When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, emergency responders from both public and private sectors were eager to respond within hours. The failure was not with the individuals on the ground ready to help, but rather, it was with management. All levels of government failed the people of New Orleans, from the President on down to Mayor Ray Nagin. No one would make a decision, and this cost hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in additional damage.
In disaster situations – real disasters – the bureaucracy always finds a way to make a difficult task even harder.
Our inability to depend on the very officials we’ve elected to help us when it really counts is the very reason why the idea of taking personal responsibility for oneself during a SHTF emergency sounds so appealing.
If only every city could have forward looking leaders like Sherriff Larry Deen, who recently launched “Operation Exodus”, a program designed to prepare his city for what the Shreveport Times calls an end-of-the-world scenario:
The Bossier Parish sheriff’s office is launching a program called “Operation Exodus,” a policing plan for an end-of-the-world scenario involving a mostly white group of ex-police volunteers and a .50-caliber machine gun, inspired in part from the Book of Exodus in the Bible.
“The buck stops with Larry Deen,” said Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen. “The liability stops with Larry Deen. I am the chief law enforcement officer in this parish, and it is incumbent upon me protect all of the people in it.”
Deen said he had been formulating a plan to protect Bossier Parish’s vital resources, like food and gasoline, in the event of a catastrophic event, such as war or a terrorist attack. Deen said he had been thinking of the plan since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Under the plan, these volunteers, supplemented with active public safety personnel, will be dispatched to vital areas in Bossier to protect them from looters or rioters. Deen listed as examples food inside grocery stores and gasoline in gasoline stations, not to mention protecting hospitals and other public meeting places.
Bossier City’s head crime fighter is being proactive, not reactive. “War-gaming” these types of scenarios in a local community will certainly save lives and help to mitigate the confusion and chaos that will inevitably ensue if such an emergency event were to occur.
Sheriff Deen has identified several focal points for prepping Bossier City, including food reserves and gas. Though not mentioned in the article, we’d venture a guess that they may also be looking at reserve power systems, local communications and evacuation plans.
Like any good preparedness plan, getting down to the individual level is critical. If your community, like Bossier City, is preparing for potential emergencies by protecting food and gas, we’d suggest that each individual family consider doing the same – and then some.
If your community is not preparing, and your elected officials are clueless about the potential dangers of natural and man-made disasters, then it all falls on you. If the worst-case becomes actuality don’t expect help from local emergency responders – because there will not be any.