Days after Sandy devastated the East Coast with her high winds and a huge storm surge, frustrations mount across New York City and well beyond as over 8 million people remained without power and unable to meet their needs. Even though city officials are working as fast as they can to bring their communities back to life, there is simply no way for the government to coordinate a response requiring millions of servings of food, water and medical supplies. In many areas of the damaged east coast, there are Americans who are cold, hungry and displaced. Moreover, they are coming to the stark realization that living in hell has become their new normal.
Parts of the East Coast are Comparative to a Third World Country
For many who are living in the aftermath of the hurricane, their current standard of living is now comparable to a third world country. The sewage system and garbage collection is backing up, the streets are lined in a labyrinth of trash and mud-soaked debris, destroyed mattresses and furniture are left outside, there are growing fears that the water system is contaminated, people have no access to food, and basic sanitation is becoming a large issue in many boroughs of New York and parts of New Jersey.
In some cases, individuals were so unprepared they are taking the risky chance of rummaging through garbage in order to find food. First responders in the New York/New Jersey area have been quoted as saying, “We simply cannot save people from themselves.”
Desperate to get their needs met, frustration and anger have taken hold as residents are realizing the city is no where near getting the infrastructure back up and running. In fact, Councilman James Sanders fears a descent into anarchy if help doesn’t arrive soon. “We have an explosive mix here,” he said. “People will take matters into their own hands.” One resident of Far Rockaway says, ““It’s cold in the house, no lights on,” he said. “Everything’s closed because people were stealing from stores. There’s no food. People are cooking on top of garbage cans.” In Bridgeport, Conn., angry residents pelted utility crews with eggs as they tried to restore power after the mayor claimed the local power company had “shortchanged” the state’s largest city.
Mac Slavo, author of www.SHTFPlan.com shares grim reports from the unprepared and what he describes as a first-hand glimpse of what a Golden Hoard looks like:
(The images are truly sobering and like myself, I am sure that your heart goes out to the victims.)
Making the Most with What You Have
That said, there is an untold half to this story. What about those who were prepared and ready for this devastating storm? How did they fare? Below are stories from three preppers from the east coast who took time to send after reports to the Survival Blog to let everyone know how their preps were holding up.
Good day, Mr Rawles…
… As of this writing (Friday), we do not have power nor do we expect it to be restored anytime soon… Yesterday, I was told by the Dept. of Highways that the county road about a mile from our house would not be plowed due to downed power lines. At the same time, the power company stated they could not begin to work on electric lines when the roads had not been cleared…
For us, our preps and food on hand prior to the storm will keep us sustained for a very long time… We have free natural gas on our property, plus more than one heat system that does not require electricity to function… We have a gravity fed spring, not a well, that does not require electricity to get our water. Cisterns collect thousands of gallons of this pure water and gravity flow delivers it to our home… Currently, we run our generator 2-3 times a day for a couple of hours at a time to keep the freezers and inside refrigerator cold. We keep fuel topped off at all times as well as have plenty of other fuel sources on hand for lights, cooking or whatever else might arise. After the first 2 days following the storm, we were able to clear paths to the main roads and can still get to town for things if needed.
…We are fine in our supplies and, thank the Lord, have not endured loss other than some structural issues with our farm fencing due to falling trees. Our current setup is better than most but yet it is very painful to see other human beings suffer, often times simply due to their failure to do anything to protect themselves or their family.
– C.A.T., the Transparent Shepherdess
We fared very well, thanks to our preparations, which were enhanced by the knowledge gained from your fantastic web site these last several years. Being “old Yankees” farm raised, we always knew that we needed to be as self-sufficient as possible…
We ate very well: grass fed beef, organic vegetables from local farm, and have months worth of No. 10 cans or all kinds of food and MREs. Hundreds of gallons of drinking and flushing water as we are on a well. Filled up both cars before the storm hit, and being retired no need to go anywhere, nor plans to do so.
The living room has propane gas stove and three 100 gallon propane tanks. We just completed installation of 15,000 watt Wenco generator and 500 gallon propane tank. …
– L.H. in Lyme, CT
Where I live in southern Pennsylvania, it rained solid, although very lightly most of the time, for 6 days straight. Today it’s finally letting off. We did have some high winds on Monday and Tuesday, but we haven’t had any flooding (despite living in a valley beside a stream) and no wind damage. The power did go out for a few hours Tuesday morning while we were sleeping, but otherwise it was a non event here.
Having lived through a high wind storm a number of years ago that took out our power for a week, we’re a little more prepared than we were then. We now have a 500 gallon propane tank and a gas range (cooking stove), a wood burner with plenty of seasoned wood, and a hand pump for water if needed.
Lastly, where I work, we have a lot of customers that were hit hard by Sandy. I’ve been astounded by how unprepared they were. It’s very clear many did not make any effort to have disaster recovery tests…If nothing else, this [relatively] “minor” Category 1 storm should help them be prepared for the next one.
Regards, – C.G.
Indecision is Still a Decision
As preppers, we know to be ready for the unexpected. We know to use our small-scale accidents, local events and natural disasters that affect us as learning experiences. After all, this is how we prepare better for the next disaster. Once we go through disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, we make the startling realization that it is better to be prepared than ill-equipped and left to the tender mercies of local governments deciding what is best for our livelihood.
It is my most sincere hope that those affected by this storm will make it through and realize that the only way we can take care of ourselves in the future is to prepare for it ahead of time. When your lives return to normal, do not go back to a life of complacency. Use this experience and learn from it and get your family ready for the next disaster that occurs.
For those who feel inclined to donate and help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, here are a list of organizations willing to help:
- The American Red Cross is taking in-kind donations as well as blood donations. Visit www.redcross.org to get more information or to make a monetary donation.
- The Salvation Army has dozens of mobile feeding units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to serve thousands in the most heavily hit areas. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
- Feeding America has thousands of pounds of emergency food, water and supplies in the disaster zone that it is working to distribute to the storm’s victims. To donate, visit www.feedingamerica.org or call 800-910-5524.
- AmeriCares is providing medicine and other supplies to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. To donate, visitwww.americares.org.
- World Vision is distributing flood clean-up kits, personal hygiene items and emergency food kits to people hit by the hurricane. To donate, visit www.worldvision.org.
- Save the Children is also working to provide relief to families and their children. Visit www.savethechildren.orgto donate.
- Samaritan’s Purse is asking for volunteers to help storm victims. To volunteer, visit their website.