Letter Re: Hurricane Gustav–Learning From Mistakes

A friend first introduced me to your blog, and I have begun to seriously consider many of the suggestions made by you and others for preparedness. One of the biggest indicators of a person’s level of preparedness is an actual or potential disaster event

My wife and I have lived in Northwestern Louisiana for a little over two years. On the eve of Hurricane Gustav, we realized how unprepared we were for lack of power, water, let alone social breakdown. I certainly didn’t expect a major disaster, and we didn’t have one, but it is better to be prepared and not need it than get caught wanting.

My wife and I were traveling from a camping trip outside of Houston back to our home, and had the chance to learn by watching others. Halfway home, we stopped at a WalMart to gather some needed supplies (batteries, food, water, etc.) which we thought would be exhausted at home. To our surprise, most people had filled their baskets with chips, sodas, and frozen foods. It was Labor Day, but this particular town seemed to be at a heightened sense of alert for the Hurricane, so I didn’t think all these people were prepping for a barbeque. Quite a few were stocking up on beer, coleman fuel, and flashlights.

The rice, beans and canned food shelves were full, as were the ammo shelves. Fruits and Vegetables were stocked to the brim, and the entire produce section was deserted.

While in the checkout lane, my wife and I decided that we need to spend a night a week planning and preparing and keeping inventory of our food supplies. My brother and his wife are beginning to understand the ramifications of being unprepared, and also have decided to take stock of their preparedness situation. I have thought long and hard about becoming prepared, but have taken very little action.

This mild scare has motivated me to get it in gear.

Thank you for your dedication to teaching and sharing your knowledge and experience with others. Without your blog, I would have never begun to think about being prepared in bad times. Thanks, – Matt S.