Letters to the Editor – Oct. 25

Dear Editor,
Driving through Moorcroft recently, I noticed the signs urging voters to vote for the increase in the Lodging Sales Tax, raising it from 2 percent to 4 percent. They also state that it’s a tax that we don’t pay. Just because we don’t pay it, doesn’t make it right.
We’ve been in the lodging business at the Empire Guest House and RV Park for 11 years and can honestly say that the Crook County Promotion board has done absolutely nothing for our business. If I had my way, the tourism board would be abolished, as I feel it was created to benefit a few select businesses.
We’ve done just fine without the tourism board’s help and feel it should be up to individual businesses to promote themselves and leave the government out of it. We urge voters to vote no on this increase.
Mike Smith
Pine Haven

First I read, with amusement, the article in the Oct. 18 edition of the Sundance Times “Disaster preparedness in Wyoming now includes an EMP strike.” Then I thought that this kind of naivety and misinformation is what gets people killed in an actual emergency.
The article alluded to the fact that an EMP strike would be a two week inconvenience. An EMP strike, whether man caused or by solar flare, would shut this country down. We have an antiquated electrical grid. Russia, China and Western Europe have upgraded and hardened their grid with EMP considerations, we have not.
In this country the only areas that are EMP ready are military bases and federal government facilities. Our mega electrical transformers are no longer made in this country and take a year to get. An EMP strike would fry all electrical circuitry, no cell phones, no computers and no vehicles running that were made after 1980. Think about the consequences of that. So, let’s look at five areas of consideration.
First if you’re at home when an EMP strikes, good you’re sheltered in. But, what is your alternative if your heating or cooling system doesn’t work? What if you were shopping in Gillette or Spearfish and needed to get home. You could walk home at about 15 to 18 miles per day. What if it’s July and 90 plus degrees or January and 0 or minus? What about food and water considerations along the way?
Next consideration, water. If it stops coming out of the faucet, what do you do? It takes a gallon of water per day per person for drinking, cooking, and basis hygiene. The stove is not working so how do you boil it to make it potable? What are other alternatives?
Thirdly, what are your basic medical needs, treatments or medications. How do you get to it or how much is on hand.
Fourthly food, grocery stores have a three day supply, distribution centers a ten day supply; after that you’re on your own. They said Wyoming has a year’s supply of food. How does that get from where it is stored to where it is needed?
And fifth, some people won’t prepare. They’ll admit they made a mistake and just lay down and die or maybe not. Do you have the means and ability to keep what you got?
It is projected that in a prolonged power outage, 20 percent or more of the population would die in the first 60 days from disease, starvation, medical needs not met or from criminals. Who carries the bodies out town and hand digs the graves? If they’re not taken care of disease spreads fast.
There are books written and a lot of information on the internet about all of these scenarios. I’ve given mini seminars on preparedness in different types of disaster events. I like to start off with the question: if the water stops coming into your house, how do you flush the toilet? That usually gets the ladies in the group’s attention.
A fictional book based on an EMP event is “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen. It will give you good situational awareness. The “LDS Preparedness Manual” is a good reference manual. Both are available on Amazon.
I want to leave you with this: take charge of your own preparedness. Do not depend on government at any level. Remember Katrina and FEMA running around like the Keystone Cops.
Lyle Hartman