Yesterday, I wrote about being prepared to evacuate. I used the current crisis in Egypt as an example of a situation in which thousands of people are wanting to evacuate all at the same time, but there aren't enough airplanes to do the job and the streets are clogged with rioters. My point was that those folks could have gotten out of that area before it broke down into total chaos, perhaps trapping them there with no way out.
That post prompted a reader's comment, and that comment leads me to write this little post script.
Hello! I wasn't talking about Egypt. When I mention what's happening in Haiti, I'm not talking about Haiti. I use those situations only as living examples of what happens in a crisis. And those events can take place anywhere — even right where you live. You don't have to go anyplace to be vulnerable.
Earthquakes can happen anyplace. Outbreaks of disease can happen anyplace. Drought, famine, pestilence, war, chaos in the streets, economic failure, the breakdown of transportation and communication services, utility outages leaving you without water or electricity — all of these things exist without regard to borders or social status.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that we Americans, living here in America, are untouchable. That is a mistaken notion that can lull you into a false sense of security and the faulty belief that, "as long as I stay home I'll be safe."
So when I post information about an event that is happening somewhere else in the world, please don't misunderstand and think that if you just stay home you won't ever be exposed to those types of problems. Maybe you won't, but maybe you will. Life in America is not getting more secure. We've experienced riots and looting, just not on a national scale … yet. But there's a tipping point beyond which an outbreak cannot be turned back. We see that in Tunisia and Egypt.
Parts of America have experienced devastating earthquake, severe drought, lethal winter storms that trap millions of people, massive power outages, raging wildfires the leave millions homeless and on the run, even tsunamis that crushed coastal regions. So let's not get smug and think that those things happen only someplace else, and if we just stay home we'll be safe.
You'll be safe only if you're prepared and knowledgeable and lucky. Those are the three legs of the stool. And I'll add one more — you'll be safe only if you employ those other three and take action at the appropriate time. The point of my post yesterday "Get Out Now!" was this — Don't wait for someone to tell you it's time to evacuate. Get prepared. Engage your own situational awareness and use your best judgement.