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Lessons learned from Irma

Posted by John T. Reed on

FL is a teaching moment for a number of things I have written about including Electromagnetic Pulse danger (North Korea has been threatening us with that) and empty store shelves (which happens in hyperinflation like currently in Venezuela).

Electromagnetic Pulse

There are now millions without power there and it is expected to take weeks to get power back. We are not sure exactly what an EMP would do to 2017 electrical devices, but the best guess is it would damage power lines and transformers and maybe things plugged into electrical outlets at the time of the high altitude nuclear explosion that causes the EMP. I do not think it would harm vehicles other than EVs being charged. Such an explosion does not do any other damage.
Some say 90% of the population in America would die from the lack of electricity—because we have become so dependent on grid power. I think that is idiotic.

Dependence on grid is exaggerated

We had no grid electricity during my tour in Vietnam—which is hotter than FL. My dad’s family had no grid when he was a kid on the farm in WV. Millions more Americans than ever before are now campers of various sorts with RVs and back packs where they seek out and deal with the absence of a power grid.
Left alone, capitalists would frantically figure out ways to provide power and would succeed. If the government banned “gouging,” that would delay recovery.

Learn what stops when the power goes out

The current situation in Irma land will show those who take grid power for granted what disappears when the grid goes down. Surprising stuff like water utilities and home hot water if you have a tankless hot water heater.


One of the main solutions to these sorts of emergencies is to leave the affected area. In the case of hyperinflation, the affected area would be the US and its territories. Leaving requires a way to physically leave and a current passport. We saw the difficulty of physically leaving parts of FL over the weekend: traffic jams, lack of fuel, cancelled flights, $5,000 one-way fares, fallen trees.

Better early than never

The one key word is the first word of one of the chapters in my book How to Protect Your Life Savings From Hyperinflation & Depression, 2nd edition: ADVANCE Purchase and Sale.
If you do the stuff I recommend way early—before the average Joe is also trying to do it—everything is easy to do and cheap—compared to if you wait too long—in which case most of it becomes extremely difficult to do if not impossible.

Gold, silver, bullets?

FL as shown us the abject uselessness of popular hedges against emergencies like gold, silver, and bullets. What actually was needed was generators and fuel for them, stored water and food, high ground, Cat 5 structures with second floors—or the ability to simply leave and go to an unaffected place.

My wife left Naples at 1PM on Wednesday

On that score, the key word was again ADVANCE. My wife was in Naples last Wednesday. She flew out at 1PM on a flight she had reserved months before. No problem. But for those trying to book a fight that day: big problem.
She actually needs to return this week. She is involved in litigation there. She cannot represent herself because it is about her 95-year-old aunt who has Alzheimers. The legal fees are about $50,000 a year for those of you telling us to get a lawyer in a case where she can represent herself. Mindless falling for history’s best ad slogan: “A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
The amount at stake in FL is six figures. The amount at stake in our landlord litigation in New England is $35,400, but the lawyers cost the same as when the stakes are six figures.
My wife suspects the hearing she needs to go back to FL for may be postponed. Either way, she booked the flight a month or more ago.
HJow to Protect Your Life Savings From Hyperinflation & Depression, 2nd edition book

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