Friday, October 10, 2014

Failure to plan

"Failure to plan is to plan to fail."

I found this essay at The Organic Prepper to be well written and to capture several key ideas.

The top layer talks about quickly accepting the reality of the moment and getting off the X.  Having a plan that is formulated during the cool, calm time between crisis is pivotal to overcoming denial. Making a plan gives your mind permission to accept that the fickle finger of fate might just fling booger your way. 

Getting off the X is like riding a bicycle.  Moving forward, even when it is not in the optimum direction, is necessary to riding a bike.  Once forward motion is achieved, then steering can happen.  Even if the plan is less than gets you moving forward.

The second layer down discusses the inconvenient fact that societal failure will be multi-dimensional.  Robust systems are interconnected.  They are mutually supportive.  The downside is that grossly overloading one element will also severely strain, perhaps break, many others.

An illustration: 
A failure of a transformer farm will take down a chunk of the grid.  Pumping stations will not be able to deliver clean water to your tap.  Waste water treatment plants will not be able to sanitize the waste that makes it to the sewage plant.  Both water issues will increase people's exposure to diarrhea causing microbes.  Loss of power will mean loss of heat as furnaces shut down with no "controls" power or no power to run fans...thereby causing the heat exchangers to overheat.  Loss of heat in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver or Kansas City during the winter will cause plumbing to freeze, shattering the pipes so the return of water pressure will damage buildings and destroy insulation.

You probably are not the property manager for a skyscraper in Chicago, but you live in a building somewhere.  Do you have a plan to sail through a two or three week power outage?  If you plan to merrily run your generator have you figured out how much gasoline that will take?  Where will you draw the line when a neighbor(s) just wants to recharge his cell phone, lap top, or run an extension cord to run his freezer, air conditioner.....

Bugging Out

This is where the ERJ family has the big fail.  I can only think of one scenario that would cause us to "bug-out", and that would be a containment vessel failure on a nuke plant 90 miles upwind of us.

Eaton Rapids is solidly mid-Western and is very boring.  The mid-West is simply not that vulnerable to natural disasters. At least not the kind that give enough warning such that one can get out of their way. 

We don't  get hurricanes or earthquakes.  We are humid and don't have much standing dead wood so wild fires are not likely.  My house has an elevation that is 25 feet above the closest open water.  Racial strife is a slight possibility but bugging out would likely require travel through areas that are at greater risk.  Tornadoes do not give much warning are and are not worth dodging.  Extreme cold weather is extreme only if one is a slave to fashionable clothing. 

Escaping political oppression would require finding a better country (good luck) and then moving there.

Regardless of the reason, becoming a refugee has no appeal to me.  Given the prevailing W-S-W winds in the continental US, there is little point in moving in any direction other than south in the event of that nuke letting go.  There is little point in moving less than 200 miles.  A prudent person should have three routes: Interstates, state highways, and back-roads that avoid large towns...and they should have a destination.

1 comment:

  1. History Channel hypothetical depiction of what could happen if an ebola-like pandemic hit the US.