Just What Kind of Disasters Should You Be Prepared For?


prepareA frequent reader of our site once commented that she felt I may be a bit “paranoid.”  I truly wasn’t offended by such a label.  I’m sure for individuals who aren’t as zealous in their preparedness efforts as I advocate, it would be reasonable for “outsiders” to perceive mindful individuals to be “paranoid.”  However, I did correct her that I felt that I was merely “aware” rather than paranoid.  I’m convinced that such awareness has had a significant impact on my emergency preparedness efforts.  So today we’ll be educating you on just what it is that you should realistically be prepared FOR.  

A combination of natural disasters and the consequences of viable attacks on our nation are addressed here.  This information is not coming from a mind obsessed with science fiction and any biblical influence has been eliminated.  Rather this information is derived from a great deal of research.


EMP Attack: Understand that such an attack is not hyperbole science fiction.  We presently use EMPs in various parts of our life, just not on a large scale.  Remember watching the “Ocean’s 11” movie?  They accomplished their robbery by using a simple EMP device.  An EMP (Electric Magnetic Pulse) is actually a likely enemy attack on the U.S.  While it is considered less heartless than a nuclear bomb or a bio-bomb, it’s launched in very much the same way.  If an EMP bomb is launched in your area, then it will essentially “fry” all electrical devices that are not stored more than 6 feet under ground.  In a viable book I read recently, it estimated that only 6 EMP bombs launched onto U.S. soil would completely obliterate life as we know it.  Think about it for a second.  If everything electrical in our nation was debilitated, how would your life change?  The banks wouldn’t be able to function.  Airplanes won’t be able to travel.  Cars post-1978 would indeed be useless (unless they were “hardened” specifically for such an event as the military does to many of their vehicles.)  I hope you like riding a bike under such circumstances.




A massive scale EMP attack wouldn’t create a simple power outage.  It would destroy power grids all over the nation to the point that they would have to be rebuilt from scratch.  (Kind of hard to do without power to rebuild them, eh?)  Trucks would not be able to transport your foods and other valuable supplies.  Stores would be emptied.  Most everyone would be without a job of any kind, without access to money, and they would be forced to truly live off of the land and their emergency preparedness supplies.  Are you ready?


earthquakeEarthquake: While you may feel that you are in a part of the country where you have escaped such a disaster, you may want to rethink that premise.  While it’s clearly no secret that California and Alaska are well known areas for earthquakes, there are actually areas in the U.S. that are more apt to experience even stronger shakes.


In the Rocky Mountain area, much of Utah and Idaho can expect a “doozey” of an earthquake anytime now.  And since most of Utah is developed along the mountains, the majority of Utah is right on a fault line.  Now, for those of you in “God’s Country” a.k.a. the Midwest, don’t be deceived into thinking that you’re safe.  In all actuality, you may be in an even more likely earthquake zone than California or Alaska is right now.


Few citizens are fully aware of the New Madrid fault line affecting Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi.  The New Madrid fault even affects some parts of Iowa and Arkansas.  In 1811, a succession of 4 full strength earthquakes occurred, followed by horrific aftershocks.  As a result of the earthquake, huge fissures opened in the earth and spewed “volcanoes” of silt and bedrock all over the area as well.  Today, this same fault line has the potential to create an 8.0 seismic sized earthquake in the next 5 to 10 years which would seriously affect the heartland of America.


new-madrid-fault-line1When the earthquakes in 1811 to 1812 originally hit this area, their effect was felt across roughly 50,000 square miles.  In comparison, a somewhat “more famous” earthquake in San Francisco in 1906 only affected 16,000 square miles.  As a result of the bedrock make-up in this earthquake zone, the aftershocks of the 1811 earthquake rang church bells as far north as Boston, which was over 1,000 miles away.  In contract, the San Francisco earthquake was felt “only” 350 miles away.


More information on earthquake potential in your area can be found here. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/?old=state_largest.html


If you are able to survive an earthquake, assume that access to the norms of life will be seriously interrupted for a long period of time.  As a result, you will be forced to live off of what you already have on hand that hasn’t been destroyed.  Now multiply this reality by millions of hungry mouths to feed.  Heaven help us if a catastrophic earthquake occurs in the midst of a bitter winter as well.  Are you ready?


jordanelle-damFlood: Once an earthquake has hit an area, it can bring about extensive flooding.  For example, here in Utah where I reside, an earthquake study has been conducted in which the Jordanelle River Dam is expected to be breached, thus flooding down it’s natural course into the Deer Creek Dam area.  Such a domino effect would subsequently cause extreme flooding as high as 4 stories in the Utah Valley area, particularly Provo.  This same scenario can be applied to states all throughout the U.S.  We’ve already seen first-hand the flooding disasters that have plagued Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other coastal areas in recent years.  But have we learned from them?  Are you any more prepared for such an event today than you were in 2005?


Understand that flooding doesn’t happen solely because you are in a flood zone.  If you are near a large body of water, even if that body is a lake, a relatively small earthquake can propel water beyond its borders and as high as 30 feet.  Receiving a large amount of water in such a short period of time is a recipe for a disaster.


For more information on the presence of a viable flood threat in your area, check here: http://www.usgs.gov/hazards/floods/


nuclear-attackNuclear Attack: In the event of a nuclear attack, the fatalities would be horrendous.  If you survived such an attack then you would indeed need to plan on sequestering your family away from the fallout of the nuclear ash.  A basement is ideal.  If the attack hit even 1,000 miles away from your home, you would still need to avoid any water or plants exposed to the outside air, and tape up your windows with tarp to prevent sickening air from coming into your home.  Since other countries are unwilling to give up their nuclear weapons, a nuclear attack is a plausible scenario for which we should all be mentally prepared.  Bone fractures, cancer and radiation poisoning are all common affects of a nuclear bomb attack.  Do your research on how to handle such ailments as you should assume that medical assistance will be far away.  (We’ll cover these remedies in another article, FYI.)


barter1Economic Collapse: I’m not talking about hard economic times.  I’m talking about our currency becoming worthless.  Unfortunately, this is the most viable of all disasters, folks.  Paper currency is only worth something so long as others are willing to accept it.  Unfortunately our paper currency is no longer backed sufficiently by gold as it was originally intended (at least I’d like to think that that was the virtuous goal originally).  Additionally, our nation is no longer being provided an accounting of how much currency is in circulation (Google “M3 Report”).  This makes for a very ripe possibility of an economic collapse.  If it is finally discovered that our money is worthless, then all commerce, travel, and society as you know it will cease to exist.  No one will accept your money, regardless of how much of it your bank account says you have.  Your presentation of cash for purchases will do little to acquire necessary goods.  Your money will be useless.  As a result, a devastating ripple effect will be felt throughout the entire world as other nations who are heavily invested in the U.S. dollar will suffer unfathomable consequences.  While you may have power and gas and food, you will be unable to purchase any more with currency.  Instead, expect to pay for such goods via trade of hard assets such as gold, silver, wheat, and ammo.  The goods you’ll have access to will be strictly what others have on hand as no one will have the necessary hard currency to produce more of what we buy.


I hope that this brief exploration gives you a little bit more “color” as to what kinds of realistic events you should prepare to overcome now.  We’ll cover the remedies for each event on a separate basis in future articles.


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something I saw on a nature show (on-line) where they computerized the volcano/giezer (sp?) of "old Faithful" finally deciding to erupt. It would of course affect Idaho, Utah, Montana, etc. an eye opener. I wished I had the link to send to you.

Yes, I have seen that several times as well, both on television and in print. The point is that folks need to become aware just how real, as opposed to science fiction, such incidences are, and that the timing is ripe for such to occur. Thanks for your comment.

Excellent tips! One observation though... you may want to get yourself a few full face masks as well. The half face masks do not cover your eyes (wide opening to the blood system) and having protection for all the face may be necessary in the next days when out on the street. I found really good full face masks at http://www.ProactiveAndPrepared.com . Look for the Breath of Life Mask from Technon and that is what you want to get. They actually have a 'family pack' discount.
One more thing, I would also add equiping yourself with vinegar. It has many uses in emergency situations.

If ye are prepared you shall not fear!


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