I’ve been thinking about this more, and it really boggles my mind that when people have several days notice that a hurricane is on the way that they can’t even do the most minimal of preparations such as get some cash and fill the gas tank. If the hurricane fizzles or goes in a different direction, great, and you still have the cash and gas.
This weekend I was a volunteer at a very large fundraiser. I ran the registration tables. Most people pre-registered. I personally handled the same day registrations. Though it was probably a good guess on their part that I’d take cash, check, or credit card, that was a gamble nonetheless being we were out in a farm field and maybe wouldn’t have been able to take credit cards, or perhaps by policy wouldn’t have taken checks. I’d never have showed up expecting to use anything other than cash, but hardly any of them did. Lucky for them I took checks and credit cards. Lots of people came the night before and camped out on the farm, most having registered and paid in advance. However, many just showed up expecting to camp, just assuming we had unlimited space to accommodate them. Fortunately we were able to find spots for them because they’d of slept in their vehicles otherwise. Every hotel in the area was sold out on account of this event so there was nowhere else to go.
Any hiccup with societal infrastructure will catch most people completely unprepared.
The part of the Katrina story that elijah posted that makes me a bit squeamish are the uninvited friends of friends. I’d be hard pressed to turn people away myself, especially if they are being vouched for by people I trust, but they do represent an unplanned for drain on resources and potentially a security threat. Towards that eventuality, I keep adding to my preps pile. Depending upon the circumstances it could turn into a positive if the extra guests bring with them a valuable skill or represent a beneficial labor or security resource.