“What we do best is to stand there and look ugly.”

This situation around the fires in California reinforces something that many have known, but the majority seems to blissfully deny. Civilization is a fragile thing, and most are unprepared for even a partial collapse. Hellbent bikers provide security to Camp Fire evacuees at Chico church.

These evacuees aren’t street savvy, [Hellbent 823 chapter President Matt “Straws” Strausbaugh] said, “Two weeks ago their lives weren’t going in a direction that involved living in tents on the street.”

So the first task for the Hellbent club was to remove anyone who was threatening victims, causing trouble or scaring the children. Then, Strausbaugh said, “We switched from eject mode to protect mode.”

They had never contemplated the fact that they might have to stand up to addicts, and people threatening them or their children. And they were completely unprepared to do so when the situation arose. Enter the bikers, who take pride in standing up to people.

Craig Dunbar, with Hellbent 82 North, rattled off some of the dozen-plus clubs that have been volunteering their time and protection services. Their names are as colorful as their jackets; a few include the Jus Brothers from Oroville and Stockton, Sons of Hell out of Redding and the Street Outlaws from Red Bluff, Notorious from Chico, Henchmen and Hessians from San Joaquin, Curb Crawlers from Yuba City, Hells Angels from Sacramento and Dunbar’s fellow Hellbent brothers from Vallejo and Sacramento.

And he makes care to mention the Resurrection Motorcycle Club from Paradise, who nearly all lost their homes but have still been assisting with security.

Prepping for a disaster is as much about the idea as it is about having supplies. The “good citizens” mentioned in this piece are mostly unprepared – no supplies, no plans, no grit.

They didn’t know to try and keep the IV drug users away from their kids. The bikers found people shooting-up and discarded needles near where that kids were playing. The good citizens aren’t used to thinking about security; they take the security offered by society for granted.

People say that Thomas Hobbes was an unrealistic pessimist. But I think the state of that church/shelter before the bikers reestablished some level of order was exactly described by Hobbes’ State of War.

During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.

To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.

No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Hat tip to Wirecutter.

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Where Is This Authority Specified?

Nanny state has to tell you how to live your life. Sheriff bans alcohol sales after Hurricane Michael. ‘People need to not focus on drinking.’.

Officials in Bay and Gulf counties have banned the sale and distribution of alcohol until the state of emergency is over — except for residents of Panama City, whose leaders voted Thursday to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., according to al.com.

What. The. Fuck.

And the sheriff in question should be told to get packing come the next election. In the meantime he needs to focus on people actually breaking the law. People just lost everything, and you don’t think they might want a drink. You heartless bastard.

Hat tip to Wirecutter, who notes…

Banning the sale of a legal product? Seriously?
One more reason to add alcohol to your preps.

How Long Should You Expect to Wait For Help From the .gov After a Disaster?

It is strange to see an article about prepping in Wired. The Science Behind Home Disaster Preparedness Kits Is a Disaster.

Wired is a Left-leaning publication, so they are all upset that “You might be telling people that they have to rely on themselves and their neighbors and not the government.”

Everybody from the Feds on down agrees you need to be prepared. But not many are.

Government agencies don’t have the money to send a fire truck to every house after an earthquake or hurricane. People have to be able to help themselves.

But what to put in the kits, how many days to plan for varies widely.

A couple of years ago things got even more complicated. In 2016 the Washington Military Department, essentially that state’s National Guard, ran an exercise called Cascadia Rising. The idea was to simulate a response to an earthquake and subsequent tsunami emanating from the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest, subject of a much-read New Yorker article from the previous year. “Cascadia Rising was a massive eye-opener,” says Karina Shagren, spokesperson for the Washington Military Department. “We realized there would be pockets of communities that won’t receive help for several days, if not several weeks.” Washington’s coastal communities would lose the bridges that connect them to the rest of the world. They’d have to wait for help by air or sea.

Washington State now recommends that you are prepared to be on your own for 14 days. The Federal .gov is still saying “more than 3 days.” Most people aren’t even prepared for that.

Wired gets wound up in Social Justice, worried that poor people can’t afford to prepare. But canned food, if you rotate through things you like doesn’t have to cost any extra. You don’t need to buy expensive dehydrated food. Yes, if you need to evacuate, cans are heavy, but do your kids have a wagon? Do you have a non-electric can-opener? Do you already own some sturdy walking shoes? A backpack?

The article even makes some valid observations.

Is there stuff you should probably definitely have access to in your home? Sure. Copies of personal identification documents. Prescription medications. A good whistle. Lightsticks. Water purification tech. A crowbar. (The time you need a crowbar is the time you really, really need a crowbar.)

Water purification is key. You can survive quite a while without food, if you aren’t trying to march 20 miles a day. But you need water. Continue reading

Hurricane Florence: You Should Be Prepared

If you live in hurricane country, you should have been prepared in March, but since probably less than 10% thought about it, now would be a good time. Hurricane FLORENCE: Public Advisory Number 43

This is looking like a major hurricane, and there are days for it to strengthen.

Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday night, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

The image is from GOES East satellite imagery tropical storm floaters. It is from 10 Sep 2018 at 2:30 UTC. It is a collection of long-wave infrared images given the Rainbow Image Enhancement. (It is one of the better views at night, when visual spectrum isn’t such a good choice.) Click to enlarge.

People won’t prepare. They won’t evacuate when told to do so. They will remember the last tropical storm, or category 1 hurricane and think it wasn’t that bad. It’s what people do. And maybe this storm will swing north out into the Atlantic. (They can’t predict the weather, not between now and Friday.) Or maybe it will be Helene that strikes the Eastern Seaboard as a major hurricane. Or maybe none of them. But it isn’t if, it’s when the next storm will hit. Which is why you should be prepared.

When Hurricane Gordon Comes Ashore in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi or Florida…

The fact that no one is preparing, or getting the hell out of Dodge, will be all Trump’s fault. (Either that or it will be Bush’s fault.) Tropical Storm Gordon Public Advisory.

Gordon is currently a tropical storm. At 1500 UTC it was about 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi river, heading northwest at 15 miles per hour.

The GOES satellite imagery shows that the storm is strengthening.

Even though they are predicting up to 5 feet of storm surge in some areas, no one will evacuate. Even though a huge swath of territory could experience as much as 8 inches of rain (and the flash flooding that goes with that) no one will evacuate. Because I sort of remember a hurricane in Texas, but did it really do that much damage? And besides, evacuating so much WORK.

If (when?) someone is in trouble because they didn’t prepare or evacuate, it will be all the .gov’s fault and in particular, Trump’s fault. (Or Bush’s fault.)

If and when Gordon becomes a hurricane in the next 24 hours, it will be the 4th Atlantic hurricane this year. (The 3rd which is a category 1 hurricane, is currently churning in the Atlantic.)

Potential for Earthquakes in the SF Bay Area Should Not Be a Surprise to Anyone

The Hayward Fault, in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay (Running through Berkley and Fremont) has a major earthquake every 100 to 220 years. It has been 150 years since the last one. The Haywired scenario, OR OutsmartDisaster.com.

When the federal government is telling you that you should be prepared for a disaster, you might want to listen. The video below is from the United State Geologic Survey (in part). FEMA will tell you that you are going to be on your own for AT LEAST 3 days. In a situation like this – where bridges may be destroyed – it could be longer. (AT LEAST not Maximum).

But I doubt that 3 percent of the people in the San Francisco Bay Area have any kinds of preparations or plans. Prepping is too “right wing” or something. So like when Super Storm Sandy hit New York, they will be shocked to find they can’t use their smart phone to buy a coffee, because the internet is broken.

Hat tip to Blue Collar Prepping.

Stop The Bleed

There seems to be a concerted effort to teach people basic trauma first aid. Blue Collar Prepping: Stop the Bleed

Details at the link including a resource to find local classes. There are several offered near me (at local hospitals and a few fire stations) that are free. I suppose I will sign up.

The top cause of preventable death in trauma is bleeding. 20% of people who have died from traumatic injuries could have survived with quick bleeding control.

It has been a very long time since I had a first aid class, though I do carry a fairly extensive kit in my vehicle. I think anyone who spends time a range should be prepared for accidents. They do happen. Or is that negligent discharges?