A major event is one that typically affects a specific geographical area and impacts a large number of people over an extended period of time. Examples would be a large storm, flooding, volcanic eruption, power outage, civil unrest or any other situation where routine services are disrupted and people are left to fend for themselves as best they can.
While there are many scenarios and multiple variations within those scenarios, there are three common actions that people take:
SHELTER IN PLACE: This usually means staying at home and using whatever resources are available to meet the daily needs of the household members to include shelter, rest, food, water, medical care and security. Most people are not prepared for more than a few days at best before they must have outside help. If that help is not forthcoming things quickly become critical.
ABANDON SHIP: Load up what you have in the family car and get out of town, if you can. Very few average citizens have a plan, the resources or the know-how to do this effectively. An exception may be some folks who live in coastal areas subject to hurricanes. Even there, even if they have been through a hurricane before, many are still not prepared. This takes pre-planning, resources and training to pull off successfully.
GROUPING TOGETHER: If the situation is such that a community is not completely wiped out or otherwise made uninhabitable, residents may be able to pool their talents and resources to ride out the emergency. This is much more difficult in today’s society where many folks do not know their next door neighbor.
A community plan can be very effective but it takes effort, resources and cooperation. Rural communities are much more suitable for this type of plan than most urban areas.