Dear Mr. Rawles:
I first became introduced to the survivalist movement in the 1970s when I read Howard J. Ruff's books Famine and Survival in America(1974) and How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years: a Crash Course in Personal and Financial Survival(1979). These books dealt mainly with financial preparations but also pointed out the need for food storage, security, and other preparations that would benefit you and your family in emergency situations. I did take allot of his advice on financial investing but ignored his chapters on all of the other advised preparations like food storage and security. I dabbled in gold and silver stocks and future contracts. I didn't make a lot of money on the contracts but did take Howard Ruff's advice on the need to own the physical silver and gold. Even having witnessing one of the worst storms in American history, I continued to ignore the need for more preparations other than just financial planning.
In August 1992, I was employed by the State of Florida as an Adult Protective Investigator for the Department of Children and Families in Dade County, Florida. One of my main responsibilities was to evaluate the risk of abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled adults living in family homes and institutions. On Friday August 21, 1992, I was the investigator on call and was responsible to respond to emergency calls made to the Florida Abuse hot line. Most weekends produced about 4 or 5 calls but due to the local news reporting of a storm with winds exceeding 50 miles per hour there was an increase in calls on Friday night. On Saturday morning I had numerous reports that I dealt with and my last call required me to remove an incapacitated elderly woman on Miami Beach from her apartment since she had no caretaker. This was difficult since most hospitals on Miami Beach were not accepting these types of victims in ER. I felt relieved when I was able to locate a hospital that would accept her in North Miami and after getting her situated, I hurried home to put up shutters for the incoming storm. Thank God that I lived 30 miles from the point of landfall of what was coming. Little did anyone know that on August 24 Hurricane Andrew would slam into South Dade, blowing 214 mile per hour winds that peaked at over 350 miles per hour in the early morning hours.