This not meant to be heartless. It is meant to be instructive.
The severe weather over the weekend has caused tremendous damage and disruptions to large portions of the United States.
- Thirteen dead, millions without power due to weekend storms.
- Cellphone service remains elusive for many in the Washington, DC area.
- Gasoline shortages due to widespread power outages.
- People lining up at donut shops and ice distribution points in affected areas.
- Newt Gingrich on D.C. Weather: 'Mild Taste of What an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) Attack Would Do'
- “Total failure” of 911 call centers throughout northern Virginia.
- People return to charred cities from Colorado wildfire.
- Three die in Kansas heat wave.
- Own a weather radio.
- Have enough batteries to run our flashlights and small AM/FM radios (assuming we have one) for an extended period of time.
- Have some water set aside to be used in an emergency.
- Have some foods that can be prepared during a power outage, and a way to do that.
- Think about creating a plan on where they might go and what they might do in case they lost power for a week (You do know that in many cases, if your home has been damaged by a storm, your homeowner's insurance policy will pay for you to stay in a hotel, right?)
- Own the means to protect our family from criminals during regional emergencies like these.
These are often the same people who stand in line for ice or donuts after the storm. These individuals expect the nebulous "they" (i.e., the government, volunteer relief agencies, private companies) will come in and fix things for them.
Don't be one of these people. Have some basic supplies on hand. Be able to feed and hydrate your family for a few days until electricity is restored. Be ready to protect your family from those who will take advantage of the situation with looting and home invasions. Pay attention to the news. Know what the weather forecast is for the next day. Know where you'd take your family if you had to leave home for a while.
Many won't do these things, despite being able to do so. For those who cannot do these things - the disabled, the elderly, those with other significant challenges - the resources the unprepared yet able bodied are consuming could be better used for those who cannot do for themselves.
Don't be a drag on the system in a grid down scenario. As legendary firearms instructor Tom Givens once told me and my classmates in one of his courses, "it's time to get your feces coagulated."