It was truly stunning to see how quickly Texas devolved into the dark ages due to a short but powerful storm, and the widespread suffering it caused was a tragedy of epic proportions.
What the past week has shown us or should have shown us (but the lesson will be incredibly short lived), is how tenuous things really are, and how we have come to place our very survival in not just other people’s hands, but often into the hands of totally inept bureaucrats. Don’t get me wrong, emergency services did a great job, but poor decisions like limiting shelter space to allow for “social distancing” causing people to freeze to death, came from some bureaucrat somewhere, just following orders, not thinking of the consequences, or even more staggering, not allowing people to spend the night in a warming center in bitter freezing weather due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The events of Texas are full of teaching moments, and while painting a wide swath with a broad brush is often problematic and unfair, simply look at the images in the news and the sheer number of people waiting in the line to get food, water, propane, firewood, and a myriad of other items that were readily available a scant few days earlier is a good indicator of the inability of people to realize the seriousness of the situation. The staggering thing is that this was forecast, There was plenty of time and people were warned, yet it was widely received with a yawn.
We are spoiled. We turn on lights and they work, we go to the store, and the shelves are stocked, often with a half dozen different brands of the same product. We go to the gas station and fill up with what recently was reasonably priced gas. All that went away and some of it will stay away for a while.
The absolute first and most astounding one was how many people didn’t have enough extra food for a few days. How hard is it to lay up a few packages of Ramen, some extra canned goods, and some cookies and crackers? Quarter mile lines and fifteen item limits were the norms, to get into a store that was fairly wiped out.
Water, a case of water at the gas station or big box store is dirt cheap, often under five bucks. Yet, how many people didn’t have the foresight to fill some jugs beforehand and get a stash of water to see them through this dangerous weather event.
Heat. This one’s a little dicier. Most people rely on electricity to power their electric and gas heaters, and there wasn’t either. As I mentioned before the bureaucrats at The Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT in their wisdom felt it necessary to keep lights on in parking garages and skyscrapers but shut down power to homes.
While a generator is a great tool, having enough fuel to run it for 4-5 days is problematic, it’s inefficient to turn gas into electricity, then electricity into heat and the noise might draw some unsavory types. An indoor rated propane heater would be a good option, and they are inexpensive, readily available online, and from big box stores. If they are properly rated, they can be safely used indoors, and a couple of extra barbecue bottles will run it for a long time, even if you just want to keep the room from freezing.
Also, if you want to heat just one room, choose an inner one and all that camping gear in the garage should come out and be put to work. A tent in a room will provide a modicum of warmth as opposed to the open air.
Lights are also essential, and while propane lanterns put off light and heat, LED’s are very efficient and have incredible run times. Just make sure you keep enough batteries on hand to run the lights for an extended time.
Make sure you have extra meds for an emergency. If you talk to your doctor, and explain your concerns, they should oblige.
While there is a plethora of other items, self-defense, security, radios, and on and on, people should use this bad experience as a steppingstone to become better prepared, who knows what surprises the future holds.
The one thing people should have realized given the fact that Texas is prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and wild weather is that they are on their own, period.
While preppers who have been maligned as greedy hoarders by the MSM instead of the prepared visionaries they are, ride this out without a hiccup, people need to realize that the bigger the machine gets, the more wasteful and inefficient it becomes, to the point of implosion.
Establishing a group to stay with during a crisis is essential, if you have family, you need to see who’s best equipped and most capable of captaining the ship whilst you ride out the storm. If that’s you, you need to offer help to your most vulnerable acquaintances. Make it a point to get to know your neighbors and discuss possible scenarios and how you can mitigate them individually and as a group.
Most will forget this episode, very few will prep for the next one.
Sign up for serious prepping projects and information