Letter Re: Preparedness for Less Than a Worst Case, From an Eastern Urbanite’s Perspective

I found the following in a letter posted on your blog: “Barring TEOTWAWKI, it seems to me that we are infinitely more likely to face moderately scary scenarios, like Hurricane Katrina and necessary urban evacuation, some urban 1970s-style civil disturbance but nothing like Mogadishu, high-intensity individual criminal acts, a low-order terrorist event nearby and the accompanying panic, or some other situation shy of the worst case scenario.”

Do people realize that New Orleans wasn’t far from becoming Mogadishu-like after Hurricane Katrina? Certainly if the water hadn’t flooded the streets it very well could have been much worse. The flood waters actually helping the situation by restricting movement to a degree. And let’s not forget we heard the approved media version of it. Who knows how many people really were killed, wounded or raped.

Certainly we want to hope and pray for the best, but it’s totally unrealistic given recent examples in the United States to think that the low-lifes in society will not take advantage of any and possibly every situation. There’s some good writings out regarding some of what happened in breakdowns and economic problems in other countries- i.e, Argentina, Rhodesia, etc. Here’s some things to consider regarding that:

I would argue that people in third world countries are accustomed to: currency devaluation, military controls, rioting in the streets, high crime rates, food shortages, breakdown of infrastructure [such as extended power failures], et cetera.

So for the average Third World resident these things are not TEOTWAWKI. Now consider the suburbanite in the US of A:, “John Smith”: John is definitely not used to seeing the value of his money vanish before his own eyes. John Smith is not used to getting mugged every day on his way home. John Smith is not used to seeing the military on his street. John Smith is not used to rioting in his city. John Smith is not used to two or three days of brown-outs or black-outs.

John Smith gets angry and extremely frustrated when someone cuts him off in traffic. John’s wife Sally is irate when she loses satellite reception during Oprah and she misses the required reading section. John and Sally’s kids are even worse.

And that’s suburban folks, what most of us would call “middle class.” We won’t even bother to talk about some of the other’s actions, just find the archives of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Superdome and you’ll figure that out. [JWR Adds: Lest anyone consider this a quasi-racist statement from R.H., bear in mind that some of the looters caught on film in New Orleans were white and hispanic. The tendency toward looting and other acts of lawlessness during disasters is tied to economics and whether or not children have a law-abiding, morally-grounded upbringing, not race.]

As survivalists, we need to be careful in our thinking. If we are not mentally prepared for the “worst case” and always assume that the guvmint will bail us out before our “three day kit” nonsense runs out, we are going to be in for a world of hurt. It took about three days for it to get really ugly in New Orleans and one could argue that had a lot to do with weather factors or it potentially would have happened sooner.

A lot of folks have “itching ears” and want to hear that they will be okay in the suburbs, that two weeks of food is enough, that they will only have to ‘brandish’ a firearm and won’t have to actually use it, et cetera. I’d like to personally thank you and the many others on the net that don’t water down the message so as to pander to “itching ears.” Thank you for your commitment to reality – R.H.