Monday, August 16, 2010

SHTF: Some hard facts

Let's take a Katrina situation times 100. 100 major US cities facing the same scenario as Katrina but due to a variety of causes.

Weather event, terrorisim, global war, cataclysmic event like EMP and so on.

FACT NUMBER ONE - The government will be slow to respond, (if at all) and states, cities and communities will be on their own indefinately.

It took the Federal government five days to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (The state of LA did viritually nothing). Surrounding states (Arkansas and Texas) sent help, but that was because they had no problems where they were.

Help came to New Orleans from the US and other countries because it was the only disaster that day.

Now, imagine the problem was in 100 cities across the nation. There will be no federal help for weeks; no FEMA, no MRE handouts, no regular military backing up police. Nothing. Some cities will get preferred help because their homestate politician is further up the food chain than others and thus they will go to the head of the line. Soldiers and resources (food, generators, fuel, etc) will be ordered to leave location X and depart for location A because politician in DC said so.

Also, no states will be able to send help to their neighbors as they will have problems of their own. State 17 will keep his resources for his own people rather than cross the border into State 19 to help the afflicted there.

And smaller towns and communities can expect nothing from any organized relief effort other than what they put together on their own. No Guard units will roll in with water purification or meals; those resources will go to the top dogs first - if they are ever deployed.

FACT NUMBER TWO - The healthy will be in better shape than the infirm, elderly or sick.

Sounds right on paper, but consider what this means. The residents of nursing homes the night Katrina hit landfall were in many cases, left on their own. The chronically ill in hospitals were made as comfortable as possible, but many passed away without power, medical help or aid. Those unable to leave the home due to medical reasons, were sometimes left behind.

People on ventilators, or carrying portable oxygen or riding around in a scooter are going to be in trouble. So will the type one diabetic and the premature infant.

The victims will be fathers, mothers, grandparents, children and friends. If you are in good health, stay that way. If you have children, feed them right and make them excersize. If you have habits which can lead to poor health, stop now. If you care for another family member with health issues, take steps to provide for them as long as possible after an event.

FACT NUMBER THREE - Communications will be sporadic, information will be incorrect and often, will be dishonest.

If the US had 100 cities basically stop functioning, modern communiciations would come to a standstill. Cell phones, landline service, cable tv, and satellite would cease to function or would have limited availability.

Other communications channels such as private radio, CB, pagers and shortwave are used by only a small percentage of the population. Most people will either have no reliable means for communications outside of their immediate area and will know nothing.

Much of the information shared by both official and unofficial sources will be second guessing, wild speculation and conjecture.

And finally, those in charge will possibly cover up the scale, magnitude and severity of the situation to avoid greater panic and destruction. In a nutshell, our public servants may lie to us just to keep the lid on things for a few extra days.

FACT NUMBER FOUR - There won't be enough to eat and it will get worse.

Americans love their food and love to eat. Three or more meals a day, snacks and soft drinks are part of our daily ritual.
The US produces a huge amount of the world's food. It requires massive amounts of fuel, labor and technology. And a complex web of supply chain management to get it from the "farm to the fork".

When the pieces break, the rest of the system breaks down as well. The stores and restaurants will run dry. The military will run out of emergency food (Meals Ready To Eat) eventually. Seizing stored food from warehouses and restaurants will only make a small dent in the need as will taking food from individuals and redistributing it. Unless production is maintained, the food will be consumed and run out.

Then what? Unless some unaffected, generous and transport rich magical land steps in, the citizens of the US will go hungry and quickly. It is no surprise that there is no nation on earth which can produce and ship (key word) to the US the amount of food needed to sustain the population. There will be starvation.

FACT NUMBER FIVE - Large is bad and small is good post-SHTF.

A central government making demands and issuing orders to all corners of the country will be ineffective at solving problems, only at causing unrest and confusion.

It amazes me that when there is a problem, the solution for so many is to create a larger organization with further reaching territory to address it. That model rarely works.

A small community, banded together by common goals (and sometimes by force), will survive. But only if they have the resources and where with all to provide for themselves. Arid land, irregular water supply, lack of able bodies and short term goals will only hasten their imminent demise. So better to be in a place with usuable resources and population able to provide physical labor.

Like Joe Friday said, "Just the facts ma'am". That's what we have to deal with now. The facts. Anything else is pretending and pretend is a game for children. Time to get ready.

This post brought to you by Carla Emery's timeless classic...

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

1 comment:

Mad Man Dan said...

Your posting so far has been great, This is the first time I happened by your blog, and your writing has been pretty in line with my thoughts. I have an additional thought for you to ponder. If there was a disaster, or a terror attack of this nature, I would imagine that it wouldn't be long before a large foreign force tried to forcibly take the country. Any plans for a temporary national/regional disaster should keep this idea in mind.

Thanks, and keep up the great posts.

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