If you are reading this article, then there’s a good chance you already know this–but disasters can happen any time, anywhere. Here is just a small cross-section of what I’ve seen in my life:
Blizzards, Snow, and Cold Weather
My mother was born in 1925, and she told of many times in the winter when roads might not be opened for a week or 10 days in rural Floyd County, Iowa. When she was 8, she developed appendicitis, and Grandpa took her straight to Charles City-over the ditches full of snow, fence lines, and the river–the snow was that hard crusted and solid enough to carry the sleigh and 2 horses.
In the winter of 1864, the year a great-grandfather moved here from Dane County (Madison) Wis., there was a stretch of railroad near Lawler that was several miles long 11 feet deep in snow.
I can go back and say that George Soule, Mayflower passenger, was 11 times removed my grandfather. And beyond that some unknown Indian woman from Minnesota–10,000 to 15,000 years.
I distinctly remember the winter of ’50-’51 that the snow at our home in Osage, Iowa (N.E. Ia.-Mitchell Cty.) was up to the lower window sill on the 2nd floor of our home, and for 29 days straight the temperature never above 0F and was always -25 to -30F and lower every night.
In August ’85, here in Des Moines, we had 8 days straight where it was well over 100F-108F was the worst, and as a road building supervisor, I was on the ground out in it with no shade anywhere.
Then in ’93 we got hit with record floods–“The Great Flood of 1993”–no water for days, electricity did stay on, extremely serious flooding over the whole state, only 2 bridges in the city open because of geography and we have gobs of bridges–I walked levees on patrol for 13 days straight and lost 25 pounds doing it 12 hours a day.
We live in what is called the “craton” of the North American landmass, in Iowa. Earthquakes here rate about 2 in probability 100. But there is a very large crescent shaped failed fault that runs in a broad swath from SW to NE that is filled 35,000 feet down with waste rock from the various ancient Oceans and later Ice Ages.
A craton is the oldest and hardest part of a continent. So an earthquake here is very unlikely, but if it should happen it could be truly catastrophic because the fault is so deep and the surrounding rock is very hard. If we look back to the Great Quake of 1811 at New Madrid, Mo. and see that it made the Mississippi run backwards, the seriousness of a like quake here becomes much more understandable. If it should break, it will be a match for anything ever recorded in this nation, probably a 9 or 9.5 at least.
But weather is the main issue here, that and tornadoes. Quick, get in the basement under the stairs that are bolted to the floor and that should provide adequate protection.
As for the whole Seattle area, not only the Cascadia Fault, but Mt. Rainier, pose enormous challenges. Been there a number of times as an OTR driver, it’s beautiful, but it rains too much for my tastes. And my roots in this state go back to 1864.
I guess these things have impressed on me that “it” can happen here as well as anywhere else, and if you are unprepared, you will suffer. Ever since ’93 we have put a little away, and are now adding seriously to our Mountain House stockpile. Costco has had a very good price on the $125 boxes at $75 or $85, so we grab one of those every 2 or 4 weeks. And water–lots of water.
It’s unfortunate that according to DHS (Homeland Safety) only 1% of the population fits the term prepper, but then, that’s their problem, not mine. The average American simply will not accept that one of the facts of life is that a catastrophe can occur anywhere, and that it doesn’t have to be one you’d expect, although it’s probably the best starting point for beginning.
I understand your sentiments my friend and I stand with you lodged firmly in place with my stash.
Greetings, Don! And welcome to the conversations.
Thank you for this post; it rekindled the fire in my spirit, as I seem to need from time-to-time. Perhaps that’s why I also love Harold’s posts?!! Bless you both.
Your memories of bygone days are important! As well as the recognition that so many things can happen to break that chain of supply we depend on so heavily. Thanks for the reminders.
Hi Don! I gotta agree, if ‘IT’ happens, there’s no place I’d rather be than Iowa!
The scenarios for it happening can encompass many things here in the Midwest. But I think overall, the risk factor is about the same as anywhere else. Personally though, I think survivability chances are better in the Midwest.
Hey, JfI! Been wonderin’ where the heck ya’ been!!!! Good to hear from you.
Oh, I’m never far away. With the change in Seasons though, so goes the change in interests. More of a concentration on outdoor activities currently………
yeah, I was all excited to get back outside, too – right up to the point in which the ticks reminded me whose domain I was in! As soon as these boo-boos all heal – back out I’ll go! Do they have ticks in Iowa? If not, I’m headin’ your way!!!!
Oh yeah! We got em in all sizes and varieties! Even the little nasty ones that are smaller than the head of a pin! Once this Spring I even found some on our screens, wanting in the house!
Iowa ticks are pretty sneaky, as they will drop on you from the trees as you are just walking by. We currently have an abundant supply of gnats and mosquitoes to contend with as well, due to the abundant moisture this year. I bought a net bug head cover, just to be able to survive the onslaught from them!
In AR, those tiny ones are “seed ticks”; they’re really just “baby” ticks; they do not like Purpose Soap, however, and it does help with tick bites, after the fact. Got eaten by black flies in April; ticks in July; sooner or later, it’s bound to be the bobcat or the bear, or reckon! :)
What got me going prepping was, in short succession, hearing and seeing the news a couple of years back. In September there was the first massive earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand followed by hundreds more smaller ones over the next weeks. Then there were floods that covered over a third of Queensland state (220,000 square miles!), then more floods in Victoria. This was followed by another massive earthquake in Christchurch and wild fires in the south of our state. This all happened within six months and woke me up to the idea I needed to do something.
Then there are all the individual SHTF and TEOTWAWKI scenarios that are all around.
Prepping is the way to go. Increasing my personal skills has a slightly higher priority for me than aquiring stuff though stuff is important too.
Hey, Harriet! You struck a chord with me – “one event after another’. Can you imagine the mess when the sheeple start to experience “one event after another”, and there is absolutely no preparation, no supply line, no idea what to do now? Yeah. That IS why we do it, isn’t it?!
WE understand what ya mean about being in your own bed etc. Just ‘aint nothin’ glorious about a bedpan…LOL
DON, Thank you. Some of our older folks tell true tales like yours from the 40s and 50s here in upstate NY. Please keep sharing.I agree I just wish to be outside one with nature when the Lord calls me home. I agree anything can happen anyplace at anytime. Arlene