Eight Letters Re: Earthquake Aftermath in Haiti

Dear Jim,
Thank you for the blog. It has helped my family and I to be more prepared than we had ever imagined. I found this Fox News article and thought you might be interested. There are a few things here that have been discussed at length in SurvivalBlog and in your books, but it is good to look at them [actually coming to pass] in real world situations. These include: 1) The police chief can get less than half of his force out. That is probably because they are trying to fend for themselves. 2) They are asking “what is taking the foreigners so long?” Why aren’t they dependant on themselves? 3) Half of the aid coming into their country is from the US Army. If this scenario happened here, who would be bringing aid here? 4) The ones who seem to be doing the best are the ones who live in the hills and who blocked access to their area with cars. 5) Don’t count on the government. That is one young man’s take on things. 6) When the grid goes down, what happens with the criminals in the prisons? Blessings and I hope you enjoy. – Bill H.

Mr. Rawles,
My wife and I were so sorry for your loss and your family has been in our prayers. Our family believes like you that the thin veneer is very real. I thought this article proves your point about the “Golden Horde” and staying away from “Channelized Areas” (aka “Refugee Lines of Drift”).

We were very fortunate to escape a “luxury community in South Texas” and return to the Northwest, purchase our retreat as well as continue our preparations. We took advantage of your “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course and free book offer and have been pleasantly surprised (even though we are preppers there was still an abundance of info that we gleaned from it and it changed a little of our pantry storage process). Regards, – Mr. and Mrs. Foxtrot

Greetings Jim,
About a year ago, I submitted a piece on some lessons learned from Hurricane Iniki that struck the island of Kauai in 1992. There were three points from that article that I believe are relevant to what we see in Haiti. One is the problems encountered when rescuers attempt to squeeze a large number of aircraft into one airport. There are monumental challenges with off-loading and moving supplies and equipment in a timely and orderly manner. The second is the need for armed security at distribution points to control the crowds. Most troubling, is the ratio of relief workers to island residents. On Kauai, at the peak of the relief effort, there was one relief worker for every 10 island residents. To achieve that 1:10 ratio on Haiti would require 200,000 to 300,000 relief workers and security forces to assist and protect 2 to 3 million displaced Haitians. That kind of support is unlikely to materialize. We can expect more violence in the days ahead. – Bill in Honolulu

Mr. Rawles,
A few items from Haiti. Ham radio operators trying to help were fired upon, apparently by escaped convicts. I also read that prisoners broke from prison after the quake, stripped weapons from the guards, including assault rifles, and the descended on the rubble of the Justice Ministry to destroy all records of their prior crimes. Obviously, the prison break maps very closely to some of the scenarios you’ve discussed on SurvivalBlog and in your books. People who believe they do not need to be armed when facing a collapse event should read these articles more closely. Best wishes to you and your family. Keep your powder dry. I fear we’re all going to need ours soon. – Dave R.

Mr. Rawles,
I’ve been reading your new “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” book. I like it. I was reminded of something I read there in the sanitation chapter about dealing with dead bodies when I saw this article from the BBC. I also found the Management of Dead Bodies Field Guide the article referenced. The manual can be downloaded. Thank you for all your work. I pray your family is doing well since your loss. God bless. – JG

Dear Jim:
The recent earthquake in Haiti is a perfect example of why disaster planning and preparations are so important. While the most technologically advanced nations on earth try and get aid to the region, they are hindered by a broken port and single poorly equipped airport. Rioting has begun and aid workers are being shot at and mobbed.

This is not a unique situation. This is a mirror for past, present and future disasters. Los Angeles riots, Hurricane Katrina, ice storms, heat waves, tidal waves, etc. all cause an immense amount of death and suffering for the first few weeks simply because folks are not prepared with the basics and the ‘government’ is lucky to be able to find its shoes in the dark with both hands.

Beans, Band-Aids and Bullets. Or to be more precise, water, medical supplies, fuel, shelter, and the means to defend one’s family.

CNN shows the displaced under tarps on main street next to decaying bodies. A military helicopter dropping supplies was mobbed so badly that debris was being thrown up into the rotor blades. After the supplies were all gone, in a few seconds, the crowd began to fight over the empty cardboard boxes! Haitian police just opened fire on a looting mob. This is not a drill.

I have vowed not be forced into that type of situation. I have prepared my immediate family (now numbering ten! what happened?) to be able to ride out at least thirty days of hardship and could well do more if we restrict intake and no one is hurt. We will have our stores and we will be able to defend it. No Katrina/Superdome type fiasco for us thank you very much, hopefully we will hole up here at the house but if need be we can bug out to a campsite away from the maddening crowd.

I know this is preaching to the choir but Haiti is not an anomaly. It is what happens in real life when folks miss only three meals. Bless you and your staff. – Cactus Jim

Hi James,
Wanted to point out this article as an example of your prediction of the “golden hoard” coming true. I can’t even imagine the carnage when 1 million people realize they have to, and can’t, wait for food to grow where they are headed. I’ve read “Patriots” and with this many people heading into the countryside, do you seriously think holding the fort is possible? It seems the only viable option will be to bug out and keep ahead of the hoard. – Kevin in Honolulu

Here’s a story about a U.S. Compassion International worker in Haiti who was trapped by the earthquake. – Jerry