Survival

The Single Most Probable SHTF Event

flood

Most preppers are preparing for some specific crisis event. Just ask them and they’ll tell you. Most of the explanations you’ll get will feature some natural or man-made disaster of nation- or world-ending severity.

You’ll be regaled with tales of EMP strikes, massive solar flares and other cosmic mayhem, a global Ice Age, economic collapse, nuclear world war, zombie outbreaks, robot uprisings and more. Mega-tsunamis, super earthquakes and sky-darkening volcanic eruptions, the potential SHTF events preppers prep for are many and wild.

Some are pure fantasy (we hope) and others are distinctly possible, even if incalculably unlikely.
It begs the question, though: What if these preppers are preparing for the wrong thing, and in their distraction, are sort of crept upon by some other crisis? Will they be ready?

That is the question I intend to answer in today’s article. In it, we’ll define what a SHTF event is on an individual level, and then take a look at the statistically most-likely SHTF-level disasters are. Hopefully by the end, you can adjust your preps accordingly, and perhaps help steer those more wayward souls back into the realm of feasibility.

Personal Disasters versus Real-Deal SHTF Events

Before we get to far into the meat of the discussion, it is important to define exactly what I am referring to when I refer to “SHTF” events, as this invariably results in much correction and occasionally some invective in the comments.

For the purposes of this article, I am quantifying a SHTF-level crisis as one that impacts the majority of people living in an area when it occurs, either at a local, regional or national level with drastic disruption of everyday civilian life.

Some people disagree and think that a SHTF event is any event that upends your life when it slams into you, take for instance a car accident. I disagree: a car accident will certainly affect your life and the lives of whoever else is involved, but it does not affect society as a whole one iota.

After you crashed into an obstacle or were slammed into by another vehicle, assuming you survive and are able to summon help the event and its effects are over, even if the consequences and resultant loss of life or limb may affect you for the rest of your time on Earth.

Sure, a single car run-off-road accident in a remote and infrequently traveled area may now suddenly take on some broader survival context until you can be found, reach or summon help, but it does not compare to the level of disruption of, say, a Cat 5 hurricane wiping out and flooding a major Gulf Coast city.
We are concerned today with events that would be classed as major disasters or catastrophes, not personal emergencies.

Obsession with the Apocalyptic

It is tough to tell based on my simple researches into the matter just how many preppers are genuinely preparing for a truly apocalyptic event, one that has global consequences. Certainly most depictions of preppers in media would have you believe that all of them are sun-gazing, frothing prognosticators of doom, half-eager to see the Earth swept clean.

Yikes. I don’t know about the rest of you readers, but almost every prepper I know, to a man and woman, is far more concerned with the plausible, even likely events that may, even probably will occur in our lifetimes than surviving the end of days.

The adjective “apocalyptic” gets tossed around so much the word has lost of its portent, and I am as guilty as anyone. Most natural disasters, no matter how far reaching or widespread, are not apocalyptic. No tornado, no hurricane, and so far no earthquakes in recorded history could truly be described as such because there have been plenty of people left to record the event and its aftermath for posterity.

Some events, like theorized super-volcano eruptions, impact from massive celestial bodies or other cosmic phenomenon like a gamma ray burst along with other severe, but natural, phenomena could actually have apocalyptic consequences. Man-made cataclysms like a major nuclear exchange could result in the essential death of human life on Earth, an apocalypse of our own making. These events are undoubtedly real, and scarily plausible if unlikely events.

What I would caution against, if you are preparing for an apocalyptic scenario, is an over emphasis on preparing for that event in particular. The sad reality is that some events will be so bad, there is nothing you can do, or nothing you can do to effectively survive beyond the very near term. Most planning for such instances is material- land, food, equipment, shelter, etc. – not skill-based in nature.

That leads to a major blind spot in your prepper’s repertoire; having the skills to survive an event that has wiped out your home town, made the surroundings nearly uninhabitable and hampered and possible relief response.

For that reason, I have not even calculated which among the true “world ending” class events may be the most likely, instead focusing on disasters that happen year in and year out around the globe.

The Fear of the Fantastic

Similarly to the above, I am completely omitting any events that might charitably be called “theoretically possible.” These are old campfire and locker room mainstays like zombie outbreaks, robot uprisings controlled by a self-aware and increasingly hateful A.I., alien invasions, Earth’s magnetic poles flipping and so forth. Let’s get real: such things are only threats in our imaginations.

While some folks use these instances as metaphors for prepping in general, because if you are prepared for that you are prepared for anything, but I will not be giving these events any credence on our list. Sorry, conspiracy theorists.

The Most Probable SHTF Event

One thing to note with the event(s) below is that they are more or less likely to occur depending on where you live. Don’t take me to task over it, as this article is a general list based on gatherable statistics from agencies concerned with such matters.

According to the U.N.’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the single most likely natural disaster to occur in the world, anywhere, on a yearly basis is…

Flooding!

That’s right, rising water is the most likely disaster to befall you anywhere in the developed world with over 30% of all disasters being categorized as flooding, and that certainly jibes with data gathered by U.S. based disaster response agencies and insurers. Whether it is from torrential rain from a thunderstorm, hurricane or snow melt off, flooding is a perennially deadly and extraordinarily destructive event.

Typically a local major body of water will overrun its banks from a sustained torrent of heavy rain, but not always. Things like the aforementioned snow or ice melt, tsunamis, and dam failure can also create severe flood conditions.

Preparing for a flood is a must no matter where you live (well, almost no matter where), as flooding creates serious survival challenges with its primary, second and third order effects. Moving flood waters pack incredible power and can sweep away people and vehicles alike. Even buildings can be dislodged from their foundations.

After the initial destruction and death, flood waters, be they fresh or salt water, will now contain and conceal all manner of hazards: debris, broken glass, sharp metal wreckage, chemicals, sewage, corpses, all will be within the swirling black water. Moving around in any flood inundated area is a highly dangerous and risky proposition. Beyond the direct hazards, you can depend on disease and parasite infections skyrocketing anytime there is contact with the nasty soup.

Beyond all that, you will be able to depend on power being down, and other utilities either being down and out or too risky to use. Broken and concealed power lines will make risk of electric shock a real possibility. Roads will be impassible, and the resultant transportation breakdown will make getting needed aid like food, water, medicine and rescue personnel into the area difficult or impossible.

Even after the water recedes, the carnage is not over. Mold and other dangerous microscopic life will infest every waterlogged surface that can support it. Sewage contamination will have utterly ruined what little could have been reclaimed from the water itself. Mosquitoes will have a heyday breeding in every pool of water, large or small, in certain climes and will plague survivors and rescuers alike.

Essentially, a flood event of any magnitude is extremely dangerous and will completely halt the processes of society in proportion to its severity. If you are not planning and preparing to deal with a flood event as one of your Number One concerns, you are planning on a bad time.

Other Likely Disasters

A flood is far from the only SHTF event that is likely to befall you. Today and historically, plenty of disasters have threatened entire regions, even large countries, and continue to do so today. Even though floods are, globally, top dog when it comes to death and mayhem, you should definitely make it a point to be aware of and prepare for these runner-up disasters.

Wind

Second only to water, wind and windstorm events are a major and unpredictable hazard. Often encountered as an effect from tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and other storms, all told wind-related disasters account for more than 26% of all disasters globally. Some of the very worst disasters in history did their grisly work predominately with wind.

Being prepared for a wind event means enhancing your home’s physical structure or having a known and wind-rated shelter close by. You should also make it a point to remove or at least secure anything in close proximity to your home that might become a missile in high winds.

Winds from tornadoes and hurricanes in particular are well known for causing catastrophic damage over a wide area, and are more than capable of killing all on their own: when the wind blows hard enough, even the smallest, most innocuous object can become a deadly projectile.

Disease

The bronze on our list goes to the germs. Epidemics, pandemics, pestilence, whatever kind of outbreak you are facing, know that eruptions of bacteria, viruses and other microscopic Hell-raisers have killed 10’s and 10’s of millions of people over the centuries, often in horrible ways. Outbreaks of disease account for a hair over 11% of all global disasters according to the UNODRR.

While much of the developed world has in recent decades been spared the horror of ebola, typhoid malaria and plague epidemics that still haunt much of the Third World, even these nations fear the specter of a virulent flu outbreak, and no one knows when a new and novel mutation or previously undiscovered germ will rip through a population with no cure in sight.

Epidemic and pandemic preparedness consists of effective early warning, coordination with health organizations and disease containment agencies as well as strict sanitation and quarantine protection protocols. Invisible, silent and undetectable until it is way beyond too late, germs are an insidious and deadly killer.

Earthquake

Less frequent in many places by a considerable margin than our other disasters, but frighteningly common and potentially devastating in others, earthquakes are a lurking threat with no real defense against them, and make up 9% of all disasters globally. In that figure, it should be noted, are also earthquake-caused tsunamis, so you can look forward to being drowned if the quake itself does not leave your entire city looking like a diorama that someone dropped.

Most earthquakes are comparatively minor and do not even warrant more than a blip on the evening or afternoon news, but when they go big, they go really, really big. Of the top 10 deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, four of them were high magnitude earthquakes.

Being prepared for an earthquake is mostly a matter of planning for the occasion and then being prepared and trained for escaping or living in the aftermath. Even with the best modern quake-resistant technology for buildings, there is of now no known defense against the titan forces and heaving earth of the strongest earthquakes.

Drought

Droughts are not the most spectacular or sudden of disasters, but they are among the worst, and typically affect a region. Droughts result in a slow decline and eventually lack of basic necessities and services. Food, water and electricity are all affected by droughts. In modernized nations, water can always be trucked in at a cost, but the impact to local livestock and crops is often enormous, creating secondary economic problems.

The heatwaves associated with droughts are deadly killers in their own right, and to this very day remain serious threats even in highly developed countries here in the U.S., each year furnishing more deaths from sustained high temperature. With that heat comes increased strain on electrical grids as people try in vain to cool down their environments. With enough demand, brownouts will occur, then blackouts. Without AC, more will die. Food will spoil, and on and on and on.

Though proper droughts make up only about 8% of all natural disasters globally, anyone living anywhere besides perennially cool or cold environments must have a plan for dealing with their effects and the effects of a sustained heatwave.

Conclusion

Being a responsible and realistic prepper means preparing for the most likely threats, not the ones you find the most exciting or interesting. Water in the form of flooding is by far the most serious and common almost no matter where you live, so that must figure prominently into your plans. After that you should be prepping for the effects of high winds and an outbreak of deadly germs. Don’t let your fear of an exotic, scary disaster blind you to the realities of a real SHTF event.

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About Charles Yor

Charles Yor is an advocate of low-profile preparation, readiness as a virtue and avoiding trouble before it starts. He has enjoyed a long career in personal security implementation throughout the lower 48 of the United States.
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13 thoughts on “The Single Most Probable SHTF Event

  1. Great article! I’d like to add a reality, though… Swamp critters tend to follow the water; Gators, snakes, etc…

    1. Senile Travel,

      Great article! I’d like to add a reality, though… Swamp critters tend to follow the water; Gators, snakes, etc

      That’s so true, which means your threat matrix should include all of those potential, even if very improbable threats. Here we have only three poisonous snakes that are rare; but, handling snake bites should be at least on your list.

  2. Financial shutdown. We see what problems curtailing government checks to less than a million people has created and the money is there and will be released soon. What if all government checks stop and do not come back? Or just the nations credit card system is hacked and shut off. Just today I had a taste of it. Right before Christmas someone put a fraudulent charge on one of my credit cards. I disputed the charge and the bank canceled that card and issued another number for that account. Last week I paid it off. Sunday a check my bank balance and saw I had enough money to pay off my last card and have $1000 left, great, no more interest. Today my bank called and I am over drawn by $900. Fortunately my father in law lives near by and loaned us the money to cover it. What happened? The payment for the new account was delayed and I did no notice that it had not posted when I checked my bank balance online.

    With the Democrats hell bent on removing Trump I would not put it past them shutting down the entire country to do it or Patriots trying to intercede if they simply overthrow him. That is the most like SHTF event. When the food stops, the riots start.

    1. Daddio7,

      Financial shutdown. We see what problems curtailing government checks to less than a million people has created and the money is there and will be released soon. What if all government checks stop and do not come back?

      That’s true; but, also rather sad and hypocritical. I saw a news piece on Ogden Utah where a large number of Federal (IRS?) workers are employed and how the downtown restaurants and other stores are really getting hurt. One of the furloughed workers is actually working part time as a server in one of those places. The hypocritical part is when they talk about how the lack of money “trickles” down to hurt the local businesses (bad Trump, Bad Trump); but, these same people have told us time and time again that trickle down doesn’t work, so I guess it only works when it hurts people and suits their end goals, since the ends seem to always justify the means with these power hungry people.

      Or just the nations credit card system is hacked and shut off. Just today I had a taste of it. Right before Christmas someone put a fraudulent charge on one of my credit cards. I disputed the charge and the bank canceled that card and issued another number for that account.

      I’ve had the same thing happen, and while there is a $50.00 liability in any case, the bank took care of the situation; it took several days to get the new card in the mail in order to use it locally, which is just another pain.

      The payment for the new account was delayed and I did no notice that it had not posted when I checked my bank balance online.

      That one is of course on you; but, I suspect it will never happen again, LOL. I know this since we’ve all no doubt been there at least once in our lives.

      With the Democrats hell bent on removing Trump I would not put it past them shutting down the entire country to do it or Patriots trying to intercede if they simply overthrow him. That is the most like SHTF event. When the food stops, the riots start.

      While I don’t have the attribution for this, I have heard the quotes often and I think they may have some validity, at least in the metropolitan areas: “A society is only three meals away from anarchy” AND “Deprive a culture of food for three meals, and you’ll have an anarchy.”
      Here on the farm we are in pretty good shape; but, we keep our gas tanks full, our powder dry, and our defensive tools close at hand.

  3. Most preppers are preparing for some specific crisis event. Just ask them and they’ll tell you. Most of the explanations you’ll get will feature some natural or man-made disaster of nation- or world-ending severity.

    Actually, I think most preppers are rather generalized in their preps and not preparing for anything specific, at least from my experience teaching to, learning from, and interacting with this community over decades of this lifestyle. I think the perception of many about preparing for some doomsday event comes from shows like Nat GEO’s “Doomsday Preppers” that make fun of the whole lifestyle. Nearly everyone in my local rural community has gone without power at some point in time, and since simple trips to the grocery are at least 12 miles round trip, we tend to make lists and minimize travel and related expenses. We also generally like being surrounded by fields, and trees, and nature, instead of living in the valleys between tall buildings where your entire existence relies on others doing their job.

    You’ll be regaled with tales of EMP strikes, massive solar flares and other cosmic mayhem, a global Ice Age, economic collapse, nuclear world war, zombie outbreaks, robot uprisings and more. Mega-tsunamis, super earthquakes and sky-darkening volcanic eruptions, the potential SHTF events preppers prep for are many and wild.

    I do hear these mentioned on occasion; but, realistically, people around me have experienced power outages, blizzards, extreme heat and cold, and have respect and plans for tornados and other weather related events, while pretty much ignoring the earthquake, tsunami and super volcanoes that are either impossible or highly improbable at our location.

    It begs the question, though: What if these preppers are preparing for the wrong thing, and in their distraction, are sort of crept upon by some other crisis? Will they be ready
    That is the question I intend to answer in today’s article. In it, we’ll define what a SHTF event is on an individual level, and then take a look at the statistically most-likely SHTF-level disasters are. Hopefully by the end, you can adjust your preps accordingly, and perhaps help steer those more wayward souls back into the realm of feasibility.

    I’ve been teaching this for nearly 4 decades, showing people how to construct a “threat Matrix” that can cover any and all potential threats, in an organized fashion, without breaking the bank while doing it.
    You simply make a prioritized list of any and all potential threat events, starting with illness or loss of job, and ending with the proverbial asteroid strike, filling in the middle with the threats that can realistically affect you and your location.
    Starting with the highest priority (most likely) threat, you list the resources (knowledge, skills, and physical possessions) required to mitigate the threat and get you through it. Work on each of the threats in the list, and you will begin to notice that as you address each one, they require fewer resources, since they have been covered in the higher priority problems.
    When you have completed the list, you will have a detailed plan and list of resources you need, that will allow you to start acquiring the knowledge, skills, and physical resources to get through almost anything. Having a plan can also give you some comfort and allow the most important resource to come into the light. That would be your attitude, since proper attitude, knowledge, and skills can go a very long way.

    For the purposes of this article, I am quantifying a SHTF-level crisis as one that impacts the majority of people living in an area when it occurs, either at a local, regional or national level with drastic disruption of everyday civilian life.

    Fair enough; but, prepping I think has more to do with personal and family / MAG / Tribe surviving any event and thus personally I don’t use the term SHTF; but, use TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) instead, since the later is more likely for most people and situations.

    Some people disagree and think that a SHTF event is any event that upends your life when it slams into you, take for instance a car accident. I disagree: a car accident will certainly affect your life and the lives of whoever else is involved, but it does not affect society as a whole one iota.

    Once again SHTF vs. TEOTWAWKI and the more probable scenarios most people could encounter.

    Obsession with the Apocalyptic

    Yikes. I don’t know about the rest of you readers, but almost every prepper I know, to a man and woman, is far more concerned with the plausible, even likely events that may, even probably will occur in our lifetimes than surviving the end of days.

    I agree. The Apocalyptic makes good movies and campfire stories; but, that’s about it.

    The adjective “apocalyptic” gets tossed around so much the word has lost of its portent, and I am as guilty as anyone. Most natural disasters, no matter how far reaching or widespread, are not apocalyptic. No tornado, no hurricane, and so far no earthquakes in recorded history could truly be described as such because there have been plenty of people left to record the event and its aftermath for posterity.

    Perhaps more importantly, than recording the events, is that unaffected areas have resources that can be brought to bear on the affected areas, like FEMA going to New Orleans after Katrina, or the Cajun Navy going to Texas after their massive flooding.

    What I would caution against, if you are preparing for an apocalyptic scenario, is an over emphasis on preparing for that event in particular. The sad reality is that some events will be so bad, there is nothing you can do, or nothing you can do to effectively survive beyond the very near term. Most planning for such instances is material- land, food, equipment, shelter, etc. – not skill-based in nature.

    I know no one doing this; but, there are potentially some scenarios that are simply not survivable. A close in strike by a thermonuclear weapon would simply vaporize you and yours and we just have to understand that fact and live with it.

    That leads to a major blind spot in your prepper’s repertoire; having the skills to survive an event that has wiped out your home town, made the surroundings nearly uninhabitable and hampered and possible relief response.

    This is almost the definition of an apocalyptic event, and if you have thought it through or have time, falls into the standard mantra of the Real Estate folks: ”Location, Location, Location.” Our location has no possibility of being affected by any events except weather events like Tornados, unless of course it’s more global in nature like an EMP, since we are well above the flood plain, in an area not prone to earthquakes, overgrown to the point of wildfires, or too close to metropolitan areas. Wisely choosing your location could be one of the most important preps in your arsenal. We have more firewood around than we can cut as well as numerous water sources and plenty of land for growing plants and raising livestock.
    When you mention The Fear of the Fantastic I chock all of that up to basic ignorance, AKA uneducated innocence, since often, the things we do not individually understand can scare us. In the modern world, there is IMHO simply no reason for this, for anyone who has curiosity and a willingness to learn.

    The Most Probable SHTF Event
    Flooding!

    Beyond all that, you will be able to depend on power being down, and other utilities either being down and out or too risky to use. Broken and concealed power lines will make risk of electric shock a real possibility. Roads will be impassible, and the resultant transportation breakdown will make getting needed aid like food, water, medicine and rescue personnel into the area difficult or impossible.

    This is where having your own resources like a generator and battery backup system with lots of fuel and consumables on hand can make all of the difference. We could reliably easily go a year using only the power we can generate and store on site. This would also include MAG members who would stay here or drop in

    Wind
    Tornado

    Disease

    Outbreaks of disease account for a hair over 11% of all global disasters according to the UNODRR.

    This one is sort of simple. Sanitation, Potable water, and avoiding the infected herd by having the resources and ability to hunker down and shelter in place.

    even these nations fear the specter of a virulent flu outbreak, and no one knows when a new and novel mutation or previously undiscovered germ will rip through a population with no cure in sight.

    This is where yearly vaccinations with overlapping coverage allowing some herd immunity comes in. I have not had the flu for more than 15 years, even though there have been mini epidemics in my area. It also helps that all of my children are grown, gone, and no longer dragging anything home from school.

    Epidemic and pandemic preparedness consists of effective early warning, coordination with health organizations and disease containment agencies as well as strict sanitation and quarantine protection protocols. Invisible, silent and undetectable until it is way beyond too late, germs are an insidious and deadly killer.

    I have volunteered with my county EMA for almost 20 years, and there are numerous plans in place for such events. One for a biological attack or epidemic / pandemic is called PODS (Point Of Dispensing) in cooperation with the health department; plans are in place with some tabletop training to distribute required medication to all county residents within 24 hours. It’s insurance we will hopefully not need; but, is there if needed.

    Being a responsible and realistic prepper means preparing for the most likely threats, not the ones you find the most exciting or interesting. Water in the form of flooding is by far the most serious and common almost no matter where you live, so that must figure prominently into your plans. After that you should be prepping for the effects of high winds and an outbreak of deadly germs. Don’t let your fear of an exotic, scary disaster blind you to the realities of a real SHTF event.

    That’s the threat matrix idea and in my location, location, location, flooding is specifically NOT an issue; but, there are some in my area where it certainly is

  4. This is a great article–one of the best on this site I’ve read in a while. I am not as concerned about flooding as some other possibilities (pandemic financial meltdown), even though I live in Florida. There is plenty of advanced warning when it comes to significant flooding events and that gives one time to evacuate. I am thinking about a major hurricane strike here.

    I think folks who are really hurting after not receiving a couple of paychecks need to reevaluate their finances. People need to have a minimum of three months reserve. We knew the shutdown was coming. People seem to be more concerned that the federal government may not be in a position to provide security for the Super Bowl than about securing our nation’s borders.

    I agree with O.P. Most folks I’ve talked to or blogged with are prepping for a host of reasons. There was a TV show a while ago that forced people to pick one event that they were prepping for. This show just made preppers look foolish. Most folks prep for real-life events like loss of income and natural disasters before they think about full scale nuclear war or an EMP attack.

    I worst prepping scenario would be a pandemic. We are overdue for a serious flu pandemic. More and more parents are choosing not to vaccine their children for measles, mumps, rubella, etc. There are bacterial infections that are multi-drug resistant and antibiotics are becoming less effective. I do wonder, how many people could lock the doors and not leave home for three months due to pandemic flu?

    1. Bam Bam,

      Most folks I’ve talked to or blogged with are prepping for a host of reasons. There was a TV show a while ago that forced people to pick one event that they were prepping for. This show just made preppers look foolish. Most folks prep for real-life events like loss of income and natural disasters before they think about full scale nuclear war or an EMP attack.

      Early on before prepping, people would call themselves survivalists, and thus the name of this blog; but, shows often portrayed “survivalists” as hermits living in caves or bunkers hunkering down with their guns and MRE’s, or would highlight that some illiterate fringe groups that were white supremacists or other low IQ cults or organizations, were self described “survivalists” and lumped us all in that category, rather than admitting that there are dangers in the world one should be aware of an prepare for. In the 1990’s I participated in a Usenet Newsgroup called “misc.survivalism” that was a forrunner of todays groups on Yahoo or Facebook. Since not every ISP offered the news groups and it was all text with no photos, there was a rather serious group that congregated there in obscurity; but, eventually even those group started seeing trolls and flamers, so the “survivalists” became the “preppers” and now we are often considered in that same fringe.
      Why I think we are ostracized is that we are the canary in the coal mine, the people who make others want to whistle past the graveyard, since we remind them of things that could go wrong and upset their tidy little comfortable lives; but, they are not yet strong willed enough to do something about it, other than make fun of the reminder.

      I worst prepping scenario would be a pandemic. We are overdue for a serious flu pandemic. More and more parents are choosing not to vaccine their children for measles, mumps, rubella, etc. There are bacterial infections that are multi-drug resistant and antibiotics are becoming less effective. I do wonder, how many people could lock the doors and not leave home for three months due to pandemic flu?

      I think 3 months is on the long end, unless of course you live in the city; but, even a few weeks would help, and going out when other people are in, like the middle of the night, along with carrying hand sanitizer or even N95 masks can also help, if you must venture out.
      Another thing that you should have is some type of entertainment, especially if you have children, since even having the resources to shelter in place for a month or three, “cabin fever” could well be your worst enemy.
      As some of you may know, I work with our county EMA and we have plans working with the health department to attempt to mitigate such things; but, what each of us can do is to get ourselves in good shape. Get your yearly influenza vaccinations and the series of pneumonia vaccinations if you haven’t already. While they may miss a strain each year and some may still fall ill, the disease is usually not as severe, and over time, the body does build up a wide immunity to such viruses.
      As always, having facilities to wash your hands is a good thing, and being able to shelter in place and not interact with people, especially in the places where the ill congregate, like doctors’ offices and hospitals is also recommended. Having enough food and drink on hand to shelter in place is not that hard to do over time, by simple “Can Copying”, meaning that when you replace that can of beans in your normal use an rotation, you purchase two or three. Soon you will be amazed at how much food you have on hand.

  5. I just need to vent. A girl was brutally raped on campus this week. The nest day I emailed the Vice President of the College to say my friends would like to teach a self defense class. I am stunned by the red tap. Here I have a 6th degree black belt in taekwondo and a 8th degree black belt in Krav Maga willing to do a self defense class after a student was brutally raped and the administration is . . . . I have the contacts to present the best self defense strategies that college girls can get. . . . WTF

    1. BamBam,

      The college administration will likely promote ‘safe spaces’ rather than promote self defense, because, well ‘that’s offensive’. Unless they take the opposite tack, and promote women being able to beat up ‘toxic masculinity’.

      All meant tongue in cheek, of course. It’s a horrible situation. Bless you for trying to be proactive and actually helpful.

      GP

    2. Bam Bam,

      I just need to vent. A girl was brutally raped on campus this week. The nest day I emailed the Vice President of the College to say my friends would like to teach a self defense class. I am stunned by the red tap.

      I’ve run into similar situations in the past, and we did an end run that takes only two things:
      1. An off campus venue, close enough or easy enough to get to to hold the class
      2. The ability to post flyers or posters, or another way to spread the word on campus to those of interest.
      Since there is touching and potentially someone getting hurt (even by spraining an ankle), in this litigious society one must cross all T’s and dot all I’s and thus the red tape and paperwork blizzard.

      Here I have a 6th degree black belt in taekwondo and a 8th degree black belt in Krav Maga willing to do a self defense class after a student was brutally raped and the administration is . . . . I have the contacts to present the best self defense strategies that college girls can get. . . . WTF

      When you say I have a 6th degree black belt , , , do you mean you have already earned that rank, or you have those people on hand to teach. Just wondering, since that is quite an accomplishment.

  6. you forgot ice, in 1998 the northeast was hit by a catastrophic ice storm (a series of them actually), leaving 3 inches of ice caked on everything, followed by a blizzard dumping 2 feet of snow. catastrophic damage, power was out in some places for as much as 6 weeks. infrastructure was anhialated and roads were impassable.

    i was a teen back then and my parents house became makeshift shelter for several neighbors since they were the only ones with a wood furnace (had to be treated like a big wood stove, the blowers didn’t run but it was in the basement so heat rose to the rest of the house). my father had his leg in a cast and all the neighbors were old so i was the only one bringing in firewood and carrying water up from a creek to flush with. power was out for a little over 3 weeks for them. we had oil lamps. road was cleared of down trees after 2 weeks. lots of people less able to weather it out moved to the local fire stations and the high school which were set up like refugee shelters full of cots. winter gets very cold up here down around -30 to -40 at night. we don’t get forest fires, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, or floods, but in the north an ice storm like that happens once every 50 years or so.

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