Ready or Not #269: Prepare Anyway

I read another article in our local newspaper about the ongoing aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  The article spoke about the difficulties that people were experiencing and how frustrated they were with the lack of gas and other services.  I was disappointed in the way the union representatives reacted when outside help came to help restore electrical services quickly.  These people, who were trained professionals and came to help out in time of need, were accused of being ‘scabs’ and worse.  I ask – do doctors go rushing into the streets screaming and yelling at other medical professionals who show up after a disaster to help people who are suffering?  I think not.

The response of the union leaders was not only inappropriate, but embarrassing.   To be more concerned about a paycheck than the pain and suffering of those who are without power is so very wrong.  It only makes sense to restore the power quickly with the help of capable and concerned ‘neighbors’ so that more people could get back to living normal again.  Food could once again be safely stored, furnaces could keep families warm and the security of having lights could once again give peace and a sense of control.  Not to mention the people who have medical issues and need power for their health.   Just my thoughts on the matter; take the help that is offered and thank the Lord that it was offered.

The most disgusting reports are of people urinating and defecating in the hallways of their apartment buildings.  The sewers aren’t working and so instead of using their own bathrooms and making their apartments unbearable to live in; some people are taking it into the halls.  Beyond discussing this disgusting element, there is a very serious health issue involved here.

The smell alone can be a serious thing, but illnesses like cholera or other deadly diseases can develop with untreated sewage lying around – even in non-third-world countries.  The bugs and vermin will soon follow because of the human refuse AND because of all of the garbage that is going to start piling up – and who knows when garbage pick-up will resume.  Bugs and vermin LOVE garbage and they are also very effective at spreading disease.  Eeek!  Prepare for this eventuality and have an alternative restroom option, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t have the great outdoors nearby.

If something happened at my house, I would first use our trailer’s bathroom and then I would move to an outdoor latrine.  I can do that because I have a large back yard where I can dig a hole and set up a privacy screen.  (I’m so glad I have that option).  If you are going to build an outdoor latrine make sure you have some Borax and lime.  The Borax will help kill the smell (so that the bugs and vermin aren’t attracted – I love that word ‘vermin’, it is so descriptive!) and the lime makes the waste decompose three times faster.

Tempers are running high for people who were not prepared and are now worried about their basic needs and services (e.g. safe places to stay, water, food – hope).  There is looting, fighting, home invasions and other inappropriate baser human responses to the destruction.  Very scary.

On the other side of the Sandy story, I have also read about and heard of several stories of people, that were also in the storm, helping their neighbors and volunteering their time to help clean up their communities.  They are sharing their extra food (the food that they bought to be prepared), they are sharing their generators (again, an item that was purchased ahead of time to make their lives easier during an emergency) and some are temporarily sharing their homes to those who have lost their houses.

Being prepared makes all the difference – and you are the one that has to prepare.  Watch what is going on (like we did with New Orleans, Japan, Haiti, Chile, etc.) and learn.  And then get prepared.

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