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Katrina: after-action lessons learned

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Preacherman, Sep 5, 2005.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Following on from this thread, I've begun to receive after-action reports from our field representatives in the disaster area, as well as from contacts in the State Police in Louisiana and Mississippi. The lessons learned are given below. I'll try to add further after-action reports to this thread as I receive them, and I hope those who experienced Katrina first-hand will also post here about what they went through, and lessons that can be learned from it.

    1. People who were prepared were frequently mobbed/threatened by those who weren't. This was reported in at least seven incidents, five in Mississippi, two in Louisiana (I suspect that the relative lack of Louisiana incidents was because most of those with any sense got out of Dodge before the storm hit). In each case, the person/family concerned had made preparations for disaster, with supplies, shelter, etc. in good order and ready to go. Several had generators ready and waiting. However, their neighbors who had not prepared all came running after the disaster, wanting food, water and shelter from them. When the prepared families refused, on the grounds that they had very little, and that only enough for themselves, there were many incidents of aggression, attempted assault, and theft of their supplies. Some had to use weapons to deter attack, and in some cases, shots were fired. I understand that in two incidents, attackers/would-be thieves were shot. It's also reported that in all of these cases, the prepared families now face threats of retribution from their neighbors, who regarded their refusal to share as an act of selfishness and/or aggression, and are now threatening retaliation. It's reportedly so bad that most of the prepared families are considering moving to other neighborhoods so as to start afresh, with different neighbors.

    Similar incidents are reported by families who got out in time, prepared to spend several days on their own. When they stopped to eat a picnic meal at a rest stop, or an isolated spot along the highway, they report being approached rather aggressively by others wanting food, or fuel, or other essentials. Sometimes they had to be rather aggressive in their turn to deter these insistent requests. Two families report attempts being made to steal their belongings (in one case, their vehicle) while overnighting in camp stops on their way out of the area. They both instituted armed patrols, with one or more family members patrolling while the others slept, to prevent this. Seems to me to be a good argument to form a "bug-out team" with like-minded, security-conscious friends in your area, so that all concerned can provide mutual security and back-up.

    My take: I can understand these families being unwilling to share the little they had, particularly in light of not knowing when supplies would once again be available. However, this reinforces the point I made in my "lessons learned" post last week: plan on needing much more in the way of supplies than you initially thought! If these families had had some extra food and water in stock, and hidden their main reserve where it would not be seen, they could have given out some help to their neighbors and preserved good relations. Also, a generator, under such circumstances, is a noisy (and bright, if powering your interior lights) invitation saying "This house has supplies - come and get them". I suspect that kerosene lanterns, candles and flashlights might be a more "community-safe" option if one is surrounded by survivors.

    2. When help gets there, you may get it whether you like it or not. There are numerous reports of aggressive, overbearing behavior by those rescuers who first arrived at disaster scenes. It's perhaps best described as "I'm here to rescue you - I'm in charge - do as I say - if you don't I'll shoot you". It appears that mid-level State functionaries and Red Cross personnel (the latter without the "shoot you" aspect, of course) were complained about most often. In one incident, a family who had prepared and survived quite well were ordered, not invited, to get onto a truck, with only the clothes on their backs. When they objected, they were threatened. They had pets, and wanted to know what would happen to them: and they report that a uniformed man (agency unknown) began pointing his rifle at the pets with the words "I'll fix that". The husband then trained his own shotgun on the man and explained to him, in words of approximately one syllable, what was going to happen to him if he fired a shot. The whole "rescuer" group then left, threatening dire consequences for the family (including threats to come back once they'd evacuated and torch their home). The family were able to make contact with a State Police patrol and report the incident, and are now determined that no matter how much pressure is applied, they will not evacuate. They've set up a "shuttle run" so that every few days, two of them go upstate to collect supplies for the rest of the family, who defend the homestead in the meantime.

    Another aspect of this is that self-sufficient, responsible families were often regarded almost with suspicion by rescuers. The latter seemed to believe that if you'd come through the disaster better than your neighbors, it could only have been because you stole what you needed, or somehow gained some sort of unfair advantage over the "average victims" in your area. I'm at a loss to explain this, but it's probably worth keeping in mind.

    3. There seems to be a cumulative psychological effect upon survivors. This is clear even - or perhaps particularly - in those who were prepared for a disaster. During and immediately after the disaster, these folks were at their best, dealing with damage, setting up alternative accommodation, light, food sources, etc. However, after a few days in the heat and debris (perhaps worst of all being the smell of dead bodies nearby), many found their ability to remain positive and "upbeat" being strained to the limit. There are numerous reports of individuals becoming depressed, morose and withdrawn. This seemed to happen to even the strongest personalities. The arrival of rescuers provided a temporary boost, but once evacuated, a sort of "after-action shell-shock" seems to be commonly experienced. I don't know enough about this to comment further, but I suspect that staying in place has a lot to do with it - there is no challenge to keep moving, find one's survival needs, and care for the group, and one is surrounded by vivid reminders of the devastation. By staying among the ruins of one's former life, one may be exposing oneself to a greater risk of psychological deterioration. Do other members have any experience of, or theories about, this problem?

    4. There is widespread frustration over the lack of communication and empathy by rescuers and local/State government. This is partly due to the absence of electricity, so that TV's were not available to follow events as they unfolded: but it's also due to an almost deliberate policy of non-communication by rescuers. There are many accounts of evacuees wanting to know where the bus or plane was going that they were about to board, only to be told "We don't know", or "To a better place than this". Some have found themselves many States away from their homes. Other families were arbitrarily separated upon rescue and/or evacuation, and are still scattered across two or three States. Their efforts to locate each other are very difficult, and when they request to be reunited at a common location, all of those with whom I have contact report a blanket refusal by the Red Cross and State officials to even consider the matter at this time. They're being informed that it will be "looked into" at some future date, and that they may have to pay the costs involved if they want to join up again. This, to families who are now destitute! I'm very angry about this, but it's so widespread a problem that I don't know what can be done about it. I hope that in future, some means will be implemented to prevent it happening again. Lesson learned: never, EVER allow yourselves to be separated as a family, even if it means waiting for later rescue and/or evacuation. Insist on this at all costs!

    5. Expect rescuers (including law enforcement) to enforce a distinctly un-Constitutional authority in a disaster situation. This is very widely reported, and is very troubling. I hear repeated reports from numerous States that as evacuees arrive at refugee centers, they and their belongings are searched without Constitutional authority (i.e. martial law has not been declared, and there is no warrant), and any personal belongings seen as potentially suspicious (including firearms, prescription medication, etc.) are confiscated without recourse to the owner. I can understand the point of view of the receiving authorities, but they are acting illegally, and I suspect there will be lawsuits coming from this practice. Another common practice reported on the ground in the disaster areas is for people to be ordered to evacuate, irrespective of their needs and wishes - even those folks who were well-prepared and have survived in good shape. If they demur, they are often threatened and bullied in an attempt to make them abandon their homes, pets, etc. Lesson learned: in a disaster, don't expect legal and Constitutional norms to be followed. If you can make it on your own, do so, without relying on an unsympathetic and occasionally overbearing rescue system to control you and your destiny.

    6. Don't believe that rescuers are all knights in shining armor who will respect your property. There have been numerous reports of rescuers casually appropriating small items that took their fancy in houses they were searching. Sometimes this was blatant, right in front of onlookers, and when protests were made, the response was either threatening, or a casual "Who's going to miss it now?". Some of our field agents report that this happened right in front of their eyes. Another aspect of this is damage caused to buildings by rescuers. I've had reports of them kicking in the front door to a house, or a window, instead of trying to obtain access with as little damage as possible; climbing on clean, highly-polished tables with hobnailed boots in order to get at an attic hatch to check for survivors; etc. When they left the house, often the door or window was left open, almost a standing invitation to looters, instead of being closed and/or secured. When the families concerned get home, they won't know who caused this damage, but they will certainly be angered by it. I think that if one evacuates one's home, it might be a good idea to leave a clearly-visible notice that all residents have evacuated, so as to let would-be rescuers know that this house is empty. On the other hand, this might make it easier for looters, so what you gain on the swings, you lose on the round-abouts...

    That's all for now, but I expect other points will emerge over time. Hope these updates are helpful to you, and stimulate your own thinking.
     
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Good analysis.

    I have been thinking of the same things lately, especially the tendency of "rescuers" to trample all over the rights of citizens. It seems very un-American of them to insist that they know what is best for people who are doing just fine without intervention.

    My biggest lesson learned is the fact that I am going to have to educate my neighbors and fellow church members. If anything similar happens in my neck of the woods I am going to need a support network.
     
  3. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Preacherman, you are on fire. Excellent writing. Everyone in the country should read your essay and ponder it long, complete with discussion with family and friends.

    A few thoughts.

    Generators.

    My thoughts exactly. Elsewhere, in the bug out thread you started, i admitted to owning one, and have used it in the past in unrelated circumstances, but it has been sitting idle for two years because, i find, on camp retreats, i prefer the quiet, listening to the wind whisper around the moon, rather than the sound of a genie. give me kerosine & candles and i'll give you a quiet mind able to hear the beauty of the night. it takes some adjusting for most of us, cause we're so used to "plug it in get electricity", but it's not that hard to live without once you adjust (assuming you don't need to run a heart/lung machine or something).

    As i've also admitted on that thread, given a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario, I'd not run a genie because it would attract pirates and parasites. I don't mind sharing if I've got extra, because i'm prepared, and prepared extra because i knew Mr. X would not, but there's a limit there.

    Communication, or lack there of. The "C" word, as me and my colleagues refer to it. I've seen more projects in my day either totally fail, or at least be far less than they could be, because of inadquate communication than for any other reason.

    Admittedly, yes, those in NOLA have some big problems retarding communication - no electricity, so no email, phones may be out, etc. But even the ancient cultures (e.g., Spartans, who said, "Molon labe") understood the concept of runners. They've still got pencils and paper even in a disaster zone.

    Without communication, wihtout linkage, the system fails. If the liver can't communicate with the kidney and the lungs, life is over.

    Psychology of survivors. Hmm. That's a tough one, sez the biologist, who has no professional credentials that qualifies him to speak on the matter. (Warning: personal opinion ahead.) Seems like to me the difference between those who stay and those who leave is activity. If you're going to stay amidst the rubble and death, plan to be active. Acknowledge that life as you knew it has gone away. Plan to spend some time in grief. Grief is important and shouldn't be ignored or suppressed. Feel like crying? Cry. Feel like yelling? Yell. At the top of your lungs. Let your family know that you're checking out for 10 minutes to just let the anger flow, then let it rip. Tell W what an idiot he is for not ending his vacation earlier. Tell FEMA that they're likewise relegated to the back of the class with no cake. None of them will hear, of course, but it's good for your psyche.

    Then, after releasing some tension, go back to family. Clear debris, even in your own little part of hell. Be active.

    I don't know, really, just thinking out loud about what i might do.

    "I'm here to rescue you - I'm in charge - do as I say - if you don't I'll shoot you". This is the single most valuable lesson from Katrina that i've learned. Humans have a built in control complex. They want to be 'in charge'. There's always gonna be someone who thinks they know how to live your life better than you do. They know better, or think they do. The big brother complex. Or is it playing dad?

    This is why i hope to bug so far out beyond the authority figures that are bugging in to help.

    If instead, i get trapped 'inside' the disaster zone, and am confronted with "I'm here to help you. Give me your guns, (prescription) drugs, and do as I say", i hope to be able to muster my jedi mind control and tell them subliminally, "get out of my face now if you wish to continue living".
     
  4. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    The statist "we own you" mentality is very disturbing, and is far flung from the optimal, "howdy, folks, how are you getting on, what help do you need" ideal that I grew up with.
     
  5. kbr80

    kbr80 member

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    Preacherman, do you happen to know the agency that did this? Anymore info?
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Off and on over the last 20 years or so, a rumor arises about federal plans to evacuate the rural population along the Mexican border. Were such to happen I can see some of the same maltreatment of us "refugees in training".

    Given Chertoff's talk about border security, and reading/TV-ing of Katrina does not create an attitude of confidence.

    Art
     
  7. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Art, as a former resident of NM, I'm curious: do you know the purported justification for said evacuation?

    Is it <gasp> to protect the citizenry?
     
  8. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    kbr80, as I said in my post, the agency was not identified. This was probably due to the fact that many LEO's of all sorts of different agencies are now wearing camo, overalls, and other clothing without distinctive identification patches. Can't blame them for this - many of them found themselves with only the clothes they were wearing after Katrina went through, and are now dressing in anything available. However, the individual in this case was identified as being in a LE uniform, agency not identified. That's the best I can do. (It was in Mississippi, BTW.)
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I've been thinking for awhile on how to deal with the problems caused by being better prepared than your neighbors. I think there is definitely some advantage to storing extra food and water and using it to buy goodwill if you plan to stay in place.

    I've also been looking at at wind and solar generators as solutions as well. They are less obtrusive. They are quiet. They don't depend on fuel. They also don't provide nouninterrupted power like a diesel generator would and provide less power as well; but hooked up to a bank of marine batteries you could probably maintain communications and maybe some limited refrigeration.

    As a bonus, either wind or solar is silent and there are some fairly well-developed systems designed for marine use onboard sailboats (exposure to saltwater, wind, corrosion, and sun). Some of the flexible solar panels would be nice since you could roll them up and pull them in when necessary.

    There are also some interesting backpacks with solar powered rechargers (including power inverter and solar panels) built into the backpack. These would be a pretty inconspicuous way to power a satphone, computer, or small radio.
     
  10. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    I had the same idea and had purchased the beginnings of a system to use to learn.

    32 watt flexible solar panel and programmable charge controller. I had it in my yard charging a marine battery. Someone stole the panel and charge controller. I suppose the battery was too heavy.

    It's a shame that claymore security systems aren't legal.

    Part of the problem that prepared people are having is just more of the same old, same old. People that are seriously prepared for disaster have always been viewed with suspicion by most in this country. You hadn't noticed?
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Keep them coming, Preacherman! This is a great thread, and chilling to put it mildly.

    I've decided to team up with people I know around here, and I'm enlarging my earthquake kit accordingly. My logic is that in case of a massive nine pointer bugging out of town is going to be nearly impossible and fighting off the other Spenardians even more impossible. The only real hope is to be ready to feed more people than myself. I will be ready to feed, arm and support at least five people for a week. Of course, I have the advantage of no family or kids to worry about.

    Also, I have to figure if it's taken a week to get help to NOLA, it will take about a month for anything to arrive here.
     
  12. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Of course, given their tendency to take over your life when they get there, that could be a good thing. ;)
     
  13. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Good report and none too surprising that we've seen the best and worst
    of people in this situation.

    A couple of comments and amens. Generator noise is a big problem
    and everyone knows you're not mowing your lawn. This noise
    carries farther across open areas and even more so in the winter!
    We would only run the gen for well pumping or recharding batteries.
    We've lost power for days on end and most of our neighbors down
    the country road know we have one. But, others have theirs, too.
    I'd say try to do without it as long as possible.

    I have mixed feelings about giving away food. I would like to, but
    here's what happens: word gets around quickly that you have so
    "much" food that you're giving it away. Next thing you know there
    is an even larger crowd looking for food from you "Come on, we
    know you have it." Anyone who's ever dropped food from a guard
    tower to a couple kids below in the 3rd world will quickly find 20
    or 30 show up out of nowhere in minutes outside your wire. Ooops.
     
  14. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    On the feeding more than you planned for aspect, take a look at the lifeboat rations from Mainstay and Datrex. They won't qualify for gourmet meals; but they might earn you some good will whle doling out enough calories, water and nutrition for a survival situation.

    Mainstay sells a product called "ARK III" consisting of their lemon-vanilla cookie like lifeboat rations (3,600 cal total), 24oz. of water, and a cheap space blanket. They call this their 3-day suvival kit, though that seems a bit optimistic to me; but at $20 a pop they would be easy to store and trade and they have a shelf life of something like 20 years.

    You can also buy the lifeboat rations and prepackaged water in bulk for comparable prices and figure out a ration that is a little more realistic for 3 days.
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Nema, I think it has to do with serious unrest/revolution in Mexico. I raised the point to show that "Federal Assistance" can happen to us in other situations than hurricanes. The problems inherent in displacement would be similar.

    "How to deal with the neighbors" has been around since the inception of ICBMs and H-bombs. Think "Fallout Shelter" and all the discussions about whether a prepared person would allow a neighbor to come in. That was one of the few times that bankers were smarter than the people or the government: Since they didn't believe a nuclear holocaust would occur, they'd make twenty-year loans so you could build your fallout shelter. :D

    The only secure way to not have difficulty with being prepared is to live among others of like mind. (Or, persuade neighbors to plan ahead.) A group can be effective in self-defense against the ill-prepared or the overly-officious where the individual or individual family cannot.

    Art
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Peter,

    Good information as always.

    One point though - If I'm a rescuer that knows I'm working against the clock to find people before they die of dehydration huddled in their attics and I find the door locked I can't spend the time looking for some other way to get in without busting the door or window. At the end of the day (a very long one at that and one of many) the time taken to get in and out of houses without any damage may mean one less rescue.

    Each of us will have to decide how much we will spend on spare ammo or spare food. As you saw with your guests they quickly exhausted a 30 day food supply in less than a week. If you didn't have the store to go to so you could replenish your pantry would it have been advisable to make up for their lack of preparation?
     
  17. Arc-Lite

    Arc-Lite Member

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    I was asked 6 days ago, to give assistance to a friend, who wished to deliver supplies to New Orleans, and to check on the"status" of some family members. I returned home late last night, and am still a bit fuzzy, from the LARGE glass of brandy, before attempting to ease my mind to sleep. Observations : Everything that could happen, has, in the entire region....from interstate 49 to the west, 20 to the north and anyones guess to the east. All actions from A to Z has been acted out.... from the very best, to the very worst, but this is the ways of the normal everyday world. Some people who were "prepared" did and are the target of the lootes, and thives, keep in mind the city is still a HOT HOT zone.... and the sounds of gun fire, every night, was continual, and during the day...frequent...(which began on day 2, the thin ice, or sanity melts quickly) Also the concept of "being prepared" is very fluid, and changes quickly... correct choices and options are critical. The rescue people are also walking wounded, and the mind set, is one of frustration and burn out...and over load. Many of the rescue people were from all across the nation, fact is, where do yo think a New Orleans public offical priorities lie, on their job, or their family !!! There is ZERO in the city.... and condition will get worse.... so the " I am going to rescue you...like it or not" is one of burn out and of a grim tasks, beyond nightmares.... without any end in sight...and the simple fact, if we don't collect you now, we have to do it later...there are many many bad months still ahead. The psychogical effects... are understandable if your sane, after being there..your crazy. The entire system broke down, with all communications, of the rescue workers, local govt. and feds...from local am/fm updates to air traffic control...completely without focus or direction, but this was the way...of EVERYTHING. The last day I watched truck loads of food and water arrive...to an near empty city.. (days late, and dollars short) Everything was crazy.... so I will not even go into rights questions What I saw, was pretty simple..... if your not prepared, to care for yourself, and"family" then do not expect help to arrive.... EVERYONE dropped the ball... from the people who build a city of 700,000 below sea level....to the ...people, city govt, state govt, and feds... do I think we might learn from this ??? yes, a bit... but I think it will be, much like the days after 911, we had focus...then all went back to sleep. One section of the gulf coast...was hit bad... and it taxed the entire system...till it began to come apart. No matter where you consider your level of material readiness to be....always have options, and as many back up plans as possible.... and know, if it revolves around another missing part....it won't be worth much...when it all comes down. Storms and natural disasters...are one thing we usually deal with well....in time, but the madness, of how people deal with each other.... is worse then a thousand storms....
     
  18. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    the evacuation and separation thing raises the need for all your group members to have an agreed RV point to make for, and an agreed point of contact, preferably a relative in a distant part of the country, in the event of separation.
     
  19. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    Some of the "we WILL rescue you" attitude may come from the official line being "EVERYBODY OUT!" as in: Big Brother says we're supposed to remove you from the area, so we will remove you - breathing or not.

    As for neighbors being suspicious of those prepared, recall the Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street".
     
  20. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Maybe it would be a good idea to have a video camera handy to record such an event because once the S had been cleaned off the F I would like to see such behavior by LEO's punished.

    In addition, it would be wise to discuss how you are going to handle contact by "officials" with everyone in your group ... it would probably be a good idea for only one of you to approach the "authorities" when they show up at your property, with the rest of your group inside the house with rifles and video camera trained on your "rescuers".
     
  21. fish2xs

    fish2xs Member

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    awesome

    preacherman,

    some of the most insightful writing i have seen in ages. if only the MSM would put such though into their prose
     
  22. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    Preacherman,
    I got it now!
    I have shamelessly copied your post. One of your best!
     
  23. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    During recovery and startup there is still plenty of opportunity for new problems to develop. Just like trying to stop a freight train, starting up again can pose it's own problems. Those chemical and process facilities in the hurrican-impacted areas will need careful attention when the operators bring them back on line.

    The following message is from the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Washington D.C.

    In Wake of Hurricane Katrina, CSB Issues Safety Bulletin Urging Oil and Chemical Facilities to Take Special Safety Precautions During Startups

    Washington, DC, September 8, 2005 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today issued a Safety Bulletin urging oil and chemical facilities to take special precautions when restarting in the wake of shutdowns due to Hurricane Katrina.

    The CSB three-member board voted to approve the Safety Bulletin this afternoon, and the full text of the Bulletin has been posted on the agency website, www.csb.gov. It notes that the startup of major processes at chemical facilities is a hazardous phase, saying, "Facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to operation."

    The Bulletin says that, as the industry recognizes, starting up a complex petrochemical process requires and receives a higher level of attention and care than normal processing, because numerous activities are occurring simultaneously and many automatic systems are run under manual control.

    Noting that many facilities - after being forced to shut down during the hurricane and subsequent floods - will be restarting over the coming weeks and months, the CSB said, "This is a time to make sure that no more lives are claimed by this tragedy and no further delays occur in the production of essential transportation fuels and chemicals."

    CSB Chairman Carolyn Merritt said, "From our past investigations we know first-hand the dangers of catastrophic incidents during startup. The nation can not afford another serious petrochemical plant accident, especially in this crucial time of tight fuel supplies. We are urging facilities to follow established startup procedures and checklists prior to restarting."

    The CSB Safety Bulletin points to three catastrophic startup incidents investigated by the CSB that occurred at U.S. petrochemical plants since the agency began operations in 1998. These resulted in a total of 22 deaths, more than 170 injuries, and lengthy shutdowns in production units. Other tragic incidents investigated by the CSB occurred during the startup of batch process and during maintenance operations that followed a power outage. Detailed information about these and all CSB investigations can be found at www.csb.gov.

    The Safety Bulletin suggests specific procedures to assure safe restarts under the headings, "Rely on Established Safety Systems"and "Check Process Equipment Thoroughly." For example, facilities are urged to follow established startup procedures and checklists, and to recognize that "human performance may be compromised due to crisis conditions." Board Chairman Merritt added that "Many employees in the region have lost homes or loved ones in the hurricane, adding to the stress of an already difficult work situation."

    The Bulletin calls on facilities to check bulk storage tanks for evidence of floating displacement or damage, and to examine insulation systems, sewers, drains, furnace systems, electric motors and other equipment, including warning systems, to make sure they are fully functional.

    The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in safety management systems.

    The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Please visit our website, www.csb.gov.
     
  24. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,552
    Location:
    TN
    Very interesting posts. I feel honored to be able to contribute. Every disaster scenario has its own set of requirements depending on the time of the year it happens and the location. I have a few general observations.

    (1) "No man is an island." You can not individually adequately plan for a disaster of this magnitude without a support group. Begin assembling a band of brothers with like minds.
    (2) The things that we associate with a modern society break down rather quickly. Everything that we associate with a civilized society depends on access to money, food, water, electricity and fuel. Planning is required to maintain this access.
    (3) Even if you have planned well, all your planning can be worthless if somebody takes everything away from you in their hour of need. Hence, you need some way to protect the fort or carry it with you.
    (4) The "bugout bag" needs to be planned out from several perspectives and they relate mostly to time and season of the year. How long before help will arrive? 1-day, 3-days, 7-days, 30-days, or longer. When you are dealing with a period longer than a few days, the "bag" becomes rather large. So, you have to stay put where you are and make do.
    (5) Looting and Personal Belongings: Interacting with the dark side of our fellow man adds considerable problems in terms of planning. Frankly, if you keep important valuables and everybody does, you need to be prepared to carry them with you, hide them, or defend them. It may seem a bit ridiculous at times. But you have to assume that in most cases, life will return to normal and those valuables will be important to you in returning to normalcy or rebuilding your life. We have seen some of the worst qualities in our fellow man reported in New Orleans. Even the people you should be able to trust can not be trusted to work in your best interest.
    (6) I doubt that there will be many people prosecuted for their conduct during the New Orleans disaster. The only accountability will be with people in government and we have already seen one (FEMA) take a hit. Hence, it is a free-for-all and you have to plan for that scenario if you are trapped in a disaster area.
     
  25. Malamute

    Malamute Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,163
    Location:
    Rocky Mts
    A female friend just reported having to drive (from Illinois) to the Biloxi area to get her mother after the storm. One of the things she reported was that in the rest stops, there were people sleeping in their cars, and other people siphoning their gas while they slept. As tired as she was, she didn't dare stop and rest. She said "I wasn't about to let them have that gas I waited 2 1/2 hours in line to get". She had enough to get where she was going, and get back out. She hid her cash around in the van and on herself, with a little cash left in her wallet for bait. She had a pistol also, but wasn't anxious to use it if not needed. she had to sweet talk her way through a roadblock to get to her mothers apartment, but did make it, and got her mother out.

    She rented the van to go down. Thought that was odd at first, but thinking about it, I may not want to try to take my own vehicle into an area like that under those circumstances. Investing in a locking gas cap, even for a rental vehicle, would be a good idea. Cheaper than giving away hard to get fuel.
     
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