I watched the hurricane Sandy footage and agree it was a pretty rotten event. For the past several years as hurricanes have ravaged the gulf coast and the southeast, I have often heard discussions of “if something like that hit New York it would be terrible”. Well, it finally did.
I’m not going to go into “they should have evacuated” or “FEMA sucks” or anything. These people would be far better off with some backpacking instructions.
Life would be far better for anyone in NYC if they simply were into backpacking. Storms don’t worry me as much any more. Sure, having the roof blown off would suck, but hunting looters could be fun.
Why does backpacking make for an easier less anxious storm time? Several reasons:
Backpackers are inherently ready to be without modern conveniences. In fact, it’s a simple fact of backpacking. You expect to be without power, water, and clean clothes for days.
Water: we all need it, and it gets pretty nasty after a storm. My filter system can remove parasites and bacteria. As long as I can find chemically clean, desalinated water I can remove stuff that would make me sick.
Food: always looking for new meals and hikes, I have enough backpacking food in my closet that I could be okay for a few days, if needed. Normal microwave meals are easily “converted” to backpack able stuff. Refrigeration is a luxury I don’t require.
Shelter: so, the house gets destroyed. Obliterated even. A bit inconvenient, but with my tent I’m sheltered from the weather, and with my sleeping bag I’m not going to freeze.
Cooking: I can cook over a little stove, or quickly make a tin can stove capable of warming my food or even boiling water.
In my pack is a shovel and little roll of toilet paper, hand wipes and a first aid kit, enough to get through the first 48 hours of an emergency. There’s even an inflatable pillow, which might serve as a flotation device if necessary.
So… I feel okay about storms.
But hiking in the mountains sure is a lot more fun.