By Major Van Harl
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- It was a few years back; I was watching my favorite liberal cable news channel, Fox, as an older couple from Washington State was interviewed. John and Patricia Norvell had just survived four nights trapped in their vehicle on Mount St. Helens.
I perked up as the interview started, with hopes that I might gain some appreciation for well-used field craft skills these two survivors demonstrated to stay alive.
They had driven on a snow covered road that they ran off of and got stuck in a ditch. All they had with them, was some jelly beans and a blanket. They were out of cell phone range and oh yes they are both diabetics. I was very quickly loosing patience with these two as I watched them tell their remarkably “stupid” story, and yes I do understand the selection of that word.
At the close of the interview they were asked if they had any words of wisdom to pass on about survival skills they learned during their ordeal.
The husband stated “make sure you pay with a credit card.”
At that point the Colonel was telling me to calm down and stop shouting at the TV. The Norvell’s had bought gas, I assume just prior to driving into the mountains. Mr. Norvel felt if he had paid with a credit card instead of cash, there would have been an electronic signature out there in the cyber world.
So when his family finally figured out they were missing, the authorities could track down that last location their credit card was used. This would have given the search and rescue folks a starting point, since the family had no idea the Norvells had even gone into the snowy backwoods.
The Norvells failed to preplan to protect their own lives and the only thing they learned from their cold nights on the mountain was to pay with a credit card.
They did talk about how they worked on a mental list of things they should have had stored in their vehicle for next time; shovel, food and water. I never heard them say they should have had their diabetic meds with them.
I continue to say in my columns and to persons who will stop long enough to hear my rantings, “you do not live in a 911 world no matter how much you truly believe you do.” There is this pathetic mind set in our society that all that needs to be done to cover every base of safety and injury prevention is to have a cell phone handy, so you can dial 911 from any location. Once you have made that simple little call all your fire, police and emergency medical needs will be met in a matter of minutes. So I could–lets say go off into the snow covered mountains as a brittle diabetic, with my equally brittle spouse, with limited or perhaps no diabetic supplies, no food in case I have a blood-sugar incident and no emergency gear.
No I don’t need any of that stuff, I can just dial 911 and the cavalry will charge in and save me and of course the tax payers will foot the bill for the man-hours of overtime. Now what happens when your cell phone does not work?
I am an old retired cop, a former volunteer fireman, an Army trained Infantry officer and currently an auxiliary police officer and it never ceases to amaze me how unprepared and sometime criminally unprepared people are and they truly expect someone else to rush in and save them.
As an Air Force cop I was working an air show at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska back in the early 1990s. I got a call that a young boy was down on the tarmac having an asthmatic attack. There were thousands of people walking, tightly packed on that flight line and the ambulance was having trouble getting through the crowd to render aid to the stricken child.
The boy died on that tarmac and the parents were extremely upset that the Air Force medics did not save their child. The question was asked where the boy’s asthma meds were. Where was his rescue inhaler?
“He did not like to carry that stuff,” was the mothers reply. “It was a bother for him and he did not like being reminded he had asthma,” she also told us.
Only the rich had cell phones in Alaska in those days and they had very limited use. It would not have done this child any good anyway.
Remember you cannot always call life back from death by dialing 911.
Sadly the boy will not have to be bothered with anything ever again and because of this family’s foolishness, the responding Airmen get to live with the idea that possibly they were at fault. They were not at fault. If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail and sometimes failure means irreparable harm or death.
But whatever you do, leave a credit card trail so the police and the medical examiner can figure our where the body is. Of course all the newer phones have tracking chips in them, so you might think “great” one more reason not to be prepared. That chip can also help the police, the fire / EMS responders, the sheriff, the CIA & NSA and your spouse’s divorce lawyer track every move you make.
Do you really want every move you make to be electronically recorded—because it is, if you always have a cell phone with you?
There is a genre about living off the grid, meaning you cut yourself off from the power grid and live “free.” No gas, no electric, no phone or water and no one to monitor and charge you for the use of these utilities. In reality if you are really living off the grid you have developed a support / back-up plan to meet your power needs and that costs money. If you are living in a cardboard box under a bridge—that is truly way off the grid.
Try living off the “chip,” your cell phone chip, your computer chip or your credit card chip. You cannot do it and survive in modern times. All “they” have to do is turn off the electric power and you have nothing. Lose power and no one can read where you used your credit card last, and start looking for you. To tell you the truth, if half the nation or even half a state is without power no one is going to even try to look for you.
Be Prepared, it means something–it means you may get to see another sunrise.
When in doubt always buy fresh Buffalo Bore Ammo and an extra Henry lever action rifle. They both do not have chips in them. It is nobody’s business if you have a rifle and some ammo and without a chip it is harder to find them.
Chip free could save your life.
Major Van Harl UASF Ret. / [email protected]
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]