By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- If you fail to prepare– you prepare to fail.
I am sure my father the Navy Master Chief said that to me more than once in my younger days.
When the Katrina disaster hit the Gulf coast, I flew to Keesler Air Force Base, in Biloxi, Mississippi on an Altus AFB, Air Force C-17 transport aircraft. In flight I had to wonder if there were more than a few people in the Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi area who had failed to prepare.
Because they had failed to prepare for the possibility of extreme bad weather, they had set themselves up for potentially life threatening circumstances. We have a problem in this country with understanding the difference between “insurance” and “assurance.” All but the very poor, who allegedly have nothing to loose, understand our society expects us to have insurance.
Think about how much you spend every year to “insure” on life insurance, health insurance, home-owners insurance and of course auto insurance. The idea with insurance is, if you have a small loss or a total loss of everything, such as in a house fire, you can get money to rebuild.
How much do you spend every year to “assure” that your family can survive and continue to function in a situation like what hurricane Katrina inflicted on the people of the above three states?
In this case the populace had plenty of warning and many years of practice runs to get ready for biblical destruction. I was looking at a couple of pieces of literature put out to the public telling them how to prepare for a natural disaster. The 72 hour rule seams to be used by everyone who prints a disaster pamphlet. One pamphlet said you should prepare as if your family was going on a three day camping trip. Nothing special, just having a long weekend of fun in the wilderness, with mom, dad, the kids and the family dog.
What a bunch of (B)ravo (S)ierra.
That kind of planning is for when a large wind storm comes through town, and knocks out the power for a couple of days. That short term, recommended planning is close to being criminal, as far as I can see.
You have to be ready to stand on your own for weeks and that takes coordination and the expenditure of money. Most people do not want to take the time or shift the money from buying that third colored TV for the guest bedroom, to assure the safe survivability of their family.
We live in a 911 society. We truly expect to pick up the phone and have all our fire, medical and police needs fulfilled in minutes. Why waste personal money for emergencies when the city, county or state will provide with just one call.
As the C-17 descended over Biloxi it became very apparent that Mississippi, the state second only to Nevada in gaming revenues had gambled and lost. The Air Force had anticipated recurring bad weather and build Kessler AFB to not only survive the storm but continue to operate.
You cannot just have survivability you have to have operability-continuing to function in your life. There is even a passage in the Bible about not building on weak and shifting sands. So, somebody had figured this out thousands of years ago, what has happened since?
One of the pallets that was on the C-17 had a safe and allegedly a half million dollars in cash. When there is no power the ATMs and electronic money fail to work. In time of crises cold, hard Cash is King. Even the US Air Force has to pay cash when hard times hit. Suppliers do not what to turn loose of a 1000 sheets of plywood that can be sold for twice the value, to someone in uniform who just wants to give them a letter saying Uncle Sam is good for it.
Look at a recent disaster, in any third world country that demanded our help, every C-17 in the world could not make a dent helping in those disasters. As good as my big Air Force is, a world wide 911 emergency call for help, cannot be solved with airlift alone, or sealift for that matter.
The DOD just announced it will be getting rid of over 500 currently used Air Force aircraft. It would appear our president wants a leaner, yet always ready-to-fix any crisis military.
The US Air Force and Navy are half the size they were when I joined the military in 1979. If you gamble that someone (ie-your big government) else will always provide for your safety, you may suffer all the way out of this world. Prepare with assurance and no dollar bills bigger than a $20. Also, do not look up expecting help to fly in and save your back-side.
When it comes, it will last more than 72 hours. Oh, and as always, ammo, lots of fresh ammo and the tools to deliver it.Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]