Thursday, January 21, 2010

Comments on Haiti

Hello Ferfal,

   I have bought and read your book.  It's a great read dealing with real world experience and not a "End-of-Days Doom Scenerio".  However, I was curious if you had a any comments on the crisis in Haiti?  I know Haiti is a fourth world country but it did have a shell of infrastructure.  Now that Port-Au-Prince is destroyed it's obvious that society has completely melted down and it's a complete SHTF scenario.

   In comparison to Hurricane Katrina, if there is some sort of natural disaster it looks like your on your own until things stabilize.

  Just curious if you had any personal observations from news footage.



Hi Don,
One of the mottos I've been keeping in mind for some time now is:

"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple--and wrong,"

First, money. If you read my book you probably know how I feel about money. While for many survivalist experts money is just small pieces of useless paper, (except for when they cash it in themselves that is) money and finances makes a difference in Haiti as well.

The terrible images we see contrast with another reality not too far away from those same places: The upscale neighborhoods, with security, and well built homes where, in spite of the problems, people are doing much better.

Another thing I noticed, a man with a laptop connected to his car, he was offering phone calls through skype at 50 cents per call. Not bullets or pelts, he was asking for money.
Looters? Many stealing objects to sell. 
My point is even with people starving and dieing all around them, money still makes the world go around.
Then of course, the basic, prime need of havings the "Lwas of 3" covered: Shelter, water and food.
3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food (give or take before you die)

The situation in Haiti is worth several more posts.

Check this thread out over at Grabtheapple forum.( Your Haiti bag)


Anonymous said...

3 hours without shelter and you die??!

I have been outside for 2 and a half hours!!

Anonymous said...

"Then of course, the basic, prime need of havings the "Lwas of 3" covered: Shelter, water and food.
3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food (give or take before you die)"

A plan for all seasons, a well balanced plan, gives us the options for situations we can't entirely anticipate. Cash will be needed for some transactions, and precious metals for other transactions. That emergency wad of reserves can be handy in all sorts of ways such as medicine.
Yet if one cannot afford to do it all, securing food, water and shelter are #1. Securing several sources of food and shelter is better yet. There are variety of ways to execute that.


jayjet said...

"3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food (give or take before you die)"

Don't forget another very important Law of Three- "3 seconds without a firearm"...

Anonymous said...

" still makes the world go around."

Indeed it does. But don't forget; Haiti is not yet 10 days into this disaster. Once actual 'goods' start to dry up, money will become worthless.

FerFAL said...

"Anonymous said...

3 hours without shelter and you die??!

I have been outside for 2 and a half hours!!

January 21, 2010 4:48 AM"

I've been out all day and still alive :p)

3 hours without shelter can be fatal at extreme temperatures. Example, walking during a snowstorm without proper gear hoping to make it to a safe place before dropping dead.
Exposure kills most ill prepared hikers that get lost as well.
Shelter may as well be a good jacket and a space blanket if you know how to use them well.

Don Williams said...

Ferfal, this is off-topic and you don't need to post it. More of a Heads up.

You may have heard that the Republicans did a Stealth Campaign and managed to seize a new Senate Seat in Heavily Democratic Massachusetts. What news media has not covered much is some of the Major impacts this will have on American Politics and Economy:

a) The Healthcare Reform may be dead -- House really dislikes the Senate Bill but if they change it in any way , it has to go back to Senate for re-approval and Republicans now have enough votes (41) to block it via filibuster.

b) Major Financial Regulation Reform -- i.e, regulation of the deriviatives and attempts to rein in some of the more irresponsible actions of Wall Street -- is probably DEAD. Wall Street thinks that is a feature, not a bug. Who funneled Money into the Masssachusetts Republican's campaign is left as an exercise for the reader.

c) Possibly is the biggest impact is on the US Federal Debt Limit. Basically , the Democrats are running out of money and need to raise the US Governments debt ceiling by early February or we will default on our US Treasury bonds.

Dems want to increase US gov debt to over $14 Trillion --up $1.9 Trillion from current $12.3.

Republicans realize that if Dems are kept starved for cash, they can't buy the votes of the US voters with new jobs bill, stimulus spending, unemployment checks etc and that the resulting hardship--in current recession -- will have voters enraged by Nov and in mood to throw out the party currently in power.

So Republicans are balking at increasing the debt -- a game of chicken that may start to worry China and other foreign investors in a few days.

JJ in SC said...

"When goods dry up money will be worthless."

My understanding is that in the capital of Haiti, goods have well and truly dried up. There isn't enough food or water, even in the short term, that is why people mob relief convoys. Still, money is worth something. I heard yesterday or the day before, a woman saying that if she only had bus fare, she would leave town. She wasn't lamenting money that no one would take, she was lamenting money that she didn't have.

Maybe -big maybe- money will one day become useless in the states, but don't prepare so hard for the Big Disaster that you aren't prepared for lifes ordinary calamities. At the very least, have a few thousand in cash readily (ie. not in the bank) available at all times if you can (I can't at this point) and then that your storage of wealth type prps are in a readily convertible form. Gold is convertible to cash, readily. Hand tools are not.

Anonymous said...

When this earthquake hit, I told my wife that the U.S. will probably spend $100 billion on this relief, when all is said and done. Our country is collapsing itself, and all we care about is helping everyone else. Who's helping us? Nobody. We're such an idiotic country.

Anonymous said...

I think what he meant was
3 minutes without Oxygen
3 days without water
3 weeks without food
Now shelter can run the gamut depending where you are. Depends on the enviroment in cold water, or the antarctic.