ArchiveThese are articles from over the past two years.
As we go into the Holiday Season most of us take for granted the many necessities still missing to many in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Florida and Texas because of recent hurricane damage.
While hurricanes come and go in the U.S. every year, Florida, Texas were badly hit and damaged but Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were wrecked.
FAILED RELIEF EFFORTS
For months now, P.R. has been largely without electrical service. Vital services that require power e.g., lights, communication, refrigeration, and many medical services have still not returned to what even in P.R. would be considered bare necessity.
The recent Hurricanes in Texas and Florida reminded us that flooding and wind damage repeatedly hits coastal areas in the U.S. causing relief efforts to be overwhelmed. In Texas many calls to 911 went unanswered to the point of uselessness. Stranded people turned to social media for help. People in flooded areas were able to make contact with local friends and neighbors to get out of their homes.
During the approach of Huricane Harvey in Florida people we know were directed to shelters which were not ready for them. Red Cross and FEMA as well as local emergency agencies were basically MIA. All this in coastal areas where severe storms like this are happening more often as time goes on.
This is where Prepping comes in handy.
With Hurricane Irma aimed directly at Florida, millions of unprepared people are scrambling to make their way out of the danger zone as mandatory evacuations were
RACE TO SURVIVE
Having a getaway plan, having survival food and water with first aid kits and proper clothing all would help but were a rarity among many who made it to shelters just in time. Mostly necessary preparations were last minute.
With hard work the cleanup is under control in Florida and Texas but in the Caribbean, the struggle continues.
With little electrical service 2 months after Hurricane Maria, the blame for slow response and poor conditions continues but what's the best way forward? Sounds like everyone's fresh out of money for the big rebuilding project ahead. Is Puerto Rico the right place to be long term? Just as with coastal areas of mainland U.S.A., the haphazard rebuilding starts immediately. There aren't enough workers to get the job done as quickly as needed. Often the plans are the same as before.
Meanwhile, there are not enough generators for everyone but shipments keep coming in. Cell phone service has been a problem in P.R. Still. So too are clean water issues that cause disease and mosquito problems like dengue, cikungunya, and Zika. There's also the lack of refrigeration and other home necessities like money for just about everything
An important part of the big picture is the question of whether some of these places will ever be as livable as they have been in the past. Are we rebuilding as it always was for the next storm to come along and wreck everything? Do we need to reconsider everything or just go along on the same old rickety program?
Either way, looking at government and aid agencies performance with this last round of hurricanes, everyone needs to consider some alternatives for themselves. Being better prepared from the personal level to FEMA/Homeland Security needs careful ongoing review.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
At all levels thought needs to into working around overwhelmed 911 services by thoroughly educating the public of all aspects of hurricane preparedness. Much of the chaos involved with getting ready for these storms, which happened so closely together, needs to be reduced. Traffic control and shelter preparations need to be upgraded and improved.
The discussion begins about whether we can change the way we're constructing these vulnerable areas. Evacuations and expensive rebuilding need to be done better.
More than likely many people will repeat the process of fleeing or seeking shelter, waiting out the storm and rebuilding. The price eventually gets too high to repeat everything this way.
WARNING FOR ALL
Disasters that wipe out the grid, epidemics or pandemics that can shut down medical and emergency services are possible at any time. We need to be prepared.
Here's some guidance for preparing for Hurricanes:
The essential guide to prepare for hurricane season including hurricane facts, common terms, hurricane kits, safety tips and more.
Have a Network.
We need to protect ourselves and families from dangers to our health and safety. We can’t easily control our personal environment 100% as isolated hermits but we can try our best to work with others, our neighbors, members of organizations we belong to and our 'leaders' to get action.
If our infrastructure is decaying we must protect our communities, ourselves, and our families.
There's work ahead!
Panic In Paradise
Imagine you're one of the lucky tourists from around the world visiting Hawaii for the beautiful beaches and fantastic island scenery for a top notch vacation. Tourists come long distances for a unique World Class respite from the troubles of fast paced life at home.
Last week, January 13th 2018 an official Hawaii State alarm went out for all of Hawaii, that there was an incoming nuclear weapon due to arrive in less than an hour!
There was a second part to the official message that the first message was not a drill. It was to be taken seriously.
You could imagine your disappointment!
At that moment on January 13th, terrible public fear ensued across this isolated island state. It might have caused panic for you and other tourists not knowing the place too well yet.
Most people scrambled, completely unprepared, for shelter from the incoming nuclear weapon. Parents lifted manhole covers and forced their children through the opening to survive the blast and fallout. They weren’t alone. Everywhere it was a madhouse of confused fear.
Just under a month before the nuclear panic, on December 1st 2017 Hawaii did activate a small test of their emergency warning system comprised mostly of antiquated siren systems not developed for this noisier and more crowded world than when they were installed. The test was mostly ignored with little seriousness about how to prepare for incoming nuclear weapons.
From the December 1st warning test till the January 13th when the phone warning was announced there were the threats between Trump and Kim Jong Un traded about the use of buttons to release nuclear holocaust by both leaders with the American president promising he had the larger button.
Within an hour of the message that there was an incoming nuclear weapon about to hit Hawaii there was a new message that the threat of nuclear destruction was a mistake. There was no real threat.
There were apologies and explanations of human technical errors, two separate button mistakes (!) by the same distracted communications expert .
During the panic 40 minutes the television stations apparently went about their usual business of entertainment and were absolutely no calming or informative influence.
Afterwards, the exhausted residents of Hawaii and tourists returned to their lives, their loves and probably large adult refreshments with new disrespect for those involved with this huge fiasco.
More recently Hawaii Governor David Ige explained, now more than a month after big non-event, that he had trouble contacting Hawaii residents and visitors during the panic because he forgot his password to his Twitter account.
You can't make this kind of thing up.
Imagine if it was your big vacation day, or for someone scheduled for heart or emergency surgery. Would the hospital staff hang around for the operation when there was an imminent nuclear blast?
There's 1.45 million Hawaiians plus the sun worshipers that were very dramatically affected by a coming nuclear weapon attack that wasn't real.
Do you write to the Governor of Hawaii and express your disbelief?
Seriously, in the U.S. And around the world we take the chance and consequences of nuclear war and the aftermath pretty much as if it was impossible.
It wouldn't hurt to read up on it a bit because at the very least, accidents happen. Can we trust the fail-safe systems 110%?
There are quite a few reasons for us to be thoughtful about preparing for nuclear war accidents:
The U.S. Air Force has launched an investigation into illicit, off-duty drug use by troops who protect its nuclear weapons, senior service officials said Friday, the latest black eye for a nuclear force that has suffered several scandals in recent years. The Washington Post March 18, 2016
More to come with nuke prep suggestions. Too bad many people won’t take the warnings seriously next time.