Hurricane Sandy is another reminder of just how incredibly fragile the
thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis
really is. Many of the hardest hit areas along the Jersey shore and the
coast of Long Island have descended into a state of anarchy. More than 7
million people live on Long Island, and millions more live along the Jersey
shore and right now they are getting a taste of what life would be like
during a total economic meltdown.
At the moment, there are still
4.7 million homes and businesses that do not have power. Officials say
that some of those homes and businesses may not have their power restored
the weekend of November 10th and 11th.
Meanwhile, it is getting very
cold at night. This weekend the low temperatures on Long Island are
supposed to dip into the upper thirties. There have been reports of people
diving into dumpsters behind supermarkets in a desperate search for
food, and there have been other reports of roaming gangs of criminals posing
as officials from FEMA or Con Edison and then robbing families at gunpoint
once they have gained entrance into their homes. If people will behave like
this during a temporary emergency that lasts only a few days, what would
they do during a total economic collapse? That is a frightening thing to
Most gas stations along the Jersey shore and on Long Island are either
totally out of gasoline or they don't have any power to operate the gas
pumps. It is estimated that
more than half of all gas stations in New York City are closed at the
moment, and officials say that
more than 80 percent of all gas stations in New Jersey are not able to
sell gas right now. So needless to say, the lines at the gas stations that
remain open are horrific.
It is being reported that some people are waiting in line for
hours for gasoline in some areas and that state troopers
have actually been deployed at every gas station along the New Jersey
Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
The following is how one New Jersey mayor
described the situation...
"Gas lines are stretching for a couple of miles," said Anthony
Ammiano, mayor of Freehold, N.J., who recalled the oil crisis of the
1970s. "It's like the Jimmy Carter years. It's a flashback of bad
There have even been reports of people
literally fighting each other over gasoline...
“It’s so crazy. Cars are pulling up and people are fighting each
other. There is no gas around here,” said Mena Aziz, who manages a Gulf
Express station in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “It’s been so busy.”
to Breitbart, there have been continuous reports of "fistfights and
people bringing guns to gas stations" on Twitter. The following are a
couple of examples...
Just awful! RT @metrogypsy:
"Someone just pulled a knife at Greenpoint
#gas station as line stretches with hours long wait
"#gettingrealFAST — Camila Xavier (@camilaxavier)
November 1, 2012
"You know things are bad when you ask the gas station attendent 'when
do you think you're going to get more gas?' and he just laughs at you." — Prede (@predederva)
November 1, 2012
Unfortunately, authorities are projecting that the gas shortage may last
for another week at least.
How angry and frustrated will people get by that time?
There are vast stretches of the Jersey Shore and the coast of Long Island
that will never be the same again. The following is an excerpt from a
comment that a reader of mine from Long Island left on
one of my recent articles...
"I live in Massapequa NY …..No power to 95%. almost every home
south of Merrick Road ( 1.5 miles from open water ) has been flooded. No
electricity, no supermarkets in immediate area, no gas (approx 80% of
gas stations closed on Long Island)."
This was not just another storm. It was a life-altering event for
millions of people.
Unfortunately, just as we have seen after every other major storm in
recent years, looters are taking advantage of the chaos caused by Hurricane
the New York Post, a number of arrests for looting have already been
made on Long Island...
"In the Rockaways, lowlifes were sneaking into clothing stores and
cleaning out pizzerias. Two men and a woman were arrested for robbing a
BP gas station on Beach Channel Drive, three men and one woman were
cuffed for pillaging a Radio Shack on Beach 88th Street, and two people
were arrested for raiding a clothing store near Beach 86th Street, cops
said. Stores were emptied along a two-block stretch of Mermaid Avenue in
Coney Island. Seven people were busted."
Coney Island, looting appeared to be out of control during the immediate
aftermath of the storm...
"Thieves broke in to the badly damaged Mega Aid Pharmacy on
Mermaid Avenue and reportedly stole more than 10,000 pharmaceutical
items, including prescription drugs."
"'The water went away and these people started walking down the
streets and just robbed stores,' a pharmacy worker told HuffPo's Andy
"Manager Stan Gutkin said the major heist essentially 'breaks the
"Looters reportedly also targeted banks, other shops, and other
pharmacies. And residents are noticing."
"'People are turning on each other -- they're attacking each
other,' Ocean Towers resident Dena Wells told Campbell."
Amazingly, a number of not-so-smart looters have actually been displaying
their looted goods on Twitter. Just check out the shocking photos
in this article.
But most people living in the areas that were most affected by Hurricane
Sandy are decent people that just want some assistance. One resident of
Hoboken, New Jersey became so frustrated that he inflated an air
mattress and used it to float down to city hall in an attempt to get some
"Nearly 20,000 people have been trapped at home in the New Jersey
city of Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from New York City, amid
accusations that officials were slow to deliver food and water.
"One man blew up an air mattress and floated to City Hall,
demanding to know why supplies had not reached residents - at least a
quarter of homes there are flooded and 90% do not have power."
Just like we saw after Hurricane Katrina, the response by the federal
government and by big aid agencies such as the Red Cross has been very
slow. In fact, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has gone so
far as to call the Red Cross an "absolute
disgrace" and is urging people that live in his area to quit giving
money to them...
"You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm.
People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in
desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was
the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of
dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and
honestly. Where are they? Where are they?
"I was at the South Shore
yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying
to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity,
were making soup. Making soup. It’s very emotional because the lack of a
response. The lack of a response. They’re supposed to be here… They
should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people."
If this is how angry and frustrated that people become over a temporary
disaster, how angry and frustrated would they get if there was a total
economic meltdown that was permanent?
Sadly, the truth is that what we are seeing during the aftermath of
Hurricane Sandy is just a very small preview of what is coming on a national
Our economy is a
complete and total mess right now, and things are going to get a whole
When unemployment starts skyrocketing again and large segments of the
population realize that there is no hope for a turnaround, many of them are
going to totally give in to despair and become very desperate.
And as we are seeing along the Jersey Shore and on Long Island right now,
desperate people do desperate things.
That is why I am constantly pounding on the need to prepare for what is
ahead. There are signs of
social decay all around us, and most Americans are not equipped to deal
with the pressures that come with a major emergency. When things totally
fall apart, you don't want your family to be totally unprepared and
surrounded by millions of angry and desperate people.
Hopefully Hurricane Sandy will serve as a wake up call for millions of
American families. Time is definitely running out, and we all need to get
prepared while we still can.