The official start of Winter has come at a steep cost as more than 60 are already dead across America from Winter Storm Elliot, with the numbers expected to rise as people who live alone, some still without electricity, could have passed with no one knowing yet.
The USA Today wonders if some of those deaths may have been preventable, while offering their take of three reasons they believe the storm was so deadly.
Officials may have waited too long to ban travel, hurricane-force winds create deadly conditions, and People weren’t prepared and infrastructure is aging.
I beg to differ on their claim that there are only “three” reasons, because aging infrastructure and being unprepared are two very separate issues.
As ANP readers know, preparation is key to survival when sh*t hits the fan. While to many a SHTF scenario is like a doomsday scenario, any deadly situation to which one is unprepared for is a SHTF situation, at least for the people left without the capability to survive.
With an entire winter to still get through, we’ll deal with the preparation part after discussing the issue of America’s infrastructure, because storms like Elliot aside, we are also dealing with continued attacks against out nations power structure, specifically sub-stations.
In the USA Today story, via MSN News, they talk about the infrastructure in Buffalo, NY, where nearly 40 people died, being aged and unreliable in a storm of this nature.
Buffalo is one of the country’s poorest cities. Countless residents lack the infrastructure and amenities needed to withstand such a devastating blizzard. Meanwhile, funding for public facilities has been uneven, and feeble power grids have left many without electricity for days.
Mark Wysocki, a New York State climatologist and meteorologist at Cornell University, said aging infrastructure – both in public facilities and people’s homes – may have fueled the storm’s death toll. Individuals may have fled their houses because of faulty electricity, for example, only to get stuck in a white-out without having prepared.
Wysocki stressed it is important to store blankets, flashlights and hoses in the car during the winter. People who are stuck should run their cars periodically but not continuously to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, he said.
The fact is the entire nation’s infrastructure is old and vulnerable, and has not received the proper funds from congress to update and strengthen the power grids, and/or substations. While our infrastructure continues to age, the population continues to grow, leaving us with the logical conclusion that we will see more situations such as what we have just witnessed in Buffalo and in other areas around the country.
The vulnerabilities are not limited to the age of the infrastructure, but also to attacks which have become more frequent, as we are now up to 11 attacks on power grid sub-stations since mid-November. All of which caused massive power outages.
The most recent attacks happened once again in Washington against three sub-stations, on Christmas Day, knocking the power out for “thousands of customers in the region.”
From The Week US, via MSN:
“America’s electrical grid is under attack. Christmas Day attacks on electrical substations in Washington ‘knocked out power to thousands of customers in the region,’ The New York Times reports — part of a string of attacks in the Pacific Northwest dating back to mid-November. Those outages were similar to an early December assault on a North Carolina electrical station that left 45,000 customers without power. ‘Physical and computerized assaults on the equipment that delivers electricity are at their highest level since at least 2012,’ Politico reports…..”
Think about it, if a major snow storm and Blizzards are killing people, many of which temporarily lost electricity, what happens in a total grid down scenario, especially during winter months?
There are more than 55,000 electric substations in the United States, and their vulnerability “has long been a source of concern for authorities warning about domestic terrorism,” CNN reports. The American grid is decentralized, which does make it more difficult for attackers to knock out power to the entire country. But those substations are often not terribly secure: “Many of the nation’s 55,000 substations are blocked only by chain-link fences, and the equipment is easily accessible once within the fencing,” CBS News reports. The hodge-podge of companies and electricity providers that make up the national power system — more than 3,000 different entities — means that there is “no single agency responsible for managing the resilience of the power grid.” That makes regional and local power failures more likely.
This right here is why Independent Media constantly reminds people to prepare. Critics claim it is to “make money” selling items, and granted many of us are affiliates and do earn a small percentage from sales.
Anyone thinking that percentage “pays the bills” is clearly not an affiliate themselves because it doesn’t, hence the ads and the donation messages, just to keep ANP online.
So no, the reason for focusing on preparation and encouraging readers to prepare, is for the sole purpose of saving lives. Anything else is just a bonus.
PREPARATION IS KEY TO SURVIVAL
As ANP is an Independent Media website that dedicates a significant amount of time on prepping stories, readers pretty much know what has to be done to prepare to shelter in place if a weather even like Elliot occurs, and if in an area where grids and/or substations are attacked rendering entire regions without electricity.
With that said, we do see new names in the comment sections, and know new readers visit us every day, some of which not preppers, so with the recent deaths, some of which were entirely preventable, now is the time for newcomers, and those that have been procrastinating, to get the basics taken care of.
First and foremost, if at all possible budget-wise, a generator. Even if it is just used to keep perishables good and for space heaters an electric blankets.
Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start, Transfer Switch Ready, Gas and Propane Powered, CARB Compliant
WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant
DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator, Yellow/Black
ALLPOWERS 300W Portable Power Station, 288Wh Backup Battery Power Supply with Pure Sine Wave 110V AC Outlets, Portable Solar Generator for Home Use Outdoor Camping Travel RV Emergency
BALDR Portable Power Station 330W, Portable Solar Generators for home use, Emergency Lithium Battery with QC3.0 & Type C, 110V AC Outlet for Outdoor RV Camping Travel
DBPOWER Portable Power Station, 178Wh/250W Lithium Ion Battery Solar Generator with 110V AC Outlet for Home Outdoor Camping Adventure Travel Fishing Emergency Backup Power Supply
Without electricity, and no generator, electric space heaters won’t work, so propane heaters would be a good investment. Remember, one room can be used to hunker down in, so multiple heaters are not necessary if the budget is tight.
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
Mr. Heater MH18B Propane Heater, Red
Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT
Outdoor Patio Heater Propane Heater – 87 In 48000 BTU CSA Certified Gas Steel Floor-standing Liquid Propane Outdoor Heater with Heater Cover Pulley Accessories
Craftsman CMXEHAO80FAK Forced Air Kerosene Heater, Red
Sengoku Kerosene Heater, White
Another great idea for those without a generator, are portable stoves, or wood stoves, where one can cook, and keep warm using the same item.
SOON CAMP INOUT PORTABLE STOVE For Indoor Outdoor Versatile Wood Burning Camping Stove, 3-Types Transfromer Portable Brazier At Camping, Picnic, Indoor, Outdoor, Anywhere for BBQ, Grilling, Cooking Includes Storage Bag, Grilled Pan, Cookware tray
DDSS Indoor Wood-Burning Heating Stove, Thickened Cast Iron Rural Heating Stove, Smokeless Cooker, Energy Power Saving
Ashley Hearth AW3200E-P 3,200 Sq. Ft. EPA Certified Pedestal Wood Burning Stove with Blower, Black
The basics are things most people already have, especially preppers and survivalists, but given the colder than normal weather predictions for 11 U.S. regions, it may be prudent to have extras.
Thick Warm Socks – A must for me year round.
Warm Blankets – Cheap and you can have a couple in each room.
Fingerless Gloves – Indoor, these do keep yours hands feeling warmer.
Don’t forget long johns…………..
WEERTI Thermal Underwear for Men, Long Johns Base Layer Fleece Lined Top Bottom
Thermajane Long Johns Thermal Underwear for Women Fleece Lined Base Layer Pajama Set Cold Weather
Another things some forget is electric blankets. Yes, electricity is projected to become even more expensive, and states and/or companies start rationing gas for those that use heating oil or natural gas, but the cost of using an electric blanket is minimal compared to using electric or gas to heat your entire home.
Bedsure Heated Blanket Electric Throw – Soft Fleece Electric Blanket, 6 Heat Settings Heating Blanket with 4 Time Settings, 3hrs Timer Auto Shut Off
Sunbeam Royal Ultra Mushroom Heated Blanket
Each time a major weather even occurs we see the aftermath and in many cases, lives would have saved with proper preparation. We see store shelves stripped at the last minute because people weren’t already stocked up in the event of disaster. We see families in homes that lose electric, in the midst of a winter storm, and they are forced to leave their homes, risking their lives, because they didn’t prepare ahead of time.
Make no mistake, I am no blaming the victims, because more often then not the media downplays the severity of what is coming. The MSM never puts out article that not only describe the event coming, but offers solutions that could save lives.
As always, we encourage readers to share their ideas, tips, links, and resources, and if they have something more affordable they are aware of, share it, because while we do make a small percentage of the links above, it truly doesn’t matter where you get your preps from, what matters is you do get them.