There is a segment of our society that believes the government owes them a living, and that when disasters hit, the government will be right there to clean up the mess and put everything back in order.
No kidding. Some folks actually believe that. Even after Katrina. Go figure.
Now for a dose of reality. The latest news out of FEMA (that's the Federal Emergency Management Agency — the government organization assigned to save everyone from crisis) is that they are basically broke.
In a letter to Congress last month, FEMA Director W. Craig Fugate spelled out the financial reality that the agency's relief fund had dropped to $693 million as of April 7th. Continuing, he said that the agency still owed $645 million to 47 states to cover the cost of past disasters. And that doesn't include the $1.7 billion (with a B) that the agency owes to the Gulf Coast state and city governments to cover the cost of Katrina.
One definition of Bankrupt is: The condition of being unable to pay one's expenses, leading to indebtedness that also cannot be paid off. I think that pretty well sums up the situation at FEMA.
As a point of interest, the word bankrupt comes from the French banqueroute, which traces back to the Italian banca rotta, which means "bank broken." Get the picture?
So, where does that leave you? As a citizen, it leaves you holding the note for debts what will probably never be satisfied. In other words, you are part owner of a bankrupt government.
As the survivor of a catastrophe, hoping the government will step in and save you, you're probably out of luck. Even with all the money poured into the Katrina mess, it was still a mess that still has not be paid off, after all these years. And now the relief organization that's supposed to help everybody is broke. Yes, the feds can print more money to cover the debts, but that comes out of your pocket and will only leave everybody more broke.
Face it, the federal government has a poor record of being able to help save people from disaster. So, again I ask, where does that leave you? I hope I've been able to convince you to become prepared to handle a crisis on your own as much as possible. Learn as much as you can about personal protection, about emergency medical techniques, about nutrition, about wild foods, about water purification, about expedient shelter techniques, about making fire, about rendering assistance to others.
If you're not doing that, you're setting yourself up to be dependent on a broken system to rescue you from the rubble and chaos. You set yourself up to be the subject of an ancient saying that goes something like this — "If a man sits by the side of the road with his mouth open, waiting for a roast duck to fly in, he is a fool."