“People are fighting in the streets for what is left.”

PreppersarecrazyMany times I have badgered and pushed you readers to do some basic “prep” in the case of natural or manmade disasters.  Were there to be some catastrophic event where you are, could you get yourself and loved ones to safety or keep them safe in place?

Consider that, were services to break down, most people have food and maybe water for about 3 days. After that it is possible that things can go Lord Of The Flies really fast.

This is not a theoretical question in the wake of hurricane Irma.

From the NYT:

Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: ‘All the Food Is Gone’

MARIGOT, St. Martin — At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma.

They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.

But by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of people, some of them armed, swooped in and took whatever of value was left: electronics, appliances and vehicles.

“All the food is gone now,” Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident of St. Martin, said in an interview on Sunday. “People are fighting in the streets for what is left.”


Maybe it is time for some of you to read some of the dystopian disaster genre novels which anticipate this sort of scenario and behavior.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. knute says:

    Are there any books in particular you would recommend Father?

  2. MWindsor says:

    Knute – Have a look at “SAS and Elite Forces Guide to Preparing to Survive”, and “SAS Survival Handbook.” They’re very popular and accessible. They are lengthy and sometimes offer a bit too much info, but all of what’s included is good.

    And Fr. Z – Sure would be interesting if they had a >HINTHINTHINT< woudn't it? avast hinting.


  3. the little brother says:

    The real threat is looters. It doesn’t matter how well you are prepared if you are not prepared to defend your home against thugs w/machetes & guns.

  4. acardnal says:

    But Father, but Father. . . will you share your oil with those who did not plan ahead and bring extra oil for their lamps?

    [I hope I’ll be too busy inside, at the wedding banquet.]


  5. BenFischer says:

    regarding dystopian novels: since Jerry Pournell has just passed away, might I suggest Footfall, or Lucifer’s Hammer?

  6. ESMDHokie77 says:

    One second after by forstchen, or patriots by rawles.

    [Some links]

    One Second After by William R. Forstchen US HERE – UK HERE
    This is a standard in the genre.  The author, who’s got game, has written two sequels.

    Lights Out by David Crawford.  US HERE – UK HERE

    And not exactly an EMP scenario, but in the same line:

    Patriots by James Wesley Rawles. (It’s sequel HERE) UK HERE


  7. Norah says:

    You may want to check out this site:
    Need to evacuate due to Hurricanes or Wildfires? Here’s what to take!
    Elizabeth Scalia

  8. mulieribus says:

    Interestingly – the TLM Gospel this Sunday: “6:25 Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?
    6:26 Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?”

    [Hence… let your children starve and your wives be raped by looting thugs. Is that the message I’m picking up from you?]

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    Voice of America is reporting the same security problem as this NYT article. VOA adds a quote from a bar owner evacuated to the U.S. from St. John: “It’s like the Walking Dead down there.” (I’ve never seen the show, but my guess is that the reference is to general mayhem and not to zombie hordes.) VOA says that St. Thomas residents are also reporting some looters armed with machetes.

    Fr. Z: A week ago in your remarks-in-red to one of my comments you mentioned that the Navy chaplain on board the USS Kearsarge was a friend of yours who assisted you with, I think, the Triduum. You probably already know this, but just in case, the latest Dept. of Defense Press Release said that the Kearsarge was redirected last week from the Texas coast to the US Virgin Islands, has arrived at the USVI, is “conducting relief operations,” and has put its Marines ashore.

    p.s. The Marine unit on the Kearsarge is the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. On the 26th MEU website there is an amusing photo from last week of a tall, muscular, infantry Marine helping out in the Kearsarge’s scullery by washing dishes (before the ship reached the USVI). How ’bout that Navy-Marine Corps teamwork! No doubt Aubrey-Maturin would approve of all this nautical activity.

    [Preserved would surely respond, “Which I am sure of it.”]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “Preserved would surely respond, “Which I am sure of it.””

    And later- after the debris is cleared away, ruffians with machetes swept from the streets, and the injured tended to- a satisfied Aubrey would turn to Preserved Killick and say: “Light along that bacon and coffee, Killick. I’m clemmed.”

    Norah: Great link to the Aleteia evacuation checklist. That penny in the freezer trick to test if food has thawed is brilliant, never heard of that one before.

    Speaking of checklists, a friend reminded me the other day of two items useful for all that manual labor either post-hurricane cleanup or post-catastrophe living: work gloves and back pain relief such as IcyHot or Salonpas patches.

    This medical stuff brings to mind another quote from Master and Commander (Book #1 in the Aubrey/Maturin series), this quote is about Maturin, the ship’s doctor:

    “…he had constantly laid in great quantities of asafetida, castoreum, and other substances, to make his medicines more revolting in taste, smell and texture than any others in the fleet; and he found it answered- his hardy patients knew with their entire beings they were being physicked.”

    For what it’s worth, one last item about medical care in a post-disaster situation. Skilled medical care may not be available. There are books and YouTube videos (actual Emergency Room videos with audible patient sounds, or battlefield video from overseas, or how-to videos in an office by a doctor or nurse on a dummy) available that show how to care for abrasions, lacerations, stitching, burns etc. I’m not a medical professional, and of course books and videos are not medical school, but watching an occasional medical video may help reduce stress later when providing first aid to minor or major injuries up close and personal.

    If I may kindly suggest, begin with abrasions and lacerations before slowly working up to major wounds, severe burns, and amputations. No doubt readers who are medical professionals could greatly expand on my simple comment here.

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