Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dealing with Authority after Disaster

Addendum: Shortly after posting this blog entry online I received a sharp rebuke from a friend in law enforcement. He is correct.

I overstated/misstated my point. I want to emprise that in the following diatribe when I refer to "the authorities" I'm not talking about LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers), fire or EMS, but rather the upper echelons who make the decisions as to whether or not you'll be allowed to evacuate along this road or that; whether or not you'll be allowed to bring your pets into or out of a public shelter; whether or not you'll be able to keep your possessions and where you'll be allowed to go.

LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) don't make those decisions. They just follow orders to block of this route or that, to allow this or that into the public shelter or even whether or not you'll be allowed to leave the public shelter. So don't mistake the following tirade as an indictment of First Responders, they're doing their jobs.

The purpose of this oration is to inspire you to stock up on food and water so you can sit out the disaster at home and not end up like "those people".

How much food and water do you have on hand? The minimum federally recommended three days? But is that enough?

After a disaster authorities are more concerned with maintaining control than your personal comfort and wellbeing. Keeping you fed in a shelter has more to do with reducing/controlling your desire to get out than concern for your comfort and wellbeing.

Your personal safety is secondary to maintaining control to prevent (or at least control) chaos.

Until the disaster is declared officially over, I expect you'll find it a whole lot harder to get out of a public shelter than it was to get into it. Also, you will be disarmed going into a public shelter. Don't expect to get those guns back.

Therefore, if at all possible, staying out of a public shelter should be one of your top priorities. Having sufficient food and water on hand to ride out the storm will be paramount in that case.

Three days worth of food and water? Why not three weeks?

(Note, the events below are not a race problem; half of the police officers involved were black.)

NEW ORLEANS, (CBS/AP) It's one of the more horrific stories to come out of the Hurricane Katrina disaster - two unarmed men gunned down, four others wounded, allegedly at the hands of police officers.

Now four New Orleans police officers stand charged with multiple criminal counts including the murder of 17-year-old James Brisette.

The Danziger Bridge shootings happened Sept. 4, 2005; just six days after Hurricane Katrina tore across the south, overwhelming New Orleans' famous levies and drowning the city in water.


Seven heavily armed New Orleans police officers stormed Danziger Bridge.
Prosecutors said they shot at the first people they saw, people prosecutors say were crossing the bridge to find food.


The indictment claims Faulcon shot mentally disabled Ronald Madison, 40, in the back as he ran away on the west side of the bridge. Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Madison while he was lying on the ground, wounded but still alive.

Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso also are accused of shooting at an unarmed family on the east side of the bridge, killing 17-year-old James Brissette and wounding four others.



Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Carter says police had no justification for shooting unarmed, defenseless people on the Danziger Bridge, then plotting to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify reports.

But a defense attorney urged jurors to consider the "disorder, chaos and lawlessness" that gripped the flooded city after Katrina when they decide whether the officers acted reasonably in using deadly force.

Second update
(Various sources)

Lance Madison was on the bridge the day of the shooting. He was thrown behind bars for false accusations that he shot at police. His mentally disabled brother, Ronald Madison, was shot and killed.

"Without the support and hard work of my family, I might still be in prison for false charges and the truth about what happened on the Danziger Bridge might have never been known," said Lance Madison.

"These defendants will be facing very, very long sentences," said legal analyst Dane Ciolino. It was a far cry from three years ago when the officers involved in the shooting were given a hero's sendoff when they surrendered on state charges in the same case.

Note that it took federal intervention to bring these guys to justice and that no matter what sentences are handed down it won't bring the dead back.

Superfluous Survival Tip of the week:

100 year old canned food can be eaten safely. "Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier. The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values 'were comparable to today's products.'"

Hormel Foods also has some information on the storage of their products.

To Comment on this article
(If that link doesn't work for you try sending your comments to me, please put "Blog" in the subject line, thanks, Dave.)
Unless you specifically ask me not to, I'll post your reply here in the blog so everyone can read it. Of course I'll remove your name, email address and any other specific information for privacy purposes.