Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lessons being learned

As I sit here in Air Conditioned splendor, with a working washing machine and operating cable TV, I am grateful. The house is full of refugees, one from Katrina, two from Rita. I am grateful they are safe. I am grateful I could provide shelter. I am grateful for the bounty of this country that allows me to own a home to provide refuge to those whose home is unliveable. I'm grateful that my home is intact.

I'm also pondering some of the lessons of the past three weeks:

1. Society crumbles quickly in the face of a natural disaster. The strongest civilization this world has ever known can be reduced, locally, to the Stone Age in a matter of hours. You are on your own for three days. Be ready. Food, water, shelter become absolute imperatives when there aren't any. The Second Amendment is the greatest guarantee to your survival. Be intimately familiar with it, and the implement it recommends.

2. Evacuating is a good idea. Make it happen. Only, don't follow the madding crowd. If you roll one wheel on an interstate highway, you are screwed. Get good maps and use them. The greatest GPS device ain't worth a shot of snot if it can't tell you where the secondary roads are located. We still need paper maps, and the more detail you can get, the better. Get good maps for the areas you might have to navigate and put them in your bugout box along with food, water, ammunition. During both the Katrina and Rita exercise, folks who got on the interstate spend a lot of time in gridlock. Good maps are the US Survey maps that the Army uses. They show every road, down to the pigtrails the animals use. Go here for more information

3. Evacuate west if you are running from a hurricane on this continent. Everybody else is moving north, so going west is better. I have heard reports and seen evidence that moving 10 miles west is as good as moving 50 miles north. Moving 50 miles west is better. The benefit is that you get out of the crowds, you get out of the projected path of the storm and you get out of the northeast quadrant. Storms generally turn toward the east in the last hour before landfall, then take a north by northeast track. Go west, young man. Good advice for the 19th century, good advice for the 21st.

More as I consider them.


Rachel said...

Very sensible advice!

Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

Absolutely...go west. And everything else you just said.

Just a side note...my father in law used to make maps in WWII...everybody should know how to use a map, for crying out loud.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting at least 1 of 3 people can't read a map--j

Simon Peter said...

I couldn't not read a map if I tried. My father was a navigator (and taught navigation) in the British Royal Navy and raised my brother and I to read maps and plan routes.

A very useful skill.

oyster said...

Maps and secondary roads-- absolutely.

Blindly going west?-- that's dumb. More people from NO were going west than north; if you go 50 miles west on I-10 you are still close to the coast, ans susceptible to being in the storm's path should it not tack east; whereas 50 miles north you will likely face a lower category storm (should it pass through). I got to Jackson MS quicker than a lot of evacuees made it to Baton Rouge.