The 3 5’s
We know that in the aftermath of any major event like a hurricane or even some riot brought on by a political differences, society tends to fall apart. Once that happens, we know what comes next. This is what is known as the 3 5s. Check out how this law has played out in real life scenarios.
3-5 Hours Looting Happens
Within three to five hours of an incident, looting starts to happen as people begin to panic. People will do whatever it takes to get the supplies they need to survive or simply things that they want. There are some people who do not appreciate the looting and will go to great lengths to protect their property. A looter is often somebody who is hungry, dangerous and mean. Think back to Hurricane Katrina. People looted abandoned stores to get the food they felt they needed. With resources stretched so thin, there was nobody around to police the people
3-5 Days Store Shelves are Empty
Not everybody will loot. Some people will flood the stores to buy the things they need. Typically, a grocery store is only stocked with enough supplies to last 3 to 4 days. Shelves will be wiped out in the aftermath of any crisis. This was recently exhibited during the Hurricane Sandy situation. People were panicked over the prospect of the “Frankenstorm” and rushed to stock their pantries, resulting in empty store shelves. Local stores were wiped out of bread and other basic items, including batteries days before the storm even hit. Bread and batteries are both key elements of survival. People were doing what they could to prepare for the hours and days they would be without food and power. The mayor of New York City began distributing food 4 days after the storm hit.
3-5 Weeks City Folk Fan Out
After 3 to 5 weeks of coping with a disaster within the city limits, city dwellers will begin to fan out in search of necessities. One of the most devastating examples of this scenario is the Chernobyl disaster that happened in Russia in 1986. The city and surrounding areas were toxic with radiation. People who survived the blast left the city in the hopes of finding somewhere to live. Many were still very sick because of the radiation poisoning and were seeking medical attention. The survivors needed somewhere safe to live and to start over.
3-5 Months Groups Haphazardly Put Together Will Crumble
It is common for people to band together in groups after a major event. Groups are formed by people who have the same religious values, may be of the same race or from the same culture, or similar location. We saw this happen in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s after communism ended. Political leaders managed to destroy these groups with the use of fear mongering directed at opposing religious and cultural groups. This ended up leading to the “former Yugoslavia.”
3-5 Years Normalcy Returns
As humans, we are left with physical and emotional scars after a tragic event. This is true of a society that has encountered any major event as well. Although there is a strong chance society will get back to normal, it is very likely it will not be the same. There will be scars and if there have been any other similar traumas, that sense of normalcy will be delayed.
One way to understand how the new norm is different from the previous norm is to imagine a person’s life before and after a spouse died. It will take a few years, but eventually, the widower will begin to lead a normal life again, albeit a different normal than what life was like with the spouse.
Society is the same. After an event, people will strive to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. It will probably never be the same. It is always a good idea to learn from events that have happened in an effort to avoid or be better prepared for the future.
Craig Caudill teaches about disaster kits both online at Dan’s Depot and also offline at his Nature Reliance School.