Episode-366- The Missed Lessons of Major Disasters

It seems there is always a disaster somewhere in the world.  Right now eyes are on Haiti, over the last two decades we have had many.  The LA Riots, The California Quake, Hurricanes Andrew, Ike, Rita and of course Katrina.  Lesser publicized weather events like the Ft. Worth and Arlington Tornado (which we lived through), the Mississippi floods of the 90s, Tropical Storm Fay in Jacksonville and more.

Each time we hear how we have “learned” from the event and will do better next time, yet a lot of what we learn misses many of the real lessons.  This will be the subject of today’s podcast.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • More first responders per individual
  • Biggest shortages are food, water and shelter
  • Law and order will break down
  • Law abiding citizens often become targets of law enforcement
  • The media loves hardship, blame and is never part of the solution
  • The size and scope of large disasters has actually be quite small
  • Government and your fellow man will help but you may still be on your own
  • Redundancy in your preparations is critical
  • The disaster is not the biggest danger, the aftermath is
  • The cause is less important then the removal of systems of support
  • Money can become worthless, beer can be a currency
  • Free societies are vulnerable
  • What happens elsewhere can and very well may effect you
  • It can happen where you live
  • It is up to you, no matter the intentions of others
  • Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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    3 Responses to Episode-366- The Missed Lessons of Major Disasters

    1. endure2survive

      Good show. I’ve been watching the response and wondering why it is that the Red Cross and FEMA still recommend only 3 days worth of food and water storage rather than two weeks. I know not everyone in the country is a prepper, but it was obvious from Katrina, Wilma, and Ike, now reiterated by Haiti that there won’t even be boots on the ground until day 3-5, and an effective deliver system is at least another 5 days behind that.

      The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how unprepared most of us are when we travel. Without even thinking about travel to a third world country, just traveling to Las Vegas; how many folks know where the hospitals are? How many check where the emergency exits from their hotel put you out? How would we deal with an extended power outage bringing down all the ATMs and credit card machines?

      I was in DC on 9/11, a very localized disaster limited to one building in the city, but within 24 hours every rental car at Reagan National was rented out and there were no flights out. A coworker had the foresight to call BWI and a short train ride later we had a way home. From now on, I’m going to print out some maps identifying the US Embassy (if international), local hospitals, local supermarkets, and outdoor stores. I’m also going to print off numbers to local rental car companies (one’s that not everyone has the 1-800 number for), airlines, non-emergency law enforcement and emergency services, and friends/relatives/contacts that I know in or near the city. I’m also going to carry a little more cash and a few fractional pieces of gold. In my bag, water purification (filter bottle?), pepper spray (if it’s a city/state I can’t legally have a gun), first aid kit, multi-tool, AA battery cell phone and i-pod charger, flashlight, and rain poncho. I’m sure there’s additional items I’ll add as I build a new travel kit, but that seems like the very basics.

    2. Thought this would be the good spot to put this. This guy is interviewing a person who talks on how Haiti was ripped a good one by the international community and caused this disaster (and their poverty) to be much worse than it should have.


    3. EnglishBrambles

      Water in a disaster seems such a critical resource but it so hard to transport. Does anyone know specifically if many Lifesaver bottles were shipped to Haiti?