April 22, 2009

Being prepared, from someone who knows

Last week I posted an email I received from my Cousin. He is a firefighter in Texas, he has been through the training, he has been through the hurricanes, he knows first hand what happens when things quit going according to plan. I have been reluctant to share some of my more dire thoughts regarding what we are headed for. He touches on a few of the ideas that we and many of you share.
He sent me the following email regarding my post on the proposal for Obama to be able to shut down the flow of information :
...I heard the other day that Texas is gong to be taking applications for President of the Republic. I guess I should be careful sending emails now that that is going to be controlled now too. For years, people have become more and more dependant on technology. It started out simple: TV, microwaves, computers, cell phones, Internet, GPS, and now the "super cell phone" that does everything but pop your popcorn! I have often stepped back and looked around at the sheer dependence on these devices and wondered what would happen if the proverbial plug was pulled. Don't get me wrong, all of these devices are great tools...but if my air nailer stops working I still know how to swing a hammer. How many times have you seen people in total disarray because their computer crashed or they cannot get cell service? Now take that one person and multiply that by 304 million and that's just domestic! It's like we talked about the other day, people aren't accumulating supplies to fend off the Feds...it's the angry mob that is the true danger. I believe that people are intelligent, but when they congregate it turns into a mindless mob. Like our Grandpa always said "when you have one boy, you have a boy, when you have two boys you get about half a boy, and if there are three you have no boys at all"
Not only will we have to defend our families and property from the mob, but we WILL have to be self sufficient for a short time anyway. When there is a local disaster i.e. hurricane, ice storm, flood, wildland fire, resources are activated. I am one of those resources, and it takes time to mobilize. We get the call, respond to the station, load our gear for the type of response, and then drive. We can usually get en route in less than 2 hours from the time of request. BUT...there is the response itself, New Orleans is 8 hours away with intact roadways. Two weeks ago we got called to assist in the Texas Panhandle for the wildland fires.
That is a 12+ hour drive in a fire truck. After hurricane Rita, we got a call for assistance from some friends that I have taught classes with near Beaumont. We got the call about noon, and all they needed was immediate resupply, food, water, ice, fuel, basically everything a fire department need to be a fire department. We started gathering what we could (our stores were pretty bare from the evacuation) and got to them about 1 AM. There were men sleeping on the ground, there was equipment that was critical low on fuel...and these are the one that have to help others! Our brother firefighters came outside to help unload the trailer and they were physically and emotionally exhausted. There were grown men crying as they carried supplies, grateful that we had arrived...and felt very rejected by local emergency management. It seems that "everyone knows" that they are on their own for 48-72 hours and they mean ON-YOUR-OWN. Things have gotten a little better now, Ike just took about 2 days to get water and MRE's to the people here. But when people are out of their element, be it dehydrated, suffering heat or cold injuries, starving, or just truly scared, some of them loose the ability of rational thinking. I always have a couple of cases of water on hand and 3 gallons frozen (gallon jugs keep thing cold for quite a while). There are always non-perishables in the pantry, meat in the freezer, and wood for the fire (for cooking or heating). I am confident that we can survive for that first few days after things get bad. But one contingency that I have not prepared for is the breakdown of services NATIONWIDE. There will be no "calming" news reports that help is on the way, no cell phones to call for help. We will truly be on our own. Controlling communications can prevent organizing against the government, but it also prohibits organizing for survival. As many drills as we do, even with all the communications in place today, there still remains a lag in the response time. I feel that there is a genuine breakdown in communications, someone always "forgets" to do their job, however minuscule that job is. There is no power to run the best EOC without the minimum wage earner fueling the generator!
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