Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Goodbye 911

One of the benefits of living in an urban area is the close proximity to emergency services. The response time for Fire and Aid Car is amazing, all things considered. Police response can be varied, depending on the level of the threat. Reporting a bicycle stolen may get a response in an 8 hr period. Mention a gun or shots fired and the Police Dept plus Swat, Helicopter, and K9 unit shows up.

I know, I had it happen outside my house. An altercation over a ex-girlfriend, a gun accidentally discharged and the next thing I know there are 20 sheriffs vehicle along with K9's looking for the gun owner. A helicopter is circling overhead, spotlight lighting up the dark as they try to find this guy. A lot of excitement for a small town. Sheessh!

But after SHTF, you will no longer be able to count on response in a timely manner. if at all. The 911 service is heavily dependent on the power grid and if that goes, what then? While they may have backup generators just as hospitals do, when the fuel is gone and no supply in sight, that’s it.

So which service will be the first to go? I suspect that it will be the Fire Department, as they require large trucks and much water to complete their mission. Next will be the Aid Car as fuel becomes scarce. Last will be Law enforcement as they can perform their job on foot, horseback, bicycle or driving.

However, in large cities they may collapse at the same time as rioting and arson take their toll on overtaxed resources. City governments may use the majority of these emergency services to protect vital infrastructure and the rest be damned. Housing can be rebuilt as long as the infrastructure remains intact.

One thing that is unclear is how many emergency service personnel will remain on the job with the city collapsing around them. Many may not show up for work at all, staying home to protect loved ones and neighborhoods from the chaos that is ensuing.

Ultimately, the infrastructure will be destroyed, as the forces of the lawless overwhelm those who show up to perform their jobs. The city will burn, and the rioting population will leave, fanning out in different directions, diluting their strength with distance.

That leaves you, the prepper to provide for your own emergency service needs. Take 1st aid classes when available. Stock up on common over the counter meds for most all situations. With the collapse will come disease, and stuff you thought was only to be found in the third world will once again raise it's ugly head.

Study these diseases and how to treat them. Purchase needed equipment and supplies now while your dollar will still buy some. Purchase books on nutrition and nursing. Home medical references. Grays Anatomy. Books such as Emergency War Surgery. Then pray you will not need them.

Pamwe Chete (forward together)


  1. I quick look at New Orleans and what happened there. Folks are going to take care of their own first. Hundreds of police, fireman, and other civial workers walked off their job to take care of their property and family.


  2. Yup, and if I was in their shoes I'd do the same, as would any correct-thinking person. You can always get another job, but replacing loved ones is impossible. The fools who still haven't learned from the Katrina debacle to take steps to protect themselves and make (at least) minimal preparations for a bad period are probably beyond reach. Too bad for them.

  3. Long rifle stole my thunder, but he's exactly right. I would also add to the list some self edjumacation on structural and wild fire fighting. Know how to create fire breaks, and the proper fire fighting methods. Many a time has the well intentioned helper made things worse because they didn't know what they were doing. When the grid goes down, you're on your own.

  4. I am an emergency services worker. Recently they held a multi service exercise simulating what we'd do if a radiological event happened. Shooting the breeze with other workers in the down time I told 'em if this were the real thing I wouldn't be there and that I'd be looking after my family.

    I wouldn't even need to think about it.

  5. How did they respond to your statement? Are they of like minds?

  6. I work in a correctionional facility. Ever wonder what's going to happen if all of a sudden nobody shows up to guard the low-lifes? I won't be there because my family and friends are way more important to me. I can just see the military with an excuse to move in and take things over!

  7. I think that in smaller towns the cops and such would still be around and working to the extent logistics (fuel, water, phones, etc) would let them. The big question then is how to contact them. I think the chances that cops would show up after some gunshots are high but if it takes 5 minutes for the dude to get moving and another 5 to walk a few blocks that cops can just mess with the person who is still alive instead of saving them while the need exists.

  8. I am wondering why this blog is using the hallowed name of the Selous Scouts, one of the finest anti-terr units on the planet?

  9. It is the Nickname I chose for my online persona, in honor of the Selous Scout's and their fine performance in the battle against communist backed terrorism (Chinese brand of).

    If you have a problem with my using it, I am sorry. But I have no inclination to change it for anyone.