Letters Re: My Family Preparedness Plan, by R.S.


Wow. I found this to be a grim and sobering article but one of the most sound that I have read to date. I don’t think anyone could cover all the myriads of possible scenarios, but this gives a great launching point for most I can imagine. Thank you for your time in writing such a good article. – J.W.

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Most deaths in a post-EMP or post-solar-flare/grid-down situation will be from the combination of starvation and disease. Starvation can be prevented by storing sufficient food to last until the next crop comes in. Disease can be prevented by practicing good sanitation techniques, primarily using septic tanks for waste disposal and solar or generator powered wells for fresh water. It’s hard to do in the city or suburbs but relatively common in the country. If you have a spring, creek, or river water source, the trick will be your ability to purify the water before consumption. Water filters or boiling will accomplish this. If you have a town upstream, be prepared for the water to become polluted with human excrement, as their waste water treatment plant fails. – Old Paratrooper

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Two things: Where are these “containment camps”? Where do they appear in the federal budget? Are they as real as the dam that “burst “in California? – H.L.

HJL’s Comment: They do exist, and you have seen (or at least heard of) them in operation. They exist in the form of pre-positioned assets in mobile containers known as “Pre-Positioned Disaster Supplies” (PPDS). There is no reason to maintain and keep a fully functional facility up and running all the time. FEMA simply pre-positions supplies and commandeers facilities and manpower (usually through the National Guard) when one needs to be operated. There are at least three locations within 20 miles of my home that have these PPDSs, and most counties and large cities have specifically requested them. The goal of FEMA is to have supplies in any disaster area within 24 to 72 hours, making the response time as short as possible.

I would point to the Louisiana Superdome during hurricane Katrina as a prime example of an operational FEMA camp. This, of course, was before the PPDS program, but the government simply commandeered the appropriate facility and manpower and created the camp within a matter of days. Most people who were residents of the facility were not prepared for the disaster and willingly placed themselves in the custody of the government in hopes of being fed and taken care of. As you know, gangs and crime were rampant, people were not allowed the necessary tools to protect themselves, and the government did little to nothing to stop the abuses. Once you were in, you could not leave until the government decided to let you. In some cases, the government was a willing participant in the abuses, and there were situations of forced relocation and illegal search and seizures. I would also remind our readers that there is precedent for this action on a large scale and point them to the Japanese/American internment camps in WWII.

I’m sure if you check with your city’s and/or county’s emergency preparedness coordinator (or whatever they call the position), you will find an existing plan in place to utilize PPDSs or similar supplies along with the plan to appropriate the manpower, facilities, and equipment to run them. Our local county has at least three high schools and one government compound that are in their plan, as those locations are designed to hold a large number of people and provide fenced security. The PPDSs are stored in other close by locations and the local sheriff, municipal police, fire (paid and volunteer), national guard depots and various other organizations are part of the manpower and equipment plans.


  1. I wish to comment on the “containment camps” statements. Anyone desiring to research FEMA can go to fema.gov and also go to gpo.gov and download Title 44 CFR to get in print exactly what FEMA is allowed to do according to law. The scare of being forced into a type of containment area by a government agency is not a concern for me as an informed law abiding prepper. Yes, “Old Hickory” did that despicable act around 1830 and many Japenese Americans near the west coast of the US were also victims of containment during WWII. I believe our policy makers have learned from those unfortunate actions and will not repeat them. I agree that FEMA pre positions items like bottled water, cots and MRE’s at potential storm sites for reasons already covered.
    But, I do not believe there are any sites anywhere in the US being considered for containment of law abiding citizens against their will. The Superdome was used as a shelter during the Hurricane Katrina disaster as authorized by the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana. FEMA cannot provide any assistance to a state until asked by the governor of that state, by law, e.g. The Stafford Act, and 44 CFR and then only assistance as declared and approved by the president. Thus, any reference to the Superdome actions should be to the state
    of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans independently.

    1. @David,
      While FEMA cannot act until asked by the state, all states are eager for FEMA involvement. That’s the whole point of declaring an “emergency” – to open up the path to obtaining federal funds and manpower. There is no state in the union right now that wants to spend their own money (and only their own money) when they can obtain federal assistance. Additionally, to my knowledge, there is no state that is adequately equipped to handle large scale disasters. Katrina, Sandy and others have shown how easily states get in over their heads. Even the Ferguson riots ended up with federal help. What we learn is that the states are eager to involve the feds, if nothing else, for the funding.
      What our policy makers have learned is that while some people may scream and rant about the unconstitutionality of actions such as the Japanese internment camps and other atrocities, they can still act with impunity with virtually no fear of reprisals. Yes, there are rules against the things that were done (there have been rules against it from the beginning of the U.S.), but we also learn that if the government feels the need or desire to violate those rules, they can and will do so as they see fit. Does history ever show that anyone of significance was ever held accountable for their actions of such violations? Obama, Hillary, perhaps Bush, and others stand out as people who willingly lied and violated the constitution, but have they been held accountable? Have they even had a valid, untainted investigation into their actions?
      I would agree that forced detainment is unlikely, but there is precedent for just such an action on a pretty large scale during WWII.

  2. Hugh,

    I was part of the Army contingent that was located in the Superdome and as a born and raised resident of Louisiana with family located there, I volunteered to go in and help as I was intimately familiar with the preparations before impact. I can tell you the nightmares of riding a cat 3/4 Hurricane in the ‘Dome.

    However, as many other have stated that the Stafford Act prohibits FEMA interaction w/o due cause and proper legal (non martial law) occasions. With this said, curfew was implemented (if my memory serves) 3 days before and we got the call 3 hours before impact that Martial Law was in effect until otherwise ordered.

    I watched a disaster become a warzone within 12 hours of impact. I would rather have another tour in Iraq/Afghanistan than go back to new orleans.

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