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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Powers That Be

Likely you’ve heard on the news that the Provincial Government of Manitoba decided to deliberately cut a dike in our flood ravaged land. This was done to effect a controlled release of water rather than risk a catastrophic failure.

The catch was that dozens of homes are likely to be flooded by this, perhaps as many as 150 or more, a choice mad to save 850 homes. The homeowners that will be flooded have no say, as the province has declared an emergency, which allows them wide ranging powers.

The city of Brandon also exercised its powers, declaring a local emergency. A mandatory evacuation order was issued, evacuating over a thousand people, and shutting down a large portion of the primary business district. This also gave the police the power to keep people off the dikes and fine them up to $50,000 for failing to comply. Additionally, the city can in essence trespass at will and commandeer private goods and vehicles.

This is nothing out of the ordinary for this kind of situation and is being done for the common good and safety, and all will return to normal in a few weeks. So why worry? How does this affect me as a prepper?

In a crisis, any kind of crisis, local, provincial and national governments will do their level best to cope. That is expected and reasonable. The problem is that they may invoke powers that are so sweeping that they could pose a danger to you. They can seize goods and vehicles, impose no go areas, and impose curfews and so on. At a certain point in a large enough crisis, they may be the monkey wrench in your plans, rather than a help.

Before that happens, take a look at your plans and how government acting in crisis might screw them up. Do you own a vehicle that would be attractive to a government short of equipment? Is your property strategic in some way, perhaps at a road junction or maybe just safer to park on than a lot of other places?

How about your food and equipment? Freeze dried food taken for the homeless and hungry, or maybe your generator and stored gas needed to run a pump somewhere else? It’s good to help your neighbours, but not to the point of watching years of preps vanish, and having your family no safer, warmer or better fed than anyone else.

The time to learn the extent of powers that your local government can wield is now, not during a crisis. Once you know exactly how far their powers go, and how little you have, it will probably make you think twice about your operational security, and whether you need to double up or keep out of sight some of your tools and equipment.

1 comment:

Jake said...

It would certainly be irritating if my years of hard prepping end up supporting another person who hasn't bothered. If only everyone would prepare.