I'm often reminded just how stupid people are, just how clueless they are, and just how helpless they are, by major natural disasters. I'm speaking mostly of the current hurricanes in this case. For example, Galveston TX. The population is told in no uncertain terms "get out." Many people decide to stay. I'm actually fine with that, but if you decide to stay, freakin' prepare for it! Before the storm I hear a reporter on NPR talking to someone who said he was not leaving. The reporter asked him what he has done to prepare, and he said "I got a few cans of tuna and a gallon of water." "Christ on a stick what a moron" I thought. So thousands of people like this bone head decide to stay, are totally unprepared, and put their own lives in danger (which is their right), which created a huge man power drain as the National Guard, and all manner of other first responders have to put their lives in danger to go find these people and rescue them. Others talked about all the stuff they lost. Heard one women talking about all her heirlooms lost when 3 ft of water came in her home, but everything on the second floor was fine! If you know there's a major storm surge coming (and they did) and you have enough notice (which they did) move your sh*& you don't want destroyed to the second floor! It's not rocket science...unless your house is literally ripped off it's foundation - which could happen - you will have greatly increased the probability of your stuff coming through the storm undamaged. If the water makes it all the way up to your second floor, you're screwed, but at least you tried... If you decide to stay during a storm, be prepared! Have at least enough food, water, and supplies for a week or more for the number of people that are staying. Candles, blankets, radio, etc, etc.* If you live in an area where a major storm is not a matter of if, but when, why would you not have all this stuff on hand at all times? Again, I am reminded how clueless and helpless people seem to have become when there's a big rush to the food stores and hardware stores and such literally the day before the storm shows up! What are these people thinking? (a) they are simply in total denial how bad the storm might be (b) they are thinking "if it's really bad, the government will save me!" are the only two lines of thought I can come up with, and neither bode well... Now I live in New England. We don't get hurricanes too often, but we do get major winter storms which can knock out power, burst water pipes, knock down trees, etc. I keep pretty much everything I need to stay in my house or at least a week, probably longer if I had to, without any outside help. None of this stuff is expensive or difficult to find. A few years ago we had a major ice storm that literally brought the region to a total stop, with power down, roads closed, state of emergency declared, etc. Much of the drama and costs were emergency workers trying to get to people who had not prepared in the least for a storm they knew well in advance was coming! Me, I had food, water, candles, gas cans filled for cooking on grill, wood for fire place, etc, etc, and other then being bored silly, was perfectly fine. Has the ability of American's to take care of themselves in basic emergencies - much less truly unexpected emergencies - all but gone? It never fails to amaze me just how clueless people are when it comes to dealing with these issues and they greatly compound the problems of storms and other disasters by being so damn stupid. Sorry, but that's how I feel about it. I'm no survivalist, I am not some special forces type either, just a person who realizes some preparation and a little common sense goes a long way, and if you live in an area that has natural disasters (hurricanes, earth quakes, blizzards, etc, etc) which more or less covers the entire country (hint, hint) either listen to the local authorities when they tell to pack up and get the hell out of Dodge, or take steps to prepare for it. Is that too much to ask? Rant off! * = personally I would always add a means of self defense to that list, but you can make that judgment call for yourself.