For Tens of Thousands the Sh*t Has Already Hit The Fan

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Top Tier Gear USA

For many, many people the sh*t has already hit the fan, and the streets, and the parks and their floors. Sewage from damaged pipes and from backed up municipal facilities is flowing, untreated into the streets in some areas  affected by hurricane Sandy. This poses a grave threat to health as untreated sewage is linked to many, many diseases that can sicken and/or kill humans. Typhoid, cholera, diphtheria and a long list of other infectious diseases are likely to be lurking in those waters. Contact with the water is almost impossible to avoid, and washing adequately after any contact is almost impossible when there is no clean water supply up and running.

Drinking water is in very short supply and in some areas is limited to the bottles handed out by government officials. What the hell are these people to do? Sadly, the answer is that there’s not much they can do at this stage. The infrastructure is damaged, supplies are short, I would expect a great many are going to get sick in the next couple of weeks, if they don’t, I would be very surprised.

As well all know a little forward planning goes a long way in these situations, but theres no point doing the ‘I told you so’ at this stage, it wont help anyone. What may help, if you have contact with any of these people is giving them a little practical advice. It’s not nice, and it’s not normal, but neither is the situation they find themselves in.

Urine, providing you don’t have a urinary tract infection, is sterile. Peeing over your hands after being in contact with sewage filled water will go some way to removing a good many of the bacteria that linger on your hands. The rest of your body is relatively unimportant at this stage, it is hands that will spread infection into mouths. Urine can be collected and hands washed in it, like I say, not something anyone would usually advise but it is water, and its clean and in this situation should not be wasted. To those who find this repulsive I would say would you rather have your own bodily fluids on your hands or everyone else’s? There is no place for squeamishness in these situations.

The colder weather means there will be a good amount of dew or condensate around. Where possible this should be collected, either on fabric which can then be sucked providing essential moisture, or in shallow containers, providing the item they are collecting from has not been contaminated by sewage it will be okay to drink. Sealed containers found in cupboards, refrigerators and stores may still be used if the seal is unbroken. The outer surface should be wiped before opening and the liquid transferred into a clean vessel, or even a plastic bag before being consumed.

If you have been in the water afflicted by sewage release and you have access to antibiotics take them now, there is no point in waiting.

Those on the streets, if no shelter is available should collect anything at all that can be burned which should be taken to an area away from the flood waters and a fire should be started, improvised shelter from tarps, doors, anything to hand should be set up during daylight hours ready for the colder temperatures come nightfall.

Not much advice is it? After the event it’s difficult to put right what would have been a much simpler matter had those actions been taken before the disaster struck.

I live in the city, a large one at that, and the preparations are obviously somewhat different to those made by folks in more rural areas.

A lightweight pop up tent is essential, they really are light, a very young child can carry one quite easily. This ensures we always have some kind of roof, okay it’s not sophisticated but it keeps the rain and the wind off and is exceptionally easy to set up and take down as required.

A fire kit in a box. It’s amazing what you can fit into a plastic sandwich box. In addition to the usual matches, lighter and tinder, we have a few thin bone dry pieces of wood, and a few plastic spoons. These burn long and hot and even catch in the rain. The melting plastic drips and clings to whatever it touches and carries on burning, often allowing small bits of wood, leaves etc to dry out. The box also has in it half a dozen pieces of barbecue charcoal wrapped in shrink wrap, this again is lightweight and burns hot, allowing small pieces of damp wood to dry out somewhat prior to burning.

A square mess tin contains water purification tablets, a small zip lock of crushed charcoal, fabric to filter solid debris from water and hand sanitising spray that can be used to clean drinking vessels etc if we are in doubt about it having being contaminated. This is wrapped in shrink wrap, which of course can be either reused or burned.

All of the food in the bag is ready to eat, pre-cooked vacuum sealed rice, baked beans, granola bars, canned fruit and canned custard.

There a small but functional emergency medical kit in one of the pockets of the bag. The bottle holders on the side hold two sealed litres of water, and theres another two inside the bag. The total kit weighs in at 25 pounds, adding a change of clothes each adds another 8 pounds.

My husband has the same but more in a larger bag and our child the same but less of in her bag. This would keep us going in a dire emergency for a minimum of 72 hours and gives us peace of mind should the worst happen.

Most of this stuff is available in almost every home, its just a matter of putting it into a mobile form so it can move with you. The decision to move is an individual one. I know for a fact unless our lives were threatened, as in you are in the track of a massive storm strong enough to demolish your house threatened, we would stay, the preps are here, far more of them than we could move in our cars, the dog is here, a truly massive beast that would take up a huge amount of space should we bug out, but defensively she is fantastic and a definite asset security wise… or food? Given a flood, with warning, freezer food could be cooked and refrozen for instant eats when the power is off. We could relocate upstairs in our sturdy brick built row house securing both dog and preps for the future. We have a large bathtub we could fill with water and a roof space full of quilts, blankets, hurricane lamps and all manner of other kit that would see us through a major incident. There are even a couple of defensive items but thats enough said about that. Almost all of this would have to be left behind if we left the property.

If a storm the size of Sandy hit the UK there would be little point in moving, I am in the centre of the country, and that storm was by many accounts larger than the UK, where would I run to? Living on a lump of rock surrounded by ocean gives you a somewhat different outlook on prepping. We don’t have the hundreds of miles of wilderness, the mountains to run to, huge swathes of country where forests abound and you can drive for a day without passing another car. I’ve seen those places, I love the sight, sound and smell of them, but now, at this point home is the second largest city in the UK and all the issues and problems that go along with living in such a place.

It makes you wonder when something like Sandy occurs. What you would do? How you would cope? Would we be as calm as we think we would? I doubt it. Would we go into shock? Possibly. Would we be able to cope due to forethought and planning? Yes, I believe we would. Storms like Sandy are why we prep, those and earthquakes, volcanoes, economic collapse, war, pole shift and many other reasons. Regardless of those reasons what binds us together is not only that we prep, its that we expect something to go wrong in the future, and we believe in ourselves and our ability to deal with it because we are prepared for it, whatever IT maybe.

Take Care

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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.

Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.

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  • Milo Mindbender

    Setting up a pup tent, or a dome tent inside your home would allow you to heat a smaller area, if the power went out, but the roof stays on. Including a battery powed CO detector, which should be part of the home kit is a good idea, and allows some other options for home heating. I like kerosene heaters as the fuel is safe to store, youi can cook over it, and ther is no smoke emitted outside the home screaming ” Hot food, and warm home, come take my stuff” unlike a wood or coal fired stove.

  • Milo Mindbender

    Ps these items would be better bought in advance of a storm not the day after, your mileage may vary.

  • OldGuy

    I have sat and watched all this drama about the storm with contempt for most of the “refuges”. I laugh quietly to myself to see the lines of useless people waiting to be rescued by that white-, sorry, ethnic-knight in the non-ethnic house in DC. The storm did not sneak up and bitch slap these fools. They did not wake up to flooding and wind. They were not denied advanced warning of immeniate danger. The responsibility falls squarely in their collective laps and I feel no sympathy for the suffering of the masses.

    Okay so that was cold and mean. It was meant to be. Every single one of these victims had the advanced notice to prepare for the storm and should have had the basics on hand. They had a great example of Katrina and its post landfall trials. Even if you only had the means to partially prepare, something is better than nothing. Water may not ease the hunger but it will keep you alive. Blankets stored above the water line will not make you cozy, but they will keep you alive. Granola bars are not filling but they will keep you alive. I can go on and on. The only victims that should have needed a thing were the elderly, handicapped and homeless. All others deserve whatever they get. You failed to prepare and your kids are suffering … you best find that mirror and take a look at the cause.

    I feel nothing but spite for those that could have, should have but did’nt. You are the worst kind of failure in my book. Humans like these are what have placed this country in the situation it now rests in. You can say I am evil and a bad person. You have that right but do you truly have cause to blame me for feeling the way I do. It’s called personal responsibility and I was taught this concept when I was very young. I never asked for a handout or an Obama phone in my life. I have suffered like many others in this economy and am suffering worse every day thank you very much, but I don’t run around saying someone owes me, no one owes me anything. If I need or want something it is MY responsibility to make it happen.

    Anger, contempt, spite, hate don’t even begin to describe how I feel about the leeches that get pampered in this country. Man up and bare the burden of your choices. Until then we all stand no chance. Sympathy is reserved for those that had no choice in the outcome of an event.

    • Karma Prevails

      Enjoy Hell, Old Guy. Satan has your room ready, you spiteful bastard.

      • OldGuy

        Wow, observant aren’t you Karma, I just told you I was spiteful. The bastard part I will redirect to the idiots who decide that the survival burdens of this storm should rest on the tax payers shoulders. Explain to the folks who are getting robbed and looted, for the greater good of course. Explain to the folks who prepped or better yet left the region for the safety of their family. Are you supporting the guys standing there saying they are OWED relief by the government? I made a very concise and clear reason for my feelings and you come back with witchcraft and theology. I am sure you can do better or did you just get your free water and MRE and your electricity turned back on? Maybe that long awaited Obama phone?

        My point is that we as a nation have failed to do what is needed to survive and have relied on someone else to do what we ourselves should have done in the first place. Am I wrong or should the world just cater to the lazy and purposely incapable? (Easy) Freedom for you does not equal required slavery for me.

        There is an age old saying Karma … you can’t help someone that refuses to help themselves. Here’s another one; You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Okay this is on your level: Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. TEACH a man to fish and he will eat everyday. Personal responsibility Karma. Are you saying you are responsible to fish for those that REFUSED to learn?

        Man, I may be a spiteful bastard but there are way more stupid idiots who could not see the truth if it reared up and kicked them in the face.

        • you don’t need to know

          Totally agree OG

        • Legion7

          +1 old guy. I had others near me laugh because I built up a generator and 100 gallon storage for fuel, as well as a pellet stove. They bought a ski boat. It absolutely warmed my heart to see their candles flickering through the windows while I watched TV with my family by the pellet stove after a 9 day power outage. I heard later that they were cooking canned soup over tea light candles and huddling together under a blanket. They didn’t have the guts to come over and simply ASK for help.

          Guess I’ll rot in hell too, NOT!

      • SKIP

        Karma, I totally with OLD GUY! You fool, how much in taxes did you pay this past year?

    • ButterknifeBrigade

      ^ Approves of OG’s assessment. A lack of preparedness does not constitute an emergency on my part.

  • terbo56

    I guess it takes ALL kinds, doesn’t it,KarmaPrevails-Please re-read your post-Sounds familiar-

  • Only one way to handle an event like this. It is called get out of dodge. No matter where you go cannot be as bad. What is being left? Most do not work and all valuables should be in a small box.

  • Indeed the sh-t has literally hit the fan, especially as I read stories of people using their hallways as bathrooms. Crimony. Thanks for the suggestions here. I got so frustrated listening to the horror stories, I finally broke down and posted some thoughts myself, what if Sandy had been a volcano? Maybe more people might have gotten out, maybe the govt may have been more proactive, not sure. I just can’t fathom staying and not being better prepared. (and that doesn’t include the elderly and handicapped I must agree, better plans should have been made to help them.)

  • Karma Prevails

    Look, I’m not saying there wasn’t warning. I’m not suggesting that people could not have been better prepared or that they have chosen a dangerous place to live.

    I’m saying that kindness and compassion would do a lot more to teach others than this cruel gloating. For lack of a better word, it’s just mean.

    When something bad happens, what is the benefit in rubbing it in the victim’s faces? The only benefit is some kind of spiteful glee – do you really need the misfortune of others to feel good about yourself?

    Bad things can happen to anyone, at any time. This one had a warning, the next one might not. The one without a warning might happen to you. If it does, I hope people treat you more kindly. Sadly, many people out there will not learn compassion unless they one day find themselves lost, hungry, cold and homeless.

    Call me a bleeding heart if you want to – but I have dealt with bad situations and learned from them. The biggest thing I learned is that I would rather be like those who offered me kindness than like those who spat on me.

    • OldGuy

      Lack of compassion, in capable of kindness, spiteful glee, feeling good about the misfortune of others, you assume too much Karma. You are adorable.

      You totally miss the point of my opinions completely. You will never hear a negative word out of me concerning events that victims could not know were coming. You assume I am cold and dead inside and you are wrong.

      I am simply tired of extending my compassion and kindness and understanding to people that make little if any effort to take care of themselves. There more people every day that hold out their hands and say mememememME when they are and were quit capable to taking responsibility for themselves. You can blame anyone you wish to but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to see to yourself. If you still need a helping hand that is fine but too many folks never lift a hand to help themselves. I have no compassion for them what-so-ever.

      Let me do it this way…
      3 cases of bottled water =$= 2 packs of cigarettes
      12 cans of soup =$= 2 six-packs of beer
      12 cans of tuna =$= half a tank of gas
      1 rubber stopper and 10 minutes to fill your tub up for drinking or flushing water =$= priceless.

      So for the cost of a night of smokes and drinks and the gas to go buy them you would have enough supplies to survive 10 days. If your home got blown away you probalbly should have evacuated your supplies to a safer location.

      If you are an adult today and still believe in the government coming to your rescue after Katrina, Sandy, Andrew, the earthquake in Haiti and Japan, and all the other events that have proven how ineffective FEMA and the Red Cross can be, then you are more than mislead as Evie so politely said.

      Your ideals are beautiful in a Utopian way but this is not Utopia. The reality is that bad things happen all the time and there are too many people in the world that stand in lines after and say shoulda, woulda, coulda. Even more worrysome is that most in those lines think that they are owed something as well.

      I am not gleeful that these folks are suffering. I am simply tired of being bombarded with the incredible lack of responsibility they exibit. I am tired of hearing how I should feel and act toward them. I am tired of being told that everyone is disadvantaged and in need. I would love to hear someone on the MSM shout out “this” family was prepared and while suffering some discomfort, are doing just fine thank you very much. That would make me sit up and say GOOD JOB!!! The dude standing in line 3 hours and screaming that all he got was this lousy bottle of water should have gone to the store the week before the storm hit.

      I am proud that you have learned from your bad situations. So have I. The biggest thing I learned from the bad situations in my life is to be responsible, be prepared, pay attention and learn from my and others mistakes. Compassion is reserved for true victims not lazy ones.

      • Karma Prevails


        “I have sat and watched all this drama about the storm with contempt for most of the “refuges”. I laugh quietly to myself to see the lines of useless people waiting to be rescued by that white-, sorry, ethnic-knight in the non-ethnic house in DC. The storm did not sneak up and bitch slap these fools. They did not wake up to flooding and wind. They were not denied advanced warning of immeniate danger. The responsibility falls squarely in their collective laps and I feel no sympathy for the suffering of the masses.”

        When you say you “watched with contempt”, you “feel no sympathy” and you “laugh quietly” how can I read that and not see you as someone smugly enjoying the misfortune of others?

        I truly find it painful to read statements like this, because in every situation, no matter how prepared we might be, we need to consider “There but for the grace of God go I.”

        Compassion is really just a small grace we humans can afford others – it doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t take anything away from us – it is something anyone can give, at any time. It’s a choice we make.

        Personally, I plan to take this opportunity to educate as many people as I can about preparedness so that next time maybe some will have made the decision to protect themselves.

        • OldGuy

          Very good and you are correct that my opening was caustic at best but did you read the rest? I acknowlege my opening is harsh but I also clarify why it is. Have you seen any news in the last few years? Have you not seen the hipocracy in aid and assistance, lack of responsibility and righteous indignation of the masses relating to any given event?

          If you cannot comprehend my attitude then you are missing the whole picture. As I have stated compassion and kindness are fantastic and deserving but both are being taken advantage of at a great and accelerating rate. If people do not start accepting responsibility for their lives and making changes then compassion and kindness are already dead. It has to start sometime.

          Jane, below, is in a badly affected area. I feel for her and wish I could lend my back to the efforts to help. The guy I saw on the news screaming about starving and not getting what he deserved is dressed in cloths that cost more than I earn a week. He could have bought supplies, he likely lives above the water line. Alot of those people could have taken action toward their own survival. I just dont get it. It’s not just because of this storm it’s the attitude and behavior of a majority of the popluation.

        • OldGuy

          Karma, thank you for the responses and opinions. I actually have enjoyed talking with you. You have given me something to think about concerning my opening statement (even if my opinion was not swayed) and I will apply that in my future interactions. You may wish to claw my eyes out right now but I enjoy spirited discussions. Maybe our virtual paths will cross again. *wink*

          • Karma Prevails

            I suppose what I always consider is those who may read these comments, those people who are already so beaten down from their losses. I think how much words like this would hurt in the situation that they are in. People like Jane, who, although, you weren’t directing her comment to her, still felt the sting of it.

            It was an interesting discussion to be sure, and I’m glad I’ve given you something to think about. As for me, I’m sorry I was mean in my initial response – reason is a far more effective way to get my point across.

            No hard feelings, I hope.

      • DV

        Amen, brother!

        I have been trying to reach people for 25-30 years, regarding how bad it can get, virtually overnight. All I’ve gotten in return is ridicule, scoffing, or blank stares.

        I have lived through two or three bad weather events in just the past two years, including tornadoes and wind storms that caused 5-day power outages, also being snowed in for over a week. I keep extra water, fuel, food, lamps, a generator, etc. etc. and they have kept me quite comfortable throughout.

        These kinds of preps can be made by just about anybody, if they set goals and stick to them over time. Instead, they spend thousands on Caribbean cruises or trips to Europe. And, when the SHTF, they whine and complain. “OMG, I have to crap in the hallway”. Well, you could have bought a shovel and dug a hole in the yeard. Or collected rainwater in buckets…An extra package of toilet paper was pretty cheap, right before all of this mess happened.

        Their dire straits are almost completely preventable. It is insane to believe that bad things no longer happen to us because we’re Americans, or some similar delusion.

        I’m sorry for all the touchy-feely new-agers who think love solves everything. The truth is, life and nature are mean and unforgiving teachers. I have no quarrel with being kind to those who have truly been overtaken by misfortune, through no fault of their own. But many of the “unfortunate” have gotten themselves to where they are through their own actions or inactions. I have learned this lesson from many years of trying to help the “unfortunate”.

    • SKIP

      Kindness and compassion!!! Karma! have you EVER BEEN there? NJ is more dangerous than here in Afghanistan and has anyone ever found NOOYAWK CD hospitable? The people in those places had a lesson in the form of KATRINA and as usual, the lesson failed to stick and now, as usual, the gubmint will throw more taxpayer money at the problem.

  • I am not gloating. If anything, government and corporations have turned people into lazy, passive, consumers who watch television and are bombarded with ads on tv, radio, the computer and even as you pump gas at your local gas station.
    Most believe the corporations and government care about them as they have done everything good citizens are expected to do.
    I consider them victims being mislead by criminals.

    • Karma Prevails

      Absolutely agreed, Evie.

  • jane

    I live in Staten Island, hard hit by Sandy. I am very fortunate, not everyone was. Many peaple prepared, but how do you prepare for something that has never before at this magnitude ever happened. How to you put thigs above a water line taller than your house. How to you evacuate and take every thing with you? You can’t so you leave things behind and when you get back nothings left. People were afraid to leave due due looting that occured during Irene[ that by the way caused little damage downstate]Many had no real place to go. Many of us are not wealthy, we can’t afford to stay in hotels during evacs,we can’t leave the cities because it’s the only place we can make a living. Evacuate, or don’t go to work even though you may have lost everthing during the storm = no pay . no gas = no work = no pay.Most people in Staten Island in the areas affected are just regular working class people, nurses,cops, contractors, and teachers ,just trying to raise thier families and get by. I pray you should never have to exeriance anything like this, but if you should may you be helped by someone kinder than yourself

    • OldGuy

      Jane my apologies if you took my earlier comments personally. I KNOW many of the affected had no options and if you were one of them then you have my sympathy and compassion. My ire is directed toward those that did have options and choices.

      If you are not one of them then you have no reason to be upset. Think about this. Your neighbors are devistated and in need. FEMA is assisting all those in line in lower Manhattan instead of your neighbors. The government is assisting people that could have taken care of some things themselves (they WERE above the water lines) while you and your neighbors that had no options suffer from redirected aid.

      Do you understand my lack of compassion for those that COULD have prepared and did not.

    • SKIP

      Afraid to leave because of LOOTING! Please explain EXACTLY whom you fear would be looting, robbing, pillaging, murdering and raping…be candid and truthful! The Klingons? Romulans maybe? how bout common blacks! that gubmint patakted species.

  • Cnsay

    +1 Old Guy. You hit the nail on the head with every line. I certainly understand how you feel. Karma Prevails can help those WHO CAN HELP THEMSELVE BUT REFUSE TO DO SO. Evie blames the government for the reason the masses continue to watch the idiot box while eating cheetos and because of it will fail with the rest of the herd. I don’t feel sorry for ant of those who did not heed the warnings and stayed unprepared. Evie you are a worthless POS to blame the government for their misfortune.

  • jane

    fema and the red cross did not even show up until Fri., as I said I was fortunate.Many people from all over S.I. came and we helped one another, bringing food ,clothes, cleaning debris out of homes and streets, not relying on the goverment who didn’t show up[remember mayor wanted marathon, starting point 2 miles from death of two small boys swept away]If someone had a generator [I did] we charged peoples phones, made hot coffee,whatever we could. I think people should prepare as best they can,and help each other.However those are my tax dollars being spent on FEMA and goverment programs ,police, Sanitation,and they seemed to get their a little late in the game.Red Cross gets millions in donations from S.I., they come Fri ? , hey the storm was Mon night. Do I feel entitled to a degree, YES !!! I did everything I was taught. Went to school,got married, bought a little house,Worked hard, payed my taxes ,preparedand helped others. What did we get? Forgotten, until marathon made it to the news

  • jane

    It sometimes makes you want to give up, why bang your head against the wall. If I do absolutly nothing, Gov will give me everything

    • SKIP

      JANE! ONLY if you are black, illegal or a Somali muslim.

  • Longwhitecloud

    Old guy mentioned something extremely relevant in his ranting tirade against grasshoppers, – there has been, around the world, some very large scale events and in every case it has taken the government(s) several weeks to really get assistance to those who desperately need it.
    Their first priority is the large scale infrastructure, get it as patched up as possible.
    Example – you had 8 mllion without power, they worked tirelessly to restore power to the millions least affected. That clears the way to work on restoring power to the more severely damaged areas.
    The point is … You must prepare. MUST.
    Because if you do get hit by an event like these (tidal wave, hurricane, volcano, earthquake), it will be you and your neighbours alone for up to a couple of weeks before a single official comes by to even count how many of you there are.
    I lived in Christchurch NZ when the quake hit there, I was lucky and lived on the side of town that didn’t fall down. For a week and a half with thousands of others who were ‘lucky’ we took food, dug streets clear, & went on nightly anti looting patrols.
    There were a lot of support services working around the clock to fix things, but the truth is…. There weren’t enough to take care of it all.
    If you are a civilized human being then you do as much as you can to get thru the event, and then you do even more to assist the community you live in.

  • The Arizona Patriot

    Two thumbs up OG you sure speak volumes of truth. I ran part of the relief effort for Andrew and saw first hand how many people not only deppend on the govt to take care of them in a disaster but actually use the storm to get ahead. Just makes me sick.

  • Mark Owen

    Were most of the people aware of what was coming YES did they do anything to prepare for it NO. Do they deserve my sympathy HELL NO. Do they deserve anything the government gives them NO. I have food and water put away, A generator for power, blankets to keep warm, and peace of mind. My family and I will be ok, and probably on a much smaller budget than most of the gimmegang has. As for the looters a bullet between the eyes is all they deserve, no trial, no jail time, just someone with good aim!