Weather Recognition = Self-Defense

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Bill Mattocks, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yesterday, my wife and I took some free (as in paid for by the US taxpayer) training in identifying storms, presented under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. It took two hours. At the end of the training, we were better able to tell the difference between dangerous and non-dangerous weather conditions (we even learned where the safe place is to get a good photograph of a storm or a tornado, neat :) ). This is a form of self-defense; we learned that the average warning for a large tornado is 12 minutes; and yesterday's deadly tornadoes in the US midwest had only 8 minutes warning. Many tornadoes go undetected by radar, because it takes five minutes for the dish to rotate 360 degrees; during that time, a tornado can form, do damage, and dissipate. We even learned more about the radar maps we all see on television and weather websites; we learned to spot the 'hook' that shows rotation that could lead to a tornado. Fascinating stuff!

    We are now considered to be 'spotters' by the government; we have access to a special phone number to give weather reports; no one has to do this to get the training, but it seems like a good public service to me.

    We also learned that because of the way North America is formed geographically, (specifically the Gulf of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains), the US gets the most tornadoes of any nation in the world; by a factor of magnitude! Canada is second; but we're talking thousands to hundreds; the rest of world gets less than Canada combined.

    You can get this training online; or you can attend local classes.

    https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23

    http://skywarn.org/

    You can learn to read the various things you see here:

    http://www.weather.gov/

    If you're interested in self-defense, you have to think about what it really means; it's more than defending yourself and your family against muggers or burglars. It's about defending your lives and welfare from all kinds of threats; including weather.

    Consider taking a couple of hours and taking this training; online or in person. This is your tax money being spent anyway; you may as well take advantage of it and benefit from it. I think you'll find it worthwhile.
     
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  2. decepticon

    decepticon Green Belt

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    I have been a volunteer weather spotter with the NOAA SkyWarn program for 15 years. I got certified when we were storm chasing down in Florida. It is fascinating to be able to look at the sky and be able to make an educated guess as to what will happen and how it will affect your location.

    We now live in a rural area farther north and extreme weather can result in our dirt roads rapidly becoming impassible, cutting us off completely from the rest of the world. So we definitely keep an eye on the sky around here. It is also very interesting to look at how local flora and fauna can also predict incoming weather. We can tell a lot by listening to the frogs and insects sing at night.

    I am considering taking the CERT program training in order to be part of a local emergency response team. Have any here done that training? My only hesitation is that I have responsibilities as a homeschooling mom and farm wife that would sometimes preclude me from responding immediately.

    BTW, we had hard rains and unseasonably warm conditions here yesterday, but today lots of very high level clutter - expecting to see a clear ice crystal ring around what little moon we'll have tonight!
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    We're considering it. I have considered also volunteering for the local Sheriff's Office Reserve, but to be honest, I can't always be available to be called up; my job sometimes requires a great deal of me; I worked 66 hours last week. We're looking at CERT and other programs that we might be able to assist with, including CoCoRaHS, which is just collecting daily weather data and submitting it; rainfall mainly. I think we could maybe help out with that. http://www.cocorahs.org/
     
  4. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    I would say that is more along the line of survival training! you are not going to be able to stop or subdue a storm, only take shelter and survive. ( I do not live in tornado country thank god! earthquakes and forest fires yes, valcano's yes but tornadoes.. nope. also some nasty snow storms and such here.
     
  5. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I won't disagree; my point is that if you consider the term 'self-defense', it literally means defense of self and all that that entails. From having a job to knowing how to fight to being able to drive defensively, to being able to identify natural disasters when they become threats and take appropriate action. It's all part of the 'do not be a victim if you can help it' thing.
     
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Most LE reserve units understand and work around member's responsibilities, and that their paying gig may have to come first.

    My dad was involved in CERT where he lives. He was also involved with the police auxiliary program until politics led to it getting disbanded (and him running for and winning office). Honestly, there were few emergency call outs, most of their stuff was scheduled well in advance, on both fronts.
     
  7. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    Everyone picks this up as a matter of course if you live in north Texas where tornadoes are frequent. You can discuss radar hooks, anvil fronts, and micro-cells with strangers at the bar. :)
     
  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm sure you're right, but I grew up in central Illinois, no stranger to tornadoes, and we didn't know anything about that kind of thing back then. So it was all news to me. :)
     
  9. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Taking a similar class next week. I doubt I'll become an official weather spotter after the class, but since the class is geared towards hikers, there are definitely self-preservation factors. :)

    I've learned quite a bit about cloud formations on my own, which is what is prompting me to learn more. Perhaps the most surprising was the cumulus "cotton ball" clouds floating in a blue sky. I guess I had always associated them with a beautiful summer day...but these mean rain, and sometimes a lot of it. I am looking forward to learning more.
     
  10. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I am a CERT instructor and have co-instructed a couple of cert classes with another person for junior high/high school kids. I would recommend the training for anyone. It goes over basic first aid (as part of ours we also get them certified in CPR/AED usage) and how to prepare your own preparedness plan for your home and family and what things to put into an emergency kit.

    I very much agree with Mr. Mattocks, true self-defense should take care of as much as we can from home safety and weather to a physical altercation.
     
  11. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    OK I do separate self defense as being protection from a person or animal from survival, that being protection from weather and natural disaster. Survival covers, finding food, water, shelter, and getting out of the way of weather, fire, flood, and earthquake and volcano. They all have to do with SURVIVAL, but one is more combative related then the other. some overlap may be involved, but you can survive many things that may be self defense, mugging and such with out doing more then handing over a wallet.. But, other things you have to fight to survive.
    the results of Fire, weather, Flood etc, you get out of the way of, endure and work around.. if you do not you may not survive!
    The difference is you can defeat or over come the treat, such as an attacker, or a vicious dog in self defense situations.
    You can not fight a tornado, or earthquake or battle a wild fire coming at you, you have to work through, get out of the way, take cover from these and endure the situations.
     
  12. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think we're just using different words to describe the same thing. Self-defense does not have to equal 'fighting'. If someone talks a drunk out of punching their lights out, that's self-defense also. It's not all rock-em, sock-em robots.
     
  13. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    no and I never intended to say that it was. I just differentiate between combative and non combative survival, and use the term Self Defense for the combative side as the Law uses it for that. both are survival skills. both can be argued as a form of self defense or a form of survival. I just use the two terms to separate things that have more numerous legal ramifications from the ones that do not usually. Also things that have an intelligence behind their threat from ones that do not.

    so deescalation of a drunk, or active engagement with said drunk or a mugger or a vicious dog, you have an intelligence behind the threat. ( the level of that intelligence is always up for argument, but it is there.)
    Dealing with an earthquake, a tornado, or what have you, you do not have an active intelligence to deal with, but you have a scale that mean you had better have some planning in place or you are in trouble. It is usually to late to do something to make survival chances better once the event starts. that is the difference in my mind.

    the end result of ignoring either can be deadly. I am not sure we disagree so much as we have a different approach to what it is, and not how to deal with it.
     
  14. Bikewr

    Bikewr Orange Belt

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    It's been my experience that a great many people have very little sense of self-protection and/or situational awareness. Just as a fer-instance... We have two big outdoor concerts here at the university each year. Big acts, lots of kids, booze, etc.
    Couple of years ago, we had to cancel the thing about 1/2 through as there was a severe thunderstorm and a tornado warning. The local tornado-alert sirens were going off enthusiastically.
    As numbers of the youngsters exited....I kept getting the same question:
    "What's that noise?"
    "Tornado warning."
    "Really? Why is that going off?"
    "Uh, because there's a tornado warning...."
     
  15. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Bumping this thread back up, because there's some good stuff in here!

    The CERT instructor at my city's OEM announced that there would be some SKYWARN classes taught in the area next month. I signed up for one on May 1. I've taken a basic weather safety class that was geared more towards hikers, I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can learn with the class.
     
  16. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I remember learning this stuff in a winter survival class I had in the USMC sadly I've forgotten most of it. All I remember is of you see the long trails behind plane that stretch across the sky it's going to rain or snow in the next 24-48 hours.
     
  17. Zero

    Zero Master Black Belt

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    That's right, Bill, you and Decepticon should look into it more. I used to work in the volunteer fire service and had to attend call-outs at any time when the pager or sirens went. But they understood that I had a job I had to keep so that came first. I did sadly have to give it up when I took on studies on top of the job, I then felt I did not have a decent amount of time to devote when the volunteer service needed it.
     
  18. Zero

    Zero Master Black Belt

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    By the way, great thread!! It may be, depending where you live, that you need to fall back on your emergency food/survival supplies or environmental/outdoor awareness and knowledge to keep you safe in life, while you may never need to raise your hands in an act of self defense against another. It pays to be well rounded. Having hands registered as deadly weapons on seven continents only goes so far in the face of a full blown tornado.123
     

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