Surely things would be different if a major disaster struck in the United States. Right?I would also add that if you live in a major metropolitian area - having a country retreat would be good as well - if you can't afford that, ask your Mormon neighbors for some good references on what keeps for long periods of tiem.
Not necessarily. Of course, every disaster is different—the problems caused by earthquakes differ from those caused by floods, hurricanes or volcanoes. But while the greater wealth and infrastructure in America is a nice thing, it doesn't mean that disaster relief will necessarily arrive quickly. American cities have better airports and more roads, but those can be damaged too. This was certainly the case with New Orleans and large stretches of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, where roads and railroads were flooded, blocked by fallen trees or rendered impassable by collapsed bridges. Military forces are equipped to cross rivers, repair bridges, and move massive quantities of supplies under difficult conditions, but it takes time to get military engineers together and on the way. Plus, the more people you send in to help, the more of the supplies you're delivering that have to go to support them, as opposed to the people they're supposed to be helping.
After Hurricane Katrina, flood waters, debris and downed bridges were the main logistical impediments. An earthquake could cause even worse infrastructure damage that would hamper relief. If, say, the New Madrid fault in Missouri were to let go with a series of magnitude 8.0 earthquakes, we could see much of the Midwest devastated, with enormous damage to railroads, highways and bridges. (The last such quake, actually a series of three earthquakes, caused damage as far away as Washington, D.C,. and Charleston, S.C., and caused the Mississippi River to actually flow backwards as the newly formed Reelfoot Lake filled. But there weren't many buildings and bridges in the midwest in 1811.) Responding to such damage would strain the resources of the nation, and many communities might go weeks before seeing significant relief. A major California earthquake, an Atlantic Coast tsunami or another major hurricane might also create this kind of widespread devastation.
Which brings us back to a theme Popular Mechanics has been driving home for years: self-reliance. If you're at the scene of a major disaster, it may be a long time before outside help arrives. But one person is sure to be there: you. And nobody cares more about helping you and your family in time of disaster than, well, you. So it makes sense for you to be prepared to take care of yourself—and look out for your neighbors—for some time afterward. That means having adequate stocks of food, water and basic tools on hand. (Experts say that Haitians should have had at least two weeks of food on hand, but of course many Haitians can't afford to keep such reserves. Americans, generally speaking, can.)
And yes, I am looking at a 100 acre spread a couple of hours from here in the middle of nowhere as we speak.