Archive for Disaster Preparedness

You Can’t Shoot A Hurricane

You Can’t Shoot a Hurricane!

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

There was a picture in the news recently of a guy shooting at a hurricane. The poor fellow was taking out his frustration, anger and apparent helplessness by emptying the magazine of his handgun into the wind and rain.  The hurricane was unimpressed.  Some people have an emotional attachment to firearms and an attitude that having guns is the answer to every survival problem?  Gun organizations generally have larger memberships and bigger budgets than preparedness groups and gun shows bring in thousands more than the most successful preparedness shows. While I may own a few firearms and I make frequent contributions to gun rights organizations, I consider firearms as just one part of a comprehensive survival, and self-reliance system.  In fact firearms are the solution to only about ten-percent of the potential threats to your survival.  Emergencies that you can’t shoot include:

  1. Communicable diseases
  2. Famines
  3. Droughts
  4. Floods
  5. Earthquakes
  6. Blizzards
  7. Utility outages
  8. Hurricanes
  9. Tornadoes
  10. Wildfires
  11. Severe bleeding
  12. Cardiac arrest
  13. Hypothermia
  14. Hyperthermia
  15. Radioactive fallout
  16. Toxic chemicals
  17. Biological weapons
  18. Home fires
  19. Terrorist bombs
  20. Economic collapse

Admittedly, looting and civil disorder secondary to some of these events could require armed protection at some point.  Firearms are an absolute survival necessity in surviving criminal assault of any kind and could help in hunting for food in a famine. Being able to protect your survival and self-sufficiency supplies is a critical and necessary capability, but being armed without being truly prepared and self-reliant is irrational.

A truly comprehensive survival battery requires four or five well-chosen weapons.

  1. A large caliber, high capacity handgun for home defense
  2. A small compact handgun for concealed carry
  3. A tactical rifle for serious home protection or evacuation during a major disaster
  4. A scoped hunting rifle and/or a shotgun for hunting if that is part of your survival plans.

You should have plenty of ammunition, spare magazines and parts for these weapons and practice shooting enough to be proficient in their use.  Beyond the basic battery you are a gun collector or hobbyist. While it’s fine to have a large collection of firearms they can become a liability under some survival conditions.

  1. If you have a home fire they may be destroyed or the fire department may be “concerned” upon finding them.
  2. If you are forced to evacuate, can you move them all without sacrificing bringing other more useful supplies?
  3. If you cannot bring them all with you, will they be destroyed or looted before you return?
  4. What do you plan to do with the excess weapons? Trade them for supplies?  Give them to your neighbors to support community defense?
  5. Once you have the basic defensive weapons and ammunition, will you balance your preparedness by spending on other survival supplies?

Now, I have encountered people (they are not survivalists) who actually say “I can survive because I have my guns”.  Such attitudes are morally indefensible and functional impractical.

  • Those who have what you need are probably survivalists (admittedly or not) and are going to be armed and resist any attempt to take their supplies.
  • Those who you can intimidate or loot without armed resistance are probably unprepared and have little to take.
  • Having to fight for every meal and shelter will quickly wear you down and result in growing injuries and losses. You and those with you will become detested and will be hunted-down or shot-on-sight by responsible survivalists or law enforcement.

Firearms and firearms related skills must be part of a balanced and responsible emergency preparedness and self-reliance system, but is not the answer to most survival challenges.  Live Free USA started out in the 1960s as a shooting club and evolved into a broader-based survival and preparedness organization precisely because we recognized that you couldn’t shoot most of the dangers to life and freedom that were coming our way.

 

Nuclear Event Survival Article

With all of the tension around North Korea, I thought it would be a good time to update and republish an article about nuclear survival. Back in the 60s-80s Live Free did a lot of nuclear war survival training and we helped several Civil Defense organizations. In fact, I spoke at the American Society For Civil Defense convention in Las Vegas. I had to follow Edward Teller (inventor of the H-bomb) on the speaking schedule. Since the end of the Cold War nuclear survival has been ignored, but there are many scenarios for limited and semi-limited nuclear exchanges. While we have a lot of other more probable and even more catastrophic hazards today, nuclear weapons remain part of the treat matrix. Because this article is long and illustrated I have included it here as a PDF file

NUCLEAR EVENTSURVIVAL,12-14

Surprise Disasters and the Death Spiral

More Surprises and the Spiral.

The Subject of our July/August issue was “Surprise Disaster”. Does four major hurricanes and two major earthquakes in the same region in the same month qualify? Other recent American Survivor headline topics included “Severe Weather”, and “Descent into Chios”. We seem to be right on target with our materials. I was looking at a 1970s copy of our newsletter and the headline was “The Coming Age of Terrorism”. Prophetic. Too bad that so few people read our publications.
The recent multiple disasters verifies our predictions about a disaster to catastrophe spiral. There is no such thing as recovery once the magnitude and quantity of disaster outpaces the resources and economies of the civilization. The emergency management agencies were exhausted. The Red Cross was forced to recruit literately off the street to get help. The public’s ability to provide contributions dwindled as each new demand occurred. State and national governments were forced further into debt. Housing prices are predicted to rise as material and labor goes towards replacing home instead of building new ones. Puerto Rico’s utility companies had already field for bankruptcy before the hurricanes struck. All of the funds from “recovery” and response must come from infrastructure improvements, security and safety agencies and from maintenance of the very systems that protect us from the next disaster. This spiral of more disasters, less capability and a weakening economy is unlikely to take us to a safe and prosperous future.

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

While most people prefer to think of this most recent disaster as a singular event that Houston and America will recover from, the reality is quite different.  The billions of dollars that must go to rebuilding Houston may look like a boon to the construction industry and replacing the millions of vehicles and other items destroyed will generate some sales and jobs in the short term this is false economy. All of the wealth and labor that will now be expended on rebuilding what was destroyed will be unavailable for other critical needs.  Rebuilding hundreds of thousands of homes in Houston is not building hundreds of thousands of homes for others. 

Funds to rebuild Houston will have to come from progress and proactive programs such as infrastructure improvements, the maintenance of bridges, dams, roads and flood control systems in other regions.  Resources will have to come from security, defense and emergency preparedness. The hundreds of billions now spent on security and the endless war after the 9/11 attacks is not helping the poor or building safer cities. The losses from Hurricane Katrina reduced the defenses in other cities. Each disaster weakens our capacity to respond to the next disaster and disasters are happening with increasing frequency and severity.  

Hurricane Harvey also demonstrated on a small scale the domino affect of disasters.  The flooding caused sewage systems, water pumping systems, hospital generators failed, explosions and fires caused by failed systems could not be accessed by fire and police.  The temporary shutdown of a few refineries impacting the entire country.  Each new disaster makes the next disaster more probable and/or more costly. The politicians and the media work overtime to paint a picture of progress and security, but all of the trends are downward. Every civil disorder, every economic decline, every terrorist act, every flood, every storm, ever wildfire, every man-made disaster makes us poorer, weaker, and more vulnerable to the next and even worse event.

Eventually this chain reaction will lead to a multi-faceted apocalyptic situation. This may even be hard to recognize until our children living in a ruined and subjugated world look back.  This process of multiple and increasing disasters leading to more decline and vulnerability is a worldwide phenomenon.  We can add revolutions, epidemics, famines, wars and water shortages to the spiral in other parts of the world.  These categories of disaster have not yet been added to America’s disaster spiral.  The fact is that the world is broke and civilization is in a death spiral that it refuses to recognize. In the words of George Orwell “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.  The spiral is irreversible, but individuals and groups can save lives, protect freedoms and preserve human values and ideals through self-reliance and survival concepts and practices.

If liberty means anything it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”
~ George Orwell

 

Child & Adolescent Safety and Survival

The safety and survival of our children and young adults should be a top priority for prepared families and survival groups.  We hope this guid can be used as a tool for discussion and action.

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Survival for Children & Adolescents

This article covers the survival challenges of children and adolescents from the survivalist viewpoint.  A slightly modified version will appear in a future issue of American Survivor, but it is a subject of such importance that we decided to post it in advance.  We hope that our readers and our chapter groups will make this a subject for discussion and action.

Children AdolescentSurvival,10-16

 

Principles of Emergency Planning

This article is intended as a guide to make your own survival and escape plans based on your particular hazards and situation.

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Principles of Emergency Planning

Original published in the Live Free USA newsletter in 2011, we have updated this article.  Considering current and impending events, it seems like a good time to be make new emergency plans and reviewing old ones.

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How Prepared is the American Public?

Based on the :American Housing Survey" conducted by the US Census Bureau, this article examines each element of home preparedness covered in the survey and the provides recommendations by Live Free USA that go further. We also cover several key items that were not included in the survey that every home must have for complete preparedness.

HowPreparedPublic,6-16

How Prepared is the American Public

Based on the :American Housing Survey" conducted by the US Census Bureau, this article examines each element of home preparedness covered in the survey and the provides recommendations by Live Free USA that go further. We also cover several key items that were not included in the survey that every home must have for complete preparedness.

HowPreparedPublic,6-16