I recently was sent an email by a Community Member. He made a simple prepper list of things observed or learned during a recent winter storm. He gave an interesting winter storm name of Snowpocalypse 2014, but I prefer Snowmageddon 2014. Jokes aside, he explains all that he saw, and can’t understand why others can’t heed winter storm warnings. I gave him the floor, then offered my comments afterward. I think you guys will like his post, and my comments back to him.
By: Michael in Mississippi
At the end of January the nation watched as snow crippled a city. Now this is to be expected in the south, we have no idea what to do when it gets cold and things freeze. But this was also an eye opener for me. I was in Atlanta when it happened in the middle of some training for work. As I walked back to the hotel I enjoyed the snow as much as a child would, being from Mississippi it still amazes me when I see it. Settling in I watched the chaos unfold on the news. People walking home from their car, children trapped at school, major accidents all over the city and I got to thinking. Am I prepared as much as I need to be???
Observation #1: People go to and fro always thinking it will be just as it was the day before. Then something happens and they are trapped. No food, water or heat and a trunk with nothing in it but a spare tire. Having to depend on others kindness to sustain them, relying on strangers for help…. Keep at least a gallon of water, some energy bars and at least a blanket in your vehicle. Yes I know there is so much more we need but the basics of food, water, and shelter to survive short term.
Observation #2: When faced with a problem we ignore it thinking someone else will take care of it. WRONG!!! The only person we can rely on is ourselves. Yes, our family and friends are there for us but we are responsible for us. The weather alerts were given in plenty of time to warn of the coming doom. Instead we say “Nope it ain’t gonna happen” The warning signs are always flashing around us, take the time and read them. People could have stayed home, the city could have started earlier with salt and sand, and businesses could have erred on the side of safety and closed for the day.
Obeservation #3: Where do our supplies come from? No one really thinks about it. The shelves magically refill every day, there is always gas at the pump, I will have my job tomorrow….the assumptions we make really are not sound. When I was finally able to leave the city and head back home I saw a sight unlike any other. 18-wheelers stretched from Atlanta to 30 miles the other side of the Alabama state line(Oxford AL) Because of one city going down commerce and transportation of that many goods stopped. And it was only bad for 2 days. What would the general public do if it would have been something worse? A major catastrophe could happen anytime; it doesn’t have to be a nation or worldwide issue. Something regional affects a lot of people and places just as bad. We must stay on guard and ready to take care of ourselves and provide for our loved ones. My food stores have increased, I am on a skill learning binge, and everyone in my family is ready to push the button if we feel it’s necessary.
The main lesson from this that I came away with is, always be ready. Never assume it will be just another day at the office. You know what happens when you ASSUME. If you do then don’t come to my house. I will help anyone get ready and learn but when it does go down my loved ones will be protected and provided for. God Bless and prep on!!!!!!
On observation #1: I agree that people should start by keeping certain things in their vehicle. I just want to add some nice things that I consider that go hand in hand with what you are saying. If you have a trunk and can spare the room, you should get a cooler. Add about 4 2-liter bottles of water (these can handle trunk conditions better than milk jugs) and the energy bars to the cooler, so the cooler can keep extreme heat and cold off of your food and water. Adding a mass to the cooler, anything that takes up space, to keep the temperatures cooler. What I mean is this: if you add more jugs of water, you will raise the amount of mass needed to heat up before the inside of the cooler can heat up. This will stabilize the temperatures more, and keep more of the extremes out of your cooler. Masses take longer to heat than air. For the blanket, go ahead and get an electric blanket and run it off of a cheap inverter in your car… talk about being toasty warm during cold temps!
On Observation #2: I agree that we should take the warnings given to us in consideration, and I have taken the day off knowing how bad the winter storm was going to be, but we can’t just not go places every single time a warning shows up, that is spotty at best. We know by now when things get REALLY bad by the way the “talking heads” go about like it is already the end of the world and we SHOULD really consider avoiding it. We should be prepared for the bad things to happen ALL the time, so when we are caught off-guard, we have our parachute to fall back on. We should however, think and avoid bad situations when we can. As far as the preparedness of the state, county or city… don’t get me started. Prepare before it happens, like you know it is going to happen, then avoid what you can within reason, while still being able to live a life, and if you do get placed in a bad situation, you are ready.
On Observation #3: Spot-On. We don’t prepare to the end of the world. We prepare for The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). Regional disasters are TEOTWAWKI’s for lots of people. Me getting laid off is a personal one. One day my life was like this, the next day… unimaginable for my family, all because some small thing happened according to news. The system only allows for a couple days’ worth of food during normal circumstances, so when people catch wind of a shortage, they will compound the issue and it will not last hours. So you can never rely on that.
Good writing Michael in Mississippi and it is incredibly awesome to see a member of the community giving back to others. I am glad to see you learning from things and taking action. Michael, if you would have sent a thumbnail photo of yourself, I would have added it to the blog… fyi.
If people want to become regular contributors to this blog, just let me know. I can come up with some way to allow people to get their information out there. I had a forum that all of these stories could go into, but it got overloaded with spam bots and I didn’t have time to deal with it, so I would need a team of moderators. This wouldn’t be a work-for-nothing scenario. I have business in mind with the forum, so if you have ever moderated a forum and know what Simple Machines is, email me.
OH AND SENDING THIS OUT ON THE 16TH WAS ACCIDENTAL, SO NO POST ON THE 17TH, LOL.
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