Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: natural disasters

2017 Was A Wild Ride

Kevin Felts on a hiking trip

One thing is for sure, 2017 was one for the history books. Not only was Donald Trump sworn in, but we also got to see the true side of the liberal left agenda.

2017 laid bare how divided the United States really is. There is no longer a peaceful transfer of power. People in powerful places play politics in an attempt to undermine the Republic. After President Trump moved into the White house, there was leak, after leak, after leak… Never in the history of the United States have the people seen such contempt for the president.

When Trump was elected president, the liberal left went into full meltdown. And to think Trump was mocked for his answer when asked, “If he would accept the election results.” Funny how things work themselves out. In the end, it was the Socialist Democrats who refused to accept the results.

Then there were the natural disasters and mass shootings that rocked 2017.

What is Normal Behavior after a Disaster

The SHTF, 3 days later people are angry, hungry and tired. What would be considered normal behavior in that kind of situation? Would it be ok to steal? Would it be ok to loot? Would it be ok to fight? How about pulling a gun on someone that objected to your behavior, would that be ok?

Fox News has an interesting article – Superstorm Sandy brings out the worst in some

There is a quote in that article that got me to thinking,

Normal today is waking up, getting a shower, eating breakfast, then going to work.

What would be normal after a SHTF situation like what happened with Hurricane Sandy?

Would it be socially acceptable to steal because your family needs something? Your kids are hungry, so would it be ok to break into a store to get food?

Unprepared Sheeple Make Disasters Worse

Just before Hurricane Rita made landfall I observed something that I probably will never forget, and that was a guy with a lowboy trail loaded with 55 gallon drums. He was at the gas station filling up the drums – and we wonder why gas stations run out of fuel so fast during a disaster?

I am as guilty as the next person about panic buying. When the word comes that a hurricane is heading our way, my wife and I will take a trip to the local china-mart to pick up a few last minute items.

There is a difference in picking up a “few” items, and trying to stockpile several weeks worth of food in one trip.

Every time a hurricane comes around, people will kick into high gear panic buying mode. They run down to the store and start buying everything in sight.

As hurricane Ike was approaching a few years ago, I heard people at china-mart talking about how the store was out of this or that. The people that were talking agreed to buy “something”. That “something” was whatever was left on the shelves.

Its that “we have nothing, so we have to buy anything” desperation that makes the whole situation worse. People walk around china-mart, their eyes have a semi-blank stare, and their mouths slightly open, kinda like a deer in the headlights.

When my wife and I go to china-mart before the landfall of a hurricane, its to pick up some bread, maybe a gallon of milk, maybe some more bottled water,,,. Its not that we are out, or need the items, we just want a couple of extra.

Stress levels go up as the hurricane approaches landfall. The unprepared sheeple make the situation worse because they are in panic buying mode.

Food Shortages High Prices and Riots

Stockpiling food for SHTF

Remember hearing something about a drought across parts of the US in 2011? If you buy anything with peanuts, you’re about to see the effects of a low harvest caused by the drought. Get ready for some high food prices, they are on their way.

Normally I do not subscribe to the doom-and-gloom predictions, but I am seeing it first hand.

Drought

Farmers here in Texas are losing crops, and having to sell their cattle because grass is not growing. Texas and Louisiana agreed to allow wide loads of hay to be transported between the 2 states. Here in Jasper County Texas, I see trailers loaded down with rolls of hay going through the city on a regular basis. Importing hay from Louisiana is one of the few options cattlemen have right now.

Because of farmers selling off their cattle herds, the price of beef might be artificially low right now. If the sale of cattle starts to slow down, we might see the price of beef jump.

Young and old trees are turning brown and dying. Back in February of 2011 my kids and I planted some oak trees at the Bug Out Location. Due to the lack of rain fall, and not being able to make regular trips to the camp to water the trees, the leaves have turned brown and the baby trees might die.

Remembering Hurricane Ike Three Years Later

hurricane ike floodingIts simple amazing how much time has passed under the bridge in the last 3 years. On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall, and changed the lives of tens of thousands of people forever.

Mom and Dads house was totaled, sold to the insurance company and demolished.

One of my best friends has rebuilt and now has a nice place.

My brother has rebuilt and seems to be no worse for the wear.

It was somewhere around 10:00pm or 10:30 that I lost phone contact with my kids who were riding out Hurricane Ike in Houston. I figured they were ok, but I worried about them until I knew for sure they were safe.

The winds with Ike were not near as bad as Rita, but the storm surge with Ike was probably 10X worse the Rita. With Rita southeast Texas got a little storm surge, but nothing like what came in with Ike.

The next morning after Ike passed through, my family and I left the shelter we were staying at and went home. I hooked to pit up to my truck and pulled the pit around to the front of my house. I wanted to pit fired up and cooking something, so that the people driving down the street would be assured that life would return to normal.

Hurricane survival tips

Hurricane SurvivalHaving been through Hurricanes Ike and Rita, evacuated for Hurricane Andrew, and having worked an evacuee shelter for Hurricane Katrina, I think I can offer some tips on Hurricanes.

* Have at least 1 week of food and water for every person in your group. The government says at least 3 days, but shoot for at least 5 – 7 days. Depending on how much debris is on the roads, it could take 3 days for the road crews to get the roads open.

Evacuate low lying areas. Storm surge is no myth, get away from low lying areas and areas prone to flooding.

LED flashlights are better then old style bulbed flashlights. LED flashlights are more reliable then lights with old style bulbs, and LEDs have longer battery life.

Buy lithium batteries. Lithiums last longer then alkaline batteries.

Buy LED flashlights with long battery life and low lumens for inside the house. This is not a tactical situation, anything over 50 lumens can mess up your night vision. As you walk around the inside of the house, you do not want to blind other people.

Have a way to cook, such as a camp stove, or propane grill. Nothing boost morale like a good hot meal.

Video about cooking with a Coleman Perfectflow stove.

5 Things Survivalist Should Stockpile

Hurricane ike flooding

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about five things survivalist should stockpile. This could be for just about any type of disaster. Whether it is a hurricane, flood, wildfire… what are items that could be used to bug out?

This list is based on my own personal experiences with numerous tropical storms and hurricanes. Having grown up along the Gulf of Mexico, I have survived devastating hurricanes and tropical storms that flooded southeast Texas.

5. Fuel

When SHTF, your going to need a way to get out of town. Whether its a forest fire, hurricane, chemical spill,,,, keep enough gas in your tank to get away from the affected zone.

When a hurricane rolls trough the southern states, one of the first things to dry up is gasoline. People start filling their tanks up, the lines get long, and gas stations run out of gas.

4. Non-perishable Foods

This is any kind of food that does not need to be kept frozen or cold. There are so many options out there, this list could be a mile long – mountain house foods, #10 cans, family sized cans, any type of can goods, peanut butter, honey, freeze dried foods, food stored in mylar bags, dehydrated foods.

Becoming Complacent with Disaster Preparedness

As Hurricane Rita was making its way through the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the projected path was towards the Houston and Galveston, Texas area. An evacuation was called for parts of Harris and Galveston counties. Which is where the cities of Houston and Galveston are located.

The way evacuations are “supposed” to work, the areas that are nearest the Gulf of Mexico are evacuated first. Which is Galveston, and lower Harris county. That is how its supposed to work in theory. In reality, how does one of the largest cities in the USA evacuate? They dont. There were stories of people spending 18+ hours on the highway and not even going 10 miles.

There are 2 major highways going north out of Houston – HWY 59 and HWY 45. Going east and west, there is Interstate 10, 1960, old HWY 90 and 105. HWY 105 is north of the Houston area. It goes from Beaumont, through Cleveland, Conroe and finally hits HWY 6.

Where Would You Go if SHTF?

sea rim state park

If you and your family had to evacuate, where would you go? Part of the answer also depends on the situation, needs of the family members and type of disaster.

Shelter in place or leave? There are many factors should help determine where there is a real need to evacuate, or whether the family unit can shelter in place.

Lets take the example of a hurricane. In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in the Galveston, Texas area. The storm surge 100 miles to the east drove 10 feet of water 20 miles inland. The only cities there were protected from the surge were the ones that had a barrier built around them.

One of the things that saved Groves, Texas from flooding was the barrier around Port Arthur. Bridge City on the other hand received several feet of water. Out of the hundreds of houses in Bridge city, only around a dozen did not receive some kind of damage from flood waters.

Even though Hurricane Ike made landfall 100 miles to the west of the Beaumont, Bridge City, Port Arthur and Orange area, if a family lived just above sea level there was a real need to evacuate.

Sometimes an evacuation means just moving to higher ground, sometimes it means leaving to area and traveling over 100 miles. But anytime a family unit leaves their house, there is the question of where are they going to go?

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Flooded roads from Hurricane Ike

These pictures were taken in Bridge City, Texas after Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas. Using Google Earth, and measuring from where these pictures were taken, its estimated that 20 miles inland, there was about a 14 – 15 foot storm surge. This is not a scientific measurement, its just an estimate.

How the storm surge was estimated – my parents house is is about 4 feet above sea level and they got over 9 feet of water in their house. This picture was taken 3 days after Hurricane Ike made landfall and the flood waters had receded about 7 – 8 feet.

Now looking back from the opposite direction. Notice the road has several inches of mud over it. From where this picture was taken, the flood waters got about 5 – 6 feet deep.

Storm surge is only one aspect of a Hurricane, one of the other considerations is the wind. During Hurricane Ike this house collapsed, hopefully nobody was home. Keep in mind this is about 100 miles from where the center of the storm made land fall. Notice the debris on the roof. Not only did the wind make the house collapse, but it was also covered with water by the storm surge. This would have meant certain death to anyone trapped inside.

Barricaded Store Fronts During a Disaster

Barricaded store before hurricane makes landfall

When some type of disaster occurs, the owners of a store will take measures to protect their business and their property. A lot of places like wal-mart will stack bales of compressed cardboard in front of the doors.

These blocks of compressed cardboard act as a barricade to help stop people from driving cars or trucks through the front doors. Most of the time the front doors of these large stores will be made of glass – which offer little to no protection from a car or truck.

During the Rodney King riots, some store owners also used these blocks of cardboard as bullet stops. Its kinda difficult for a bullet to penetrate 3 – 4 feet of compressed cardboard. The store owners were able to band together behind these blocks of cardboard, and stop the crowds of looters from destroying their stores .

These bundles of cardboard are best moved by a forklift, or wrap a chain around it and drag it to the desired location with a truck or car. Even though it weighs several hundred pounds, it is not too difficult to move with a little help. If hand power must be used to move the bundle of cardboard, use jacks to get it off the ground, then get some pipes under the block. Then just roll the block on top of the pipes.

Page 1 of 11
Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018