April 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm #8445
I want to include here something that was outside my own personal experience and the lessons are not my own.
When I say outside my personal experience, it could easily have been mine if I had made a different key decision on 7th February 2009.
This is about the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria, Australia.
It had been a very hot summertime week with temperatures above the 40 degree mark (that’s about 104 degrees in the old money), with little relief at night. It’s not unusual for many people to sleep on the beach at night in Australian hot weather. Saturday the 7th of February was predicted to be especially severe with gale force winds and a temperature that was later officially claimed as over 48 degrees (about 120 degrees F).
The video I have linked to is a documentary of what happened that day. I believe there are lessons there for preppers to learn from, even if they do not live in bushfire zones. There are lessons about whether your specially prepared house is as resistant to threats as you may hope, the limitations of the official government services, and whether to bug in or out, when to do it, and whether either option will be safe.
My part in all this was that I live in the city in a house that has no air-conditioning. However, the car does have aircon, and during the afternoon I was deciding whether to go for a drive with the aircon running to have some time of relief from the heat. In the end I decided against it; I just had a feeling I shouldn’t go out. I had no idea of what was happening that day; I hadn’t heard the news and everything looked normal where I was. I found out what had been going on later that evening. But if I had driven out that afternoon I would have gone to the town of Kinglake, which figures significantly in this video. There is a good chance my life that day would have become both full of interest and very short.
Another personal angle is that the person I share my house with used to work in the El Kanah guest house in the town of Marysville. We went there a few weeks after Black Saturday to see what was left. We found about six houses still standing. The guest house was gone, with only the El Kanah sign out the front showing were it used to be.
I encourage people who want to understand how things can go pear-shaped in this world to watch this video. It’s not as crisp a picture as I would like but it’s all I’ve found of this doco on youtube.
I should also add that this doco (narrated by Hugo Weaving) is gripping, absorbing, and quickly becomes a ‘must watch’ as it features the testimonies of survivors. I’ll also say that anyone who has PTSD or suffers flashbacks should exercise a little care in watching this.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!April 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm #8576
Thanks for sharing Elijah!April 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm #8716
Thanks so much for sharing!April 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm #8733
Thanks for posting this. I live in an area where people still practice slash and burn agriculture, and the mountains around us are on fire every year during the dry season. Of course this isnt smart, even from an agricultural point of view but old habits die slowly.
I think it is easy to underestimate the threat of fire. We are exposed to fire from an early age and usually always in a very controlled environment. It is easy to forget what a mighty force fire can be. Seeing wildfires in its full force like the video is really eye opening.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")April 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm #8745
Thank you; you are all welcome.
I would also be interested to hear from anyone who watches the documentary, if you see any prepping lessons that can be drawn from what happened that day.
Later edit: It appears the video starts playing back about half way through; if that happens to you, move the slider control back to the beginning.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!May 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm #15061
How about “mandatory evacuations” been thru that a couple of times. I remember telling my nephew to load all my guns and ammo and my knife collection into his jeep cherokee, must have weighed about 1500 lbs, the whole back end sagged something bad. 2 draft horses and 4 dogs, a flatbed truck full of furniture, cars loaded to the maximum capacity with every thing like paper work old photos and family heirlooms.
The sheriffs were actually pretty cool about everything. The said we won’t physically make you move, but we can’t guarantee your safety either. Seemed fair to me, but I wasn’t going anywhere until I couldn’t take the heat. That was the first time. The following year they weren’t so nice, not so much the sheriffs but the county road department. The fire was 6 miles away, and on the other side of a valley. But the two county workers sat in their chairs at the road block and would not let me thru. I told them that I was returning with supplies and my spread was right there, you could see my home from where they had set up the road block. No way, they weren’t gonna let me thru. Well I took that as a challenge! Ya aint gonna keep a Hillbilly off HIS land… So I locked my truck in 4x low and sort of created a new road. Might have kicked a few rocks in the dirt their way, don’t know. I never looked back and they didn’t come after me. That time the fire never got close enough to go. We have fire fighting equipment on the property, I don’t know if it’s enough but all those preps! I’d need a semi truck to get it all out..#*/k that!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.