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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Or at least that is how a good 80% of people feel. I was at work talking to some buds and someone stated exactly what the title says and it has prompted me to write this today. Of my experience in a State of Emergency and the effect it has on those who are not ready for something this simple. What is sad most choose not to be ready. I understand if you dont have the funds at the time. But a lot of people CHOOSE to not prepare. It is just weird to me because I was raised up to always be prepared with food, water, firearms, and ammo.

Ive been stocking up on ammo, reloading supplies, food, and other things for a while now. I guess I could be labeled a prepper and if that is a bad thing then my excuse is if I need one that is, Is that I live in Florida where hurricanes like to mess things up bad enough like last time to render my whole county and many neighboring counties void of electricity and clean water for over a month. A month and 3 weeks for me personally. No driving for at least the first month to a month and a week due to debris. No Mcdonalds, no Walmart, no KFC, no ice cream, no nothing. Nothing except for what you have. Which is fine with me. It was like a 2 month long camping trip......

To see the general public (80% or more of the people) of my small town change from normal to dangerous was amazing and terrifying. You don't realize how dependent people really are on the things that make life easier such as A/C, vehicles, fast food, lights, phones, etc. So dependent in fact that they think all is lost when they don't have these things. I admit living in Florida with no A/C sucks but I got use to it. These people had about a week or two of food totaling in their pantry and freezer which is not enough. What is enough you say? I don't know. When you think you have enough its not enough.

At the time I had 3 months of food for my home. Not including the pantry and freezer. A hurricane was on the way and the news said it would land north of us.........but it did an unexpected turn and the eye went right down main street Wauchula and Arcadia (our sister town). 150mph winds. Most people didn't have time to prepare or evacuate. The hurricane was a CAT4 which isn't as bad as a CAT5. But Hurricane Charlie was the most densely compressed hurricane in recorded history. Which means anything near that eye is in some real trouble. And we were.

The day of the hurricane after it was done destroying everything it could. I tried to get out of my front door. But it wouldn't open more than 2 inches due to the oak tree in the front yard falling down barely missing the house but preventing the door from opening. The back door had a forest of debris up against it and it also couldn't move. The side door that led to the carport that wasn't there anymore did open. Apon stepping outside you couldn't see across the street.....or see the road........I had a pizza hut sign or what was left of it in my yard. Pizza Hut WAS 2 miles away, it was destroyed it was a good pizza hut too.

The first week or two, people were working together and helping one another. Having cook outs with grills because everyone's freezer was out and all the food was going to spoil anyway so why not cook it now. Scrambled eggs on the grill was a normal thing in the morning. Grilled chicken and grilled pork was common at this time. Most people were uncomfortable at this time but coping well and sharing food and having a good time. by this time some of the roads were starting to clear up and you had trenches of debris on each side of the road preventing you from seeing the houses behind them. The roads that were clear were essentially walkways or 4 wheeler roads. But at this time most people walked around and saw what damage was done.

Then came the 3 week point. Most people at 3 weeks had already eaten all of the food in their pantry and freezer. The majority had electric stoves so no boiling. The propane tank for their grill was out due to a week or two straight of grilling. The majority started to get hungry at this point. But not desperate or dangerous. Yet.

At approximately the one month mark you had close knit groups that would avoid contact from everyone else which pretty much consisted of families and their close neighbors that had enough food for them. Most unprepared people at this point haven't had any real food for a week or more. Gang activity started rising as well as wandering crack heads and other desperate people begging for food. Break ins, Muggings, siphoning of your car gas, etc start happening. And simply put, other people that are not in your close knit group are considered dangerous. You don't know if they have a kid they would kill for to feed. Or if the person was unstable, or hadn't had food for 3 weeks. At this point you start feeling like its a requirement to sling your loaded m14 on your back (loaded as in on the ready, mag full, in the chamber, with safety engaged. Not a LOADED model M1A) while you clean debris, do yard work, cook, sit, play cards, do puzzles, etc. The thought of protecting your assets that grant you and your loved ones survival as well as you and your loved ones with a firearm become a reality.

The human inside you wants to help people that are desperate but then the survival in you thinks "Well if you give this person food then that person will become dependent on you like a stray dog. And will continue to expect food. Does this person have a family that will also need to be fed too? I don't have the food to give or else I and my family will end up like them." And its quite simple. Your survival and those you love are worlds more important than someone you don't know. And that is the bad thing because desperate people are thinking that same thing.

And then came the Month and one week mark. Just one week of people being desperate. Some people having little food for upwards of a month. You and your group of trustworthy people or in my case my neighbor had rotating midnight shift watch at this point to guard assets. If you were not family then don't even come by. Then the National Guard finally made it in. Then the National guard arrived. The day they arrived they had to quell a riot at our Walmart. Yes its a small town and yes our one single Walmart that everyone goes to but couldn't because it was closed due to electricity problems, damage, and flooding as well as every other store and business. The national guard quelled the riot with the presence of m4 rifles and the delivering of MRE's. After that the Guard set a curfew for night time and delivered water and MRE's up and down the streets every day after that. Me and my neighbor respectfully declined the help each time the hummer came by. I just waved at them from my porch with my m14 in my lap with my cardboard sign in my yard that was universal to everyone. It stated in sharpie "Don't even Bother." And my neighbor had one too but his had an arrow pointing to my house and stated "What he said." Those signs were made around week 3.

And the last week or two everyone was acting like they did on the first week. Because uncle sam came and saved the day and they got their comfort bubble back.

I use to think stocking up and being prepared was a good thing. But now its simply a requirement. Food, supplies, ammo, and firearms. After seeing how just a month without electricity and the ability to get clean water and food turns most people from a normal happy dependent on everyday comfort safety bubble items person. To, a break in to your house and steal or hurt/murder you because you have stuff and they don't and they need it no matter what. Firearms and ammo are just as important as food in a situation like that. Without a defense you lose your food without food you may lose a lot more. What I wonder is what would of happened if the national guard would of been a week or a month later? It would of been a lot worse. Some of that 80% or so of people would of died of dehydration at that point. People would be outright killing to survive at that point.

All I can say is you cant ever be too ready for something whether its a change in politics, change in weather, or change in other crap. Like the saying goes. "I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it." You can never be too prepared. Only not prepared enough.















Charlie hit us AUG. 9TH, 2004 as a Super compressed CAT4 Hurricane

Frances hit us SEP. 5TH, 2004 just a couple weeks later as a CAT3 Hurricane

Ivan sat in the gulf on SEP. 12-15TH, 2004 or so and pummeled us and flooded us then weakened and moved on. It was a CAT5 hurricane luckily it didn't make landfall.

Jeanne hit on SEP. 25TH 2004 as a CAT3

For us in Wauchula Florida the later hurricanes were wimps. After having the most compressed and destructive hurricane eye in history pass over your house and only last 3 minutes when a standard eye usually lasts 20-30 minutes.
 

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I never considered myself as a "prepper", although I was accumulating the essential items required to survive in the aftermath of a hurricane, long before I ever heard the word "prepper".

Born and raised on the Gulf coast of Texas, I've been through my share of hurricanes beginning with hurricane Carla (Cat 5) in 1961.

Just a youngster back then, but recall Dad having us fill any container we had with water along with the bathtub.

Always had a few "jerry cans" around for water since we used them on camping trips.

The water in the tub was to be used to flush the toilet when needed.

Plenty of fuel on hand for the camp stove and lantern.

Mom had laid in a supply of food, can goods, dried beans and rice.

No one in our house was in a panic to get the things done before the storm hit.

We had way less previous warning back then compared to today.

So even back then, why did my Dad have the insight to have on hand the supplies we needed?

I like to think it was because, when he was younger, he was a Boy Scout (and always a Boy Scout) and followed something as simple as the Scout Motto.

Only two words in that motto that will keep you and yours ready for anything, those two words, "BE PREPARED".

My two brothers and I also became Scouts, and all three obtained the rank of Eagle.

We all follow those two simple words, "BE PREPARED".

Killashrub, how did ya'll fair Hermine?

Older brother is in Tampa/St. Pete area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It wasnt that bad for us being 30 minutes east of tampa and the eye was around an hour or 2 north of tampa when it hit as a CAT1. We got lots of wind but what hurt the most from that one was just flood flood flood. I went over to my Lieutenants house yesturday and his yard is just water. He uses his pontoon boat to get to his car.
 

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for me her name...

was Hazel, and she made most of Myrtle and surrounding beaches go away. This was long before anything (1957 ? I don't remember), Since then there have been many ladies and men (Hugo, Floyd, Bob, etc). It takes a complete fool to endure/see all of this and not do all he/she can to get "ready" for the next one...for there will be a "next" one.
Love of family. and life says you must "get ready" for a bad go...even when things are great and smooth and going along just fine...you must get ready. Only a severely handicapped person has the right to depend on another for the needs of life. Old age is the exception (or used to be !). Natures law of survival has been modified by the politicians to a point of abuse now and does not seem to a "real thing", but I assure you that if bad times come (and they will to some), Government will not be the answer to the problem. Self reliance is a requirement of life imposed by Momma Nature. Survival is necessity that is desired by all, but sadly, not so many are prepared to achieve.
Yesterday it was Hermine, tomorrow?
 

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You have made some excellent observations, however.....

This is a very "timely" post. There have been floods in Louisiana and the hurricane season has begun....

Most people think of "local" disasters where the outside resources will be provided for them to recover. The folks in Livingston Parish, Louisiana are a very independent bunch. In the past few weeks, once the water subsided, they went to work as a community. Not one household sat back and waited for FEMA... Call that Point #1 - Be surrounded by a community that takes immediate action. The inner cities will sit and wait. use New Orleans / Katrina as an example. If you reside in the inner city, think about either moving to the suburbs or bugging out prior to the disaster.

Never dwell on "Week 1,2 and 3".... Point #2 - Your tribe should go to "Week 4" immediately. Why? Because Week 4 is going to come, and you know it.

Chilling words: Then the National Guard finally made it in......... So? What would you expect them to do after a month that you had not already done? You, your family and your tribe could have died several times over waiting on the National Guard.... Remember, Custer sent for reinforcements.... hold that thought.

Point #3 - Laws of Nature = Survival of the Fittest..... Should you should have survived and been holed up for 2-3 months, you would have gotten to meet the "fittest". Now, they could be outlaws, criminals or street people...... Doubtful it will be like some of the "Survivalist Novels" we have all read where everything turns out well....

When you prepare........ prepare for the very worst you can imagine... Both physically and mentally.

Again, a great OP...


Hobo
 

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Excellent post.

I was raised the old way, always to be prepared. I was up north when hurricane Sandy hit, no gasoline to be found from Monticello, NY all the way to the southern end of NJ.

The behavior of some folks on the 1-2 mile long gas station lines (for the few stations that had gasoline) was so bad that police officers had to be stationed there for control of traffic and the people on line. (I had enough gasoline in cans ready before I made the trip to get me there and back-it was a family emergency.)

Today's government repeatedly tells us to be prepared, that help will not immediately come, I for one believe them. the Governor of Florida, just before Hermine hit, stated often and loudly, to have at least 3 days food, water and medicine at the minimum. He does not strike me as someone who does not get it!

One does not have to be a prepper to be prepared. Freeze dried food is relatively cheap and lasts a long time. Having stored bottled water or some method of filtering drinking water is a common sense thing.

Being able to protect your loved ones is a personal responsibility that should be taken seriously. The police or the military can not be every place where they are needed in the time of emergency.
 

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I wonder how many preppers lose everything they acquired when these floods and hurricanes hit?
________________
Not as many as you think. Part of prepping is taking into consideration the fact that a family / tribe could have to re-locate.

Remember, LEO's can not force you to leave your dwelling... However, once you do leave, they can keep you from returning to your dwelling.

Hobo
 

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Looks like most of those pictures were of damage to mobile homes. Not a good choice in a hurricane.
 

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Great thread Killabrush! I, like you, see being a prepper as a fact of life. I worked for FEMA at one time. Spent 9 continuous months on site working on Katrina and other disasters and have seen plenty of bad situations. I live 25 miles SE of Seattle on a small plateau. We have one road in/out with steep hills. We have been cut off for 7-10 days without power during various ice storms.

Out here we are waiting for the next big earthquake. I keep telling my neighbors exactly what you have described. A really big quake could cut us off for months. Some listen others think the government will take care of them and they just can't grasp the government really doesn't care about 30 families out here when they have 100's of thousands of people in need in the metro area.

Everyone that reads this thread should be prepared. Have a 90 day food supply and water supply at a minimum. Extra propane and gas also. A couple of big tents and several large tarps. What if you had to sleeep outside right now. Would you be ready? Everyone can contact their county Emergency Response Agency and get a FEMA disaster Planning Guide.

The people that you save may be you and your family
 

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Thank you for the first hand account. These are the stories that need published so yokels like me stock up for survival and self evac. My family is the most important thing to me. Feeding watering and protecting them... Kudos to you and yours for being prepared and thanks for the wake up call.

Russ
 

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GREAT POST.
A timely reminder of what most people know, but simply do NOT want to face up to.

I am not ashamed to call myself a "prepper".
two things I learned in the the army;

1.] Murphy was an OPTIMIST!!
AND,
In almost any situation in life,
simple day to day,
TSHTF,
or even
TEOTWAWKI,
2.] 7 P rule will apply,

Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents P!ss Poor Performance.


Wayyyyyyy back in the day,
I was a contributing editor for SURVIVE magazine.
What we now call "Preppers", were back then referred to as "survivalists", but that term got a bad reputation from the "TOO MANY GUNS and not enough brains crowd", that seemed to dominate the "survivalist" movement.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard ...
"I don't need to make any other preparations than guns and ammo ... with those I can TAKE whatever I need from the ",
why then I would be so rich,
I could live in one of those gated "secret survival communes" we hear whispers about.

My prepping is not OVERT or OBSESSIVE ...
I try for a balance between living in the TODAY,
one day at a time,
and worrying/fantasising/obsessing on possible WORST CASE SCENARIO "tomorrows", that may never come true.

My personal prepping philosophy is that accumulating SKILLS is just as important as accumulating gear. All the gear in the world won't do you much good, if you have not practiced and learned how to use it properly.

Just like owning a guitar does not make you a rock star,
owning the latest / greatest / warrior elite recommended "tactical" gun,
does not make you a "gun fighter".

Prepping is about many things, but one thing often overlooked [ and pointed out repeatedly in the initial posting ] is that proper prepping is about NETWORKING.

If you can't get along with your neighbors, and rely on them in a SHTF situation, then all the gear in the world might not be enough to get you through.

Think about that next time you read about "the latest/greatest GUN"
designed to protect you ...
from your neighbors??

Just my personal opinions,
YPMMV
 

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Howdy Buckeroos,

We lived in Southern California all of our lives up to two months ago.

Not mentioning social upheaval, EMP or just poop hitting the fan, what about
earthquakes?

Where we lived we were surrounded by freeways, which would collapse in a devastating quake creating islands of people.
The underground utilities would go bye bye right off the bat and who knows when they would return.
Street gangs (there are over 100,000 gang members in Southern Calif.) would roam the streets taking what they want.

If you don't prepare, I was a "survivalist" in the late seventies, you and yours suffer.

Common sense says to do these things but common sense is not very common today.

My folks were young adults in the depression and I don't remember my Mom not having food socked away, even in hard times.

People (sheep) figure the government will take care of them.
Sheep are good for wool and mutton.
Who in their right mind wants to become a lamb chop, so to speak?

My wife has medical problems (not "issues") and went on Medicare last month.
If anything proves that the government can NOT take care of us - health coverage sure does.

Years ago I gave up trying to talk with people about taking their own welfare in their own hands.

In the past we were called survivalists, now we are called preppers - a nice touchy feeley name.

We work twelve to thirteen hours a day just to get by (no new guns in my future), why would I think someone is going to take care of us if the world goes South?

Keep yer powder dry, and your storage food in a cool dark place,

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
This is a very "timely" post. There have been floods in Louisiana and the hurricane season has begun....

Most people think of "local" disasters where the outside resources will be provided for them to recover. The folks in Livingston Parish, Louisiana are a very independent bunch. In the past few weeks, once the water subsided, they went to work as a community. Not one household sat back and waited for FEMA... Call that Point #1 - Be surrounded by a community that takes immediate action. The inner cities will sit and wait. use New Orleans / Katrina as an example. If you reside in the inner city, think about either moving to the suburbs or bugging out prior to the disaster.

Never dwell on "Week 1,2 and 3".... Point #2 - Your tribe should go to "Week 4" immediately. Why? Because Week 4 is going to come, and you know it.

Chilling words: Then the National Guard finally made it in......... So? What would you expect them to do after a month that you had not already done? You, your family and your tribe could have died several times over waiting on the National Guard.... Remember, Custer sent for reinforcements.... hold that thought.

Point #3 - Laws of Nature = Survival of the Fittest..... Should you should have survived and been holed up for 2-3 months, you would have gotten to meet the "fittest". Now, they could be outlaws, criminals or street people...... Doubtful it will be like some of the "Survivalist Novels" we have all read where everything turns out well....

When you prepare........ prepare for the very worst you can imagine... Both physically and mentally.

Again, a great OP...


Hobo
I have been trying to do point #1 for a while now. I am probably going to revert to being a hermit in the middle of no where.

I didn't really care if the national guard made it in and honestly didn't think about it till I saw them driving by. I was living day by day at that point.

One major lesson I learned is what you pointed out in point #2. I didn't really dwell on it I was just helping take care of me and my peeps. We just kind of reacted to other peoples actions in phases sort of speak. Next time it will be different.

A lot more has been learned in 12 years too which is good.

Thanks for the info HOBO you are always helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks like most of those pictures were of damage to mobile homes. Not a good choice in a hurricane.
Those were just the pictures I found online from Charlie. I took pictures on the first couple days maybe I can upload them. Many 100 year old buildings made of stone and wood just crumpled to rubble on main street. a good 30% of the old buildings just fell down. A lot of houses just had no roof. I took a cool picture of a wood fence that came from somewhere and was stuck in the ground upside down, gate and all it was weird. I have a bunch of pictures I will see if I can dig them up and post em here sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Most people say 90 days of food. After that experience I decided to try to have a year worth. Just in case. It is way over what you should need in a modern civilized world. But I figured if I need any more than 1 year worth then its really really really really bad and you should start trying to decide around the 6 month mark on how to acquire a sustainable food. Luckily for Florida there is a lot of that. Jungle Potatoes, Bidens Alba, etc. So there is always food and most people dont know how to prepare the jungle potatoes or bidens alba.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you can't get along with your neighbors, and rely on them in a SHTF situation, then all the gear in the world might not be enough to get you through.

YPMMV
Getting along with them wasn't a problem. The problem was it was getting rough and just about everyone else started running out of food. Also some of those neighbors had addictions that were pretty bad such as meth and what not. Some were very unstable.

It pretty much it came down to, I had enough food for me for 3 months my neighbor had enough food for himself for X amounts of months I didn't want to know and he didn't want to know about mine. If you could take care of yourself such as have your own supply of food then fine but if not then we dont have enough to share.

By the end of next year I am going to move out of city limits. Always been my dream to have my own land and maybe a neighbor or two instead of 10.
 

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Killashrub, would you mind sharing a little more about how you approached drinking water and fuel, (warmth, cooking, water preparation), during those seven weeks?
I'm always comparing notes, and this old dog still figures there's chances to learn something he didn't previously know.
 
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