Saturday, March 6, 2010

OMG the ATM is DN!

[This article is about WTSHTF (When The $#!t Hits The Fan) events and the early stages of a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) events.]

It's become a cliché, when a blizzard is forecast people rush to the stores to buy bread and milk, but what do you do when the Earth breaks? The Haitian and Chilean earthquakes point out the need for all of us to have resources at hand not just readily available. An earthquake or other natural disaster can take down a resource we hardly think about; communications.

Without electricity ATM's, banks, gas stations and computers don't work. The grocery stores can get by for awhile if their credit card scanners are down because they can still sell stuff the old fashioned way; exchanging cash for goods. But if the credit card scanners aren't working chances are the ATM's aren't getting their signal either and your purchasing power is limited to the cash you have on hand when the calamity strikes. You may have a million dollars in the bank, but if the bank's computers are down so is your ability to withdraw funds.

Got cash? Yes!
Got electricity? No.
Got gas? Er… no!
Without electricity to run the pumps that pull the gasoline out of the ground your cash can't buy fuel to get your family out of the area.

In a major disaster the phones might be out of order too. Does your family have a place to meet in case of an emergency? And a back up place? And maybe a backup place for that too? Perhaps home is emergency meeting place one. With a nearby neighbor's home being the backup and that big old tree across the street as the backup's backup.

Note that these are all non public places. Planning to meet in front of the McDonald's at the mall isn't such a good idea because public places may be picked by emergency personnel as the location for their headquarters, supply depot or motor pool and therefore off limits to mere civilians. Likewise the mall may be a target for looters. And the McDonald's is a place known to have food which marauders may want.

In addition to knowing where the three places to meet are, each family member should know to stay put once they get there. Doing otherwise might result in a tragic comedy of errors like that at Cooper Creek

If forced to move from the rally point by authorities or circumstances don't make the mistake Burke, Wills and King made by not leaving a note in a prominent place at the assembly point for others to find.

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