If you are relocated: Depending on the circumstances of a relocation it may be salvation from danger (large disaster) or because you are considered a threat (a la the Japanese Americans during WWII) In any case, a government camp can be one of the most undesirable places to be once you are out of danger. Once you are their “guest”, the organization who has sheltered you may feel they must continue for political or security reasons to see to your well being. Ease of providing security, lack of ID, or fear of rioting may be excuses for denying or making difficult the conclusion of your stay. Separation of men and women may be mandated, especially after the rape problems at the Hurricane Katrina stadium relocation “camps”.
The U.S. Forest Service fire camp is essentially the same model used for most FEMA operations (look up “FEMA ICS”– Incident Command System), there is a whole industry which starts in spring through late fall following the fire season. Federal and state prisons employ trustee fire crews right alongside regular crews on large fires. Prison infrastructure and security is present at most large fire camps.
In the event of a large national emergency in your area, be prepared for forced evacuations. Have a plan in case you are caught in a relocation and are unable to make your way (or are prevented) on your own. An assessment must be made whether you are a prisoner or a guest but even guests of an operation like this are treated like to some extent as prisoners to reduce manpower requirements.
Cyclone (chan link) fences are made to keep you in, out, or prevent your crossing. In any of these circumstances a proper heavy duty wire cutter is needed to make your escape. Cutting through private or farm fences is a bad thing to do (use good judgment) but if you are trapped (detention camp) then this tool may be a life saver. Be sure that the jaws are of proper temper so they do not blunt or fall apart.[JWR Adds: A heavy duty “compound” design wire cutter is probably your best bet.] A smaller cutter may be a good item to hide in addition to the big cutter.
Concertina or razor-type wire may be employed to prevent foot crossing or even just block a road. Stacked concertina wire [typically deployed stacked, with two “tubes”, parallel, with a third tube resting on top of the base pair, forming an obstacle that looks triangular when seen in cross-section] is almost impossible to cross bare-handed. However, scrap carpet, sleeping bags, canvas tents, tarps, et cetera can be used to reduce injury on large group crossings.
When I lived in the U.S., most sniffer dogs were for drugs and this is likely still the case. Expect to be sniffed at some point. Expect to be questioned, if you are dealing with prison guards they are more looking for nervousness or hesitation at answering than what you are really up to also do not fail the attitude test and get aggressive unless you want to be
considered a risk. Be a “Gray man.” Don’t complain or ask for favors be the easy one to forget then you won’t be missed. Expect only a cursory search if large numbers are being taken in, having your own gear makes it easier to keep escape tools likely the back or kidney padding will not be searched on a backpack.
The U.S. government has huge stockpiles of large tents, sleeping bags, ground pads, heaters, and other supplies ready to be shipped in and form these camps.
Private contract companies for fire and security and site services are ready and trained to make these FEMA camps go up quickly in response to an emergency. Command, Finance, Logistics, Operations, and Planning personnel are pre-trained and certified to come together without ever having met and set up a huge working camp and tackle an assignment. It would be interesting to hear from a SurvivalBlog reader that has worked as (or for) a security contractor or warden about fire/recovery type operations using inmate labor, and how security is handled. [As a firefighter, my role in forming these camps was always on the “ops” end attacking fires so the other roles were only observed or in command simulations
It is important to remember as always most workers in a camp like this (if not all) think they are doing the best for both you and the public at large. Even if you hold by the “UN is evil” theory (I do) understand that the troops in the field are specially trained and motivated (brainwashed) by upper command. I have seen it in Israeli police and IDF soldiers during the ejection of Jews from Gush Katif. Use subtle resistance tactics, not violence.