Disaster Plan

Does your family have an economic disaster plan?  If not, why not?  By now, most people know that very hard economic times are coming.  No, America is not going to turn into a post-apocalyptic war zone where motorcycle gangs ravage the populace next week, but the truth is that it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the U.S. economic system (and indeed the entire world economic system) is in the process of dying.  For decades we have lived far beyond our means by borrowing insane amounts of money, but the party is ending and now many of us are going to get to experience what it means to live below our means.  The golden days of the U.S. economic machine are gone, and now we are moving into a time when we are going to reap the fruit of the incredibly foolish economic policies of the past hundred years.  Meanwhile, the two major political parties will continue to play the American people against each other.  The Democrats will insist that everything will be great if we just give them control.  The Republicans will insist that everything will be great if we just give them control.  But the truth is that both political parties have had numerous chances over the past 50 years, and each of them have blown them badly.  Both parties have had a hand in piling up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, both parties have been complicit in shipping our jobs and our factories off to China and to dozens of third world nations, both parties have dramatically expanded the size of government and the welfare state when they were in control, and both parties have continually handed more power to the big banks and to the Federal Reserve.  We built an entire economy based on paper money and a gigantic spiral of debt and now the wheels are starting to come off and people are starting to panic.  We are truly going to pay the price for decades of foolish decisions.

Not that an economic collapse is the only reason to have a family disaster plan.  We live at a time when it seems like the whole world is going crazy.  You never know when or where the next oil spill, hurricane, earthquake, volcano, pandemic or terror event is going to strike. 

So the reality is that it is imperative that we all have a disaster plan that sets out exactly how we are going to provide food, water, shelter and security for our families in the event of a major disaster or emergency.

So exactly what should such a disaster plan entail?

If you have not done so already, please read the following two articles that we previously published on this theme….

1) 20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins

2) What To Do

Both of those articles lay out some of the basic principles of emergency preparedness.

But there is so much to know about emergency preparation beyond just the basics.

Over the last couple of months, the readers of this column have shared some amazing information on this topic, and we have compiled some of the very best of those tips below….

Smuggler:

As a long time hiker and back country lover I have had a bit of experience in rustic living. From Tents in the Rockies and Sierras to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and an old trapper’s cabin in Alaska I have pretty much lived in that way most of my life.

Survival depends on a lot of things, not just how much grub you got or how many bottles of water are stashed away. If all roads are blocked your stocked RV is suddenly going to be a liability not an asset.With roads blocked by earthquake or check points the ability to travel cross country will be reduced to foot transportation, unless you plan to tote your pick-up over the mountains think lighter….

If it all goes up the first thing you must do is realize that this is not a camping trip, you come home from a camping trip, you won’t have a home to come to if it all goes up. You are going to have to find food and water as you go and in the case of food you will most likely have to kill it and clean it. Man bites dog will have a whole new meaning.

That is where the best survival tool will be most welcome. The nice thing about this tool is it takes up no room and it doesn’t weigh an oz. Become knowledgeable.learn about water and how to test it, find it and save it. learn how to preserve foods by drying or smoking. learn what plants in your area can be eaten or used for medicine.

You get the idea here, the more ya know the longer you will live. One of the places I have spent some time hiking is the Idaho and Utah boarder area and parts of the old Boozeman Trail. one of the remarkable things you see on the Trail is tons of cast Iron cook stoves, nickel trimmed Parlor stoves, furniture, house hold goods, sinks etc. that litter the ground. All tossed off overloaded wagons, from about the middle part of the Trail tapering off to just a few items the farther west they got. Take to much you have to throw it away.

A good make pro back pack, a good sleeping bag/ground pad, light tent, fire making items, [ I recommend a mag and steel striker. ]a good hand axe, a good hunting knife, a pro grade compass, [Learn how to use it.} Food, freeze dried is best very lite and can carry many days of food. Limit clothes as appropriate for the weather and how much you can carry. Water, what you can carry and treatment tablets for new sources if in doubt. Other wise boil it for ten mins.

Things like sewing kits are nice but won’t kill ya if you don’t have one. Judge your wants balanced against your needs, in the case of candles and radios and such, they are heavy hard to secure and take up lots of room. In the case of candles I’ve had them melt all over the inside of my back pack not a fun thing.

Keep it light and essential,you may have to relocate in a big hurry. Now, do you see why community is a good idea? You can survive one man alone, but in a group is easier, safer and more productive and more fun. Here’s hoping all your trips are camping trips and may you always come home.

RLTW:

Food: If you are about to go on a long “hike” like for a couple of weeks… seriously fatten up. Talk to anyone who has done ranger school. They lose 20-45lbs in only 63 days. Most fatten up just before going. If you only have one meal/ day, then eat in the morning and eat small amounts throughout the day (like a candy or cracker) and keep drinking water. Surprise salt is important, dont go low sodium in food especially if you are consuming a lot of water. On the move, Eat the most perishable first, eat based solely off the energy you are expending. If you open it consume it, or you will have unwanted pests/animals. In bear country, hang it from a high limb away from where you sleep. If you cant brush your teeth, chew gum, or chew soft twigs.

Gerber or Leatherman is better than a Swiss knife, and BTW Butch I pack heat, so good luck and don’t let the laser sight on your forehead deter you.

Gasoline doesnt store for very long, and know the difference between diesel and gas (I know this is basic, but some people cant tell except for what it says at the pump). And also know that Syphoning gas from new autos is impossible, so don’t try, remove it from the fuel line/filter under the car.

Have a small tool kit/box, with basic tools.

If you are on the move, the right Clothing is extremely important…. Get loose fitting clothing that you can easily layer, have about 3 layers or more (depending on your local climate). One layered set should be enough, but you NEED extra socks, 2-3 pair (or more) of heavy cushioned socks are ESSENTIAL if you are on the move. Change your socks every day, even if you cannot wash them. A week could turn into a month. Dont pack underwear, b/c after a week it will be gone anyway (Most infantry soldiers go without in the field) and is just extra weight. Think of going for a long hunting trip when packing this up, and remember its always colder than you think even in the summer especially when you cannot go indoors anywhere. Pack gloves and ski type hats. At a minimum, keep your feet and shoes dry. If they get wet, walk it out, & change socks more frequently. In the cold, Keep your shoes/boots next to you when you sleep to keep them warm and be ready if you need to move out quickly. Dont be unpacked, take out what you need and leave the rest packed. You may have to take off quickly. (Pack everything you want to keep dry in gallon-sized ziplocks)

Don’t rely on a store first aid kits, buy a medium sized tool bag and get a good first aid “trauma” list(most stuff you can get at walmart). But also consider learning how to start an IV and get a few. Also, address all knicks and cuts, even the small ones. Infections can put you under, ESPECIALLY ON YOUR FEET/LEGS.

Water: If you have bleach, you can use that to purify water. One drop per Quart. Be careful, if you use too much then you will have a bad case of buttmud.

Fire: can be started with 2 D-cell batteries and steel wool, but invest in a magnesium stick that you can use with a knife.

If Money is worthless, have things to bargin with & you will be better off. Consider gold coins, you can always cut off chucks to use as payment. CAUTION: To much of something valuable will make you a target, so consider things that are valuable other than Gold.

A NON-digital watch is helpful, and can be used for navigation… plz dont ask, google it or get a survival book (which is also good) – I use the SAS survival book

MAPS!!!!! Hello, a good map of your area where you intend on going is very helpful, especially of your immediate area (topographic) and will help you locate water. It is impossible to hand carry your water needs, know your sources along your route. Keep a good small atlas with your kit, may have to leave a contaminated area and may have to travel on the roads or beside the roads. You can easily use a good atlas to terrain navigate in lieu of a good topo map. Know the state evacuation routes, then plan an alternative b/c they will be packed.

Set up “rally” points that everyone knows and will link up or leave messages if safe and no communications exist.

Flashlight: invest in an efficient LED headlamp, that way you have both hands free.

The AXE is not required: You need only a good Knife, like a K-bar…dont buy a cheap hollow survival knife (they will break), buy a regular good 5-8in blade that is heavy and durable. You can use the knife with a piece of wood or log to hammer the knife like an axe for firewood….but your call. Remember, you may have to carry it.

If you have a friend in Spec ops or is a Ranger, Seal, etc… ask them for tips or advice… we train in this type of thing.

Elocutionist:

There are other things people can do; must do: Build up a network of support. Get to know your neighbors and be certain all of you support one another. I live in a small development of about 90 homes. We are closed off from the main highway and, even in these relatively ‘good’ times, we always rely on one another for various things (i.e. snow ploughing, lawn mowing, etc.). Make a plan with your family, if they’re not nearby, so that in tough times you’re not alone. Develop a skill. Learn how to make bread, for instance, from flour on a wood stove. Become an expert ‘handyman,’ the ability to repair things will be an important skill. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. In either case, you’ll be prepared.

Jim:

You’d be surprised at how little work it takes to have a seed turn into dinner. It’s almost as if that was what the seed was designed to do. Even people in apartments can cut their food down quite a bit with herbs, tomatoes, and the like in the windows. 1/4 acre can feed a family of more than four, and that’s worth spending a few minutes a day if you ask me.

Paul:

A couple of useful items: Clorox. Very cheap. Can purify water and also handy for sterilizing anything. Saving a pile of old newspapers is another good cheap item — useful for starting a fire and, hey— better than nothing, using as toilet paper. More expensive — a couple of handfuls of silver coins in case no one wants US paper dollars.

John:

Also, look at yard sales and thrift shops. If you really need a couple of cheap shirts, instead of buying cheap ones made in India, recycle what is already in your community, putting some money into your neighbors’ pockets.

Try to buy food locally. It’s more expensive, but if you are careful, you can find a few affordable items. If you live in the city, talk to your local council and try to get projects going that allow community vegetable patches on vacant land. In some areas this is already happening. Grow herbs in your kitchen. When you are down to beans and rice, it is amazing how a little bit of fresh herbs can spice up your life. YOu have a sunny window in your house? Start growing something easy like zucchini.

Learn how to repair – anything. You won’t get rich, but you might eventually make a decent living. Most of us are getting poorer and are going to want what we have to last longer. I remember as a kid in a small town there was a shoe repair shop, an electrical repair shop, a furniture repair shop, etc. Now they have all disappeared because most of us have gotten use to throwing things out and buying new. My guess is that the market for repairs is only going to grow.

Have you got a sewing machine? Buy up cheap clothing/fabrics from a thrift shop and turn them into quilts, stuffed animals, bags, interesting clothes for kids. This Xmas lots of people are going to be looking for cheap gifts for their children. You won’t be making much per hour, but at least you might be making something

Go dumpster diving. Especially if you live in a private college town, you will be amazed at how much perfectly good clothing and furniture gets dumped every year. In a small town that I visit every summer, one thrift shop fills a complete dumpster with clothes every week – almost all of it in near perfect condition. The dumpsters near dorms are overflowing at the end of terms.

Boycott. Don’t buy from/do business with companies that send all their jobs overseas.

If you live in a place with a community college and if you have a bit of money, learn a trade. Community colleges tend to be relatively cheap and they give you good skills. And if you have a kid of college age, ask them if they really want that degree in 18th century literature badly enough to starve.

Finally – get involved and become political. A lot of people know that they are not happy, but they are not sure what to do and are waiting around for other people to come up with the solutions. Start thinking about something that is important to you locally, regionally or nationally and figure out a way to be part of the solution. One reason we are in such a mess is because we all tuned out a bit and let the bigshots call all the shots – and they created a world that works great for them, but at our expense.

Michael:

Every once in a while, I see these “survivalist” cans of Costa Rican canned green coffee beans. Ok, so I pay about $80 bucks (not to mention some paying for some hefty shipping charges). I thought to myself-why can’t I do it (in the spirit of DIY). Ok, it can be easily done. First, purchase GREEN coffee beans. Second, seal them in a good container. I use a half gallon Ball canning jar WITH an oxygen absorber. A half gallon jar will hold about 2.5 pounds of beans and I use one or two 500CC oxygen absorbers-just to make sure no oxygen exists afterwards. Thrid, Seal the jar with a new canning jar lid. Keep out of light. No moisture (dry beans and glass sealed jar), no oxygen (absorber does that), no light, and keep in cool storage (room temp or cooler); and the coffee is good to go for years!

J.E. Chapman:

I will tell you that a swiss army knife wont cut it, you need a good beefy knife like a K-Bar fighting knife something you can use to pound, dig, chop, and even kill with if nessesary, a SOG is another good choice, remember you get what you pay for.  Also read and study up time I believe is short a good manual is Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide from Backwoods Home magazine is a very good book to have along with all the military survival manuals you can get your hands on, arm up with a Good rifle a good sidearm and plenty of ammo, enough food for a year and good luck. Praying Helps moreso than most would believe, God Bless.

Uncle Sam:

Knowledge is the store of value that “neither moth nor flame can corrupt or destoy” They can’t take that from you.

Store enough food to make it through a year from ANY point in the agricultural cycle. Start growing food now, so you can learn how it works. A farmer doesn’t become a farmer after one or two seasons, you must get everything wrong before you know how to do it right, and that takes time and experience. Start now, its July…plant greens in August and have salads through November just to get some experience.

Basically, you will find that it breaks down like this…If you can’t grow it, mine it, trade for it, or kill for it; you are not going to have it, and if you are not prepared to do all four of those, you are in danger.

There exists a critical tipping point, a point of mass despair and anger that will capitulate our way of life. This is NOT like the 30’s. In that era, we were set up to live autonomously, so long as we could keep the mortgator at bay (with a shotgun) we are not like that anymore. Americans especially are not prepared for what is coming. We are too integrated. Most have neither the means or opportunity to live autonomously, they only have fear as the motive when they run out of food or are kicked out of their homes. Very dangerous, they are forced to crime. In the 30’s, people were bummed that they had to return to the agrarian lifestyle of their ancestors on the family farm instead of “making it” in the city, we don’t have that option today. People will riot hard and more and more police are laid off every day.

One day, the power will go out and not return. The day that happens, the poles will be felled for the wood, and the copper stripped for trade. Then, the infrastructure is gone. Remember that sight, as the defining momonet of the descent.

Francis:

The two of us have a tiller, a grubbing hoe and some smaller hoes. Each spring we hire a tractor to prepare the garden. Get soil tested through gov’t. or ag school for knowledge of correct soil amendments (lime, fertilizer etc.) Bugs will take care of themselves for the most part, though some hand work may be necessary. Diseases will need to be worked around (different varieties of plants) We don’t use poisons.

We work about an hour a day in the spring, 4-5 days a week on about 1/2 acre, less as the year goes along. We grow two crops, the fall garden is usually small. Our biggest chore is weeds. The two of us could live off of this if we had to. We have about 20 fig trees and lots of other fruit trees. Yes, we are blessed. But there is something we can all do to supplement the bounty nature gives.

City folk, think small. You will be amazed at what some diligence and patience will do when joined to a willing hand and some knowledge. By the way, the sweetest meal you will ever eat is the one you grow yourself.

Lots of you talk about slavery. The best way out is to get rich. The best way to get rich is slowly. If you are profligate forget it. But if you save some of everything you get and through nothing away that has any possible worth, you will start finding ways to save a penny here and there.

And community is the long term key to subsistence. Even the hard-headedest persons I know take notice when the fruits of frugality are exposed. I can’t fix a motor and my mechanic neighbor can’t grow corn. I have gone out of my way to make him a friend.

We Americans are resourceful when not anesthetized by superfluity. Despise nothing. Make every object the subject of evaluation. A lot of something adds up to a little of anything.

Wake up.

Bearmaster:

Those of us who are preparing for what now seems to be at our door will be ready. Not only preparing with water, food, fuel, matches, seasonal clothing and whatever else is needed, we will be the few who do survive and will remember the rest of you who did not ‘believe’.

There is no shame in getting ready for any event, especially when it comes on suddenly. Those caught by surprise are the ones who will suffer the most. If you think because you have guns and ammo that you will come and take away what you feel you need and deserve, how?

Without water after two days you will be delirious to the point you can’t think straight. After five days of beans and bacon bits you’ll wish you had stocked up on toilet paper. When you come staggering up with gun in hand, do you really think you’ll be able to pull off this ‘robbery’ and take what you can, how?

Will you have a shopping cart or a little red wagon? Maybe the back of your pickup would work but where will you get the gas? How can you carry anything with guns in hand, don’t you think there will be others waiting who will then take advantage of you?

Those who think the ‘community’ idea won’t work are those who can’t get along with or won’t trust other people. How can you stay awake and alert for 24/7, you, the wife and kids against what odds? Think about it, trusting family, neighbors and friends in a small group will be the only way to get through this unless they bomb us into eternity.

A small group can provide many things, sharing in the expense of preparing and putting things away in the best, safest location you can find. Those living in a city, large town or even in a development, you need to have a plan of escape to quickly get to a safer location.

*****

So what do you think of the tips shared by the readers?  Do you have any additional disaster plan tips to share?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

The Death Of Las Vegas

There are quite a few U.S. cities that are complete and utter economic disaster zones in 2010 (Detroit for example), but there is something about the demise of Las Vegas that is absolutely stunning.  In recent decades, Las Vegas has become a symbol for the over-the-top affluence and decadence of America.  But now it is a microcosm of the economic nightmare that has gripped the entire nation.  When the subprime mortgage crisis stuck, no major U.S. city was more devastated than Las Vegas.  When the recession went from bad to worse, Americans decided that they really didn’t need to gamble so much and casino revenues plummeted.  Suddenly unemployment started to increase dramatically in Vegas and even today it continues to soar.  Like so many other cities that are highly dependent on tourism and entertainment, Las Vegas has gone from boom to bust.  Local officials are hoping that the worst will soon be over, but the truth is that the worst is yet to come.  As the U.S. economy continues to unravel, average Americans will be spending what little money they do have to put a roof over their heads and to feed their families.   The truth is that the glory days of Las Vegas are over and they are not coming back.     

Already, the number of unemployed in Las Vegas is reaching unprecedented levels.  Unemployment rates for the state of Nevada and for the city of Las Vegas both set new records during the month of April.  In Las Vegas the unemployment rate in April was 14.2%.  For the entire state the unemployment rate was 13.7%.

Of course those are just the “official” numbers.  We all know that the “real” unemployment numbers are much higher.

For example, the “official” unemployment figure is about 14 percent in the state of Michigan right now.  But if you actually believe that 86 percent of able-bodied workers in the state of Michigan are employed, then perhaps you would be interested in an offer to purchase the Golden Gate Bridge as well.

Elliott Parker, an economist at the University of Nevada, Reno says that the record-setting unemployment numbers in Nevada are just part of a larger trend…. 

“Nevada has been losing jobs since March 2008, and we are continuing to do so.”

But where the state of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas have really been hammered is in the housing industry.

It is estimated that a whopping 65 percent of all homes in the state of Nevada are underwater.

Let that sink in for a bit.

65 percent of all home owners with a mortgage in the state of Nevada owe more than their homes are worth.

Talk about an implosion.

Nationally, the number of homes that are “underwater” is about 24 percent.  That is an all-time record for the entire nation, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the nightmare that is unfolding in Nevada and in Las Vegas.

And the number of foreclosures taking place in Nevada is absolutely breathtaking.

According to RealtyTrac, Nevada is still ranked number one for foreclosure filings.  In fact, one out of every 79 Nevada homes received a foreclosure filing in the month of May alone. 

Nevada’s foreclosure rate is now five times the national average.

By just about any measure, the economy of Nevada is a complete and total disaster.

A reader recently sent an email describing the economic horror that is unfolding in Las Vegas.  No matter what you may think about the city, the truth is that it is sad to see any great U.S. city fall to pieces like this….

“Las Vegas is a goner. The homeless population is out of control. The real estate is far worse than I have seen in the media (no surprise there). The towers of condos are ninety five percent vacant with zero activity. The streets and parks are in decline. Local governments are busy making cuts and fighting unions. When I ride the streets they are deserted, a big change from 2006. The major casino companies have all but moved the casinos out of Nevada. Rooms and restaurants have been closing for years, even while they finished the new projects. The entire town is a skeleton staff providing substandard service and decaying properties. I still work for one of the majors which is in bankruptcy. When the next wave hits there is nowhere to cut. It will be a game of dominoes with the Wynn properties the only ones left standing. I see the ninety nine cent breakfast making a comeback. The bullet train a day late and a few billion dollars short.”

So is there any hope for Las Vegas?

Well, if the U.S. economy gets back up off of the operating table and roars back to life there is little doubt that millions of Americans would once again soon be flying there to gamble away their discretionary income.

But the truth is that any “revival” that is going to happen in Vegas is going to be very short-lived.

The U.S. economy as a whole is caught in a death spiral, and we are about to see a repeat of the housing crash that devastated Las Vegas so badly the first time around.

No, there really isn’t any way that the death of Las Vegas can be avoided.  Just like the U.S. economy as a whole, it is inevitably doomed.  The numbers don’t lie.

The grand total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.  That is a far greater level than the U.S. ever approached during the Great Depression.

The entire U.S. economy is a house of cards built on a gigantic pile of debt and paper money, and it is only a matter of time until it all comes crashing down.

But of course that isn’t stopping the U.S. government from spending even more money and getting us all into even more debt.

According to a recent Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.

But as many of you who have experienced this on a personal level know, getting into continually increasing amounts of debt never ends well.

So do any of you have a tale to tell about the city where you live?  Do you find yourself caught in the middle of an economic nightmare?  Feel free to leave a comment telling us what is happening in your area of the United States….

****UPDATE****

A number of readers have chimed in with some very insightful comments.  A sampling is below….

Vegas Bob:

I lived here in Vegas from 1998-2006 and moved back at the beginning of 2010. I worked in Corporate Finance for one of the largest casino operators up until I retired.

The article is spot on. Compared to its heyday in 2005-2006, Las Vegas today is an economic disaster zone. The condo I sold in 2006 for $172,500 now goes for $48,900 – a 72% haircut.

It’s not getting any better. Real estate prices are resuming their descent, now that the $8,000 homebuyer tax bribe is gone.

The so-called economic recovery is for wealthy people only. Everyday people just keep getting the shaft. Obama is just another Republican with a ‘D’ after his name.

I’m glad I was smart enough to rent a place instead of buying one. I’m getting the hell out of this hellhole when my lease is up at year-end.

Tiara:

I am born and raised Vegas. When I say I was raised in Vegas I don’t mean a casino. I mean the middle of the dessert 30 miles north from the strip with the lizards and tumbleweeds. Vegas and I have a love hate relationship. I have seen this the growth in this town blow up in my face and now it is imploding just like an old worn out casino. It has been a crazy ride but due to the economy I will most likely be leaving Las Vegas soon. Growing up in this town has been interesting and leaving it will be bittersweet.

Craig:

I lived in vegas in 2006 and have been back to visit many times. I was there recently for the first time after the economy imploded in late 2008—That town is a shell of it’s former self.

On any given night there are half the people on the strip that there used to be. The service even in the 5-star hotels has declined. You can see the lack of morale, sucked from the faces of the wokrers.

I loved this town in its hay day. Right now, it’s pretty sad.

Dolly:

Vegas was, and is, easy to understand. I’m in the musical equipment business– audio– and we go to Trade Shows.

These are held all over the world, but let’s contrast just two places, Los Angeles and Vegas:

If you go to Los Angeles, you will visit with the worlds best engineering talent, and a solidly-grounded people that are there to PRODUCE something OF VALUE. You have small manufacturers, Farm and Ranch people, Oil people, the film industry and plenty of unspoiled, honest, clean-living young people who work hard, and then play hard. Many are Surfers, etc., and are a breath of Fresh Air.

In short, a business convention or trade show in this city is a TREAT.

Now, let’s look at Las Vegas. Everything that’s big there is built around money manipulation and power. No one gives a damn about anybody else. Got a brilliant idea? One that Los Angelinos would want to encourage you to develop and succeed at? NOT in Vegas! Any Casino in town handles more money than that in a microsecond. Besides– who are YOU? YOU don’t matter. Vegas gets all the big shows and all the big stuff– so YOU DON’T COUNT.

Want to hold a convention in a DECENT CITY– say L.A., or Denver? SORRY– Vegas will move right in– bribe the show principals and it WILL be held in Vegas. Look at what happened to the National Finals Rodeo– Oklahoma City was GREAT, but VEGAS has STOLEN it.

Vegas deserves the worst that can happen to it– GOOD RIDDANCE!

Bob:

LV was built by losers. I’ve lived in & near LV since ‘89, watched it grow cancerously, and now the tumor is shrinking… good riddance indeed to a grand delusion. This city is not electrified by the dam — it is fed with coal-generated power from Moapa. Fake Lake Mead is dying too ( and the city is fed by one old pipeline that can break down at any time … There is no primary industry here, just gambling and military — everyone here (except me, of course ) is living the Big Lie. The place is a death trap… stay away!

BD:

I recently went back to visit my old neighborhood (moved out of vegas and sold my house in summer of ‘08) and talked with a few of my neighbors. Apparently its so bad they dont even park their cars on the streets anymore because “these damn people siphon gas out of your gas tank”.  No lie.  And this is a nice gated neighborhood in Henderson….

30 Shocking Quotes About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That Reveal The Soul-Crushing Horror This Disaster Is Causing

It is incredibly hard to put into words the absolute horror that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now.  The millions of gallons of oil that have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico and BP’s efforts to fight the massive leak are turning the Gulf into a lifeless toxic stew of oil and chemicals.  The damage caused to wildlife in the Gulf by this spill will be incalculable.  Entire species are at risk of being wiped out.  Scientists are telling us that the primary dispersant being used by BP ruptures red blood cells and causes fish to bleed.  This is by far the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight.  It is a worse environmental and economic disaster than all of the hurricanes of the past ten years combined.  The great wetlands and beaches along the Gulf of Mexico will never be the same in our lifetimes.  The seafood and tourism industries in the Gulf are being completely destroyed.  The thousands of jobs and businesses being wiped out by this disaster could potentially throw the entire Gulf coast region into a depression.  The damage already caused by this oil spill is beyond measure and yet the government tells us that up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil a day continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

Federal officials have expanded the “no fishing” area in the Gulf of Mexico to 75,920 square miles.  That is 31 percent of all federal waters in the Gulf.  As the oil continues to spread out there may soon be nowhere to fish.

And the oil is starting to come ashore in more places.  Red-brown oil was found on Alabama’s Dauphin Island on Tuesday.  As Gulf coast residents slowly watch this oil destroy everything around them they are starting to realize that this is it.

Life along the Gulf of Mexico will simply never be the same again. 

The following are 30 shocking quotes about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that reveal the soul-crushing horror this disaster is causing….

#1) Councilman Jay LaFont of Grand Isle, Louisiana:

“As long as you have something to look forward to, a little glimmer of hope, you can move on. But this just drained everything out of us.”

#2) Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish:

“They said the black oil wouldn’t come ashore. Well, it is ashore. It’s here to stay and it’s going to keep coming.”

#3) Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist:

“Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that.”

#4) Marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute on BP’s use of chemical dispersants:

“They’ve been used at such a high volume that it’s unprecedented. The worst of these – Corexit 9527 – is the one they’ve been using most. That ruptures red blood cells and causes fish to bleed. With 800,000 gallons of this, we can only imagine the death that will be caused.”

#5) Dr. Larry McKinney, director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Texas:

“Bluefin tuna spawn just south of the oil spill and they spawn only in the Gulf. If they were to go through the area at a critical time, that’s one instance where a plume could destroy a whole species.”

#6) Carol Browner, Barack Obama’s adviser on energy and climate:

“This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we have ever faced in this country. It is certainly the biggest oil spill and we are responding with the biggest environmental response.”

#7) Richard Charter of the Defenders of Wildlife:

“It is so big and expanding so fast that it’s pretty much beyond human response that can be effective. … You’re looking at a long-term poisoning of the area. Ultimately, this will have a multidecade impact.”

#8) Reverand Mike Tran:

“We don’t know when this will ever be over. It’s a way of life that’s under assault, and people don’t when their next paycheck is going to be.”

#9) Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club:

“This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.”

#10) Dean Blanchard, owner of a seafood business:

“I hold Obama responsible for not making BP stand up and look at the people in the face and fix it.”

#11) Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:

“The day that we’ve been fearing is upon us.”

#12) Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, about BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“We ought to take him offshore and dunk him 10 feet underwater and pull him up and ask him ‘What’s that all over your face?”

#13) Former Clinton adviser James Carville:

“The country feels like it’s entitled to abuse this state and forget about us, and we are sick of it.”

#14) An anonymous Louisiana resident:

“A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts.”

#15) U.S. Representative Edward Markey:

“I have no confidence whatsoever in BP . I think that they do not know what they are doing.”

#16) Gulf coast resident Marie Michel:

“Immediately, it’s no more fishing, no more crabbing, no more swimming, no more walking on the beach.”

#17) Brenda Prosser of Mobile, Alabama:

“I just started crying. I couldn’t quit crying. I’m shaking now.  To know that our beach may be black or brown, or that we can’t get in the water, it’s so sad.”

#18) Qin Chen, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on the possibility that a hurricane could push massive amounts of oil ashore along the Gulf:

“A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this year would be devastating.”

#19) Retired Army General Russel Honore on the effect this spill is having on residents of the Gulf coast:

“I’m sure, every time they hear a negative word, their skin crawls, ’cause they need these jobs. … This is what’s going to put their kids in school, and what pays the rent.”

#20) A group calling itself “Seize BP”:

“The greatest environmental disaster with no end in sight! Eleven workers dead. Millions of gallons of oil gushing for months (and possibly years) to come. Jobs vanishing. Creatures dying. A pristine environment destroyed for generations. A mega-corporation that has lied and continues to lie, and a government that refuses to protect the people.”

#21) Louisiania Governor Bobby Jindal:

“There has been failure, particularly with the effort to protect our coast and our marsh. And that was the biggest topic of discussion in a very frank meeting we had with the president.”

#22) BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles:

“This scares everybody — the fact that we can’t make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven’t succeeded so far.”

#23) Doug Rader, chief ocean scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund:

“You simply cannot make more (reefs), unless you have a few thousand years to wait.”

#24) Public Service Commissioner Benjamin Stevens:

“You get hit by a hurricane and you can rebuild. But when that stuff washes up on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, you can’t just go and get more white sand.”

#25) Wilma Subra, a chemist who has served as a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency:

“Every time the wind blows from the south-east to the shore, people are being made sick.”

#26) Hotel Owner Dodie Vegas:

“It’s just going to kill us. It’s going to destroy us.”

#27) Louisiana resident Sean Lanier:

“Until they stop this leak, it’s just like getting stabbed and the knife’s still in you, and they’re moving it around.”

#28) White House energy adviser Carol Browner:

“There could be oil coming up until August.”

#29) Marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute:

“We’ll see dead bodies soon. Sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, whales: the impact on predators will be seen in a short time because the food web will be impacted from the bottom up.”

#30) Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser:

“We will die a slow death over the next two years as this oil creeps ashore.”

8 Reasons Why The Pain From The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Is Going To Be Felt For Decades

As oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico at a staggering rate, many are now starting to realize that the pain from this oil spill will be felt not just for months or years – but for decades.  At least 4.2 million gallons of oil (and some estimates put the total at far higher than that) are already in the Gulf of Mexico causing untold damage to the ecologically fragile Louisiana coast.  The oil has already made contact with the Chandeleur Islands off of the coast of Louisiana, and over the next few days more areas are expected to see oil come ashore.  But just because this disaster is unfolding in slow-motion does not mean that this is not going to be a complete and utter tragedy for the Gulf Coast region.  In fact, many of those living along the Gulf Coast now fear that this oil spill is going to do far more damage to the region than Hurricane Katrina did.  And after Hurricane Katrina and everything else that folks living down there have been through over the past several years, the thought of weathering another massive tragedy is almost too much.

It certainly doesn’t help that those attempting to stop the leak don’t really seem to know what they are doing.  After failing to contain the oil spill with a giant concrete and steel dome, BP announced on Monday that it will make a second attempt this week using a smaller version of the dome dubbed the “Top Hat”.

“Top Hat”?

If BP was as good at stopping oil leaks as they are at coming up with cute little code names for their operations perhaps this crisis would be over by now.

But the truth is that attempting to do anything at depths of up to one mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico is extremely difficult.

It kind of makes you wonder what in the world we were doing drilling for oil down there in the first place.

In any event, BP is not just relying on the “Top Hat” to stop the leak.

BP is also considering plugging the damaged blowout preventer on the underwater well by pumping debris into it at high pressure.  This technique is known as a “junk shot”.

Or, in other words, BP would be plugging the leak by shooting a bunch of garbage into it.  One official recently described this method to CBS News this way….

“They are actually going to take a bunch of debris — some shredded up tires, golf balls and things like that — and under very high pressure shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up to stop the leak.”

But what many media outlets are not admitting is that the “junk shot” procedure is extremely risky.  In fact, some experts are warning that tinkering with the damaged blowout preventer could make the leak much worse.

But something has got to be done.  Even members of the U.S. Congress are admitting that this oil could end up getting into the Loop Current and going up the east coast of the United States….

“If this gusher continues for several months, it’s going to cover up the Gulf Coast and it’s going to get down into the Loop Current and that’s going to take it down into the Florida Keys and up the east coast of Florida,” Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson told CNN.

To get an idea of just how devastating the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is already, check out the aerial footage in the video below.  As you watch this video, just try to imagine how horrific this crisis is going to be if oil continues to gush into the Gulf for weeks or months….

The truth is that this has the potential to be one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States.  The following are 8 of the reasons why the pain from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is going to be felt for decades to come….

#1) The Fishing, Shrimping And Oyster Industries In The Gulf Are Being Destroyed

Seafood is a 2.4 billion dollar industry in the state of Louisiana.  In fact, Louisiana produces more than 30 percent of the seafood originating in the continental United States.

But that is about to dramatically change.  As the waters off Louisiana are being progressively poisoned by all the oil, fishermen and shrimpers are starting to realize that their lives will never be the same.

In fact, some local shrimpers in Louisiana are already predicting that it will be seven years before they can set to sea again.

So are they being overly dramatic?

No, especially when you consider the fact that fishermen in Cordova, Alaska are still struggling 21 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill devastated the fishing industry in that region.

#2) The Damage To The Environment And Wildlife In the Gulf Is Going To Be Unprecedented

Already, environmentalists are warning that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could absolutely devastate the bird population of the region.  You see, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. waterfowl use Louisiana’s three million acres of wetlands to rest or nest.  Once the oil spill gets into those wetlands it is going to be an absolute nightmare for those waterfowl.

But it isn’t just waterfowl that are at risk.  Literally hundreds of different species that inhabit the coastal areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico will soon be facing an oily nightmare that they don’t even know is coming.  Entire ecosystems are going to be permanently altered.  Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently put it this way….

“Florida is currently preparing for what we all know is an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions for our state and Gulf of Mexico partner states.”

In fact, Richard Charter of the Defenders of Wildlife says that we are looking at an environmental impact that is going to last for decades….

“It is so big and expanding so fast that it’s pretty much beyond human response that can be effective. … You’re looking at a long-term poisoning of the area. Ultimately, this will have a multidecade impact.”

#3) The Natural Beauty Of The Gulf Coast Region Will Never Be The Same

Anyone who has ever been to the Gulf Coast knows how amazingly beautiful that it can be.  But once it is covered with millions of gallons of oil it will never be the same.

Brenda Prosser of Mobile, Alabama said that she wept when she saw the workers attempting to try to prevent the oil spill from spreading….

“I just started crying. I couldn’t quit crying. I’m shaking now.  To know that our beach may be black or brown, or that we can’t get in the water, it’s so sad.”

And it is a great tragedy.  This didn’t have to happen.  But now the great natural beauty of our coasts is being destroyed and we aren’t going to be able to get it back for a long, long time as Public Service Commissioner Benjamin Stevens recently explained….

“You get hit by a hurricane and you can rebuild. But when that stuff washes up on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, you can’t just go and get more white sand.”

Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club was a bit more dramatic in describing what this oil spill means for the region….

“This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.”

#4) Tourism Along The Gulf Coast Is Now Dead

Needless to say, very few people are going to want to vacation along the Gulf Coast for quite a long time.

Hotel Owner Dodie Vegas put it this way….

“It’s just going to kill us. It’s going to destroy us.”

#5) The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Is Going To Greatly Contribute To The Ongoing Poisoning Of The World’s Water Supply

Over the past twenty years, the world has witnessed 30 oil spills larger than the Exxon Valdez tragedy.  Both the global food chain and the world’s waters are being progressively poisoned by all of this oil.  In fact, nature can simply not keep up with how fast we are poisoning the water all over the world.  This current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not going to help things at all.

#6) This Oil Spill Is Going To Have A Dramatic Chilling Effect On Oil Exploration

The head of the International Energy Agency is warning that this disaster will slow the exploration and development of offshore oil projects worldwide.  Now that the danger of offshore drilling has become more apparent, approval of new projects is going to be much more difficult around the world, and oil companies are going to be less inclined to invest in such projects.

#7) Oil Prices Around The Globe Are Going To Rise

Oil prices have already gone up as a result of this oil spill, and they are likely to stay high for the long-term as demand continues to increase while supplies grow less quickly.  As noted in point #6, this crisis is going to have a chilling effect on oil exploration, and that is going to mean less oil as we move forward.  Less oil and increasing demand means that prices are going to rise, and that is not good news for the U.S. economy.

#8) The Economy Of The Gulf Coast Region Is Going To Be Devastated

Two of the major industries in the Gulf region, seafood and tourism, are going to be pretty much wiped out in the short-term.  Many areas along the Gulf, particularly in Louisiana, were already economic disaster areas even before this oil spill.  The truth is that economic conditions down there are simply not strong enough to weather another major tragedy.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is essentially “a slow-motion Katrina” which is going to alter the economy of the Gulf region permanently.

One anonymous Louisiana resident put it this way….

“A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts.”

It is hard to even imagine the despair that those living along the Gulf Coast are feeling right now.  Let’s pray for them and assist them in any way that we can, and let us hope that they get that darn leak stopped as quickly as possible.

Austin Coins

 

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