A Failure of Disaster Response: Or Was It?
By: Tom Chatham
One week ago the Northeast experienced the worst storm in decades if not a century. The storm warnings went out and the people were told to prepare. The bureaucracy activated its highly paid, highly trained central organizers to prepare their plans for recovery efforts. Then everyone waited for the destruction to begin. As the scenes of destruction unfolded the central planners worked their magic and coordinated supplies and resources coming from all over the lower 48. As the storm dissipated, emergency workers began their monumental task of repairing the damaged infrastructure and returning things to normal. As work progressed they patted each other on the back for another job well done.
The only problem with the central planners and their recovery operations is that those operations do not include disaster relief for the civil population. Many people are now beginning to realize the true nature of these emergency management agencies. These agencies, led by FEMA, are for the sole purpose of Continuity of Government, and any benefits that the civil population receives from them are the mere crumbs that government employees happen to drop. This may sound harsh but sometimes the truth hurts. People need to realize this fact and prepare for their own disaster response.
The U.S. government has dozens if not hundreds of secure bunker complexes around the country that are maintained by FEMA. Just last year the U.S. government made a purchase of 1 Billion dollars worth of freeze dried foods, and just a few months ago they said they were going to buy millions of dollars worth of meat. Nations such as Switzerland have bunkers for most of their people and Russia has shelters and grain supplies for a large portion of their population. So it begs the question, if our government has this many bunkers and has stored this much food and they cannot even get minimal relief to people in one borough of New York, a major financial hub, then where exactly are their priorities directed? If you think any of those bunkers are for the little people then I hate to bust your bubble but someone needs to. I only mention these things to make a point. In a disaster our government will take care of itself.
In the days after the storm we saw people pulling through dumpsters for food, pleading for water and shelter from the cold and pulling guns on one another to get gasoline. These things happened within 48 hours of the storm ending where the bulk of the country was able to help this one area and this gets to the point of the article. There was a total failure of the government to maintain minimal living standards for the population following a disaster when they had massive resources available to them. These images were beamed around the world and rest assured, our enemies are watching and taking notes. The government cannot care for everyone even under good circumstances and they have ensured the people are not prepared to care for themselves. This is what worries me the most.
Our enemies are constantly trying to find new ways to harm us and we are providing them with test runs to showcase our incompetence and help them fine tune any future attack. If an enemy were to launch conventional and cyber attacks against our grid and natural gas pipelines just as a major blizzard were about to hit the upper Midwest and Northeast, they have a good idea what kind of chaos it would cause and how the government would handle it. In a scenario such as this the people would be left mostly to their own devices. This is the reason preppers are always trying to educate people and get them to prepare. The failure of the government bureaucracy to educate the public on self sufficiency and self preservation under catastrophic circumstances, or even acknowledge the need, will exact a high price that will be paid for with the blood of its people.
I don’t think the people should expect handouts from the government but with all of the money the government spends on supposedly preparing for disaster, you would think they would at least be able to give a kerosene heater, five gallons of kerosene, a case of MRE’s and a case of water to those that can shelter in place. That seems pretty basic to me but then again, I’m not a government bureaucrat and that isn’t their mission. As with all of the past disasters, this episode should bring to light the necessity to prepare. A smart man learns from his mistakes, a genius learns from the mistakes of others.