I am fortunate to live in an area that doesn't have major natural disasters. Yes, we are at risk for tornadoes. Blizzards hit once in awhile during the winter. We are rarely without power and we are not down for long when bad weather hits. Droughts can be a problem, but never really for long. However, we have no major flooding (in my area), no earthquakes, and no hurricanes. Wildfires are a rarity.
In watching the hurricane coverage and listening/watching/reading first-hand accounts, my observations are all over the place. For my prepper friends, they learned a lot. They learned what they needed, what they were missing, and what they needed to stock up on. They learned what supplies they had were valuable and what was junk. Most would agree they were very happy to have their preps. Some of them were even able to help their neighbors, friends, and family with their preps.
Some people were not exactly prepared, but they got food, water, gas, and other supplies when they heard a hurricane could be coming their way. Some decided to smartly evacuate if they were in the worst of the path. Some did what they could to be prepared, but they were forced to evacuate anyway. I hope they had to-go bags ready and left when they saw the danger coming - either hurricane or the horrendous flooding that came afterwards in Texas.
However, I was shocked/surprised/baffled by the people who waited until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane. Some admitted to not preparing at all. For one thing, warnings were given for 7-10 days to get supplies and to get hunkered down. I understand a little of the "wait and see" attitude, but the forecasters were very positive a hurricane was heading in those directions. Even a Category 1 or 2 hurricane is a reason to get your supplies together, hunker down, and/or make immediate plans to leave the area. I understand jobs and school may hamper those plans, but you and your family's safety is a lot more important.
Secondly, if you live in a place where these kind of natural disasters can and do occur, why aren't people prepared?!?! You would bet I would have an area all ready to go in case of this happening. I would be sure to have a least two weeks of easy to eat food and a month's worth of food otherwise. I would have water stored and I would have extra gas on hand for vehicles and whatnot. I would have flashlights, lanterns, blankets, towels, sleeping bags, and more ready to be used in a closet.
You have a choice to be prepared. You always have a choice to be prepared. That choice is yours. If you are prepared, you greatly reduce your risk of being caught in a situation. If you aren't prepared, you have made the choice to be a victim. I know most people do not intentionally choose to be a victim, but they unconsciously do.
Some people choose to believe that some one or some government agency will come to save them. While many relief agencies try their best to get there to help, they are rarely there until after the disaster hits. Some of them are not able to reach people to many days after the disaster hits. In Texas and Florida, there are areas that have just seen help in the last day or so. Rarely does relying on outside help benefit the person waiting.
Puerto Rico just got hit by another hurricane and will need help for many months just for basic human needs. Puerto Ricans might have been ready for the first hurricane, but it is tough to be ready for another hurricane so soon. If you weren't ready well before this and had quite a bit of food and water stored, you would be waiting for help too. They have no real idea when power will be restored. The government is guessing in six months. While I am sure they will get water and food brought to them, six months is long time to be without power.
When making the decision to prepare, you always have a choice. I would rather err on the side of caution than to depend on outside help. I would rather have a lot of water and food in my home and not need it rather than be caught with a hungry family.
The choice is yours to prepare. It will always be your choice and your choice alone. With that said, you are then responsible for that decision. Lashing out on social media, YouTube, and mainstream media because help has not arrived yet is not being responsible for your decision. Saying you only had a couple days of food and water on hand when you knew you would probably be unable to access more for a week is your problem. Your choice and decisions should not be anyone else's problem.
Many people rode out the hurricanes with a few hardships, but nothing they were not expecting. They were prepared and ready to go. They might have done a little pre-hurricane stocking up just to be safe, but they were prepared for the hurricane. They were able to feed their family and even help out some of their neighbors. They might have been scared of what was coming, but they didn't let their fear rule them.
Some people choose to evacuate and get out of the city early. That was a smart decision too. They realized they were in a lot of danger and didn't want their family to experience that. They left with a good amount of time so that they were not caught in a lot of traffic. They had a safe place ready to go to and had already made prior arrangements. They had a plan in place to leave home if need be and I would bet they had a plan in place if they had to stay home for any reason. They still choose to prepare, but they choose to prepare by having a plan in place and executing that plan.
I don't pretend to understand what someone is going through unless I have experienced that situation myself. However, I know by being prepared, I would have the peace of mind to make a decision and stick with that decision because I had a plan. In cases of natural disasters, I would be having a Plan A, B, and C. I wouldn't want to be a victim and I wouldn't want to be waiting on outside help because of my lack of foresight and planning.
You always have a choice to be prepared or not, but the choice is yours. I know which one I have chosen. Hopefully, you will choose the same.
Thanks for reading,