In the spring of 1992, riots broke out in Los Angeles following the release of video showing L.A. cops beating Rodney King. Millions of dollars in damage from fires and looting was done to homes and businesses. Numerous people were injured. Dozens were murdered.
In January 1998, eastern Canada was hit by an ice storm that coated everything in 3-4 inches of ice. Four million people were without power, some for as long as a month in more remote areas. Travel was nearly impossible. Twenty eight people died and almost 1,000 were injured. Over $5 billion in damages were done.
On September 11th, 2001, we all know what happened. Aside from the immediate destruction at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, several square miles were made uninhabitable for the short-term and a massive evacuation was undertaken of a portion of NYC. All air traffic in the U.S. was grounded. Over 3,000 died.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast causing widespread destruction and displacing tens of thousands of people. Lawlessness ran rampant for a time immediately following the storm as unprepared local, state and federal officials struggled to cope with the disaster. Over 1,800 died and many remain missing.
In November 2005, several thousand Chinese were evacuated when a chemical plant explosion poured benzene into the river that was their primary source of drinking water.
I could go on and on, but I hope you will agree that “It can happen to me.” Natural and manmade disasters are commonplace, and the world is a dangerous place and becoming more so. This is not exclusively a preparedness blog, but I will harp on it a bit. Few are prepared and, in the event of an emergency/disaster, you’re either going to be a blessing or a burden to those around you and in your care.
There are several excellent survival/preparedness sites out there, and I will point you to some in the future. For now, please think about your current state of affairs and consider likely threats in your area. This is not a call to fear or paranoia. Building financial margin into one’s life is just plain wise, but $10,000 in savings will not quench your thirst in the midst of an evacuation or feed your children during an extended power outage. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be touching base on this topic and looking at practical things you can do to build tangible margin into your life.