Lessons from Sandy
The headlines in the news this past week proclaimed in large type: Gas rationing, people starving, roving packs of looters, people getting sick because of no drinking water or electricity for their refrigerators etc. It was New Orleans and Catrina all over again except Sandy was a tropical storm when it hit NJ and NY not a category 4 hurricane, so why the massive problems. The obvious fact that when you have eight million people packed into a small area all the problems will be compounded, (too many people going after too few supplies).
For those that have been reading my blog for a while know that for years I have talked about being prepared and self sufficient for some time. I don’t mean everyone has to be like those of us who live out here in the wilderness with months and in some cases years of supplies. But what would be wrong with having stored a couple weeks supply of water? Or having a 30 or 40 cans of varied food in storage? And how about keeping three months of our personal medicine on hand, or a couple 12v batteries and an inverter.
Once again it’s just common sense to have some form of backup supplies, even if it is only to lesson the number of trips to the supermarket. And you can forget about going to a supermarket when the news alerts you to the approach of any type of storm. I remember the snow “storms” that hit when I lived back in Philadelphia. If you headed over to do some shopping after any news cast that warned of heavy snow you better put on a helmet and shoulder pads because the store will be packed with people scrambling to get a loaf of bread or milk and some new batteries.
What we have in New Jersey and more so in New York is definitely an example of not being prepared. I ask each of you to think about this a bit. If you are stuck in your home for an extended period of time what will you need to survive? It doesn’t matter weather you live in Florida (hurricanes), Chicago (snow storms), the mid-west (tornadoes) or Australia (wildfires) there is a chance that at some point in time even YOU may have to survive off the grid. It may even behoove you to even have a ‘go’ pack. That’s a backpack or some storage box that can be thrown into your vehicle loaded with stuff that will help you to survive if you have to leave your home at a moments notice.
And let us not forget communications. This storm created havoc with cell phones in the NY area, by knocking down many cell towers. If we wanted to check on our loved ones or even if a family member went out in the storm in search for some supplies the cell phone was useless. Why do you think they use ‘Ham’ radio during disasters, because they works when all else fails. I have lived in this remote cabin for over a decade, but stay in touch daily with my family via ‘Ham’ radio. I have spoken with my son in Pennsylvania and Texas over short wave radio and have emailed my family and even many readers of this blog via my ham radio. So I ask that everyone living in areas that are prone to natural disasters to consider amateur radio as part of there survival supplies. More info about amateur radio can be found by going to or clicking www.arrl.org
We have seen that we can not rely on our government, be it city, state or federal to be there at the moment we need it. A good example is FEMA. This agencies soul purpose is to help in times of disasters. So one could reasonably expect them to be ready for anything. Like maybe having warehouses strategically placed across the country with stockpiles of food, water, blankets and medical supplies WRONG! Sandy has proved this agency is worthless in the short term. FEMA could not supply even water to those in need in the NY area. In fact they waited until Friday November 2nd to try and buy a supply of water. You do not have to believe me, click here to read about it. Or if you would like to see how some people are defending themselves against looters, click this link.
I ask each and everyone of you to not end up like those poor souls on the East coast and do something besides read my rambling words. I offer a web site for your consideration the American Preppers Network. At that web site you will find everything from basic ideas of what to store too how to grow foods and preserve them for the future. If you look through the many forums on that web site I am sure you will find something that will help you in the event of a disaster.