Complete Disaster Non-Preparedness: DC Grocery Stores Out of Food, Gas Unavailable, Grid-Down as Summer Heat Rages"We've seen it time and again over the last decade. An emergency strikes and panic grips the city or region for days or weeks on end.
We saw a complete breakdown of emergency response and law & order during Hurricane Katrina. The 2011 Snowpocalypse on the east coast led to runs on grocery stores and empty shelves within a matter of hours. Widespread blackouts during Hurricane Ike left large sections of the Houston power grid down for up to four weeks. In all these cases gas was almost impossible to find, what was in your pantry was what you had until food distribution resumed, local water was not safe for consumption, and government response was limited to reinstating essential services first and foremost.
The bottom line, as Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project notes, is that after billions have been spent by Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and local law enforcement, we are no more prepared today than we were the day before September 11, 2011.
After a short but unusually severe thunderstorm that roared through the D.C. area on Friday night, the entire Washington Metropolitan Area was thrown into chaos.
Three days later, countless traffic lights are still out, hundreds of thousands of residents are without power, including myself, grocery stores and gas station are closed for lack of power, and the federal government is encouraging employees to telework.
[SHTFplan Editor's note: Brilliant recommendation from the best and brightest – to "telework" when the grid is down. ]
Is this the work of a terrible terrorist attack? No, it is the complete disaster non-preparedness a decade after 9/11. Despite the fact that billions if not trillions have been spent since 9/11 on counter-terrorism and so-called "homeland security" measures, one of the major terrorist targets, the nation's capital, cannot cope with a severe thunderstorm.
I received a message from PEPCO that most D.C.-area residents may not have power until next Friday at 11:00 pm – a full week after the storm hit. With temperatures this week set for the mid to upper-90s, that is a long time for residents to be with air conditioning, or fans, or refrigerators.
Two years ago, the Washington Post's comprehensive examination of the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on "homeland security," "Top Secret America" reflected that the D.C. metropolitan area was burgeoning with infrastructure, though apparently none of it focused on keeping the D.C.-area up and running after a severe thunderstorm.
I am not the only D.C. taxpayer wondering, where are billions in "critical infrastructure" protection and "homeland security?" They are not going toward obvious solutions like putting power lines underground.
The D.C. area's responsiveness to unexpected events has not improved, but taxpayers' pockets have been drained to create an entire secret city of "national security" in northern Virginia. Making sure citizens have food and power in an emergency should be a top priority, not a distant second to security theater like taking our shoes off before getting on an airplane.
(Pictured: Run on grocery stores; Snowpocalypse 2010)
Once again we are provided with ample evidence that not only is the government ill-prepared to handle a large scale city-wide emergency, but the residents of this nation are completely oblivious to the fact that if the shit hits the fan, no one will be there to provide assistance."
At this point it's almost too late for people who haven't thought about prepping for major changes. Pretty much forget about saving for major purchases like generators, firearms or bug out destinations, but everybody can get those 25 pound bags of rice and beans, the extra medicines and dried milk for the kids, that five gallon container filled with gasoline. Buy an extra can of soup or pork and beans and make sure you have an alternate way of heating food and water even if it's an old sterno camp apparatus.
It's just July but give thought to winter's needs.Think hard and deep about nothing happening when you flip a light switch or turn a faucet.Millions in the DC cesspool of corruption are wishing they had.