Another Disaster-Filled Year Coming to an End… Did We Learn Enough from 2018 to Prepare for 2019?

Every once in a while, I’ll hear someone say something like this:

“Extreme weather and other disasters aren’t increasing. It’s just that there’s more media coverage of these events than there used to be.”

I’ll give that statement about 50 percent accuracy. There definitely is more media coverage of extreme weather and other disasters than before.

And occasionally the media will over-exaggerate. They’ll make an inch of snow their lead story on a slow news day. And act like the world is coming to an end.

Truth is… Disasters Are in Fact Increasing

But when it comes to saying that extreme weather and disasters are not increasing in the U.S…. well, the facts say otherwise.

Year after year, things keep getting worse. Hurricanes and other natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more intense. Wildfires are getting bigger and becoming harder to contain. Earthquakes are occurring more often.

More areas of the country are being affected by severe weather than before. Food and water contaminations are more frequent and widespread.

There are also increased attacks against our electrical grid; physical and cyber. Not to mention nuclear threats from state governments, rogue nations and homegrown terrorists.

Taking Many Different Forms

There were an average of six weather and climate disaster events per year from 1980 to 2017. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

But over the past five full years (2013-2017), there have been an average of 11.6 such events per year.

And in 2018, we actually exceeded average. We had Hurricanes Florence and Michael in the summer and fall, and tornadoes in the Southeast in March.

Plus, Western wildfires in the summer and fall, and winter storms in the Northeast, like Winter Storm Avery. And many more.

‘Unprecedented’ Disasters in 2018

Not only were the number of disasters in 2018 higher than average. So was the severity.

ABC News called the 2018 disasters “unprecedented.” They were referring specifically to the most destructive wildfire in California history (Camp Fire). And to the strongest hurricane to hit the East Coast since 1969 (Michael).

Dr. David Easterling; a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), says a hurricane is not necessarily the result of climate change. But wind speeds and flooding can be blamed on warmer temperatures.

“The fact that Florence brought so much flooding was likely due to the warmer atmosphere,” he said.

NOAA Scientist: It’ll ‘Get Worse’

Easterling said he does not expect to see more hurricanes in the near future. Just more powerful ones.

“You’re going to have stronger winds and heavier rain,” he said. “And on top of that, as sea levels continue to rise, the storm surge from those storms will also get worse.”

Unfortunately for the U.S., this means more deaths and destruction of property.

It also means a greater disruption of the supply chain. Including food, water and other life necessities.

Self-Reliance Is the Only Way

Something else that has changed the last couple of years is government aid. Government officials used to tell us we could count on them during life-threatening situations.

Not anymore. After repeated failures by broken FEMA, they’re telling us what we’ve been preaching for years.

The only way to survive is to prepare for emergencies yourself.

Residents in Florida experienced this firsthand after Hurricane Michael. One Florida resident, Barbara Sanders, said, “We’re not getting any help. We need food. It’s just crazy.”

Another resident, Chantelle Goolspy, echoed her statement. “We’re in need of food, water, anything. We’re not getting help.”

It’s becoming more apparent that only Americans who have stockpiled survival food and other supplies will be able to hunker down and ride out the storms heading our way in 2019.

Peace of Mind Follows Preparedness

During these past years, we had more customers than we can count call or write in to tell us how they handled these emergencies.

Some dipped into their survival stashes. Others said they had their supplies ready, but were able to get by without them.

But everyone agreed that having survival preparations ready and waiting gave them peace of mind.

Just like Laura K., who sent me this beautiful note when her 4Patriots survival food arrived at her home in Anchorage, Alaska, the day after the recent earthquake hit:

“It brought a smile and sense of peace to my face when the box was delivered today. We are early in this state of emergency but with having this as a storage and backup plan just makes the day after and to come with a positive feeling and a sense of preparedness. Thank you.”

Thank you, Laura, you truly made our day when we got that message at the office. THAT is why we do what we do.

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