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#183867 - 10/01/09 01:30 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: MichaelJ]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
It seems to me that this is one of those purely situational questions. It depends on so many factors that we can't determine in advance: How long will things be stuffed? Exactly HOW are they stuffed? Who's asking? Why do I think they're asking? How much do I have? Etc., etc., etc.

I think it boils down to the exact situation and each person's own morals/ethics. While I might help one person freely in one situation, in a different situation I might tell the exact same person "sorry, I don't have anything." I think it depends on too many unknown factors.
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#183868 - 10/01/09 01:36 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: MichaelJ]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: MichaelJ

I don't think I'll have a problem turning out some of those people who have said "I know where I'm going when the SHTF, your house!" but haven't done anything for themselves.

Ha - that describes just about everyone I know who knows I have a lot of camping gear.

#183869 - 10/01/09 01:48 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: dweste]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: dweste

My primary focus is not so much to clooect various theories on what to do, but to find if anyone is aware of a thought -through / formalized / developed way of handling the issues.


There can be no clinical, methodical way of "handling" what will ultimately be an issue of humanity -- whether and how much to be selfish when others ask for help.

I do appreciate this thread, though. We should spend more time on this forum discussing what we can do to help others survive and not just ourselves and our own families. The best thing we can do is spread the gospel of preparedness, which is also self-interested as the more people help themselves the less likely we'll be asked for help.

This thread inspires me to talk to more of my friends and neighbors about preparedness. The goal being along the lines of teaching someone to fish so they can feed themselves versus giving them a freeze-dried fish so they can eat for one day.

I have no idea if my neighbors have given a moment's thought to this subject. For all I know, some may be more prepared than I am.

Edited by Dagny (10/01/09 02:02 PM)

#183884 - 10/01/09 02:34 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: Dagny]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Try this as a conversation starter:
Did you know that there are food lines for farm workers in California who aren't being allowed to irrigate their fields?
If farm workers in California are in food lines, where will our food come from if the dollar gets so weak (due to the over-printing and inevitable inflation) that other nations won't accept it in exchange for food?

The last case of tomatoes we bought came from Yakima, WA rather than CA. They don't grow food all year in WA.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#183899 - 10/01/09 03:42 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: NightHiker]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
To the extent you can generalize, 'disasters' are predictable - a period of intense need for 24-72 hours, followed by an interim of arriving aid for up to 72 hours. Then a week of gradually returning to 'normal' - access to food, water, heat, medical assistance restored. Preparing for 3 days without assistance is the norm, although most will tell you 5-7 days is the better metric to prepare for being on your own if the disaster is widespread and serious. And 'normal' is relative, your house may be toast and your roads could still be impassable, but when you have access to sustaining food, water and shelter, you're doing pretty good. If that's what a disaster timeline looks like, how should you plan to spend your time, and how should you parse out your supplies?

CERT gives us a way to spend the first 72+ hours of any disaster - take care of your family, assessing damage, triaging injured, mitigating additional harm by turning off gas and water, dealing with mass casualties and mass displacement, hunkering down until help arrives. Whether you are responding as part of an active trained team or you find yourself the only trained person in your zip code, it makes your interactions fairly predictable. You need to work very hard for up to a week applying what you know about responding to disasters, because frankly it isn't common knowledge out there - but repeated evidence is that most people get the fundamentals of disaster response when they are in the middle of one. It's a community focus - you define a neighborhood and assess the damage, treat the wounded, reach out to centers of response (local fire, police, hospitals), and organize self-care for 3-5 days. If its really bad, yes you'll run out of 4x4s and possibly even clean water. If your daughter has a serious wound you may want to keep enough bandages at home in reserve to change dressings regularly, better yet you want to get her to better assistance as soon as possible. Eventually help arrives, experts take over care issues, water is delivered or restored, people begin to feed the community. Even when that happens, I think my inclination will be to get myself and/or my family away from the disaster area.

In reality I don't think I'll have to share my food supplies with the entire neighborhood - you put out a call for people to re-enter safe structures, and come back with whatever food they can find. That should be enough for people to eat until someone can come with more. For those without homes to re-enter, its a matter of digging deep and feeding them. I probably won't be the center of the food universe, simply because there should be enough to go around from community resources for the expected period of time. I'll make a meal for whoever needs one though. Because after the disaster is over, we'll have a community again, and people will remember what you did and who you did it to.

#183904 - 10/01/09 03:51 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: NightHiker]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Considering the way things seem to be spiraling downward, we may find out exactly what the answer to this question is, person by person.

But there is a serious difference between wanting to help and being able to help. Unless you're rich and have a warehouse or two filled with useful stuff, you will probably be faced with more people wanting than you can afford to give.

At this point in time, I know there are people who are dipping into their food reserves because they are unemployed. There used to be at least two full pages of Help Wanted ads in the local newspaper. Now there are usually about 15 ads, half for very specific skills and half for sales.

If you divided all the people in the U.S. who have done any preparedness at all (put them on the east coast) and those who haven't (put them on the west coast), the country would tip into the Pacific Ocean.


#183921 - 10/01/09 07:07 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: Susan]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
I wrestled for a long time with thoughts of what I would give out in an emergency to people who were unprepared. I couldn't resolve the issue of turning people away without helping, especially when those people might be children. I can prepare all I like and believe that everyone else should as well, but children aren't capable of doing so. I couldn't think of completely turning them away without hope even though their parents failed to prepare. So, I had to come up with an idea that would ease my troubled thoughts in these regards.

My first course of action was to donate to local church food drives, pantries and shelters and to be aware of all their locations in 10 mile radius. Then in an emergency I could point the unprepared to places where they might find help and hope should they find me.

My second course of action was to decide that if an extreme emergency should arise, I wouldn't make it easy for people to find either me or my supplies.
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#183929 - 10/01/09 08:56 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: Nicodemus]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
A friend of mine told me of a story he heard in Brazil. An American citizen (or someone not from Brazil) was staying at a place that I believe was owned by a rich person. This guest proceeded to help out someone they saw on the street by giving them food. This went on for a few days, and after the owner found out, the guest stopped. However, the word got out about "free food" and new people showed up every day for a week. I believe they were just ignored, and they eventually went away.

Yes, Brazil is obscenely poor ( I hear the top 1% are rich, top 3% are middle-class, and everyone else is dirt poor ), but I would be very hesitant to help anyone, unless like others said, I have a huge supply.

#183932 - 10/01/09 09:32 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: ki4buc]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Hey Dweste, can I organize these people into work details and get them to help each other?

The first 5 haul water, the next 5 haul fuel and the rest are divided between scavenging food and scavenging household supplies.

Somebody needs to find food and cooking stuff, somebody needs to find blankets and stuff like that.
We need some sanitation engineers to take care of basic sanitation...
...and by the way, is there a doctor in the house?
Because that pregnant looking lady might be going into labour.

Edited by scafool (10/01/09 09:33 PM)
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#183939 - 10/01/09 10:28 PM Re: How decide how much to help and share? [Re: dweste]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
> if anyone is aware of a thought -through / formalized / developed way
> of handling the issues.

It's called game theory or cooperative game theory. Do a search on your favorite search engine and you'll turn up millions of hits, several of them right on point for your query. There's also non-cooperative game theory, which seems to be very big here.

If you want more nearly practical thought through, formalized, developed ways of handling the issues, get your neighbors to take CERT courses with you. You'll learn and train together on supplies, first aid, and search and rescue.

If you want practical experience at cooperative survival, start going to Burning Man for a week every year.

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