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What can I learn from disaster?

What steps can I take to reduce the risk of, or prepare myself for, common disasters in life? The first time my hard drive crashed, I learned to back up my data regularly; when a friend's dad had a heart attack when I was younger, I learned how to eat healthily and exercise; it took a root canal for me to realise that brushing my teeth isn't enough. I've also learned the hard way that just because a young woman asks you out, doesn't mean that you can skip the step where you ask, "Hey, uh, you don't have a boyfriend, do you?" I'd like to learn more of these vital lessons without having to go through the disaster part first. Have you learned things from surviving a disaster, that you can pass on? I'm most interested in things that happen to nearly everyone: having a hard drive crash, losing your parents, stuff like that, but if there are other things I should know, I'd like to hear those, too. [more inside]
posted by surenoproblem on Oct 7, 2010 - 51 answers

Less boring than math class?

What kind of school assemblies did you have growing up? Do any stick in your head as particularly interesting or important? [more inside]
posted by Hoenikker on Sep 23, 2010 - 75 answers

How do you get home with an expired driver's license?

Travel question: what do you do when your ID is expired? [more inside]
posted by dpx.mfx on Aug 12, 2010 - 12 answers

Dime Museums, Disaster Spectacles, and Old Coney Island

Hi All. I am doing research on old Coney Island, Dime Museums, and the history of disaster spectacles. Do any of you know of any books or sources where I could find out more information or, better yet, images relating to these topics? Thank you!
posted by astropop on Jun 26, 2010 - 9 answers

My employer is a disaster, which makes bailing hard. What do I do?

My employer, a small web design and software business, is hovering on the edge of insolvency and is also dangerously incompetent in a few other ways. What do I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 20, 2010 - 14 answers

Books/websites on construction and remedial building techniques for use in developing countries and disaster zones?

Do you know any good books or websites on construction and remedial building techniques which might be considered 'achievable best practice' in developing countries and disaster zones, ideally using resources readily available in those areas? [more inside]
posted by carnival of animals on Feb 21, 2010 - 4 answers

[DinnerEmergencyFilter] Accidentally cooked two pork chops for 60 min rather than 30 min - chops are tough and sad looking. How to salvage for dinner guest arriving in 30 minutes?

Chops were baked for 60 min (should have been 30) at 350 degrees, smothered in green apples and a thin caramel sauce of butter, brown sugar, and salt. Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm a sad bird.
posted by anthropomorphic on Feb 6, 2010 - 14 answers

Where do reporters stay and what do they eat when they are covering a natural disaster abroad?

How is Anderson Cooper getting his three square meals a day in Haiti? [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Jan 15, 2010 - 17 answers

How to ship to a specific address in Haiti?

How can I get supplies to a specific person in Haiti right now? [more inside]
posted by mkultra on Jan 14, 2010 - 8 answers

Ok to use a public insurance adjuster?

Flood! Will it be worthwhile for me to use a licensed public adjuster to handle a flood insurance claim? [more inside]
posted by neilkod on Dec 23, 2009 - 2 answers

Give the gift that keeps on smearing

[HomemadeCandyFilter] We made Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee according to this recipe. The toffee part is great; the chocolate part appears to be a train wreck. [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri on Dec 23, 2009 - 13 answers

Worst reason ever for getting a PhD?

I've been academically wronged on an epic (to me) scale. How to overcome? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 15, 2009 - 38 answers

Nowhere to go but up?

How did you come back from miserable failure? [more inside]
posted by serazin on Nov 1, 2009 - 19 answers

How best to be useful on the ground in Samoa after the tsunami?

How best to help out on the ground in Samoa after tsunami? [more inside]
posted by metaseeker on Oct 1, 2009 - 6 answers

What can you see in satellite photos?

Satellite photos: what interesting features can be seen or measured in them (or other aerial photos), and where can I get a supply of images? [more inside]
posted by k. on Sep 30, 2009 - 12 answers

In need of a Disaster Recovery Template

Does anyone have an outline or template for an IT Disaster Recovery Plan? [more inside]
posted by MattScully on Aug 12, 2009 - 9 answers

is it just sad?

2-Part question: 1) Why did my wok catch fire? 2) Why did it turn blue? [more inside]
posted by chicago2penn on Jul 20, 2009 - 8 answers

What is the Name of This Tornado Doc?

Inspired by this thread, I am trying to remember the name of a tornado special that aired, I think, on HBO several years ago. [more inside]
posted by LeeJay on Jul 11, 2009 - 2 answers

How do I get a job in the field of disaster relief?

How do I get a job in the field of disaster relief? [more inside]
posted by tr0ubley on Jul 9, 2009 - 7 answers

Making HUGE MISTAKES, and being okay

What are stories like this about making huge mistakes, and then recovering from it? [more inside]
posted by ADoubtfulTrout on Jun 24, 2009 - 4 answers

Halp save my oyster stew!

The milk in my oyster stew boiled over. Is it salvageable? I've got an oyster stew on the stove, ingredients are half and half, a tonne of butter, oysters, shallots and celery. I left it (I know, I know) in the care of a roomate for two minutes, and it boiled over. Now the milk is a little clotty. Is there a fix, or has this been ruined?
posted by thatbrunette on Apr 12, 2009 - 6 answers

Please predict the future of housing!

HousingFilter: Given the incentives to buy a house this year, we're seriously considering buying something in the low $200s this year. Given that we live in Portland, most available properties in that range are townhome/condo/rowhouse style homes. Would anyone care to provide me with a scholarly or trade-related projection how these sorts of homes will be viewed in 15 years? [more inside]
posted by fiercekitten on Feb 25, 2009 - 9 answers

What are all of these illegal immigrants doing in my bed?

Help my friends play an epic prank on their vacationing roommate! Ideas, please. [more inside]
posted by troika on Dec 8, 2008 - 24 answers

Looking for a bulletproof web host with built-in colocation and failover.

Looking at setting up a simple web site (no CGI) but needs to be up 24/7 and reasonably disaster proof (earthquake, hurricane, regional fires, etc.). Hosting company needs to be multisite with automagic failover assuming one site goes down. [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Nov 10, 2008 - 7 answers

How do I get through a terrible vacation without a meltdown?

How do I de-stress during and after an awful, expensive vacation? I am in the midst of a disappointing, stressful vacation and will be returning in a couple of days to my stressful, low-paying job. The breaking point is near. Help it to not happen. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 18, 2008 - 33 answers

Looking For A Data Recovery Company

Please recommend a data recovery/harddrive recovery firm, familiarity with HFS+ filesystems a plus. I've got a dead harddrive that spins up and shows one partition, but I cannot repair it either under OS X or with a Linux live CD. I've tried a few software packages, but none of them get any data off the drive. (Though Data Rescue II does show a list of the file names, when I restored a file, it didn't open, so it can see the files, it's just returning corrupt data.) [more inside]
posted by Brian Puccio on Aug 17, 2008 - 7 answers

Defend New Orleans: Lakeview v. ENOLA v. Algiers

Post-Katrina Recovery: I recently caught corners of Lakeview and New Orleans East. While Lakeview seemed more affluent and maybe older and more established, it didn't seem like it would have great advantages over NOE that would account for the relative degree to which it appeared that Lakeview was recovered compared to NOE. Is NOE really behind the curve in recovery and if so, why? [more inside]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Jul 29, 2008 - 11 answers

Important book damaged, how can I fix?

A book that is very personal and valuable to me got damaged due to a leak in a car which allowed rainwater in. The book cover acted like a sponge dragging up the water as well as dirt from the upholstery. I've talked to two book repair places, but I have my reservations. Any suggestions? Even more desired: anyone have EXPERIENCE with book repair shops? [more inside]
posted by arniec on Jul 15, 2008 - 7 answers

Can you hear me now?

In the aftermath of major natural disasters like, for example, an earthquake, hurricane or tornado, there exist certain conventions and procedures for communication - like, for example, channel 19 on a CB radio, or the emergency broadcast network on TV. When speaking in terms of RADIO-based communication, what are the protocols and technologies that are in place now that are most likely to be used in a crisis such as this? CB? AM/FM? [more inside]
posted by kbanas on Feb 12, 2008 - 14 answers

Reconstructing cost basis on gifted bonds while I was an infant

I was given (gifts) federal savings bonds throughout my early childhood. When I was starting college, I cashed the bonds. Then, we had a devastating home fire disaster. I lost ALL of the paperwork for these bonds. The IRS came back regarding my taxes and wants to tax me on ALL of the redemtion. How can I construct the proper cost basis with NO information? Continue on for more details ... [more inside]
posted by Ryaske on Jan 12, 2008 - 7 answers

San Francisco Storms

Should I be scared of these 3 big storms about to slam into San Francisco? [more inside]
posted by mto on Jan 2, 2008 - 42 answers

My rib roast is finishing too early. How can I let my meat loaf?

My 11 lb rib roast is about to be finished early (4:00 for a 6:30 dinner). The roast is currently out of the oven, wrapped in foil and a towel, sitting at 115 degrees. [more inside]
posted by donpardo on Dec 24, 2007 - 10 answers

Where to buy emergency kit items and water rations in Canada?

Where, in Canada, can I buy emergency/disaster kit items such as water rations? [more inside]
posted by acoutu on Nov 24, 2007 - 33 answers

Email Crisis

I've just been informed by my ISP, which hosts all of my client's sites and email, that the email servers are being switched tonight and tomorrow morning all my clients have to add new email accounts with new user names (but same email address.) In addition, the new accounts will not have any of the old emails.... [more inside]
posted by juiceCake on Oct 25, 2007 - 10 answers

Why do we need a death toll?

Besides the obvious collateral benefits to producers and consumers of news, what is the logic of using the time and resources of government officials during an emergency to calculate and report the death/injury toll of a natural or man-made disaster? Does this task aid rescue or recovery efforts in any way?
posted by Saucy Intruder on Oct 19, 2007 - 11 answers

Disaster Escapism?

I read and loved “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick. What other books should I read? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Aug 23, 2007 - 17 answers

the bridge is gone and my mind went with it

I live in Minneapolis, a few blocks from where the bridge collapsed. I wasn't there at the time, nor was anyone I know, but I went over that bridge earlier that day, and every day before that. I've been feeling a lot of anxiety since it fell; it could easily have been me or anyone I know, and I'm scared that something will happen suddenly to me or to the people I love. I know that the way I'm feeling isn't rational, especially since I wasn't personally affected by it, but it's very real and it's affecting my life. I also know that we can all go at any time and so we need to live life to the fullest, but how can I get over it and get from here to there?
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 2007 - 14 answers

Should I be worried about Mt. Rainier erupting?

Seattle: seems like a nice place to live. But I'm somewhat concerned about Inevitable Volcanic Death. Should I be? [more inside]
posted by electric_counterpoint on May 31, 2007 - 20 answers

Batten down the hatches!

It’s cyclone season where I am. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll loose power and / or water. What should I put in my emergency food box? [more inside]
posted by t0astie on Feb 7, 2007 - 7 answers

just in case reading list

What are the best survivalist's reference books? That is, if the power went out tomorrow for an indefinite period of town, what are the books on first aid, shelter, hunting, farming, nature, tool use & making etc. that you'd want to have and be familiar with?
posted by luriete on Dec 7, 2006 - 22 answers

Get yer' own, mister!

I need some valid reasons for a (business) subtenant to get his own DSL service instead of sharing ours. Besides the fact that we're not 23 year old singles sharing a flat. [more inside]
posted by bartleby on Nov 28, 2006 - 14 answers

Effects of solar eclipse spanning decades?

Any ideas on the effects of a prolonged solar eclipse, say 10-30 years? [more inside]
posted by Sevenupcan on Oct 7, 2006 - 43 answers

How do I disinfect my lawn from floodwaters?

The Merrimack River in Massachusetts decided to become part of my backyard these past few days, but thankfully has receded. My question is, how do I disinfect my lawn from all the bacteria and what not that was in the river without actually killing the lawn?
posted by kraagenskul on May 17, 2006 - 15 answers

72 hours to anarchy

Where did I read the claim that organized society as we know it here in the US could fall apart in as little as 72 hours? [more inside]
posted by junkbox on May 8, 2006 - 21 answers

WTC and Choppers

Why was there no effort made to rescue those trapped on the upper floors of the World Trade Center with helicopters? [more inside]
posted by terrier319 on Apr 25, 2006 - 19 answers

What are the current challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

What are the current challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? [more inside]
posted by photoslob on Apr 9, 2006 - 3 answers

Monetary Policy and Me

I'm not afraid of bird flu. I'm afraid of waking up broke one day. How do I avoid this? [more inside]
posted by clearlynuts on Mar 20, 2006 - 19 answers

Mining accidents 101

My brother claims that the miners who died "could have walked right out". Is he full of it?
posted by goethean on Jan 6, 2006 - 43 answers

Utstein style??

What is the importance of the "Utstein-style" in (disaster) medicine? Specifically, I was looking at this publication.
posted by about_time on Nov 9, 2005 - 2 answers

What should I take with me as a Red Cross volunteer?

So, on Tuesday, the Red Cross is deploying me to the gulf coast for three weeks to assist in their ongoing hurricane relief efforts there. What should I bring with me? [more inside]
posted by dersins on Oct 28, 2005 - 3 answers

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