escape story

Here's one of doubtless many first-hand accounts of escape to come... It's pretty fucked up. Wasn't there supposed to be a little bit of a grace period, like more than 24 hours, before the world went all Mad Max on us?

Sean Carmack:

With the looting beginning, Ann Mike and I start discussing whether evacuating might be a good idea now that the storm is over and the looting is beginning. There are still reservations about whether the car is road-worthy and whether there's enough gas. A few moments later, a pick-up truck full of thugs comes rolling up the street, yelling "Get out!" Not a friendly kind of "Hey, you should get somewhere safe" but more of a "Get the fuck out so we can take over". [...]

Overnight we'd also heard that 40,000 troops are on the way and should be in today, on Wednesday. Boy THAT was a lie. We hear Bush's speech, thanking the local government and promising all these "assets" are coming in. Meanwhile, all we want for Christmas is to see an APC rolling down the street with an M60, but no dice. [...]

On his way out the door he tells me he should be about ten minutes. About an hour later he finally comes back... apparently there are kids no older than 14 riding around on the streets packing 9mm's and shooting at people. He decided to wait for that shit to clear out before heading back. Also, an old man had been walking his dog at 6am and was beaten to death on the street a couple of blocks away, for really no good reason.

After hearing what life is like in the prison-camp-like evacuation centers, it's not at all surprising to me that so many people still in the city are choosing the devil they know:

Scores Refusing to Evacuate:

Out on Interstate 10, where a flooded highway exit served as a ramp to launch rescue boats, search crews said hundreds of people had declined to be rescued over the past two days. One Texas crew operating east of the interstate was turned way by 450 people living in houses surrounded by water.

"They have water up to the porch, but they don't want to go," Parker said. "They sit up on the second floor and say: 'We got food. We got water. We're staying.'" Parker said his crews had no authority to forcibly remove anyone, but had passed the information on to state and city agencies.

Nagin has said the city will remove all residents. He has not provided details on how or when the process would be carried out. But Riley warned Monday that officials were considering "stopping food drops" to the stragglers to increase the pressure on them to leave.

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34 Responses:

    • inoshiro says:

      I like to think the Canadian government would respond faster, but I'm not so sure.

      I read the posts like the one by Sean, and I watch that clip, and I see the parallels. What Sean is talking about sounds a lot like in The Stand where everyone just freaks-out when Captain Trips starts to hit hard. The news reporter taking the time to make an editorial comment about the government pressures reminds me of the Babylon 5 and the way the totalitarian government that took over Earth controlled the news.

      I've read plenty of survivalist fiction, but it sounds like New Orleans and its people acted just like their fictional counterparts (when experiencing various disasters). The US government sounds much like the totalitarian governments in stories as well. The problem is that none of this is fiction. This is happening. People who aren't powerless to stop it, aren't stopping it. It's disturbing.

      It makes me want to buy guns and be prepared, just in case. Paranoid as that sounds, New Orleans proves I'd be sane to do it.

      • westyx says:

        they responded pretty fast; the us took it's time "considering" letting the help arrive.

        • coldacid says:

          And don't forget that the US government didn't even accept our whole offer. We could have sent down DART and all to aid, but Washington was content with a quartet of tugboats from Halifax.

    • jwz says:

      Wow, that's a fine rant...

    • kespernorth says:

      Oh, wow. I am impressed.

      Where the hell was this sort of commentary during the course of the Iraq War or the last election, I wonder.

  1. Sister Machine Gun? The Nine Inch Nails soundalike from the 1990s? Were they based in New Orleans as well?

  2. lars_larsen says:

    THIS is why we need the right to bear arms. How exactly is "gun control" going to stop bands of roving armed-thugs?

    An M16 behind your front door will though.

    • caprinus says:

      They will loot the M16 behind your front door and use it against you.

      • "They'll take it away from you and use it against you" is used a lot as an argument against gun ownership/carry. Well, it sure as hell gives you a fighting chance, and thugs will get weapons from somewhere regardless considering how many are available (and I don't just mean firearms - many things can be lethal weapons). I'd prefer to be armed (preferably with a shotgun or military rifle, both of which I own) and not a sitting duck in a situation like that, especially if you have supplies others would try to steal from you by force.

        Just don't leave your rifle behind the front door where someone could kick in the door and make off with it, keep it in a safe place - and in a Mad Max situation like this, that means slung over your shoulder with a full mag. Going out looking for trouble is one thing, but trying to keep the trouble from coming to you is another thing entirely.

        • caprinus says:

          Just don't leave your rifle behind the front door where someone could kick in the door and make off with it

          That's pretty much what I was suggesting in this case. If the OP wants to have his M16, "please to be keeping it on your body at all times" (unless the front door is also equipped with a wolf-pit to prevent smash and grabs).

          However, as for the "tired argument" business, I'm still personally in favour of gun control. Simply speaking, even if I had the time and the desire to get, say, M16 training, go to the range with it and practice, and then have the will to shoot people who tresspass on my property -- all of which, by the way, is less likely than my becoming a concert pianist -- the fact is that if the shit hits the fan, I will be one against many, and I have to sleep some time. I might kill some people, some of whom may present danger to me, but I calculate the chances to be 100% that in the end this gun will end up in the hands of criminals. Chances are also good I wouldn't be able to stand the tension of sleepnessness and paranoid vigilance and would end up going berserk with the gun myself, shooting people I have no business shooting. Maybe you have faith in your stone cold Vulcan logic seeing you through, but I don't.

          I have no greater faith in the overall sanity, stability, and effectiveness of the public than I do my own. In fact, I have less. The idea of a utopia with an M16 in every household therefore scares me shitless; if a crisis comes, that'll be a lot of firepower at the hands of the edgy, the neurotic, the immature, the psychotic, the panicked, the misinformed, the racist, and the plain stupid (who might very well leave their M16 by the front door and go watch cable), not to mention the criminal, who'll be better armed as well. And it's a lot easier to make a mess with M16s than with baseball bats, therefore I'll stick with the latter and promote control of the former, thank you very much.

          To me, the tired argument is this: "thugs will get weapons from somewhere regardless, considering how many are available". Uh huh. So you're saying there is no way to enforce bans on weapons? Well then, and how will you prevent the criminals in the M16-for-the-masses utopia you envision from obtaining howitzers, SAMs, rocket-propelled grenades? What, make these illegal? But they're criminals, and will get weapons from "somewhere", no? So why won't they simply equip themselves with better weapons than what Joe Sixpack has? How will you stop the inevitable arms race?

          At some point, you will advocate the stringent control of certain classes of weapons... And when you do, it's just a matter of quality; you admit gun control can work.

          • dasht_brk says:

            The slippery slope to rocket-propelled grenades is a fairly shallow grade, at least in this part of the world, though as we see elsewhere in the world, that can change pretty easily.

            You are right that among some populations (and I'm not referring to race) wide dispersal of weapons can make things go south in a big hurry whenever civil order is challenged. On a day-to-day basis, a weapons-rich urban environment turns out to be a very dangerous place, too.

            For reasons like those, we'll probably always have what we have: a kind of middle-road gun control that regulates what is practical to regulate but leaves room for sport and personal defense.

            Look what happens among prosperous and disaster-robust prepared populations, though. In a lot of those, anyone not having some firepower around is rightly suspected of being a weirdo who has failed to live up to their responsibilities in the shared preparedness effort. And when things go south, these communities tend not to lose civil order --- just the opposite, they tend to self-respond and instinctively implement mutual aid and support. It's nostalgia for these kinds of communities that inspires so many anti-gun-control arguments you come across.

            The best and most effective form of gun control is to keep guns well controlled, not to deny individuals guns. Prerequisits for keeping guns well controlled are prosperity and a universal investment in a social order that works for everyone.

            Once again, then, and by yet another route of analysis, we reach the same conclusion again: it is crushing poverty, disenfranchisement, and a social order which is hostile to so many that is the greatest root cause of threats to life and limb in this country. Fixing that should be one of our highest national priorities -- yes, for government at all level but also and probably more importantly through private efforts of entrepreneurialism, investment, study and intellectualism, preparedness, and coordinated action. On the need for private action: unexamined habits of greed and lack of concern and empathy by many of the well off are the greatest obstacle.

            Yr. comrade,

          • coldacid says:

            The line you suggest as a tired argument? Come up here to Toronto and read about our summer of the gun. So far attempts at gun control here in Canada have mostly failed, and at the cost of millions. (I've heard from $5 million to a half billion in Canadian funds, at which point conversion to USD doesn't really mean too much.) Gun control, no matter what, will not keep weapons out of the hands of those determined to have them.

            • caprinus says:

              Ohhh the Summer of the Gun! *knees knock*

              I live in Toronto, you wuss. I agree the National Gun Registry has been a terrible mess, and that money would have been far better spent on other things -- like community policing in Toronto's poorer neighbourhoods -- but don't make me laugh with this scaremongering. I've been to Detroit and Chicago and there is nowhere in Toronto as bad as that. I don't lock my doors at night and I don't have any weapons in the house and I feel safe. Would you say that if our populace was universally armed with the best guns on offer you would feel safer than you do now, or that death rates among ignorant crack-snorting gangbangers (the only "victims" of the "crime wave" the papers are banging on about) would go down if each of them had a gun? Delusional. Those death rates will go down if each of them has a job and an education and a goal in life, none of which is addressed by those imaginary M16s we've been talking about.

        • lars_larsen says:

          I only meant keep it behind the front door while you're on WATCH at the front door. When you're soimewhere else, take it with. When you're asleep, put it under your pillow in an unloaded safety state.

      • lars_larsen says:

        How will they do that with 3 holes in their chest?

    • jwz says:

      Please cite a single instance where arguing about gun control has caused ANYONE EVER to change their mind.

      You can all STFU now, thanks.

      • lars_larsen says:

        Good point. I guess I just meant that if I were there, I'd be freakin terrified if I were unarmed.

        I dont care what other people think. Didn't realize it would fuel a debate. Sorry.

  3. babynutcase says:

    With 9-11 there was very little impact outside of NYC in terms of actual events. Online system, bankning etc. was disrupted but most people didn't feel impacted unless they were watching the news. Katrina is different. We will all feel it sooner or later.

    Fuel Shortages? What fuel shortages?

    • jwz says:

      That is so obviously bullshit it's not even worth refuting. Next you're going to be coming here with stories about cactuses that explode and release a million baby spiders. "No really, this is from my friend who is usually reliable."

  4. rosefox says:

    Another first-hand account, from a nurse:

  5. gargargar says:

    That is solid gold disaster strategy, right there. Just when things begin to settle after a horrific crisis point, you then tell folks that you'll be cutting off their food supply.

    Naturally, I'm sure that once the residents hear that food will soon cease to arrive, they will pack up in an orderly fashion and file out via the appropriate routes. No one would dare think of, say, hoarding food or robbing it from those who have.

    Well done, Riley. Perhaps for your next trick you can start telling people that eating the youngest survivors first will protect you from disease!

    • pdx6 says:

      Apparently this strategy has been re-thought:

      The mayor also fiercely denied rumors that he had ordered relief workers to stop delivering water to those who refused to evacuate.

      "I want to emphasize that I would like everyone to get out because it's a health risk," he said. "It is not safe. Mosquitoes that are biting dead people are starting to fly."

      • gargargar says:

        Do mosquitoes bite dead people? I thought they only went for the warm pumping stuff.

        • pdx6 says:

          I'm not aware if mosquitoes want their blood warm and pumped or cold and clotted. Do mosquitoes nest in dead people? Perhaps these are special mosquitoes that enjoy the blood of zombies?