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This is an account of a WTSHTF (When The $#!t Hits The Fan) event. This guy decided to go help immediately after Katrina hit. I find his account instructional because the conditions he found mirror what I expect after similar sized $hit Hitting The Fan events or the early days of TEOTWAWKI.

I also note that the guy's military truck (although outdated and obsolete) got waved through literally hundreds of roadblocks manned by both police and military.

Also note that after water and food, meds seemed to be in the greatest demand.

Katrina Day 4: Thursday, 1 September 2005
I'm falling asleep, my feet are burning, I've got to stop and stretch my legs. I get a cup of coffee and talk to the lady behind the counter. I ask, "Why is your 24 hour restaurant closed"? We have no food, the evacuees have eaten everything. I ask, "Why are your gas pumps closed"? We have no gas, it's all gone. I look around the store. There are no potato chips, no snacks, and no batteries. Pretty much nothing but knick-knacks is all that remains.

Back into the truck I crawl with only a couple of hundred miles to go. Turning South in Jackson, Mississippi, I start to see storm damage. The further I go, the worse it gets. Gas stations have five-mile lines with armed policemen guarding them. Not just pistols, but shotguns and long guns. People wave and cheer as I pass by. I ask myself "Why"? Then it hit me. I am the only vehicle heading South. There were no military or relief convoys, no nothing heading South. Only streams of families heading North. I suppose the military truck I was driving gave them comfort, the feeling of order amongst chaos.

The damage is increasing as I progress South. There are now no more gas stations, just empty shells with the roofs torn off. All power is out. The trees have fallen across the power and telephone lines many of which are hanging dangerously low. I'm out of fuel so I transfer 30 gallons from cans to the tank.


[...]

Back at Tracy's, all of the neighbors sat around and discussed the current situation. Because there was no electricity, we had no television or radio. The telephone system was inoperative and only a couple of cell phones managed to capture weak signals. Neighbors with generators provided all of our information, mostly skewed towards the negative.

I'm with him on this one, but it was (will be?) a common reaction to such rumors. Avoid scared untrained people with guns. They're likely to shoot someone in the foot.

Everybody got in a dither because of rumors of armed thugs from New Orleans were headed our way. There are just so many things wrong with that rumor that I tried to explain. What are they using for transport? What are they using for fuel? Why do you think they would steal from you when every store on the coast has millions in merchandise just lying in the street? My objections fell on deaf ears. The neighborhood blocked the entrance and put out armed patrols. I thought it most likely that a couple of them would shoot each other so it was a good time to go to bed. Wake me up if anyone needs a tourniquet.

[...]

Now I had to weave to avoid trash. No, not trash. A large corpse lies right in the center of my lane. The stench was overpowering. Mixed in with it was a strange brew, similar to the stink of a paper mill. It smelt like flammable chemicals and sewage. Another body and another were present. A very unworthy thought hit me. These corpses were very well fed. I had seen bodies in war zones, and they were always pathetically skinny. At least here there was no charred pork smell.

The plan fell apart as soon as I stopped. I opened the tailgate and was mobbed. People began snatching cases of MRE's and water with not a lot of restraint. No problem, go right ahead. This way, I didn't even have to lift a single box. Some of the stronger young men actually got up into the truck and helped unload. As I was closing the tailgate, I noticed that one of my mobility bags was unzipped. I climbed in and checked it. All of my prescription drugs were missing! That really, really sucks. Within 36 hours, my blood pressure would skyrocket and I'd have no way to reduce it. I could stroke out in two days. Without my painkillers I would become a zombie basket case within 12 hours. I'm trying to help and this is the thanks? The two young men were long gone.


[...]

But it wasn't all bad.

Because I was back in Texas, I had placed my weapon and holster in the glove box of the truck. I had also locked the passenger door so that no one could steal the weapon while I was in the gas station. I went to the back of the truck to get the many tools required to change my flat tire. As I was dragging the tools out, I heard voices next to the truck. I looked down the drivers' side towards the front. There stood three 'gangsta's'. All 3 were black and naked from the waist up. They were very heavily tattooed, all kinds of symbols and stylized block writing. They were young and wiry muscular and very fit looking. Their pants hung very low and several inches of underpants were showing. My gun was beyond reach, I had a ¾ inch ratchet in my hands, but I thought this is it John, you are dead meat.

The tallest oldest one looked at me and smiled. "Sir", he said, "we know what you done been doing". I didn't know what he meant. He told me he meant he knew I had come from New Orleans. How did he know? "You stink like the dead, man". Ahhh, I hadn't noticed. He wanted to shake my hand and thank me. Of course, grabbing a man's hand is the perfect set-up for punching him in the head. I had no choice. I grasped my 18" Craftsman tighter, and then I shook his hand. They asked what was I doing here. Flat tire. He asked why was I moving so bent over. I told him, I'm in a lot of pain.

He swore at me, then told his two brothers to get my tools off of the truck. I asked him what the hell was he doing? "We is changing your tire, old man, you go sit over there and watch. My Ol' Daddy would whup us all upside the head if he saw us watch an old man change a tire without helping".

What they lacked in experience, they sure made up with enthusiasm. All three were dripping with sweat within a couple of minutes, swinging that six foot cheater bar. T hirty minutes later they are almost finished, the spare is being hoisted back up the winch. The oldest one turned to me, "Sir", he said, "I know that you will now offer us money, but my Ol' Daddy would whup us all if we took it from you". I turned and walked back in to the gas station. I came out with another cup of coffee and three tall cold beers. I can't drink these beers. I'll just have to set them down here. They sat with me. I shook their hands and thanked them. "No sir", said the oldest, "we thank you".


http://lonestar-mvpa.org/events/2005/05_Katrina.htm

(Before TEOTWAWKI)
When seconds mean life or death the police are only minutes away.
-- John Connor

(After TEOTWAWKI)
When seconds mean life or death you are the police.
-- Desert Dave
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