Hurricane Isaac Heroes & Lessons Learned
Welcome to this week’s survival and preparedness newsletter, brought to you by UrbanDisasterWaterPurification.com, my ever popular book on water purification for wilderness AND urban survival situations. Previously only available as a part of my “Ultimate Survival Package” it’s now available as a standalone book at a great price for a limited time. To get yours now, go to UrbanDisasterWaterPurification.com.
Survival Diva here. Our hearts go out to those in the Gulf Coast who are recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac while battling triple-digit temperatures without air-conditioning. More than 100,000 residents in the Gulf Coast remain without power one week after Hurricane Isaac, and close to 2,800 are in shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi. Although Florida didn’t receive the press it should have, the residents there were hard hit with heavy rains and devastating damages.
It doesn’t seem fair that New Orleans has to go through another deluge just seven years after Katrina. Reports are still coming in as people struggle with power outages and must scramble for basic necessities. So far there have been four deaths reported in Louisiana and Mississippi that were said to be related to Hurricane Isaac.
**David’s Note: I have several relatives in New Orleans and, while I feel sorry that they got hit by another hurricane, both I and they realize that they DO live in hurricane country in a city that is below sea level. That’s just part of the equation that they’ve chosen to live with. We’ve got to expect that wildfires will happen in dry areas, earthquakes will occur along fault lines, hurricanes will happen in hurricane country, flooding will occur along rivers and low lying areas, tornadoes will happen in the Midwest, people living at the bottom of cliffs will be affected by mud/rock slides, etc. That doesn’t make the devastation or outpouring of assistance any less, but people SHOULD expect whatever disasters their area is prone to, plan accordingly, and expect to be affected eventually, if not regularly.**
If there is a golden lining to take away from this latest onslaught, it would be the stoic attitude of those caught in Hurricane Isaac. People who were on national TV to speak about their loss sent a clear message. It wasn’t about the belongings or homes or cars they lost to the Hurricane. It was about thankfulness that their loved ones survived the onslaught.
As in every disaster, there are lessons to be learned from Hurricane Isaac, but if you’re anything like me, overwhelmed by the beating Mother Nature heaped upon us, world-wide this summer, you might welcome some inspirational news first. Here are heartwarming stories about American heroes who came to these people’s rescue.
From the Huffington Post:
Father-Son Team Rescue 120 People In 12 Hours
Jesse Shaffer III lost his home in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, when heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac surged through the levee that protected their town and left thousands of residents stranded.
Determined not to helplessly sit back, reports ABC, Shaffer and his son, James Shaffer IV, each grabbed boats and set out to rescue their friends. For the next 12 hours, while 80-mph winds, heavy rain, and rising floodwater conspired to make their lives difficult, the 53-year-old and his 25-year-old son rescued 120 people.
The father told ABC his most memorable rescue was plucking a family of five off their trailer’s roof minutes before it was completely submerged. At the height of it all, he said the water rose at a rate of 1.5 inches per minute.
The Daily Mail adds that residents of the Plaquemines Parish have a reputation for staying put during severe storms, where even the sick and elderly are “hardened storm veterans.”
Reached for comment Wednesday by the Times Picayune, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser described the damage caused by Hurricane Isaac there as “worse than Katrina.”
The Times Picayune, Greater New Orleans:
“Convoy of Hope, a faith-based nonprofit based in Springfield, Mo., has rolled into Slidell and is distributing Hurricane Isaac relief supplies from a Point of Distribution site based at the old National Food Store, 3127 Pontchartrain Drive. Food, water, MREs, and flood buckets with cleanup supplies are among the provisions the Global Disaster Response team volunteers are delivering to those in need – with a focus on the infirm and the uninsured – in Slidell.”
And we can be proud of our National Guard who handed out MRE’s, ice and water across the Gulf Coast as they continued rescue efforts to save those caught in Hurricane Isaac. The Red Cross, the Salvation Army and many others also came to the aid of those impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
I’d like to think preppers living in the Gulf Coast also helped their neighbors. It wouldn’t be the first time; there have been many cases where preppers caught up in a disaster were able and willing to help others in need. As David has said in the past, it’s easier to share food with someone who’s hungry when you’ve actually got food to share.
Still, we should pay close attention to the reoccurring theme we see repeated time after time: Despite the memory of Katrina and numerous warnings, people were caught unprepared, without food and without safe drinking water.
Even people who took steps to be prepared got tripped up by a gap in their planning. One man told a newscaster that he still had the filled gas cans for his generator, but the generator had been caught up in the surge of water that flooded his home and it was swept away.
As with most of the disasters being reported on this summer, gas stations were quickly sold out and/or shut down and grocers’ shelves emptied immediately. When you think about it, it boggles the mind. For the price of dinner and a movie, every single family could have had safe drinking water stored and emergency food set aside. Yes, for only a few days, but a few days is a start!
As preppers, we know better than to be caught unprepared for minor breakdowns and service outages, but have you gone that extra mile to be prepared for a long term collapse? Have you prepared for months? I hope so! Personally, I recommend one years’ worth of food storage and preparedness goods. Many of the disasters we prepare for will cause long-term shortages.
Keep in mind that the aftermath of an auto accident, medical emergency, death/dying of a loved one, or job loss are all higher probability disasters where you can get full benefit from a preparedness plan based on solid fundamentals.
This year’s drought, the worst in 50 years (and some claim 70 years) is something we should be watching. The economic crisis is another. What makes us think we’ll dodge what’s happening to Greece and the EU? If you do your homework, you’ll be racing to buy month or a year’s worth of necessary supplies. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. We are being sent message after message that the time to get ready is here. Have you purchased grains? I hope so! This July, the world price of grain soared 10% in a single month.
**David’s note on the economy: As we discussed last week, “Austerity” is simply the process of balancing a budget so that expenses are less than income. The term has been oft used in a scary way, but seldom defined. When the US government FINALLY begins to balance the budget, (i.e. “austerity measures”) the general public is going to be afraid because of how the term has been used and the behavior that it’s been connected to in Greece and Europe. Whenever you hear people talking about “austerity”, PLEASE make sure that they know that it’s simply “balancing the budget” so that they don’t freak out when the media and opponents to budget cutting start using the term as a psychological weapon.**
**David’s note on grains: Your body may or may not respond well to grains—even whole grains. My wife and I do well with grains, but my sons both have food allergies that make it very unhealthy for them to eat most grains. As a result, we don’t have that many grains in our food storage. Before you go nuts buying grains, you may want to make sure that you’re not allergic to the grains that you’re planning on buying.**
If you’re on a tight budget, get ready anyway. Time, in my opinion, is short. Give up dinners out, designer anything, and sell off those expensive items collecting dust. They can’t be eaten and they will not get you past an extended crisis…unless it happens to be a 4-wheeler or an antique wood cook stove. Once we’re prepped, we can breathe easier and get on with our lives.
**David’s note: if you can’t stomach those kinds of cuts, but don’t have the budget for prepping, then I suggest figuring out what you spend on meals per day. Instead of eating that food, switch over to oatmeal, rice, beans, and canned meat. Take the difference between what you’d normally spend and what you spent on the “survival” food and spend it buying more “survival” food. Repeat for as many days as you need to until you have as much food storage as you need/want. This is a great test to see if your “survival” food is really compatible with your digestive system.**
**David’s note: One thing that keeps amazing me is the water bladders/tub liners that people think are necessary to put water in in a bathtub. If you’ve got one (some?) and like them, then you should use them. They ARE nice, but they’re not necessary…and they don’t work the best for odd shaped/sized tubs. (If you don’t know, numerous companies sell tub liners/bladders that are designed to go in a bathtub when you get notified of a disaster so that you can fill the bladders with water for drinking. The thought is that it will keep your water cleaner than if it was touching the sides of your tub and that you won’t lose water to a leaky drain or overflow drain.)
All you really need is some high quality duct tape and, if you want to get fancy, a plastic freezer bag. If you want to get REALLY fancy, get a sponge too.
With the duct tape option, you simply duct tape over your tub drain and your overflow drain and fill the tub with water.
With the freezer bag option, you cut a square piece of plastic out of a freezer bag that’s a couple inches bigger than your drain opening and duct tape the edges down.
In either option, if your tub is really dirty, take 1-2 minutes to scrub it down and rinse it before filling. If it still grosses you out to drink this water, you might want to clean your tub more often and/or run the water through a filter and purifier before drinking.
Do I personally have a tub liner? Yes. Do I know where it is? No. Do I know where I’ve got duct tape? Absolutely…and I can find it, tape up our tub drains and fill it in the time that it would take me to find the tub liner.**
Water is SO important in disasters…it’s often said that you can only survive for 3 days without water, but the truth is that you become “combat ineffective” much sooner than that when you’re exerting yourself under stress. As you get dehydrated, your thinking gets clouded, you aren’t able to extract nutrients efficiently from foods, your muscles don’t work right, and your body starts shutting down, which can cause you to make mistakes that kill you much faster than dehydration does on it’s own.
It’s because of this that I’ve created a book called “Urban Disaster Water Purification” that details both store bought and improvised methods of purifying water in a disaster situation. It covers both wilderness situations and urban ones, but it focuses on urban since it can be so much harder to remove urban pollutants from the water. In many cases, you’re going to be in a world of hurt if you use a simple camping filter on water in an urban setting. The book also covers how to find water as well as unique strategies for storing water when space is a concern.
This book was previously only available with my big “Ultimate Survival Package” and due to an abundance of what I consider to be sub-par knockoffs that are currently in the market, we decided to make it available at a VERY affordable price for a limited time. I encourage you to go to UrbanDisasterWaterPurification.com now to get your copy.
What are your thoughts on Isaac? What changes or additions have you made to your preparations as a result of Isaac? If you were affected by it, what lessons did you learn? If you’ve read my water book in the past, what are your thoughts on it? Share your thoughts by commenting below:
God Bless & Stay Safe
Survival Diva and David Morris