It’s Too Late To Prepare Once An Emergency/Catastrophe/Zombies Strike

Every day there is a news report about a catastrophe somewhere in the world. Flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, zombies, dam breaks, landslide, power outage, vampires, forest fire, you name it. If you talk to people who’ve been through a catastrophe, the common refrain you hear is: I wish I had been better prepared!

We had a carpenter in our house the other day looking at some windows that needed work in one of the upper bedrooms. He noted the emergency window ladder we had underneath in a box and said: “You must have had been a fire sometime.” We asked why he said that. He said he only saw those ladders in houses, as a volunteer fireman, owned by people who’d been in one and learned they needed it.

We’ve never had a fire in our house, but we could look out the window and see it was needed. Take a look around your house now. Can you safely get out every window?

The other day I was watching news about an area that was suffering widespread flooding and it’s just another reminder that IT’S TOO LATE to prepare once the disaster strike.

Our house did flood one time. Not on Hilton Head Island, where the entire island is considered a flood zone. But in Boulder, CO. At over a mile high, on top of a ridgeline. It started raining one day very heavily for about four hours straight. Then, suddenly, the water table simply rose up. They’re not called the Rocky Mountains for nothing. Water simply poured into our basement through the walls. I would imagine pretty much every house in Boulder that has a basement is flooded now. Some things stick out about that flood.

You can only get into Longmont via I-25 — all other roads were shut. Some of the mountain towns along the foothills were completely cut off and the way the roads were getting washed away, were isolated for quite a while. How many people there had 30 days worth of food? Fuel to cook with? How many had grab-n-go (aka bugout) bags packed when they had to evacuate.

Not long ago another place we used to live, Whidbey Island, suffered a large landslide. I wrote the Survival Guide there because I knew we were in a high earthquake zone (many times greater than the San Andreas Fault). I could look out my office window and see where the tip of Camano Island had fallen off into Puget Sound during an earthquake. According to local legend, a number of Native Americans digging for oysters in the tidal flats off Hat Island were killed by the resulting tsunami.

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I look at the pictures from every catastrophe and people are doing crazy things and also great things. I see neighbors pitching in and helping each other. During the flood, a man went to every basement apartment in his building and made sure everyone was awake. But I also saw a picture of a guy with an extension cord standing in water so he can hook up a pump. People driving through standing water — right next to pictures of cars over-run by water. People playing in moving water. My team sergeant taught us the power of water prior to our deployment to Danish Combat Swim School. We were off the coast of Maine and he had us swim landward, but into the mouth of a river. So as we’re finning toward land, we’re actually being pushed out to sea, because we couldn’t defeat the current.

Water is tremendously powerful. Truly. At Ft. Hood you’d pass these markers in every dip you drove down showing high water marks during flash floods and listing how many people had died in them. Yet there wouldn’t be a drop of water in the gully.

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Today I’ve unpacked my large GNG bag, shaking out the sleeping bag, checking the air mattress, the food, the water, the purification tablets, test-fired, cleaned and oiled my survival rifle, checked the rounds, fired up the small stove, made sure I had plenty of fuel, replaced batteries even though they had some juice in them. I checked all my handcrank devices, especially my survival radio. Then I did the same with the supplies in my Jeep and house. I ordered another med kit. A better waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag (waterproofing gear is essential!). I still have a pile of small supplies on my shopping list. The key is to get them NOW! It’s too late to get this stuff while or after the disaster hits. In the Survival Guide I list and give links to lots of gear. I love using Amazon Prime to order stuff, with free shipping and two day delivery.

Start today and you can have most of what you need by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. For people somewhere in the country it’s too late. Don’t make it too late for you and your family.

Originally published at on March 17, 2016.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to

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