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  1. The lessons I’ve learned:

    This old coot has experienced more than a dozen major hurricanes.

    For starters I do not take advice from or depend on a government which has devolved into tyrannical alphabet agencies. They are incompetent at best. I use their FEMA flood maps. Period.

    Hurricanes basically boil down to 4 things: Wind, Rain, Waves and Storm Surge. With due diligence in choosing property location and construction, wind rain and flood will not force evacuation. Waves are bad. Very bad. Storm surges can be bad. If you are wealthy and can afford to live on the beach, arrange a safe and dependable bug-out option, return home and rebuild it that is fine. Others should AVOID WAVES AND STORM SURGE.

    Lastly, to evacuate risks becoming a refugee. NEVER become a refugee. The only exception is for local events such as chemical spill, wild fires etc.

    Prep Yes. Fear Not.

    1. Roger D, between your reply and Old Bobberts article, I am confused.

      The only thing that is coming to my mind is: Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double. So come on and let me know….

  2. I lived in South Carolina for 26 years, and now in south Louisiana for 14 years. My 40 years of experience tell me TO MOVE AWAY FROM HURRICANES. I am now saving up to move to the Redoubt.

    1. Payette Idaho, right on the Snake River, beautiful old neighborhoods, affordable houses on large lots, dry sunny weather year round, very small police force, everyone has a gun and a garden, old people/vets/families with children are respected and honored, aint no third genders here

  3. @Muddykid

    My house flooded during Katrina. I evacuated to Jackson more than 100 miles inland and had to evacuate Jackson due to power outages and no business to support evacuees. Tornados far removed from the coast are a problem with hurricanes. Went to my son’s in Houston where Rita hit the next week. That is when I because a prepper. If you evacuate, do it early. Study the model tracks inland. Avoid evacuating into the inland track areas. Evacuate twice as far away as your initial inclination and even further. That means you are safe from the storm but poses problems also. What if you have dogs like we do? You must be financially healthy. I was out of my house for 10 months. My house was in the surge zone and caved in the back walls. My community bragged on its web page it had never been flooded, the entire community was flooded by Katerina. I moved so that flooding is not a problem, at least until a bigger storm properly positioned comes through. and could be self sufficient for a month if I had to but even then would probably evacuate. The reason the death toll in PR was so high is that no one had the option to evacuate,the island was poor and construction standards way below what was required for hurricane alley. Financial health is a prime determination in if you can evacuate and if you do are you a helpless refugee. My suggestions are you need liquid assets of cash in a bank, not a regional bank but a nation bank of more than $10K. You need at least two credit cards with high credit limits. All baking must be accessible by the internet and have established EFT among the various accounts. I have a bill paying service where all my bills are sent, scanned and placed in a list of bills to pay. I can pay my bills any where that there is internet .I never missed a due date on any bill during my refugee status. Like anything planning key and in my opinion getting out of Dodge is always best.

  4. There is no perfect ONE answer.
    Where the rich choose to live, the “want to be’s“ will follow. Where one can afford to get out many others will not. Each is theoretically responsible for themselves.
    Lived in FLatlandia for over 30yrs ~ in a trailer, in apartments, homes and even on a boat.
    Anywhere you live there are dangers – everywhere!
    Experience taught me that I don’t want to daily see the ocean bad enough to lose my family or need a boat to leave what used to be my home.
    Sadly, there are millions of reverse lottery-minded individuals who truly believe IT will never happen to me.
    Those few who have lived long enough, though disasters, seen the capability of nature, the nature of man to take advantage or Grace to offer assistance have already made the choice to Hope for the best an prepare for the worst.
    To quote a wise old man, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

  5. Sorry but like politics, this is a situation where you can vote with your feet! Is there a perfect place to live? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but like taxes, some places are worse than others. I’ll take somewhere far removed from practically any U.S. coast, thanks.

  6. Be prepared to leave as soon as the
    Weather channel shows your area as a likely target regardless of storm size
    This means days before the the official
    announcement. Load the vehicle and
    Head away from the storm path.
    Do not travel ahead or parallel to it
    Move left or right of the path.
    Have the basics for a week to two
    weeks in the vehicle; food, water, clothing, valuables, weapons, camping gear, cash. Pick a destination to visit
    if no friends in the area. Make it a vacation. All you have to lose is gas, money and time. Better then your life
    Anything can be rebuilt. This is a lot less stressful for everyone and the pets. Now is the time to look at places you would like yo see and routes. Having plans gives you options.

  7. From what I saw and my family observed, Florida and Georgia hurricane refugees should have a family plan to reunite at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Waycross, Georgia.

  8. Jack ~ good advice! Pre-emptive relocation…
    One note: in abrupt evacuation of S. FL…. there is no left or right – only North.
    Towing a small boat capable of sailing ahead of the wind may be helpful.
    Humor helps me smile ~ even in the midst of preps!

  9. It is hard to pick up and leave all of your stuff, especially as a home owner. You automatically think of looters and thieves picking through your belongings at will with no law enforcement to stop them and no neighbors to call the cops. This has kept me sheltered in place through every hurricane I’ve been in. Thankfully I missed Andrew, a hurricane so massive the NWS invented a new catagory (catagory 5) and retired the name. But my mother, an RN was there, living in a trailer park. When Andrew came ashore in South Florida she was at the hospital that was designated as a shelter. She rode out the storm there,as the power went out and the back up generators kicked on, she was even allowed to bring her animals (two small dogs) to the utility spaces at the hospital like other mandated employees working during the storm. When the storm passed my mothers trailer park in South Florida was completely destroyed except for one completely untouched trailer, hers. Because her trailer was without a scratch, she was not eligible for any aid whatsoever, even though there was no power, phone lines (this was pre cell phones), no water, and no grocery stores. Oh, let’s remember, there were no cops, no phone company, no fire department, no water and power companies. You were screwed for months, literally.My mother, an Emergency room RN, was an MVP at the time and allowed to remain at the hospital indefinitely. I love that term, it means whenever we see fit to change things. Most people were sitting on there pile O crap with a shotgun. It’s really hard to prepare for something like this. The key is be flexible and not lose your composure. During the aftermath of Andrew there was a different tragedy unfolding every day for months.

  10. Observations after Hurricane Michael,

    Make preparations & plans at the beginning of the season, refresh stored water and fuels, and continue to top them off.

    Wx forecasts have been unreliable, along the whole coast, make final preps as soon as a storm enters the gulf, regardless of where they say it will go, prep for a Cat-5 at your location…

    Most average homes are not strong enough, build a storm room / tornado shelter that you and your family can live in for days, can cost from a $3K-$20K.

    Have your home wired up for a whole home generator [240 v], even if you don’t have one now, ensuring for a cutout switch to protect working linemen. [Especially if you have a well…]

    Do not stay in a storm surge area, relocate to an alternate site.

    Each morning, I boiled water with an camping alcohol stove and poured the remainder in a thermos for use throughout the day or used the stove to cook meals. It worked out well…

    I think that I will get a couple of 30 gal fuel barrels for future use, 55 gal is just too heavy for me these days.

  11. Anybody dealing with 55-gal. drums of anything needs to get hold of some drum dollies and other drum handling equipment. They are relatively cheap, and you really, really need them, even if you are young and hell for stout. Even with 30-gal. drums, look really hard at your plans and equipment. I’ve seen people hurt really bad when a drum got away from them.

  12. Thanks Old Bobbert for taking time to submit an article. Unfortunately, I really don’t understand why you submitted THIS article. I find it unusually defeatist and empty of actual prepping advice. Perhaps I’m missing your point.

    I’m one of the literal millions affected by Harvey and other storms and I object to your characterization of the problems and your assertion that there is no solution to them.

    So here are my thoughts on the matter…

    The whole POINT of prepping is to answer those challenges and provide solutions.

    #1 Problem/Solution

    #1 Problem: There are powerful and extremely dangerous storms moving inland from the Atlantic. The Solution: None.

    —– while we can’t change the weather, typically hurricanes are slow moving disasters with plenty of warning. They also repeat historically, so there isn’t any justification for a “can’t happen here” mindset. The solution is to maintain awareness during hurricane season, monitor predicted path and strength, and either don’t be there when it hits or prepare to a level that you are comfortable staying.

    #2 Problem/Solution

    #2 Problem: Five million people were ordered by the state government to evacuate the southern half of Florida. …there is no place anywhere in the entire nation capable of receiving and providing sustenance for five million homeless refugees. The Solution: None.

    —– there is no single place, and yet, all the people who left DID GO SOMEWHERE. The prepper already has a plan, even if it is just drive 200 miles and stay at a motel 6 (and the gas and food and vehicle and funds to make this possible). The better prepared already have out of state contacts who they would be comfortable seeking help from, or they own someplace outside of Hurricane Alley that they can retreat to.

    #3 Problem/Solution

    #3 Problem: There is absolutely zero methods available to safely transport and re-inter the Florida state-wide 115,000 population currently being held in jails and prisons. The Solution: None.

    —— Again, the agencies responsible have plans in place. In the case of Michael, the prisoners were either moved or they stayed in place. Prisons are pretty solid buildings and rarely built on beachfront property. It DID happen, so to say it can’t makes no sense.

    #4 Problem/Solution

    #4 Problem: There are hundreds of South Florida waste water treatment plants currently contaminated and fully dangerous and currently unable to function safely. The Solution: None.

    —-Wastewater treatment plants are typically built near waterways. The flooded facilities are being cleaned, repaired and returned to service. In the mean time, the populations are displaced and loads reduced, and the waste is simply being dumped. It happens. The downstream areas will recover with every subsequent rainfall. Harvey left MY waste water plant under 20ft of water. Our sewers continued to work fine (gravity fed, and I assume the flowing flood water acted as a siphon to pull waste thru the system), although the city asked us to reduce usage when possible, simply to limit the amount of waste dumped directly into the bayou. For the prepper, a bedside commode or camping bucket and toilet seat, coupled with plastic bags and kitty litter work well. More involved- have a backflow preventer installed on your sewer line (especially if your waste line requires a lift station), or figure out how to block your sewer (wrap padding around a 2×4 and stick it in your sewer clean out??)

    #5 Problem/Solution

    #5 Problem: There are hundreds of South Florida and Houston pharmacies currently contaminated by flood waters, with millions of dollars of medicinal stocks destroyed by the flood water. thus causing needless deaths. The Solution: None.

    —- SOME pharmacies were contaminated, but the drugs don’t sit exposed on shelves, they are in sealed containers. Unless the store was completely underwater, only the lower shelves were affected. Besides that, the .gov maintains stockpiles of medicines within 2 hours of major US cities and FEMA deploys them, along with medical facilities to disaster areas. As preppers, anyone who has life threatening conditions needs to take personal responsibility and maintain their own additional stocks of critical meds. Use google for strategies. Use google to read about the national stockpiles.

    #6 Problem/Solution

    #6 Problem: The flooded areas hospitals and clinics are currently unusable for the foreseeable future, thus causing needless deaths. The Solution:None.

    —- some facilities are damaged. They are being cleaned and returned to service as quickly as possible. More are back online every week. In the mean time, FEMA deploys teams of medical pros and mobile treatment facilities to disaster areas. You can sign up for a daily FEMA briefing, or find them online. Google “sign up for Fema daily operations brief” and make your choices. Government works best when the citizens are aware and watching. Preppers understand what resources will be applied to their disaster, and the timelines for same, by learning from other peoples’ problems.

    #7 Problem/Solution

    #7 Problem: There are thousands of flooded home where home oxygen, home dialysis, home insulin supplies, and/or home hospital beds were destroyed without ready replacement equipment availability, thus causing needless deaths. The Solution:None.

    —–And yet, supplies are widely available. See above. If you are dependent, and you don’t have backups, you are NOT A PREPPER. Your life is at stake, literally, so you better be proactive. Any home too flooded for you to use your special bed is too flooded to stay in.

    #8 Problem/Solution

    #8 Problem: There are thousands of schools in south Florida and Houston with ruined libraries and school lunch room kitchens and rest rooms. SolutionNone.

    —- again, real life and our lived experience doesn’t support your assertion. Students are accommodated at other schools. Existing damage is repaired quickly and the schools reopen. WRT the food, most schools no longer actually cook, but simply serve food prepared elsewhere. That continues unhampered. No one ever died because a LIBRARY was flooded, and the solution is to REPAIR AND REPLACE the damaged assets.

    #9 Problem/Solution

    #9. Problem: There will be a fabulous re-claim effort put into action, and there are hundreds of thousands of homes partially and fully destroyed. There will be no single location or no group of locations available to safely contain the millions of tons of waste housing materials and commercial trash left by the storms. The Solution: None.

    —- so you see piles of waste stacked on the interstates????? NO. The waste is collected, processed, and moved to landfills or other facilities. Trash and collector trucks descended on Houston and were here for months after Harvey, MOVING THE DEBRIS AWAY. THEY DID IT, so IT CAN BE DONE. Same after Katrina. Same after every disaster to date.

    #10 Problem/Solution

    #10 There will be thousands of contaminated underground fuel tanks at gas stations that will need to be replaced, and there will not be sufficient stocks available. The Solution:None.

    ——This is another unsupported assertion. I have not seen ONE SINGLE gas station that didn’t reopen (because of damage to tanks) and it’s been a year. I also didn’t see any dug up tanks. Close the valves and the water won’t get in. If needed, they were cleaned in place and returned to service. If any needed replacing, they were replaced. New stations are built all the time and storage tanks are not rare, complicated, or in short supply. Our awesome system of free enterprise means there are economic incentives to get these systems back in service, and people respond to the incentives by working to solve the problem.

    #11 Problem/Solution

    #11 There will be hundreds of large, high-capacity, overhead power transformers no longer usable, and replacement for many will be a multiple year process. The electric power will be slow to re-start and will be rationed severely. The Solution: None.

    —–Look outside! Power has been restored almost everywhere. Pole transformers are widely available. There is no “rationing”. Other than intentionally blacking out neighborhoods, how would you even consider “rationing”? Crews from all over the country arrive, do the repairs, and move on. These guys are the KINGS of what they do and they live for it. Large transformers for generating plants and big substations do have limited availability and long lead times for replacement, so they clean the ones they have and order new. Eventually they will replace the damaged switchgear. There are many trade magazine articles about this process following Sandy. See the next point for what a prepper can do…

    #12 Problem/Solution

    #12 The electric has shut down. Now for the big one wit no known limits, the local power company has deliberately shut down to protect the massive equipment they need to supply power to the area when the flood is over. The Solution:None.

    —– To the extent that this happened, they have restarted. For preppers, the short term solutions are GENERATORS, personal solar, batteries, and reduced demand due to people being evacuated. Coupled with “problem 11” this doesn’t even make sense. Did they shut down to save it or was it all destroyed?? Following IKE we were without power for 14 days. We ran my generator during that time. I had put aside extra fuel because it was hurricane season, and added more when Ike got underway. I never had less than several days of fuel (really at least a week). Since then, I’ve added safer fuel storage, and a whole house generator, because it’s nice to run the AC when it’s hot out.


    I don’t know why the tone of the article is so pessimistic, but I know that these “problems” are all solvable, and HAVE been solved. All one has to do is actually LOOK at the recovery and prevention efforts already underway or completed. These are the things we consider when we prep. We acquire resources in fact TO SOLVE THESE VERY PROBLEMS. That’s what it MEANS to PREPARE.

    In fact, this list of “problems” is a good starting point for the serious issues that should be addressed by ANY prepper.

    The list translated….

    1. picking a good location
    2. stay or go? decide how to choose
    3. what is the local security situation, and how might it change, what can I do to protect myself?
    4. what will I do with waste?
    MISSING what will I do for food?
    MISSING what will I do for WATER?
    5. what about my medical needs?
    6. I may be on my own for medical, even serious issues
    7. seriously, consider your health and medical condition
    8. what will the kids do? what will other people’s kids be doing?
    9. how can I plan for recovery and reconstruction? How will I pay for it? What insurance do I need?
    10. fuel may be in short supply, what do I need on hand for the generator or to bug out? (hint- 2 weeks of partial day use for generator, or 2 tank refills for bug out vehicle.)
    11. power may not be restored right away, what can I do about that?
    12. maybe going with some third party electricity provider to save a buck was a bad idea when the electricity generator and distributor doesn’t make enough money to maintain or repair the grid…

    Get prepped so you don’t end up at the mercy of the elements.


    1. Re the kitty litter for the commode: do not use clay litter, or pellets of any kind. Loose pine, S’Wheat, World’s Best Kitty Litter (it is, too), or any loose, natural litter will do. Put a little in the bottom of the bucket, and keep the litter and the scoop nearby. Use enough litter to just cover each deposit.

      Best of all, have two buckets, so you don’t waste the litter on liquids that can be chucked out.

      I speak from experience, having been incapacitated for three months in a house where the bathroom was on another floor, which, to me, was unreachable.

      1. Hey JW, thanks for the additional info. The kitty litter, esp. the ‘clumping’ kind has worked well for me short term. What are the issues with it for a long term situation like yours?


  13. Hurricanes, wildfires, socialist politicians, 14000 hungry invaders headed for the border, stock market making very threatening noises, President Trump being overwhelmed by rabid dogs, civil war looming on the horizon…American Redoubt looks better & better everyday!

  14. Within the five houses on either side of me at the lake, there are three families who winter in FL, and another that winters in SC. Fortunately they all have summer homes on the lake in Tennessee, and spend most if not all of the hurricane season here. We’ve had the occasional remnants of a hurricane dump several inches of rain here, and brought a bit of wind. But nothing like what occurred at the beach.

  15. Insert “Slow Clap Meme” here…

    Well said sir, I read this 13 days post Michael and the more I read the more the BS light in my minds eye kept blinking. We had it rough for a while we were well prepped and got through it. I’ve told my family and everyone else that will listen “This isn’t the end stage of Hurricane Michael, this is the preparation stage for the next event. It’s time to evaluate, adjust, repair and resupply.
    A positive attitude and personal responsibility is essential for survival, a quote from survival school many years ago has stuck with me ” Your highest probability for survival in this evolution lies in aggressive self rescue.”

  16. We have experienced repeated hurricanes and flooding in certain areas of the country. This is a continual drain on national resources and a strain on the national budget. At the same time, other areas are facing persistent drought conditions. Our problem is simple. We are attempting to live in areas which are not sustainable for human life. Our on the beach cities and Las Vegas are great places, but living there is illogical. We should live in those parts of the country which are least likely to have devastating weather conditions. We can pipe water into the desert, but we must take it from somewhere else. We can rebuild the destroyed cities, but that is money taken from other important national needs. We need to reevaluate which parts of the country are habitable, with the fewest natural disasters, and live there.

    1. People live were there is easy access to resources and shipping. This has been true for as long as there was civilization, and probably before.

      Every place has issues. Can you imagine the deaths from winter if Minneapolis had 7 million residents? Or Billings MT?

      The cities and people are where they are for reasons that are very deep and basic.

      The solution is prepping, and risk analysis. If the risks seem too high for you individually, then by all means move to where you feel safer. If enough people come to the same conclusion, maybe populations will shift. I think there would have to be some sci fi external reason involved, like aliens bombing coastal cities or any city bigger than some arbitrary size to make such a fundamental change in human behavior though.

      There was a lot of online whinging about paying for Houston to rebuild after Harvey. Funny how people don’t want to help but they sure like the energy and food we produce and export. They sure like the trucks we build and the cars that come thru our port. Funny too how little of that there was when NYC was hit by Sandy.

      Bottom line is everyone should be prepared. We all live in areas with natural and man made possible disasters. Rail cars derail spilling flammable or toxic chemicals. Pipelines burst. Wood burns. Wind blows, rain falls and rivers rise.

      Get prepped so you can be a blessing to others and not a burden.


  17. Eternal thanks to Survivalblog.com, I have been peripheral to several big storms in my life, But a regular reading of survivalblog has reminded me to stay on top of my preps, eg. an upgrade to my generator from 2500 to 4800 watts, and improved food water, metals and much to my wifes’ chagrin ammo supply, well you never have enough, but I’m feeling more comfortable after a regular reading of your site, Thanks, and I am really glad to read Autistic Prepper addressing that defeatest rant at the start of today’s column, thanks again!

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