Catastrophic Event : How And Why
As you have probably realized by now I believe most of us will see a Catastrophic Event in our lifetime. I am not referring to an event such as Katrina, or the Haiti earthquake, no; I am referring to an event such as a number of 8.0 magnitude monster earthquakes that hit the New Madrid fault in Missouri, along the Mississippi Valley in the early 1800’s. For first hand accounts of this event click here. I am referring to the December 26, 2009, earthquake measuring 9.3 magnitude that occurred off the Northwest Coast of Indonesian island of Sumatra. The results was a Catastrophic tsunami with waves as high as eighty feet, killing nearly three hundred thousand people and causing untold damage. What would be the results if something along the magnitude of either of these events occurring today only hitting Los Angeles, Central U.S., New York, or for that matter any populated area in the U.S.? What would be the results if a meteorite hits the Central U.S. as happened at 7:14 A.M 1908 along the Tunguska River in Siberia?
Without a doubt, the world will experience more natural disasters, at some point in the future there will be “ Catastrophic Events” of the magnitude the earth has seen before. There have been several in the past and will be several in the future. No one can deny this it is inevitable; it is a part of nature.
These are only the natural events, now consider the dangers we face from man-made events. We are undoubtedly in more danger from a man-made “ Catastrophic Event” than ever before in man’s history. By this I mean, look at the capabilities of mass destruction man has today, biological, chemical, nuclear & EMP, economic and now we are learning of the very real dangers of cyberspace terrorist. Actually it is not so much the capabilities man has today to cause mass destruction, but rather the vulnerability of today’s society.
The following are excerpts taken from the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse EMP Attack April 2008.
Although this report deals with the EMP threat these conditions would apply to any type of “ Catastrophic Event” that destroys the power grid or infrastructure. Actually many would argue that the power grid and the infrastructure are one in the same.
Senator Jon Kyl, Chairman the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security. Wrote in 2005:
“ American society has grown so dependent on computer and other electrical systems that we have created our own Achilles heel of vulnerability, ironically much greater than those of other less developed nations”.
William R. Graham, President Regan’s top science adviser and the chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.
In a report in 2005 Graham warned that Iran was covertly developing a nuclear weapon. At the same time he stated that Iran was also testing ballistic missiles designed specifically to destroy the U.S.’s technical infrastructure thus neutralizing the world’s lone super power.
According to Graham there is no other plausible explanation for a test such as this other than the preparation for the deployment of electromagnetic pulse weapons. One of which would be capable of knocking out the U.S.’s critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years. Iran would have that capability, theoretically as soon as it has one nuclear bomb.
I don’t believe the people of the world, especially those in the United States, will be able to survive what our Grandparents survived during the Depression.
When the Great Depression hit in 1929 the United States and the world was a rural society. People had high morals. Most lived on a farm or at least raised a garden. Most had livestock to butcher. There were few people that didn’t raise chickens. Almost everyone preserved at least some of the food they raised. Many preserved all their food. Most knew how to hunt and fish, providing a large part of their food. Many made most of their clothing, even their quilts and blankets. Although many had them, they could live without automobiles, telephones, and electricity. Most family members lived in close proximity to one another. They helped each other by working together. Everyone knew and could trust their neighbors, they didn’t mind helping and working with them. In other words, people were pretty well self-subsisting.
Today we live in a completely different world. Today we live in a dog eat dog world where everyone is out for their own good. Morals are about as low as they can go and still be a civilized country. The vast majority of people now live in an urban society. There are very few that could be self-subsisting. How many people do you know that grow a garden? I know a lot of folks in the country continue to raise gardens. However, in reality this would be a very small part of the population. How many people living in populated areas know how to hunt and fish? How many people would know how to preserve food, make their own clothing, or butcher their own meat?
You may be surprised to learn that according to the government, most cities and urban areas have only a three day supply of food and water. This includes food as well as water stored in warehouses as well as on store shelves.
How would most people react if the supermarket shelves were empty? How would most people react if they had to do without an automobile, electricity, telephone, or even a T.V. not to mention a computer? How many of your neighbors do you know by name, how many do you know really well? What about your family, do they live close? What will be the reaction of most people when there isn’t any gas for their car? What will be the reaction of most people when their cell phone is not working? What will be the reaction of most people when there is no electricity?
I have read that during the “ Great Depression” in many location people had to be told that the country was in a depression in that it actually affected the everyday life very little. Other than a few staples these people seldom bought anything from a store. Very few people had vehicles and then only used them occasionally. It was rare for them to buy clothing.
Now look at today’s society, what would happen if tomorrow the power grids were to fail and there was no electricity available. First of all there would be no water, water must be pumped with electric pumps, and water must be treated in plants using electricity. Just think what it would be like in a city such as New York or even a smaller town without water for a week. There would be no way to flush the toilet, can you imagine the living condition after a week or two? I know there are companies that sell containers to be used as toliets. They would work for a few days then what, where would you dump these containers, especially if you happen to live in a large town or city?
What would people do without water to drink? They would be forced to drink whatever water they could find. Any water around a populated area would be quickly contaminated by human waste. After all, remember, without electricity there would be no water meaning there would be no operating sewage system, and no garbage pickup.
Even more frighting would be the hospitals and nursing homes. Without electricity these places could not function. There would be hundreds if not thousands dead in just a few days. Without electricity for life support systems many would die quickly, these would be the lucky ones. Without refrigeration many medicines would become useless. There would be no food, no water, and no toilets without electricity.
Without electricity there would be no communication, there would be no fuel, overnight the vast majority of the U.S. infrastructure would shut down. There would be chaos overnight; anarchy would rapidly spread throughout the country. Find this hard to believe, think this would not happen? Just look at our recent history, look at any of the local disasters the U.S. has suffered. Katrina, Haiti, the California earthquakes, with all of these one of the big problems was gangs, looting and destroying, in other words anarchy. There is no doubt that this would happen with a large scale disaster.
Now lets look at the government, both local and federal. First of all lets review past history. In all the local disasters the U.S. has suffered in recent history the government has failed to react with what is needed. Look at Katrina, the different government agencies, local and Federal are still trying to place blame on the failures there. Look at Haiti, a year after the earthquake, cholera has broken out and there are still from one million to one and a half million homeless people. This is after billions of dollars in aid have been given to the government.
Now consider these points:
Port Au Prince covers 14 square miles
Port Au Prince has a population of about 3,000,000 people
The U.S. covers 3.79 million square miles
The U.S. population is 308,000,000 plus people
It is easy to see that compared to a national Catastrophic Event in the U.S. the logistics of the Haiti earthquake was small. How could the U.S. Government handle such an event, the answer is simple, they couldn’t, no way. The citizens of the U.S. will be on their own.
In 1981 the American Medical Association made the following announcement: “It is in the spirit of concern that the AMA Board of Trustees believes it is incumbent upon the Associations to inform the President and Congress of the medical consequences of nuclear war and that no medical response will be possible.”
This statement was followed by the American College of Physicians in a paper stating: “The American College of Physicians believes that there can be no adequate preparedness for the devastating consequences of nuclear war.”
Although both the AMA and the ACP were writing about nuclear war, I believe the same would apply to any Catastrophic Event. As Wayne D. LeBaron stated in his book The Reluctant Survivors:
“In almost all planning and disaster scenarios the assumption is made that physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who are not killed or injured would go forth immediately and begin caring for the wounded. This implies that they will be immune to psychological shock that other survivors would be suffering. They would valiantly set forth despite high radiation levels, forgetting their concern for family and friends and work totally without regard for self. Isn’t it more logical to believe that they, being human like the rest, would seek shelter and family?”
So what are we to do? What can we, as individual, do to prepare for a natural “Catastrophic Event”?
I believe, as do most experts, that the U.S. is in a precarious position. The people of the U.S. are already hurting. Many believe we are in danger of an economic collapse. The chances of the U.S. suffering a “Catastrophic Event” are great. If the U.S. should suffer such an event then it is inevitable that the results will be wide spread anarchy. So what can you do to prepare for such an event?
U.S. Army Survival Manual :
Survival planning is nothing more than realizing that something could happen that would put you in a survival situation and, with that realization, taking steps to increase your chances of survival. In other words, survival planning is being prepared.”
In the event the U.S. should suffer a national catastrophic event the only way you will be able to protect and provide for you family will be to get them out of harms way. In order to do this you must prepare. You must have a well-supplied evacuation point located in a remote area. With “Out Of Harm’s Way” and the “Preparing To Survive” website our goal is to provide information that will allow you to do just that….get “Out Of Harm’s Way.”