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What we can learn from Hurricane Irene

Last week I was dealing with several personal situations. A very close and
dear friend that I grew up with lost his dad (Jed) to cancer. Being present
to comfort my buddy while we both waited for Jed to pass on brought back
vivid memories of my mom’s death last year.Needless to say, as tough as
that was I had to put down one of my favorite dogs “Tags”. He was an
excellent watch dog, constant companion and dear friend, and that just
added to my despair.

While I was occupied with my personal challenges, Hurricane Irene
struck the east coast of the US and had a substantial impact that is still
being felt throughout the northeast. Wind damage was pretty bad on the
lower east coast but historical flooding is still taking place in portions of
New York, New Jersey and Vermont.

As I am trying to shake off the events of last week and get back to
business, I realized that Hurricane Irene presented a lot of folks a “Wake
Up Call” There are lessons to be learned from the hardships that were and
still are being faced by those affected by Irene.

Here are several lessons that Irene taught those folks.

1) With natural disasters like Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and
Floods you never really know how much time you will have to prepare.
Even though Hurricane Irene was tracked by officials for a week or more
before striking the east coast, a lot of people got caught off guard and ill
prepared for the effects. The same situation took place earlier this year
from Mississippi to Joplin, Mo. When numerous tornados struck causing
massive damage and life losses that is still being felt today. The moral;
“The Best Time to Prepare for a Crisis is NOW”

2) Food, water and supplies ran out in a day or two along the east coast.
People that waited to get food and supplies were greeted by empty shelves.
This confirms the Moral of #1 above… Prepare NOW!!!

3) A large number of people were forced to evacuate their homes and head
for refuge in safer areas. Most were not prepared for this situation despite
all the warnings ahead of time. The lesson here is get a “Bug Out Bag” or
72 Hr. Kit put together NOW! Make sure you have a good Bag/Kit and all
the necessary items you would need for such an event.

4) Communications were disrupted during and after the storm. The
lesson here is to have an emergency radio with spare batteries or a crank
(dynamo) type of radio for news and emergency broadcasts.

5) Power outages were numerous during the storm and millions are still
without power days afterward. The lesson here is to have emergency
flashlights, lanterns, and cooking capacity (like a gas grill or camping
stove along with spare fuel)

6) Gas Stations were also shutdown. Gasoline was Not Available in a
lot of areas even before Irene hit. Lesson; When you are notified of a
possible threat it is IMPERATIVE that you ACT QUICKLY BEFORE
THE CROWDS. I always store 50 gals. Or more of gas for my generators
or vehicles at the start of Hurricane Season. Be sure to include “Stabil” or
some other fuel conditioner to your stored fuel and be sure and store any
fuel in a well ventilated and safe place.

These are just the few lessons that I thought of off the top of my head. I
am sure there are others that I have not listed. I will go into more detail
on these and other lessons that we should learn if we want to Survive
whatever may come our way.

Until then… God Bless and Keep You All

Mac

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