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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who is coming to help when the crap hits the fan?

The idea that there will be someone coming to help when the proverbial fan gets hit is in reality the entire emergency contingency plan for most people. However, under the current circumstances this idea is more hope than fact. In some places of the country, Public safety officials have been forced to slash their budgets, lay-off emergency workers, and decide what crimes they will no longer respond to.

In addition there have been at least two instances, that I know of, where the Police abandoned the jurisdiction they were charged to protect. This is not being said to criticize them, but to merely show the casual reader that in a pinch, people are going to protect themselves and their families.

The first incident was during the LA Riots. Once it was determine that the city was out of control, the Police withdrew, leaving many Korean shop owners to stand on their own. For nearly three days there was no governmental law enforcement in part of Los Angeles and the Korean shop owners, a target for most of the rioters, were forced to arm themselves and defend their property from the rooftops.
Source: LAPD Blasted...

The second incident was during Hurricane Katrina. After the storm 60 Officers quit, 45 were fired and 2 committed suicide. In addition there was a catastrophic communications failure that resulted in a massive loss of command and control. This is not to say that the officers who actually showed up for work did not step up to the plate and do their job. Many that did were heroes who saved hundreds of lives over a period of several days with little to no sleep, rest, and/or adequate food. Unfortunately when you look at the department as a whole you will again see a collapse of the system.
Source: This isn't representative of our department...

Again, I say all of this, not to attack the Police, but to show each and every reader of this blog, that you have to take responsibility for your own safety. During a serious issue, you may not be the priority. The plan, if there is one, may designate important landmarks, public buildings, and utilities as areas that need to be secured first during a disaster. If the situation is really bad, the Police may not even be able to show up for work. Remember behind every badge is a human being, with a family. Regardless of some high minded oath, when the crap hits the fan, they will more than likely do what your going to do, hunker down and protect their family. Work, would only come after the family is safe and sound.

With that said, I would plan as if you know you are on your own. If help arrives, great. If it doesn't, you'll survive.

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