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12 Things That We Can Learn From Hurricane Irene About How To Prepare For Disasters And Emergencies

Whenever a major disaster or emergency strikes, millions of lives can be turned upside down in an instant.  Fortunately Hurricane Irene was not as catastrophic as originally projected, but millions of people did lose power and at least 35 people lost their lives.  Large numbers of homes were destroyed and the economic damage from Hurricane Irene is going to be in the billions of dollars.  Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, this is a good opportunity for all of us to look back and learn some important lessons about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies.  The reality is that a major disaster or emergency has happened somewhere in the United States almost every single month so far this year, and it is only a matter of time before you and your family will be faced with another disaster or emergency.

No plan is perfect, but if you have a plan you are going to be far better off than if you do not have a plan.  September is “National Preparedness Month“, so now is a great time to focus on preparing your family for the future disasters and emergencies that are inevitably coming.

The following are 12 things that we can learn from Hurricane Irene about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies….

#1 Disasters And Emergencies Are Inherently Unpredictable

When a disaster or an emergency strikes, you never know what is going to happen.  Even a storm such as Hurricane Irene that was tracked for weeks can end up being highly unpredictable.

For example, while a tremendous amount of attention was paid to New York City, the reality is that some of the worst damage ended up being caused in Vermont.  Hurricane Irene actually caused the worst flooding that Vermont has seen since 1927.

The following is how the governor of Vermont described the devastation that was caused in his state by this storm….

“It’s just devastating,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday. “Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure. We’ve lost farmers’ crops,” he said. “We’re tough folks up here but Irene … really hit us hard.”

#2 During A Major Disaster Store Shelves Become Empty Very Rapidly

What do we see happen every single time there is even a minor disaster or emergency?

Every single time, food and other emergency supplies disappear from store shelves in a matter of hours.

If you do not have at least a couple weeks of food stored up you are being totally foolish.

In fact, considering how unstable the world has become, it is amazing that only a small percentage of the population has enough food stored up to be able to last for at least six months.

If an economic apocalypse happens, a major war breaks out, an EMP attack takes place, a huge comet strikes the planet or weapons of mass destruction are used in this country, you may not have access to mass quantities of very cheap food any longer.

Get prepared while you still can.

#3 Always Have A “Go Bag” Ready

When disaster strikes, you may only have a couple of minutes before you have to race out the door.

Your “go bag” should contain some food, some water, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, some cash, copies of your most important documents and any medicine that you may need.

#4 Know Your Escape Routes And Always Have Maps Of The Area In Your Vehicle

Have a plan and know where you are going to be heading in the event of an emergency.

If you don’t have a plan or if you don’t give yourself enough time, you could end up dead.  A number of people died during Hurricane Irene while they were in their cars.  The following is one example that was noted in a recent CNN article….

A 64-year-old woman was found dead Sunday by Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, police after her family grew concerned when she did not show up for work. Her body was found a half-mile from where her car was abandoned in a deluged creek, police said.

#5 During A Major Disaster Or Emergency There Is A Good Chance That You Will Lose Power For An Extended Period Of Time

During Hurricane Irene, more than 5 million people lost power.  That is why it is crucial to have a battery-powered radio, a battery-powered (or solar) flashlight and extra batteries in your home.

Know what you are going to do once the power goes out.  Anyone that has been through an extended power outage knows how life can change almost instantly once the power goes down.

#6 Have Enough Water Stored Up

What was one of the biggest problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

It turned out that one of the most critical problems was a very serious shortage of bottled water.

Yes, even after Katrina dumped unprecedented amounts of water on New Orleans one of the biggest problems was still a lack of water.

If you do not have clean water to drink, you can die within just a few days.

So when planning for disasters and emergencies, please be sure to store up enough water.

#7 During A Natural Disaster, Major Transportation Routes May Be Shut Down

A lot of people were horrified to find roads closed or washed out during Hurricane Irene.  Just because you are used to traveling on certain roads it is not safe to assume that they will always be available during disasters and emergencies.

#8 Have Respect For The Sheer Power Of Natural Disasters

We live at a time when people like to make a joke out of anything, but major natural disasters are not to be trifled with.

If you do not respect nature, you can end up dead.  Amazingly, some people were actually out boating and canoeing during Hurricane Irene.  According to one CNN article, one 53-year-old man that tried boating during Hurricane Irene was later found dead….

One man in Croton, New York, died Sunday while boating along with four others down the Croton River, said Lt. Russell Haper, a spokesman for the Croton police. The boat overturned in the strong rapids. The 53-year-old man was found dead after a three-hour rescue effort. The other men were pulled safely from the water.

#9 Living Near Water Can Be Very Dangerous

If you live near the ocean or near a major river, you need to understand that the potential for danger is always there.

Even if you live a good bit in from the coast, the danger for substantial flooding is always there.  The following is how one CNN article described the situation in Philadelphia at the height of Hurricane Irene….

Outside Philadelphia, waters had already climbed to street-sign levels in Darby, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, with the water sending “couches, furniture, all kinds of stuff floating down the street.”

#10 During A Major Disaster Bring In All Objects From Outside

During any disaster that involves high winds, anything that is left outside can quickly become a very dangerous projectile.  The last thing that you want is for the wind to pick up heavy objects and send them crashing into your home or the home of a neighbor.  If you know that a major storm is coming, please bring in everything that you can from outside.

#11 Have A Plan But Be Flexible

Your best chance of making it through a disaster or emergency is to have a plan.  But that doesn’t mean that you should always stick with that plan.  Disasters and emergencies are inherently unpredictable, so it will be very important to be as flexible as possible.

#12 If You Wait Until Disaster Strikes To Prepare It Is Too Late

Right now is the time to prepare for the next disaster or emergency.  If you wait until an emergency happens, you will be out of luck.  You need to develop a disaster plan for yourself and your family if you do not have one already.

If you plan on storing up food, water, medicine and other emergency supplies, you need to do it ahead of time.  Victory belongs to the prepared, and if you think that you will never wind up in the middle of a major disaster you are just being foolish.

Hurricane Irene was a terrible storm, but fortunately it was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Hopefully this storm will serve as a wake up call for many of us.

The next time that a disaster strikes, we may not be let off the hook so easily.

  • Kathryn

    Your article is spot on! Storage of water, food, sanitation & hygiene supplies, a means to cook, shelter, communication – the list goes on. Rotation of food items to avoid waste; a ‘bug out bag’ at home, in car – especially for long commutes to and from work; or at work. Keeping cash on hand for when the power goes out and ATMs don’t work. I took a couple classes from Christopher Nyerges who recommends keeping a number of magnesium fire sticks in storage; and a good knife – Case, Buck, K-Bar, Swiss Army, Spyderco, Tops, are all good brands to name a few. Prepping can help with piece of mind; I buy 2-3 extra canned goods each payday, or TP, or bars of soap on sale. Learning to can food, grow your own food – there are so many interesting facets to prepping and lots of good reading material – like your articles!

    • Michael

      Thank you Kathryn – I think you have included some really good tips there.

      Michael

  • http://erectuswalksamongst.us/ Maximus Hardwoodius

    Note to self: DOCUMENTS! My titles and other
    important paperwork are not stored in an easily
    accessible, memorable place. I completely
    neglected these items. Plenty of food, guns,
    ammo, BOV’s, water, solar panels….oops!
    Almost forgot the documents. I know you write
    these articles endlessly, and THANK YOU!
    Sometimes it takes a while to sink in.

    • Michael

      You are welcome. :)

      Yes, sometimes it does seem like I am writing and writing endlessly, but I enjoy it and I think these articles are doing some good out there.

      It is good to know that people appreciate what I do.

      Michael

    • Christie

      While you’re at it, don’t forget to copy birth certificates, passports, marriage license, most recent school records, and you might want to add your credit and insurance cards on both sides. Or scan all documents into your computer, and put all information on a thumb drive

  • 99er

    All great advice and thanks for sharing it. People don’t realize how easy and inexpensive it is to get prepared for most short term emergencies like hurricanes or blizzards. The majority of these events run their course in a week or less and life will be a lot easier if we’re prepared.
    Much of “The Economic Collapse” – including comments to the articles – counsels preparation for extended periods of hardship. Even extended periods lasting for a year or longer can be not only survived but made a lot more livable by taking some Proactive measures. For some time now (in part because of comments on this blog)I’ve been paying attention to expiration dates on food I can buy at any grocery store. Most of this stuff stays good for a year or two from the time of purchase. There are “best if used by” dates, “sell by dates”, and “use by or expiration dates”. The following information appears to have been compiled during the Y2K hysteria and should not be taken as gospel but seems to be a pretty good indicator of advances in 20th century food preservation technology.
    http://www.berzerker.net/jonboon/free/survival/foodshelf.pdf

    The point is that, with a little effort, we can probably store enough sustinance for our families, whether on shelves at home, in rented storage lockers, on extended family’s property, etc. to keep ourselves alive until we adapt to whatever life is like following the event we’ve prepared for and survived. In other words, the trick is to make it through the first 10 months of Spam and Spaghettios after which we’ll probably become pretty good hunters and fishermen or die.

    • pranah

      Hi, 99er, you might be interested in this article, “Five Different Shelf Life Studies”:

      http://www.grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm

      The article contains other links to the studies. One discusses analysis of canned food items retrieved in 1968 from a ship that sank over 100 years ago.

      “Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier. The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values ‘were comparable to today’s products.'”

      “NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.”

      And so on. Canned food obviously lasts =far= longer than use-by dates, and there’s no reason to throw out canned food just because it’s “expired.” (If the can’s been compromised, that’s different–toss it!) I personally have eaten canned beans and canned fruit four years past their expiry dates. There was no difference between them and freshly canned foods that I could discern.

  • Dippity Doo

    that thing seemed huge for a Cat1 hurricane…

  • Gary2

    Hurricanes can’t distinguish rich people from poor people. Humans can. That’s probably why no one in the Hamptons — the Long Island refuge for the fabulously wealthy where five-bedrooms routinely run $250,000 for a summer rental — felt particularly endangered last week as Irene swirled up the East Coast.

    Journalist Greg Palast, in an earlier life, helped prepare the evacuation plan that safeguards the Hamptons. The plan stretches six volumes and covers every possible eventuality. Palast thought about that plan six years ago when he covered Hurricane Katrina. He asked FEMA, the federal emergency agency, for a copy of the New Orleans evacuation plan. No one at FEMA could find it.

    Just as well, Palast recounted last Friday. The plan, once unearthed “long after” Katrina left over 1,300 dead, turned out to have “no provision at all” for the 27,000 New Orleans residents without cars. The company hired to prepare that plan turned out to have “zero experience in hurricane evacuation.”

    http://toomuchonline.org/tmweekly.html

    If your rich-no problem. If you are poor your dead. Response to Katrina vs. Irene.

    The gross wealth and income inequality is killing us literally.

  • http://homecomputer fremlick

    HEY EXELLENT ARTICLE.. PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.. ALSO YOU NEED A CHANGE OF CLOTHES IN A GO BAG, ESPECILLY SOCKS,IF YOUR FEET GET WET YOU CAN GET SICK. CC CRANE COMPANY MAKES A DISASTER RADIO THATS REALLY GOOD . YOU WIND IT UP. IT WILL ALSO CHARGE A CELL PHONE .OR OTHER DEVICES .THE ADAPTER SET IS INCUDED, THE RADIO IS WELL WORTH THE 50.00 PRICE ON IT.

  • Steve

    This past weekend was a real eye opener on so many levels. I’ve been prepping for thee economic collapse so Irene was baby stuff.
    But to see so many people without even a single flashlight was shocking!

    Then there were others who called themselves extremists for being on line at the supermaket with just 3 gallons of water. I was shocked!

    If nothing else, Irene will have given some families their first flashlight. God help them when this economy collapses in a few short months.

  • Steve

    This past weekend was a real eye opener on so many levels. I’ve been prepping for thee economic collapse so Irene was baby stuff.
    But to see so many people without even a single flashlight was shocking!

    Then there were others who called themselves extremists for being on line at the supermaket with just 3 gallons of water.

    If nothing else, Irene will have given some families their first flashlight. God help them when this economy collapses in a few short months.

  • McKinley Morganfield

    All of your points are in the bullseye. A very succinct list.

    “Every single time, food and other emergency supplies disappear from store shelves in a matter of hours.”

    We keep cash on hand to make what I call Last Minute Purchases. My LMP list includes moderate amounts of all the foods (and things like soap & toilet paper) that we already store, plus extra gas (cans already on hand), extra sterno (a great smokeless cooking fuel that can be safely used indoors), additional off the shelf medical supplies, more candles & matches, and distilled alcoholic beverages which should be valuable barter and bribery goods.

    As far as bugging out goes, that will be something that you do as a last resort and the need will be determined by your location and the circumstances presented by the emergency. For those of us hundreds of miles from a metro area stay in place will be the best option barring flood or earthquake.

    As this Michael wisely and strongly suggests, prepare as best you can. Any food you buy for storage is not only an emergency supply, but a hedge against inflation.

    • Michael

      Very good points McKinley.

      Michael

  • http://www.povertylinejournal.blogspot.com/ the optimist

    Thanks, great article! One of the podcasts that I listen to daily is all about prepping — The Survival Podcast. Your blogs and that podcast have changed my life.

    Another thing to think about is having extra pet & livestock food, and if you have livestock and live in a flood area, HAVE A PLAN for them. Our biggest recent disaster was the cumulative 110 inches of snow that fell (and fell and fell) year before last, and getting all the way across a field to the hay was a 2 day shoveling adventure — to say nothing about getting to the woodpile.

  • silver bean

    Somethimes I get overwhelmed by the HEAVY topics covered on this site. This is a nice change. A time to pause and do a quick check up on the items listed. Items 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10 are items that can be brought current with little effort. The remaining items are the big picture reality of being prepared, haveing alternatives to travel routes, food and water, working through plans mentally, and even doing dry runs from time to time so we can act and not react when disasters threaten. THANK YOU for the reminders of how simple things can make a huge difference.

    • Michael

      You are welcome. :)

      And yes, the topics on this site are heavy, but we live in heavy times.

      It is better to be awake than to be asleep and addicted to Dancing With The Stars.

      Michael

  • Mark

    We have been preparing for years now. We have ground our own flour for 25 years. I have lots of sources of clean water on the ranch. My water to the house is gravity fed spring water. We heat the house with wood or we can use the heat pump if the power is on. When we heat with wood, we have a stainless steel heat exchanger in the firebox to heat hot water. We also keep 1000 gals of propane for the kitchen stove top. We have 2 grain grinders, one electric and one hand type. We have enough food on hand to feed the neighborhood for some months if necessary. We grow a large garden and give most of it away. We keep a couple of generators and plenty of fuel for weeks or months if needed. The fuel gets used so that it is fresh. We keep five years of fire wood so that it is always real dry. Important papers and other things are kept in a fire proof safe. We keep a backpack with supplies in case we have to leave in case of a forest fire. Our neighbors a starting to discuss working together if necessary to help each other out. I bring these things up so that maybe some of you might expand your preparedness for hard times to come. There is a lot more that we can all do, for many will do nothing and so will need a lot of help.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      Mark,

      Wow! You are better prepared than anyone that I personally know. More power to you! – MM

  • SilverG

    Michael,
    Did you view all the HAARP links I sent you in your request for an explanation of why we are being hit with all these natural disasters.
    Are you familiar with the technology? It is the single most dangerous weapon of the elites military industrial complex. And no one exposes it!
    For every recent “natural” disaster there is evidence that HAARP was somehow involved!
    Please help me expose this farce. The heatwave was caused by HAARP! With it they can modify the path of the jet stream and cause extreme heat like this summer or blankets of snow like last winter!
    All the recent earthquakes and tsunamis were triggered or modified by HAARP.
    I have tons of evidence. If you are interested in seeing it let me know.
    You don’t need to post this comment.
    Just didn’t know how else to get in touch with you.

    • Michael

      Posting a comment is a good way to get in touch with me. :)

      Yes, I am familiar with HAARP. But I think we only know part of the story. There are some technologies out there that governments now have that would absolutely blow our minds.

      Michael

    • Highspeed

      Silver G,

      The HAARP stuff is a bit too much sci-fi for me, but I am sure I have no clue as to all of the stuff that is probably going on with the marriage of science a government. I think we might be giving government too much credit though.

  • r.bitting

    Worst year ever for Tornadoes,Floods, Droughts,Snow storms. An Earthquake and a Hurricane less than three days apart. Wildfires and record heat, not to mention all the natural disasters that have happened this year ( so far ) around the world. War, social unrest worldwide, financial hardship worldwide, war & famine. Yes, there’s something you can learn from this, it’s that when you saw these things begin to happen,that the judge would be at the door. Hope you people are awake, because that so called Christian fairy tale you folks like to mock is about to become very real for you. Read Luke Ch. 21 and pray that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things and stand befor the Son of Man.

    • Rick Johnson

      What Christian fairy tale? Oh, that one. Tell me this: If God is going to save you from the disasters, who creates them in the first place?

      • r.bitting

        “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? ” Amos ch. 3:6… God reates the disaster, not to save men from it, but that through it, they might wake up and turn back to him, lest he judge them. But i’m under no illusions that for even one minute you will accept that answer. Because an answer is’nt what you are looking for. You just want a response that you can further critique.

  • Paul

    I survived many typhoons in Hong Kong, among them several direct hits, and worse, those that “just passed by”, hitting the city with the full force without the calm eye passing over.

    The houses there are built to withstand typhoons. I suffered no damage and I don’t know anyone who ever did. The shops are closed and the businesses let people go home right before the storm system hits. During typhoon no ferry goes, no train, no bus, and taxi prices go through the roof, as no insurance will pay for damage if you venture out. People go home or spend the night at karaoke bars.

    There is always flooding but the city also has huge water retention systems, mostly under football fields, huge means: several floors high. This requires infrastructure investment by the government.
    It also means jobs.

    • liberranter

      Good point you make, Paul, about houses in Hong Kong being built to withstand typhoons, which are obviously a fairly regular occurrence in that part of the world. What I never have understood is why here in Amerika, hardly anyone is ever prepared for natural disasters that occur in certain parts of the country with fairly predictable regularity.

      One of the things that should have amazed me, but doesn’t, is that one of the things exposed in the wake of Hurricane Andrew nearly 20 years ago –that “new” houses built in Florida during the previous decade were constructed without any consideration for severe weather– is STILL an ongoing issue. Yes, we can chalk a lot of that up to the greed and duplicity of criminal building contractors, but I think the primary reason that no lessons have been learned from Andrew is that too many people CONTINUE TO RELY ON THE GOVERNMENT TO BAIL THEM OUT! Too many people STILL think that Uncle Sam is going to save them in the event of a natural disaster, despite mountains of evidence, even before Hurricane Katrina, that the federal, state, and local bureaucracies are incapable of, AND UNINTERESTED IN DOING, any such thing.

      • Paul

        “Hong Kong – our advantage is the ICAC”

        advertisement of the ICAC – Independent Commission against corruption.

        The penalties for corruption in HK are very stiff. Some Chinese from the mainland still have to try them out, because they didn’t believe it.

        Corruption in the construction industry can lead to the ordered destruction of a newly built high-rise building, if the foundation wasn’t pile-driven into the bedrock.

  • Paul

    Oh, BTW, the flu season starts soon. Just imagine having to see the doctor or get medicine when there is flooding or when you need to choose between seeing the doctor, getting medicine or getting food.
    Better stock up when you have the time. then being sick means just staying home and watching the stars at night.

  • karen

    I live in northern Florida near the Ala line, I have been through MANY hurricans and the tornadoes that spin off from the storm and living in the country and your power is out for a long time because you last but not least. When the storm is over you come out and see the damage and the calm is beyound belief, so clear and new, and real quite except for chain saws. As as said in this article never underestimate Mother Earth a tornado can whip-up at anytime I’ve seen it happen many times just from a rough rain storm, always be prepared, I remember a time when people where trying to get some ice and it almost lead to a big fight and that is just ice it does not take much to set people off, and someone is going to get hurt. We here are always prepared I know I am I’ve seen a tornado going through the woods destroying all in it’s path. ALWAYS BE READY.

  • Jimminy

    Get SEVERAL good can openers! I broke two of them yesterday trying to open a #10 can from the LDS cannery. One of the can openers was older but the other one was brand new and came out of my bug out bag. Today, I’ll be stocking up on some sturdy ones.

    Imagine having a bunch of cans and no opener. THAT would be devestating. Keep on prepping!

    • pranah

      Yeah, that’s a frustrating idea–I have multiple can openers myself, some right in with the boxes of cans. I recall reading that there were no can openers when the first cans of food were manufactured. They were for soldiers, and to open them, the men pounded holes in them with knives. Before too long, the can manufacturers realized they needed to provide a device to open the cans!

    • Louise in MO

      If your can opener won’t work, do what my Mother used to do when necessary. Use a sharp and pointed knife, punch an opening on the rim of the can and cut/sAW around the top….it works.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      Can openers are handy things and I own 3, but you can always open a can with a hammer and a screw driver. Tedious, but it works.

  • http://www.bepreparedtostore.com david allen

    There is quite a lot feedback here and most of what i wanted to say has been already been said.
    overall i agree with and like this excellent article and yes lets hope that this latest hurricane changes the mind set of people to at the very least have an emergency plan set in place.

  • William

    Preparing for a natural disaster is one thing……preparing for the economic disaster that is facing America will be much more difficult. This is because there are too many Americans willing to continue to live in the whacked out, looney tunes world of the Smirking Chimp Bush!

  • laura m.

    Anyone that chooses to live (own land) near a large body of water, or rivers, streams that are known to flood during heavy rains, and dams that could collapse, is a fool. If I loved the beaches/rivers that much I’d live in a rental or camper so I could head out during storm warnings..before you buy property anywhere, check the flood plain maps at the court house (for ex: downtown Nashville is a soup bowl) as land doesn’t have to be close to a body of water to flood.

  • Larry

    I,ve seen a lot of people saying lately, that they are having trouble with hand operated can openers (mostly made in China, of course!) Well, EVERY pack, kit, BOB, or food storage site should include it least 1 (preferably more, on key chains) of the military “P-51″ can openers. They are available at almost any surplus, camping, or sports equip. store, for about 50cents. They can be carried in a bill fold, or change purse, and can be a life saver.

    • Macnasty

      Larry its a “p 38″ can opener I got several, opened many a can with it and never had a failure also works as a screw dirver got one on my key ring

    • jeri tonti

      OXO makes a sturdy can opener…i have one, im getting another soon. i have a disability, and the can opener is EASY for me to use….

  • Larry

    “posted at 8:40 PM”??? *************, what part of the globe are you on? I’m here in the mountain west, and it’s 2:40PM here!

  • http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com Sheila

    GET FOOD NOW!

    Stop reading this and get food now, your family will thank you, and it could come sooner than you think.

    http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com

  • bobbobbobbob

    some helpful hints
    keep bic lighter in car
    keep canned food in car plus good canopener – made in CHINA RULES U
    use honey as a surface antibiotic and for major wounds
    get dr to perscribe a good generic amoxicilin
    a plastic bottle burns like a tourch especially when cut into slivers
    always keep winter jacket in car can ALSO be used as refrigator bag – made in CHINA RULES U

  • James

    The American Red Cross has a lot of preparedness information on their website including several preparedness checklists for different types of disasters. Contact your local Red Cross office I am sure they will know how to get them to you. My family uses them, they are great resources for preparedness.

  • old soldier

    I really enjoyed this article. There are alot of “lessons learned” in it. It was right “on target.” Having,in the past, prepared emergency opns plan for local govts and participate in emergency drills, I’ve seen how some people will downplay the event/disaster by, for example, boating or swimming in the ocean during a hurricane. Who pays? Two people: the guy that disregarded the warnings and the emergency responder. Yes, we were very lucky that Irene wasn’t worse than it could’ve been. Remember the results were minor compared to what COULD’VE happened. (If you get the chance, read the book, ISSAC’S Storm, the story of one of the worst hurricanes to hit the U.S. ever) Also, as the article explained, this will not be the last hurricane or disaster for 2011. Yes, what happened during Irene should act as wakeup call.” Doubt it will. Most people just don’t learn. The silly thing to note is that alot of the people in my state waited until JUST BEFORE the hurricane hit to get what they needed. Result: mobs descending on the stores and shortages of food, bottled water, generators, batteries, flashlites …you name it. The other thing to note, and this has been said numerous times on survival websites, is that some people expected the state and local governments to provide whatever was needed. And that’s a very silly assumption because local governments simply do not stockpile large amounts of food and water in expectation of a disaster(s). Believe me I know, because I did the planning and helped set up emergency shelters when needed.

  • laura

    Mark: those slackers and lazy folks or the “many that do nothing” that will need others help, are their own worst enemy…they will more than likely be your enemy if they need to eat and want your stuff. Your family is priority, secondly is other preppers close to you. I’d keep my prep business low key and not tell others what you’re doing unless they are like minded preppers you know and trust. I’m just repeating what prep experts say on their web sites, when things go to pot people will become violent and desperate.

    • Mark

      Laura, what you say is true. I know that I will have to feed my neighbors for many reasons. It is the right thing to do as we all live a long way from town and any stores. I also know that I will depend on them to help protect livestock that will be shared with them. If we do not stick together to defend our little valley my family and I would not survive if things get that bad. You have to sleep and their are not enough of my small family to defend the ranch. Neighbors must band together to form small communities and then see what the reset will bring.

  • dmitry

    thank you for your time posting this. it’s a big help for everyone.

    cheers!

  • Colin

    First off, to every jerk who calls the poor lazy, I spit on you and I curse your name.

    Second off, your allies in the Congress have created a situation where FEMA has less than $800 million to cover the emergency costs of disasters. To get more money into FEMA, your allies demand spending cuts that hurt the disadvantaged in our country.

    The Republicans hate America, and those who vote for them hate America. So, if you hate America, then why do you stay here? I would be very happy to see you leave.

  • JayJay

    SilverG—just to let you know—more know about the abuse of Nikola Tesla’s discoveries than you realize.
    I believe God will handle this in His way and in His time.

  • Hosanna

    An old friend showed up a couple of weekends ago to visit with a sore on her mouth. I hesitated to let her in but I didn’t want to make her feel bad. Within less than one week I had sores popping out all over my face.

    What I have is molluscum contagium, a virus that affects the skin, mostly in small children, young adults, and those with compromised immune systems.

    The reason I bring this up is because I started taking 5 grams of Vitamin C in liposomal form per day (at a cost of about $1 a gram) and my skin is rapidly clearing up, along with other minor ailments.

    We need to be prepared for not just a global storm but a viral storm. This virus is something that has become quite common just this year and there are more headed our way.

    I look at this occurrence as a blessing in disguise because one of the items I plan to stockpile is Vitamin C, in just the ascorbic acid form available at most health stores and drug stores. Dr. Linus Pauling wrote extensively about Vitamin C as have others and nothing else I tried came close to eradicating my problem in less than a week when others on internet message boards have been fighting this for weeks or years.

    We must share our shortcuts with each other because time may be running out. Without access to the internet caused by innumerable possible reasons, we will have to fall back on accumulated knowledge and wisdom. And pharmaceutical companies have created as many problems as they have solved.

    I need more flashlights, and I have water bottles that should be filled up instead of sitting around empty. Better bags filled with emergency gear in case of evacuation and lots of other stuff that should be in stock at home.

    But I know I’ll never go anywhere ever again without Vitamin C.

  • MountainHome

    Great article!! I love this website. I want to get out of the US Dollar, but cannot find any safe place to put my money.

    Any suggestions, Michael??

    • Michael

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I don’t give out investment advice, but I do encourage people to stock up on food and emergency supplies for the times ahead.

      Michael

  • The Unicorn

    I was actually camping out about 1/2 mile from the beach on semi high ground when Hurricane Camille hit.I remember before the hurricane hit the surf was crazy then the dead and injured sea birds and fish started to show up everywhere.
    We had a canvas Wenzel tent made in USA.Things I learned 1) metal stakes don’t work the wood ones that came with the tent absorb moisture and expand and hold better, drive them in as deep as you can.2)walking around is almost impossible your leaning at about a 30% angle and pushing aganist the wind or crawling backwards and trying not to do a back flip plus the rain drops,etc hurt.3)After the storm theres sea food everywhere thats been washed ashore or blown ashore.Tie everything down.We had no radio or camera if I could choose between the 2 I’d take the camera the radio isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know.4) do not try this!!! if you don’t believe in God before the storm you’ll be thanking God after the storm that is if you survive.

  • http://android2-apps.com Droid

    I cant even believe that the government would bring up lack of funds to help out hurricace Irene victims. There should never be a time that any government says there is a limit to the resources that are available for victims who have lost their homes and their lives. I am ashamed to hear the discussion even brought up from FEMA and it does not belong in the media. We should focus more on helping those in need knowing that there will be every effort made to make sure funds are always set aside for disaster relief.

  • http://www.watchman2009.blogspot.com Cliff Hilbert

    This is the latest message on my blog http://www.watchman2009.blogspot.com

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

    Continuing Catastrophes

    In a message last year I spoke about how we would see catastrophe after catastrophe hit this nation. Then in July I wrote about how how those things have been coming to pass and that they will only get worse. Then Hurricane Irene hit and we are now finding out that FEMA is almost out of emergency relief funds because they have spent the highest amount in their history for catastrophes that have occurred this year, and there are still four months left in 2011.

    These “natural” disasters are going to get worse and worse. I believe that we are going to see another major hurricane hit this nation this year, probably in the next few weeks. This hurricane will slam into this country like the fist of God and will be much worse than Irene, and I don’t believe that we will be prepared for it.

    Next I believe that major earthquakes will begin to shake this nation to its very core. The one that hit the east coast a few weeks ago was nothing compared to what is coming. God has had enough of the wickedness in the USA and nothing will stop His judgment upon this land.

    • r.bitting

      Well said..

    • Here in NC

      Spot on my friend.

  • r, davidson

    The huge osmotic pressure of honey will kill many bacteria. But, it must be pasteurized. “Natural”
    non-pasteurized honey will contain many bacteria
    brought in by the bees, including botulism that will re-activate when allowed to dilute, especially if used internally. Lysine is very good for suppressing herpes outbreaks. Avoid nuts, whole wheat, etc.

  • Jean

    Now that a week’s gone by since it hit us (in rural Isle of Wight County, VA about 35 miles inland and near the James and Pagan Rivers)… this is what I’ve got to say about the experience. It was oddly relaxing! I MISS it even (except I do enjoy my coffee and warm baths…)

    I lost power for 4 days, my land line for 3 days, and accidentally left my cell phone in the car so had no actual way to communicate during the storm. I have a landlord who put the well on a generator, so we had water (albeit, cold water). I’m 60 and I live alone.

    We got a LOT of rain (much needed, we’d be having a drought and have been dealing with a nasty, smelly smoking underground peat fire for months – 10-12″ of rain still didn’t put that out, but it’s a lot closer to being out than it was). The storm came at night, not bad for me as I’ve got a huge pecan tree very close to the house so I was planning on spending the storm in my bedroom anyway, the furthest from the tree. Tree is about 100 yrs old and held up fine, but many limbs down. On the farm they lost 3 trees and we had no flooding (near 2 rivers, but we are up on a bluff high enough to avoid storm surge).
    I was prepared with plenty of non-perishable food, bottled water, etc. My weather channel did not come in, but I got local radio with my battery operated weather radio.

    After the storm on Sunday it was very hot and humid, which bothers me so I closed all my shades and took a 2 hr siesta in the heat of the day. I had what I was afraid might be an infected toe, I soaked it in salt water and used antibiotic cream which didn’t help much (that could have been a problem except by Weds I was able to go to the doctor and get it checked, now on antibiotics and had part of my nail removed). I read and knit and visited my neighbors, as planned. Called my brother and son after the storm, as it was headed their way (up in NH).

    I had to work on Monday, 2 hour delay but no power issue as it’s in a hospital. At night, not much to do once the sun went down. I did cold “sponge baths”, ate mostly cheese sandwiches, tomatoes, cookies & fruit. I decided knitting by candlelight is not much fun so I laid for a bit on my bed, enjoyed the cool breeze that came up and listed to my “critters” (Canadian geese, then owls, then crickets… I don’t like crickets so I shut the window.) I was grateful I had no major damage, and happy to learn I was quite resilient and able to enjoy what I had.

    I really think there are three groups of people who’d be most miserable during long term power outage.
    1) young people used to being “wired up” and “connected” electronically, not a lot of patience or resources to know how to cope or have fun without electricity/
    2) rich people used to getting their way. My landlord WHINED about the cost of the generator (despite being a millionaire or more, quite well able to afford the expense but more worried about what he lost than what he had).
    3) people not at all prepared, who end up with no food, or those who get sick, injured, etc.

    I do think attitude plays a big role, and I would recommend people taking an occasional self-elected “power outage” at times to figure out what they’d need to improve their outlook and improve their prepping.

  • melinda in Australia

    Hey all this information coming out from experiences of Katrina and Irene are really helpful. Im only just now finally looking at the prepping issue. And Im sooo grateful for websites like this and people contributing. Its amazing to me that it is Americans that actually have ALOT of advice and information on how to cope but lets face it…Americans have had some tough lessons that out here in Australia we just havent experienced YET!!! Australians are totally asleep and most live a very consumerist existance. Just out of interest, Did America take notice of what happened in Britain last European summer?? Rioting and looting on a grand scale (and for what? Not food, just consumer crap) Most shocking was that the U.K government didnt even call out the army to control them when they realised pretty early that they did not have enough police to control them. I learned from that, that governments and police WILL NOT help in that situation. Finally I must say, Americans are super lucky because gun ownership and ability to use one is totaly commom in America. Not here !!! And also Americans seem to have the right to use one if need be. Not here. Gun culture was outlawed decades ago and that has been beneficial in times of civilised society. So any hints guys on how to protect yourself, your family and your food without one ????

  • http://www.choosingthebestfoodstorage.com Julian Brennan

    Hey There Theeconomiccollapseblog,
    Thanks for the info, As a result of CARICOM moved in to support The Bahamas recuperate subsequent the devastation left by Hurricane Irene, the Caribbean nation looks currently nicely set on the road to recovery as a result of people returned to the widely used holiday vacation destination.
    Good Job!
    choosing the best food storage

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