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This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The American Dream
Have you noticed that the mainstream media has a tremendous amount of disdain for preppers? Even though there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States, most of the time the media ignores us. But once in a while an editor in New York City or Los Angeles decides that it would be fun to do a story about the “crazies” that are preparing for doomsday.
And of course it is very rare for any piece in the mainstream media about preppers to be even close to balanced reporting. Most of the time, news stories that report on preppers portray them as mentally unstable kooks and loons that everyone else in society should be laughing at. But perhaps there is a deeper explanation for the contempt that the mainstream media has for preppers.
After all, those in the media are representatives of the establishment, and they are probably deeply offended on some level that we don’t have the same kind of blind faith in the system that they do. The fact that so many Americans believe that the system is on the verge of collapse doesn’t make any sense to them, and instead of really looking into the truth of what we are saying, they would much rather dismiss us by labeling all of us a bunch of uneducated nutjobs on the fringe of society.
A few days ago, I came across another example of this demonization of preppers by the mainstream media. The following are a few lines from a recent CNN article entitled “What I saw at the doomsday prepper convention“. For the first few paragraphs the piece actually seems fairly balanced, but by the end of the article the author can’t resist openly mocking preppers and what many of them believe. Just check out these zingers…
-“It’s so much more fun to worry about martial law than a hurricane. People like zombies as a marketing tool.”
-“I spot more than a few zombie-themed rifle targets at the show.”
-“Still, it was impossible to completely ignore the presence of an element many would consider reactionary.”
-“After a relatively measured primer on the threats of inflation, featured economist Dr. Kirk Elliot encouraged me to look into how the Rothschild and Rockefeller families continue to own the Federal Reserve.”
-“Finally, at the end of my conversation with John Egger about the rise of ‘suburban homesteading,’ a man with a white shock of hair interjected himself into the conversation. ‘You know what chemtrails are?’ he asked, referring to another conspiracist trope that sees chemical tampering in jetstream vapor trails. ‘They’re changing the weather, then selling drought tolerant seeds. George Soros and Bill Gates are behind it.’ Egger nodded politely and smiled, tolerant of a potential customer’s eccentricities.”
-“While normalcy and centrism may be the goal for businesspeople like Cindy and Jim Thompson, it seems the preparedness lifestyle hasn’t completely shaken loose its extremists and kooks.”
And of course this is hardly an isolated example of prepper bashing. The following is an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times review of the Doomsday Preppers television show on the National Geographic channel…
Still, it’s hard not to feel for young Jason from tiny Plato, Mo. (pop. 109), who is awaiting worldwide financial collapse with his homemade, nail-studded “mace-ball bat,” and that his is a life on the verge of going completely wrong. “I’m not afraid to have to kill,” Jason says, in his camouflage pants and dog tag, and there seems to be no question in his mind that it will come to that. (“Jason has always been a worrywart,” says his mother.)
Or for Big Al, from Nashville, who is getting ready for old-school nuclear war by digging down into the earth and surrounding himself with steel. (“I prefer not to use the term ‘bunker’ — to me, it’s an underground house.”) He spends months at a time by himself down there, training for the inevitable — which he expects to weather alone — cooking different combinations of canned goods and, you know, spending too much time alone. One leg pumps constantly as he talks.
The preppers don’t want my pity, of course — quite the opposite, I’m sure. The joke will be on me, they would say, when I am expiring from fallout or smallpox, being carried away in a tornado or torn apart by the hungry ravaging hordes. (I am not even prepared for the Big Earthquake that might more probably get me.)
Would the Los Angeles Times mock other groups of Americans in a similar manner?
I think not.
Meanwhile, as the mainstream media continues to mock us, there is a perfect example of why we should all be prepping that is unfolding right in front of our eyes. The most destructive typhoon in the history of the Philippines is showing just how rapidly society can completely fall apart in the event of a major disaster…
The cries of the suffering carried through a small, cramped one-story clinic in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban where the medicine was all but gone Thursday, but the number of wounded in the hard-hit Philippine city continued to grow.
The clinic at the airport in the decimated capital city of Leyte province is one of the few places where those injured in Super Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath can turn for help, what little help there is six days after the storm.
“We don’t have any medicines. We don’t have any supplies. We have IVs, but it’s running out,” Dr. Katrina Catabay told CNN.
“Most of the people don’t have water and food. That’s why they come here. Most of the kids are dehydrated. They are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.”
Most Americans assume that if anything like this ever happened here that the federal government would rush in and rescue them.
But what if the government didn’t come to rescue you?
Past disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have long since faded from the memories of many Americans. How quickly we forget the lessons that we should have learned from past tragedies.
And what if there is an event such as a massive EMP blast that causes public services to go down permanently?
What would you do?
In the Philippines, there is widespread looting and rioting even though this natural disaster is only temporary and governments from all around the world are rushing in to offer assistance…
TV reports said security forces exchanged fire with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the village of Abucay, part of worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province.
While eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, causing a wall to collapse, local authorities said.
Other looters still managed to cart away 33,000 bags of rice weighing 110 lb each, said Orlan Calayag, administrator of the state-run grain agency National Food Authority.
Warehouses owned by a food and drinks company were ransacked in the storm-hit town of Palo in Leyte, along with a rice mill in Jaro, said Alfred Li, head of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim said 90 percent of the coastal city of 220,000 people had been destroyed, with only 20 percent of residents receiving aid. Houses were now being looted because warehouses were empty, he said.
If you don’t think that anything like this could ever happen here, you are just being delusional. Americans are not any better than those living in the Philippines. When something really, really bad happens in the heart of the United States, we will see mass panic and fear here too.
And most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for even a minor emergency…
–44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.
–48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up at all.
–53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.
So instead of making fun of preppers, perhaps the mainstream media should be encouraging more people to prepare for future emergencies.
Someday major disaster will strike this nation, and when that happens it will be the preppers who will have the last laugh.
Supertyphoon Haiyan Leaves Over 1,200 Dead: The “Massive Destruction” In Photos And Videos | Zero Hedge
As reported yesterday, Typhoon Haiyan – potentially the strongest storm to ever make landfall, and stronger than Katrina and Sandy combined – has come and left the Philippines (currently heading for Vietnam), and now the time has come to evaluate the damage and count the dead. Sadly, as Reuters reports, the devastation is absolutely massive and especially in the hardest hit city of Tacloban in the central Leyte province, may match the aftermath of the Fukushima tsunami: “This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris.” Airport manager Efren Nagrama, 47, said water levels rose up to four metres (13 ft) in the airport. “It was like a tsunami. We escaped through the windows and I held on to a pole for about an hour as rain, seawater and wind swept through the airport. Some of my staff survived by clinging to trees. I prayed hard all throughout until the water subsided.”
And it’s not over yet: the following clip from The Weather Channel summarizes the current position and heading of the Typhoon:
But while the worst may be yet to come, for the Philippines it is bad enough as Reuters explains:
A day after Typhoon Haiyan churned through the Philippine archipelago in a straight line from east to west, rescue teams struggled to reach far-flung regions, hampered by washed out roads, many choked with debris and fallen trees.
The death toll is expected to rise sharply from the fast-moving storm, whose circumference eclipsed the whole country and which late on Saturday was heading for Vietnam.
Among the hardest hit was coastal Tacloban in central Leyte province, where preliminary estimates suggest more than 1,000 people were killed, said Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, as water surges rushed through the city.
“An estimated more than 1,000 bodies were seen floating in Tacloban as reported by our Red Cross teams,” she told Reuters. “In Samar, about 200 deaths. Validation is ongoing.”
She expected a more exact number to emerge after a more precise counting of bodies on the ground in those regions.
Witnesses said bodies covered in plastic were lying on the streets. Television footage shows cars piled atop each other.
The Philippines has yet to restore communications with officials in Tacloban, a city of about 220,000. A government official estimated at least 100 were killed and more than 100 wounded, but conceded the toll would likely rise sharply.
The airport was nearly destroyed as raging seawaters swept through the city, shattering the glass of the airport tower, levelling the terminal and overturning nearby vehicles.
“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing,” said Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency.
Local television network ABS-CBN showed images of looting in one of the city’s biggest malls, with residents carting away everything from appliances to suitcases and grocery items.
Airport manager Efren Nagrama, 47, said water levels rose up to four metres (13 ft) in the airport.
“It was like a tsunami. We escaped through the windows and I held on to a pole for about an hour as rain, seawater and wind swept through the airport. Some of my staff survived by clinging to trees. I prayed hard all throughout until the water subsided.”
Across the country, about a million people took shelter in 37 provinces after President Benigno Aquino appealed to those in the typhoon’s path to leave vulnerable areas.
“For casualties, we think it will be substantially more,” Aquino told reporters.
* * *
Photos of the damage via the Weather Channel:
Finally, here is video evidence of what the stronger typhoon in history looks like on the ground:
Telephone lines appeared down as it was difficult to get through to the landfall site 650 kilometres southeast of Manila where Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the southern tip of Samar island before barrelling on to Leyte Island.
Two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.
Nearly 720,000 people evacuated
Close to 720,000 people had been evacuated from towns and villages in the typhoon’s path across the central Philippines, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said. Among them were thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the island province last month.
Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said 31,000 people were evacuated in his landslide-prone mountainous province before the super typhoon struck, knocking out power, setting off small landslides that blocked roads in rural areas, uprooting trees and ripping roofs off houses around his residence.
The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.
“When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray,” Mercado told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that his town mayors have not called in to report any major damage.
“I hope that means they were spared and not the other way around,” he said. “My worst fear is there will be many massive loss of lives and property.”
Television images from Tacloban city on Leyte Island showed a street under knee-deep floodwater carrying debris that had been blown down by the fierce winds. Tin roofing sheets ripped from buildings were flying above the street.
Visibility was so poor that only the silhouette of a local reporter could be seen through the driving rain.
‘Catastrophic damage’ feared
Weather officials said that Haiyan had sustained winds at 235 kilometres per hour, with gusts of 275 km/h when it made landfall. That makes it the strongest typhoon this year, said Aldczar Aurelio of the government’s weather bureau.
Gener Quitlong, another weather forecaster, said the typhoon was not losing much of its strength because there is no large land mass to slow it down since the region is comprised of islands with no tall mountains.
The typhoon — the 24th serious storm to hit the Philippines this year — is forecast to blow toward the South China Sea on Saturday, heading toward Vietnam.
Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private firm Weather Underground, said the storm had been poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of “catastrophic damage.”
But he said the Philippines might get a small break because the storm is so fast moving that flooding from heavy rains — usually the cause of most deaths from typhoons in the Philippines — may not be as bad.
As it approached the Philippines, the storm was one of the strongest on record.
The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said shortly before the typhoon made landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 314 km/h, with gusts up to 379 km/h. Those measurements are different than local weather data because the U.S. Navy centre measures the average wind speed for 1 minute while local forecasters measure average for 10 minutes.
Hurricane Camille, a 1969 storm, had wind speeds that reached 305 km/h at landfall in the United States, Masters said.
Officials in Cebu province have shut down electric service to the northern part of the province to avoid electrocutions in case power pylons are toppled, said assistant regional civil defence chief Flor Gaviola.
President Benigno Aquino III assured the public of war-like preparations, with three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.
With files from The Associated Press