Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Proves To Be A Lesson In Disaster Preperation

As the stories of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy begin to roll in, there are many lessons to be learned from this disaster.  On the positive side, there have been numerous accounts of people coming to the aid of their fellow man, and contributing to the relief effort with incredible acts of love and kindness.  There is a Facebook page titled "Hurricane Sandy Acts of Kindess", that gives you a glimpse of the grassroots charitable activities taking place.

But there is, of course, also a negative side to every disaster.  There are always people that will be trying to take advantage of other people who are in desperation.  At every level, from top government officials, down to your average lowlife in the street, crisis is used, by some, as an opportunity to do things they wouldn't normally be able to do, under normal circumstances.  Here is a clip of Rahm Emanuel, former President Obama Chief of Staff, saying how "you never want a serious crisis go to waste".  While there are already examples of government "officials" using Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to flex their executive muscle, by doing things like shutting down highways, and even implementing martial law, it is the average low-level criminal that seems to be the main concern of the still many east coast residents without electricity.

Across New York city, there have been reports of looting since the storm hit, leading to a 7 percent rise in burglary complaints from Monday through Thursday, compared with the same period last year.  In Queens, 15 people were charged with burglary and other crimes.  In Coney Island on Tuesday, nine people were arrested in connection with looting, and then a day later in Coney Island, 18 people were arrested in a burglary of a Key Food on Neptune Avenue.  On Long Island, looting has become such a problem on the south shore in the wake of superstorm Sandy that state police are on patrol.  Interestingly, CBS reports "some police are actually taking up temporary residence in some of the abandoned homes."  This doesn't seem right.  I wonder what came first, the looters, or the police.

CBS reports that residents of Rockaway are saying "that looting and thievery have become such serious threats that taking up arms and fleeing town are the best options for staying safe."  This brings me to my point of this blog entry, the necessity of gun ownership.  Some people are under the belief that stricter gun laws, create safer environments.  One has to only look at the cities with some of the toughest gun restrictions (New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C.) , to see this theory to be incorrect.  These anti-gun advocates believe the police, and the government keep us safe.  These beliefs are shattered when an event like Hurricane Sandy occurs, the government is nowhere to be seen, and you are stuck in your small apartment, on a crowded street, with no electricity, and hungry and desperate people surrounding you.

We must begin to operate under the belief that it is up to us, as individuals, to keep ourselves safe, and to be prepared to survive a worst case scenario.

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