for it is an open question. Our goal is to be prepared to the point of being able to help our neighbors, friends, and family as well as ourselves, I know for a fact few of my neighbors have made any planning at all. Thanks again for reading and sharing this blog.
A typical two person 72-hour kit, or 6 days for one person, available here.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut create the need for emergency generators these precautions must be taken

Hurricane Florence is ripping its way into the Carolina's displacing many people, the flooding has taken historic proportions with millions of people being affected. Typhoon Mangkhut is tearing it's way across the Philippines, the South China Sea and landed in Hong Kong with 167 miles per hour winds. I want to acknowledge them and express my deep concern for the victims although I have no first-hand knowledge of the challenges any of the victims are facing. As is usual the human suffering is the hardest to witness when shown on the news channels, monetary contributions and prayers are in order.
Florence three days ago.
The Hurricane season was right on the heels of wildfire season, and it is a rip-roarer for sure. Florence is a monster, sections of North and South Carolina will remain inaccessible for another 37 days possibly longer. Millions of citizens are without electrical service, water resources, and food. Many electrical generators have been purchased and are being employed to supply much-needed power. For severely ill people electricity is a matter of life and death, medical equipment to sustain their lives is mostly electric powered. Food in a freezer is able to be saved with the use of one of these machines, there are many homes outside the flooded areas suffering from power outages as well.

A vehicle in a garage with the doors closed is a poisonous trap when an internal combustion engine is started and left to run, an electric generator is the same type of machine. There are other dangers of carbon monoxide as well, outdoor grills when used indoors for cooking or as a heat source when left unvented produce the toxic gas. Unvented heaters when burning a combustible fuel, oil, kerosene, wood, or natural gas can produce an extremely dangerous situation in a confined enclosure.

The devices are not limited to being toxic in a closed up room, or compartment, when placed outdoors next to an open vent, door, or window the exhaust is able to enter the home and become a dangerous situation. In a garage even though the big door is open may create a draft and send the fumes inside the house if the access door, a window, or a vent is open or ajar.

Carbon Monoxide, odorless, colorless and heavier than air is a stealth-like invader we don't always know is in the atmosphere. It's poisonous to animals and humans when it is concentrated in air greater than 35 ppm. Cattle produce it, most mammals do, in an enclosed space it is able to collect if there is no outlet.
Typhoon Mangkhut

Carbon Monoxide is heavier than air, it sinks in other words, making ground vaults extremely dangerous, they have no vents or ventilating air inlets or outlets to create a circulation of the air. An exhaust vent is needed with any device using a combustible material as fuel. An enclosed area is called a "Confined Space." Confined space training is mandatory for people who must enter these compartments. A confined space could be a tank, cargo trailer, processing machine or any vessel or room that has one entry, no vents, windows or fans. Prior to entering a confined space, the atmosphere must be tested to be sure it is gas free and the correct concentration of Oxygen is present. The confined space has an entry of some sort, normally it is an airtight and watertight type of "hatch" or a swing door that is bolted all around. Before entering a confined space for entry it must be set up, a person is assigned to watch the entrants, test the environment inside and keep track of the sign in and sign out list. The entry is typically called "the hole", the person assigned as the attendant is called the "hole watch". The watch must go through training, he has a lot of responsibility. No one is allowed in the hole without an attendant present when the hole watch leaves everyone must leave the confined space. The attendant covers the entry with red caution tape, prior to that he takes a muster to be certain everyone is out.  When the attendant returns he/she removes the caution tape, test the atmosphere of the space, makes sure everyone has their safety gear on, he signs them in the entrants must sign the muster sheet in and out. If an entrant collapses inside the confined space, everyone must leave, the injured person may be carried out if people are in there with him or her. If a person is inside the space alone and collapses, do not enter to help him out. There is a reason that caused the person to collapse, it may be a deadly gas or all of the oxygen is gone for one reason or another. Many people have gone in a confined space due to someone being unconscious, many died with the originally stricken person. Do not attempt to "rescue" someone from a confined space unless you are a trained "confined space responder", a very organized and well-trained group of people. Such is a description of an industrial confined space unless a person is exposed to them during their employment the chances are they are not aware of the seriousness of the threat. It is important to describe this procedure to raise awareness of the precautions taken by the industry as an example of the seriousness of carbon monoxide poisoning.

There are procedures for rescues, please don't take shortcuts.

I worked in and around confined spaces my entire career, it's a dangerous situation that is made safer through training. If you come up to a compartment or vessel, don't enter it unless proper precautions are taken. I worked in a plant where a man was killed after entering a confined space, everyone was on their lunch break. He went to the "hole" removed the red tape and entered, it was a very tall boiler firebox. The man climbed up four decks, the box was 110 feet high inside. A red hot "clinker" fell in a cyclone and filled the firebox with red-hot ash, he did not live through it. A terrible avoidable tragedy, there is a lot more to the story but the gist of it is, don't enter without training and an attendant. But that's an industrial site, around the ranch, farm or home there are confined spaces as well, do not enter any space prior to checking the atmosphere inside.
Don't mess around, make sure your devices are vented to the outdoors.

A garage is a confined space, a vehicle exhaust is carbon monoxide, if the car is running in a closed garage it is deadly. Leaving the vehicle entrance door open is not always a sure-fire safety precaution, it is possible for the gases to enter the home and endanger everyone inside. Burning of a combustible fuel in any form, charcoal, oil, kerosene, natural gas or diesel and gasoline in the garage must be monitored closely. When using the garage as a space in which one of these devices are being used there must be two doors open, the big door and a smaller door or window on the side or back wall. Never leave the access door to the house open while grilling or running a vehicle for use as an electrical source. Carbon monoxide may build up in places we do not suspect, such as the transom of a boat. The exhaust can collect in the vortex created when the boat is advancing forward with the motor running CO2 will collect above the swim deck and below the gunnel, although not real common it has happened twice on the river that runs by my house.

When using a device that generates electricity, the immediate suspect is an electric generator, do not energize it prior to setting up all electrical conducting cables. Water and electricity do not mix, there is a real possibility of electrocution. Connecting extension cords to a generator, while it is running and wet, will electrocute us when we complete the circuit to ground. The same precautions should be applied when using solar chargers that are connected to a UPS (Uninterrupted power source), which is charging and controlling a bank of batteries set up to supply 120 volts or more. It's all electrical power and while we supply our homes with 120 volts and more it is a danger. Disconnect all electrical generating devices with use of an isolation breaker or in the case of a power generator do not start it up until all connections are secure. Making sure all of the connections are off of the ground and protected to stay dry. If the cord is laying in a puddle of water leeching electricity when we come in contact with the water electrocution may result. That is a fairly common occurrence when docks on the water have electricity and the cord dips in the water endangering swimmers.

If there is a cellar or basement entry from the garage, CO2 will gather in the lowest places, your own basement could be a confined space. When a basement is flooded there are two dangers present and must be determined to be safe prior to entry. One is Carbon Monoxide, it will gather in the low spots unknown to us as it is odorless. The second is the danger of electrocution if the electrical service is on, the outlets, ignitors on water heaters and furnaces are all powered by electricity. If the power is off, before we enter a flooded space a recommended practice is to open the Main Breaker on your electrical supply box, the utility company may turn on the power while you are down there.

Carbon Monoxide will collect in any depressed area as well, a simple hole in the ground may harbor the toxic gas. Livestock creates methane, decaying organic material will as well after a flood recedes we don't know what nastiness may reside in an outbuilding, vault, or open ditches. The danger presents itself when we are seeking shelter from a storm, jumping into a ditch to protect ourselves from a Tornado may be a  jump into a poisonous atmosphere.
The places not to operate a generator.

During Florence, which is still going on as this is being written, two instances of people losing their lives when operating electrical generators powered with an internal combustion engine took place. My heart sunk when I read the accounts. One couple was running a generator inside their home when the fumes overtook them and lead to their demise. The second was a man who was connecting extension cords to a running unit when he was electrocuted. During neither instance were the people strangers to the equipment, what extenuating circumstances lead to the unfortunate outcome were not exposed in the article.

The intention on my part is to raise awareness by mentioning some dangers of entering an unknown space, and operating devices fueled with combustible fuel, in three words "please be careful". It's extremely important that if you look inside a space and a person is down do not attempt a rescue, you will most likely die. That is one of the hardest concepts to wrap one's head around while being instructed in confined space rescue, do not enter a space when someone is down. Unless we know for certain the victim fell and was rendered unconscious do not try to rescue him/her. Several times a year we hear of instances that a man is down in a tank and his coworkers enter the space only to meet their demise as well, it happens all of the time. We want to help people in distress but resist the urge to rescue someone down in a confined space.
Purchase an emergency kit, be prepared for the unknown Link

Thanks for reading, commit this information to your memory, in a disaster evacuation there are many undefined enclosed spaces. Don't assume the spaces are safe, they are not. Please comment, tell me a story related or not, suggestions are welcome, I'm open to anything.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Evacuating in front of a Hurricane, some stay, some leave, why do they stay when only 30% are prepared for it.

Hurricanes are common throughout the world, and many times evacuation is ordered by elected officials. Organizing a mass movement of people during a stressful situation is a major undertaking, just to order an evacuation is a complicated issue. Hurricane Florance is beginning to roar through several of the Southeastern States, it has been reduced to a Catagory 1 storm with 90 miles per wind. That is a big wind, some longtime residents of the states affected use the word "only" in front of Catagory 1 status. Many of them are experienced in dealing with Hurricanes and will only leave their homes if the storm is a Cat. 3 or larger. It used to puzzle me as to why anyone would stay, but there are actually good reasons why that choice is made. Some have no choice but to stay, others feel as if the storm is a minor inconvenience, there is a lot of thought put into the choice for some and others treat it as a passing fancy.

Evacuating ones home is often a difficult decision to make for many people. Those of us removed may take the position as I do, at the first indication of a Hurricane I am out of here. I have a sneaky suspicion that applies only to people like me with limited or no knowledge, or experience of the storms to make a decision. Perhaps it is much like the threat of the "Big" earthquake in the western states, there are so many small ones the threat doesn't register. That too is experience dealing with a natural disaster, it's the same in the North with blizzards. Preparation for one of these catastrophes' is normally a goal for 30% of any population, human nature is to wait until the threat is realized and upon us. Three groups of people define the preparation undertaken prior to an event, 30% prepare in one form or another, 30% feel as if they should, and 30% are totally indifferent. The lack of preparation makes evacuation more difficult if those under orders to leave all head for the grocery, and big box stores after the directives are issued, it is making a difficult situation worse. Some residents choose not to leave their homes, the reasons are varied, and many seem to be logical decisions. Listed below are some of the reasons people make a decision to stay.

A 150-mile drive was planned by one married couple to evacuate their home in Wilmington, North Carolina to Raleigh. That city is projected to receive the brunt of Florence as well, the same with the second choice they had made which is a 4-hour drive from their home. Realizing they were not making the situation better by relocating they decided to remain home with four children, two exchange students, and their pets. It is just too hard to find somewhere to evacuate to, is the justification. During Hurricane Harvey, 60 deaths were realized on the highway due to people evacuating, the main reason an evacuation was not put into effect during that disaster. 60 casualties were approximately 1/2 of the 118 fatalities realized as a result of Harvey. It is a serious consideration to put upwards of 5 million people on the roads with the purpose of evacuating.
During a Hurricane is no time to decide to

A vehicle is required to leave an area and unfortunately, not everyone has access to one, some have never learned to drive, and others cannot afford one. Bus tickets out of town are expensive and like airplane tickets price gouging is common, using the excuse of "supply and demand". However planes don't fly during a Hurricane, already more than 1,000 flights out of Virginia and the Carolina's have been canceled, all flights will be at some point. Fuel for a long distance retreat is expensive and some people simply can not afford to leave. Often the roads are dangerous and jammed up making them a danger of their own, and gas stations run out of fuel. These are seen as being riskier than staying in the house and facing the storm.

Finding a place to go to is a daunting task due to the changing characteristics of the storm, it would be crazy to take off driving with no destination in mind. That is one reason evacuation orders are withheld until the last few days before landfall, first responders need to know where to head to as well, no one knows until the Hurricane is nearly on top of the affected areas. Staying with family or friends is the most desirable result, and works out well for those that have that option available. Otherwise, it means spending money many people don't have on a hotel, motel, or short-term renting of an apartment or another shelter.

Disabled people may face a situation more hazardous to their health than the Hurricane presents. A long grueling journey to a severely disabled person or a patient who is terminal may be unsurvivable to those in that state of health. Twelve residents in an elderly home died during Irma last year due to the facility losing its electrical power causing heat exposure and dehydration. This situation was one that the people could not evacuate due to their medical conditions.

During Hurricane Katrina, 55% of those that stayed did not have access to a vehicle or other means of transportation. Another 68% did not have the funds or even a credit card to pay for the expenses an evacuation creates.

Leaving pets behind is difficult if not impossible decision for some to make, so they stay with their pet dogs, cats, or livestock. Motels in some instances do allow pets in the rooms, however, one pet is the limit, those with numerous animals are rejected or charged more to the point of unaffordability. Deciding to leave them behind to be on their own is most often certain death, they would encounter a scary situation which would cause them to panic without the comfort of their caretakers. Most pet owners will not subject their pets to that tragic end of life.
Abandoned pet, what's he to do?

To place the lives of loved ones and pets intentionally is not the goal of most of the people that decide to stay. When it comes down to it sometimes it is more difficult to leave than it is to stay. As with so many decisions we face in life this would be one of the hardest I could make as I am sure it is for the people that decide to stay. One of the unfortunate results of not evacuating is sometimes the storms increases and becomes more unstable as it wreaks its havoc. Second thoughts are not uncommon causing some to evacuate in the middle of the event when it is right over their head. A decision to leave at that time is almost always a fatal decision, but a decision it is and they leave a position of relative safety to one of the absence of safety.

The decision must be made on an individual basis, including the entire would be in the groups best interest. Thank you for reading and sharing my blog, let us all say a few prayers for the people in the path of the storm and hope for no deaths that are a direct result of this disastrous situation. Thanks once again.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Florence and Olivia will both make landfall soon, Governors are telling people to put a kit together, is it too late?

Hurricane Florence, 140 mph in the center, Catagory 4.
Impending doom and gloom are descending upon the Eastern Seaboard in the form of a Monster storm, Hurricane Florence is a big one. It may be recorded in history as making landfall the furthest north of any recorded event. People are pulling their boats from the water, boarding up their homes, filling up gas tanks, and as one evacuee put it "I'm all prayed up and ready to go". It is estimated 1.7 million people will be on the way out of the area predicted to be hit the hardest. The storm is now forecast to make landfall late Thursday evening, it seems these storms come ashore in the middle of the night. One million seven hundred thousand people is a lot of humanity to be all headed in the same direction on a highway. I don't want to get too far off subject but I think of what would happen if New York City (8 million) or the Los Angelos area (10 million) all had to leave town at once and head North. The evacuation appears to have started out in an organized manner, the South Easterners know how to react to Hurricanes, to second guess them would be cruel.

There is a lot I don't understand about these tropical storms, such as if I was faced with an evacuation I don't care if the Hurricane is a Catagory 1 or a 5, I would be out of Dodge early, like when it forms off the coast of Western Africa.  I was talking with an acquaintance from Florida about some of the actions people took during last years season when all of that state was impacted by Irene. I failed to understand why people were saying they would not leave their residence until the storm is a Cat 3 or greater.  "Are they nuts?" I asked her, the first drop of rain to hit me would be God's fault the second one would be mine I told her. She explained to me that the building codes had been changed to enable buildings to withstand a Cat 3, "Oh" was the only reply I had. I am a transplanted Northerner to California, I understand blizzards, tornadoes, floods, and a mixture of all of them, but Hurricanes I have very limited knowledge. The Lady from Florida told me she is deathly afraid of experiencing her first major earthquake, I answered: "prepare to be unimpressed, there are very few big ones."

When I was in Memphis Tennesee in the late 60's the tail end of a Hurricane that blew in from Louisiana raised cane with us. I had to receive stitches when a large window exploded into a million shards from the wind, fortunate to not be injured worse I appreciated the repair job performed on my leg. The Southwest gets the tail end of some Hurricanes that are driven North through the Sea of Cortez and drenching Arizona during the monsoon. As far North as I live the biggest impact may be a slight rain, but more than likely the only mention of it outside of the weather report is comments such as "holy cow it's humid".

Humidity for most of the country is a very real weather condition, one that people in the far west have a hard time relating to. Evacuations are not conducted to escape high Humidity, however, those who have never experienced it have no idea of its effect on us. My neighbor went to Texas two weeks ago, Austin to visit her grandchildren, I asked the native Californian how it went and what she thought of the Lone Star State. She told me it was wonderful, then they went to an amusement park when the temperature was nearing 100 F (38 C) and 100% humidity. "How'd it go for you?" I asked her. She replied, "Oh my gosh I thought I was going to die, I have never sweated so much in my life!"

Living in relatively low Humidity, actually, bone-dry air. Sure it's hot, dry, and dusty but as people here say "it's a dry heat." to which I reply "yeah, but so is an oven." I have found one of the two best ways to cope with weather is acceptance, my dear deceased dad would tell me "it's all in your head", in other words, the attitude I take affects my discomfort, and he was correct. The second is to prepare for these occurrences early, don't wait until the last minute.
Empty shelves greet us if we prepare too late.

Long prior to the threat of any natural disaster it is prudent to develop a plan for any possible disaster that may strike. Yes, I preach about this a lot, I hope not a sickening amount, it is important. I am inspired this go around because the Governor of South Carolina has been encouraging people to put an evacuation kit together and evacuate. Actually, the kit should have been put together a long time ago, the evacuation plan should have been practiced, and the communications plan should be firmly fixed in the victims' minds. With a Catagory 4 storm making landfall in two days, the big box stores are already out of the water, the gas stations are out of fuel, and the roads to the marinas blocked, now is really too late for anything but escape.

This Link will lead you to FEMA's disaster planning templates

A seven-day kit is my recommendation for a survival kit, commonly the first responding organizations suggest a 3-day kit. Three days is a good start, it doesn't take much more to extend that to a full week. In the kit is already everything a person needs for 3-days, lighting, fire starter, a blanket, and water. One 24 pack of pint water bottles is the amount required for one person one week, that equals 1/2 gallon a day for drinking. When adding hygienic needs and cooking we should add another 1/2 gallon per day. Really to expand that 3-day kit to a 7-day is adding more water, that is easy to accommodate by cycling the supply through our normal daily activities. A family of four can keep 8 cases on hand easily, using one case each week and on grocery day replace it, we easily consume that much water in a week. Depending upon the damage to the residence will determine if the food in your pantry is able to be used, likewise for the fridge. Regardless in your kit, there should be enough food to last a week, freeze-dried is best, include a pot to boil water with. A bar-b-que, camp stove, or even an open fire is suitable for boiling water to add dried meals to.

This is a typical evacuation kit available commercially prepared,
a good way to prepare. order one here

We cannot assume the food in the pantry or fridge is suitable as a food source especially if there is flooding involved. In the event, the food storage spaces are not impacted and the fridge was not flooded and remains cool we must determine on an individual basis if the supplies are safe. It is recommended to keep track of the temperature inside the refrigerator, that's a good practice, another one is to throw everything in the trash after 3 days, earlier if spoilage is evident. It is not worth risking severe illness because we don't want to "waste" what we have, toss it in the trash without a thought.

Water may be stored in the freezer, it will supply two needs, the first is it will extend the time the freezer temp will stay cold enough to preserve the food, the second is as it melts it may be used for drinking, hygienic, and cooking needs. Gallon zip lock bags work alright, it's not the best way to accomplish this but it will work just fine. A much better way is to purchase water containers made for that purpose, they are low profile allowing them to be placed on the bottom of the freezer and food stack on top of them. Some have a spigot on them and others are merely capped off, any of the three methods will save your food.

Never under any circumstances use flood water for any purpose, it is totally polluted, we don't have any idea what is carried along in it after sweeping over lawns, golf courses, and industrial facilities to name a few. Do not bath in it, wade or swim in it, or attempt to purify it. Likewise, if a well is the supply of water, it is tainted and must not be used until it is tested by a certified lab and declared safe by them. Use only water that is in sealed containers and you know is safe.

Don't mess around with flood water, it's toxic.

A man was interviewed on one of the cable channels, he was pushing a generator on a cart. One of his comments was he had endured a three week period without electrical service last year when Irene hit; he stated that was not going to happen to him again. Personally, the only reason I would purchase one would be to save the food in the freezer and make coffee, in fact, coffee would be my #1 reason. Propane powered coffee makers are available, it would double as a means of heating water for meal preparations also. There are a lot of supplies that fit into the category of personal decisions, sanitation stations, cooking facilities, shelter in the form of a tent, and lighting all are personal choice items.

An extended list of items that "we" need in a kit is pretty useless unless it is custom made for my or your individual or family needs. The commercially available kits have all of the basic stuff we need to survive but they also do not contain the special individual items of which each one of us has. Medication, special hygienic items, coffee cups (and swiss miss chocolate for mine if you please.) and that really warm vest to add security and comfort. Our pets must be taken into consideration also.

In our emergency planning the family cat, dog, birds, and fish must be taken into consideration. A portable cage for the bird and a gallon mason jar for aquatic pets are a must for them. As for the family dog and cat, fliers may be made up early and placed into the evacuation kits of each family member. Take a photo of your pet and all of the family members, people are more apt to recognize the animal when the owners face is near it because most of the time, with dogs at least, they are seen with their human owners. Cats, on the one hand, hide close to the house many times when they panic and are found in a great number of cases. Dogs, however, run fast, far, and are panic-stricken, rarely are they found after a flood, fire, or total destruction. I have a dog that would disappear, she would panic and run off into the woods never to be seen again, so my priority is to contain her and keep her safe.

A photo like this is perfect.

I want to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, 9/11 as we refer to it, the pain of losing loved ones is never eased. Many of the people, everyone involved was either killed or forever scarred by that event, I'm sure the nightmares are never-ending. Our foster daughters brother was servicing an air conditioner in the second tower on that fateful day, he heard the explosions and climbed out of the duct work. He hit the deck running and escaped physically unharmed, mentally is much different. Within six months he moved his family to Oregon and works only on residential homes.

The human tragedy is the aftermath of every disaster, some on a large scale, some on an individual level but all are devastating to the victims. Now we are heading into Hurricane season, while we are in the midst of wildfire season, and Tornado season right around the corner. Hawaii is dealing with another Hurricane one month after the most recent one struck that island, all the while Lava flows into the ocean. Olivia will make landfall almost in the exact spot where the Lava filled in a bay. When rainfall is measured in feet versus inches, we know we are in a deadly situation. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog, we can all help with monetary donations or direct to relatives and friends, prayers are always in line. As is preparing for our own moment which is sure to come at some time, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricanes move from East to West, it works well for the West Coast, not so much for the Eastern Seaboard.

Hurricane Florence heading towards the East Coast.

I posted this blog one year ago at the beginning of Hurricane season now another season is upon us. There are numerous storms in the Eastern Atlantic ocean, Hurricane Florence is barreling down on Florida as this is being written. It is now at 75 miles per hour wind speed, it must be 74 mph to qualify as a Category 1 storm, Florence is just over the threshold. Helene and Issac are right behind the first one, their path has not been determined however over the next few days it will be.
Hurricane Olivia heading towards Hawaii.

Hurricane Olivia is heading for the Hawaiian Islands, churning away at 80 miles per hour it is also just over the lower limit to be a Catagory 1 storm. It is Northeast of Hilo and is expected to make landfall as early as Tuesday evening. The island state is expecting a direct hit from this storm, unlike Hurrican Lane that dropped 50 inches of rain last month. The second Hurricane in as many months to impact them, one curious thing did occur during that storm. The volcano was still spewing Lava into the ocean not too far from Hilo when the storm struck it was reported the volcano stepped back a bit and took a break. It did not completely cease the flow but reduced it dramatically, however, geologists are expecting it to build up the pressure and begin flowing in earnest once again.

Hurricanes move from East to West on the West coast, and East to West on the East coast, then when they move north towards New York they take a turn and head West towards Europe. It's a curious thing why we in the West never get impacted by them, I explain it in this blog. Hurricanes that travel up Baja California through the Sea of Cortez do affect us minimally after the tail end works it's way through Arizona and heads Westward. Normally the reaction from residents in California is one of "Gee, it's humid." Hurricanes need warm water to gain strength, the Pacific Ocean is increasingly colder the further North one goes. Cold water is a Hurricane killer, the storms need fuel and warm water supplies that energy. Other conditions impact the typically tropical storms as well, in this blog I discuss a few more.

Hurricanes are flaky, unpredictable, powerful, very destructive and very wet, they are a water-fueled event, losing much of their strength after achieving landfall. How are they formed, where and how do they gain and lose their strength? It's not really complicated but there is a lot to the formation of a Hurricane, I will explore and explain the catastrophic beginnings that impact the East Coast of the United States, I will describe the steps as they occur throughout the world.

Tropical Hurricanes are fickle, all of the right conditions must be present in order for one to begin to form, as soon as those conditions break down, so does the storm. Mostly all Hurricanes (Cyclones are nearly the same, I will refer to both as "Hurricanes") have a beginning as a "tropical disturbance". Areas of thunderstorms and active weather in the tropics, in the case of our "Eastern" impacting storms most, originate off the coast of Africa. Often "cold fronts" coming from the North make their way into tropical areas, meeting the warm air and ocean of the tropics. During Hurricane season unsettled stormy weather referred to as a "tropical wave" will blow over the Atlantic from Africa. Several conditions must be met in order for these areas to form into a tropical storm or Hurricane, they are:

  1) It must be a tropical thunderstorm

  2) It must be 300 miles from the equator. (500 kilometers)

  3) The water temperature of the ocean must be 80 degrees F (27C) or warmer to a depth of at least 165 feet deep (50 meters approx.) in the ocean.

  4) The atmosphere must be saturated with moisture.

  5) Very low wind shear is needed. too much and the storm will not be able to spin.
Some must grab what they can and flee.

A tropical storm will form once all of these conditions are met, the pressure in the center of the depression will drop allowing strong winds to rush towards it when it achieves a wind speed of 39 miles per hour it is then officially called a "tropical storm", it is then named. Irma performed just like this on August 30th, 2017 picking up speed and energy as it transversed the Atlantic Ocean driven by the trade winds. Measuring and tracking all of the data collected by means of instruments on islands, buoy's and aircraft that fly directly into the storms measuring wind speeds. Predicting the path of a storm as well as all of the parameter's involved is expensive, each prediction cost several million dollars, many lives are saved when the predictions are accurate.

Hurricanes gather energy as they move across regions of water that is warmer than is common, and the wind shear is minimal causing the pressure in the eye to drop even further. That is when the wind really intensifies, as the monster is being created it is able to gain or lose strength as it progresses across the wide span of warm tropic water. Hurricanes are cataloged as dictated by the Saffir-Simpson scale, the base measurement is their wind speed, then a prediction of the extent of potential damage is enabled. When the wind speed is 74 miles per hour or greater the tropical storm is then categorized as a Hurricane. There are 5 Hurricane categories, most of us have heard the terminology I will list and briefly explain them:

Lightning and thunder are part of it all, tornadoes are as well.

  1) Category 1: Wind speed of 74-95 mph, minor damage forecast, injuries to humans minimal and isolated, short-term power outages.

  2) Category 2: Wind speed of 96-110, property damage is significant with flooding, falling and blowing debris increases the threat to humans, power outages become a multi-day event.

  3) Category 3: Wind speed of 111-130 mph, property damage is intensive with mobile homes destroyed and extensive flooding, evacuations of humans are mandatory, lose of all utilities for up to several weeks.

  4) Category 4: Wind speed of 131-151 mph, great property damage is incurred houses and structures destroyed beyond repair, the threat of death is serious in certain areas for humans, very long-term utility outages.

  5) Category 5: Wind speed of greater than 155mph, complete destruction of homes and shopping centers, many trees are blown over uprooting them, the possibility of lack of utilities is extended to months.

For a comparison Hurricane Irma achieved wind speeds of 185 miles per hour, that's a powerful wind. I was once in a wind storm that had gusting winds of up to 80 mph, once in a while we have those kinds of winds, it destroyed our dock, breaking the 12" diameter wood pylons off at the mud line on the bottom. I was on the dock at the time tying down a huge boat we were storing for a person, the wind caught the boat by the broadside causing pressure on the pylons. The first pylon sounded like an explosion, then immediately after that the other two snapped, the wind is powerful.

That's how Hurricanes are made, and it's only one half of the Hurricanes life cycle, the second act is the degrading cycle and how it loses it's energy and dissipates into thin air. Warm moist water feeds them, the warmer the ocean temp the more energy a Hurricane gathers, that is until it makes landfall. As the storm loses the warm water it weakens, there is no water over land so they basically run out of gas however when they reach wind speeds of under 75 miles per hour they are downgraded to "tropical storm" status. A Hurricane can head back out to sea, enabling it to once again achieve wind speeds that classify it as a Hurricane, sometimes as with Hurricane Hermine in 2016 they make landfall and are downgraded only to energize after returning to sea, they can make landfall again. But when the Hurricane is on land it gradually weakens to the point of becoming a heavy rain event as it moves North, dumping great amounts of rain with gusting winds it is doomed to never live in its glory days ever again, it has died.

Even though not classified as a Hurricane a tropical storm is still capable of causing extensive damage, as in 2012 "Super-storm Sandy" was not a Hurricane when it made landfall and destroyed New Jersey and New York. It's hard to even imagine a storm being more destructive than a tropical storm that morphs into a Hurricane, I've tried in my mind to equate blizzards and wildfire destruction to them, there is a very little comparison outside of the massive destruction. When combined the extremely high winds and massive amounts of rain causing flooding, as well as the unbelievable cleanup in its path,  make Hurricanes one of the worst storms we encounter. It's actually bad business to compare disasters, they are all horrific when we are in the position of surviving them.

The people in Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida lost everything last year, as I explained it to one of my grandson's (20 years old), if they want to brush their teeth all they need is a toothbrush but they don't have one, neither does the store, a mop, nope, how about socks no don't have them either, same with everything, they lost it all. Recovering will take many years if they can recover completely is another question, it takes hundreds of years to build a city or state and when they are destroyed in mere days the old sing-song "Rome wasn't built in a day", takes on a whole new meaning.

Thanks for reading and sharing, leave a comment or question, good weather predictions, preparation for the storms, and evacuating when necessary will save many lives.


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Life as a Knights Templar was guided by Rules and laws, here are the 68 laws that governed them.

Many people are interested in the Knights Templar, in my searching and reading I came across this article on I had read these rules several times in other publications finding them at least interesting and at most intriguing. Depending upon the publication the text is different, perhaps it is due to translation. None the less it is quite interesting due to the strictness, and it gives us (me) an insight on how the leaders of the Catholic Church thought and spoke. The article also gives an insight into their self-reliance, self-awareness, and personal responsibility as spelled out in the laws they were bound to.

One of the most interesting points is the lack of religious guidelines in the rulebook, it appears the Church was mostly interested in discipline for waging war. The rulebook does not mention anything pertaining to the rituals involved in becoming a Templar, I have read some accounts of those and they are bone chilling.

But even in the laws, it is mentioning the "Real Cross", it conjures up questions about the validity, did they have in their possession the "Cross" of the Crucifixion of Christ? This is not a historic recording of the "treasures" that were unearthed or the riches the Templars supposedly had in their possession, it is a list of the guidelines for the behavior the Knights were sworn to conduct themselves by. They were warrior Prests and were expected by the Church to conduct themselves as such.

To read the Rules and Laws follow this Link, it is a fairly short 10-minute reading time.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share this blog, this is the first time I have reposted an article from another site, generally, my blogs are all 100% original. It's my thought there is universal interest in this mysterious and interesting part of human history, and a needed break from the wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and all of the other "stuff" dominating the airwaves. Thanks again for reading, leave a comment, in the meantime, I will search for some accounts of the hazings for admittance to the Knights Templar sect. I have traced my lineage back to 900 AD and discovered a Knight with my surname, however not a direct descendent because they did not have children.