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posted on 05 September 2017

Get Out Now Or Die!

by Reverse Engineer, Doomstead Diner

This week in Collapse featured the arrival of Hurricane Harvey on the Shores of South East Texas, with the Bull's Eye of Houston directly in its path. The city got positively HAMMERED with a massive Rain Event, topping 4' in a few locations.


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Usually Hurricane destructive events are focused on a few miles around where the Eye of the Hurricane hits when it is at full strength, goes a few miles inland and then dissipates after that. So in normal circumstances it is only cities that are located right on the ocean that will sustain maximum damage from such a storm. Cities like New York with Sandy, New Orleans with Katrina or Donna and numerous others which have hit Florida over the last century of record keeping on this are the most vulnerable.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/hurricane-harvey-houston-street-ap-ps-170828_4x3_992.jpg

Harvey was a bit different though, because the overall weather patterns kept it stalled over the Houston neighborhood for several days, and the rainfall totals kept piling up. Levees were overtopped, flash flooding arrived everywhere. One of the 2 main rain catchment reservoirs designed strictly to control water flow not to store water got over-topped, and still more water flowed down the Buffalo Bayou, the main river flowing out of Houston to drain the copious amounts of excess water that city receives in even normal weather. Houston is a hot, humid, damp and rainy place not fit IMHO for human habitation, like many parts of Florida as well. But people do live there, mainly because there have been jobs that pay well down there for the last century while the Oil Industry both extracted and refined the Black Gold for use in the Happy Motoring lifestyle that evolved in the FSoA during the Age of Oil.

To accomodate all those people, Suburbs around Houston popped up like Mushrooms on a damp August morning in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, often built on land that used to be Swamp but now drained by oil powered pumps to keep the land dry enough for people to drive their cars around on, most of the time. However, even in typical moderate rains in the Houston area, low lying neighborhoods will often flood with just a few inches of rain. Harvey did not bring rainfall measured in inches. Harvey brought it down in buckets measured in FEET. There was no way of getting out this storm once it began, so if you were not prepped up and ready do go, you were pretty much Shit Out of Luck, as many people who live in the Houston area currently still are.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/hurricane-harvey-forecast-track-2-abc-jt-170825_4x3_992.jpg

The thing here is, this was no fucking surprise, the Weather folks have gotten a lot better over the last few years with these big cyclonic storms in terms of predicting the track and predicting wind speeds and rainfall totals. At least 2 days before Harvey hit, everyone knew about where it would hit and a rough estimate of rainfall totals. It was obviously going to be a total fucking disaster.

This is where I begin to have real trouble with folks who have at least the modest means of a used car and enough money to buy tents, sleeping bags, food preps etc. WTF would you stay in a location which OBVIOUSLY will be innundated and out of commission for at least a few days? GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE! What purpose is there for you to remain in your McMansion during this time? You're just setting yourself up to be camping on your roof and waiting for the National Guard to rescue you by Helicopter. If you are lucky and they get to you.

On the other hand, if you LEAVE, what's the downside? Maybe you miss a few days of work if your workplace is actually still open for Biz? You might get your McMansion Looted while you are gone? Who is going to be cruising around flooded McMansions looting Plasma TVs in boats when the streets are all flooded? Besides, if you have a big enough rig with a trailer, you probably can fit in it most of your really valuable electronics anyhow, you don't necessarily have to leave them behind. You might have to leave behind your expensive Italian Leather Sofa, but maybe you can move it upstairs to the second story and you'll only get 5' of flooding in your McMansion and it will be salvageable. Losing a few pieces of furniture and some drywall is not a life devastating event though, and for the most part even if you stayed you wouldn't be able to keep these things from getting wrecked in some way. So WTF do you hang around when you KNOW you're about to go under water? Are you just fucking STUPID? GTFO OUT OF DODGE! Don't be an IDIOT!

Of course the question is "WHERE DO YOU GO?" when the "Big One" hits, and besides not being prepared to do a Bugout, most people probably have no plan on where they will Bugout TO! The best place for a few people is obviously Relatives who you actually like and somewhat get along with, although many people these days don't have too many of those. lol. Do you have a brother or sister or aunt or uncle you could shack up with for more than a week without being at each other's throats? In my case though, I would head for friends rather than relatives, for a few reasons. First off, I just don't HAVE many relatives, and the few I have are pretty far from me and I don't keep in touch with them much. Second, you can PICK your friends and they can pick you, you can't pick your relatives. I have slightly more confidence my friends would tolerate my presence for a week or two than my relatives would.

If you don't have either relatives or friends to seek succor and shelter with, now you are pretty much on your own. If you have enough money, the next best alternative is a good Bates Motel and line up accomodation there for a week or so. In all the cases here of Friends, Relatives or a Bates Motel, you want to pick a place a minimum of 100 miles from Ground Zero of whatever the disaster was that hit your neighborhood, because blowback effects are always going to happen in the vicinity even if it is not directly affected. The Bates Motel we took on the way in and out of Rexburg ran around $70/night for 3 people. Another extra person, you are probably at $75/night. For a full week, this will cost you a little more than $500, but you also might be able to get a weekly rate, these places often offer that deal. This is pretty much a bargain price to stay out of trouble and stay in relative comfort while the worst of the shit is worked out in your neighborhood. Bates Motels usually have a Microwave and small Fridge, FREE Internet and electricity and cable TV too if you watch that shit. You can't find them listed usually on the internet, you have to find them yourself through recommendations. The way we found our Bates Motel was from a recommendation from a Waitress at a Bar-Restaurant that itself was not a place you normally would find on the internet in a search. So NOW is a good time to go search these places out. They may not save your life, but they could make a week away from home a LOT more comfortable than Boondocking in your car, unless you are real well set up to Boondock, as I am.

http://images3.campingworld.com.s3.amazonaws.com/CampingWorld/blog/originals/Newmar%20King%20Aire%204553%20Interior.jpg

After the Friends, Relatives & Bates Motels, now you are down to camping in one way or the other for your week away from the Disaster Zone, and of course legal For Pay sites are nicer and better, and if you have a Big Ass Diesel Pusher as your Bugout Machine you might be living in close to the same Industrial Era Luxury during your week away from home as you would be if you were still there. Some of the really big mother fuckers even have Hot Tubs! If you are not on such a big budget though, you can do quite well with a Used Van (like my SaVANnah) and an enclosed cargo trailer, you can put a rig like this together for under $10K. Dropping down to car camping and just using a tent, you seriously limit what you can carry and how comfy you can make a campsite, but even this is still better than being stuck on the roof of your flooded McMansion with no electircity and no potable water available for days or perhaps in some cases weeks.

What can drive you from your home and force you into the Bugout situation? Hurricanes are quite obvious and a really good one in the sense that unlike many othe collapse disasters they are pretty predictable these days. Within reasonable dgrees of error, you know 2-3 days before a Hurricane hits where it will hit and with what intensity. So if you happen to live within this zone of uncertainty, it is just plain stupidity not to GTFO of Dodge once you know it will hit somewhere in your neighborhood. If you are really poor with no car and no means to escape you have an excuse, but anyone above that level of extreme poverty has no excuse.

https://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/msnbc/components/video/201709/f_la_tx_fire_170901.nbcnews-ux-1080-600.jpg

In its wake, Harvey left behind a Chemical Fire at a Frog Plant manufacturing Organic Peroxides for Industry, currently spewing all sorts of chemicals into the local environment, but of course is denied any or them are harmful at the moment by the EPA and the plant owners. Nevertheless, they ordered a mandatory evacuation for a 1.5 mile diameter around the plant, which is quite a large neighborhood. This diameter would have covered everything from the Main Street #7 Line Subway to my house in Flushing, Queens when I was a kid, which also had a shit load of people living in aparments as well as McMansions in this space. I would guess 20-30,000 people lived there at this time in the 1970s, today likely more than that as many McMansions were bulldozed and multiple family dwellings replaced them. The neighborhood around this plant in TX is likely not too different from that. Even after the flooding from Harvey recedes, is this a place you want to live and drink the water? Think Love Canal or more recently Flint, MI. At least though it wasn't a Nuke Puke Plant going Super-Critical that could cause problems on a wider scale than just 1.5 miles or so. One of the "officials" in his statement to the public said "Get Out Now or Die" and suggested anyone who remains in the neighbohood should use a Sharpie to write their Name and Social Security Nuber on their arms for when the corpse is fished out of the receding waters and delivered to their surviving relatives for burial..

Residents in one East Texas county received a harrowing warning from emergency management officials to "get out or die" due to expected massive flooding.

Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette posted the stark message late Wednesday when the remnants of Hurricane Harvey headed back to land and dumped more rain near the Texas-Louisiana line.

"The US Army Corp of Engineers has advised the Tyler County office of Emergency Management that the flood gates were opened to 100 feet at 3:00 pm CSDST," Blanchette wrote.

"River levels will rise to near seventy-nine feet. With additional rain fall accumulations, a potential elevation could reach near eighty-two feet."

The alarming missive said residents near the area must evacuate immediately.

"Anyone who chooses to not heed this directive cannot expect to be rescued and should write their social security numbers in permanent marker on their arm so their bodies can be identified," wrote Blanchette. "The loss of life and property is certain."

The advisory ended with the words "GET OUT OR DIE!" along with a phone number for anyone needing boat assistance or rescue, the Houston Chronicle reported.

This is one of the more honest statements made by a Goobermint Apparatchik during a disaster made in recent times. Usually they don't even admit there is a problem and just issue out platitudes like "Texans are the salt of the Earth. We will all pull together and recover from this disaster." Roll Eyes

The deal here is of course that Harvey is not a one-off disaster. These suckers are coming with more intensity and greater frequency all the time, although you can only keep track of this shit anecdotally, you don't get any solid statistics on that. I however have been walking the earth for 60 years, and from my experience over this time we are getting a lot more and bigger Hurricanes, and besides that more Volcanic eruptions and Earthquakes too. Then there are the Wildfires taking out huge swaths of forest and of course the Droughts which are making numerous regions uninhabitable for Homo Sap and lousy locations to be growing food. So pretty much any region you live in currently can become an uninhabitable one pretty close to overnight, and this is of course not even taking into account the possibily of Thermonuclear War and an Atomic Bomb being dropped close to your McMansion by the North Koreans, Chinese or Ruskies, depending on who the FSoA is most pissing off over any given geopolitical or economic issue. The "end" part of TEOTWAWKI can actually arrive quite rapidly even living in a First World nation.

In the wake of Harvey, in the coming week there are already two more nice size storms brewing up in the Atlantic, Irma who has already achieved Hurricane status and is on track to likely make landfall somewhere along the East Coast of the FSoA and Jose behind her, currently a "Tropical Wave" coming off the West Coast of Africa but also showing signs of maturing into a nice Hurricane which will hit nobody knows where at the moment, the weather models don't work that far out in advance. Da Federal Goobermint has promised even more money to recover from Harvey than they shelled out for Sandy, which was supposedly around $120M in funny money. Despite being flat broke, somehow they manage to come up with money to fix up these disasters after they occur. The money is never there though to improve and repair infrastructure BEFORE such a disaster hits, levees all over the country are in disrepair, so are bridges and dams. In almost any location you care to pick out, you will find fragile infrastructure we depend on ready to fail with the slightest push over the edge by Mother Nature.

To get back round to the main topic here, I find it simply amazing so few people are prepared to do a Bugout of even a short duration like a week or two while the "authorities" in a disaster get some semblance of BAU going again, like restoring electricity and drinking water. Currently as I write this article, Beaumont, TX is on its second day with no drinking water available, although the city is currently sitting in a lake. Both the water pumps providing fresh water to the city went under and failed, and there is not even an estimate on when they will come back on line. This in a city with over 100K people. That's more people than live in the entire Mat-Su Valley here in Alaska, and the valley by itself is about as big as Texas. While you can live for a week or more with no electricity, you CAN'T live much more than a week with no fresh water. Now these people HAVE to evacuate the city, but it's a shit load harder now since the roads are all flooded and many of their Bugout Machines are also under water and probably ruined for good.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/AlaskaQuake-FourthAve.jpg

Now, not every neighborhood is suceptible to Hurricanes, as I said earlier it usually tends to be a coastal problem and here in the FSoA mainly focused on the Gulf Coast cities and on the South East cities on the Atlantic coast. They can produce interior problems with extreme rainfall events though as well. Hurricanes aren't the only threat you face though which might require a Bugout. Wildfires are another, and they have become ever more prevalent in the western states and here in Alaska as well. The nice thing about both Hurricanes and Wildfires is you usually get at least a couple of days of warning, so you have time to pack your shit into your Bugout Machine and GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE! For the Earthquakes or your local Nuke Puke Plant melting down though, you're probably not going to get much if any warning at all, so having your gear pre-packed and ready to go is a good idea for the true prepper. Right now, if I get a newz report that Mt. Redoubt went Ballistic and the ashfall will cover the Mat-Su valley for 100 miles around it in the matter of a day, I am out the door inside of 5 minutes and putting as many miles between myself and Mt. Redoubt as I possibly can, putting the Pedal to the Metal on the Glenn Highway doing at least 70 for at least 4 hours straight, for around 280 miles. I've got enough dried foods packed inside SaVANnah to keep me going at least 6 months, especially considering how little I eat these days. I've got kero for heating and cooking, I've got life straw water filters and I would probably throw my Yamaha 2000W generator in also at the last minute if I suspected it was going to be a long to permanent bugout situation.

I could do a lot better than this too if I was pulling an enclosed trailer, say 12'-16' ft in length which SaVANnah with a V-8 engine is fully capable of towing and already has the tow hitch installed. A second set of springs would be a good idea to install though if I go the full 9 yards on this, which currently I plan to do next spring. Pulling such a trailer, I can carry enough Preps along for a good 2 years without going Fishing ONCE! However, even without the trailer just using the van, I am good for the normal amount of time anyone gets displaced in typical disasters, which tends to run from about a week long to a couple of months. Even with Superstorm Sandy, I think most people were back in their neighborhoods within a couple of months doing "rebuilding" as a target for the next Hurricane that comes down the pike in that neighborhood. Katrina was exceptionally long in recovery, people were in shelters or FEMA provided trailers for a year and more there, and some never returned to NOLA at all. Even here, with a good Bugout system in place, you are a lot better off than having to depend on Goobermint provided shelter as you literally try to "ride out the storm".

Where would you rather hang out for a week while waiting out the disaster in your neighborhood?

Here?

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/309d86c9-4d30-45cf-8b28-cd7dff8659b3/14461.jpg

or Here?

The second photo above is the Boondocking Site we set up for during TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ in Rexburg, Idaho. This is done with just an old Toyota Pickup on a farmer's field, not even a real campsite location. No Picnic Tables, no Fire Ring, no potable running water, no electricity, NADA. What we got out of it in a couple of hours of set up time was a 3 Bedroom apartment, with 2 bedrooms sleeping 2 each and one sleeping 3 on very comfortable air matresses, along with a living/dining area with a table to eat at, another table to cook on, coolers for refrigeration and a tarp to cover it and keep off the rain if we got any of that (we didn't) and maintain shade for the hot mid afternoon SUN (we got a lot of that). The Toyota provided all the electricity we needed from her starter battery and a 400W Inverter, we didn't even need a deep cycle marine battery or a generator for this length of Bugout (around 3 days, but we could have easily gone a week with this set-up). With my Bugout Machine SaVANnah we could have improved on this a LOT, but SaVANnah is currently up here on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska, and the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ was in Rexburg, Idaho and I wasn't prepped yet for driving the Al-Can to get her down there for this one. So we made do with the Toyota Pickup, and she did a great job. Brian also did a great job in stuffing her full of Preps for the trip, she was PACKED. That took a few hours to accomplish because we had to go buy stuff at the Prep Big Box Stores. If you had them all in containers and ready to go, you probably can pack up in under an hour, with the exception of food which you might have to go buy on the way out of Dodge. How much does such a Bugout arrangement cost you? You are in it for under $5000, and that is INCLUDING the vehicle, if you buy a good used one. You can be ready to GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE pretty much anywhere, even if you live in an apartment in a Big Shity. There is no excuse for people who have at least enough money to afford this level of prepping and who get themselves trapped on a Rooftop awaiting Rescue from the National Guard. I have little sympathy for these folks when I see the fotos and vids of them helplessly holding up cardboard signs waiting for help. They should have been out of the location long before this came to pass.

Even heavy duty Kollapsnkiks with a fat wallet often do not have a good Bugout Plan in place. One of these folks might have a gorgeous 40 Acre Doomstead complete with Honeybees, Chickens, Goats and Pigs and a full blown Permie Raised Garden setup AND and Aquaculture setup in a Greenhouse which cost him a good half million to get set up, but they got ZERO figured out on WTF to do if the Doomstead itself goes up in smoke, literally in the case of a forest fire? Or maybe you can't even GET to your Doomstead because the roads are covered with flood water? Lotta good your expensive Doomstead does for you if you can't even GET there!

For myself, the most likely scenarios for temporary disruption that would require a Bugout would be an Earthquake or a Volcanic Eruption, since I live on the Ring of Fire here in Alaska. Wildfire also a significant risk here. Hurricanes and Tornadoes, low risk for this neighborhood. Nuclear Bombs a significant risk since Alaska is basically a Military Base here to protect the OIL still coming up from the ground in ever decreasing quantities at greater cost. All 3 of the large military bases here are obvious targets in the case of Global Thermonuclear War, and running away far enough to get away from the fallout would be pretty tough. I am likely to be Nuclear Toast in this case. In the cases of the Earthquakes or Volcanic Eruption, I probably get little to no warning. I have been through a few decent size quakes since moving up here a decade ago, 2 7s and 2 6s that I felt and shook my digs pretty good. In my current spot, I can get outside in under around 10 seconds when the shakes start to come. So I think I can avoid having my digs collapse on top of me unless I am sound asleep when it takes off. Then it is a matter of whether SaVANnah survives as well, she is outside under the Carport and that could collapse on top of her, but it is a pretty solidly built one and it would take a real big shaker to knock it down completely. I debate with myself all the time though if I shouldn't just park her in the open at another spot not under the carport at all. Disadvantage of that is clearing the snow off during the winter.

I would of course lose most of my preps in the situation I had to permanently Bugout from the location with just what SaVANnah has inside for the Fast Bugout. In most situations though, I would expect to be able to return to the location a week or two later, survey the damage and then pick through the rubble to retrieve more preps. Rebuilding would likely occur as it did in NY Shity after Sandy, I would find new digs and transfer my preps over there. I don't own the property I live on, I rent it so there is no property loss for me here, just major inconvineience while I look for a new rental property. This is the major reason I prefer rentals to "ownership" of properties. It's a big White Elephant hanging off your neck every time you want to make a move, and as a Nomad for most of my life, I moved a LOT. There are of course downsides to being a renter, but overall I find it better suited to my personality than buying property. It is though for most people the "Amerikan Dream" to "own" your own McMansion somewhere. Not my dream though, more of a nightmare. WTF wants this headache? Maintenance, HOAs, Property Taxes, Building Codes it has the WORKS in terms of bullshit to deal with in modern Industrial Culture as we live it today. I can do without this headache.

One more note here on the subject of prepping for a disaster in your neighborhood. I consider anyone who does not do this but has enough money to do so (around $5-10K for a real good setup) to be completely irresponsible. You immediately become dependent on Da Goobermint for aid and support, from the Rescues from Boats and Helicopters to the crowded shelters they drop you into after you are "saved". You have no source of food and no way to get to a job, if you still can find one. Your car if you had one is now wrecked and submerged and will cost a fortune to fix, if it is even worth fixing. You can avoid all of that witha good Bugout Machine setup. I am a completely over the top with this with what I do, I have every portable prep known to man and I couldn't fit all the shit into my rig even if I add an enclosed trailer to it. I would need a fucking Freightliner tractor and a 53' Dry Box to pull all of it like I drove back in the good old days when I was OTR. lol. You don't need to get this extreme though to at least be responsible. A car, a tent and sleeping bag in the trunk, a cooler for food, an extra set of clothes and a few other essentials is enough to keep you going and out of the shelters for a week or two. Longer than that, you're going to need something like my arrangement with SaVANnah.

For those who consider prepping stupid because "we're all gonna die because we are going extinct by 2026" according to Dr. McStinksion, unless you plan on commiting Seppuku when Collapse arives at your doorstep if you are not prepared for this eventuality you too will be throwing yourself on the mercy of Da Goobermint to save your Nihilistic & Misanthropic ass. Even fucking extinction will not come overnight, and there will be a period of time between when BAU exists as we know it and when whatever comes after will come. Granted, if what comes after is Nuclear Bombs dropping all around me, I am not going to maintain a strong desire to live to see the aftermath of that. SaVANnah doesn't only provide me a way to SURVIVE though, she also provides a couple of ways to DIE, pretty damn quick also. I can drive her off one of the cliffs on the Glenn Highway. I can park inside a garage and let the engine run, as Fred Astaire did with his sports car in "On the Beach". As decrepit as I am though, I still have the WILL TO LIVE, and the imperative here for all life forms is to do that for just as long as you possibly can. Unless you prep though, you can't do that.

I don't know what Irma or Jose will bring to the FSoA over the next couple of weeks, but I do know that I won't feel too sorry for the idiots on top of the rooftops in the neighborhoods affected by those storms. Look at the fucking Weather Maps for crying out loud! You got a car? GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE!

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