Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Prepping For Disaster -- Alone

"Just 28% rate the federal government in Washington favorably. That is down five points from a year ago and the lowest percentage ever in a Pew Research Center survey." - Pew Research Center for People & The Press, April 15, 2013
Today during the morning commute the radio station played interviews with Boston commuters.

"They are going on as usual," the announcer said, and then a lady started talking. She was there when the bombings happened. "I don't understand," she repeated over and over. "I don't understand."

My daughter called me on the phone. "I'm very upset about what happened in Boston," she said. "Who did it? I don't understand."

Surfing the Internet as if to find the answer in five seconds, I felt helpless. "I don't know," I said to her. "I just don't know."

What we worried about is happening. Terrorist attacks are hitting home. Not in the streets, necessarily. But in our heads -- what we feared after 9/11 is becoming real.

Some might say that gunfire in a school is not the same as an organized terrorist attack. But in the victims' mind -- that is, our minds, our collective mind -- it is. Because we can't count on any day being normal.

And our sense of security at home is shot.

This is the Boston Marathon.

They've bombed the Boston Marathon.

When the kids who normally ignore the news start getting bothered, and panicky under the skin, then something is infiltrating our consciousness.

Terrorism will not automatically make people run to the government for protection. While its true that:

...the approval rating of the federal government, i.e. those who would track and hold those guns has reached a new low. (Disclaimer: I work for the federal government; all opinions are my own.)

They aren't waiting for the feds.

According to Pew research released April 15, 2013, nearly three-quarters of the American people don't think favorably of the federal government. Among Republicans, that figure rises to more than 85%; among Democrats it approaches 60%.

Popular culture shows us this mistrust in action. Watch an episode of The Walking Dead. In the face of calamity, people are turning to their own resources--not waiting for law enforcement.

A nonfictional National Geographic TV series, Doomsday Preppersis completely dedicated to the disaster industry.

Similarly, in January of this year The New York Times ran an article called "The Doomsday Preppers Next Door," about people getting ready for all kinds of eventualities.
This is not to say that the federal government is irrelevant. People look to it for protective legislation. Gun control is a prime example. Just today somebody said to me, "How can anybody smoke with their kid in the car? The government should pass a law about that. They ought to fine people."

But citizen protection -- people are not so sure.

During times of natural or man-made calamity, people who are into preparedness run to the basement. For whatever they have stored or hidden. They don't want to go on Ready.gov -- they want to save their own skins.

Like everyone else I'm upset about what happened in Boston - very upset - worried. Praying that G-d sends strength to our law enforcement at every level - federal, state and local. Praying we will succeed at stopping any future attacks in time.

Right now people are waiting for the next shoe to drop. Let's hope we can stop it before it hits the floor.

* All opinions, as always are my own.