Reports are still coming in a are quite vague as to the total destruction and loss of life in the areas hit by a monumental typhoon centered around the Philippine region. Best estimates are “catastrophic.” Whole cities are wiped away. Resources, infrastructure…. we are talking major devastation that probably eclipses anything in recent memory caused by earthquakes in Japan or India, or similar storms like Katrina or Sandy here in this country. Its bad.
Such massive devastation pretty much guarantees that no help will be immediately forthcoming from their government. It will take days just for their government to even figure out what they have left before they can start doling it out. Power out in most areas, comms out in most areas, movement restricted due to mountains of debris in the roadways, all the things that make for a true SHTF. It’s obvious that many buildings were completely destroyed. Some of the videos I watched showed some hotels that were well-built but all the windows were blown out and water was halfway up to the second floor. At least if you could get a room there, you’d have some kind of shelter. Still no food, water, or sanitation, but at least shelter. Some folks looked like they survived with only the clothes on their backs. I’m guessing that scavenging will be the norm until relief starts appearing. While the .gov there is rightly worried about widespread looting, it occurs to me that unless they give folks an alternative really fast, that’s what’s going to happen.
With sustained winds of 195mph and gusts up to 235mph <at landfall> there are likely not to be many basic houses that could survive that. (I know mine wouldn’t.) While we in this country have the luxury of bugging out to an undamaged area, I’m guessing the devastation there is all across the country. So, having a backpack packed for a 2 week camping trip seems like the only way those folks are likely not to face some real problems. And, that’s assuming you aren’t driven out of whatever shelter you’re in and have to leave your pack behind.
So what could a person do to prepare for something like this? Quite honestly, not a thing. And that is why I have rallied for so long about the mental side of prepping. Yes having food, water, medical supplies, etc put aside is huge, but its what takes place in you mentally when you start switching on to becoming a self reliant person.
I see and hear conversations way too often asking about specifics. “What to tell the neighbors when…” or “where and when to go…” and when people ask “how to network” I know what level in preparing they are in. Ive been there so dont get me wrong, but after a while these things just develop naturally. Setting up a mutual aid plan is not for me. Having people around me all the time that will help each other out without having to talk about it is the real deal. And that takes time. Family members that you feel responsible for that dont buy into the preparedness lifestyle makes it a harder road for you, but it is your road and you are not alone. Panic of not having enough time to get things set up will drive you nuts, you have to be stable enough with yourself to know how to work with what youve got at the time.
And its not about specifics. If it is, you’re screwed. Insert your favorite quote of how a plan only lasts until the first shot or whatever, but honestly, it is in your make up; your character, your personality…. it is your mindset that you are actually preparing.
If by some means you survive an event that wipes cities, not just city blocks, but entire cities off the map, your supplies and your bug out location and your plan basically are nonexistent and you are left with one thing, yourself. You know what you need to scavenge for to last the next few days because you once had all that stuff already. And yes, this does set you apart vastly from most other people. Everyone scavenges, most everyone will try to find food and water, but for the most part a person of a prepared mindset will know what they’re looking for and where to look instead of just knowing that if you happen to see a bottle of water, you’re going to pick it up.
There is a confidence, a level headed calm that keeps you from going caveman as you watch others either running around like headless chickens or so overwhelmed that they cant even move. You know to organize yourself, your possessions and the people around you. You know you need to keep clean, and you also know not to pass up something you can take advantage of like a blanket and an MRE from the Red Cross if and when they ever get to you.
The term preparedness in my mind is a physical attribute; self reliance is more what you gain mentally from being a “prepper” and it will get you farther than any bottle of water.