I have lived here in Florida for about 7 years now. If there is one thing I have learned since moving here, it is that I need to prepare to save my own self in the event there is a natural disaster. I need to prep for myself because my federal government has demonstrated time and time again it does not have the capacity (or desire) to save all its people.
Over the past 17 years, it’s become clearly apparent the federal government is incapable of meeting all our needs in the event of a crisis (just look at Katrina, Harvey, Maria, and Irma). There are more of us piled on top of each other near low lying coastal areas (myself included), and there are simply not enough resources for us all to consume in the event of a natural disaster. Inexperienced federal leadership with no experience in public or civil service makes it difficult to rely on the government.
This administration has made their priorities clear. Our federal government has been playing fast and loose with money allocated to FEMA, shifting $200 million dollars formerly marked for FEMA over to Border and Customs and ICE to aid in detaining children and families illegally crossing the border. This administration’s priorities are to incarcerate not rescue.
While the money reallocated to immigration related expenditures may not be a lot in comparison to the amounts of money used in previous years to aid in clean up and recovery efforts, it’s money that we can’t afford to playing around with.
Some areas of Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama have still not recovered from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Let’s not even talk about Puerto Rico. The bottom line: The government ain’t savin everybody. This administration is concerned with saving only one group, and that’s the 1%.
Simply put the government can’t save us all. They don’t have the capacity. That’s why there has been a concerted effort at the state level for the past few years to get your own butts involved in figuring out how you’re going to save yourselves. Here in Florida, they tell us to prepare to be without power for at least two weeks. Waiting to the last minute to prepare is hell.
My partner moved here from California a few years ago and thought having candles and wine was being prepared. She thought it was cute and all games, until last year when Irma came through. She learned quickly that the storm before the storm is not joke. I was responsible for all survivalist and prepper activities, and it took 4 days to locate simple items like charcoal, propane tanks, bottled water. Gas stations were running out of gas, people were fighting over the gas at the pumps. Bottled water purchases were being rationed. There was price gouging on necessities, and it take 5 whole hours to get from South Florida just to Jacksonville. It’s hard to stay, and harder to leave. That’s when life gets real.
You have to be sure about any decision you make, and you have to be ready to live with the consequences.
Running around like we were in a scavenger hunt was a pain in the ass. It wasn’t like we were replenishing stuff, we were starting from ground zero. Once I showed my partner Florida’s emergency preparedness list, combining it with the one given to her by her government employer when she transferred here (that she never bothered to read), she was thankful that I forced her to be ready for a natural disaster. You don’t realize how unprepared you are until you need to be prepared.
Even without a direct hit from Irma, we lost power for 2 days, trees were down blocking access to the cul-de-sac, but little else happened. Some people here were without power for weeks. Many people didn’t have air conditioning which is vital living in Florida during the humid summers. Because we prepared, we had everything we needed to survive…thanks to me being a good old country Carolina girl with my need for organization.
Every person in America needs to be ready for a disaster. With 45 in office, god only knows what could happen. Foreign countries have said they practically have missiles aimed at 45’s Mar-a-Largo home (aka the Winter White House), which gives me no comfort living 50 minutes away. Now I have even more prepping to do. Who knows what in the hell could happen with this administration’s shenanigans. The one thing I do know is I don’t trust them to save me. In fact, I expect this administration to fail me, just like previous federal administrations failed disaster victims.
You know who saves us in times of trouble: We do.
We save our own butts. Neighbors help neighbors. Local law enforcement and rescue see to it that we are out of harm’s way. Forward thinking local church congregations and religious institutions band together and do the works their religions called them to do. Local businesses donate their losses to residents in distress. People use their own personal watercrafts to rescue those stranded, the elderly, and those too poor to leave. People do what they must do to survive. But some people just don’t get it.
There are people looking at all these natural disasters (recent wild fires, 9/11, hurricanes, floods) who won’t do anything to prepare for disasters because they think someone is going to save them, or they foolishly believe nothing serious is ever going to happen where they live. They make their future problems someone else’s problem, and that’s not right. No one wants to take the resources they got from advanced planning and preparation to give to someone who had the same opportunity to plan and prep but chose instead to buy Gucci slippers, nice cars, fancy clothes, or superficial things that have no value when a disaster happens.
Every person in America has had fair warning. You’ve seen the people on top of houses. You’ve seen people in Puerto Rico stranded for over a year with no way to leave their homes because bridges were washed away due to a non-existent infrastructure. You’ve seen the 1000-year floods overflowing into fine gated communities not in flood zones. You have seen people stuck in campers in driveways because they have no place else to go.
If you’re not paying attention and preparing for the worst, I mean preparing for any type of manmade or natural disaster, you’re a fool.
We all should have personal emergency contingency plans for storms/floods, natural disasters, and manmade disasters like bombs that does not include help from a governmental entity for at least 72 hours. It should include: foods, medical supplies, generators and gas cans, inverters, coolers, bug sprays, carrier pigeons to send messages in case the cell phone towers go down (lol…just kidding, wanted to see if you were awake), candles, blankets, water for you and your family, etc. You will need two-way radios or some sort of satellite communication devices, and people outside of your immediate area who will be able to transmit messages to friends and/or loved ones in the event there are long-term power and phone outages.
Got pets? You need pet food and items to care for your beloved friends as well.
For disasters that are caused by weapons of mass destruction…well plan for those too. Don’t ask me, I’m going to have to learn like you, but because I live close to Crazytown’s house, I need to be prepared for a sneak attack. If there are attacks on our power grids, be ready. If hackers shut down the city or county’s water supply, be ready. If all communication is lost, be ready. Have cash stashed away if you need to leave. Many businesses can’t use debit or credit cards when there are power outages, or if they are worried they won’t get paid, so keep cash on hand. If there is an attack on the other side of the country which could impact fuel and food being transported to your side of the world, etc., be ready.
You decide if you want to live or die.
The government has spent several years warning you. This is a code red. Don’t be that person surprised, when you see the train wreck coming your way. I’m not a prepping fanatic, but I also see the writing on the wall.
Be prepared to save your own household.
Being prepared helps you to avoid the rudeness and inhumane behavior people exhibit preparing for a disaster. People tend to have more anxiety shorter tempers. If you’re leaning on luck keep you safe, you could die waiting. You need to find a better plan. We are living in an hour where those leading us don’t have the senses of a racoon, so there’s no need for relying on them for help.
Prepare yourself and help your family and friends to get their lives together so that you will have a circle of allies and resources to rely upon in the event of a natural and man-made disaster. There is nothing scarier than being alone during a natural disaster. Nothing makes you feel worse than knowing you should have done more to prepare your household for a disaster. The government wants you to have a culture of preparedness.
You don’t have to be rich to start stashing away items for disasters. You’d be surprised at how much you can buy with $40 per month. Start with shopping at dollar stores and once you have your checklists complete with inexpensive items secured, move on to the other stores that sell the more expensive supplies you’ll need to survive. Also organize important papers and priceless treasures (family photos, report cards, certifications, valuables) and stores them in waterproof bins in the event you need to pick up and move in an emergency, you’re ready.
Every disaster won’t come with a warning. A disaster doesn’t guarantee a government savior. Be ready for anything and be ready to save yourself.
Good luck, and happy planning!
Marley K., 2018