As I watched the footage of passengers of Carnival’s cruise ship Triumph recount their tales of being stranded at sea for five days without power it occurred to me that this situation was not all that dissimilar to what happens when a city experiences a power outage. After all, these gigantic cruise ships are basically floating cities with over 5,000 passengers and crew. Without power the Triumph could simply not handle the needs of those aboard and passengers quickly found that both sanitation and food were a big big problem.
Okay, so perhaps cruise ships aren’t exactly the same as a large city on land that has hundreds of thousands if not millions of residents, but there are a lot of lessons to be learned just the same. First of all, whenever you are completely dependent upon electricity as you would be on a ship like this or in a large city, once the power goes out the shit starts to hit the fan. Whether you’re stranded in a high rise building or on a ship, life without elevators, air conditioning, and lights gets difficult in a hurry.
There are also the issues of proximity. There are way too many people crammed too closely together in both examples. A single family aboard a motor yacht that floats without power for a few days while the coast guard tows them to shore is probably not all that unbearable for those aboard (provided the coast guard is there). Put a couple thousand families on the same ship and the situation changes dramatically as we’ve all just seen.
Same thing with an emergency situation that affects a portion of this country. Those who live in suburban or more rural areas are going to have an easier time of it while those in the cities are going to have it tougher. A single family home without electricity is still perfectly livable. A skyscraper without power is a death trap.
Of course I’m not suggesting that everyone abandon the cities, give up their jobs, and head for the hills. However I am suggesting that anyone who must live in a city who has a preparedness mindset have alternate plans or some way of bugging out in a SHTF situation. Whether that means having your own place to go to or just making arrangements with a friend that lives outside the city you need someplace to go. Your very own lifeboat of sorts should the city you’re in encounter an iceberg that it didn’t see coming…