Submitted November 6, 2008

As I drove in, I was absolutely sobered to the core

Hello Tom:

Some time back you asked for some information from your customers regarding any experiences we had in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am so sorry that it has taken so long for me to get back to you. It isn't that we don't have experiences that we strongly feel need to be shared, but that it is so hard to pick a few things from what was an overwhelming and life transforming event. WOW.

We have a California address now but we indeed were in New Orleans and have a survival experience. We evacuated to Texas but found our house destroyed when we got back. My partner, who is an MD, had to be escorted, under ARMED MILITARY GUARD back into New Orleans to work as part of "Team B" (27/7 for a week) in the hospital in which she worked.

There are many stories from that time. I will share just one. When dialysis patients drove to the remaining dialysis clinics for treatment, the civil disorder had put such fear into people that the staff found every single patient locked in their cars in the parking lot with guns.

In frustration we hoped and prayed for a military intervention because the city was so chaotic. It was another thing all together to actually see black hawk helicopters, military transport planes and 18 year old soldiers with big guns in the city. As I drove in, I was absolutely sobered to the core.

You are singing our song. I will never see the "security" of American Cities the same again. I truly believe that, with a "perfect storm" of circumstances, any American city can go to hell in a hand basket within a very brief amount of time.

Since we relocated, I have slowly been building an "emergency kit" that is much more elaborate than the hurricane kit we always inventoried each May before hurricane season. (Protein bars, stuff to build a fire with, water purification tablets, a shotgun . . ) Most people have enough for the first 72 hours because they think then "they" will come. Sometimes "they" (Red Cross, FEMA, etc.) don't come. We now plan for the 73rd hour and beyond.

I hope this little testimony is helpful. We are slowly readjusting to being back home in California. It's wonderful but I don't get lulled to far into thinking that it can't happen again. So I keep building my emergency kit.

Blessings, Pamela

A Note from Survival Authority, Tom Sciacca of CampingSurvival.com:

Good point! "My partner, who is an MD, had to be escorted, under ARMED MILITARY GUARD". Many of us who pay attention to things such as what happened in New Orleans have heard similar stories about Doctors, Nurses and other people that stayed to help the survivors. Being able to defend yourself without an armed guard can be invaluable. The simple answer is to be prepared to be your own armed guard if need be!

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