As the flood waters began to rise in South Carolina, so did the level of awareness that the vast majority of South Carolinians were wholly unprepared for such a disaster.
As the flood crisis got under way, South Carolina saw its major cities inundated with so much water that city centers were unnavigable without a boat, coastal areas saw houses collapse, and both city and rural areas saw roads wash out completely. With dams bursting and bridges washing away, local governments, citizens, and emergency management personnel clearly had their hands full. Most of them, to their credit, did their jobs well enough with the resources they had, despite the violation of rights by some local administrations.
Still, we can learn at least three lessons from the recent flooding in South Carolina.
- A very small minority of people are equipped to deal with an emergency in a competent fashion.
- A slightly larger number of people attempt to be prepared but fall short if the emergency persists.
- The vast majority of people are wholly unprepared for even a slight disturbance in their usual routine or living conditions.
While this statement may come as basic common sense to the majority of my usual readers, such observations do bear repeating. Indeed, it is important to remind ourselves of just how unprepared we may be, even though we may be more prepared than most of the rest of the population.
Many of those who are aware of the possibility of an economic collapse, general war, electrical grid failure, or simple natural disasters are aware through available literature of how human behavior will adjust to the new circumstances if a crisis takes place. Although much of what “preppers” are confronted with in terms of information often borders on the state of panic and fear, it is true that what is at first a tranquil community of friends and neighbors can very quickly turn into a violent mob and dangerous enemies fighting over finite resources.
While the flooding did not turn out to be the Apocalypse or anything resembling Katrina, for many the days of rain was a very important learning experience on just how prepared they were for an emergency as well as how their neighbors will react in the same situation.
As I already mentioned, there were a small minority of individuals who were prepared all along, because they had previously learned to stock up on essential items and tools for personal survival. These individuals are often called “preppers” by media outlets (mainstream and alternative alike) but, in reality, they are simply people who exercise a level of basic forethought in the manner that was once common behavior and not notable in any sense.
These individuals were able to weather the storm in conditions ranging from basic temporary self-reliance to minor discomfort and inconvenience. They had a source of food, water, and shelter. They had a means to defend themselves if necessary. They did not require supplies after the fact.
They were also a distinct minority.
Most, despite the constant media warnings of impending floods, assumed that the storms would simply be akin to a strong thunderstorm, leaving a little water on the roads and a minor inconvenience. As photographs of Charleston and Columbia began being broadcast over the television, however, many started to realize that flooding was becoming a serious issue. As reports of roads washing out across the state and curfews being implemented by local governments, many began rushing to the grocery stores, box stores, and convenience stores to grab last minute supplies only to find themselves standing in long lines or driving from closed store to closed store for food and bottled water.
Indeed, water was found to be in high demand as reports and rumors alike circulated suggesting that sewage was seeping into the water systems in some cities and that power outages may hinder the ability to readily access clean drinking supplies.
Encounters at the gas pumps also became somewhat testy as many had neglected to fill up their tanks with gas prior to the storm and were now forced to jockey with each other as well as individuals coming from the next county over in search of gas for their vehicles and their generators.
Credit and debit card systems went down.
Exit routes from many places were eliminated when roads were washed away, bridges collapsed, or officials decided to close them for safety reasons. In some towns, ALL the exit routes were either closed or washed out, leaving anyone in the town stranded in place.
Some, who had decided to risk the weather on I-95, were forced to pull over in the nearest town to wait out the storm, typically unprepared with nothing but small vehicles, no food, water, or cash. These individuals were locally known as I-95 refugees.
Thankfully, while the floods were highly damaging in many areas, the result was not the apocalypse, nor was it anything resembling what happened during Katrina. But floods will happen again and, when they do, it is important to be prepared.
Your preparation should cover the most essential items, as well as cover a longer-than-expected length of time. Indeed, whatever preparation you do now in the correct manner will be worth so much more when an actual event takes place.
Thus, a short list of basic necessities to consider in the case of a flood is included below. It is by no means comprehensive – but, from my experience, it will definitely keep you well ahead of even the half-prepared. Readers are encouraged to add useful tips in the comments section.
Remember, purchasing goods for the winter in the summer and for the summer in the winter is usually a cheaper route than waiting until the requisite season has arrived.
1.) Storable Food and Water – This does not necessarily have to be hundreds of dollars of worth freeze-dried food. It could mean something as simple as canned goods, Ramen noodles, and other foods that last a long time without requiring electricity to prepare. In fact, in a flood situation, canned goods are the safest bet since they are largely impervious to water over short periods of time. Bottled water or storable water jugs are a necessity. It is the great irony of the flood that, being surrounded by water, water is your most scarce asset. In addition to having storable drinking water, it is important to possess some method of water purification, whether it is a filter or some other device. In fact, it would also be prudent to keep some method of water purification that goes beyond mere filters. Water purification tablets, Life Straw, etc. will also be useful.
2.) Guns and Ammunition – Let’s face it. If the crisis continues, you will need to defend yourself as others reap the fruits of years of television watching when they should have been preparing.
3.) Propane and Propane Accessories – A propane cooker, for short-term outages, can provide an avenue to cook all of the food that may be in danger of going to waste if the power stays out. Similarly, having iron cookware that can be used in tandem with a traditional grill or even over an open fire might eventually become useful. That is, if you can find dry ground amenable to building fires.
4.) Flashlights – You will need light inside and outside of the house. Darkness falls quickly and one needs light by which to locate tools, find your way around, or even to travel if need be.
5.) Batteries – Lots of them. And not just for flashlights. However, batteries have incredibly short lives when they are being utilized regularly, so the more the better.
6.) Medicines – If you or a loved one rely on prescription or non-prescription medications, always do your best to save up and keep an extra supply of medication just in case. In a real crisis, medical centers may not be open and family practitioners/pharmacists will be in short supply. Regardless of whether or not someone needs a special medicine, basic medicines and a first aid kit should always be close at hand.
7.) Fuel – If you know a flood is coming, fill up your gas tanks and your gas cans beforehand. After the storm, to do anything is always too late.
8.) Candles – Eventually, batteries run out. Candles can provide steady light in the dark so flashlights can be saved for travel or emergencies. Lighters, needless to say, are vital as well.
9.) Waterproof Boots/Water Wear – If you do anything outside of the house (or inside depending on the flood levels), you may find that you have underestimated the need to keep dry, particularly keeping your feet dry. Make sure to have a good pair of rain resistant boots, waders, and rain jackets on hand.
10.) Rain Gear – Tarps, ponchos, and rain jackets will all come in handy in a flood. Heavy duty plastic wrap will also be valuable. Water-resistant bags and plastic containers that will float will be useful in some situations.
11.) Weather Radio – It is important to keep track of the weather situation in the event of an adverse climate event. You will need to keep in touch with what is happening around you and what is coming. (Did I mention batteries???)
12.) Life Jacket – Floods can come gradually or quickly. Keeping a life jacket on hand for each person in your party is important. You may never have to do anything other than wade in shallow water but why take chances? You may find yourself in a precarious situation that requires swimming, floating, or supporting someone else. Life jackets are gold in these situations, particularly if one of your party cannot swim, is weak, elderly, or handicapped.
13.) Small Boat – If you are able, a small boat capable of rowing you to safety or, at the very least, acting as an oasis until the waters recede is definitely beneficial.
14.) Swimming Lessons – It is a flood after all. Being caught in the middle of rushing or rising water is a death sentence if you don’t know how to swim. Plus, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Swimming is useful for more than just saving your life during a flood.
It is important to remember that you are never prepared enough. Believing that you are ready for all emergency situations is a sure sign that you are not fully ready. If you need help beyond this article in order to prepare for floods, winter storms, hurricanes, economic collapse, war, etc. you should do as much research on your own as possible, for free, online.
There are numerous resources that will help point you in the right direction such as the “prepping” section at Natural Blaze. If all of the information you find online is too overwhelming, perhaps consider taking a class on the subject such as those offered by Ares Tactical Solutions.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
Flooding was first on my list for buying a house.
The problems in South Carolina pale in comparison to what those people in the Pacific Northwest will experience if they live anywhere near the Cascadian fault when an earthquake strikes.
Read here: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one
My grandfather’s house was about 1/2 mile from the Black River, near New Zion. I worked a lot of summers on that farm in the 50’s-60’s. Even then, his house was up about 6-7 feet above ground. He said he knew what that river is capable of.