> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Familiar stories from survivors in the Philippines



Familiar stories from survivors in the Philippines

Whole cities were leveled by Typhoon Haiyan that recently hit the Philippines - devastation being described as apocalyptic. For those of us who pay special attention to these things, the descriptions and accounts coming from the survivors sound all too familiar.

There are the shortages--clean water, food, shelter and medical supplies. Relief from government forces has been slow to come. No matter how well organized the relief forces are, rebuilding a broken supply chain and mobilizing vast amounts of resources takes time.

Folks now have been on their own for days and are getting desperate. Even many of those had prepared for the storm by stockpiling food and water found themselves separated from their things by flooding and the tidal surge. With homes washed away, people are sleeping in the open or under what shelter than can improvise from the wreckage.

Of course, there has been widespread lawlessness, violence and worse. In Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities, there are reports of escaped prisoners running wild. Without food or water, average people have turned to looting the remnants of malls and supermarkets to feed themselves.

We've seen these kinds of stories play out time and time again - Hurricane Sandy (to a lesser extent), the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and countless others. While you may be preparing for something other than a major natural disaster, they provide clear lessons for what happens when modern society falls apart.

FerFal has a good 'lessons learned' video up on YouTube. Lesson 1 - get out of dodge beforehand, if at all possible.


  1. Thee was an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today about how the coming climate change will fundamentally change the way life proceeds on Earth. I don;t endorse the article, and the comments are instructive, but it's interesting nonetheless...

  2. A famous person once said something like- "The biggest thing we can learn from the past is that people don't learn from the past"

    It's the honest truth. So many chances to succeed against adversity and nobody chooses to seize the opportunity. People get their houses blown away from a hurricane and they rebuild the house in the same place. The flood victims rebuild in the same place. Forest fire victims rebuild and reforest the property surround the house. It's almost like the human race requires victimization in order to survive? Makes no sense to the informed public and the minority of prepared citizenry. Maybe Darwin needs to make a comeback?

    1. I'm gonna "borrow" that quote. Most interesting and so true in many different facets of life.

  3. Rule #1 of surviving any disaster: Dont Be There.