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Aimless
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16 Jan 2010, 7:13 am

As someone on the spectrum, how do you think you would manage in a situation like the one in Haiti? Would you fight others for survival? Would you help dig out those that were still trapped? I'm wondering about how you would handle such a monumental amount of stress. I know it's hard to speculate, but I think my detachment could be an asset up to a certain point.


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16 Jan 2010, 7:44 am

I'm atypical.

I got into survivalism before 9/11 and certainly after it. If I was in Haiti with my mindset, I don't think I'd let it get to me, but being prepared gives you an edge. Knowing what to do helps a great deal in coping with a catastrophe.

I don't know how I'd feel emotionally, and in the case of Haiti, I'd likely be shooting a lot of people trying to take my stash. I'm sure I'd have to deal with that sooner or later.



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16 Jan 2010, 7:57 am

Quote:
Surviving an utter catastrophe


i would immediately escape to an area where i could not smell bodies decaying.
i would hike for days around the coastline until i found a suitable place to get some rest and some fish to eat. i do not want to become another casualty of disease.

that would be what i would do in an ideal world, but in reality, someone would ask for my help to dig to save a person, and i would not refuse, and i would become quickly embroiled in the rescue efforts because people would ask me to help.

if i know a person is stuck under a lot of rubble and will die if i do not help. then i will give every ounce of my energy to retrieve them to safety.

but if i was not consulted on my way out of town, i would hike around the coast looking for good fishing.



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16 Jan 2010, 9:02 am

I guess I'm also wondering about sensory overload. I hadn't thought about just leaving B9 but that would be an attractive idea. It's certainly what I would want to do, but I guess everyone would want to also.


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16 Jan 2010, 9:09 am

I would either run for my life, or scream like mad!


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16 Jan 2010, 9:41 am

One thing I learned from my previous job was that rehearsal of various scenarios helps to make the response to a situation somewhat automatic. I joined CERT (community emergency response team) and have taken a few years of training in local disaster response. It helps that survival skills is also one of my special interests. Living where I do, knowing that the Big One could hit any time, I have some comfort knowing what to do and having a shed full of supplies. I live in an older neighborhood where there are relatively few younger people, but many older residents, so I envision spending more time checking on them, and less expectation of getting rescued myself.

Yes, I have found that focus is a HUGE asset during the drills (some very realistic). However, I have found that I am more effective as the keeper/organizer/procurer of the supplies than as one of the hands-on medical aid folks, but it is useful to experience all the roles. I find that I now have amassed a stack of appropriately-sized wood for cribbing. The Haiti videos have me shouting advice for rescue from collapsed structures at my tv. I've seriously infected my husband with the bug. I find he usually buys one new fairly expensive disaster item after each global catastrophe!


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16 Jan 2010, 9:54 am

I guess everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. What I was originally wondering was how long before all the stress and sensory overload incapacitated you? I guess you never really know for sure.


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16 Jan 2010, 9:54 am

One thing that totally scares me... if things go wrong and there's not enough infrastructure/food/services for everyone and not much formal authority, informal social networks/gangs would spring up and control what's left... and I'd be screwed. And my efforts to get away would be blocked by many thousands of people trying to do the same thing.

Unless I could make myself useful. That doesn't usually bring me into a social network, but it might get me fed.



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16 Jan 2010, 10:06 am

Wayne wrote:
One thing that totally scares me... if things go wrong and there's not enough infrastructure/food/services for everyone and not much formal authority, informal social networks/gangs would spring up and control what's left... and I'd be screwed. And my efforts to get away would be blocked by many thousands of people trying to do the same thing.

Unless I could make myself useful. That doesn't usually bring me into a social network, but it might get me fed.


Yes, that's what I'm thinking too. I don't have that killer instinct. I can be incredibly detached but it's hard to imagine shoving aside a child or stepping on an old man to get to food. I think I actually have too much pride. I guess I would try to make myself useful too.


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16 Jan 2010, 10:18 am

I second what you said, I think being detached would help a lot. I've been in minor emergencies, and while my friends have freaked out, I haven't. In an emergency, the problems and solutions are so simple compared to other situations. (like school, work, family, money, etc...)
I might be sort of scatterbrained on my own, but if someone gave me directions, I'm sure I would be able to do the job calmly. (Even if it was just "help, dig me out")

I'm not sure how this would change if I was hurt though. (I've never even broken a bone..) It would depend on what kind of injury and how bad, I think.


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Wayne
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16 Jan 2010, 10:19 am

Aimless wrote:
Wayne wrote:
One thing that totally scares me... if things go wrong and there's not enough infrastructure/food/services for everyone and not much formal authority, informal social networks/gangs would spring up and control what's left... and I'd be screwed. And my efforts to get away would be blocked by many thousands of people trying to do the same thing.

Unless I could make myself useful. That doesn't usually bring me into a social network, but it might get me fed.


Yes, that's what I'm thinking too. I don't have that killer instinct. I can be incredibly detached but it's hard to imagine shoving aside a child or stepping on an old man to get to food.


Not only that, but if I get into a fight with anyone for food and there is a social network around, they will more than likely take the other side and kill me to protect them.



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16 Jan 2010, 10:27 am

Aimless wrote:
Wayne wrote:
One thing that totally scares me... if things go wrong and there's not enough infrastructure/food/services for everyone and not much formal authority, informal social networks/gangs would spring up and control what's left... and I'd be screwed. And my efforts to get away would be blocked by many thousands of people trying to do the same thing.

Unless I could make myself useful. That doesn't usually bring me into a social network, but it might get me fed.


Yes, that's what I'm thinking too. I don't have that killer instinct. I can be incredibly detached but it's hard to imagine shoving aside a child or stepping on an old man to get to food. I think I actually have too much pride. I guess I would try to make myself useful too.


Disaster strategies topic

There would be a difference between the NT way and different people. I worry about the diverse people in Haiti right now. If it is hard enough for uninjured, healthy adults who are homeless and foodless, what must it be like for the sick, old, neurodiverse, children, babies and physically challenged?

I have seen video footage of looting and jumping food queues. When people are cornered or feel ignored, neglected and desperate, there is a high probability of chaotic behaviour and the vulnerable will suffer as a result. This is why relief efforts are taking longer than expected due to the chaos and search/rescue of trapped people ongoint in that country. And thousands of bodies need to be buried. :(


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16 Jan 2010, 12:19 pm

One of the first things they teach you in disaster training is the need for organization. So many things need to be done immediately and simultaneously that there has to be some sort of command structure from the start. The best way to waste limited energy and resources is to have everyone doing their own thing (admittedly my first impulse). I stayed well away from the "picking who's going to be in charge" discussions and just said "let me do logistics". I cannot grasp what it must be like to organize a country or a region with little verifiable information, but it is vital.


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16 Jan 2010, 12:25 pm

My brother is a Navy doctor- He was at Guantanamo when the quake happened and he felt it in Cuba. So he is in Haiti now.


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16 Jan 2010, 1:35 pm

If I would have to guess based on past experiences (though not nearly as extreme at the one in Haiti), I'd try to help my friends & GET OUT...
But I don't think you can really know how you will react or "what you are truly made of" until the situation occurs


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