A recent study noted that the majority of people have enough food in their pantries to feed their household for about three days and that seemingly stable societies are really just nine meals from anarchy. With most of us dependent on just-in-time transportation systems to always be available, few ever consider the worst case scenario.
For tens of thousands of east coast residents that worst case scenario is now playing out in real-time. No longer are images of starving people waiting for government handouts restricted to just the third-world.
In the midst of crisis, once civilized societies will very rapidly descend into chaos when essential infrastructure systems collapse.
Though the National Guard was deployed before the storm even hit, there is simply no way for the government to coordinate a response requiring millions of servings of food, water and medical supplies
Many east coast residents who failed to evacuate or prepare reserve supplies ahead of the storm are being forced to fend for themselves.
Frustration and anger have taken hold, as residents have no means of acquiring food or gas and thousands of trucks across the region remain stuck in limbo.
Limited electricity has made it possible for some to share their experiences:
- I was in chaos tonite tryin to get groceries…lines for shuttle buses, only to get to the no food left & closing early (link)
- I’m not sure what has shocked me more, all the communities around me destroyed, or the 5 hour lines for gas and food. (link)
- Haven’t slept or ate well in a few days. Hope things start getting better around here soon (link)
- These days a lot of people are impatient because they’re used to fast things. Fast food, fast internet, fast lines and fast shipping etc. (link)
- Glad Obama is off to Vegas after his 90 minute visit. Gas lines are miles long.. Running out of food and water. Great Job (link)
- Went to the Grocery store and lines were crazy but nail salon was empty so I’ve got a new gel manicure and some Korean junk food (link)
- So f*cking devastated right now. Smell burning houses. People fighting for food. Pitch darkness. I may spend the night in rockaway to help (link)
Things are starting to become horrific for the unprepared, as food lines stretch for miles and Meals-Ready-To-Eat are in short supply:
(above images via Gothamist)
With mass transit out of service and no gas, residents have no choice but to commute by foot. Survival Blog founder James Rawles has referred to the masses of starving people who will roam the streets in a post-collapse world as the Golden Horde – here’s a small taste of what that will look like:
The situation has become so desperate that some have been forced to resort to rummaging through the garbage for food:
“We’ve seen everyone here from the elderly, to families with children…”
The vast majority of those waiting in mile-long long food lines, rummaging through the trash, and criticizing their government officials for a slow and insufficient response have no one to blame but themselves.
This may be harsh – but it’s true.
We wish all those having a difficult time dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy the best going forward. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call for the rest of the nation.
Hurricane Sandy, while disastrous, is not nearly as bad as it could have been.
It has happened before. It will happen again. Prepare or suffer the consequences.