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Hardening Your Home Against Tornadoes

The very worst tornadoes, such as the one that ripped through Moore, Okla., might overpower even our best home construction techniques. But there are plenty of steps to take to protect you home against more common kinds of twisters, and a variety of shelters to protect your family from the …

Weather

How a Search and Rescue Responder Gears Up

The right clothes can save a life. Just ask Chris Padden of New York's Long Island Search and Rescue. Padden picks the ultimate outfitting for the conditions he's survived during 12 years on the job.

Search and Rescue

Turn Your Garage Into a Fortress to Protect Your Emergency Supplies

If you don't have a basement, the garage is an ideal place to store the things you'd need to survive a disaster. Here's how to set it up.<p>We regularly experience severe storms where we live, and I want to stock up on emergency supplies. We don't have a basement. Can you give us some tips on storing …

Home Improvement

Survival Stories: How 4 Men Beat the Odds in Extreme Situations

Overcoming disaster is a matter of preparation, perseverance, courage and, sometimes, luck. If calamity strikes, whether in the form of an avalanche or a shipwreck, you can boost your odds for success with these lessons drawn from four real-life survival stories.<p>Avalanche<p><b>• Location: • Name: Expert</b> …

Mountaineering

6 Key Emergency Survival Tips From Wilderness Experts

Despite what you've seen in the movies, sucking venom out of a snakebite won't get you very far. Here's how to get through six extreme situations. For four harrowing survival stories and more advice from the experts, check out our "How I Survived" feature here.<p>• Hypothermia<p>Rule No. 1: Exercise if …

Zoology

Beyond First Aid Kits: 5 Unexpected Survival Kit Essentials

Gallon jugs of water, fire extinguishers and first-aid supplies are the essentials of any good survival kit, but our survey of those who outlasted disasters suggests a few more unexpected items. Read their amazing stories of surviving fires, blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes here.<p>1. Beer<p>"Buy a …

Weather

How to Fall 35,000 Feet And Survive

You're six miles up, alone and falling without a parachute. Though the odds are long, a small number of people have found themselves in similar situations—and lived to tell the tale. Here's PM's 120-mph, 35,000-ft, 3-minutes-to-impact survival guide.<p>6:59:00 AM<p>35,000 Feet<p><b>You have a late night</b> and an …

Chicago

How to Get Through TSA Screening Quickly

I used to travel. A lot. Three or four trips a month wasn't out of the ordinary before I achieved better life-work balance, giving me plenty of time …

Hacking

Coin Wants to Fix the Way We Pay – But Is It Really Broken?

The robot's name is Swipey. He sits on a table, in the corner of a white-walled room bathed in fluorescent light, and his arm never stops moving. …

A Mob of Fire Ants Becomes a New Kind of Material

Swarms of fire ants act like a material with properties of both viscous fluids, such as honey, and elastic solids, such as rubber. Researchers at Georgia Tech report that these properties depend not only on what the ants are made of but on the way they move.<p><b>When red imported fire ants—an invasive</b>, …

Insects

Ditch the Keys: It's Time to Get a Smart Lock

Our guide to bringing your front door kicking and screaming into the 21st century.<p><b>The door lock is a marvelous marriage of</b> simplicity and complexity. Both its function (to restrict access to a building or room) and operation (insert key, twist key, open door) are simple. But it's the complex …

Home Automation

Watch The First Fully 3-D Printed Rifle Break On Camera

This gun is just a few improvements away from being terrifying.<p>Just a few months after the first 3-D printed gun caused plastic panic around the globe, there is now a 3-D printed rifle, revealed this week by YouTube user ThreeD Ukulele. The rifle, named "the Grizzly" after Canadian-built Sherman …

Why Do Solids Expand When Heated?

Just about every (but not all) solids expand with an increase in temperature. Why? Before going to the answer, let's look at a common model of a …

Make Your Own Remote-Control Spy Blimp

Float on!<p>I'm a materials-science engineer at an agency that allocates funding to research projects. It's theoretical work, so in my spare time I like to do practical, hands-on things. I've been building R/C models for 33 years and have always preferred uncommon vehicles--amphibious cars, …

Collar Of Life

The Life Jacket Plus features two ring-shaped, easy-to-grab handles on the collar, so that it is easy to grab a drowning victim and rescue them. The …

'Bionic Man' will walk the streets of Washington, DC tomorrow

Back in August, <i>Smithsonian Magazine</i> took an in-depth look at prosthetic limbs and artificial organs, with one of its main subjects being a true "Bionic Man." A team of scientists and researchers at the University of Zurich were able to recreate more than 50 percent of the human body using the "most …

Survival Skills: How to Build a Fire On Snow

Having to start a fire on top of snow is one of those things that you never really think about, until you have to do it. In areas with little snow, …