The recent events on the Highways and Byways in Virginia should be a wakeup call for many. Unfortunately, most will ignore the warnings. Those that heed the warnings will soon develop a case of amnesia.
Many people suddenly found themselves in a survival situation and most were woefully unprepared, some were underprepared. But then again who would have expected to end up in a survival situation while going about doing what one does every day?
I don’t know for sure, but I would guess if you asked some of the people why they weren’t prepared you would get an answer along these lines. If I had known this was going to happen, I would have been prepared or better prepared. Even if being prepared meant not being caught up in it in the first place.
In case you have not ” got it ” by this point in your life, emergencies, disasters, and survival situations are not going to be considerate enough to tell you when they will come so you can be prepared for them. It is best to be prepared for them when they occur, or at least be as prepared as possible.
One question I am asked is, what do you prepare for? The advice offered is complicated, yet simple if one will only think it through. You cannot prepare for every possibility. You can, however, prepare for the likely.
To me at least Preparedness and Survival go hand in hand.
The three basics of Survival are Food (including water), Clothing (adequate for the environment you are currently in as well as the environment you are going to and in between), and Shelter (adequate for the environment). If you have these three survival items covered, you are well on the way towards preparedness.
Food, Clothing and Shelter sounds simple. And it is at least until you start to consider importance. When caught in a torrential downpour shelter suddenly becomes the most important. You get the picture.
I don’t want to beat up on the Virginians too badly but there are some important lessons to be learned. If you happen to be in Virginia or were caught up in the traffic stoppage don’t get offended (if you do all I can say is get over, it) as I will soon beat up on my fellow Floridians. And if my fellow Floridians get offended well, they can just get over that too.
As stated above the people caught up in this traffic stoppage were going about their daily activities. Doing things, they had done numerous times before giving no thought to the possibility of adverse events. Some had been stuck in traffic before because of an accident. But this time it would be different, more different than they had even envisioned. Stuck in traffic for fifteen hours, snowing and cold.
Since they suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves in a survival situation let us now examine the three basics of survival. I believe the order of importance in this situation would be Clothing, Food and Shelter
Clothing. It is possible that many of those were commuters. They were either on the way home from work or on the way to work. That was the way they were dressed. Those who work in offices wore adequate clothing for the environment they left and were going to. Their clothing was woefully inadequate for the environment they found themselves in. Those that work outdoors were better dressed, better but still likely inadequate for an extended period.
Food. From what has been reported food was a real issue. Some that had food shared with those who had none.
Shelter. Since there were no reports of anyone being on a motorcycle everybody had shelter. Was it adequate? No, motor vehicles are not well insulated but if they had gas, they had heat. In this case inadequate shelter was better than no shelter at all. I find it odd that there was no mention of the electric vehicles and how they held up for those fifteen hours.
Will it be a case of lessons learned or lessons ignored? Two types of people will emerge from all of this.
There will be some who learned a valuable life lesson. They will keep food, including water, in their vehicle. They will put a blanket or sleeping bag or both in their vehicle. They will put winter clothing including footwear in their vehicle. They will keep their gas tank full. The next time they are prepared and instead of being suddenly thrown into a survival situation they will find themselves inconvenienced.
Then there will be others that will ignore these lessons. The next time this or something like this happens they will be just as unprepared.
I wonder if any of the folks will watch Gilligan’s Island with a different point of view. It started as a Three-Hour cruise.
Their journey started as a short hour or so drive.
This is just part one, with more to come.