Why You Can't Rely on the Government for Relief

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

On Aug. 24, 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency put out a contract (solicitation number HSFE70-16-Q-0034) for 5 million bottles of water. FEMA is the preparedness arm of the government, so on the surface, there’s nothing unusual about them wanting bottles of water for an emergency.

Check it out — looks pretty normal, right?

FEMA Contract

However, if you read the solicitation carefully, you’ll notice FEMA asked to have the bottles of water delivered within 48 hours to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. That’s a pretty short amount of time to get 5 million bottles of water loaded onto trucks and shipped to Alabama.

FEMA Contract

Now, I have no idea who won the contract and if they were able to deliver the water within two days. But I do know this request raises a lot of questions. And with one storm after another lined up to make landfall, I expect we will see more urgent requests like this in the coming weeks.

It is hurricane season after all, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we’re currently in the midst of the “season within the season” — a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity.

Fend for Yourself

In my time with the government, I worked alongside many different agencies and — I know this won’t come as a surprise to you — I witnessed government incompetence in every organization. There isn’t a single government agency that’s immune to it.

This is why I tell people that in an emergency situation you never, ever want to rely on the government. You have to be self-sufficient and able to provide enough food and water for your family to outlast the crisis.

The last place you want to be is standing in a mile-long line for a measly gallon of water or stuck in a crowded FEMA camp. What’s more, these camps tend to attract criminals, because crooks know the camps are full of desperate people who are beaten down and easy to take advantage of.

But you can avoid all this with just a little bit of preparation. If you plan to hunker down in your home, be sure to have the following:

  • One gallon of water per person per day. That means to prepare for a 30-day survival situation, you should have 30 gallons of water stored for each member of your family
  • Thirty days’ worth of food for your family. For a good indication of how much food you will need, I recommend making a 30-day meal plan, factoring in all three meals each day. If, for example, you generally use a cup of rice for dinner each night, you’ll need 30 cups of rice for 30 days of storage
  • The means to cook without power. This should include a manual can opener, a small backpacking stove with spare fuel canisters, several books of matches and lighters.

I also strongly recommend having guns. In my opinion, it’s pointless to have food and water storage if you don’t have a way to defend these supplies and keep people from entering your home during or after a disaster.

Here are a few more miscellaneous items you should have in your home:

  • Hand-crank AM/FM radio in case the electricity goes out
  • Flashlights and plenty of extra batteries
  • First-aid kit and a well-equipped toolbox
  • Sleeping bags in case you need to stay warm
  • And money stored in a fireproof safe (enough to cover one month of living expenses, in small bills).

Of course, there are some disasters you won’t be able to withstand at home, so you must also be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. If you don’t already have your 72-hour kits ready and plenty of extra water on hand, change that ASAP.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to place my life in the hands of some inept government employee — or broke government agency.

I want to be able to take care of myself and my family, and that’s exactly what I’m prepared for.

In the event of a crisis, I won’t need to rely on anyone else for food or water. In fact, I’ll be in the unique position to help others in need because I’ve assembled more than enough supplies for my own family.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

P.S. Here’s one last crucial piece of advice: Be sure you have at least a half a tank of gas in your car at all times. Right now in Florida, there are reports that 40% of gas stations are out of fuel — which means some people are physically unable to follow the mandatory evacuation order.

Chris Campbell

Written By Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and NBC’s Today show. To get free survival tips from Jason, click here.