Unlike in Old West movies, the posse may not get there in time to save the day.

Credit: Tucson Citizen

Which means, until the good guys arrive, you are your own first responder.  That’s a scary thought, but its reality and needs to be accounted for.  There won’t always be a policeman, fireman, EMT, or other first responder on-site to offer immediate assistance when things go wrong.  That means you have to be prepared to be your own first responder.

In a mass shooting or terrorist attack, police departments now recommend taking action instead of being passive.  This can take many forms but the key concept is to take action immediately.  It may take several minutes for police units to arrive, which is plenty of time for a criminal to do a lot of damage.  As Police Officer Jack Dumphy writes:

…in the event of a mass shooting, the police may not arrive until it’s over, as was the case in about half the incidents examined.  The average police response time in the 84 shootings was three minutes, which may seem fast until one considers how much carnage a committed and well-armed gunman can bring down on a school, office, or shopping mall in three minutes.

This holds true for natural disasters as well.  Just the other day in China, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck in a rural province, which caused over a hundred deaths and over ten thousand injuries.  In some parts of the affected area, it took hours for assistance to arrive.  Due to the narrow roads and landslides, some areas may not get help for days…  Until help arrives, the survivors are on their own to manage as best they can with the aftermath.

Keep in mind that as more municipalities at all levels struggle with their finances, response times will get longer and there will be fewer resources available.  Being your own first responder will become a necessity along with building networks outside of governmental agencies to handle emergencies.  In one respect, this is a return to an earlier era in America where self-reliance, neighborhoods, and communities took care of each other instead of municipalities.  Taking the initiative to prepare is a gateway towards greater independence and freedom, which will ultimately benefit the neighborhoods we live in.

HT to Kevin over at Misfires and Light Strikes.