What's happening post-Hurricane Sandy
or Do you still think the government will take care of you in a disaster?
I remember listening to a FEMA official many years ago. They were discussing a catastrophic of an earthquake over a wide region. After describing the scenario of wide-spread destruction, they literally said, “Be prepared to be on your own for two weeks without government assistance.” What was true then, is still true today.
Ask your grandparents, “How much food did you put up canning each gardening season? Why did you do it?” I'll bet the answers will surprise you. Their larders were full of food, and only when they ran out of these items did they purchase the same items from grocery stores, if they did at all. Chances are they did without if they didn't have it in their food pantries. Ask them, “Did you hunt or fish or raise animals?” I bet that many did, or at least had the equipment and ability to do so.
Food doesn't come from a grocery store. It gets moved there. The ability for a grocery to operate relies upon on-going supply chains distributing resources to the vendor. If the vendor has no electricity and an ability to operate credit/debit/EBT machines and has personnel, then they cannot operate at all. Even if they had those things, what's the chance that they could be overrun by people without resources in bad areas?
Generators don't work unless there is fuel. Yes, there are resourceful electricians who can wire up generators to gas stations so they can continue to pump the gas. This is a dangerous operation. Imagine the issues with spark arrestors to prevent fires. At some point someone will try it, and you can imagine that at least one major fire will occur. What about the legality of doing this? Will it void fire insurance for that period plus will the vendor be able to acquire fire insurance later?
Generators are noisy. If someone has one, and the disaster lasts long, then you might be perceived as having supplies and may place a big target on your home. Few people can repel intruders if they attack en mass.
Even the best prepared can lose everything when the polluted sewer water mixes in a storm surge and floods a home. This water is laden with coliform bacteria like E coli. Anything that it touches it ruins. This is why people are asking for clothing, food, and water. There are bound to be lots of people who literally have nothing now.
There is a huge population of homeless in the Northeast. Many may be dead. Many may have been living in subterranean areas that flooded. There is a very real chance of issues like typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A.
NYC is not the only place that got hit. It's been several days since the hurricane event, and the majority of the news coverage has been in this locale since it's “juicier”. Even so, by now, there's other news to cover since the public is interested in “other news”.
Who is making it post-Hurricane Sandy? Preppers may be making it easier since they had much more than 3 days worth of food, water, and supplies. They probably weren't the ones making last minute purchases.
Why not be like your grandparents and be more prudent? Learning skills, having supplies, prioritizing your life, these are ways to cope now, rather than being like the city dwellers that are cold, wet, hungry, and defecating in hallways.
Think logically. How long does it take to organize relief efforts, deploy them, feed and house them, bring in supplies, create a supply chain to provide on-going relief efforts, bring in medical assistance, plus provide security for them all? We cannot expect that this happens immediately. We must realize that the bulk of any such effort will be at the places with the most population and political clout. This means that those places that are far smaller will receive even less assistance and that it will take even longer to get it, if at all.
You are mainly on your own.