Friday, September 02, 2005

Apocalypse Team not so silly now

I know that some of you out there pooh-poohed my Apocalypse Team idea a few posts back. The Apocalypse Team concept is an exercise in What-If's and preparedness.

Do you have a disaster plan in place? (Delaware Disaster Preparedness) If a hurricane is coming to Wilmington, De, what would you do? What if the power goes out for an extended period. What if gas prices go through the roof? What if the dead come back to life and try to eat you? I admit that these items have different probabilities and the effort of preparing and planning for each of them should reflect that. Still, thinking about the problems ahead of time will help you in the heat of the moment of the crisis. I have plans for some of these eventualities, but this crisis has prompted me to revisit these plans and update them.

I hope that the authorities or even the citizens themselves can restore order in the former city of New Orleans. I also hope that the helpless can get the assistance they need to get out of the city to shelters and safety. But, and here is where I will get beat up, the hurricane was a well predicted event, evacuation was ordered, the city of New Orleans is well known to be a 6 feet below sea level bowl on the Gulf of Mexico, etc, etc. I have every sympathy for those people who were unable to leave the city because of physical inability. The folks who refused the evacuation orders are now suffering with the consequences of there own choices. I would be walking out of New Orleans right now, not waiting for a bus.

This crisis isn't the same as the Tsunami last year. Those waves struck with either no warning or minutes of warning. Hurricanes are predicted days and sometimes weeks in advance. Be prepared should be our motto.

Be forewarned that this is a national and possibly international crisis. The Gulf Coast has a significant fraction of the refining capacity and oil delivery capacity for the entire United States. Additionally all of those refineries feed chemical plants that produce the raw materials for all of the products we consume. I think the impact of gasoline prices and transportation costs on everything we purchase will be a further burden on top of the lost capacity. Gas prices are only the tip of the iceberg, wait until consumers can't afford the fuel oil to heat their homes this winter. Charles Stross questions the real cost of Katrina including all of the lost production capacity, he also asks about gasoline and oil logistics, and gets to rant about the true beginning of the peak oil crisis every doomsayer has been so excited about.

I personally use Wilmington Gas Prices to keep up with the current prices in my area. It is voluntary and I encourage you to join one for your local city so that prices information is known far and wide. A knowledgeable consumer is a powerful consumer. Keep thinking about these issues and post your thoughts or plans.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm....walk....for how long a distance can one "walk out of a city" carrying an infant or what distance can a toddler travel. How much food does one carry? Hmmm...sounds like "let them eat cake".

whirdly said...

I think he is referring to able-bodied people like himself, but why can't a person walk with a baby or toddler? Of course I'm naive so I picture a group of men, women and children walking away from the disaster, sharing their burdens and receiving help along the way. Hearts and wallets will open quickly for you these days if you say you were from NOLA.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried to walk out of a city with a baby, toddler, bottles of milk, diapers, wipes, your 80 year old grandmother, etc. Yes you are naive and we certainly don't want to "share our burdens" with OUR tax dollars do we?

Anonymous said...

It stands to reason that those who remained behind had little resources but were expected to share what little they had while those who had the means left the city and were considered wise to do so. Should those individuals who were better off have stayed behind? Receiving help from who? All the hearts were on top of roofs and the wallets left town.