Sandy

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On August 14, 2003, a large portion of the East Coast was suddenly and unexpectedly plunged into darkness.  Although initially feared to be a terrorist attack on the nation’s power grid, the outage was due to a combination of outdated power lines, summertime heat and human error. The confluence of these events caused 50 million people to lose power and became the largest blackout in North American history.

More recently, power outages due to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 left residents without electricity for weeks amidst massive flooding and storm damage. Anticipating the hurricane’s landfall, store shelves were raided by harried customers searching for batteries and bottled water to complete their emergency supply kits.

These memorable events highlight our dependence on electricity and the necessity to prepare for unexpectedly living without it. However, there are steps you can take to prepare. With the threat of unexpected and storm-related power outages always looming, enact these measures to ensure you and your family’s safety.

Prepare now for an unexpected power outage

Stock up on essentials. Having these items already in your home will help with both severe storm preparations and unexpected blackouts. Keep these items in a designated “emergency supply kit” for easy access.

– Stock your home with several flashlights and the corresponding batteries. Flashlights are always the safer choice since candles pose the risk of accidental fires when emergency services may already be overwhelmed.

– Purchase a battery-powered radio. When access to television isn’t possible, invest in a battery-powered radio to stay alert of any evacuation orders or status updates on the power outage.

– Buy a car charger for your cell phone. Since many Americans rely on cellphones in lieu of a corded landline phone, it is important to keep your cell fully charged. By purchasing a charger that attaches through your cigarette lighter or auxiliary plug (depending on the model of your vehicle); you can use your car as a supplementary power source to charge your phone. Also consider having an alternate non-corded landline phone for your home, which usually remain unaffected during power outages.

New York City during a power outage created by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by: Flickr user lazerCam

When a storm is approaching

Sometimes power outages are expected by the arrival of severe weather events such as hurricanes or heat waves. These are additional steps you can take to prepare your home for weather-related blackouts.

Keep at least ½ of a tank of gas in your car at all times. Many gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.  While it may seem inconvenient to make more frequent stops at the gas station, if you have a near-empty tank during a power outage you may lack the fuel to travel beyond an evacuation area in case of an emergency order.

Trim tree branches in your yard. It’s a good idea to address any landscaping concerns before storm season begins in your area. When a storm is approaching your home, take note of the tree limbs on your property. If they hang over power lines, make sure to trim them before the storm hits. Doing so will decrease the chances your power will be cut by a fallen tree limbs.

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Lowering the temperature before you lose power will allow the refrigerator to keep acceptable temperatures for food longer. Eat perishable foods first, conserving canned or other non-perishable items for the possibility of a long-term outage.

During a power outage

After determining the cause of a power outage, use these measures to weather the outage safely.

If you own a generator, operate it safely. Never run a generator inside a home or garage, they produce potentially deadly carbon-monoxide fumes. Always keep running generators in an open and ventilated area. Also, do not directly connect the generator to your home’s wiring. Plug all necessary appliances directly into the generator. When a generator is connected to a home’s wiring, it can create a “back feed” into utility lines which can injure or kill anyone who is working to restore the power.

To maintain the refrigerated and frozen foods, keep fridge and freezer openings to a minimum. By not opening the door, you can keep the temperature lower for a longer period of time. Make a conscious effort before you open the fridge/freezer to plan what you will take out and close the door quickly. To increase the effectiveness of your powerless fridge, you can fill plastic containers with cold water and place inside the appliance. Not only does this increase your emergency water supply, it also helps keep the air cool inside the fridge to slow the spoilage of your food.

Unplug all appliances and leave only one light switched on. There is an added risk of power surges occurring that can destroy your appliances.  Leave one light on in your home so you know when the power has returned.

In case of extreme temperatures, plan on visiting locations and businesses that are likely to have generators. For instance, power outages are common during heat waves. Plan on visiting shopping malls or movie theatres to keep cool and avoid heat stroke.

Follow these essential tips to help ensure the safety of you and your family from the unpredictability of power outages. – Accuweather

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By Samantha-Rae Tuthill

Hurricane season is ramping up, and it’s right on track to be active in September and October. During this time of year, people who live in hurricane-prone areas need to be prepared well in advance of an incoming storm to help them evacuate quickly or protect their homes.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and CEO of FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, said “We always tell families to start by preparing the people, so when it comes to getting the family ready the first thing that they need to do is decide where you are going to be.”

Chapman-Henderson emphasized the importance of following evacuation orders when they are put in place for a location. Besides knowing where you will go when you evacuate, it is also important to know how you are going to get there. Plans should extend beyond just taking cover at your local shelter, as spaces may be limited.

Make sure you prepare an emergency kit, including food and water supplies, medicine and pet supplies. Remember to have easy access to important documents, paperwork, family photos and items that are not easily replaced should damage to the home occur.

RELATED: Include Your Pets in Hurricane Emergency Plans Why You Should Evacuate Before a Hurricane AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center

If evacuation is not an option, an emergency kit is also a critical step for those who plan to stay home and ride out a storm. Often the real danger in surviving a hurricane is not just about lasting through the storm, but staying protected in its aftermath. Powerful hurricanes can knock out power, bridges and roads for days that can leave those behind stranded and without provisions. An adequate supply of nonperishable food, medicine, batteries and clean drinking water (a gallon per person, per day) should be enough to last many days after a storm.

When staying behind in a hurricane, people should always stay indoors and make sure that pets are kept inside.

Even those who are not in the direct path of the storm are at risk of power outages, so those near a storm’s target area should take steps to ensure protection should they lose power. Generators can be incredibly helpful to those facing the possibility of a long-term power outage.

“We tell families to just close their eyes and think about what would you regret not doing if you were sitting right now and a storm was coming, and that will tell them ‘oh, I should get my flashlights out and get some fresh batteries’,” Chapman-Henderson said.

It will be much easier to get these plans and supplies together while it is still relatively calm, rather than trying to fight through crowds and the panic that comes with last-minute planning. By having plans in place early, people can face a storm with more calm knowing that they are already prepared.

Chapman-Henderson recommends staying prepared all year round, regardless of location, in case of any kind of natural disaster.

This includes having plans in place to protect your homes and property.

Hurricane Andrew, Fla., Aug. 24, 1992 — Many houses, businesses and personal effects suffered extensive damage from one of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded in America. One million people were evacuated and 54 died in this hurricane. Photo by Bob Epstein, FEMA News.

One of the biggest threats to a home during a hurricane is wind damage. Before evacuating, or if trying to ride out a storm, closing storm shutters or boarding up doors and windows will help to prevent this damage. Hurricane winds can exceed 157 mph. Winds of this magnitude can easily blow out doors, especially garage doors, and windows and can tear through a house. By giving these entry points extra protection, you may be able to minimize damage to your home.

Roofs are also susceptible to high wind damage. Checking your attic before a storm comes in can help assess the vulnerability of a roof. Water stains or loose nails can signal weak points in a roof that a professional may need to come in and repair before a storm arrives. Anchoring a roof is another option for protecting it during a storm. FLASH.org has instructions for how to DIY repair weak spots in a roof.

The most damaging aspect of a hurricane is typically flooding and storm surge. For many homes in areas where flooding is likely, home owner’s insurance will not cover the damage that comes with storm surge when a hurricane hits. Having supplemental flood insurance can help. This insurance can take up to 30 days to go into effect, so having it ahead of a storm is crucial.

“So often, evacuation decisions can make the difference between life and death,” Chapman-Henderson said. “At the minimum, they make the difference in comfort.”

She stressed that regardless of how often your area is hit by storms or how well you may have been able to ride out a storm in the past, each threat should be taken seriously and prepared for adequately. She citied Sandy as an example, explaining that many people in the Northeast may have prepared for Hurricane Irene and not experienced very much damage. This led some to put their guards down when Sandy moved through, which may have contributed to unnecessary losses of life. – AccuWeather

Prepping 101 – A Step By Step Plan for How to Get Started Prepping – pt.1

By P. Henry

I have been asked before by friends how I got started with prepping. It seems the concept can be pretty daunting at first for some people. I can understand how it is when you start to think of the literally hundreds of important items that you need to consider for your family. My first list of “needs” took up an entire sheet of paper. On first glance, this undertaking can appear to be a giant behemoth and some people throw their hands up immediately and give in. I have heard excuses from not having enough money to not knowing where to start. While I agree that some prepper items require money (sometimes a lot!) often there are alternatives in to spending a ton of money, but knowing where to start should never be an issue.

The uncertainty of knowing where to begin could stem from the motivation that is driving you toward emergency preparedness. If your desire to be prepared is driven by some external threat that seems real and tangible like living in Tornado Alley, the place to start might be easier to find. If the motivation to be more prepared is due to what I would call common sense; which is telling you to be prepared for anything, the sense of urgency being lower in some cases might make the choices about where to start and what to do more complex.

In this article, which will broken into a few different parts,  I will try to lay out what I consider is a basic guideline for how to start prepping with a list of areas that I have placed in order of importance. This is just an example of one methodology, but your personal needs, resources or experience might shuffle some of these around. This list was designed for the perspective of the person who is brand spanking new to prepping and is looking for a template of sorts they can follow to get their homes prepared for most emergency situations listed above (within reason). This does not address bugging out but is designed primarily for sheltering in place. My wife loves lists and something like this breaks everything into nice little chunks that is easier to digest and then she can cross off one at a time, so this type of list is designed for people like her.

Step 1 – Priorities

First things first, before you do anything it is important to understand a few things. This is also known as “So you want to be prepared, now what?” For me, it started with a gut feeling for lack of a better word back in 2008. I have said before that I believe someone was trying to get my attention so I started to listen. There was no driving natural threat like earthquakes or hurricanes, wildfires or mudslides that prompted me. I do not worry about the poles shifting too much or aliens attacking from planet Niburu (look that one up) but I did have a sense that society as we know it now is too fragile. Within this fragile society we are dependent upon systems and processes that are created to address the problem of Just in Time inventory management and if those systems break down, so does society. When society breaks down, so do people. When people break down, all hell breaks loose.  As Gerald Celente says; “(when) People Lose Everything, They Have Nothing Left to Lose, And They Lose It.”

The example that gets used pretty frequently is natural disasters so I will stick with that for a moment. Looking back at Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, the people in both of those situations saw how quickly society could come crashing down. In both Katrina and Sandy, gas shortages, grocery stores wiped clean and looting happened almost overnight. Power outages of course happened right away and within 24 hours people’s lives were turned upside down.

Now, imagine your family and what you would be faced with if you were in a similar situation. But I don’t live anywhere near the ocean you say. OK, now forget about tornadoes earthquakes, fires, nuclear meltdowns, comets with aliens living in them and all of the other natural disasters. What if there is a major fluctuation with the price of gas and the grocery stores are no longer filled by the trucks that drive down the street every day? What if the trucks were rolling, but with the high price of gas, they were only able to come half as often as they were in the past? What if there is a terrorist attack at the port of Los Angeles and shipments are delayed for months? What if there is a stupid basketball game that doesn’t go right and there is rioting on your street? What if the police declare martial law because a bad guy is running around and they prevent you from going out of your house for days or weeks?

The point I am trying to make is that there shouldn’t be one single reason you are preparing for. You should want to be prepared for anything. The chances of any one single event happening to you are too small, but the chance of something happening at all that could disrupt your life is much higher. To understand what you need to be prepared for, think less about the event that could cause disruption and more about the potential for disruption and what you would need to live comfortably through that disruption.

There is a saying called the rule of 3’s and it goes like this. A person can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. We will use these as a guideline for prepping going forward. In some cases, the rule of threes can drive what you need to focus on.

Step 2 – Water

Assuming for a minute that you can breathe and have or can obtain shelter easily we will skip over to water. Water is an obvious necessity, it is probably the easiest survival item to procure before any disaster and yet most people still don’t have enough of it to last the normal duration of what we might call your “usual” disaster. Without trying to be funny, a normal disaster is not measured in hours, or days. At a minimum, if you are faced with a severe emergency like a tornado, hurricane or earthquake, services and life as you knew it probably won’t return to normal for several weeks. To verify this just look at the people who lived through Katrina and Sandy. There are people still that can’t go back into their homes and this happened back in October of 2012. That is 7 months ago and Sandy was only a Category 1 hurricane. Imagine the destruction had it been much stronger.

A good rule of thumb for water storage is to have one gallon per person per day. This includes cooking and cleaning, but that amount could change depending on the weather, the health of the individual and the physical activity they are participating. Still, one gallon is a good rule and it is simple to figure out. I like nice round numbers.

For every person in your home, you should plan on storing a gallon each for as many days as you can envision needing clean water. FEMA recommends 72 hours’ worth or three days. The general concept is that you need a 72 hour kit for each person for survival. I think that in order to be well prepared a minimum should be three times that amount. For a 4 person home, you would need to store 4 X 9 = 36 gallons of water.  That is a great start, but having twice as much that would be even better. Twice as much would be closer to 21 days which works out nicely with your 3 weeks of food so now for that same family we are looking at 84 gallons of water.

For water storage the problem is space for most people. If you have a large basement or storage building, storing a couple hundred gallons of extra water is easy. In an apartment this is not the same because you will usually only have a small closet and some pantry space if you are lucky.  Regardless of your situation, water is an essential aspect of planning and should be one of the first items you consider for your survival kit.

For storing water, it is easier and more space efficient to store at least 5 gallon jugs of water as opposed to a case of individual bottles. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive options at your local big-box stores or online. Just search for 5 gallon water storage and you will have plenty to choose from. For those with more space, 50 gallon barrels are ideal. Because I don’t have the storage space I incorporated two 50 gallon barrels as rain barrels outside attached to my gutters. This water will need to be treated, but if it rains I can have a fresh 100 gallons fairly easily. For inside the house, I went with 5-gallon because that made the most sense for our available space. We got ours from the Ready store and they stack easily which helps with space.

The bottom line is get some water stored for yourself and your family. It’s easy and doesn’t take any preparation at all.

You can read more about storage and water treatment options in our article that deals specifically with water.

Later on in Part 2 we will discuss the rest of the basic options which will cover Food Storage, Firearms for Self Defense and Financial Security. – The Prepper Journal

Preparedness Resources

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Hurricane season is here once again and it’s no doubt to be full of action. May 26 through June 1, 2013 is Hurricane Preparedness Week so are you prepared?  The National Weather Service and local authorities are responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready  before a storm approaches.

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

The official Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.  As peak season approaches it is important to understand and prepare for hurricane hazards, even if you don’t live right on the coast. So it’s time to get your supplies ready just in case you need them.

Hurricanes can cause major damage to the coastline from storm surges, winds in excess of 150 miles per hour and torrential rainfall which leads to flooding; this includes miles inland even as these massive storms are downgraded once they hit land.

Sandy_Oct_25_2012_0400ZHurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history. Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. While it was a Category 2 storm off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km). Preliminary estimates assess damage at nearly $75 billion (2012 USD), a total surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina. At least 285 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. The severe and widespread damage the storm caused in the United States, as well as its unusual merge with a frontal system, resulted in the nicknaming of the hurricane by the media and several organizations of the U.S. government “Superstorm Sandy“.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare for a hurricane:

  • Build an Emergency Kit and a have an evacuation plan.
  • Identify potential hazards such as dams and levees in your area that could fail and cause flooding.
  • Figure out the elevation of your home and property and its potential flooding from storm surge or torrential rains.
  • Identify your evacuation routes and where there is higher ground if you need to evacuate in a hurry. Have several options available and planned out so you’re not surprised in the event your first option is unavailable or cut-off.
  • Make plans to secure your property and livestock.
  • Have materials ready to be able to cover windows, such as marine plywood or storm shutters, already fitted for the area you will be covering.
  • Install additional strapping to secure your roof to the framing of your home or other structures such as garages, sheds and barns. Reinforce any doors and cover windows on these structures.
  • Keep trees and landscaping trimmed so they are more wind resistant and identify any possible hazards such as old rotten trees, branches or the like that may be blown down and may cause damage to property or injuries to people or animals.
  • Bring in all outdoor decorations, furniture, garbage and landscaping cans that can be blown away by high winds or is not tied down and secure.
  • If you own a boat make plans to secure it.
  • Consider installing an emergency generator or alternate energy source for the power outages that follow such events.
  • Check your Insurance coverage; your insurance may not cover flood damage.
  • Stay informed by TV and radio stations.
  • Evacuate when instructed by authorities or if you live in a low-lying area that is prone to flooding or live in a mobile home in any coastal area or flood plain.

If you have to evacuate, you’ll need supplies so be sure to have a 72-hour kit or bug-out bag stocked and ready to go. Remember to include things like extra clothing, important documents, prescription medications, first-aid supplies, food, water, portable radio and other personal and hygiene items. There are lots of pre-made kits on the market which makes this is a great option to get you a base kit and then you can add your own personal touches to create something that fits your personal needs.

After the hurricane and it is safe to return home you should be prepared to face wide-spread power outages and other services that may be disrupted for days or even weeks. This means even though your home and you have survived you may need to be on your own for an extended period of time so you will need supplies and other resources to get you through. You should consider installing an emergency generator or alternate energy source for the power outages that follow such events. Also you may want to have an emergency food storage source available with ways of storing,  gathering and disinfecting water. I would suggest a 2 week supply of both just to be safe but you know your area and resource availability so do what makes you comfortable.

Hopefully by following these tips and suggestions you and your family will feel safe and secure to make it through hurricane season this year and for years to come.

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How to convince someone about prepping

By P. Henry

I received an email the other day asking for advice on how to get a loved one on board with prepping.  This is a subject I have wanted to write about for a while because I have had these same thoughts and struggles with various loved ones in my own life as each of you. I won’t try to convince you that I am an expert and there is no book forthcoming, but I do have personal experience and wanted to share this and my perspectives with you. I share these like most of my articles in the hopes that someone reading can gain some small bit of knowledge or a suggestion that may help you in your own personal prepping journey and that this information can equip you to be prepared or make your life easier.

Why do we care about this in the first place? It should be perfectly obvious to everyone the reasons for prepping, shouldn’t it? They make perfect sense to me and it is just logical. I mean how can you not see what I am worried about? If you haven’t caught on by now, everyone isn’t like you. No matter how close someone is to you they have their own opinions, their own experiences, fears, doubts, stresses and priorities. Even two people who live under the same roof and who have been married for years can see things completely differently.  A lot of things…

When I started to “wake up” to the realization that our society is pretty fragile and notice the everyday threats that I was ignoring, the first person I wanted to tell was my wife. I didn’t break it to her slowly either. I think I read a few books and did a ton of research on the internet and then one night as we were getting ready for bed I hit her with my whole list of concerns and everything I needed to purchase before the grid went down. This did not go over well. As you might expect, or have possibly even witnessed yourself, my wife pretty much looked at me and said “That’s crazy”. It was my first attempt at convincing someone else (who I cared for) of something I was so sure about and I failed miserably.  The sting was worse because if anyone would understand and support me it would be my spouse, right? Wrong.

When I started prepping in earnest it drove my every thought and it still occupies a good part of my daily plans. To me, this new perspective helped my family to become more prepared, but I didn’t have a lot of support or understanding at first. Convincing someone of a new or completely foreign concept is not an easy task. Especially when that concept takes them well outside of their comfort zone, costs a lot of money or could cause them embarrassment.

Understand your audience

I have a lot of people I care for in my life or I should say a lot of different types of people I care for. There is my immediate family which I consider as my wife and kids. Our parents and siblings are the second tier, and then close friends, casual friends or co-workers and everyone else.  I want each one of these people to be aware of the threats that could disrupt our lives and to prepare accordingly. However, I can’t talk to a casual friend with the same openness as my spouse obviously. I wouldn’t tell a co-worker all of my plans hopes and fears with the same comfort as my siblings or parents.

Understanding your audience is a key factor to consider anytime you are having a conversation in which you are trying to persuade them to your point of view. The more you know about a person the better you will be prepared to discuss prepping with them in a way that is going to keep them comfortable and open to conversation. Some of this plays out for me in subtle ways like asking leading questions or using current events to sell a point. If I had a co-worker that I wanted to talk to about prepping I would first wait for the right opportunity. If a situation presented itself, like the recent bombings in Boston, and the subject came up you could broach being prepared with them. How you do that though is going to be different than how you would be with your brother or sister. Try to match your fervor and energy level to the level of interest you perceive in the person you are talking to. Actually, I try to keep my tone one step below where they are at. Here is an example.

Your co-worker comes up to you and brings up hurricane Sandy and how tragic it is that people were without power for weeks and had to wait in gas lines. You could offer words like “I feel sorry for them. That’s why I have some extra gas stored for emergencies” because “you never know what could happen”.  I think it’s important to say this with a humble attitude and not a “those people are idiots” tone. This may lead to other questions or it may die right there, but you left the impression on your co-worker that someone has thought about things like this and won’t be as out of luck if the same scenario were to happen to you. They may come back to you later with other questions or this could just be a spark that gets them thinking. Sometimes I think that the first step to thinking about prepping is hearing that someone you know and respect is thinking about the same thing already.

Focus on the need, not the reason

Many times I have tried to convince my spouse of the impending doom or disasters lurking around the corner and I believe that in some cases this isn’t the best approach. My wife would have two initial reactions to my conspiracy theories or inflated statements about the quickly approaching end of the world. First, she would want to convince me that I am wrong about whatever my subject was. My wife is very smart and knows a fair amount of history so she has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon which takes us further away from where I am trying to go. In my mind I am only trying to get her on board with my prepping. But by telling her some of the reasons (the more alternative reasons) for prepping, she forgets about the need and focuses on debunking my theories. Secondly, she did not want to believe that anything is hopeless. For her, if we truly were headed for a disaster or economic collapse, what was the point in trying? In this situation, rather than convince her what we need to do to live, I was making her feel more helpless. My job was to reverse that thinking quickly.

I have learned through many of these discussions that my wife simply doesn’t have the same view on a lot of things that I do but that is perfectly fine. She can easily see the benefit in having food after watching the shelves empty after the threat of a snow storm. She can appreciate having a few dozen gallons of gas when the gas station pumps are no longer working. She can imagine going without toilet paper because we don’t have any and the stores are closed or having to have an alternate plan for cooking if the power is off. It is sometimes easier to let the person you are trying to convince think about the end situation you are describing (hunger, gas rationing, cities on lock-down) than the potential reasons for these scenarios.

After several arguments about the various forces I believe that are conspiring to create our very own SHTF future, I switched tactics. I didn’t try to convince my wife about zombies coming to eat everyone’s brains out, but I used real people reacting to real natural disasters to highlight what I wanted her to understand. When you can see on TV people who aren’t prepared and imagine how they must be suffering it is easier to picture yourself in that same situation. What I had been struggling with was not as big of an issue anymore. My wife started to imagine her family being without food because the power was out or the roads were closed and then me stocking up a month worth of food wasn’t such a big deal anymore.

Be happy with small victories

When I first told my wife all of my grand plans and concerns about the world, I had a fantasy in my mind that she would jump up immediately and say “OK, let’s get going. What do we need to do?”. I thought surely she would see the urgency of what I saw and would instantly be 100% behind me. That didn’t happen at all and I have had to content myself with a lot of smaller victories.

If you have someone in your life that you really love and are concerned with, you have to look at everything as a work in progress. Your marriage is not something you put a days worth of work into and then spend the rest of your life coasting. It is similar sometimes with prepping. You may be able to agree on storing up a month of food or making sure you have plenty of stored water, but firearms for security takes a lot longer. They may be perfectly fine with you building your own Get Home Bag, but balk at you wanting to get a concealed carry license.

Expect that you may not win this person or any person over immediately, but your actions and the way you live your life will be viewed over a period of months or possibly years. If you can get your parents to purchase a firearm for their security, but they think you would be insane to store any food, be happy they have a gun. Don’t discount everything because they aren’t riding next to you in your bug out vehicle with full-on camo ready for the end of the world. Like I said everyone has different views and priorities. You should be steady in your convictions, loving in your concern and let them see that you take this seriously. Over time, the people you are trying to convince will see how you act. It will ultimately be up to them to choose how they want to live.

Maintain respect and dignity

No matter how hard you try there will be some people who you may love very much who simply don’t see things the way you do. They may disagree with everything you say and as much as it hurts to do it, you might just have to let it go. Don’t try to convince them anymore, but you don’t have to shut yourself off from them. I have had disagreements with my father for instance.  I think I always treated him with respect even though I think he is wrong on some things. I am sure he feels the same, but it doesn’t matter what he believes because I still love him and hope that I never have to say “I told you so”. Now, I don’t think I would ever say that regardless of the situation but people will disagree with you and what will you do then?

At some point, hopefully before you have escalated things into a full-blown argument, you can simply agree to disagree. This is only going to reflect better on you and may make you more approachable later. Treat people with respect even though you think they are wrong or naïve and they will think better of you for it. And, it will make you a better person too. Humility and knowing when to drop something are excellent traits.

At the end of the day, your job should be to prepare yourself and your family. Part of that responsibility as a leader is to get people on board with you. It may not happen overnight, but you have already decided to do everything you can to survive, right? You have to have the same conviction with the people you love. Never give up on them and always be there if they need you. – The Prepper Journal

As Memorial Day and the start of the summer season nears, almost an entire rebuild is underway at the Jersey Shore, after Superstorm Sandy devastated homes and businesses last fall.

When Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012, locals evacuated with prized possessions and a few days worth of spare clothing. Few anticipated the severity of the storm and how long displacement might last.

Nearly five months later, hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions are preparing to re-open and are in need of a heavy tourism season. Homeowners, however, have their reservations about what conflicting messages the public may be receiving.

Lou Cirigliano is the Director of Operations at Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach, an iconic part of the coastline for many who have spent their childhood summers at the Jersey Shore.

Casino Pier’s signature attraction, the Jet Star roller coaster, was framed as the backdrop for Sandy’s devastation, as it washed into the ocean and remained dismally amid the water for months after the storm.

Despite severe damage to the pier and its attractions, Cirigliano is set on re-opening.

“We are still hopeful of being able to bring the entire property east of Ocean Terrace back by Memorial Day weekend,” Cirigliano said.

The iconic Jet Star rollercoaster seen in the background was washed into the ocean during the wrath of Superstorm Sandy. Photo courtesy of AccuWeather.com’s Senior Videographer David Defilippis.

“It is still a very long process yet. We have no electrical services or utilities there. We are working hard and things will begin in ernest this week, but in only two months there is still a lot to be accomplished.”

The pier is being disassembled in areas deemed structurally unsound and new pilings are being placed where fresh boardwalk will lie in the future.

Like many, Cirigliano has struggled with the frustration of new building requirements and the bureaucracy of insurance companies and governmental agencies.

“We can’t wait to do the required work, but with all our damage we sustained, we also need to do certain things based on the procedures the insurance representatives dictate,” Cirigliano said.

“The rebuilding process has been quite complicated — more so than I ever imagined.”

Cirigliano is just one of many facing the same plight.

Ohana Grill in Lavallete has been closed since Sandy ransacked the town in October.

“Between the winds that knocked the power lines down and the surge of water that overtook the barrier island, our restaurant was in bad shape,” restaurant owner and Head Chef James Costello said.

Winds gusted to near 90 mph in the hardest-hit areas of New Jersey, knocking out power to more than 2.4 million customers. Sandy’s destructive winds were responsible for more than double the number of power outages caused by Irene in 2011.

Ohana Grill, which opened two years ago, received one and a half feet of water damage and required Costello to replace the floor and 4 feet of the bottom sheetrock. What was salvaged sits in storage, awaiting the restaurant’s official reopen.

“Every time we meet with the landlord we feel his frustration that to date none of his insurance claims have even come close to settling. Basically, right now we are building in the ‘hopes’ that everything being spent will be covered,” Costello said.

Costello says it has been a “leap of faith” for him and his wife.

“I had a discussion with my wife prior to beginning the rebuilding process that there was a possibility that we would take on substantial debt to reopen. We decided, together, to go forward. This had always been our dream together and we couldn’t let this storm take it away,” he said.

Despite a hopeful attitude, the coast is draped with concern, from both business and homeowners alike.

Sandy damage is still rampant along the coast five months post-storm. Entire streets are vacant in some towns. Photo courtesy of AccuWeather.com’s Senior Videographer David Defilippis.

“I think we will see people returning to Seaside to support the businesses that are back opened, but I fear that the rentals and hotels they used to stay in may not be reopened in time…,” Cirigliano said.

Businesses to the north of Casino Pier were severely impacted, and Cirigliano questions whether they will ever return.

“I know the phones have been ringing about the summer, and that is keeping us optimistic. If the amount of people in town on the weekends so far is any indication, things will be good.”

But for homeowners, there is a dangerous mixed message of preparedness for the summer season and disrepair in the community.

Faith Ligouri, a resident of Seaside Park, has returned to her home but has not yet been able to restore the first floor, which sustained severe water damage and has since been gutted.

“I’m excited today because B&B is open, a local store down the street,” Faith told AccuWeather on March 16. “I’m happy to see them back.”

“I don’t want to discourage people from coming and visiting, it’s important to our businesses and our economy but I would beg the world, honestly, to understand that we are not whole. And we will not be whole for years to come because we all have to face, how are we going to rebuild our homes,” she said. “And no one can give us a clear and financially do-able answer to that.”

The elusiveness of federal mitigation grants and insurance payouts is breeding frustration in the community.

“I feel like there is a perception that the Jersey Shore is wealthy or these are people’s second homes and that’s really not true. These are our primary homes. And we need support, financially, emotionally and physically,” Ligouri said.

“And that’s what I’d like people to know. While our streets may be clean, our houses are empty.”

More at AccuWeather-Sandy-Ravaged Businesses Prepare for Tourism; Residents Fear Public Confusion.

This article by GA over at Survive2balive

By now most people have had a chance to review the news and images coming out of the Northeast where Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction.  These images represent exactly what we in the prepared community prepare for.
After an event such as Katrina, one would never expect something so similar to happen in this country, especially within such a short proximity of time. We see new pictures every day of people standing in lines for basic needs.  We listen to horrific reports of storm victims without food, shelter and other basic necessities.  We have even learned of people dumpster diving in search of food. Now, to make matters even worse, they are expecting the arrival of a Nor’easter later this week.

If this event does not wake people up, I’m not sure anything ever will.  Are we that apathetic as a society that we will totally disregard the well-being of ourselves and our loved ones?  Electing to not have a preparedness plan in place makes absolutely no sense.  Sure, some of the residents affected by the storm would have been grossly impacted even if they had been prepared.  But how many of the people we see in these daily images were not directly impacted by Sandy? How many are hungry and cold just because they thought something like this could never happen to them and never took the time and resources to develop a preparedness strategy for their family?  I would bet it is the
majority.

Who is to blame?  I have seen countless reports where angry people are accusing the government of responding too slowly to their needs.
The Red Cross is taking a beating by critics for being ineffective.  People are blaming the President, governors, and mayors for their predicament.  But, how much of this could have been avoided if people had taken their personal preparedness seriously?  How much shorter would those lines be if people had ample supplies of food, water, and gear necessary to survive for a few months right there in their homes?

I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no desire to be one of the herd stranding in line waiting for handouts or for a few gallons of gasoline.  I have no interest in depending on some other person or some government agency to make sure my family is warm and has food to eat.  No matter who is elected to office tomorrow.

w, you personal survival during a crisis is not their responsibility…it is yours and yours ONLY!  Your existence in a post-SHTF world is going to be dictated by how you prepare today.

There are scores of people out there that know deep down inside that they should get a plan in place. Thousands of people come to web sites
such as this one daily to take a look around but never take the next step. Too many people just lurk and then leave, electing to go onto something else in their life and once again put their good intentions on a back burner.  How many people in the storm’s wake are now wishing they had followed through?
Things in our world are getting more fragile on a daily basis.  If you truly believe that somebody else is responsible for your personal safety, then you are probably making a horrible mistake.  Not preparing during calmer times will lead to conditions of untold suffering.  Apathy now will ultimately result in a very difficult existence for you and your loved ones.  It may even prove deadly.  Don’t allow yourself to be put in a position where you need to blame somebody for your situation.  Preparedness is each of our responsibility and if you find yourself helpless, like many have this past week, you only have yourself to blame.  Prepare expeditiously.Spe Labor Levis
GA
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