Aftershock: What Follows an Epic Natural Disaster
If you’d like to learn how to plan for an epic natural disaster, then all you have to do is study any of the dozens of events that have happened during the last decade.
While each natural disaster is different, the problems that follow are predictable. We can see many of the same patterns repeating in different locations at different times.
The most recent weather-caused mass tragedy is in the Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on November 7, 2013 with sustained wind speeds of 195 miles per hour, the highest ever recorded.
Reports and images of the destruction are shocking. Corpses dangling from trees. Buildings completely washed away. Large ships pushed inland onto dry land.
But for the survivors, the real problems became apparent after the typhoon had passed.
Tacloban City before Super Typhoon Haiyan hit on November 7, 2013.
The #1 Survival Need Is Almost Always the Same
Right now, the biggest need in the Philippines is clean drinking water.
Since the typhoon hit, Danny Estember has been hiking three hours round-trip into the mountains each day to obtain what he can only hope is clean water for his five daughters and two sons.
The exhausting journey is necessary because safe water is desperately scarce in this storm-ravaged portion of the Philippines. Without it, people struggling to rebuild and even survive risk catching intestinal and other diseases that can spread if they’re unable to wash properly.
Is it any surprise that this is the biggest need? Not at all. The Philippines proximity to the equator means the weather is fairly warm year-round. Dying from hypothermia is unlikely. But dying from dehydration or unclean drinking water is a big risk.
Aid relief efforts have struggled to get clean drinking water to people who need it in a timely manner. Water is extremely heavy and difficult to transport. Transporting water is even more difficult in an area like the Philippines where people in need live on dozens of different islands.
But what if the Filipinos were equipped with high quality portable water filters? Their suffering would be greatly reduced.
A good water purifier is such an inexpensive investment, it’s a wonder more people don’t have them. If you’re serious about survival, you simply must have a good portable water filter.
It Happened in New Orleans, Now It’s Happening in Tacloban
When people get desperate, they do desperate things. That’s why it’s really no surprise that looting has been a problem in the wake of Haiyan…
The Philippine National Red Cross said its efforts were hampered by looters, including some who attacked trucks of food and other relief supplies it was shipping to Tacloban from the southern port of Davao.
Tacloban’s two largest malls and grocery stores were looted, and police guarded a fuel depot. About 200 police officers were sent into Tacloban to restore law and order.
With other rampant looting reported, President Benigno Aquino III said he was considering declaring a state of emergency or martial law in Tacloban. A state of emergency usually includes curfews, price and food supply controls, military or police checkpoints and increased security patrols.
This excerpt closely describes the situation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. Looting was rampant. The National Guard and private military contractors were sent in to restore law and order. The city quickly came under a localized form of martial law.
These things are as predictable as the sunrise. And because of this, you can plan ahead.
You already know you need a water filter. You may also want to acquire a gun and get appropriate training so you know how to use it. Your survival may one day depend on your ability to defend your home against looters and roving gangs.
Study the Past to Plan for the Future
As I’ve tried to point out in this brief article, it really is no mystery what to expect following a major natural disaster. Sufficient shelter, clean drinking water, and a way to defend yourself are usually the three biggest needs.
Study recent disasters and you’ll begin to see the common threads that run through all of them.
A little bit of preparation and investment today could pay off big down the road.