Individual Preparations Have National Implications
By: Tom Chatham
With the recent release of reports from government agencies that warn of potential risk from long term grid failure, it is only prudent to evaluate your readiness for potential problems in our future. Catastrophic events have a habit of showing up unannounced.
When the population is capable of caring for itself following an event, it frees up government assets to devote to fixing the problem rather than taking care of the population. As we have seen in the past, even in the best cases, government assets cannot provide everything the population wants following an event. They can only provide the most basic needs and this decreases in proportion to the number of people that require assistance.
When something happens and you have resources to provide for your needs, you automatically have more options at your disposal to work your way through the problems. This provides you with the freedom to act in your own best interests and not be a pawn to others. Those that are dependant on others for their needs are at the mercy of those providing those necessities.
The recent NIAC report expresses a need for community enclaves where people can hunker down while the problems are being fixed. These enclaves would encompass things such as schools, hospitals and other community assets that are necessary to continue providing necessities to the community. Enclaves that can provide medical needs, water, sewer services, communications and security are just some of the things that can allow a population to weather an event with the least amount of discomfort.
The ability of community enclaves to care for the local population allows the government to deploy available assets to fix the problem rather than provide for the daily needs of the population. This can greatly enhance the ability to fix the problems in a timely manner without the disruptions that can occur when the population is demanding resources that the government may not have. Community self care is one of the basic functions that civil defense units were once tasked with. The loss of a national civil defense program has left the nation vulnerable at the local level and has security implications for the whole nation. The community enclave idea harkens back to the civil defense era of preparedness.
In the event of a nation wide event, the federal government has no way to care for the nation as a whole. The resources are simply not there, at least not at the national or state level. The resources stored by the government are based on a disaster of small scale and limited duration. The government also depends on the ability to pull resources from the private sector in an emergency. An event that disrupts transportation systems would also prevent distribution of the resources that are available at storage locations.
Communities have the ability to store the necessary resources on an individual basis that can allow the nation to recover. Individuals that store supplies help to spread out the cost of resources and provide redundancy and durability to the supply chain. A government warehouse that is destroyed or looted will provide no help to the many who are counting on it but the loss of a few individual storage units can be absorbed on the whole.
The shift from a local civil defense posture to a government operated system has left the population vulnerable to events that could otherwise have far less consequences for the population if they maintained the resources to deal with it locally on an individual basis. The community enclave allows the local group to benefit from the technical expertise of individuals such as doctors, law enforcement, firemen, electricians and plumbers to provide the essential services that the whole group needs while individuals provide the basic supplies their families need.
The ability of communities to remain stable during an event makes the nation as a whole much stronger and less likely to fall into chaos should other events emerge that can compound the situation. There are those in the world that are always eager to use any situation to prey on society for their own benefit. This can be individuals, groups or even nation states seeking expansion and resources.
We have the resources available at this time to prepare for future unknowns but it is up to each individual to make these preparations. Once an event unfolds it is too late to acquire what you need in any quantity. What you have when it unfolds is what you will have to work with for the duration. At this time the vast majority of the population is unprepared for any serious national crisis and without a refocus of our efforts to individual preparations, the nation as a whole will suffer and depending on the event, may not survive.