At 1 a.m., after Hurricane Harvey made landfall with full force, a tweet went out from Houston stating, “The water is swallowing us up. Please send help. 911 is not responding!!!!” according to the Los Angeles Times. Emergency dispatchers were inundated with calls at the time, with up to a two-hour wait if your plea for aid wasn’t inadvertently dropped.
Law enforcement and emergency responders are doing an excellent job, despite cataclysmic conditions that include a few hospitals flooding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the first responders standing tall in the face of overwhelming odds.
The situation is a frightening reminder that we should all be prepared to ensure our safety—to some degree—until authorities arrive. It’s impossible to plan the perfect strategy for every situation beforehand. Mother Nature loves surprises, and so practiced at springing them at the worst possible moment that even preppers are victimized by her unexpected fury.
There is, however, one common element we can count on in every natural disaster today—criminals come out to play when they know law enforcement has their hands full. Even if you manage to punch a call through to 9-1-1, response could take hours or even days, much too late to save you from a violent encounter.
ABC 13 is reporting looters are already being arrested. Not only is that dangerous for shop owners trying to salvage what they can of their businesses, it ties up lifesaving personnel when they’re needed most.
One man in Corpus Christi didn’t evacuate, and as the storm was just making landfall with 130 mph winds an opportunistic criminal broke into his home. The alleged intruder survived a shot to the head.
Law-abiding citizens concerned about their safety and that of their loved ones should have a disaster survival plan, and include a firearm and training in it—even if you’ve never owned a gun before. We all hope you never need it, but if “911 isn’t responding” …