Saving Neighbors

Sometimes as preppers, we have theoretical discussions about how much help we’ll be willing or able to give to our neighbors, should the shit really hit the fan.  There are different views out there, ranging through no help at all, all the way to food out of the pantry.

I heard about something Weds morning though, that really caught my interest.

In Plaquemines Parish, a fishing community south of New Orleans, about two dozen people who stayed behind despite evacuation orders needed to be rescued Tuesday night. What the reporter said was that the FEMA/National Guard guys were not sending in rescue teams yet because it was too dark and too windy.  Locals heard that neighbors needed help, so they got in a few boats and were out in the hurricane, fishing people off of roofs, and in one case saving two pump station workers who got trapped by water spilling over the levees. Three levees were overtopped and some places had 9 to 15 feet of water. Now, I certainly can’t blame the National Guard for not wanting to send teams into that.  Every map they have is going to be wrong with water 9 feet higher. Middle of the night in the middle of a hurricane is not the time to go into unfamiliar waters.  I did snap out of my commute fog long enough to give some mad prepper props  to the home boys that did go out in it. Sadly, I can’t find the story anymore. So, I don’t have any details about what they went through that night.  But, I do have relatives down in Louisiana, (they’re fine), so I can at least set the scene for you here.

It’s pitch black, except when lightening strikes or you fumble on your flashlight. Can’t leave it on too long, there are no more batteries to be had. The rain is coming down hard enough, you feel like you’re in a chilly shower. The wind is blowing at 60 or 70 miles per hour.  Think about the last time you stood next to a highway (at night) with the cars zipping past you at that speed.  Now imagine the cars are lawn furniture, tree branches, and bits of houses or boats. You have to navigate around in water that’s 9 feet higher than it usually is, you have to recognize streets by roofs and tree tops, in the dark.

Would you be out there saving your neighbors off of their roofs? Or, if you’re in CA, are you going to be ready to pry rubble off of people? Not that everyone needs to charge in, if you’re just going to make another victim in need of rescue, DON’T GO. But, if you’re strong and healthy and can help, will you? What kinds of equipment will you need to give immediate aid? These are all things worth thinking about.

– Calamity Jane