Well, it has been a week and I learned a lot about survival in this storm and how to survive a bigger Apocalypse.
1 Fuel is paramount. As a result of this storm, there has been a massive shortage of fuel here in the NY/NJ region. Right after the storm, I drove my parents from NY to Toronto to stay with my aunt. The first thing is I had to refuel one time on the way. My car has a 20 gallon tank and gets about 25 mpg on the highway. If this disaster was even bigger in geographical scope and I couldn’t refuel, I would have been stuck somewhere in upstate New York. This is considering that I knew the storm was approaching and filled my tank the day before the lights went out. If this was an unexpected event, who knows how much gas I would have had in my car. The lesson, always keep your car as topped off as much as possible, and have enough gas stored to refill the car at least once. Most cars have a highway range of about 400-500 miles. If you have enough fuel, you can get up to a 1000 miles away from the disaster. If that isn’t far enough, there is no point in leaving.
2 Food!!!! The supermarkets will be stormed after an event and all the food will be striped from the selves. Its not like the movie 28 days later when you find a supermarket full of food. People will panic and take everything that isn’t strapped down. Perishable foods are just that, perishable. Meats and things of that nature will not last very long without refrigeration. Therefore, a good supply of food is important. If you can grow food, even better.
3 Guns are really important. In this disaster, people have been fighting over gas, and there has been a tremendous amount of looting. Even though the press wont cover it, looting was a real major problem in the most affected areas and there was a real risk that people would try to siphon your gas if you aren’t watching your car. People with guns will be willing to use them against you, and if a disaster is of the scope that the government breaks down, there will be no cops to protect you. The only reason people didn’t die over gas here in the NY/NJ area is because cops were assigned to every gas station that had gas. In a bigger disaster where the government falls apart, there will be no cops and if you cannot protect yourself, there will be people that will try to take your things.
4 Back up power. A lot of people had generators to power parts of their homes during the black out. Many of those generators where stolen see guns, and they are noisy so they attract attention. Something I was thinking about is either installing solar or wind power on my property. This isn’t feasible for apartment dwellers, but if you can install them discreetly, you’ll have access to information from the TV if there is information in TV and other things like heating systems rely on electricity. FYI, it gets really cold at night in November in the Northeast without a heat source.
5 There is strength in numbers. I bugged out to my sister’s house. She got power on Thursday night a full three days before my house and even in the dark and cold, I felt safer with three grown men Me, my 25 year old nephew and my brother-in-law. Even though we didn’t have to defend ourselves from looters or anything like that, I felt much more confident that we would be less likely to be assaulted because we had some numbers. Also, even in misery, company makes things much easier on the psyche. I can’t imagine being in the dark and cold all alone.6 Most people will be completely unprepared.
We knew this storm was coming and still, people didn’t fill their cars before the storm leading to huge lines for gas. People didn’t evacuate leading to unnecessary loss of life. People that were unprepared will be scared and desperate. Again, see guns above.Bottom line: even though you see stories about people coming together and helping each other… this is really a dog eat dog world. If you are not adequately prepared, you are done for. I was definitely not prepared like one of those doomsday preppers on National Geographic, but because I was cautious, I haven’t been hungry or without fuel during this catastrophe. I don’t know how I would have fared if this lasted much longer.