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May 082014
Patterns of volcano ash fallout from past mega eruptions.

Patterns of volcano ash fallout from past mega eruptions.

Although there are plenty of people who are concerned that the Feds are indeed secretly preparing for future problems (ie, not in the way we might wish and hope for), maybe we should also be pleased to learn of such things.  Is it possible the Feds have both a bug-out plan and also a distant safe retreat for us all?  Or, at least, for some lucky souls among us?

Here’s an interesting article which, on a very thin level of evidence, suggests that maybe the Feds have made – or are making – or are trying to make – plans for a mass exodus of Americans in the event of a national disaster such as an eruption of the mega-volcano in Yellowstone (and probably in the case of other major disasters too).

According to the article and its sources, in such a case, the US might send (ie, fly) an unknown number of millions of us to South Africa, or maybe Brazil, Argentina, or Australia (can I put my name down for Australia, please).

But, really and realistically, how practical is this?

First, do you remember the Iceland volcano eruption of a few years ago, and how it disrupted air traffic for weeks?  A mega-volcano eruption in the US may cause similar problems in the air.  Or the ash (and possibly lava too) may impact on runways and ground operations, making it impossible for planes to land, spend time on the ground, and take-off again.  How would the millions of people affected by the eruption get to staging points and to operating international airports?

But, let’s ignore that for now.  Let’s simply consider how long it would take to fly 10 million people to South Africa.  For the sake of argument, let’s say people fly on 500 seater Airbus A380s, the largest passenger planes currently flying.  That means we need 20,000 flights.  At the time of writing, a total of 128 A380s have been delivered by Airbus, none of which are owned/operated by US airlines.  But let’s say the US can charter half of these – 64 planes.  That means each plane has to do 312 roundtrips between the US and South Africa.  In other words, it would take over a year to evacuate all 10 million people.

Okay, so there’s no reason why the US couldn’t also use 400 seater 747s and 300 seater 777s as well.  Could it possibly cobble together a fleet of 250 planes, averaging 400 seats each?  We’re not sure about that, but let’s say it could be done.  That means each roundtrip would see 100,000 people moved out of the US – assuming perhaps 36 hour roundtrip durations, that would mean in five or six months the 10 million people had been successfully evacuated.

But, what if it is 20 million or 200 million?  That means one year, or ten years.

And, ummm, what will people do while patiently waiting weeks, months or years for their turn to be evacuated?  Where will they live?  What will they eat?

Talking about eating, how will the host country then suddenly handle a massive influx of millions of people?  South Africa has a population of 51 million, many (most?) of whom live in severe poverty.  How could it handle a sudden addition of many millions more people?  What living standard could we expect?  (Of the other countries mentioned, Argentina has 41 million people, Australia 23 million, and Brazil 199 million.)

That also begs the question – if it takes six months or six years to evacuate a person, and if there will be major infrastructure and support problems where the people are being relocated, is flying them half-way around the world the best way to handle the disruption?

The article in the South African newspaper says we would have ‘a few weeks or days’ of warning prior to an eruption.  But, with an evacuation rate of 100,000 per day – and an uncertain amount of time to spool up the evacuation process to that rate, combined with the unwillingness of people to suddenly abandon their lives and homes and leave, perhaps forever, with no more than one or two suitcases each, how many people could actually be evacuated in those few days or weeks?  A million?  That’s probably only a very small percentage of the people who would be impacted by the Yellowstone volcano coming cataclysmically to life.

So just how impactful and helpful might any such evacuation program be?  Is this the best the government can come up with – evacuating as many of us as possible to South Africa?  And, oh yes, South Africa doesn’t want us, no matter how much our government is offering to bribe them ($10 billion a year just to have the contingency open!) for fear that their country would be overrun by white people.  Hmmm – why is it only offensive outrageous racism when white people say that about blacks, but never vice versa?  There are 45 million black/colored South Africans at present – just how many white Americans are too many?

One also wonders, based on the objection of being inundated by too many white folk, whether or not such relocation is being proposed as a temporary or permanent measure.  Still it is nice to think that maybe the government is planning to fly us to some exotic location rather than intern us in a FEMA camp!

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the article is the map image at the top (we have a small size version of it at the top of our article, too).  It is interesting to see how the ash from past eruptions has spread across the country – and when you think that radioactivity would follow a similar dispersion/fallout path (assuming similar release locations, of course) it is clear that it is much better to be west rather than east of any potential events.

Oh – and as for the government being there to save us after a national disaster?  And should you keep your passport current, just in case of a sudden unexpected relocation to some far away foreign country?  Call us cynical if you must, but we think you’d be well advised not to rely on this ‘deus ex machina’ coming along to save you.  Continue to plan and prepare to be self-reliant is by far the wiser choice.


David Spero[suffusion-the-author display='description']

  3 Responses to “Are the Feds Secretly Preppers?”

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  1. The day after the U.S. has a disaster so bad as to make us refugees I fully expect Russia and China to take advantage of it to expand their power base.

    I expect that China intends to take Australia. What does China need? Land, lots of empty land. What does Australia have and conveniently right in China’s back yard? Land, lots of empty land.

    Russia will move east and South, China will take the South Pacific and anything else not nailed down.

    • Hi, GWTW

      It is certainly an interesting thing to speculate about what the other Great Powers may do in the event of a massive incapacitation of the US.

      As for China moving to occupy Australia, I don’t think that very likely for several reasons. The first is I’m unconvinced of the wisdom of your statement about China needing lots of empty land. I’ve traveled thousands of miles across China, by train and plane, and, guess what? There’s a huge amount of empty land, already in China!

      China has a population density of 365 people per square mile. Now, for sure, that’s a lot more than we have in the US (84) and a darn sight more than in Australia (7) but it is also right around half what the UK has (650), about the same as Indonesia and Nigeria, and little more than a third of India (965).

      Furthermore, my sense is that China is a land in two parts. There are its enormous metro areas such as Chongqing, and every year sees another 8.5 million people move out of the country and into the cities. While the urban population is vast and its density enormous, the rural population is low and its density decreasing.

      China’s stated concern, which I accept, is lack of population growth rather than lack of room for its people.

      As for Australia – another country I’ve spent time in, while its population density is very low, much of the country is arid desert and not somewhere that is capable of supporting life. Australia has enormous water problems these days that is impacting on every part of the country.

      The other thing is why would China choose somewhere so remote as Australia? China’s expansion is already occurring, but in the opposite direction – Russia. If you look at border towns on the Russian side of the Chinese border (and, yes, I’ve spent way too much time in Russia, too) you’ll note they are much like southern border towns in the US. But whereas Mexican is increasingly the essential language for people in our border towns, in Russia, the essential language is Chinese. The Chinese are pushing into Russia.

      Which leads to your comments about Russia. Russia – especially its current leader – may well have territorial ambitions to secure the return of territories that have historically been Russian and which are occupied by Russian people, but which are now deemed to be parts of other nations. But, so what. Do we really care about that? Let them have at it, as far as I’m concerned, and if you actually try to filter through all the nonsense currently flooding the airwaves about Ukraine, you might actually manage to make out that all that is truly happening is self-determination.

      Russian people in a part of Ukraine that was until relatively recently part of Russia, people who have been dismayed and disappointed by the even greater corruption in the Ukrainian government, and the even worse performing Ukrainian economy, and people who are now being impacted by some aggressive nationalistic moves by Ukraine which seek to alienate the Russians in the country, have simply chosen to return back to Russia. It is similar to redrawing a county line between two counties.

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