Chris Ray of Prepared Christian writes excellent advice for self-protection. I also want to thank Chris for posting Neighboring Matters on his site. Be sure to visit his site.
Protecting Yourself and Your Property After a Disaster
Scenario: Jerusalem has been devastated by war and is in ruins. It’s walls have been broken down and it’s gates burned by fire. Nehemiah, King Artaxerxes’ cup bearer, has received permission from the king to go to Jerusalem and rebuild it. Their enemies have plotted to catch them unaware, kill them and stop their work. Nehemiah has discovered this and decides:
Neh 4:16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 4:17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 4:18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. 4:19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 4:20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” 4:21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 4:22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.” 4:23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
In every medium to large scale natural disaster there are people who come to the area to loot. There is a second group of people; “disaster tourists”. These are people who want to go to the disaster area to see, in person, what they have seen on TV. One of these is obviously a criminal but the other isn’t as nefarious, at least not on purpose.
These dirtbags pray on the misfortune of others during what might be the worst time in their life. I have heard of people both sneaking around and stealing items that have been relocated by the event, as well as people dressing up, pretending to be representatives from utility companies. I have also heard reports of items gone missing once a restoration company is hired, the home owner believing their contractor’s employees stole from them.