What Did the Northeast Learn From Sandy? Apparently, Not Much

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Top Tier Gear USA

Just over 3 months ago, the Northeast was paralyzed after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast. Within a matter of days, despite a week of warnings about the impending storm, people in New York City were dumpster diving and begging FEMA to help them. They were pleading with the cameras for food and water because they were starving. Some people still have not recovered – there are still nearly 2000 homes in which people are crouching in the dark, without heat, electricity or running water.

Fast forward to the current nor’easter bearing down on the region, Nemo.

The Northeastern US is bracing itself for snow measured in feet, not inches. Nemo is predicted to be one of the top ten worst blizzards in history. Blizzard warnings are in effect for New Jersey, and New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Does anything sound familiar about that list of states? Oh yeah – many of them were among the hardest hit back in October, when the last “storm of the century” hit.

One might think that people would have learned a lesson from Sandy and prepared ahead of time for the possibility of an ice- induced power outage and the likelihood of being snowed in for a few days.

Apparently not.

Residents of the Northeast are storming the grocery stores like a horde of locusts, grabbing anything and everything, filling their carts in a panic, even as the first snowflakes were drifting to the ground.

These aren’t well-thought-out shopping trips – they are laying siege to the stores like Huns pillaging a village in Eastern Europe, leaving only destruction and barren shelves in their wake.

Photographs speak a thousand words. Store shelves have been emptied by those who don’t already have enough of a stockpile to get their families through a blizzard.

View image on Twitter

The last multi-state power outage, just about 100 days ago, is clearly a vague memory. It was an event that somehow, did not make enough of an impression on people. For most, it seems that the fervent vows of being better prepared disappeared with the darkness as soon as the lights came back on.

Here are some of the preparedness measures being undertaken across the region.

In Maine

Bryan McDonald pushed a shopping cart heaped with goods while his wife pushed a baby carriage. They have a 7-week-old child to consider. They don’t want to be left unprepared when the storm named Nemo comes to do its thing.

“Water, canned goods, and snacks in case we lose power,” Bryan said. “Those are the main things.”

In Massachusetts

Judy Nielsen of Sturbridge was buying for herself and her husband — both are on a vegan diet. Ms. Nielsen stocked up on vegetables, fruits and water.

“You don’t buy much when you’re eating a lot of vegetables and fruits,” she said. “I don’t buy them for a week, two weeks at a time. I buy them for a couple days at a time, just enough to get through the weekend.”


While people are to be commended for at least going to the store before the storm hits this time, why on earth do they need to, so soon after Sandy? Why do they feel that one trip to the grocery store equals preparedness?

One common statement among the prepping community after Hurricane Sandy was that hopefully, people would begin to see the light and understand the need for preparedness. As a group, many of us expressed the fact that the aftermath of the storm should prove, once and for all, that you truly are on your own after such an event.

We read reports of people standing in line for up to 5 hours for a single MRE and a bottle of water. We heard about apartment dwellers defecating in the hallways. There were photos of people eating from dumpsters. We felt sympathy for the elderly, trapped cold, thirsty and alone at the top of highrises.

Through it all, many had hope that this would be a turning point for the preparedness movement, while others were skeptical that people would accept the event as anything other than an unpleasant blip on their radar of football games, American Idol and weekly manicures.

Judging by the look of the grocery stores in the Northeast, the skeptics were right. The psychological inability to accept that bad things happen, the battle of cognitive dissonance against thinking about a change of reality, and the cultural bias against perceived negativity, have overruled common sense and learning from experience, once again.

Once again, preppers are left, shaking our heads, asking what it will take to wake people up.

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Contributed by Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States.  She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom.  Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

For more news and breaking information visit www.DaisyLuther.com

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  • Anthony

    I have always been prepped because I don’t want to be the one begging to FEMA or running to the super market last second. These thing alway happen but if your a prepper people still think crazy and those people are the one starving. I live in mass so let see how bad the storm gets.

  • spencer

    natures got a way of seperating the wheat from the chaff…so to speak,man is the only creature that tries to subvert it instead of live in balance with it

  • mijj

    Those who have Faith in Capitalism will not suffer.


  • I can recall it used to snow lots. People did not die from it.More Woosiefied society.

    • bb

      I remember those days. The snow seemed so deep and instead of being afraid we always seemed prepared for it. Mom, with her many canned foods and Dad with the outdoor items. We had two fireplaces in our house and even though we heated with gas we always had a stockpile of wood. A Coleman Camping Stove handy on the shelf in the pantry (you know a room in which we kept food stocked & additional supplies). Back then in the “stoneage” 50s & 60s Ha! every family we knew had extra food and no one referred to them or viewed them as potential Terrorist. Life would be a hoot today if it weren’t so sad to see how unprepared people truly are.

      For us as kids it was a vacation day/s school was out and we made an adventure of the experience. The roads were bad and even Dad got to stay home with us. The electricity failed and most furnaces don’t heat well without electricity. But enjoyed time. Life was different back then when everyone I guess would have been considered a “potential terrorist or crazy with a pantry full of food”

      What has happened to my country? Dear God I ask too often these days where did she go and the good people who understood personal responsiblity.

      • SKIP

        ROGER THAT.I remember the huge snow storms (we called them blizzards) when living in Kansas and Missouri when we got several feet of snow and we kids got a few days off of school and never had problems with food and meals were on time and just as good as when there was no snow. Of course, we didn’t have EBT, Sec 8 and all the damn welfare and FEMA bull shit so we HAD to be prepared. We also were not called preppers or terrorists either, we were called neighbors!! an odd civilized concept to be sure now.

      • neslo

        Ponzi printers convinced them that life was easy and consumerism was the way to go.

        I remember days of 3′ snow falls, and we made it an adventure, and shoveled our asses off so we could get to the detached garage (WTF) why detach!

        And somehow we shoveled the whole public sidewalk around the property….to be nice and so someone didnt fall and sue us (that was the thinking even back in the 60’s)

        Now I say take personal responsibility.

  • Locus

    In winter I wonder about the froggies ensconced in their little hibernacula. Bulbous eyes frozen shut, inflaty-bodies stiff, respiration absent. Their internal organs protected from freezing by high concentrations of glucose, how cute is that.

    Dream on little froggies until Spring draws nigh. You shall sing again. Until you croak.

  • spartacus !!!!!!!

    hey daisy ! lighten up ! you are as bad as the idiot’s on the weather channels ! scare the shit out of the masses ! , this is the world that we live in ! preppers !!! , what bullshit ! I have always been prepared for all situations , no matter what! it is called living the give way of life not me, me, me way of life !

  • Locus

    Those who have Faith in Cannibalism will never go hungry.

    • SKIP

      Those with stocked larders and weapons won’t either.

    • SKIP

      Nor will those with a well stocked larder and weapons to defend that with.

  • SKIP

    Sorry about the odd posts sometimes, I am in the mountains of Afghanistan so make some allowances lol

  • moosashi

    I too was shocked at the stories of what these city dwellers were doing.I decided to take recycling a step further and started refilling containers with water since hurricane Irene.The night before sandy,I cooked up a bunch of stuff.Luckily it wasn’t too cold out so the most I suffered from was electronics withdrawal.I cant believe these people don’t know that you can flush a toilet if you have water stored,and one woman was complaining that her food went bad in her fridge after two days.My food was still half frozen after four days in the freezer.Also I heard they sent home all the crews that came from other states to help.My state didn’t,I saw a crew from Kentucky working in my area,I had power in 5-6 days.

  • L.A.

    Darwin’s theory at work.

  • We only had an inch. No hysteria here. Most of the time weather is over hyped. When wind blows things come and go quickly. Glad I can read a weather map. Apps not too helpful.