In the last three weeks, we’ve seen two of the worst hurricanes in history strike our shores, with Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston and the surrounding area, and Hurricane Irma hitting all of Florida.
While the 6.5 million inhabitants of the Houston metro weren’t told to evacuate, Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statewide evacuation order, telling 5.6 million people to move out of the state for the duration.
Considering that only 1.2 million people live in the New Orleans area, either of these hurricanes dwarf the number of people who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, the costliest hurricane in US history.
The total dollars of damage from these two hurricanes is far from being discovered, but it will clearly put a major dent in our national economy.
At the same time all of this is happening, much of the western United States is ablaze with forest fires. Every state west of the Continental Divide has numerous fires, with California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho being hit the hardest. While much of this is wilderness area, the cost in lost timber will be astronomical. It will regrow, but that will take time.
On top of all this, the seismic activity in the area of Yellowstone National Park is spiking, with a “swarm” of over 1,500 earthquakes. Scientists state that there is no reason to suspect an eruption of the supervolcano yet, but they also tell us that Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption. What is keeping them from predicting one anytime soon is that there are too many other signs of a pending earthquake that aren’t visible yet. While that could change at any time, we should, at least, have some warning.
Of course, those who believe religiously in Climate Change are trying to make political hay from these disasters, claiming that they are caused by climate change. But then, we’ve heard them blame climate change for Brexit, the Flint water crisis (which was caused by bad management), a surge in fatal shark attacks, severe acne and even the election of Donald Trump as president.
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Anyone who understand the science of hurricanes and forest fires knows that even if global warming were true, it would not cause these events. But then, those who push that narrative are selling it to a group of low-information voters, who don’t really understand, but merely accept what they’re told.
President Trump has already asked Congress for a 7.9 billion dollar relief fund for Hurricane Harvey and will probably end up doing something similar for the victims of Hurricane Irma.
If Congress follows their normal routine, other billions in pork spending will be added to these two bills, money spent on projects that couldn’t normally make it through the Congressional review process, but may very well be funded on the backs of the important legislation providing relief for those affected by the hurricanes.
But one has to wonder how many of these disasters the country can absorb, before they start causing a serious impact on our economy.
Granted, the United States is the richest country in the world, but even our well of resources isn’t bottomless. Eventually, we’ll hit a point where our government can’t keep borrowing money, then what will happen?
We in the prepping community look at a wide variety of potential disasters, wondering if one or another will end up being the downfall of our nation, creating that TEOTWAWKI world that we all prepare for. Yet, while we always look to a single event being the cause of such change, there’s nothing to say that there can’t be a series of events that cumulatively bring the nation down.
Right now, we have three of the country’s largest 20 metropolitan areas lying in ruins, not counting the damage to smaller communities. Over a million people had to abandon their homes, due to flooding, in Houston alone.
How much those cities are in ruins is still being evaluated; but it’s clear that it’s going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars over the next three years to rebuild them; estimates are running as high as $290 billion dollars.
In Florida, the local power company is predicting that it could take weeks to restore power to everyone, just as it did after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. The damage is so severe, that they are looking at the possibility of a wholesale rebuild of the electrical grid.
Video first seen on TODAY.
But this is nothing compared to Puerto Rico, where they are saying restoring the grid will probably take more than six months.
All this is from just the first two hurricanes of the season. We still have a month and a half of peak hurricane season to go. Who knows what else might happen in that time?
So, Where Does this Leave Us?
Sadly, few of the people hit by either of these hurricanes or the hurricanes to come are prepared for this sort of event to happen in their lives. Flood insurance and hurricane insurance are expensive; so few people buy them, unless they are required to as a stipulation in their mortgage contract.
What that means is that those whose homes are damaged will still have to pay their mortgage, as well as pay for expensive repairs to their homes, somehow. It will take some of these people years to effect those repairs, simply because they don’t have the money to do so and whatever aid they receive from the government won’t be enough to finish the work.
But what if those people didn’t pay their mortgages, but instead abandoned their wrecked homes and ruined lives? What would happen then?
In that case, the banks and mortgage companies would begin the process of foreclosing on their homes, taking that property, which was the collateral for those loans. The banks would then sell off the property, writing off the loss.
If each bank were to just absorb a few such losses, it wouldn’t make much difference. But if we end up seeing a continuation of destruction, there is a possibility of enough of these losses causing banks, especially smaller banks, to fail. While the government has typically bailed out the banks that were “too big to fail,” they don’t offer that same protection to smaller ones.
Each failed bank, like each disaster, becomes a burden on the economy, dragging us closer to the edge of the cliff of financial collapse. There’s really no way of knowing exactly how close that cliff is or which event might trigger a fall. A lot of that depends on psychology, never a very exact science. But one that is even less exact when you combine the psychology of many different people together.
All the More Reason to Prep
If anything, these events merely show all the more reason why you and I need to prepare. None of us know what is coming our way next week, let alone next year.
The things I’ve mentioned so far in this article are just disasters that nature has provided, without even looking at man-made problems that we could face. The world we live in is clearly a dangerous place, and it’s not going to get safer anytime soon.
But our prepping needs to go far beyond building a stockpile. I don’t care if you have ten years worth of food stashed away, it’s not going to do you much good, if it’s under ten feet of water. Nor, for that matter, is most of it going to be available for you to use if your home gets destroyed.
One way of mitigating this risk is by having at least some of your stockpile off-site, preferably in a secure location that you can bug out to, should you be forced to abandon your home. That way, you have something to use while you are away, and maybe even while you are trying to dig your home out of the rubble and see what you can salvage.
But there’s something even more important than your stockpile; that’s the knowledge you learn as part of preparing to face a disaster. Even in the worst of cases, where everything you own is taken from you, your knowledge will remain.
That’s what you’ll have to depend on to survive.
With enough knowledge, you can use just about anything you can find to survive. Maybe you won’t be living in the lap of luxury, but you’ll be warm, fed and have clean water to drink. That’s a whole lot more than millions of displaced victims of these two hurricanes can say today.
While they might be comfortably hiding away in a hotel room today, they’ll be in trouble when their funds run out. You, on the other hand, won’t run out of funds, because you’ll turn your evacuation into a camping trip.
Throughout history, it has been the more resourceful of us who have been the most successful. Whether that resourcefulness led them to invent new things, find new ways of doing things, or just do the necessary tasks of life.
In the wake of any disaster, it will be those who are the most resourceful who are the most successful as well. That survival knowledge you are learning is what is going to put you in this small, elite group of people.
Build your knowledge and prepare yourself! Your family’s survival will depend on that!
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.
Leila | September 14, 2017
My 87 year old mother has asked me to buy her a pistol. She lives in a trailer park in a poor area and she is scared.
I need advise on which pistol to buy. She has arthritis in her hands and a titanium rod in her back. She needs something lightweight and easy to pull the trigger.
Please, somebody advise me.?
Also, are there online sites to buy from?
Marty | September 14, 2017
Yes,, there are online firearms sales such as CDNN, Sportsman Guide and others. You purchase the firearm and arrange for it to be delivered to a local firearms dealer in your area where you pay the dealer a small fee and complete the paperwork. Sounds to me like she needs a smaller weapon such as the Ruger .380 and maybe the 9mm, although the small 9mm might have more recoil then she wants to put up with. The online retailers usually have great prices. I suggest you check out CDNN first. I have not yet purchased from them, but the emails I get from show fantastic prices, such as the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm shield for $299. Good licck
William | September 14, 2017
Since she has arthritis in her hands, a semiautomatic like others have suggested may be too difficult for her to operate. I suggest a revolver. There’s inexpensive brands that will suffice. My pick would be the Taurus Model 85 stainless, and it shoots .38 special, which is powerful enough while not having much recoil.. There’s also an ultralight version. I’ve had both, and both shoot well.
There’s similar guns made by Charter Arms, but i say the Taurus model 85 has a better trigger. Gun store employees tell me it’s a better gun than a Charter, and it looks to be better quality.
For some reason, this is showing up as all caps, no matter how I type it.
El oso | September 15, 2017
Since she has arthritis in her hands, a semiautomatic like others have suggested may be too difficult for her to operate. I suggest a revolver.
MY WIFE WAS UNABLE TO COCK OR PULL ANY REVOLVER. ALSO ON THE LIGHT WEIGHT ONE THE RECOIL MIGHT BE TO MUCH.
William | September 15, 2017
The recoil on the Taurus Model 85 Ultralight was barely more than the stainless version. And both have a pretty comfortable grip. Even when my daughter first shot the Ultralight at age 13 or 14, she liked how it handled.
If a person cannot cock or pull the trigger on a revolver, then most likely they would have trouble shooting a semiauto as well. I broke my left wrist February 2016 and had two SURGERIES on it, and some semiauto handguns are a bit hard to pull the slide back on.
I’m sure there’s exceptions, but semiautos typically are harder to operate than revolvers are. So my suggestion to Leila still stands.
El oso | September 15, 2017
So my suggestion to Leila still stands.
AS DOES MINE
William | September 15, 2017
If your recommendation still stands, that’s fine, but I’m at least accounting for exceptions, while you’re making blanket statements that aren’t always true.
Again, the Taurus Model 85 Ultralight has very little increased felt recoil over the Model 85 stainless. Again, even when my daughter shot it at age 13-14, she didn’t think it had much recoil. I didn’t make this up, as I’ve had both the Model 85 stainless AND the Model 85 Ultralight. I know both guns well.
As a general rule, people with arthritis in their hands have trouble pulling a semiauto pistol slide back. Yes, there’s exceptions, as it depends on how easy the slide is to grip, as well as how stiff the slide spring is. But again, as a general rule, revolvers tend to work better for people with hand problems.
I understand that there are exceptions, and it sounds like your wife is one of them. But just because your wife is an exception, that doesn’t mean that the same is true of Leila’s mom.
El oso | September 15, 2017
I AGREE ABOUT THE SLIDE. I THOUGHT 2WE WERE TALKING ABOUT TRIGGER PULL. I DON’T EXPECT HER TO GET INTO A LONG GUN FIGHT SO, UNLESS, SHE HAD A STOVEPIPE OR OTHER PROBLEM, UNLIKELY, THE ORIGINAL MAG WOULD BE ENOUGH. I ALSO AM NOT LOOKING FOR A LONG BACK AND FORTH. WE ARE QUITE OLD AND MY ATTENTION SPAN GROWS SHORT,. SO BE SAFE.
CALL SIGN EL OSO (THE BEAR)
Marty | September 15, 2017
As an old time police firearms instructor, I have to say there are some semi autos with much easier slide operations than others. However I’ve yet to see revolvers with easy double action trigger pulls, especially for someone with arthritis in the hands. And as far as reloads, semi autos which have slide locks on last shot, much easier than revolvers. But in either case, it’s up to the abilities of the elderly shooter. Let her go to a shop with a range and rentals, try them until she finds what works. Sorry to say, there may not be such a handgun. If so, and her primary need is within her home, a shotgun may be the best answer.
Jim | September 15, 2017
My advice would be a small .410 shotgun. From what you describe with regards to her physical health, a pistol could be more risky for her to shoot and be accurate. Just my 2 cents…good luck, Im sure you will find the correct firearm for her
El oso | September 14, 2017
PERHAPS A GLOCK 40 CAL OR A 9MM IN GLOCK. NO A GUN MUST BE BOUGHT FROM A FEDERAL LICENSED GUN DEALER. IN SOME STATES A PURCHASE FROM A PRIVATE PERSON MIGHT WORK. PLEASE CK YOUR LOCAL LAWS. MY WIFE AND ARE ALSO A BIT LONG OF TOOTH AND I HAD TO GET PAST THIS WITH MY WIFE ALSO. IF YOUR STATE ALLOWS GUN SHOWS GO AND LOOK AND GET HANDS ON KNOWLEDGE. ALSO GET SOME ONE TO TRAIN HER.
.ANOTHER OPTION WOULD BE A 20 GAGE AUTOMATIC SHOT GUN.
Linda | September 14, 2017
Here is a thought (sorry for the all-caps, but the website wouldn”t allow lower case letters): if you want to live full-time in florida in a single home, with an ocean view and steps from a beach,, don’t chose to live in a flimsy structure such as a park model trailer, RV or single story wooden house.. Invest in a reinforced concrete house with steel shutters that is lifted high above storm surges on reinforced concrete piers. ANd evacuate early when a major hurricane is predicted to come your way. Can’t afford a hurricane-resistant home? Then chose to live somewhere else and just visit florida beaches as a tourist.
Uncle George | September 15, 2017
And might I add, if you choose to live steps from the beach, do not expect me or other tax payers to bail you out when disaster strikes. If a decision is made to live in danger prone areas, take responsibility for it. Your reward, your risk.
Wolf leonard | September 14, 2017
‘GUESS WE’LL BE DOING MORE THINKING NOW ABOUT SURVIVAL. LIFE AND THE STATUS QUO ARE NOT GUARANTEED.
Rich | September 19, 2017
How about a 22 caliber pistol? The recoil is real light on those while it may not have the killing power of other calibers at close range a few through the heart or head would be very effective. Even KIDS can handle a .22 caliber gun.
Marty | September 19, 2017
You’re right, the .22 has the killing power. What it doesn’t have, in most cases, is the stopping power. While the good old .22LR is a ton better than nothing, there are semi autos available she needs to try out. Some I’ve heard but have not tried are 9mm’s that have very easy slide manipulation and trigger pull. I can’t recall which ones they were, but I’m told they are available. I’ve personally seen cases where the .22 dropped the bad guy in his tracks with one shot. However, this was a lucky shot from a High Standard derringer, where the bullet went into the chest and bounced around the rib cage eventually piercing the heart. That can’t be counted on with much frequency. If it could, that’s what I’d be carrying. .
El oso | September 19, 2017
I stringly agree!!
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