Analysis August 2017 –Hurricane Harvey, EROL Venezuela, and North Korea (Part 1)
As we move into Labor Day, I see several current events that give me pause to think. I will start with the one closest to home which actually in terms of prepping is the one that will be resolved first.
Hurricane Harvey: the power of nature is amazing and a hurricane ranks high among powerful natural events. The pictures of the flooding in SouthEast Texas are testimony to the devastation that the hurricane can muster. I recommend that you go look at our article “Should I Stay or Should I Go” in the American Society of Preppers Site for a good discussion of when to decide to bug out. https://www.americansocietyofpreppers.com/blogs/Should_I_Stay_or_Should_I_Go%3F
Leaving the coast before a hurricane hits is usually a good decision, preferably you are bugging out ahead of most of the Lemmings, but even if you are stuck in traffic getting out, it is still a good call. Quick tip: get yourself a good emergency radio (such as a hand crank / solar powered AM/FM) so you can check weather reports or other emergency broadcasts.
I was involved in the Hurricane Katrina response efforts and arrived along the coast the day after the storm hit. The destruction was mind-boggling but let me analyze the hurricane from a macro level.
1-you usually have warning that the hurricane is approaching – fore-warned is fore-armed. You should begin your plans to evacuate if you must which include stockpiling supplies either for your bug out or in the event you are unable to evacuate and you have to bug in. Car gassed up and ready to go? You have irreplacable items with you and enough supplies for the road? All that is left is to decide when to move. If the storm veers off and you don’t have to bug out – you just had a good dress rehearsal for that next time when you might have to go. If you did decide to evacuate and the storm veers off, you just had a full-dress rehearsal and you can casually make your way back confident that you are capable of evacuating in the future. Take stock of your last minute preparations and see if there are things you want to do now so you won’t have to scramble in the future when the next hurricane is nearing landfall.
2-during the storm you might see damage to your home or shelter due to high winds, falling trees, down power lines or broken gas mains. These can be dangerous or even deadly but the duration of the crisis is usually less than one day. But this is not what causes the most damage or the most deaths or injuries….
3-…then comes the flooding. This might be a good time to review our article “Site Selection”: hopefully you have picked a location that is unlikely to flood but as we see from Harvey, large areas can be affected. The flooding can continue downstream / down slope even after the storm has passed. Waters can continue to rise. Some people needed to be plucked from rooftops, others were stranded with waters too deep to drive through. If you don’t have high ground to move to or even a second floor – I hope you have a boat or raft of some sort. Wet weather or being constantly wet can lead to hypothermia among other risks. And it is hard to start a fire in a swamp.
4-aftermath – it may be weeks before services (power water) are restored. During that period, you need to be self sustainable with enough food and water to survive. If your home is no longer powered or the outer walls or roof have been damaged – you may be exposed to the elements. You might be camping in your own back yard….with all the complexity of living outside (cooking meals, cleaning up cookware, waste management (food waste, trash, and your human waste). Final note during the aftermath is there migh be a security risk. Can you defend yourself if police are unable to respond? A factor to consider – hate to survive the storm then get punked by some criminals.
Let’s review using our four phases of planning:
- What do you need to evacuate out of the affected area?
- Mobility (your vehicle(s) is fueled up and packed up and ready to go)
- Your BOB should give you expedient shelter and three’s days of supplies
- What additional supplies do you need if the evacuation keeps you away from home for more than three days? (think shelter, sustenance, defense, medical). This could be as simple as extra cash or credit cards with available balances. But take advantage of your vehicle’s ability to carry more things.
- What else do you need to take with you / can’t be replaced? Don’t forget Fluffy and Fido!
- Review what reasonable steps you can take to mitigate the risk to your home while you are away (board up windows, possibly disconnect from utilities, secure valuables that are too bulky or heavy to evacuate).
- Review what steps you need to take to stay safe on the road, review what routes you have available to move to safety
- Monitor conditions to determine if and when you begin to move
- Decision to bug out or ride out the storm – do you want to wait until it is absolutely certain you need to go or move early to stay ahead of the crowds?
- Final load up, final check of the home (everything is turned off, everything is locked up)
- Triggers to evacuate ahead of the mob, with the zombie horde, or struggle behind them with the storm already making landfall. Remember that the longer you wait, the more likely that road conditions could change and your evacuation gets stalled exposing you and yours to the elements while on the road.
- Move to a safe area (safe haven) and wait for the storm to pass
- Spend quality time with the family (if you have teenagers, expect to be told that you are lame numerous times).
- Return when conditions permit
- Repair damage, rebuild, restock
The good news about a hurricane is help is usually on the way. Since the area affected is regional. Resources will muster from unaffected areas to help with recovery and eventually things return to “normal”.
But what about when things are not returning to normal? Let’s look at our next current event that is unfolding: breakdown of Rule of Law in Venezuela.
De Oppresso Liber