Monday, March 1, 2010


In the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Chile, looters are posing a threat to survivors. This is one of the reasons I have said before that it isn't only the shaking of the ground that presents a survival issue, but it's the population. After the earth has stopped moving and the buildings have collapsed and the dust has settled (all of which might take no more than a few minutes), the threat to survivors might continue at the hands of other people, especially if those people in question are desperate and unscrupulous.

Some might argue that, in the face of a survival incident, all the rules come down; that you do whatever it takes to stay alive. That is the kind of mentality that leads to people breaking in private homes and businesses to take whatever they want. It's called looting, theft, robbery, burglary. If you think looting is no big deal, take a look at this little Fox News clip from Chile.

"Rescuers searched for an estimated 60 people trapped inside a new, 15-story apartment building that toppled onto its side in Concepcion. Firefighters were lowering a rescuer deep into the rubble when tear gas fired at looters across the street forced them to pause their efforts."

Looters actually caused a stoppage of rescue efforts. That can cost lives. It turns looters into potential contributors to the loss of life. Out of their selfish stupidity, the looters possibly become unintentional murderers. For what? So they can cart away a TV or cases of cigarettes or booze?

Here's more:

"The sound of chain saws, power drills and sledgehammers mixed with the whoosh of a water cannon fired at looters and the shouts of crowds that found new ways into a four-story supermarket each time police retreated. Some looters threw rocks at armored police vehicles outside the Lider market, which is majority-owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Across the Bio Bio River in the city of San Pedro, looters cleared out a shopping mall. A video store was set ablaze, two automatic teller machines were broken open, a bank was robbed and a supermarket emptied, its floor littered with mashed plums, scattered dog food and smashed liquor bottles.

"They looted everything," said police Sgt. Rene Gutierrez, 46. "Now we're only here to protect the building — what's left of the building."

So what can you do about it? How can you survive the aftermath of a catastrophe?
  • First of all, don't become part of the problem. Make a firm commitment in your life that you won't participate in looting. It is utterly despicable to try to advance your position by taking advantage of others. You don't want to be that kind of person. 
  • Prepare your evacuation kit so you can take what you need when you get out of the heart of the crisis and move to a safe area.
  • If you must leave your home and all your worldly goods behind, the only way you can hope to protect them is to board up the windows, lock the doors and leave. You can replace "stuff" but you can't replace you, so don't lose your life or your health trying to defend items of property. 
  • Be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones from attacks. You must decide how far you're willing to go to protect yourself and your family. Prepare yourself both physically (however you define that) and emotionally to take the necessary steps. 

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