News from inside Hurricane Harvey:
Local towns are experiencing so much flooding that some are cutting off municipal water supplies.
This is on top of the power grid outages, cell phone outages, store closures and widespread road closures that have taken place here in the last 12 hours.
For the time being, everyone is on their own, with little available outside help. I’ve seen tweets of people pleading to be rescued as their homes flood, and those are the lucky ones who still have bandwidth access. Many people are completely cut off with no services at all: No electricity, no municipal water, no 911 response services, etc. As much as I want to help these people, I can’t even get to them (and neither can anyone else).
Hurricane Harvey is a strong reminder that prepping is the best insurance you can buy. While surrounding areas had no power, I cranked up my John Deere tractor with a PTO generator, providing power to my entire property for the cost of about two gallons of diesel per hour. This tractor-generator setup is virtually EMP-proof as long as you’re using an older tractor, like the one shown below. I call it the “ultimate backup generator” arrangement, and it’s mobile by design (photo courtesy of Steambrite.com)
Quick list of services that have been cut off or FAILED
This is in no way a criticism of emergency response services in Texas, by the way. Governor Abbott is doing a fantastic job, and local responders are also on the ball, saving lives by the hour. Texas has a powerful spirit of survival and preparedness, and that’s why the body count has been so low, given the “end of the world” prognostications we’ve been hearing from the media.
Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, however, this storm is flat-out brutal in terms of the volume of rain it’s dropping on a concentrated area. The flooding is truly reaching apocalyptic levels, and no government, no matter how motivated, can stop a 25-foot wall of water rushing over the banks of a creek or river. (Be sure to follow more news on disaster preparedness at Disaster.news.)
With that in mind, here are some of the services that have been cut off. Let this be a reminder to everyone that in a dire emergency, you may not be able to rely on anyone but yourself. You may be cut off from help just like we’re seeing across much of Texas right now:
- Municipal water is being turned OFF due to rising waters and possible contamination from septic systems (cholera, anyone?)
- Electrical services are failing as winds snap off heavy branches that take down power lines. Local power companies then have to fight the wind and rain to repair lines in extremely low-visibility conditions.
- 911 services are totally overloaded in some areas. Calls are simply going unanswered.
- Emergency responders such as police and sheriff deputies can’t reach you anyway.
- Many ROADS are completely flooded over, bringing transportation to a standstill and causing massive traffic jams.
- Hospitals and emergency rooms are functioning on emergency power, but that only helps if you can reach them.
- Medical transport helicopters are GROUNDED due to extremely high winds and very low visibility. Only Coast Guard pilots are trained to operate military-class helicopters in such conditions. For anybody else, taking to the skies in a helicopter is “power line suicide.”
- Food deliveries to local grocery stories are disrupted, and many shelves have been emptied out. Food supplies may be disrupted for an entire WEEK.
- The entire city of Houston has declared it will shut down for a full week. No government services. No passport processing. No DMV. If you need something from the city of Houston, you’re out of luck.
- Fuel deliveries are also being disrupted, and some gas stations are near empty. Once the roads are usable again, we will quickly see lack of fuel becoming a serious problem.
- Cell phone services are on and off in some areas, mostly due to the density of the rain. This means if you need to call 911, you really can’t. It’s one more reason to be prepared to solve your own problems.
Despite all these failures, we’ve been just fine because we are always prepared with food, water filters, backup power, emergency medicine, self-defense firearms, radios, flashlights and so on.
The people who are hurting the worst are those who are not preppers, and many of those people think “prepping” is “stupid.”
Suddenly the tables are turned, it seems. Over about the last 36 hours, nearly everyone in Texas gradually came to realize that preppers are the real geniuses. Prepping, it turns out, is the best insurance you can buy.
Watch my video report to learn more: