The Fallacy of Home Storage and Surviving In Place
Taken From Out Of Harm’s Way 1 by Kenneth D. Nunn © 2011
Family home storage and surviving in place seems to becoming a more popular concept each year. This is especially true since national figures like Glenn Beck have started pushing home storage. The Mormons are instructed to maintain enough food and water storage, to allow their family to survive in place for three months. FEMA recommends that a family has enough food and water stored to last three days. After three days they claim the government will be there to help. I think we all know this is being a little optimist. It is certainly possible for you and your family to survive without help for two or three days, maybe even a week, on home storage without much trouble. If you are well prepared you may survive for a month. After a month you will have difficulties.
For personal or localized disasters surviving in place is a great concept. In the right situation your home storage can be a life saver, there is little doubt about this. In case of a personal crisis for instance, as an example you lose your job, have an illness or financial failure something of that nature. Having food storage to fall back on will be great. Another example would be a localized natural disaster such as a fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or a flood. Having home food and water storage could prevent you and your family from facing an even worse crisis. That is unless the disaster destroys your supplies, or you are unable to get to them.
Getting to your supplies in most cases is going to be the problem. In the event of any of these disaster, the areas affected will most often be evacuated. Some times this can be for a long period of time. Even if and when you are allowed back to your property chances are your supplies will have been destroyed.
In case of a national Catastrophic Event man-made or natural, surviving in place simply will not work. In all probability with a national Catastrophic Event you would be facing a long-term survival situation. In a long-term survival situation surviving in place and living on your home storage is a concept that simply can’t work. This concept is great for certain short-term survival situations. Everyone should practice it, but for long-term survival it simply cannot work. One of the main reasons it will not work is because everyone is not practicing it.
There are five reasons I believe home storage and surviving in place is a concept that can’t work in a national Catastrophic Event.
– Sewage –
You are probably surprised to see sewage listed as number one. In a Catastrophic Event sewage is the root of all evil. There are three things that the body requires, it has to have water, it has to have food, and it has to expel bodily waste. One of the most dangerous substances on this earth is human excrement. By dangerous I mean it in the sense that it is highly infectious.
Throughout human history one of the leading causes of death is from disease spread in human feces. As a matter of fact there are probably more people dying today from diseases resulting from oral feces contact than any other reason. Raw sewage is the reason the death toll is so high in under developed countries. Raw sewage or human and animal excrement are the carriers of the foodborne and waterborne diseases that are killing thousands of people.
Having said this, I would like to make one point clear. These foodborne and waterborne diseases are usually not fatal to a healthy person. As a matter of fact the CDC lists almost all of these diseases as being self-limiting. A healthy person who contracts one of these diseases will have diarrhea for four to six days and then be over it. The trouble begins when an unhealthy, under nourished person contracts one of these diseases, especially if they are very young or very old.
Now, think what will happen if we have some type of national Catastrophic Event where we lose all or part of the power grid. Without electricity there will be no water pumped to your house. Without water you cannot flush the toilet. People will still have to use the toilet. So what will be the answer? Most will get a bucket and use this. Now the question is where will the waste be dumped? Drive out of town and dump it, maybe for a while, but how about fuel, without electricity you can’t buy gas, even if there happen to be any available to buy.
OK then what? Some people may dig a hole in their backyard and dump the waste; however, this will only work short term. The first rain fall will simply wash this waste into the drain ditches which drain into local streams. Then what about the people, without a yard, living in cities, or apartments?
I know, some Folks that plan on surviving in place have these port-a-potty type toilet that use plastic bags. You use the toilet and then dispose of the bag. I usually get a blank stare when I ask where do you dispose of the bag. You end up with the same problem. How will sewage from hospitals and nursing homes be disposed of? Before long sewage will be dumped at the curb, it will have to be, it is inevitable. Along with the sewage trash and garbage will begin to pile up on the street curbs. This garbage will attract rats… millions of rats.
Once it is dumped in the curb where does it go, straight to the rivers and streams. This will eliminate any chance of using this water for drinking water. This is what has happened and is happening in the underdeveloped countries today. These people are forced into using these contaminated rivers and streams running through populated areas as a source of water; they have no choice. The same as people in the United States will have no choice. This will be especially true in large populated areas, which would include a large percent of the population. Unless you live in a remote area you will be forced to live in unsanitary conditions.
Without a city supply of water the citizens will be forced to use any water source they can find. These may be streams, rivers, lakes or ponds. In populated areas this will be deadly. This will start a domino effect, the more people that get food or waterborne disease the more it spreads. To add to the problem by this time many people will be weak from hunger and may have contracted other diseases.
Without sanitary sewage disposal it is inevitable that in a short period of time foodborne and waterborne diseases outbreaks will begin to appear. These outbreaks along with people’s immune systems being weak from malnutrition will lead to many deaths.
Once this begins, conditions will only worsen. Without any authority it will be only a matter of time before some bodies will be left where they lay. Again, this will start in the cities. Rats will become a major problem. Without sewage disposal, with garbage piling up, and with corpses left where they fall rats will multiply by the millions. In a short time plague will breakout. The results will be thousands more dying, causing a domino effect. With nothing to stop the spread, the plague will stop only when there are no more victims. Paints a bleak picture doesn’t it?
So what are your options? Get you and your family Out Of Harm’s Way.
– Water –
If you have chosen to survive in place, you will be unable to store an adequate water supply. Your only option will be to chemically treat raw water from some source in a populated area, if there is one. This is a fact. If you are in a populated area, you will for sure not have a safe supply of water.
Most experts agree that a person will require a minimum of three gallons of water per day. This is for drinking, cooking and sanitary needs. For a family of four this calculates out to be; 12 gallons per day; 84 gallons a week or 360 gallons a month. If you are storing water in 55 gallon drums then for a family of four that would require 6.5 drums of water per month or 19.5 drums for three months supply. That will require a lot of storage space.
I know your probably thinking you wouldn’t need that much potable water, which may be true. However, when we have an event you will not have municipal water, this means you will have to have not only store water but also for washing and others uses. So, even if you conserve and cut in half that is a lot of water to keep stored. Remember this amount of water is just for three months and four people. Now carry that out to six months or a year. Just think a year’s supply of water for a family of four would require 78 drums of water.
It is obvious in a long term survival situation it will be impossible to store enough water to last you and your family or Group.
Now your other option will be to get raw water from a stream or river running through a populated area. That is if there happen to be one close. In most populated areas the best you will be able to do will be a canal, ditch or park pond. Would you really want to give this water to your family, even after treating it? Especially after the condition thing will be in after a few weeks.
If you are surviving in place and all of the power is out you will have no city water supply. With no water supply to flush the toilet. You will be unable to use any raw water source. All natural sources of water in the area will become contaminated by sewage run off in a very short period of time. This is a fact. There will be no alternate supply of water.
– Food –
I don’t believe the people of the world, especially people of 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-sustaining. 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 extended 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?
Many of us have watched movies such as “Escape from New York” or other movies about anarchy in populated areas. I actually think conditions will, in a lot of ways be worse than these movies portray. The one thing these movies fail to show is food. Where will these gangs get food? Supermarket shelves would be bare in a matter of days in the event of a national Catastrophic Event. There will be no trucks arriving with new supplies, for that matter there will be no new supplies being shipped or grown.
Now in all actuality recent disasters such Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake were relatively small events when you consider what can happen in a national Catastrophic Event. Hurricane Katrina affected only a small part of the country. The Haiti earthquake affected a very small area. What is going to happen if we have a nationwide event that affects the whole country?
In the case of a nationwide Catastrophic Event it is my belief that the only way home storage and surviving in place could work is if everyone is practicing it. You know as well as I do that this will never be the case. So it is my contention that home storage will not work.
My reasoning behind this statement is simple; people will do anything to get food and water for themselves and especially for their family. If I have a horde of food and water and your family is going without, one way or another you will get some of my food and water. I may give you food and water or you may take it, one way or the other you will get food and water for you family, that is as long as there is food and water available.
Let’s be realistic, there are probably no more than three or four people in your neighborhood that have adequate home storage. By adequate I mean enough to last their family six months or more. Now let’s suppose there are 250 people in your neighborhood. If you started doling out food and water you would have to give food and water to everyone, you couldn’t pick and choose. How long would your supply last then, a month or so, let’s look at this and figure it out. First, it would probably be a couple of weeks before most people started getting desperate. Let us be generous and say it is a month before people really get desperate. People will know you have food and water stored, believe me they will know.
Now these people with hungry kids start coming around asking for food and water. You start doling out food and water. Before long word is out that you have food and water, then there is a line from your door. Figuring a month before people get desperate, your food and water storage may last five weeks. People will be at your door until you are out of food and water. At this point not only will your neighbors be out of food and water, but now you and your family will be without food and water. To be realistic it would be difficult controlling people that come to you for food and water. Some will try and take it all. How far are you willing to go in order to protect your family’s food supply?
Now let us assume you decide that you are not going to give anyone food. You are going to take care of your family. Sooner or later, if the neighbors don’t already know it, they will figure out you have food and water. What then, you know they will be coming and asking for food, and then as they get more desperate they will start demanding food and water. What then, are you going to be willing to kill to keep your food and water? It will come to that; it is the basic instinct of survival.
Still think surviving in place will work? Then let’s look at it another way. Suppose you have a garden in your back yard full of ripe vegetables. Now let’s suppose your neighbors don’t have a garden but has three or four kids. Their kids and wives are going hungry. What do you suppose your neighbors are going to do, let their kids starve? What would you do if it was you without food for your kids and your neighbor had food? I tell you what will happen, your neighbors will get together and come and get all of your food.
Having come to the inevitable conclusion that sooner or later you will have to kill to protect your food and water supply, are you willing to do this? I don’t know about you, but I would kill if forced to kill in order to protect my family. Having said this, I will do everything I can to keep from having to kill, especially someone trying to get food for their family. In their place I would undoubtedly do the same thing.
History supports what you have just read. When people are starving they will do anything for food. In a starving situation people have been forced to eat cats, dogs, bugs and yes, there are cases where people have even turned to cannibalism in order to survive. Do you really think that your starving neighbors and especially marauding gangs are going to leave you alone? There is no way they want know you have food. You want be able to fight them off, there will dozens if not hundreds of them and only one or two, or maybe even five or six of you. It is a losing situation.
Let me bring up a point here that is not talked about in your Rambo survival style web site. One of the biggest problems an army faces is in relishing their supplies, especially the ammunition. A single solider can carry only a limited supply of ammunition. Now, we have all seen on the armageddon type movies, the all-out wars using machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles and etc. These movies make it look like and all-out war between two countries. My question would be, where are these people getting their ammunition? I understand a lot of people have bought automatic weapons and other type firearms, but what about ammunition? Take for instance an AK-47. This gun on fully automatic is capable of firing 600 rounds per minute. When firing burst you are looking at 400 rounds per minute. Even when fired single shot it can fire 90 rounds per minute. This is just one of many guns you could have. Most military weapons will fire about the same rate. Do you realize how much ammunition you would need with this type weapon?
The problem is there will be no more ammunition. Sure the gangs will be stealing from sporting goods stores and armories are where ever there may be ammunition. But even taking this into consideration there will not be an infinite supply of ammunition. There will not only be no more delivered there will be no more manufactured. These gangs will soon run out of ammunition. On the other hand after a couple heated firefights, you will also run out of ammunition. When you are out of ammunition then you are in essence defenseless.
If you are surviving in place then your ammunition supply will be severely limited. You will be limited by space and cost. Unless you are wealthy you could not afford to stockpile a lot of ammunition. Looking at an AK–47 you will pay about twenty five cents a round. That’s figures to be two hundred and fifty dollars per thousand rounds. A thousand rounds will last about five minutes in a heated battle. Then when you look at sporting rifles, which most of us have, then you’re looking at an even higher cost per round. Ammunition for these will run anywhere from twenty-five cents to a dollar a round. The same is true for handgun ammunition.
This fact points to another advantage to evacuating. If you have prepared and travel to an evacuation point you will have ammunition cached at your evacuation point. You should conserve this ammunition by harvesting wild game with a bow and arrow and trapping. This means if and when the bad Guys reach your evacuation point they will in all likelihood be out of ammunition. This will of course give you a tremendous advantage.
The fact of the matter is, when you look at all the variables, you can come to only one conclusion you cannot survive in place. The only option you have is to get your family Out Of Harm’s Way. This will mean evacuating, going a location that is isolated.
– Gangs –
This in my opinion this will be the way things progress following an event of the severity we are assuming, one that shuts down the electrical power grid. I am by no means an expert, this is my opinion. Come to think about it is there an expert in this type situation, it has never happened in modern times? I have drawn these conclusions from studying what has happened after large earthquakes and hurricanes in the U.S. and Haiti. Remember the scenario we are looking at in the Out of Harm’s Way books will be much worse than any of these events.
When a Catastrophic Event occurs there will be numerous consequences, unless you are in the immediate area, I feel one of our biggest problems will be gangs. Following a major event most of the general public will go through three of four stages:
• Initially many people will simply be in shock or denial. They will not be able to comprehend what has happen to their lives, especially if they are in close proximity to the event. They will be lethargic, many will go into depression. They will be wondering aimlessly, they will start to gather in small Groups. This will happen in the urban areas as well as the intercity areas. This will be especially true for people who are alone, people who were caught travelling out of town and find themselves with no way to get home. There will most likely be no communication with their families. Many will become hysterical, lose control, they will be quick to join up with others. These mobs will begin breaking into stores and taking food and water, they will have no choice this will be there only way of surviving.
The police and other authorities will quickly become overwhelmed and abounded their post, they will have no choice they will be outnumbered and out gunned, have no communication, and no hope of help on the way. This has happened before with small localized disasters and will happen again. Many with their drug supply cut off will begin to break into drug stores and hospitals taking what drugs they want. This will go on for the first few days, maybe even a week.
Then these people will start to get hungry, there will be no food, no potable water, stores will have run out of supplies. These will begin to get desperate; they will be panicked and mad at everyone except the people they have connected with.
• These mobs will quickly realize they control the cities. Soon as leaders emerge these mobs will become organized gangs. They will have a purpose in what they do. They will begin the fight for territory control. They will begin killing and destroying everything and everybody they don’t need. At this point anarchy will have taken hold of the entire country.
• After a couple months death will have taken a huge toll. Remember the cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston have only a three to four day supply of food and bottled water. There will be no more supplies coming in. People will begin to starve to death. Hospitals will have shut down some within days, others may be able to hang on for week or two after the event. The same will be true for nursing homes, other type care facilities. Not only will people on life support systems and old people have died but there will be thousands that die from drug overdose. Then there will be the thousands killed by the gangs. The biggest killer however will be disease. Thousands upon thousands will have die or be dying from food borne and water born disease. There will be no pure water to drink, no fresh food, garbage will be overflowing the streets. There will be bodies everywhere. There will be rats by the millions.
Then there will be the prisons and jails. All of these people will have to be released. There will be no choice, there will be no one to operate these facilities, there will be no way to operate without electricity, water of food. Millions will have to be released.
After a short two or three months the cities will be like nothing imaginable.
People will be animals. They will be doing anything for food and water. This will be their only option, they have to survive, most will have turned into two legged predators, preying on the weak.
• After six months are maybe a year the ones who survive will be forced to leave the cities in search of food and prey. Yes I said prey they will be predicator animals looking for the weak. Anyone in their path will be in danger. They will take what they want and kill and destroy everything else. You have to realize for many of the survivors this will be the only way they can live, this is how they have survived since the event. Now the cities have nothing to offer, there is no food, water or drugs left for them. Now they must search for food in order to live. They will head for the small country communities.
These scenarios seem a little drastic to you? Think about it; think what has happen in the past. There were Gangs and looting almost immediately after Katarina and the Haiti earthquake. Just spend a few minutes thinking about what will happen in the large cities when there is no electricity, no food or clean water, and no communication? Think what will happen when there is no authority. This will also spread to the smaller cities and towns, it will just take a little longer.
We already have a gang problem in the U.S. this is only going to get worse. The Economic Collapse and the unemployment are going to create slums. Slums are the breeding grounds for gangs. The drug war in Old Mexico is already spilling over into the U.S. With unemployment at the height it is, it will not take much to recruit new gang members in the U.S.
We must understand that these drug wars are being fought with gangs. It sounds more dramatic to say drug cartels, but make no mistake about it they are simply gangs. They are well-equipped gangs, but still just gangs. Reportedly this is a war over drugs. In reality it is a result of the economic situation in Mexico. All gangs are the results of economics. If it wasn’t drugs it would be something else. There have been gangs throughout history. They may not have been called gangs, but that is what they were. Looking through history these gangs were all the results of bad economic times.
These are the same as the gangs that are terrorizing parts of South America that are known as guerrillas. Terrorist or guerrillas are just another name for well organized gangs. The Pirates that have been hijacking ships are the same; just gangs by another name.
People have no jobs, no hope. When this happens, people take the easy way out; in some cases it is joining a gang. When a young person can see no future, the life of a gang member, pirate, or terrorist looks pretty attractive. How else are they going to get the things they want, how else will they get money? What better way to strike back at the establishment that they are being told caused this?
In recent years movies and video games have made gangs look exciting. It makes it easy for gangs to recruit members in a situation such as there is in Old Mexico, South America, and other parts of the World. We are starting to see this type of situation in more and more parts of the U.S.
The gangs in Old Mexico have reportedly taken over entire States in that country. These gangs have already spread into Los Angeles, parts of Houston, and all along the border. You can rest assured that these gangs are recruiting people in Chicago, New York, D.C., and Dallas-Ft. Worth today. When things deteriorate, with people losing their houses, jobs, and everything they own, the gang life will be looking more attractive to a lot of folks. What would be more exciting than joining a lot of cool people your own age and just take everything you can’t afford to buy. Also it is a chance to thumb your nose at society.
This became very apparent during the Haiti earthquake and hurricane Katarina. Gangs took over entire areas. In some areas the police and military were afraid to enter. It got so bad at one point that the aid works, police and firemen refused to go into some areas.
If we suffer a national Catastrophic Event it will open the door for gangs. Gangs will begin by taking over apartment complexes, then entire neighborhoods, then cities and spread from there. There will be no authorities, nothing to stop them. The inevitable result of this is anarchy.
– Anarchy –
Anarchy: 1.general disorder from lack of government.
As I said earlier, there are many situations we are facing that can lead to the failure of the U.S. and World infrastructure. In turn infrastructure failure will lead to anarchy throughout the world. Gangs will spread anarchy throughout the country, taking control of entire cities.
Once our infrastructure crumbles the store shelves will be bare within hours, there will be no fuel, there will be no electricity, there will be no communications, and there will be no authority. We have all seen what happens in a situation such as this on a small scale, remember Katrina, remember Haiti? This will be on a much larger scale and worldwide. Anarchy will start along the coast in the more populated areas and in some of the larger inland cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Detroit, and Denver. These areas will rapidly become danger zones. Anarchy will spread to the heartland like a cancer, as gangs take over entire cities and fight for territory. These gangs will be fueled by hunger, greed and panic. Luckily the spread will be limited by the lack of fuel.
At first it will start with looting. This has been proven time and again. Stores will be ransacked, windows broken; everything not useable will be destroyed, looters will feed on the moment, mob mentality will rule.
This will last a few weeks until it grows tiresome. Then the gangs will turn on each other. They will become even more violent destroying property, burning buildings. They will be fighting and killing each other. Gangs will be fighting for territory, they will become like animals, taking what they want. What will these people do for food? These are the people that are unable or unwilling to live off the land. Soon they will become motivated by fear and hunger instead of greed once they realize how desperate their situation is.
You will not be able to fight these gangs. You will be out-numbered and out-gunned. As Hurricane Katrina proved, as things get out of hand the police will leave town. The National Guard and Armed Forces will be used to protect the government. That is the few that will be willing to serve, most will leave and go to protect their families. You, your family, and your Group will be left to take care of yourselves. Think what your city, town and neighborhood will be like after a few weeks or months of this. Is this something you want to put your family through?
In order to save yourself and your family you will have to get out of harm’s way. Evacuate to a safe point and wait for these gangs to consume themselves. This may take six months or six years, but they will eventually kill themselves off.
Sounds radical, think this scenario is impossible? Look at history, it has happened time and time again and will happen again. Are we going down that path now? Who knows, you want to bet your families lives against it?
– Other Dangers –
In the event the United States experiences a nationwide Catastrophic Event there will be any number of dangers, other than the ones already set out. As stated before, a Catastrophic Event will shut down the U.S. infrastructure resulting in widespread anarchy and economic failure. Once this happens people throughout the country, given the opportunity will simply walk away from their jobs. This will include not only military and law enforcement personnel, but also factory workers, refinery workers, power plant workers, nuclear power plant workers as well as doctors and nurses. These workers will walk away from these facilities, often without these facilities being shut down properly. They will be left to eventually self-destruct.
This will result in numerous smaller localized disasters. With no one to control the flow sooner or later water will start flowing over the dams, eventually these dams will fail. Some will fail right away; others will take longer, depending on their construction.
For instance the Homeland Security News Wire published the following article on August 25, 2011:
In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers released a survey of the state of infrastructure in the United States. The group found that dams are, in terrible disrepair. Of the more than 85,000 dams in the United States, more than 4,000 are unsafe or deficient, and nearly 1,800 of those are located in areas where a breach would cause serious damage to life and property. SciAm notes that with so many dams in state of disrepair, it is difficult to decide which dam poses the greatest threat.
Without operators to operate and maintain petroleum refineries in a very short time these systems will start to fail, resulting in catastrophic fires and explosions. The same will be true for oil and gas wells and pipelines. This equipment requires constant maintenance.
Then there is the catastrophic danger posed by nuclear power plants. There are 104 nuclear reactors located in 31 states in the U.S. A large number of these are located in earthquake fault zone, many are located on cost lines vulnerable to hurricanes and tsunami. For example there are 15 nuclear power plants located in the Madrid fault zone. Most of these are of the same design as the three that was in the Japan earth and tsunami. There also nuclear plants located in the San Andreas fault zone. In order to shut these plants down they have to go through a cool down process. This requires electricity. What if there is no electricity? This is exactly what happens in the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Do you think for a minute when the U.S. infrastructure is destroyed people are going to stick around and fight these plants, especially without electricity?
Another big problem is going to be our prisons. There are presently more than 2,000,000 inmates in U.S. prison today. What is going to happen in prisons when the U.S. suffers a catastrophic event that destroys the infrastructure? There will be no choice, without electricity, food and water these people will have to be set free. Now, some people may say a large number of these inmates are in prison for nonviolent crimes, which is probably true. That still leaves a large number of violent people that will be free, roaming the country. There is absolutely no way the guards will stay on the job in the event of a national Catastrophic Event.
As you can see there will be many more dangers a person will have to contend with other than the Catastrophic Event itself. Actually the Catastrophic Event may be the least of our worries. The aftermath will be, in many cases, more difficult to deal with than the actual Event. This will be especially true in populated areas.
Would you want your family to live in this environment?
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