Real-life prepper moment: Midwest flooding shutting down roads and highways, making it impossible to restock store shelves
05/04/2017 // JD Heyes // Views

If you’ve been watching the news over the past several days, you know that much of the Midwest has been inundated with rain. In some parts, there have been 10 inches of rain or more, and much of it over only a two to three day period.

The result has been nothing short of historic: Streams, creeks, rivers and lakes have swollen to levels far exceeding their capacity, and now millions of people living throughout the region are either cut off from major hubs or in danger of being cut off.

I live in the Midwest so I’m witnessing all of this first-hand. I know of people and friends who live just 15 or so miles from me who cannot get into town to go to work because none of the roads leading in are passable. And what’s more, there’s no telling when area rivers and lakes will crest.

The National Guard is out in force, our governor having declared a state of emergency four days ago, and they are doing an outstanding job of protecting property and residents. But soon they may also have to begin supply operations, because frankly, there are communities throughout the state that are literally cut off from the outside world. (RELATED: Here’s Why You Should Keep Your Shelter Preparations Up-To-Date And Bugout Bag Close)

That means very soon – if not already – grocery store shelves are going to go bare. Gas stations will run out of fuel. There could be power outages. Schools will run out of food to feed kids. Hospitals will run short of supplies. The sick and injured may have to wait hours for evacuation. Even sick or injured pets and livestock could suffer.


All of this may sound extreme, but I’m telling you I’m seeing it first-hand – right now. It’s about as real as it gets.

While my family and I are in good shape, if the rains continue and the flooding worsens, even my city could be cut off. We are located along a river, so there are already portions of our town that are flooded, though generally speaking, we can get out and about.

However, even if we get cut off, we’re going to be alright. Why? Because we have already prepared for this, and other, unforeseen emergencies. We have long-term storable food. We have plenty of water. We have a freezer full of meats and vegetables. We have a generator and fuel, should it come to that. We have weapons and ammunition to defend ourselves should it come to that (though we certainly don’t expect things to get that bad).

The point is, we’ve made an effort to be prepared just for these types of emergencies. So many folks, including lots of people who are now cut off from the world, or will soon be, have not thought ahead and prepared for it. They are going to discover very soon what life is like without the convenience of always having what they want or need sitting in a grocery store just a few blocks away. They may discover what it is like to go hungry, or to be without readily available medical care, or enough water to remain hydrated. And if that happens, they will also experience a new kind of panic they’ve likely never experienced before.

The good news is, should the worst of the worst come to fruition, many of these same people who were not preppers will become preppers once this minor emergency situation abates. The water will eventually recede – we don’t have more rain in our forecast at the moment – but the desperation of being cut off, deprived and endangered will not soon dissipate for those folks.

Right now, there are enough Guard troops and state-owned supplies and assets to take care of those who may be in need. Scores have already been rescued by the Guard, the Highway Patrol and other emergency responders.

But what if, instead of flooding, we suffered a major earthquake (and we live in an earthquake fault zone)? Or a series of violent, deadly tornados (we live where violent tornados are a fact of life)?

What if instead of an extreme weather event we were experiencing widespread social unrest and chaos? In this situation, Guard troops, police, Highway Patrol and other emergency responders would be stretched to the limit and largely unable to control much outside of the cities. Lawlessness and unrest would sweep the countryside, where many folks are currently trapped by flood waters. What then? (RELATED: Grid Down In San Fran, NYC And LA – What Happens When ALL Major Cities Lose Power?)

The same situation will develop: Stores will run out of stocks; clinics and hospitals will run out of supplies; gas stations will go dry; banks will close or fold; infrastructure like trash collection will cease (and become a public health nightmare); lawlessness will prevail.

People who don’t have anything to fall back on – food, water, protection, first aid, power generation – will become victims, period.

The very best thing that could come out of all of this Midwest flooding will be if more people use it as a learning experience. Once the waters recede, hopefully many who have yet to do so will commit to becoming much more self-reliant.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.


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