It doesn’t take much for civilized society to stop working, if only for a short time. Think your neighborhood is immune? Don’t bet on it!
One of the personal security scenarios that everyone should consider is the prospect of civil unrest. Even if you don’t live in the immediately affected area, the danger of unwittingly traveling close to (or into) an area with active riots is very real – as Reginald Denny can attest.
This was brought home this week when the news came alive with a story out of a St. Louis, MO suburb: an 18-year-old man was shot and killed by a police officer, and the area simply exploded. Several nights of rioting, looting and pillaging followed (and as this is being written the area is not yet calm.) Neighbors turned on neighbors and looted local stores, damaged businesses, and destroyed hopes.
There are many videos of the mayhem online (along with stories of armed resistance saving people’s lives.) Gun stores report that people are buying everything that shoots in an effort to protect themselves against the roving gangs. When the chips are down, people realize that personal arms are the most efficient tool against a lethal threat.
Now to be fair, this probably isn’t unexpected. St. Louis, after all, consistently makes the Top Twenty in “most dangerous cities” rankings, right up there with Oakland and Memphis; it’s not generally a safe area to begin with. Add in a racially-charged shooting and some hot weather, and one might be excused for thinking that these kinds of things only happen in the “dangerous” places.
Well, except when they don’t. Take the little town of Chattaroy, Washington; Chattaroy is an unincorporated hamlet of about 4,300 people some 20 miles from Spokane. Spokane itself isn’t what one could even charitably call a major city: a little more than 200,000 people, a very large percentage of those being college students, out in the middle of nowhere and more rural than urban. (Yes, I’ve been there — many times, in fact.)
Yet just a few weeks back, after storms knocked out the power in Chattaroy, some neighbors in a mobile home park started fighting. Some because they’d been without electricity for a week, others because their homes had been damaged by falling trees and no one had fixed them yet. None of them, apparently, were prepared to deal with anything more than a night without beer.
It’s important to understand that the veneer of civilization is very thin in many places. Yes, there are heroic stories of neighbors coming together in the face of adversity, and those are to be admired, but there are many others where they turned on each other — in big, dangerous St. Louis and tiny, relatively safe Chattaroy.
Some things to consider:
– Do you have food, water, and some method of powering your “life support” systems for a minimum of 72 hours (30 days would be better) following any kind of incident?
– Do you have alternate travel routes planned in case the major thoroughfares are jammed, preventing your safe return home?
– Do you have ways of staying in touch with your loved ones during extended communication outages?
– Has your family planned and practiced what to do in the event of a major storm, earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other dangerous situation?
– Do you have “trigger points” that would cause you to implement those plans? Have you discussed them so everyone knows what to do and when?
– Do you have personal arms that you regularly carry? Have you gotten adequate training, and do you practice regularly?
– Can you provide basic trauma care in case medical resources are stretched thin or temporarily out of reach? Do you have supplies and training? (One toxic train derailment in most small cities is more than sufficient to overwhelm local medical facilities; a high-casualty disaster might take all the resources in an entire region.)
– Do you know your neighbors? Have you discussed mutual aid in such situations (without letting on how prepared you might be, of course)? Can you count on each other, or will they be part of the horde coming to loot your house?
These are just some of the things that the well-prepared person (or family) should be doing before disaster — whether natural or man-made — strikes. Personal security is more than just knowing how to shoot!
-=[ Grant ]=-
- Posted by Grant Cunningham
- On August 14, 2014