Two big things in the news lately: internationally, the Ebola breakout, and almost-nationally, an incident here in St. Louis yesterday.
There are many, many articles on the web about how to protect yourself from Ebola, so I’m not going to cover that specifically—the best advice is to isolate yourself if the disease makes it way to your area. And that, of course, requires being prepared.
In north St. Louis County, yesterday afternoon, a young man was shot and killed by a police officer. Those are the bare facts. There are all kinds of comments, statements, speculation, and so forth flying around the Internet, but it boils down to this: no one knows the whole story. Yet.
The aftermath, however, was pretty cut and dried—a large group of people, some news accounts say 100 or more, gathered in the immediate area after the shooting. Shots rang out in the crowd, but no one else was hurt or killed. Police from several jurisdictions arrived, some with riot gear and heavy-duty weapons, and people shouted, “Kill the police!” Things eventually calmed down, with no further incidents.
Google it if you’d like more information—the details aren’t relevant to my topic today.
What would you do in a situation like this, if you lived nearby?
I’d stay inside, doors locked and secured however I could do so, and be prepared for home defense. I’m sure many or most of you would also choose this option over joining the mob—and I use that in the sense of a dictionary definition of “large group of angry people.”
How long could you last?
These folks eventually left and went to their homes, presumably, after many hours; at least midnight or so is my understanding. Surely, if you prep at all, you could have lasted six or eight or ten hours, barricaded in your home.
But what if they hadn’t all left? What if the crowd grew? What if the crowd became violent towards others, or began destroying property? How long could you stay inside? If the police acted to quell the situation, would you be safe or become collateral damage?
In many neighborhoods, this is a valid question; in others, not so much. In other words, in some places an incident such is this is highly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean impossible.
Picture it: a nice, suburban area; many neighbors are at least passingly familiar with faces and who lives in which home. An occasional speeder on the main drag, maybe a few mailboxes smashed here and there, but mostly quiet and safe.
And then. Perhaps a police chase through the area, perhaps an escaped mental patient; maybe a crime wave, with weapons and murder or—just about anything. It can happen. Has happened.
Chances are, in a suburban area, your utility systems would remain in place. Unless they didn’t. Then what? Could you manage? Enough water, ways to stay cool or warm, enough food? What if it was unsafe to leave your house for several days?
What does this have to do with Ebola? Same principle, different reason. With a pandemic, an outbreak, the common wisdom is to isolate yourself. You’re protecting your family from illness and probably death, instead of guns and crazies and the possibility of death. Either way, hunkering down and waiting it out are your best options.
People who prep aren’t nutjobs, necessarily; they’re just ready, prepared, for anything that could happen. You should be, too.