Remember the Scout motto

Published 10:12 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

By Joseph L. Bass

Every day we hear emotional, dramatic news presentations. Some think that the minds of many Americans are blank tablets before they turn on TV news, that programming content stimulates people to react in ways the networks want us to react.

Unfortunately, some evidence exists that this is true. Consider what occurs when a hurricane or snow storm approaches Hampton Roads. There is always a stampede to stores to stock up on supplies. I often wonder how many people have several forgotten snow shovels hidden in their garage. Shovels go out of stores as if there has never been a snow storm here. Where are the ones that were purchased last year?


Email newsletter signup

But every time there is a natural disaster, news programing is full of stories about people who have done nothing to prepare for what was obviously going to happen. And the “talking heads” are shouting that government agencies are not doing anything to help people that did nothing to take care of themselves.

The memories of some people must be erased before they go to bed. They act as if no information was previously distributed telling them they must be self-sufficient for a week or more after a natural disaster.

There will be no police, fire or emergency rescue services. People will need to have on hand all food, water, medications and other necessary equipment and supplies to support themselves until the damage done by the disaster is resolved. In a severe situation, that could be weeks.

At least here in Hampton Roads, we have warnings that a disaster is about to strike. Think about the situation in Southern California, where I used to live. There are no warnings when a massive earthquake occurs. When I went to work each morning, I always had all the water, supplies and equipment I needed to live out of my car for more than a week.

Many simply do not want to think about what they must do to be self-sufficient after a disaster. How much toilet paper does a person need in a week? What is your plan if you need a police officer and none is available?

Here when a storm approaches, all I do is review the necessary items I always keep on hand. Usually I must purchase a few items. Because our only source of water is a well (no electricity, no water) I always keep 30 or more one-gallon jugs of water in the garage. I rotate the use of the jugs to make coffee and tea and refill them after use. And this is not purchased brand-name water.

To be self-sufficient Americans citizens must be prepared to live on their own for a week or more without government or other types of outside help. No matter where a person lives there are threats they must prepare for. These include earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, nor’easters — or whatever.

The Scouts have it right: “Be prepared.”

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at