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Haiti as a prelude to Armageddon
Old 01-16-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
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Haiti as a prelude to Armageddon

Haiti appears to be a good prelude to Armageddon, just as Katrina was a few years ago. The world has, for all intents and purposes, ended for the residents of Port au Prince.

Has the earthquake in Haiti caused you to rethink your disaster plans?

We lived through a minor hurricane in 2008 which does not compare to these disasters. The solution for us was to get out a day or two after the damage to local government and services was apparent. It is not clear to me if the Haitians have anywhere to go because all the news coverage is concentrated on dead bodies in Port au Prince.

For Ike, we had no local news as well. The news coverage was mostly about Houston. We had no useful on-the-ground intelligence about when power might be restored, which stores were open with ice, water, food, and gasoline. There was just plain no info, so we left town.

For the Haitians, it appears that they are starting to leave town. For us, Dallas with water, food, gasoline and family was few hours away and easy.

Since the news coverage in Haiti that I see is all about death and destruction, it doesn't help me understand if the people have another part of Haiti with power, water, food that they can be transported to. Perhaps Haitians are so poor that they didn't have power or running clean water most of the time anyways, but I don't know.

Has the earthquake in Haiti caused you to rethink your disaster plans? I would think that everyone in California would want to have plan on how to get out if the Big One hit. Do city dwellers have a contingency plan to go to relatives hundreds of miles away? Could you get there?
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
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We fled Rita in 2005, a month after Katrina, about 36 hours before landfall when the forecast track had it as a cat 5 headed right for Galveston. (As it turned out, it veered northeast and weakened to a 3.) A lot of folks would dispute that "few hours to Dallas" being easy. Many fleeing the Houston area along I-45 (among other routes inland) we stuck on a parking lot of a highway, running out of gas, and as I recall one bus blew up, caught fire and killed several people.

We were in Houston when Rita hit and we knew a fair people in Texas who were inland. When we saw that "cat 5 toward Galveston" forecast, we sent out an online "APB" to friends all over the state seeing if anyone could help. We found friends in Austin who let us cram our valuables, our irreplaceable stuff and our two cats (we didn't have the dog yet) and borrow a bedroom for a few days.

When we went back home there were downed tree branches everywhere... but the only damage to our house was that the rooftop satellite dish was knocked over.

Still, the point is taken that even the unfortunate victims in a more prosperous and affluent country might have a future to build on. Many of them may have had decent means, had insurance and adequate building codes. And yet at the same time, it's all relative. When you've known misery all your life, maybe misery doesn't feel as *miserable* it just feels like life. Having been fortunate enough to never live that way, I can only speculate.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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I try to keep stocked with canned goods and fill plastic kitty litter containers with water (for flushing and washing) besides keeping lots of bottled water around. There are good guidelines at this site:

Are you prepared?
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:19 AM   #4
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The disaster pplanning begun a year or two before retirement. It included primarily moving.

In that spirit where we now live is relatively low population, many farms, no earthquakes, tornadoes, collapsing coal mines or avalanches. At least two large mountain ranges and more than 250 miles from the Washimore DC targets. No high density people targets save Wallyworld 18 miles away. Life is peaceful and good.

Keep cash handy, if stuff happens, can always trade skilled electromechanical or pure labor etc. with friendly farmers for food.

Still have my Y2K preparedness two pronged weenie roaster (unused) hanging next to the stove. There is always the deer that hang out back if push comes to shove. Keep up with target practice. And always re-stock the ammo.

Another words, we are ready.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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If you had a plan to drive to Dallas, it was easy. It wasn't easy for the folks without a plan that left in panic at the wrong time.

It seems that part of plan is to be able to re-locate geographically to a place well outside the affected area. That means not only setting up the location in advance, but also making sure you have a viable plan to get there. If that means you carry a chainsaw, a shotgun, and extra gas, then that's OK.

Certainly the Houston authorities have already pre-arranged for shelters for its citizens in other Texas cities. This was demonstrated during Ike.

The link provided by CuppaJoe is excellent, but only good for what I would consider minor emergencies lasting 72 hours are so.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:43 AM   #6
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If you had a plan to drive to Dallas, it was easy. It wasn't easy for the folks without a plan that left in panic at the wrong time.
Guess it depends on "plan." We had no plan to evacuate to Austin, but I "planned" just enough to know that the freeways were clogged and not many people were leaving at midnight. Between those two points, we left shortly after midnight and zig-zagged across lightly used two-lane farm-to-market roads most of the way into Austin.

When Rita was still way out on the gulf (it hit on a Friday as I recall), the preceding Monday I went to the grocery store and bought jugs of drinking water, some canned goods and a few other things just in case. Also filled up the gas tank the following day. If that qualifies as a "plan," at least even a meager or partial one, so be it. Where we live now there isn't a high risk of any natural disasters I'm aware of; there is moderate tornado risk but that's probably about it. (In the plains of Texas farther north, the tornado risk is MUCH higher.)
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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I....

The link provided by CuppaJoe is excellent, but only good for what I would consider minor emergencies lasting 72 hours are so.
LOL!, as I understand it 72hours.org is for the big one, to wait out a disaster in place. The idea is that there will be no gas, electric, water, food, medical care, gasoline, cabs, transit, stores, etc. for several days (or longer); gridlock will prevent evacuation. We see that on a big scale in many disasters, it takes a lot of time to get the red cross, etc. in to help. I could give a lot of city tips but some of them are inappropriate for the internet. One thing we learned from 911 is to always wear (or carry) sensible walking shoes and carry water. Altogether now, these boots were made for walking.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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9/11 was one wakeup call for me, Katrina was another. Within a year of 9/11 we were in contract on a house in NJ. That may not seem like much, but being on an island downwind of the smoke from the towers convinced me that I did not want bridges, tunnels and millions of people between me and the countryside.

When Katrina hit, I realized that we were woefully underprepared. I bought a case of MREs, picked up a water filter, started keeping extra water around, etc. We live near a lake, so in a pinch we have access to plenty of water. I also partially justified the purchase of the camper as an escape pod/self-sufficient emergency dwelling.

Lately, I have been seriously considering getting my hands on a firearm. This is a colossal PITA in NJ and will cause a big fight with DW. If I end up not winning the argument, I will have to decide whether to do it anyway (and hide it) or make due with a tune up for my compound bow (and getting a set of broadheads).
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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Truthfully I had never thought of even getting an emergency kit together since we moved to SV. I was in San Francisco for the big one in 1989 and it was amazing how quickly our lives returned to normal, yet there was so much devastation around us.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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Earthquakes are special because big ones tear up the roads. And because many earthquake prone cities are hard to get into and out of in the best of circumstances. Speaking about Seattle, in a truly big earthquake, bridges and viaducts would come down, dams would fail, rock and mud and snow slides would close the few mountain passes out of here to the east, leaving only I5 north and south. Even if that were not flooded or crumpled, you can hardly get around on I-5 at mid-day. IMO the only way to leave here after a big quake would be a helicopter or a boat, possibly a mountain bike or off-road cycle and some extra gas.

So for most of us it would boil down to survival in place for a while. It would be tough for me, as I really have almost no storage space, and living in an apartment I am not in control of my infrastructure. I think we should have a family meeting and make plans to gather at someone's place.

The success the Korean shopowners had in defending their stores during the South LA riots after the "Can't we all get along" fracas shows that it can be done. It definitely helps to have some mates with good firearms skills, and a few assault rifles and cases of .223 rounds and high capacity magazines would not hurt. Skill with IED construction and placement would be nice, but remember to warn the UPS guy and Amazon Fresh.

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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....

Lately, I have been seriously considering getting my hands on a firearm....
One obverse to that idea is to not light a candle after the disaster in hopes that the gun-wielding maniacs will look for an easier target, like folks at the dinning room table. Don't look like you are prepared; let the neighbors think you have no supplies.

My cousin lost a son that way, Brewer, it's really hard to remember to lock up the gun after a camping trip. But I think letting people think you have one is a good idea. I wouldn't object.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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My cousin lost a son that way, Brewer, it's really hard to remember to lock up the gun after a camping trip.
Cuppa, what a tragedy.

I know this happens, but I can never understand it. I was a city kid, but my mother's brother and sister raised big families in the country, back when it really was country. Inside the kitchen door were always a couple of shotguns and a .22 and on a shelf above were shells and rounds for the .22. None of us kids woud ever have even considered picking up a gun. We had seen what they do to rabbits and quail and squirrels. You rarely even heard of hunting accidents back then, because hunters tended to be experienced country people and not drunks. Another factor I think was they all had either single or double break-breech guns, which were easy to open when crossing fences, logs, etc, and so people did it.

Later when I started hunting with city people I saw more autoloaders and pumps, and these were sometimes hard to open without getting your shells lost in the snow. So some people didn't open them. I quit hunting with these type of people.

Anyway, today it is the law in most places that you must have your guns locked in a safe, or use trigger guards or both.

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Old 01-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #13
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The problems that Haiti has are monumental and I am glad that the USA is there to take charge and help out all of those folks.

I sure hope, though, that we will not assume the roll of taking over and rebuilding the country. We will be in there for the next 20+ years if we do. Pass the ball to the UN ASAP.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:11 PM   #14
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I only mentioned that because the unthinkable does happen and being prepared is a good idea. I hope this thread doesn't go off into an NRA rant as there are so many basic preparedness ideas we could discuss.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:22 PM   #15
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One obverse to that idea is to not light a candle after the disaster in hopes that the gun-wielding maniacs will look for an easier target, like folks at the dinning room table. Don't look like you are prepared; let the neighbors think you have no supplies.

My cousin lost a son that way, Brewer, it's really hard to remember to lock up the gun after a camping trip. But I think letting people think you have one is a good idea. I wouldn't object.
Eh,aside from the camper, what I have is buried in the basement or pantry. Since I live in a not very dense suburban area, I would be happy to share with my neighbors. A 50# sack of wheat malt (intended for brewing) would go a long way in feeding the 'hood in a pinch.

As far as firearms go, it is unlikely they would be a plaything for me. Finding a place to shoot on a regular basis would be difficult/painful. It would be more of a "in case of emergency, break glass" type thing. This sort of thing might fit the bill nicely: O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. - Firearms, Shotguns, Rifles, Accessories, and Precision Machining
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:23 PM   #16
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I only mentioned that because the unthinkable does happen and being prepared is a good idea. I hope this thread doesn't go off into an NRA rant as there are so many basic preparedness ideas we could discuss.
I hope the NRA rant-bar isn't set so low that my true personal stories fail to pass. You may see that I mentioned that guns must be locked up in a safe to be legal.

If the furum doesn't want to allow all sides of gun discussions, why not just ban all discussion of guns?

Ha
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #17
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Hmmm - some Columbia river flooding, two earthquakes, and I moved before St Helens. More flood during tropical storms on Lake Ponchartrain, 95 a tornado took the roof off while we were in the house and Katrina caused a 1000 mile move inland to Missouri where a 2007 ice storm left us without power for a week.

That's entertainment. Agile, mobile and hostile.

You want life to be boring?

heh heh heh - Come to think of it Colorado was kinda of boring - except for a couple blizzards on I-80 driving back and forth to the PacNW in Dec and Jan. back in the 70's.

My guns went in Katrina - but I really miss my handheld crossbow.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:56 PM   #18
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You want life to be boring?
Yes. I have had my share of excitement.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:04 PM   #19
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We've discussed the 'shelter in place' and 'food storage' many times here after simple disasters. I was trying to get this thread to go to the Apocalypse and Armageddon stage of disasters like Tom Cruise in the modern "War of the Worlds" with massive movement of humanity out of the disaster region.

Do you have plans to leave? Where would you go? How would you get there with roads damaged or blocked?
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:09 PM   #20
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We've discussed the 'shelter in place' and 'food storage' many times here after simple disasters. I was trying to get this thread to go to the Apocalypse and Armageddon stage of disasters like Tom Cruise in the modern "War of the Worlds" with massive movement of humanity out of the disaster region.

Do you have plans to leave? Where would you go?
We are within 5 miles of the sea, so that is the likely cause of a need to evacuate (hurricane, etc.). A cat 5 hurricane making a direct hit is the likely scenario that would be most likely to force us to split. We would hitch up the trailer and head west/inland. As to where to go, well, I imagine central PA would be far enough in that case. We would find somewhere to set up camp until it was safe to go back home.
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