Survival-Pax Blog: Hurricane Sandy & Twinkies

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hurricane Sandy & Twinkies

With the somewhat recent closing of Hostess Plant, we are starting to see the further decline of our nation's economy.

Sorry guys, Twinkies are now a thing of the past.
For those who are not aware, the Hostess Company, the one who makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride and Butternut Breads, has declared that it will be closing after failure to reach an agreement with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM).

Basically, on November 14th, the company said that it would close if enough employees did not show up for work on the 15th and that's what they did. They weren't able to stay afloat financially and had to close their doors, laying off most of their 18,500-member work force.

You can read more about it here:

What can we learn?
My prediction is that we're going to be seeing more of this happening as this country moves forward. I also predict inflation taking a greater effect on our economy within the coming years.

What can we do?
Even a simple rain barrel can be a big help during an emergency.

Well, my best advice would be to prepare for possible economic instability. I'm surprised that our economy isn't in worse shape, following all of the bailouts and loans that our government has been giving out.

To hedge against such instability, I would recommend thinking about the things that you need to live (food, water, fuel, hygiene supplies, etc.) and try and have a surplus of those things stored. Perhaps it would be wise to visit a Mormon Cannery and stock up on a few months worth of dried food. It might be a good idea to have a rain collector for water storage. It might also be smart to have some gasoline/diesel fuel stored up in case of an emergency, along with a generator.

Storing these items will not really cost you much in the long run. In fact, it might actually save you money. What do I mean? Well, if these are things that you use already, having a surplus of these items and using the old stock and replenishing it with new stock means that you aren't wasting money on things you won't use. Rather, you are spending your money on things that you would use anyway. The only difference would be that you are purchasing more initially, to build up a surplus, and then going back to your usual purchasing of that item.

You can even save money by doing this because having a surplus will allow you to wait until there is a sale on an item before resupplying. However, if you do this, it is important that you take an inventory of your stored items from time to time in order to not run out.

Pretty common sense, huh? Well, to some people, common sense is not all that common. Many of the people in New York that endured Hurricane Sandy were not prepared at all for what happened to them.

Hurricane Sandy

The devastation that Hurricane Sandy left was horrible in certain locations.
Many were unprepared for the damage that Hurricane Sandy inflicted on the Northeast Coast of the United States. Over a hundred people died and millions were without power, even weeks after the storm. Although tragic, here is a really interesting web page tracking New York City's residents who died in the storm, along with how they died.

A sign made by a homeowner to discourage looters.
Source: Reuters
After any major disaster where people are evacuated, looting becomes a huge problem. Opportunists who stay behind when others leave feel that they have a right to smash and grab things left behind. Hurricane Sandy was no exception, with looting being very common in areas severly hit by the storm. Some gangs even posed as electricity company and aid workers, knocked on doors in the middle of the night, and robbed houses when people opened. In neighborhoods where looting was prevalent, citizens resorted to posting signs to ward off looters. Unfortunately, due to New York's strict gun control policy, many citizens did not have firearms to defend their homes and resorted to other weapons such as baseball bats, machetes and even bows and arrows.

Dumpster Diving
As can be seen here in the following video, people who were unprepared resorted to scavenging food from the neighborhood dumpster to try and feed themselves and their families.

Lessons learned
When major disasters happen, infrastructures fail. That means businesses, utilities and governments do not provide the services that they are supposed to. The person who is ultimately responsible for taking care of you and your family is you. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to stock up on necessary items now and not during a disaster. Even stocking up before a disaster happens will be tricky, since many others will "all of a sudden" discover that they are also unprepared and store shelves will be left empty.

Another important thing to have, as I mentioned in a blog post titled Are YOU Prepared for Rioting?, is to have a means of defending yourself and the items that you have taken time and effort to store. Having a firearm can very well mean the difference between life and death should a gang of looters attack your house. At the very least, it may mean the difference between having your stored items or having them taken away.

Take care and stay prepared!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

Sources Used:
-Mirror News. Superstorm Sandy looters: New Yorkers arm themselves with bows and arrows...

-New York Times. Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll

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