During any disaster or SHTF event the time to react and make last-minute preparations we’ll refer to as the Golden Hour. The term Golden Hour can be quite deceiving because depending on the event and/or situation the amount of time you have for said golden hour could be anywhere from minutes to days. That hour-glass begins when you’ve gained knowledge of the event or disaster. If it’s possible for a person to be in the know in regards to a looming disaster will have the advantage over those that are caught with the element of surprise. This doesn’t apply to all types of events or disasters, but I can give a few examples how a person can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to situational awareness.
When it comes to situational awareness I would highly suggest you read up in further detail about here as I don’t want to elaborate to extensively deviating from the topic at hand. When possible I try to utilize real life scenarios for examples from my own personal experiences and in this first example of staying ahead of the curve it takes me back to a story I’ve shared elsewhere on Survival Crusader. This particular story involves a co-worker that did not own a television, therefore he had no idea a hurricane was coming until long after the average person was aware of the news. Unlike other types of natural disasters, weather related ones generally grant come with some time allowance to prepare. You can enhance that time to prepare for potential if you know where to look and have the time and ability to monitor those resources. Speaking weather related here some examples would include computer modeling such as GFS or the EURO, not to mention things like the weather channels TorCon predictions. I am a Gulf Coast resident and aside from interest in Survival and Prepping I’m also a severe weather junkie, especially when it comes to the tropics. Because of that I am a member at a forum known as Storm2k which has lots of professional meteorologist who discuss modeling as well as intensity and track forecast. Over the years I’ve vigorously tracked from the comfort of my computer many hurricanes, winter storms, and storms that produced devastating rainfall rates. I’ve learned some very important things from doing so, especially when it comes to situational awareness and my golden hour to prepare for events that could impact me.
In regards to Hurricanes specifically the general rule of thumb is that local government as well as news media follow the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service, after all they’re the experts and rightfully so. Not discrediting the NHC at all, but sometimes the NHC releases its forecast cone. There has been instances where suddenly all the reliable computer forecast models make a dramatic forecast track shift in a single update and the way the NHC works is they will not make a dramatic shift in that cone but a gradual shift with each upcoming update until it gets the cone back to the point of the model guidance. This is a huge deal when major category 3+ hurricane is threatening landfall in less than 36 hours and sudden shift in the model guidance has hurricane landfall 200 miles away from NHC’s 36 hour forecast point. Before ordering voluntary and/or mandatory evacuation orders the government generally starts moving assets into the area before the official call is given. My following of that particular forum has given me many hours edge of knowing what to expect versus the many people who will only be reacting to what is announced over news and local emergency alert systems. This has given me opportunities to buy extra supplies, top off gas tanks and even evacuate long before the panic begins. Trust me, I learned a valuable lesson during the famous Hurricane Rita evacuation many years ago.
It greatly helps to monitor evolving situations. At any given time there are millions of Americans in a situation that has the potential to escalate into something that could harmfully impact their lives. Some more examples would include Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter protest, and the more recent presidential protest. For the people of Ferguson, it would be helpful to have known that police officers was on trial for the death of a person and the common sense of expecting public outcry over such sensitive issues. For situations like mass protest it’s helpful to be aware of any protest being held local to you and the whereabouts of such protest so that you can avoid the area especially after all the alleged peaceful protest we’ve seen turn into all out anarchy and riots.
Those are just a few examples of being in the know by utilizing good situational awareness of what’s going on around you and how critical that knowledge could be to extending the so-called golden hour you have to prepare and react to an event. For me, it doesn’t stop at weather I’m also an avid news junkie and thanks to the speed of social media and following a few different sources of alternative news there isn’t a much on main stream media that breaks as breaking news that I wasn’t already aware of. It’s an obsession to stay as up to date with hot topics as possible because I know that the element of surprise can be a brutal thing.
So let’s not be the victim of the element of surprise if we can prevent it. I realize taking the course of action to stay as in tune and up to date with current events may not be helpful for all situations such as surprise military attacks, terrorism, and unpredictable natural disasters it does apply to events we’ve already seen before and most likely will see again. But when applicable if your golden hour can be extended exponentially versus the masses, it grants you an advantage which ultimately increases your survival odds.