Four Letters Re: Community Crisis Planning for Societal Collapse

I read the article on Community Crisis Planning for Societal Collapse, by J.I.R. and was reminded by an incident that was related to me by several individuals involved, discussed in the local papers, and is well known .

In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, the State of Illinois sent a convoy of trucks and equipment down to help the citizens in New Orleans. This convoy consisted of dump trucks and low-boys carrying backhoes, bulldozers, boats, generators, etc. The convoy also had a half dozen or so tanker trucks full of fuel. The boats were to be used for search and rescue by the approximately 20 Conservation Police Officers (CPO) in their convoy. (To their undying shame, many of these CPOs later participated in the confiscation of firearms from peaceful civilians transiting the waterways of the area.) Somewhere in Louisiana where traffic had slowed to a crawl, the tankers were suddenly noticed and surrounded by local police and sheriff’s deputies who pronounce that the fuel was being confiscated. The drivers at first conversed with the officers and then refused to comply and locked themselves in the trucks. The local authorities were enraged by this defiance to their authority and they tried to open the doors of the tankers and take over the trucks.

They were not persuaded by the fact that this was a convoy from another state sending aid to Louisiana or the fact that there were 20 armed CPOs in the convoy. The CPOs were out of their jurisdiction (this is Louisiana!), they needed the fuel and didn’t care who or what it was for. Apparently, the saving grace was when several Illinois State Troopers escorting the convoy were called onto the scene. The locals were persuaded by their demeanor and Smokey the Bear style hats, that they might actually mean it that the fuel was not being confiscated, that the fuel was the property of the State of Illinois and “somebody” might get hurt if they tried.

I would assume that it occurred to the locals that a shootout over fuel between properly identified officers is never a career enhancing move, no matter what the situation, and the locals eventually left without the tank trucks. If I remember correctly the State of Illinois did fill up their police cars which amounted to less than 100 gallons of fuel as some kind of show of camaraderie.

It just goes to show you how irrational and chaotic the situation can become in America even between individuals sworn to uphold the law. – A.T.


Allow me to start by saying that the article was fantastic. It covered so much ground in a clear and concise manner. It gives (I estimate) some great advice. There’s a few things I’d like to add to it:

The author was absolutely correct to say that turning away refugees is very taxing on a person. I would suggest looking for somebody who has experience with medical triage. People who have volunteered with Doctors Without Borders and the like, they have likely seen people turned away to go and die before. So they understand the necessity.

About your opinion on pets. It bears stressing that in any society where food is stored in a centralized location, cats are your best friend. Mice and rats will eat the cereal from your granary, go number two and stay there asleep until you’ve got fleas in your food as well. Even the most domesticated cat can turn expert mouser in a very short period of time. Dogs too kill vermin and people will want to keep them around as watchdogs to protect what little they have left.

And as a last note: thank you recognizing scientists as a valuable resource. (Beware though of the ego trippers amongst us :p)
If you intend to get some good results out of them, be sure to protect sources of laboratory equipment and chemicals. Every other kid knows how to build smoke bombs and crude explosives from high school lab chemicals, others may set out to get drug manufacture precursors. Protecting every lab and pharmacy will be a daunting task, I’d suggest allowing a scientific panel to raid all labs and do-it-yourself stores for difficult to acquire chemicals, and let them store them. Certain chemicals should not be stored in each others vicinity, let somebody with knowledge on the subject handle that.

Great article! – Michael H.


Hi Jim,
Good advice in that piece on Community Crisis Planning, I’d like to add on observation though, from the history books. Community solutions become less and less efficient as the size of the community increases. A small town may do well at the application but a city? Forget it.

A study of the collapse of complex civilizations shows that the big cites of the past were all but abandoned in favor of rural living. Our cities will become a living h*ll. I believe and I advise everyone to make plans to move out to smaller communities in the coming years. I know many in the survivalist community online will not actually sell up and move house. but they can at least travel to small towns. They might find one that looks suitable and make acquaintances there, spend time there at social events etc. In this way if they are still in the city and unprepared when the collapse comes they will at least have a place to go that is safe and where they know folk.
Just my 2 cents, mate. All the best Jim. – Frank Downunder in Oz


Dear James,
Regarding the letter by J.I.R., it sounds as if he is campaigning for dictator. And though he seems to be knowledgeable about logistics, he also seems to be lacking in “people skills” and morality. “Redistribution” of the supplies at the local Wal-Mart ? Huh? “About 4/5ths of your town will need food and most of the town’s food will be owned by a very few individuals or controlled by a store manager. If you allow the market to “work itself out”, these few individuals will suddenly control all the wealth and be able to charge people anything they see fit…or withhold critical resources as the whim takes them”. – He proposes to control them himself, without rightful ownership.

This reminds me of the people who plan to “redistribute” cattle and crops they see on other people’s farms. He better not try to redistribute my family’s goods, lest he find himself redistributed. Perhaps he should set up some sort of charitable food bank now, with personal donations from his family to seed it with. Indignantly yours, – Rocky in the Midwest