On August 29, Katrina’s storm surge caused 53 different breaches to various flood protection structures in and around the greater New Orleans area, submerging eighty percent of the city. A June 2007 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers indicated that two-thirds of the flooding were caused by the multiple failures of the city’s flood walls. The storm surge also devastated the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, making Katrina the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, and the deadliest hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. The total damage from Katrina is estimated at $108 billion (2005 U.S. dollars).

Biloxi, Miss., September 3, 2005 -- Damage and destruction to houses in Biloxi, Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage all along the Mississippi gulf coast. FEMA/Mark Wolfe

Biloxi, Miss., September 3, 2005 — Damage and destruction to houses in Biloxi, Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage all along the Mississippi gulf coast. FEMA/Mark Wolfe

The death toll from Katrina is uncertain, with reports differing by hundreds. According to the National Hurricane Center, 1,836 fatalities can be attributed to the storm: 1 in Kentucky, 2 each in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, 14 in Florida, 238 in Mississippi, and 1,577 in Louisiana. However, 135 people remain categorized as missing in Louisiana, and many of the deaths are indirect, but it is almost impossible to determine the exact cause of some of the fatalities. A 2008 report by the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal indicates that 966 deaths can be directly attributed to the storm in Louisiana, including out of state evacuees, and another 20 indirectly (such as firearm related deaths and gas poisoning). Due to uncertain causes of death with 454 evacuees, an upper-bound of 1,440 is noted in the paper. A followup study by the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals determined that the storm was directly responsible for 1,170 fatalities in Louisiana.

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According to officials nearly one million people were temporarily without electricity in Louisiana for several weeks. On September 1, 2005, 800,000 homes were without electricity. Numerous roadways were flooded or damaged and many evacuations conducted by boat and helicopter.

A new study conducted by World Net Daily, looked into the overall preparedness level of the American public; what they found is pretty troubling. Almost 50% of the people who were polled said they would not be able to survive for more than 2 weeks without the electricity. An astonishing 75% of them said they would be dead within two months.

What’s most shocking about the survey, is the fact that most Americans realize how unprepared they are, but are still not willing to take the steps they need to take to ensure their survival. If you know you would be dead in a matter of weeks, doesn’t it make sense to do something to safeguard yourself from that threat?

The threat is very real, and experts are growing concerned over the possible failure of our infrastructure!

Taking responsibility for your own well-being – not luxuries, but life saving things – is very empowering. Yes, some very bad stuff might happen. This is what you need to keep in mind:

The more PREPARED you are, the more chances of survival. It’s as simple as that!

Start with 4 essential basics and build from there:

Water

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Having bottled water and a sustainable water supply is very important. According to the Red Cross, every person should have at least 1 gallon on drinking water per day. Shoot for having a water supply that can get you through a week without electricity. You’ll need to figure out how many gallons to have on hand, depending on the size of your household.

Consider keeping powdered drinks on hand as well, like hot chocolate, tea, instant coffee, and a vitamin supplement. If it’s feasible, keeping a stock of electrolyte drinks like Gatorade are great to keep around to soothe a queasy stomach or to help stabilize the bodies electrolytes.

It is also highly recommended that you have a portable water filter or purifier in case you need to evacuate your home, plus one that is with you if you are at work or traveling. Katadyn makes portable filters that are lightweight and good for thousands of gallons of filtering – they are the most field maintainable portable filters available and are used by our military and special forces personnel for a reason.

Food

If there was a serious natural disaster (hurricanes, solar super-storms, earthquakes) or even an interruption in the food-supply chain due to an economic upheaval, it is going to be up to you to supply yourself and your family with food. Gardening, hunting and fishing are great, but having a ready supply of food on hand will be critically important. There are great freeze-dried and dehydrated foods for long term storage (and they taste good too!). You can also store canned goods, can your own food, and stock up on extra dry goods at the grocery store.food-supply-prepper-web

It is good to have staples like sugar, salt, honey, spices, pastas and comfort foods to supplement your canned goods and long term storage foods. For canned goods and things like flour and rice you will want to rotate it so what you have stored is always fairly new.

For those of you who want to find more informations on how to prepare for a disaster, can teach and learn much more from The Lost Ways. It comes at a step-by step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you the lost ways of our ancestors. You will find old recipes, methods of dehydrating food and many other tips.

Light

When a blackout hits, you never want to be caught unawares and unprepared. Thus, it is a great idea to have multiple alternative light sources on hand to help you survive without electricity for an extended period of time. Having candles is a great and inexpensive way to give off light when a power outage occurs. However, candles should always be monitored in small spaces and are not great for long-term solutions.

lanternsIf you’re going to rely on candles, be sure to keep extra matches and lighters on hand. Keeping flashlights and battery-operated lanterns on hand are a great option when in the midst of a blackout. Just be sure to have extra batteries on hand. You can even break out a kerosene lantern to really shed some light when you need to brightly light an area. Just be sure to have extra kerosene on hand.

If you’re looking to go off grid and want a long-term alternative light source to permanently replace your use of electrical lighting, it is a good idea to plan and construct a new lighting system to mimic life with electrical wiring. If you do invest in a bicycle generator, you can use that to power the light in your house. Kerosene lanterns are a viable option that will provide good flood lighting within your home.

Emergency Kit

Even though you might have a first aid kit at home, you should also have a smaller, personal first aid kit in your car or at work which would enable you to attend to minor cuts or scratches (or worse) before you could get back home. We always suggest getting the best first aid kit you can afford for your home kit and your car kit. If things really hit the fan, that first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death – yours or someone else’s.

Blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, extra matches, a radio, sanitation items like Purel and toilet paper, a small sewing kit, a utility knife like a Swiss Army, a can opener that doesn’t require electricity, and at least a weeks supply of personal medications along with over the counter pain medications. Having a set of spare clothes for each member of your household is important too. Layers are best, since you never know what time of year a power outage will hit.

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It’s important to have copies of important documents stored in a safe location that you can access quickly and easily. Making copies of your passports, birth certificates, drivers licenses, medical information and proof of address. Make sure that you have complied a list of emergency contacts in case of an emergency.

For those of you who believe that a first aid kit is not enough, I recommend you watch this video.

So if you’re either just wanting to be prepared and survive a few days without electricity or if you want to leave the modern dependency on electrical power behind to live a life without electricity, we hope that this extensive guide has given you the tool you need to get started.

 

Other useful resources:

Pioneer Survival - Lessons We Should All Learn
Alive After The Fall (Advice onto handling crisis situations )
US Water Revolution (Have Plenty of Water when others don't have any!)
Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)
Liberty Generator (Easy to build your own off-grid free energy device)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)
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