The Dust Bowl was one of the worst droughts in U.S. history. It devastated many central states and areas known as the Great Plains.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Great Plains experienced an unusually wet period, which led many people to believe that farming could be sustained in the region.
With the wet weather, many farmers planted crops in the 1910s and 1920s.
So, when drought hit in the late 1920s, most farmers didn’t have the experience to deal with it.
During the next decade, the plains experienced some of the driest years on record. The constant dry weather turned the soil into a powder-like substance.
And because of the farming practices at the time, the drought led to erosion and loss of topsoil.
The dry weather led to crops failing and plowed fields with nothing planted.
The soil was easily picked up by the wind, creating massive dust storms.
In 1934, dust clouds blew to Chicago depositing more than 12 million pounds of dust.
Two days later, the same storm carried dust to Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.
The thing is, we are facing a similar drought right now. Currently, over 40% of the U.S. is in drought conditions.
There are over 160 million acres of crops in the U.S. experiencing drought, with over 100 million people in the U.S. currently affected by these conditions.
The hardest-hit areas are in the western U.S where I live.
Some parts of California are so drought-stricken that scientists believe there could be permanent damage to the ground.
Some even speculate that the drought could eventually lead people to leave the area and other cities in the southwest.
Currently, there is no sign of drought conditions ending.
With that in mind, a drought can affect how you survive during a disaster.
So, it is worth planning and preparing for drought conditions for either sheltering in place or bugging out.
Here are a few factors to help you survive a disaster when there is already a drought.
Plant a garden:
Millions of acres of farmland are experiencing a drought. This means it’s only a matter of time before food production slows down.
Now, I know a garden needs water. But the water will be well used if it means you are putting food on the table.
Also, consider planting drought-resistant crops.
I would plant things such as watermelon, peppers, artichokes, and sweet potatoes.
Water the crops in the late evening and the amount of water you use will go a long way.
Greywater is water that is reused from your household but is not contaminated by fecal matter.
For example, you could reuse the water that is used to wash dishes or laundry.
When showering, you can place a bucket in the shower to catch the water runoff.
Grey water is ideal for watering outdoors.
You can also use grey water to flush your toilet or wash your hands.
Water should always be a part of your survival supplies.
But, if you are experiencing a drought, you should double the amount of water you have stockpiled.
The fact is, you may need to use your water storage before anything else.
Plus, during a disaster, clean water will be hard to come by. If there is a drought this means that rivers and other sources are likely dried up.
So, you will need to depend on your water storage longer than you likely anticipated.
Anytime there is less water, there is more dust, which can have a huge effect on your health.
If there are drought conditions when disaster strikes you should try to ride it out at home if possible and avoid bugging out unless it’s your last option.
Going outside during a dust storm could be riskier than staying home.
If you must go outside, wear a mask or cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth.
Unfortunately, drought conditions are likely to get worse in the U.S., creating an added dynamic if and when other disasters hit.
But if you consider these factors, you can be better prepared for drought and disaster.