By Rich Gilbreath SHTFandGO February 7th, 2019 (Free License to share with link back to original article)
We all know people that do not prepare, save, or stock up on water, food, and supplies. One thing certain after an emergency event, there will be people without provisions, or people that have lost their supplies to flooding, fire, etc. If you live in an urban area or highly populated community, you will undoubtedly run into those in need. The question you will be forced to consider, “Do you Help?” If you are one of the prepared and have a surplus of supplies, will you give aid, food, and water to those around you in need? There’s a good argument to make for either decision. Let’s analyze the benefits of helping your fellow man and the detriments and exposure to harm you may be accepting.
Anyone that has received help from a stranger in a minor situation, as in a disabled car, dead battery, or a flat tire, definitely feels the immense power of good will, and a feeling of indebted gratitude. Now multiply this exponentially, when a major disaster, catastrophe, or emergency situation is forced upon the public, and people are placed in a hopeless situation. Anyone in distress will be highly emotional with fear, doubt, disbelief, and perhaps anger. These feelings will be compounded if the person in distress has a family or perhaps small children. The saying, “Don’t mess with momma bear”, rings true in humans as well. When you couple a high stress situation, with a family’s fear for their children, people will make rash decisions in the attempt to protect family. This in turn can and will put your family in danger, if this happens. I personally have been on the side of receiving help and is one reason why I prepare for emergency. I do not want to repeat that scenario if at all possible, be it even the most prepared can find themselves in dire straits.
Individual possibilities are endless but here are a few as an exercise in thought.
- A person or family graciously accepts your help calm and orderly.
- A person or family accepts your help, is gracious, scared and overwhelming offers to repay you and attempts to help with any work to be performed.
- A person or family accepts your help, but seems scared and distant.
- A person or family accepts your help, but seems ungrateful or indifferent
- A person or family accepts your help, and begins asking questions about you, your family, and how you’re able to help others.
All the above situations have a different dynamic, but every possibility would require situational awareness and some much more than others.
Let’s break each one down to help understand the underlying issues.
- A person that is very calm and orderly, seems benign on the surface, but one should be aware and understand that, in an emergency people are scared and unsure. If a person had just witnessed a life changing event, they will be rattled, and understandably so. I would pay close attention to someone that accepted help, and had very little emotion. This could be a result of shock, but nevertheless, be aware.
- A person that accepts your help but is emotionally upset is a normal reaction. A person that receives help and thanks you and offers to help out anyway they can, is on the surface a more trustworthy person. This doesn’t dismiss the fact that you don’t know this person, or their family, so still keep aware, but your alarm bells are not ringing.
- A person that accepts your help, is scared and distant or quiet may just simply be in shock, and unable to function properly. This person may need more attention to help calm down, and would recommend having someone stay with this person and understand that people that are scared, can flip out. I would help out this person to the best of my ability, but I would not allow this person near any sensitive property, or I would not share any information about how well you are equipped.
- and 5. These two situations, would immediately raise all red flags. I can understand people being in shock or in disbelief, but if someone showed the slightest indifference to even ungratefulness, they would be removed immediately. I would still help the person asking questions, because people are curious, but after aid had been given, they would be asked to go. If questions were asked after a longer period of time with this person or people, but they seemed helpful and very gracious, I would just accept they may be curious, but I would have to make a judgement call at that time, and assess the personality and situation.
Practice a high level of Situational awareness regardless of the encounter.
Obviously, these examples above are just some of the possibilities. Be aware that in helping others, you are assuming and putting your family at some level of risk. This should be evaluated on an individual basis, and yet, we should never lose the fact we are humans, and humanitarian efforts should be made to help others in need. That doesn’t mean you have to do it with blind faith. While humanitarian efforts will be rewarded most times, human atrocities have and always will exist. It is good to help your fellow man, but just as you have prepared for you and your family, prepare to make hard decisions to protect them as well. This exercise, doesn’t mean you will help others, but it at least get you preparing and thinking about this kind of decision, before it is thrust upon you and you have to make a decision quickly.
What to Give
We have seen after natural disasters, people in general are willing to go to great lengths to help others. Helping others after an emergency seems like a noble endeavor. You have to ask yourself, wouldn’t you want someone to help you if you were in distress. What to do, and how to react are not always clear. Some things you will need to focus on are possible length of the emergency, how much provisions you have available, and whether or not you have supplies to spare.
How to make an evaluation:
- Person or persons requesting help appear to be in actual need.
- Person or persons are injured.
- Person or persons needing help are willing to trade provisions. example (clean water for food)
- Provisions person or persons are asking for will put myself or family in need.
- Person or persons requesting aid may want more than I’m willing to give in an unknown duration of emergency.
- By helping others, I will be showing my provision status and possibly undulley putting my family at risk of theft or attack.
- By helping some people, I will be inviting others to request help which could deplete my provisions.
- Violence and civil unrest has broken out threatening myself and family well being.
There is plenty of good reasons to help others in distress. There are also very good reason, not to help. You and your family will need to make a decision on each situation your presented with at the time. Just think about different options you have, and what level you may be willing to contribute. There is no right or wrong answer. There is just your answer. Sometimes when choosing to help others, your emotions may be at a high level, especially if the decision to help includes young children.
If you decide to help others or not, you need to protect your family. Using your awareness of the situation, you will need to decide ahead of any conflict, whether you are willing and to what extent you will defend your provisions and family. The extent of emergency will be a factor. For example, a destructive tornado, being a localized event, will have emergency support people helping after the disaster has passed. Where as, a national or world disaster, may not ever have emergency professionals coming. These factors will greatly change the way you think about helping others.
Some things to think about in preparation.
- Do not show others your provisions, how much you have, where they are exactly, and how much protective devices you possess.Plan to have extra. This can be used to help others, or to barter with.
- Make a plan for emergency. Share with family members where things are, and how to access them.
- Set protection areas and how to secure your property.
- Make decisions ahead of an emergency.
Whatever you decide and how you react in an emergency situation, you will need to live with your decisions. Deciding to help others or use deadly force during a disaster, doesn’t automatically exonerate you from responsibility or allows you a clear conscience. If you and your family are threatened use like force in response. If you decide to help others, realize you may be on the receiving end of help at some point in the future. Be kind, Be good, and Good Happens to You. Live by this and you will be fine.