Monday, December 28, 2015

Local CHTF: Why Prepare

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There are a lot of people that make fun of preppers. That is until something happens that shows just how important preparedness can be. There are tons of people that believe that all preppers are worried about a global or national calamity. While there are a few that are focused only on the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), most are just interested in making sure their family is able to weather whatever is thrown at them. Many in the preparedness world call it SHTF. I like to keep my blog and podcast as close to rated G as possible. So what does CHTF mean? It means the Crap has Hit The Fan. This doesn't have to occur to everyone at once or even the same way, as you will see.

Local disasters are much more likely to occur than a world changing event. Local disasters can change a person's life just as dramatically as a national event. How we prepare and react to localized emergencies determine our outcomes. I am going to tell you a story of how an event can change the lives of some and leave others completely unscathed.

Wednesday December 23 the weather people were calling for severe storms. Luckily I was at home and didn't have to work. My wife was at work, but things didn't get bad till after she arrived home. The storms came and there wasn't much damage where we were. There was damage further north and further south. We were right in the middle and all of the really bad stuff just parted around us. We were blessed. There were people who lost a lot. Some even lost everything. If that were the end of the story that would be bad enough, but it was only getting started.

The severe weather as far as tornadoes and straight line winds had passed, but the rain remained and boy did it remain. We had three straight days of heavy downpours mixed with breaks in the rain. The ground was already saturated, so there was no place for all of this water to go except to build up and start running to anywhere and everywhere that was lower than where it started out.

Remember this started the day before Christmas Eve. Lots of people were traveling to visit family and friends. Christmas Eve we saw more rain, but we were able to go visit family and get home without any incidents.  Christmas day was when the troubles started. We woke up and fixed our breakfast. All of our gifts had already been given with the exception of the nephews. My sister in law came over with one of the boys. While she was here is when the real rain hit. Now I want to tell you, we knew it was going to rain, but no one could predict what the outcome would be.

The first flash flood warning came just before 3 pm. My sister in law stayed a while thinking that she could wait till the rain passed and then go home. Nope. The warnings just kept coming and kept being extended. She finally decided that she was going to try to go home. We decided that we would follow her. She had to make three or four detours to be able to reach her home. At this time is when we received the news that several counties where closing roads. Again luckily we live on a hill and if we see flooding things are really bad for a lot of people, but getting home was another matter.

We were able to get home without too much trouble. Again we were blessed, others weren't so lucky.

Now you may be wondering why I am talking about this at all. Here is the reason. There were people who couldn't get home and there are people who can't leave home. Not only that, there are some people who don't have a home to which they can go. Every part of a preparedness plan is applicable to someone in this event. Those who can't go home needed to have a backpack or as many people call them a bug out bag. Those who can't leave home need to have food storage. And those whose homes are now underwater needed to have an evacuation plan as well as a backpack and several possible routes planned.

For many this is not a short term event. It is not over today and it won't be tomorrow. There are several that will be dealing with the effects of this storm for weeks, if not longer. So you see preparedness is not just about the zombies marching to the human buffet line. It is about things that happen every single day.

Have a plan for each of these possibilities. As you can see it is not paranoia, it is being responsible.

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