Puerto Rico: A Real Life Case Study In Surviving The Worst

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Our country has been plastered by hurricanes lately.

First there was Hurricane Harvey, which turned much of Houston, Texas into a lake, along with Corpus Christi, Rockport and the surrounding area. Then there was Hurricane Irma, which brushed by Puerto Rico and then tried to devour the Florida Peninsula. Finally, the third villain in this story was Hurricane Maria, which demolished Puerto Rico.

While Hurricane Maria was the “weakest” of the three, only a Category IV hurricane, it probably did the most damage. That damage is exacerbated by the fact that Puerto Rico is an island, making it harder to get relief workers and supplies in. Unlike Houston, access to Puerto Rico is limited to a few ports and airports, both of which were damaged by the storm.

Thousands of homes in Puerto Rico were destroyed by the hurricane, some only having their roofs torn off, while others were flattened entirely. Entire apartment buildings are standing with the façade torn off by the high winds, leaving the apartments exposed to the elements.

But the really serious damage from the hurricane wasn’t to people’s homes, although that is rather serious, but rather to the electrical grid. Over 95% of the island is currently without electrical power, not because of damage to the power plants, but rather to the near-total destruction of the transmission lines that carry the electricity produced to people’s homes, offices, stores and companies.

Without electricity, much of what people depend on to survive is eliminated. There is no running water, no communications, and most stores are unable to operate.

Between the lack of electric power to run their cash registers and the communications necessary to reorder stock, even if they sell their inventory for cash, using hand-written receipts, the stores will be empty of critical supplies, such as food, within less than three days.

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But coming up with that cash will be difficult for most people, as the ATM machines that they need to use and the computers for the banks are without power and communications as well. Since few people hold onto much cash these days, but rather use plastic for all their purchases, they are left without the ability to buy even the most basic necessities of life.

While relief efforts are pouring in, there isn’t enough and it’s not getting there fast enough. Unlike the rest of the country, the people of Puerto Rico are limited by being on an island. There isn’t anyplace they can go themselves, to get away from the problems or get what they need.

But getting supplies to the island is only the beginning of the problems. Once the supplies get there, workers encounter problems moving them to those in need. Roads are damaged or blocked by felled trees and other debris and gasoline is in short supply. Those nearest the ports and airports have the best chances of receiving relief supplies, while others, on more remote areas, may receive none.

Medical Issues

The problems that ordinary people have are bad enough. But they don’t hold a candle up to the problems faced by those with serious medical conditions. Hospitals are overrun, between the people who were injured by the hurricane and the normal problems they have to deal with.

On top of that, diesel fuel to run the hospitals’ generators is running short, limiting their ability to treat patients.

The lack of electricity is causing other medical problems as well, such as there not being power to run kidney dialysis machines. People with kidney failure need this treatment three times per week. Without it, their body accumulates too many minerals in the bloodstream and organs, leading to heavy-metal poisoning and death.

The same can be said for many other medical treatments which require electricity to run the equipment.

Medicines themselves are becoming an issue as well. While pharmacies and hospitals were well stocked before the storm, some medicines are running short. The worst of this are medicines which require refrigeration, like insulin. Without refrigeration to keep insulin supplies fresh, diabetics will soon find themselves without this life-saving drug.

Recovery from the Disaster

Rebuilding and restoring Puerto Rico is going to be a major project. The damage was so severe and widespread, that there isn’t any place “safe” on the island that people can go to, to get away from the problems. That also means that there is no good starting point to work from in rebuilding the island. If only part had been damaged, they could use that as a base for rebuilding the rest.

Unsurprisingly, officials have decided that the first focus of restoration has to be government facilities and hospitals. While that makes sense from the viewpoint of needing those to be functional in order to rebuild the rest of the island, it can also be seen as government bureaucrats taking care of themselves.

The first thing that has to be restored is the electrical grid. With so much of the grid damaged, repairs are impossible. Rather, the distribution grid needs to be rebuilt. This little project is projected to take six months, which probably means it will take much longer.

In the mean time, the loss of electricity will mean that people will be without clean running water, power in their homes, refrigeration and the distribution of products to retail stores will be severely limited. As all the farms in the country were destroyed by the hurricane, all food will need to be shipped in for at least the next year, until the 2018 harvest comes in.

While the death toll from the hurricane is officially stated as 16 people, that number will surely rise. Between the lack of necessary medical attention and the lack of clean water, they can expect to see more and more people dying, either of pre-existing conditions or from disease spreading easily due to lack of sanitation. The situation isn’t pretty and it’s likely to get worse, even with all of the efforts being thrown into relief and recovery.

This problem is amplified by the Puerto Rican government’s poor financial condition. With an economy that is near the bankruptcy point, there isn’t the money needed to rebuild the island. Fortunately for them, President Trump has waived the normal requirement for states to pay 25% of disaster relief and recovery funds.

Lessons to be Learned

This disaster was just about as serious as they come. While the process of rebuilding won’t be as bad as it would have been with an EMP, the outright destruction is much worse. The people of Puerto Rico, American citizens, are going to be hard pressed to survive this disaster and come out on top.

Video first seen on The Oregonian.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of lessons that you and I can learn from this disaster. Lessons that we should apply to our own prepping plans, so that when our turn comes, we are not left in the same boat as our countrymen find themselves.

If we don’t take the opportunity to learn, then we could say that their suffering would be in vain.

Shelter

One of the biggest lessons that we can take away from this hurricane, as well as the ones that hit Houston and Florida is that American homes are not built to withstand natural disasters, especially disasters that involve enormous amounts of water. Our homes are easily damaged in any sort of flooding, which ends up soaking into the materials and destroying them.

Granted, many of the homes which were the worst hit in the hurricane are those of the poor. As such, they aren’t built according to normal American standards, but rather, in any way possible. So they are not as strong as a typical American home.

But that really doesn’t make much difference.

In a time of major disaster, we have to assume that our home will be damaged, unless you happen to live in a concrete box. With that in mind, there are two things that we should do.

The first is to be ready to make emergency repairs to our home, having the necessary tools, materials and skills on hand to accomplish those repairs. The second is to have an alternate means of shelter that we can use, if our homes become completely destroyed.

I had previously thought of using a travel trailer as my alternate shelter, in case of a hurricane destroying my home (I live in a hurricane zone as well). However, looking at the damage in Puerto Rico, it is clear that such an idea was ill-founded; a travel trailer would not survive.

It would be best to have a shelter somewhere away from your home, the classic survival retreat that we all aspire to. But if you can’t afford that, at least make sure that you have a good tent or two that you can count on.

Water

The lack of clean water in Puerto Rico is going to account for many deaths. Had those people but had some means of purifying their water, they could survive. Yet few actually did. While I have no idea how many preppers there are in Puerto Rico, it is clear that there aren’t enough.

But I see something else here as well. This is one area, in which we, as preppers, can really serve our communities, earning their respect and hopefully giving them a reason to not attack us. That is, for us to be ready to provide water filtration to those around us. For us, this is easy, as we already plan on purifying our own water. All we really need to do is increase our capacity.

Another lesson that we can take away from this is the need to be ready to harvest rainwater. While a lot of us are already using rainwater capture, we probably don’t have anywhere near the capacity needed to capture even an infinitesimal amount of the water that would fall on our homes in a hurricane. Increasing that capacity would also increase our chances of survival.

Food

With the island’s farms in a shambles, food is going to be a real challenge for the next year, with prices considerably higher than normal. While food shortages aren’t a major issue yet, they soon will be, as people and stores run out. FEMA and other relief agencies just can’t get food to the island quick enough.

This pretty much answers the question of whether or not it is unreasonable to have a year’s worth of food stockpiled. For the people of Puerto Rico, a one year supply of food seems like a minimum, right now. Those that don’t have that much (most people) are probably going to end up losing weight.

There’s something else that this disaster brings up in the food area, as well. That is, protecting your food stockpile from destruction. If my home had been in Puerto Rico for the hurricane, it looks to me like much of my food stockpile would have been damaged or even floated away. I need to rethink my food storage, looking for ways to make sure that my food stays at my home site, even if my home becomes damaged.

One way to do this is to bury some of it. Five gallon buckets, filled with food will bury just fine, protecting the food. About the only thing that could happen to it, to destroy it, would be driving a vehicle over the top.

Electric Power

As usual, the electrical grid is one of the first things damaged by any storm. Therefore, none of us can count on electricity after a disaster. We either need to be ready to do without, or to produce our own.

In this case, people who had solar panels or wind turbines probably saw them damaged by the storm. High winds can be hard on both, especially if they are not properly anchored. In that case, their preparedness wouldn’t have helped them at all.

When Hurricane Harvey was headed for my home, before turning and making landfall at Rockport, I took down my wind turbine, strapping it down behind a cement wall to protect it from the storm. Had it been up and the hurricane hit our area, I am sure that it would have been destroyed.

Medical Needs

As I mentioned above, one of the biggest problems facing the citizens of Puerto Rico is medical services and supplies. This is not uncommon in any disaster situation, as medical services tend to become overwhelmed.

But there is a big difference in this case, that is, their generators are going to prove to not be enough. When the supply of fuel is exhausted, the hospitals and all their equipment will be down.

The only medical services we can truly count on in a time of emergency are those that are already in our possession. If anything, we had better count on needing more than we thing, not less. Chances are, we’re going to find ourselves in a position where we won’t be able to count on the medical community.

Self-Defense

It didn’t take long for the two-legged predators to come out of the woodwork and start taking what they wanted. I’ve heard stories of gunmen at gas stations, threatening others so that they could get in line first. While a fairly simple example, this is indicative of what is going on in other areas as well.

As supplies become even shorter, people will become more desperate. More and more acts of violence will break forth, with people fighting over food, water and other basic necessities. Those who are not prepared to defend themselves will be the loser in this game.

FEMA

Once again, FEMA has proven that they are unprepared to deal with any emergency, especially a major one. While their workers are hard at it, trying to coordinate relief efforts, they are behind the curve. Without others pitching in to help out, FEMA will be unable to meet all the needs.

There is a stark difference between what is happening in Puerto Rico and what has happened in Houston. While I don’t have any actual figures for how much aid is reaching Puerto Rico or how much of that is from FEMA, most of it seems to be coming from FEMA or through the Red Cross. On the other hand, the large Christian community in Texas provided most of the help to the citizens of Houston. In fact, there was so much aid given by the Christian Community, that news agencies who are normally hostile to Christians commented positively about it.

Anyone who is dependent on the government to provide them with aid is asking for trouble. While government relief workers do their best, it’s never enough.

We must be ready to take care of ourselves, and if possible, those around us as well. Are you prepared?

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

7+1 Tips On How To Deal With Flood Remains

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The problem with dealing with hurricanes, tropical storms, or other storm systems that bring a lot of rain in a little time is that you’re not just dealing with the storms. Though that’s certainly bad enough, sometimes it’s what comes after that does more damage than the actual storm.

What am I talking about? Flooding. I live in a hurricane zone, and we have a saying: hide from the winds, but run from the water. That’s because there usually very few lives lost due to damage from the high winds; most lives are lost to flooding.

On top of that, much of the extensive damage is also caused by flooding. How do you deal with the remains?

The actual storm itself rarely lasts more than a few hours but it can take weeks for a river to crest after the storm is past.

For example, the St. Johns River that runs from Vero Beach in Southeast Florida, up the middle of the state, then empties into the Atlantic Ocean in Jacksonville, is a north-flowing, lazy river. That can make for a bad situation for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s common for hurricanes to hit the southern part of the state then pound the rest of it with heavy downfalls. Since the St. Johns both starts and empties into the Atlantic Ocean, it can get a storm surge from both ends if the storm hits just right.

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Add in a foot or two of heavy rain to a state that’s not very far from sea level and you’re going to see major flooding in the dry areas, too.

So, you have the initial surge, which can push it off the banks, then you have water draining toward it from all directions inland then you have to factor in the slow rate at which it runs – .3 mph. That means that, assuming we’re lucky enough to have dry weather for a couple of weeks after the hurricane, it can take the river up to a week or so to crest; if it rains it can take even longer than that. And, since it’s lazy, it’s not receding for several days to a week.

So it’s not uncommon for a house near the St. Johns to make it through the hurricane just fine, but flood three or four days later, and stay that way for a few days. And this is a problem that happens all over the world; I just used the St. Johns because it’s one that I have first-hand experience with.

The reason that I took the time to go into this is because it’s important to understand that time plays a huge factor in things. Houses, yards, manufacturing plants, and buildings can be flooded for days, or even a week.

This opens up the door to a tremendous amount of potential toxins to flow, mix, and/or grow:

  • Septic waste: A septic tank may be able to handle a little bit of flooding, especially if it’s localized, but if the land is submerged for several days, it’s a different story. The leech field and even the tank itself are leaking into the floodwaters.
  • Fertilizers and pesticides: Again, a quick wash of floodwater may contaminate things a little, but when the water has plenty of time to sit and thoroughly saturate the soil deep down, it draws up toxins that have been soaking into the ground for months or years and spreads it far and wide.
  • Sewage plants: It’s practically a given that at least one sewage plant is going to suffer spillage during a flood.
  • Landfills: if it’s in a flood zone, it’s going to share the wonders of decomposing food, feminine hygiene products, diapers, and all the other stuff you’d typically want to make tea with. Home garbage containers also spill into floodwaters, so that’s another source of loveliness.
  • Dead Fish: between the contamination and the change in temperature and pH levels, there’s almost always a huge amount of dead fish that add to the contamination of the water, and also end up scattered on the banks, leaving the lovely smell – and health hazard – of dead fish strung along the shore, baking in the sun.
  • Mold: now that there’s a lovely, poisonous soup sitting in a building, or even on the ground, stewing in the heat, mold, and mildew start to grow. This creates another hazard that’s hazardous to you, both if you touch it and if you breathe it.
  • Storm debris: the winds and rushing water bring down trees and tree limbs, roof shingles, siding, fences, signs, and many other hazards that flow in the water and are left scattered behind once the water recedes, leaving physical hazards as well as chemical ones.

Now that you have an idea of just how damaging floods are, you need to know how to deal with the aftermath.

Be Prepared

Just like food is going to be scarce before the storm, cleaning supplies are going to be in demand following it. Stock up on garbage bags, bleach, rubber gloves, paper towels, rags, and whatever else you may need to clean up your area. Of course, if you prepare for a hurricane throughout the year, this may not be an issue for you.

Don’t Swim in It

After learning about all of the disgusting contents in floodwaters, the last thing you would probably think to do is swim in it. But many people don’t.

Kids of all ages like to get out and wade in the floodwaters, and even after the waters start to go down, it’s hot and people want to go swimming in the river.

Don’t. Just because the water has receded doesn’t mean that the toxins aren’t still there.

Pay attention to local EPA and Fish and Wildlife folks who monitor the level of contamination in the water and don’t go back in until they deem it safe.

Boil Water

Often, if you’re on city water, your city will issue a boil-water alert until they’re sure that the water is safe to drink again. Heed these warnings – they’re given for a reason. Usually, this is just for drinking water, but sometimes they’ll issue one for water used for hygiene as well.

It’s best to stockpile some water, both because your power may be out for awhile and because of the danger of contamination after the storm.

Test Your Soil

Though most of the time, the soil will be OK a few weeks or months after the flood, have it tested. The contaminants stay in it for a long time after the waters recede.

As a matter of fact, I once lost an entire litter of 4-week-old puppies to Parvo two weeks after a flood because the ground had been contaminated via rats’ nests that had been flooded.

As we know, rats also caused a couple of plagues, so this isn’t something to take lightly.

Wear Sturdy Shoes

By now, you’ve probably figured out that the ground is gross even after the waters recede. If you have to wade in the water, wear rubber boots that are higher than the water so that your feet don’t come into contact with water.

However, it’s best not to wade in the water at all because there are all kinds of things – boards with nails, broken glass, etc. – that you can’t see and will cut your shoes right along with your feet. Then all of those lovely contaminants are in your bloodstream.

Wear Gloves and Masks

Once you have to go in and start doing cleanup, you don’t want to touch the contaminated debris with your bare hands and you don’t want to breathe the air in enclosed spaces because of the mold and mildew. It can and will cause serious health issues once you suck it into your lungs. Medical masks are fairly cheap, especially compared to funeral expenses.

Dispose of Debris Appropriately

At the time of this writing, it’s three weeks post-Irma and there are still huge piles of yard debris lining the streets and stacked in parking lots. Follow local ordinances and be patient. If you want to dispose of it yourself rather than wait for city or county waste companies to get to you, there are often designated drop-off areas where you can haul it to.

Typically, these drop zones are for yard debris only. Drywall, fencing, shingles, flooded household goods and furniture, or any other non-bushy stuff isn’t accepted. Check for area dumps to haul building debris to, or call your municipality to find out if they’ve made special arrangements to pick up this type of waste.

Watch your Pets

Dogs and cats just love to roll in gross stuff and eat dead things that they shouldn’t.

There’s also the danger of nails, glass, and disease (see afore-mentioned Parvo) that are dangers to your animals. Horses are at particular risk, too, because of the way that their hooves are made. A nail can easily penetrate the sole, so be sure to police the yard and turnout areas where your pets will be roaming before you let them out.

Floods cause millions of dollars of damage and lives are lost both to the rushing waters and the hazards that accompany the water, both during and after the event.

Use common sense and follow precautions set forth by your local authorities. Post-disaster really isn’t a time to ignore safety directions because if warnings are issued, you can guarantee that there’s some level of risk.

That’s why you need to stay prepared and to know how to keep you and your family safe!

Have you been through floods and have suggestions, tips, or a story you’d like to share? If so, please do so in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

How Hurricane Crisis Could Make Trump Look Bad

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The recent one-two punch of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left the country reeling, as any such event does.

But this time, it wasn’t just one such event that struck the country, but two, with a mere eight days between the end of one and landfall of the next. Never before in our nation’s history, has there been so much destruction wrought in such a short amount of time.

In the past, natural disasters of this magnitude have become watershed moments for various presidents.

When Hurricane Katrina nailed New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, President Bush was lambasted thoroughly in the press for the poor response. Granted, not all of that poor response was his fault or even his administrations. But it happened on his watch, so he got the blame.

Specifically, Bush was blamed because it took three days for any government response to arrive in New Orleans. That’s enough time for people to start dying from the lack of adequate shelter and clean drinking water. Part of that delay was caused by the difficulty of getting through the deadfall trees on the highways, but the biggest part was that FEMA couldn’t move, until the state Governor declared a state of emergency.

 

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The poor press generated by Hurricane Katrina stuck with President Bush until the end of his presidency. It’s even been said that the bad press that Bush received from Hurricane Katrina had a part in President Obama winning the election in November of 2008, as McCain was tainted by simply being in the same political party as Bush.

Seven years after Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, the conflux of two hurricanes, struck the New Jersey seashore, once again destroying homes and leaving people without the basic necessities of life. As with Katriana, FEMA was slow getting their act together; but this time, it couldn’t be blamed on the state’s governor. Rather, it simply demonstrated how inefficient FMEA is.

There are many examples of this, most notably the fact that they didn’t put out requests for bids until two days after the hurricane hit the coast. Considering that the National Hurricane Center had been tracking the storm since it formed off the West-African coast, that was inexcusable.

But the media hushed that up. In fact, President Obama didn’t receive any bad press in the national media.

However, that’s not to say that Hurricane Sandy had no affect on Obama’s presidency; it did. In fact, it had a huge affect. Days before the hurricane hit, Obama was running severely behind in the polls.

But Hurricane Sandy changed all that. Hitting just over a week before the elections, it allowed Obama to look good, as he authorized relief efforts and financial aid to the victims, as well as visiting the area to show his support and concern.

In both cases:

  • The sitting presidents sent aid, petitioned Congress for disaster relief funds, gave speeches and visited the afflicted areas, although Bush delayed his visit to avoid getting in way of relief efforts.
  • People were displaced from their homes, lost property and in some cases lost their lives.
  • Thousands of homes were without electric power, in some cases for as long as seven weeks.
  • FEMA’s efforts at bringing disaster relief were slow and poorly managed. They apparently hadn’t learned much in the intervening seven years.
  • People were digging in dumpsters, trying to find something to eat.

But in one case, the sitting president came out smelling like a rose and in the other, like he had fallen in a septic tank.

What Was the Difference?

The difference was how the media handled the event.

Hurricanes are a big visual event for the media, with lots of good footage and pictures of flooding, general destruction, families in refugee centers and relief workers. People all over the nation are concerned and interested, so they can count on lots of viewers tuning in to see their “exclusive coverage.”

As such, it’s a major opportunity for politicians to make political hay. They get to stand in front of the cameras, talking about how bad it is, how much they support the victims and how much they are personally doing to get those people help.

Spending authorization bills get lots of “pork” projects attached to them, because nobody would dare vote against relief for the victims. For politicians with the right media connections, disasters are a great opportunity all around, too bad about those people who got hurt and lost their homes.

Since the media hated Bush, both for being a Republican and personally, they did everything they could to make him look bad in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But Obama was their fair-haired boy and he could do no wrong in their eyes.

So, as they did throughout his presidency and even during the campaign, they simply ignored anything that might make him look bad, refusing to report it. That left them with lots of good shots of President Obama looking concerned.

Since reality in the 21st Century is defined by televisions, computer monitors and handheld devices, all that most people know, is what the media tells them. This gives the media a huge amount of influence over society, influence that they use for the political benefit of their masters.

With the mainstream media totally sold out to the progressive-liberal left, what the low-information voters are receiving is political propaganda, not anything that even resembles the truth. Fake news has taken over, and the purveyors of that fake news have an agenda that they are trying to fulfill. It doesn’t matter how much they loudly and publically proclaim their innocence and lack of bias, it’s all a lie.

So, How Does this Affect Trump?

Enter President Donald Trump, a true enemy of the media. Trump’s war with the mainstream media has become famous, with neither side backing down. The mainstream media had thrown all their weight behind Hillary Clinton in the presidential race and they lost. Like the rest of those on the left, they don’t know how to handle that, so they’ve doubled down, attacking Trump at every turn.

When Donald Trump and his wife went to Houston, to see the damage and relief efforts for themselves, the media freaked out about the First Lady’s high heel shoes, accusing her of being “out of touch” with the victims, by wearing high heels to go to a flooded region of the country. Of course, they didn’t say anything when she got off of Air Force One, wearing a sensible pair of sneakers. Oops.

You would think that even the media would learn from a mistake like that, but they didn’t.

A few days later, when the Trumps went back to Houston again, we were treated to an instant replay, as the mainstream media once again started a Twitter firestorm about Melania getting on board Air Force One in heels. As with the first time, there was nothing that even vaguely resembled a retraction or apology when she once again got off the airplane in tennies.

That’s it. That’s the coverage that the media gave Donald Trump from Hurricane Harvey. There was nothing about FEMA and their relief efforts. Nothing about Trump’s request for billions in relief funds. There wasn’t even any photos about Trump and his wife helping out at a relief center.

Not even a word about Trump giving one million dollars of his own money to help Hurricane Harvey victims. Rather, they pushed a photo showing Obama feeding the hungry in a shelter, claiming that it was hurricane relief, when it wasn’t.

Such is the objectivity of the media today. Their whole purpose is to make Democrats look good and Republicans look bad. To do so, they hide any good news about Republicans and hide any bad news about Democrats.

Of course, they’re talking into an echo chamber, repeating the same things over and over again; telling their audience how bad Republicans are. But who is that audience? The low-information voters who don’t bother researching anything for themselves and merely repeat whatever Democrat talking points the media tells them to believe.

They apparently haven’t learned yet. Bashing Republicans isn’t going to win them any elections. The Democrat Party doesn’t even have a message anymore. Their supposed “message” is to talk about how bad they think Trump is, based purely on the name calling they’ve been doing. As if name calling is any sort of evidence. Yet apparently they think it is.

But it Doesn’t Stop There!

It’s bad enough to have the mainstream media giving a false narrative and convincing the low-information voters that Trump and the Republican party are bad. But that’s just the foundation level of what they’re doing.

From there it gets even more interesting. Conspiracy theories don’t just exist in the far right of the political spectrum, the far left has their own collection of conspiracy theorists at work.

According to this group of pseudo-scientists and pseudo-political theorists, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are Donald Trump’s fault. Yes folks, our president apparently hates the American people so much, that he’s intentionally trying to ruin their lives and even kill them. He is doing this by hand-crafting hurricanes out of thin air.

One theory holds that Donald Trump ordered cloud seeding to create the hurricanes, using some ultra-secret magic dust, that they can sprinkle in clouds, causing any sort of natural disaster they want.

Cloud seeding does apparently exist, and it’s been done to cause rain during a drought. But there’s a huge difference between causing a little rain to fall on some farmlands, and creating a storm that’s 400 miles across and has winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.

Then there’s the theory of hurricanes being caused by global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now. The global warming narrative has been debunked so many times now, that it’s not even funny. Yet there are still lots of people who stick to that story, saying that the rest of us are criminal for not accepting “settled science.” Settled? It’s only settled in their warped minds.

Once again, we can go back to the Mayans to disprove that pseudo-science. If global warming caused hurricanes, how could there have been hurricanes in Mesoamerica over 1,000 years ago? How could those hurricanes have continued to exist through the mini ice-age?

Yet the global warming crowd is trying to blame Trump for these hurricanes; not for anything he’s done, which created more warming; but rather for pulling the US out of the Paris accord. Apparently, pulling out of an agreement that wasn’t going to make any discernible difference anyway is enough to cause hurricanes to start attacking our country. I never knew nature could read.

The cause of hurricanes is known. While we are powerless to do anything to stop it, we can see from the recent hurricane activity that the National Hurricane Center is good at predicting the actions of these hurricanes and warning people of what is to come.

No matter how much pseudo-science they invent to try and pin them on Donald Trump, it’s not going to work. The only people who will believe them are those that already hate Trump and are looking for whatever excuse they can find to talk about how bad he is.

Whatever they do and say on politics, you need to be prepared and expect the worse!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

How to Prepare for a Tornado!

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How to Prepare for a Tornado

TornadoA tornado can appear as a funnel shape, spinning through the air or may just appear as a dark cloud on the horizon. Tornadoes develop out of strong thunderstorms and can be devastating and even fatal. Rotating winds can get up to 300 mph and tornadoes path of damage can be more than a mile in width and as much as 50 miles in length.

1-22-06 ss-150326-oklahoma-tornado-01.nbcnews-ux-1280-900-700x467There is risk of a tornado at some level just about anywhere.  Some tornado’s are easily seen; others may be hidden by blinding rain or low clouds. Tornadoes are known to crop up very quickly with little or no warning ahead of time. Early warning and preparation are big ways to reduce injury and fatalities.

Typically, before a tornado is about to hit, it’s suddenly very still and quiet. Sometimes you will see a swarm of debris in the air even without a visible funnel cloud. Since tornadoes usually happen along the edge of a thunderstorm, don’t be fooled by the fact that there may be sunny and clear skies beyond the tornado cloud.

Facts You Should Know About Tornadoes:

  • colorado-tornadoAverage forward moving speed is from 30 mph; can be from zero movement to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes over water are called waterspouts
  • Peak season in northernmost states is end of spring and beginning of summer months
  • March to May is tornado season for south states.
  • Most often sighted in spring and summer seasons east of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Can move any direction but typically move southwest to northeast.
  • May touch down out of nowhere with little advance notice.
  • Hard to see when they first form until they suck up debris and dirt or a funnel cloud forms.

How to be Prepared for a Tornado

  • Start paying more attention to weather conditions and patterns in your area so you will notice when things are not normal.
  • Create a plan with family members for how you will communicate when a tornado, is moving in.
  • Put together an emergency kit similar to the one found here. Include 72 hrs. of water and food and a NOAA emergency radio with multi-charging options including hand crank.
  • Know tornado terminology. Most important to know is the difference between a tornado watch (conditions are right for a tornado) and a tornado warning (a tornado has been sighted in your area). Also understand that a tornado emergency means a tornado was seen moving toward fully populated location, and a severe thunderstorm warning means a significant thunderstorm has been seen, tornadoes are possible.
  • Watch for the Following Danger Signs. Dark skies, a green tint to the sky could mean hail, an orange or rusty sky could mean dirt blown by high winds, seeing large-sized hail, dark spinning clouds low to the ground, a thunderstorm followed by extreme quiet and stillness, debris floating near the ground, Freight train or jet sound or very loud roar, white or blue-green flashes off in the distance but near the ground could be power lines snapping.

How to Safely Seek Shelter

  •  Mobile homes or manufactured offices are dangerous places and are often in adequately anchored and will be least likely to withstand the strong, sustained winds of a tornado.
  • Best Action: Leave and find the nearest storm shelter or go to the ground floor of a more secure building.
  • A somewhat sturdy structure such as house, school, small building, or store, etc.

Best Action: Follow tornado drill instructions or signs to the nearest pre-determined safe room. This may be a basement area or room on the ground floor, or even a storm shelter if available.

  • In a high-rise apartment or office building.

Best Action: Locate a hallway, closet or small room without an outside wall. Secure any furniture or mirrors that could hit you.

  • Outside without a sturdy building nearby. This is probably the worst case scenario and unfortunately there is no best action because in this last minute situation there are so many variables that can impact your safety.

Suggested Actions:

Try to take cover in a vehicle if one is available. Wear the seat belt and attempt to drive to the nearest shelter unless you are hit by debris. As an alternative, you can seek shelter in a parked vehicle with the seat belt on and your head covered with your arms and some other cushioning such as a blanket or cushion.

Lie down in a ditch or other place that is lower than the surface of the road. If you can, bring a blanket or coat so you can cover your head with it and your arms to protect from debris and glass.

How to Deal with Tornado Aftermath

  • Stay on your Toes. Wait out the storm, make sure it has passed. Confirm via your emergency radio that the danger for your area has passed.
  • Medical Assistance is a priority. Use your first-aid kit to care for your injuries and those around you as best you can. Once storm is over, seek additional help if needed.
  • Inspect for Damage. Turn off the water, gas, and electric coming into the building. Check your home or office for any damage using a flashlight if needed. Look for damage that could mean the building is still unsafe. If you find structural damage, gather supplies and seek other shelter.
  • Help Others. If you made it through without injury or property damage, count your blessings. Work with public officials to find out how you can best help others recover.
  • Clean Up Safely. If the storm is over, begin cleaning up what you can. Wear gloves if you have them. Take photos of damage for your insurance company. Move hazardous items carefully.

Tornados can be scary and can wreak havoc in a matter of minutes. There will be no time to learn how to stay safe once one is on the way. Prepare now so you know how to seek shelter, stay safe, and deal with the aftermath of a tornado.

The post How to Prepare for a Tornado! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Aftermath S02E05 “Interrogation”

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A quick note to my readers:

Happy holidays to you and yours whatever your celebrate. Let’s all pray for peace and safety this season and wisdom for our leaders who must guide us through these tumultuous times. I hope that you have a blessed holiday filled with love, family, friends and cheer.  You may have noticed I didn’t post last week. (My apologies) So here is a double dose, both episodes 4 and 5 today. Thanks for your support, readership and comments.

Cheers,

M.A. Thompson 

 

Interrogation

By: M.A. Thompson

Jason was up an hour before dawn, had already taken a cold shower and fetched the rope they’d need before he woke Erickson. They barely had a chance to discuss what had happened to Gerald with all the action of the outsiders the night before. The two men walked briskly across the field towards the farm, and towards the manure pits that held the remains of the farmer and his eldest son.

“Damn shame,” Erickson said as they removed the tarp tied over the entrance.

 

The bodies had settled over night and now only the men’s necks were above the muck. Exhuming them was unpleasant business to say the least. Jason only hurled once, but Erickson wasn’t so lucky. They used the hand-powered water pump at the farm to hose the men off before they radioed for Tony to bring the truck and haul them to the garage for burial preparations. Jim was in the truck when Tony came. Jason half expected it, and was glad he and Erickson had woken so early for the task. Pete was Jim’s friend, and as much as Jim had come to understand death, no one should have to see their friend in such a state.

 

They all rode back together, in silence. Not many people were around, despite the hour nearing ten am. At first Jason thought Gerald’s death might have something to do with it. People loved Gerald, and the community relied heavily on his farming knowledge. He’d taken a few apprentices as he worked and of course his son’s had grown up on the farm, but no one seemed to know the ways of the land like Gerry. People were probably mourning, Jason thought, it had been a while since they last held a funerals and Jason imagined that people were still reeling from the shock of having to perform a double funeral for father and son. As sharp as the militiamen had been trained, and as dutiful as the rest of the workers at camp had become, there was still a portion of them, even some of the workers, who still saw things through the old lens. Through the lens of the old world where death was an unexpected thing, and comforts extended beyond running water and a safe place to sleep, and strangers were friends waiting to be…

 

That was it, Jason realized. He’d become so preoccupied with securing Gerald and Peters’ corpses that he failed to recognize the effect the visitors was having on the camp. People weren’t inside their quarters to mourn. They were afraid of what the new guests might have brought with them, or what Jason was going to do to them, or possibly what might be coming from the outside as a result from them.

 

What was he going to do with them, Jason thought to himself. Find out what was coming from the outside was his answer. There was no question about it. That was all that Jason was interested in, however, he had a sneaking suspicion that the pair would be more willing to cooperate if they were offered citizenship in the camp. Jason had no intention of offering them any such thing, unless of course, either one of them just happened to be an experienced farmer. From the looks of them, he doubted it.

The funeral team, a group of volunteers lead by Jason’s wife Cathy, met the truck as it pulled into the garage. She and Jason locked eyes and he nodded his thanks to her for preparing the team and being ready. Jason left the truck and the garage behind and headed towards the showers.

“Dad,” Jim called after him.

“What’s up son?” Jason replied without stopping.

“I want to see them.”

“Nope, out of the question,” Jason said with finality.

“Why not?”

“Because I said so,” Jason knew that excuse no longer worked. His son was no longer a child.

“Tony said it was just a guy and his kid, and-“

“What does Tony know about it?” Jason said sharply.

 

He knew there wasn’t a single person in the camp that wasn’t talking about the new visitors, but it angered him all the same. Tony should know better, but then again, he’s not much older than Jim.

 

“Anyway, what are you so worried about?” Jim persisted.

“Look,” Jason started, “We don’t know anything about these two, and until we do, I don’t want them learning anything about us. Maybe not even then.”

“So you’re not going to let them stay?”

 

Jason was surprised at his son’s line of questioning. On one hand, it was understandable, and even a good indicator that his son was starting to return to the normal social behaviors of a boy of 18. The problem was, those social norms no longer cut it in this world. It’s better than the angry, violent man he was shaping into. He’d have to find a balance between those two worlds, as did everyone, Jason thought, including himself.

 

“I don’t know what’s going to become of them,” Jason said, “but what I do know is that for now, no one is going near them except for me. Then, I’ll make whatever decisions I deem necessary, including the possibility of letting them stay. Is that clear?”

 

“Yes sir,” Jim said, hiding his disappointment.

 

“Go check on your sister, she should be in class with the other children. Make sure they have what they need for today, and do the rounds for me.”

 

Doing the rounds was Jim’s least favorite task, but it was an important one. Also, it would keep the boy busy for a couple hours. Jason, as the appointed leader of the camp, made it a point to “do the rounds” at least once a week, more if he could work it. It started out as something casual, something to get to know the people of the community as they began building it together. Now, if he or Jim or Cathy and sometimes even Tony didn’t make it around by Tuesday, people began to worry. Once, when Jason and Jim were sick and Tony was busy with runs, now less than a dozen people stopped by their quarters with extra rations, blankets, or just to see if there was anything they could do. It was a good community, a tight-knit and caring one, and Jason realized more and more each day just how important community is in the aftermath.

 

It always struck Jason just how easy it had been to build such strong bonds. Of course, the necessity demanded by their situation created certain levels of dependency, but the community had grown pasts that. All it took, mostly, was just a visit to each area of the camp, the cooks and storeroom, the guard towers, his militia leaders, the school, the many and his construction crew, the farm… A shot of sorrow panged in Jason as he thought about Gerald and Peter who were at that very moment being cleaned and prepped for burial.

 

He pushed it aside and headed towards the basement where the makeshift holding cells and interrogation room were located. Maybe this guy is some kind of farmer, Jason hoped. Don’t get ahead of yourself buddy, he told himself. He didn’t like that such a thought had crept up on him. He needed to clear his head. Sure, community was great, but these two were outsiders, and any outsider was a potential threat to the safety of the people and place he’d worked so hard to protect. He hardened his gaze standing outside of the interrogation room, took a deep breath, and entered sharply.

 

The man was seated, hunched over in the metal chair with his long hair covering his face. He was less nervous than the night before, but he still seemed more like a skeleton than a man. His right hand was freshly bandaged, and he rested it close to his body in his lap. When Jason entered, he turned with a bit of a start, but seemed slightly relieved when he recognized Jason as the man who talked to him the previous night.

 

“I… I want to thank you for… for the food and for this” he lifted his bandaged arm slightly. The man’s voice was nervous with excitement, shaking, as if he didn’t know what to say, but had to say something. Jason circled him once in silence, and then took a seat opposite the man in the same chair the original commander of the camp sat in when interrogating he and his wife. He hoped to have the same intimidating effect as the commander as he sat in silence and stared at the jabbering man.

 

“My son… he, I… we haven’t eaten since we escaped the camp, and, well…” the man prattled on against Jason’s cold, silent stare. When the man’s eyes met Jason’s he fell silent. That’s when Jason spoke his first words.

“What’s your name?” Jason asked, with a voice as dry as a funeral drum.

“Ma… Martin,” the man started, “And my son’s name is-“

 

Jason cut him off with a simple hand motion. Stop. It said. I’m asking the questions, and this is not a meet and great.

 

“Tell me everything you know about the men who attacked you,” Jason instructed. The man’s face turned sullen, and his eyes glazed over as if the mention of those men had caused a horrible movie to be replayed in the man’s mind. His voice steadied, and grew hollow. He spoke with a hollow detachment.

 

“They are very bad men,” he said softly. Jason watched the transformation in the man, saw the fear and despair that had washed over his body. It made him nervous. He had seen what man was capable of doing to his fellow man in times of desperation. He had seen what fanaticism can drive men to do, especially in the absence of law and order. He had seen the faces of men who had witnessed the worst of these things and it was the spitting image of the man before him.

 

Jason began firing questions, “How many are there? Are they a militia, a gang? Is the BigMart their base? Will they follow you here? Do they know about us?”

 

The man looked Jason directly in the eye with a hollow and ghastly stare and responded with one word, “Yes.”

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Aftermath Season 202E04 “Outsiders”

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“Outsiders”

By: M.A. Thompson

Jason could feel their looks of surprise on the back of his neck as he moved to intercept the two visitors. They hobbled through the gate with no less than four guns trained on them the entire time. Jason signaled two guards to separate and search them on the spot, and the gate slammed shut behind them.

“Keep a vigilant watch, double shifts through the night,” Jason gave the order to his second in command who nodded and began relaying orders into his radio.

 

Jason positioned himself between the two outsiders and the command center. They stood legs spread, hands held fast to the top of their heads with assault rifles aimed squarely at their backs. Jason studied them in the flickering torchlight.

 

The man would have been considered a big guy, if he’d had any meat on his bones, but as he stood trembling there on the pavement he looked to Jason like he hadn’t eaten a solid meal in weeks. The boy wasn’t much different. Emaciated, and way too skinny for a boy his age, which looked to be on par with Jim. Their clothes, what was left of them, hung from their skeleton frames in tattered shards. The boy wore the remains of a brown t-shirt and jean shorts, the man in an orange long sleeve turtleneck and what used to be a pair of khakis. Both were covered in dried mud and blood and filth that seemed to stain them down to the bone. The man was still bleeding. A small slow drip fell into a growing puddle beneath him as he stood there on shaking legs.

 

“You’re injured,” Jason half asked, half stated.

“Ye… yes,” the man gasped. Jason could hear the dryness in his throat, and fought back the urge to offer him water.

“How?” Jason demanded.

“We were attacked…”

“By who?”

“I don’t know, but they were…” The man was shaking violently, falling apart with each word.

“Insane,” the boy said, with a coldness that surprised Jason. “They were insane. They killed my mother, and my two sisters.”

Jason focused his attention on the boy now.

“Why didn’t they kill you?”

“Would have,” the boy replied, “If Pa here didn’t break loose and save us.”

“How’d you manage that?” asked Jason.

The man slowly lowered his arms and pulled up his sleeve revealing a savage laceration on his wrist. His thumb was nearly hanging off, and it was clear to Jason why the man seemed to be in a state of shock.

“They had me handcuffed,” he said quietly, “but I managed to get free.”

 

“Then what?” Jason asked.

“Then we came here,” the boy said, with a trace of frustration in his voice.

“Easy Sam,” the man said, “He’s right to be suspicious.”

If the man was hoping to dissuade Jason of his uneasiness, it wasn’t working. Still, the pair didn’t seem to pose an immediate threat, and they could have valuable information about the attackers.

“Why were they holding you?”

“I… I don’t know, they just, ambushed us as we, my family and I…” the man paused to choke down his tears, “we were on the road for a while, and came across the Big Mart about ten miles west of here. We thought there might be some supplies, or at least shelter for the night… that’s when they got us… when we were sleeping.” The man couldn’t hold back anymore and his words gave way to muffled sobs.”

 

Jason’s blood went cold at the mention of the box store. It must have been their packs that Jim had found in the back room. Then another thought chilled him even deeper.

 

“Were you followed?” he asked.

“No,” cried the man, “I, I don’t think so anyway.”

“How did you get away?”

“I killed one of them,” said the boy, “Dad cut us loose and we waited for him to return. When he came near me I rammed a shard of metal into his throat.”

 

Jason eyed the boy. There was anger in him. Hatred. Like the hate that was in Jim’s eyes after he’d shot the man who’d attacked his mother. He almost turned them away for that reason alone. Still, if they had information on the people responsible for what he saw at Big Mart, he wanted it.

 

“I killed that man,” the boy continued, “and then we lit out of there yesterday night, ran like hell down the road with only the rifle we grabbed from the dead one.”

 

“It took you that long to get here?” Jason asked.

 

“I slowed us down,” the man interjected, “I tried to get my boy to leave me behind, but he wouldn’t.”

 

“They didn’t pursue?”

 

“I don’t believe so,” the man said.

 

“How many of them?”

 

“One less now,” said the boy.

 

“I don’t know exactly,” the man said, four of five I think, they kept us blindfolded for days, I, think I made out four or five different voices.”

Jason studied them carefully, trying to decide what to do. Finally, he turned to his second in command and gave an order.

 

“Search them, then take them to a holding cell, get them food, tend that man’s wound and post two guards on them.”

 

The man looked as if he wanted to protest, but thought better of it.

 

“Blindfold them as well,” Jason added. It was dark by then, but he didn’t want the two of them to have any more view of their camp then they already had. The tension relaxed in the man’s body, but the boy remained rigid. He didn’t like the idea of being blindfolded, but Jason thought that more a symptom of youth than espionage.

 

The man and the boy were escorted by two guards along the path towards the center. Jason leaned against the sandbags of the forward post and sighed.

“Sir?” it was Erickson, the officer who’d been relaying Jason’s orders.

“Yes, Erickson?”

“What about the standing order?”

 

Erickson was a good man. An army reserve captain, he had served on active duty twice, earned the Purple Heart and a few other accolades that proved he was worthwhile soldier. He took his family to the camp when he saw the presence of the military, making the mistake of trusting them out of habit. Why shouldn’t he have, Jason thought when he’d first heard the story. It was unthinkable what the government had done, but all that was behind them. He was a good soldier and at the heart of the rebellion that ultimately helped make the camp free. His question was valid, and since Jason had given the standing order of no outsiders himself, he understood his officer’s confusion. He just didn’t know how to answer it.

 

“We found something,” Jason began, “at the Big Mart. The other day when Jim and Tony and I went out on a run.”

 

“What was it?”

 

“I can’t exactly say for sure, some kind of symbol, or effigy or some shit,” Jason tried to explain, “it was covered in blood. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. It wasn’t… it wasn’t right. Whoever was responsible for it, well let’s just say, they aren’t’ the kind of people we want to deal with.”

 

“You think it’s the same people who attacked those two?”

 

“Maybe…”

 

“Or maybe they’re part of it.”

 

“That thought crossed my mind as well.”

“If they are, they could be here to gather information, to find our weaknesses and report back.”

 

“I’m aware of that Erickson,” Jason sighed, “but whatever they are or aren’t, we’re going to find out.”

 

“If you don’t mind me saying so sir, I’ve got a pretty bad feeling about it. First, Gerald and his son get killed, then these two show up bloodied and talking about marauders or whatever. This is how things go tits up in a hurry in situations like this.”

 

“You’re not wrong,” Jason agreed, “But I’m confident in what we’ve built here. As long as we stick to the EEFI rules, we should be able to get what we need out of those two without much spillage.”

 

“I hope you’re right, sir.”

 

“So do I Erickson. So do I.”

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April Showers Approach

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Aftermath – Season 2 Episode 1
By M.A. Thompson

“Clear!”
The shout came from inside the dilapidated store. It was amazing how overgrown things had gotten, how quickly it had gone to shit, Jason thought to himself. It had only been a year and half since the Dark Dawn operation started, and ultimately failed. It had become clear to everyone that there was no longer a central power, no government, no rules except the ones you made for yourself. America, and presumably the world had been reset. To be honest, Jason didn’t really mind it, save for the cost he paid to be there. His oldest son’s life, the innocence of his other son, the trauma of combat brought to his wife and daughter, all part of the price tag of this wild new world. Jason thought about all of this as he moved cautiously through the broken glass doors of what used to be a big box store.
“Anything left?” Tony asked, as he and Jason looked around the well-looted insides.
“No food or guns, but there were a couple of boxes of ammunition in the back warehouse.”
“What kind?” Jason asked.
“.22’s” James replied.
“Well,” Jason sighed, “Better’n nothing I suppose.”
“That’s not all that was back there pops,” James said.
“There were three packs,” James’ voice suddenly dropped off, “They uh, they were scattered and picked through. The boxes of bullets too looked like they’d been tossed aside. Whoever left those packs behind… I don’t think they wanted to.”
Jason looked at his son, then at Tony, a man from the camp who regularly volunteered for supply runs. He was skinny and only about five years older than his son, but boy was he fast. He could climb too. He used to be involved with something called parcore before the shit hit the fan. Used to live in the city, but made his way out here to check on his aunt when it all went down. He had dark brown skin and an easy going smile, but he’d proven himself time and again in the face of danger. Jason liked the guy, and what’s more liked the affect he was having on his son. It was good for James to have friends again, even an older brother figure.
“Let’s not be long then,” Jason said, “Whoever relieved those poor bastards of their bags might still be around.”
“Yea man, let’s be quick about it,” Tony piped in, “we haven’t been out this far before, and if I’m being honest, the place doesn’t have a good vibe.”

Jason had to agree with Tony on that point.
“Alright,” he said, “let’s split up and check the aisles, I’ll take the garden center, Tony you hit clothing and housewares, Jim, see what you can find in hardware.”
Looters, at least the initial ones, were very rarely peppers. Sure they grabbed canned food and blankets and water, but they neglected seeds, plants, clothes, hardware, Tupperware, all kinds of important stuff. They’d been lucky so far on their supply runs. Rarely had they come across other people, and when they had, so far at least, the interactions were relatively friendly. Jason was sure that the supply teams wore body armor and carried impressive armament. The idea was to intimidate any potential others from trying their luck. A few people had approached them in desperation, and some of them had become members of the camp. Most however, hightailed it in the opposite direction, and Jason didn’t mind keeping it that way.
Even though they’d been lucky in their runs, the camp was big, and they went through a lot of supplies. Women, children, over half the town had gone to the camps, or had been rounded up by the government soldiers. When Jason decided to stay, he knew it would be a challenge, but he believed that together they could make a safe and worthwhile life for his family at the camp. Deep down, though he would never breath a word of it to anyone, he was beginning to wonder if he’d made the right move.
“Hey Jason!” Tony shouted from across the store. “Come take a look at this.”
Jason found Tony standing over a pile of children’s clothing. Tiny little denim pants, bright colored t-shirts emblazoned with things like “lil trouble maker” and “Daddy’s girl” piled up in the middle of the Men’s clothing section. The sunlight didn’t reach very far in, but he could sense a hesitation in Tony. His breathing was quick and he seemed to be frozen where he stood. Jason shined the light on the barrel of his assault rifle onto the pile and nearly choked on his own spit. The clothes weren’t piled at random, but placed carefully to form a capitol letter A with a circle around it. It was the symbol for anarchy, Jason recognized, but that’s not what made him gasp. The tiny little outfits were all stained through with blood.
“Jim!” Jason shouted, “Gather what you have and let’s get the hell out of here.”
Jason looked to Tony who was still staring at the grotesque monument to lawlessness.
“Guess you were right about the bad vibe,” he said, “Come on, let’s go.”

It was about noon, and the sun was high above the surprisingly thin cloud cover. April was fast approaching and they needed to upgrade their rain collection systems, which was the main reason for this particular supply run. Jim met them at the door dragging a cart full of hosing, a few pieces of gutter and various tools and hardware. Jason handed the gutter pieces to Tony, tossed the hosing over his shoulder and told Jim to leave the rest. Jim looked at his dad puzzled, and looked to Tony for confirmation. Tony looked as if he’d seen a ghost, which put Jim on edge. He unsoldered his rifle, and abandoned the cart.
“Everyone behind me,” Jason ordered, and cautiously exited the store through it’s busted front doors. He scanned the parking lot, but the only thing he saw was the DDTF truck and the four-wheeler they came in on. Jason scanned the houses on the far side of the street through his scope. Checking each window, each door, each yard for signs of change or movement. Nothing. The vehicles seemed to be unaffected, and from the looks of things there wasn’t another soul for miles around. They made their way to the vehicles quickly, Tony mounting the four-wheeler and Jim tossing the supplies into the truck and climbing into the cab with Jason. Soon the sound of their vehicles was only a distant echo to the unseen man standing atop the box store roof. He had watched the vehicles leave, taking special note of the direction they were headed.

“Jason!”
“Hey Manny,” Jason stepped out onto the roof of the community center and greeted the man with a wave. Manny had been kneeling at the base of the largest of 7 rain barrels and talking heatedly to two of his helpers.
“Please tell me you were able to find carbon filters,” he pleaded. Jason’s expression gave away the answer, and Manny let out an exasperated sigh.
“I know it’s not your fault Jay,” he said, “but if we can’t find carbon or ceramic filters, we’re going to have a tough time making this rain water potable.”
“I know it Manny,” Jason said, putting his arm on the man’s shoulder, “but you’re the best rain catchment guy in the camp, and I have faith that you’ll be able to rig something.”
“Sure, I can rig something,” he said with frustration, “I already have rigged something. I mean look, we’ve got rain barrels, flush diversion systems, I jerry rigged the sediment filters, and was able to make floating extractors for inside the barrel, but that’s not enough to make it drinkable, and that was our plan for the new system!”
“ I know it Manny, but don’t lose faith, we’ll find what we need, I’m sure of it. I’ll take another group out tomorrow, head east this time, towards the old warehouses, there’s got to be something useful out there.”
Manny just sighed, and Jason could tell the man was tired and overworked. He’d never seen someone so passionate about rainwater before. Apparently he ran a rain harvesting business on the side before things went dark. He wasn’t a pepper necessarily, more of an old hippie, who wanted to live off the grid for political and social, reasons more than survival preparation. It didn’t matter one way or the other to Jason, he was here, and he’d built several amazing systems so far, but this current one was supposed to provide potable, pressurized water. They’d come across some hand pumps and a huge load of PVC piping at a hardware store off the state route about 4 months back and Manny’s face lit up as if it were Christmas. He started making plans and promises, but as the project wore on and the necessary parts became scarce, his enthusiasm was waning.
“We didn’t come back completely empty handed,” Jason said, as Tony and Jim came through the roof door.
“Guttering!” Manny shouted, “With leaf guards built in!”
The spark seemed to return to the man’s eyes and Jason decided to leave him to it. He hadn’t seen his wife and daughter all day, and something about what they’d found in that box store was still weighing on him. The thing Jason hated most about the bad feelings he’d get, the ones deep in his gut, was that all to often, he was right.

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Book Review: Aftermath, A Story of Survival

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OK, first off, when I heard about the chance to review the first book released by the author, LeAnn Edmondson, I asked…almost begged, to have a reviewer’s copy of Aftermath, A Story of Survival in order to review it. I have stalked the author from time to time on her blog, HomesteadDreamer.com (click the link […]