DISASTER MANAGEMENT: BE PREPARED AND ARMED
July 22, 2011
I’m noticing a great many articles appearing which encourage citizen preparedness for widespread emergency. Many of these seminars are well-intentioned, but they are lacking several vital ingredients. Many of these are Physician-led lectures, and they lack the same vital ingredients.
The main thrust of any dependable household preparedness plan will arise from acceptance of the fact that assets will not reach them for days to weeks. Most programs do not mention citizen authority to act in the absence of first responders, that is, in the absence of Police and EMS. Most households do not know the latitude of their own authority and try to noodle out or guess about how to prepare, and noodle it all on the assumption that they are extremely limited.
The fact is that households are not as limited as they assume. Some disaster management seminars for citizens are like violence prevention seminars: they lack vital ingredients.
Disaster preparedness sees three segments: disaster planning, disaster management and disaster recovery. These are managed best by adding several generous helpings of citizen involvement. The problem is that professional plans generally operate on citizen exclusion and obfuscate the value and secrets of citizen authority.
In time of emergency, such as an earthquake, a flood, or a terrorist strike, first responders of Police and EMS are immediately overwhelmed. It will be hours before new shifts and others mustered to duty will show up and be deployed.
The sheer expanse of geography will affect deployment, travel time, search and rescue, and care. These will take more hours to days to reach and triage victims, not to mention treat them and transport them. For days and days spent calling in extra personnel then deploying over large expanses of land, many patients go without. They have to wait.
National Guard, Army, FEMA, insurance underwriters, Red Cross and other non-profits are not first responders, they are secondary. They canvas neighborhoods, leave markers, rescue when necessary, recover when necessary, and generally move people to safety. They have a lot of mobile assets, but they, too, are not on scene as fast as others: you.
Patients do not always have to wait. Citizens do not have to ask permission.
To get out of Preparedness Lite, certain realities must be seen in the public interest because it is in the household interest. One house does it right, other homes do it right, the community is doing it right. Safer homes become safer communities. Safer communities mean survival.
Break your preparedness plan into five categories. Here are a few added suggestions to enrich the lighter seminars and fortify your abilities and goals:
Food and water.
5. Ability to move or help others.
1. Food and water is not to be underestimated. Figure how many persons are in your household, how much they eat and drink in four meals a day, and multiply it by five months. Don’t go with perishable items. Remember how much water is used for laundry and personal hygiene.
Food and water is an essential not only for nutrition and health, but for managing stress. Disaster is not the time to diet, and it is the time to be sure and get the right nutrition including comfort foods to manage stress. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate bars, for instance. Be sure you include favorites in ample supply when you go shopping for your Disaster Planning Pantry.
2. Energy in cooking fuel, energy for both heating and cooling, and electrical energy for portable and fixed lighting. Solar panels are tremendous in recharging batteries to operate AC inverters to run small and even large AC devices. Don’t forget both AM and FM radios on battery and two-way radios for your freedom to move about the neighborhood and stay in touch. Solar panels charge batteries so that your devices can operate at night. Buy enough so that you can operate your devices twenty-four hours a day for at least two days at a time.
Safety includes training in First-aid and CPR. Do it.
It is also having enough of your medicine regimen to last a reasonable
portion of a disaster, which could easily be months and months.
Contact your provider to write you a prescription. Pharmacies and providers are already used to filling prescriptions for patients’ Earthquake Preparedness Kits. Ask about some for you. Some providers urge patients to take smaller dosages when supplies are expected to run out and not be replaced, but it might be better to have the more ample amounts on hand.
Be sure to have some place to store your meds. Some homes have two pantries for that purpose, each with refrigeration that is electric or well insulated. Battery operated coolers can be found and recharged by solar power and can be dependable for Insulin-dependent patients. Some cars have them. You may have to look hard for this device, and if you cannot find one (or if they are sold out) you may have to build one.
You can also ask your provider for alternatives to refrigerated Insulin. A good substitute for Insulin is, in the opinion of some endocrinologists, sulfonylureas which stimulate the pancreas to manufacture more. Ask your provider and mention that you are building your Earthquake Preparedness Kit. The stuff keeps better, it’s easy to take, and rapid-acting. Be sure to have snack on hand.
This is part of the serious-mindedness of preparedness: if you don’t see it, ask for it. If they don’t have it, make it yourself.
So far, all of this is Chapter One stuff. Everybody knows these first ones. Let’s get serious now.
4. Security. Make certain your household can defend itself with lethal force. Remember that the Police are not the only agent of the law, the sovereign citizens being the ultimate legislators. Any person can keep the peace and enforce the law within reason, especially felonies, and self-defense is one of the better established doctrines which citizens have summoned for generations.
This is one of the ingredients missing from Preparedness Lite, being armed for the security of the household and the neighborhood. One does not “Play Cop”; one realizes that cops derive their authority from us to begin with.
A handgun is essential for close quarter use and less conspicuous movement around the neighborhood. I will not say that all laws are suspended and encourage people to willy-nilly break laws, but in time of emergency, latitude and reasonableness under the circumstances reigns for neighborhood safety. Reasonableness is a superb guide under any circumstances.
At other times, a shotgun is better suited than a handgun. There are bazillions of reports where the sound of a well-oiled slide action of a shotgun with the subtle sound of a shell actually being chambered has saved more lives than some might think. Ownership of lethal force kept handy and battery-ready in preparedness is safer than an entire neighborhood being disarmed only to be at the mercy of thugs.
Thugs are not the only denizens to watch out for. Scavengers thrive in time of disaster.
Scavengers are opportunistic predators who simply await disaster. These people are the child abductors, rapists, the sneak-thieves and the molesters who may have no history of crime, but as opportunity appears where chaos serves as cover, scavengers surface in large numbers.
Scavengers are the predators of polymorphic taste for desiring and seizing whatever turns up, be it a child, an old woman, a couple of kids flashing collectors items or a nearby unlocked front door.
Scavengers are the first-timers in time of disaster when no one is looking as much as others are the serial offenders when no one is looking. In time of chaos, they may never be caught or stopped. As I said, they employ chaos and conditions as their cover, and they can be very creative.
These people are added to the population of thugs of property crimes. These are the offenders of person. These scavengers are ordinarily stopped – if they are stopped at all – by general timidity up to now, by societal alertness of others, such as witnesses, Good Samaritans, and by other safeguards. Alertness actually prevents many attacks of opportunity for these first-timers, but make no mistake; these otherwise timid predators are as dangerous as roving packs of dogs, who also emerge in time of disaster; they don’t come out under normal conditions, but with nobody to stop them, they come out to feast.
Another reason to have a gun is for all sorts of dogs now dangerous like never before, both four-legged and two-legged.
These compound the population of dangerous persons and, unlike thugs, are easily overlooked, hard to recognize and in fairly large numbers. Your being armed with a handgun handy and battery-ready can make all the difference in the world.
Anti-freedom personalities believe that they know how much ammunition is too much ammunition. Gun owners know that ammunition availability is never assured, so it is not out of line to have thousands of rounds handy. Thousands of rounds in any household is by no means out of the ordinary any more than having plenty of soft-drinks or fire extinguishers around is. Practice consumes large numbers of ammo, and you never know when your life will depend on having enough over time of doing without police. Consult your gun seller for what is right for you.
To be better prepared for the hazards of a disaster is to be armed. Even when assets do arrive, they may not have lethal force of their own to back up any security for the neighborhood. They may have ammo shortages of their own.
They don’t have to protect people anyway, and millions of gun owner know this. Police have no affirmative duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others. For the non-gun owner interested in better preparedness, this means learning how to shoot, selecting a few different weapons, and taking training in personal defense. Thugs, scavengers and packs of wild dogs who are afraid, hungry and vicious are among the worst hazards of a disaster. You will not talk them out of plundering you. Less-then-lethal doesn’t work.
You don’t have to shoot, at least not as a knee-jerk reaction. Self-defense is not about reaction, it is about purposeful response. Often – often enough – this is adequate to discourage predators, but you can’t do that without a gun and you certainly won’t be taken seriously without one. The key is to resolve that you will be armed for the case when you need it to protect yourself and loved ones, and resolve that you will be fully prepared to shoot if you must.
Understand why you are armed: you are alone and without anyone else to protect the community. You are not the self-appointed police of the neighborhood, you and the rest of your neighbors can cooperate in an effective and most practical protection of the neighborhood.
Remember also that - in time of disaster - a simple intention of robbery can suddenly change into an intention of no witnesses. Or an opportunistic rape or beating. It’s all about using chaos as cover, and for the predators who have such a carte blanche, imagination thrives.
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In being armed, the key is not in reading the mind of thugs you may encounter, the key is in writing the mind of thugs. One is not safe in waiting for a predator to divulge his intentions, the key is in notifying him of yours.
best way is to take training.
Take Emergency Medical Technician -1 courses.
Take handgun and shotgun courses.
5. Your ability to move and to help others. Being visibly armed, you may find, is common in time of emergency. You do not want your household to be one which is noticeably not armed. Being armed resonates with other armed families and builds cohesion, which is essential for neighborhood survival by having at least one less hazard. Being armed is not a hazard, it removes a hazard of not being armed and therefore likely prey. Being able to move about the community safely to aid others may make all the difference in their world.
Being armed is just as important a PR move of prevention as it is when the gun is fired in self defense. Lives can be saved and no one needs to be shot if thugs get the picture early on that their crap is futile and a community refuses to be a victim.
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Finally, think of a community fund. Gather every house on the block and see about everyone contributing to what you believe all of you will need as a community asset. Some might like to purchase at least ten walkie-talkies as the very first item. I know of a neighborhood which plans to put up vehicles as end-of-the-street blockers so that outsiders cannot drive in and maraud the neighborhood. They voted on whose cars would be used and who would have the keys so they can be moved. No nice cars on that list. Now, that’s cooperation!
Whatever you do, take it seriously. Assume nothing. Do not guess, learn. Meet, talk, and practice.
Don’t settle for Preparedness Lite. Be armed with knowledge, authority, and lethal force.
You are in control of all three.
Disaster is the worst possible time to exclude yourself from the roster of available resources for survival.