Ready or Not #270: It Could Happen to You

The article that I read last week was quite illuminating as to the suffering and privations that many are experiencing from hurricane Sandy.  And the more articles I read and the more reports I hear from many areas back east just reinforce the idea that it isn’t going to get any better for those poor souls very fast.

Almost more interesting than the articles were some of the comments being made about the situations described in the articles.  The statement that maybe, “We may need a few more huge storms back there to keep people a little more appreciative and humble” was a little harsh and unnecessary.  The earth will continue to have more monster huge storms, terrible tornados and devastating earthquakes, ‘deserved’ or not.  My suggestion is to make sure that you prepare for the eventuality, but don’t blame those involved. They have enough to deal with.

Another comment that was made was that the people back east should have had more food storage.  He was right, they should have.  But instead of preparing, many were laughing along with the nationally syndicated comedians that were mocking those who prepared ahead of time by storing extra food, water and other essentials.  I wonder if those same comedians (many who live in or near New York) are laughing now.

In response to the statement that those in the pathway of the storm should have had more food storage, another person responded that it would be useless because the, “Food Storage would all be a soggy mess in the cellar if a storm like Sandy hit Utah.  Gas and a generator are fine but not when under 5 feet of water.”  That statement might be true for the houses that were totally torn from their foundations, but most houses are still intact and the food would have been available – had it been there to begin with.

From the report,s the biggest problem is that the majority of the houses are still habitable, but that many of the sewer systems are still not operational, the electricity isn’t working AND the residents don’t have food and potable water.  IF there was food storage stored in most of the houses (destroyed or not) it would most likely be in cans, even the dehydrated stuff.  The point is, most of the food would still be accessible and if everyone had extra food and emergency stores and resources, the ones that didn’t lose everything could share with those who did lose everything.

Another argument that the respondent brought up was a question that likened what happened back east to our area by asking what would happen if Deer Creek dam (a large local dam) failed?  “Where would all the food storage in Orem[/Provo] and such be?  In the middle of Utah Lake.   Along with most of the houses and businesses.”  (I got the feeling that he was trying to be a little sarcastic on this point.)

Actually, I have seen the “Oh My Goodness” map that shows how Utah County would be affected if Deer Creek Dam were to break and also what would happen when a major earthquake happens in the area (notice I say when because it will happen someday).  Sad to say, but most likely if the earthquake were bad enough, the dam would inconveniently break at the same time.  My point is that the center of Utah Lake only needs to rise about five inches and it would flood most of Utah County.  Of course not all of the houses would be destroyed and a good share of the food storage would still be intact and usable – if you bothered preparing beforehand.

(FYI – If your food storage is in bottles, cans and Mylar or plastic bags and was submerged under a questionable water source, but wasn’t violated, you would want to make sure that you wash the container down with a water/bleach solution before opening and using the contents.)  Note: Buy bleach for your storage.

If, like the reader, you don’t prepare because you are using the argument that, “You might lose it all in a disaster anyway so why bother?”   Well that is just silly and irresponsible.  Your time to prepare is now, right now.  And then you can laugh AT the comedians.

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