What I Learned Living Through Harvey
What I Learned Living Through Harvey by M.S. – Survival Blog
I’ve lived through several disasters and learned some thing. The worst events, in my experience, were the World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Sandy in New York City, and then most recently Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont, Texas. South East Texas was hit with life threatening, devastating rain fall, which put entire cities under water, turned towns into islands, and crippled the municipal water system of Beaumont. The following is a list of lessons I learned during this experience.
1. I’m not overly paranoid.
I’ve been freedom oriented and interested in prepping for a while, and many of my family and friends think I’m just being overly paranoid. I was hoping this was the case, but unfortunately it’s not.
2. Every disaster, natural or otherwise, presents its own challenges and obstacles.
One common issue is self defense as well as defense of one’s family and belongings. This was a continual struggle while I lived in NYC, since although I managed to obtain a pistol license (which was an incredible challenge), my NYC Pistol License did not allow for carry outside of my residence. Once I moved to Texas, I immediately obtained my concealed carry license. Although I’m guilty of not carrying 24/7, it was certainly comforting knowing I have the ability to carry a gun for defense in instances such as a disaster or crisis. Everyone in Beaumont couldn’t have been nicer, perhaps because no one got to the point of desperation. However, I still carried, and I’m glad I did, just in case it got worse.
My petite, disabled wife is a strong believer in carrying concealed. If you ask her why, she’d tell you because there’s no other way she could fend off a 200lb man. I understand there are many people who don’t like guns. My response is to ask them if they dislike guns so much they’d refuse the ability to protect their family.
3. Keeping between one and three month’s worth of shelf stable food in your house is not ridiculous.
Beaumont was only cutoff from deliveries for a few days. Some of the outlying smaller towns were cut off for longer and didn’t benefit from all the MREs being distributed around Beaumont. Having enough food to stay home and not having to venture out into the chaos was priceless.
4. Minimizing injuries became an obvious priority, once the hospitals evacuated and shut down.
Being self-sufficient at home to not only protect my family and dwelling but to reduce the possibility of a car wreck or other accident became a priority.
5. Keep a water storage device on hand and fill it before a storm.
On day three of the hurricane, I finally decided to open my bathtub water bladder. I almost felt stupid filling it up but figured if now wasn’t the time, then when? And, of course, in the back of my mind I figured I was again being overly paranoid. My wife even made a joke while I was filing it. I texted my friends that lived in the area, reminding them to fill their tubs with water in case the water shut off. Only one of my friends actually did it, and ironically she was one of the few that didn’t lose running water. We lost city water the day after the hurricane.
Many people figured the worst was passed and started to relax. I usually keep enough bottled water to last a month, but having that extra amount in the tub that I could use to drink or wash my hands or face with, was priceless. Again, it kept me from having to go to water distribution sites or under-stocked stores.
6. A somewhat eye opener was that I didn’t have enough buckets of water for flushing toilets.
Five-gallon buckets are inexpensive and take up very little room in a shed or garage. In hind sight, if I had had a few, I could have filled them and left them outside. Instead, I had to make alternate arrangements, which was harder than I had anticipated, being that I live in a suburban neighborhood. (I, of course, wasn’t going to waste any of my precious drinking water.) One of the first things I bought after the storm were more buckets and a camp potty. I won’t be caught in that situation again. Many people took buckets or whatever vessels they had and filled them in the river or drainage canals to flush with. This just seemed like an unnecessarily dangerous task for multiple reasons.