Unless you bunkered up and pulled the bunk over to block the door, by now you know that Joplin, Missouri has nearly been wiped off the map; video from the aftermath bears an eerie resemblance to Hiroshima or post-tidal-wave coastal Japan.
Amid the wreckage -- shattered homes, crumpled cars, a hospital turned to instant ruins -- plenty of survivors. Most people made it through.
If you're much minded of what it takes to pull through disaster, this kind of event presents a challenge: how do you prepare for events too sudden to evade, that reduce your transportation to scrap metal and your home to firewood?
Part of dealing with it is to already have some visceral inkling of the plain fact that forces so vast do exist and they can touch you. --Persons of particularly deep and secure faith generally do well with disasters because they've already made their peace with this notion; practitioners of extreme sports come up on the idea from the other side but it's got to be a help.
As a practical matter, this kind of event is a reminder that a "Bug-Out Bag" can just as easily become a Bug-In Bag, grabbed as you head to the basement or root cellar. Too, it's a reminder to ensure your emergency supplies are stored in as safe and secure manner as possible -- and that you should be planning what you'd do if you had to do without.
The survivors of Joplin are up and about, doing what they can for themselves and others because they have to. Our turn may yet come; some version of it will come to each of us and when it does, we've got a choice: face it dazed, with empty hands and an emptier head or with some awareness of what can happen and what we can do afterward.
Your best, most flexible survival tool is between your ears. Everything else you may accumulate is useless without it.
(And the quote is correctly, "Look on my works..." for a proper ten-syllable line).
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
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