When Our Infrastructure Fails Us

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

We Americans have perhaps become more dependent on our infrastructure than any other country upon the Earth. We are the most materialistic society there is, spending the most money and buying the most products of anyone on the planet. We are accustomed to having an infrastructure which provides all our needs, without anything going wrong.

But for those of us who live in Texas, all of that was proven wrong in the last week. As the Polar Vortex extended through the country, it brought unexpected cold weather to Texas. Here in southern Texas, where I live, it has been over 100 years since the last such cold spell. While there have been freezes before, every day of this freeze has broken records, as well as the overall freeze.

Records aren’t the only thing that has been broken. The Texas power grid has been totally unable to meet the needs during this time, leaving 4.3 million people without power for more than 50 hours. The combination of the system not being built for severe cold, coupled with people’s increased need for power led to a cascading problem, where more and more of the state’s power production went off-line, due to either cold weather, lack of electric power or lack of natural gas to run the turbines.

With electrical power down and the cold weather together, much of the state experienced water shortages. Pipes broke in people’s homes and under the streets. A water main in my city broke, spilling 30,000 of water per minute. As I write, four days after this started, they still haven’t been able to find the break.

With all that is happening, people are beginning to panic. When I was in the grocery store on Tuesday, I saw someone grab the last case of water. Other parts of the store were emptying out as well. Today, friend in various parts of the state are posting pictures on Facebook, showing how the grocery store shelves are empty.

So basically large parts of Texas are without electricity, without water and without food, other than what they already have in their homes. About the only thing we don’t have to worry about right now is crime. While criminals may not be the smartest people around, they’re smart enough to stay in when the weather is bad. Yes, bad weather, such as we are experiencing right now, is one of the best deterrents to crime there is.

I’d like to caution you about something here. We can become so fixated on one part of protecting ourselves and our families that we forget about other things we need to do. I don’t know of any specific cases, but I can just about guarantee you there are people here in Texas who are ready to deal with criminals coming in the door, but haven’t got the foggiest idea of how to keep their family warm.

I used to be a Boy Scout and I’ve always thought that their motto said it all, “Be Prepared.” The man who wrote the book that became the first Boy Scout manual was a British serviceman. When he was asked about that motto, what people should be ready for, his answer was “Well, just any old thing.”

Much of my life has been spent on learning how to be prepared for just any old thing. So, while others are concerned about the freezes, the power outages, the food shortages and not having running water, my wife and I are fine. So are my kids and their families, as I’ve taught them what to do as well. I just wonder how many else are all right and how many are suffering.

I can’t stop that suffering. I don’t have the power. I’m not God. All I am is a man with a family, who has decided that I’m not going to be the one caught off-guard by something like a pandemic or an unexpected winter storm. If I can help someone else along the way, so much the better, but my first responsibility is to help my own. Perhaps if more people had that ability, the state of Texas and the country as a whole would be in a lot better place.

Personally, I can’t see how anyone could mock the idea of being a prepper after what we’ve all gone through in the last year. Yet some still do. There are those who would love to shut us out, pushing us to the fringes of society. But that’s not going to happen. We’re here and we’re here to stay. Perhaps it’s time for them to join us, rather than for us to join them.

Stay safe my friends. I know that Texas isn’t the only state suffering right now. We will come though this and when we do, it’ll be time to prepare ourselves for the next disaster to come our way. Just like keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand, we need to be ready just in case there’s another freeze coming in July.

Dr. Rich

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