It Happened to Us, It CAN Happen to You, Too
By Bob McCauslin
all rights reserved
Over and over we hear the same thing at conventions and when we speak to others regarding the importance of getting prepared for what might happen in the future. “It will never happen here…”
This can be looked at many ways, but from personal experience, I’ll tell you it CAN, and if you haven’t started preparing well ahead of time, you will not be able to handle it when it comes.
My wife and I have been preparing our family in the event of a disaster for approximately 10 years We have all the basics covered and are well connected regarding weather forecasts and advance information regarding most potential natural disasters because of what I do for a living. None of this prevents some events that may occur during the course of our lives. In our case – it was hurricane Irma which changed direction during the night putting our location in about as bad a place as it could have been short of initial landfall.
However, AFTER the storm we were as well prepared as we could have been. We chose to maintain our flood insurance when many of those similarly affected either chose to quit paying their flood insurance along the way, or chose to never purchase it in the first place. Our choice to pay for this insurance is currently ensuring that our personal losses are minimized. The devastation around us to those that didn’t make this choice is truly heartbreaking.
Our choice to ensure we had a back-up place to stay, a supply of food stored, survival equipment all paid off as we dealt with our issues, was a true blessing because many around us had nothing.. We at Trading Post in the Woods are experienced first responders who have responded to numerous disasters, yet in a split moment, we ourselves became victims of a disaster. We were suddenly living firsthand in the chaos we so many times had helped others to survive. We were in a Federal Disaster Zone and those around us who were not prepared experienced the chaos and all the expense that goes with it. Most still are.
However, our pre-planning and investment in supplies spared us from the havoc others had to go through. While they were/are trying to get food, water, medical assistance, shelter, etc. we are moving on, even if we haven’t been completely insulated from the heartaches associated with loss of important personal items due to the flooding itself. But the single most important thing we prepared for was the ability to take care of health issues by storing up alternatives to pharmaceutical responses to every health issue. In all our response efforts we learned that this area was vitally important, and also an area most people are not prepared to handle because they do not have the proper supplies or knowledge. Though this particular event didn’t result in a complete loss of all local medical resources (many disasters to which we have responded did), we made certain that we would not only have the skills, but the alternatives we would need to handle whatever illness or injuries we may have to face in any situation when we had to be our own doctor. In our specific case, our alternatives made the health issues almost a non-event.
My wife and I woke up to rising water levels outside our home from a storm that was supposed to be a moderately heavy rain event and nothing more. Putting proof to the old adage that hurricanes are extremely unpredictable. Irma had changed direction just north of Naples, FL and placed us in a position that magnified the rain and storm surge, greatly reducing drainage, and causing places well off the coast to flood. Some areas away from the coastline flooded up to 5 feet of water inside their homes. Thankfully, ours wasn’t one of those, but it was bad enough to have to completely gut the interior and throw away pretty much all furniture, appliances, and contents that were lower than a 4’ above the floor line. (For those unfamiliar, there are standards that specify how many inches above the water line that must be removed in repairs.)
At 6:15 am, when the water began coming in under the doors and through the walls, we did what we could and then waited for a chance to safely leave the house and go to a safer place. That chance did not come for about 6 hours. I cannot begin to explain the agony of having to wait it out with the water level rising up my legs, worrying that I had put my wife in danger by not evacuating before the storm, having to make decisions on what to put on top of other possessions to try to protect them from the rising water. I knew that each item used to put something else in a safer condition was tantamount to throwing it away. It hurts. It hurts worse later when you find all the really important things that you overlooked; our wedding album which cannot be replaced, precious gifts from our children and others we love, some who have passed, memories gone, computers that had important files on them and a total uncertainty whether I had a backup in a safe place. And this is just the beginning.
What I can tell you is that our alternatives saved us an untold measure of health issues that many others dealt with or continue to deal with and may have to do so for days, weeks, even months. Immediately upon returning to our home after the water receded, we began diffusing essential oils throughout our home to eliminate many issues we know to be in that filthy flood water. The two specific oils we used are called ‘Purify’ and ‘OnGuard’. Both are blends of oils and the names are proprietary. ‘Purify’ provides protection against germs and microbes, air and odor cleansing, and allergies. ‘OnGuard’ provides protection against staph, strep and coughs, an antiseptic cleaner, fungal and parasitic infections and many other things that the water had teaming in it. (Look back through Trading Post archived articles to find articles on the nasty stuff found in flood water.) Every morning and every night we refilled our diffusers and kept them running as close to 24/7 as we were able. The result was that we had no mold growing on our walls except a few spots in the back corners of closets where there was minimal airflow, and much of it in the garage where we didn’t put a diffuser.
In addition, we used our homeopathic remedies for protection every morning and evening as we spent over a week, removing trash and what we could salvage of our possessions for 12-14 hours each day, all the while in and around the wet things or what was left behind until we finally removed all flooring, drywall and insulation. The specific Simple Survival brand homeopathic remedies we used were Bowel-Digestion, Breath Ease, Cold-Sinus, Fever-Infection, Inflammation, Parasites, Stress-Panic (we experienced a lot of it), and Bites-Stings (I didn’t keep my eyes open and waded through a floating ball of fire ants while turning off power before evacuation). We additionally ensured we used Myrrh, Frankincense, Oregano and OnGuard on the soles of our feet twice daily for additional health protection, and a variety of oils to cover the after-affect stench of the flood waters and sewage.
I titled this article “It Happened to Us, It Can Happen to You, Too!” for a reason. Too many I have talked with are living in denial. Natural disasters can, and DO, affect preppers the same as non-preppers. The difference is that the preppers have considered the possibility ahead of time and taken steps to be ready after the fact to get on with life with minimal uncertainty and impact. Fires, floods, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards; the list goes on but regardless of type of disaster, the devastation after the fact is remarkably similar. Have you taken steps to be ready for whatever man or nature can throw at you?
Most people choose to ensure their home, their car, their life by buying insurance and never think twice about the cost because they want to protect their loved ones in case the unthinkable happens. Yet few people prepare for the disaster events that are increasingly occuring.: floods, tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and unfortunately mass shootings and terrorist attacks. Those who do prepare, we have found (in all our response efforts) that their medical kits and skills were lacking because they purchase a pre-assembled kit that does not cover most health issues in a disaster nor did they acquire the knowledge or skill on how to use what they had in their bags. (Just think about it, what will you do if an event occurs leaving you with no doctors offices, no hospitals, and no pharmacies – we have seen it happen)
What I want to share with you from all my experience and that of our team’s is that most people in a disaster area do not have broken bones, need stitches, etc. Instead you have to be able to handle fevers, allergies, infections, stomach issues like food poisoning or dysentery, epidemics, etc You’ve read my story, seen the benefits of my preparations, and now is the time to take action for yourself and your family as an insurance policy.
As we’ve said many times before; please start on the road to preparedness if you haven’t already. We can help you if you don’t know where to start.
As I close this article, I note we are coming into the traditional holiday gift-giving season for the majority. I urge you to consider a new way of gifting this season; give the gift of alternatives and training to your loved ones this year instead of another toy or electronic device that will lose favor or go obsolete in a month. Alternatives may not make them jump for joy the moment they open them (though it does for some) but trust us, it will be highly appreciated if/when they need to help themselves or their family either on a regular daily basis or when no doctor can be found.
Preparation – a beautiful gift for what truly matters.