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NFATCA Report: V21N10

By Jeffrey Folloder

Disaster Strikes: What to Do

Readers should consider this a follow-up to last month’s report, which was written as Hurricane Harvey prepared to make landfall. Harvey did, indeed, make landfall. And Harvey dumped over 50 inches of rain on the Houston metropolitan area, where I live, in just a few short days. Most of you have likely seen pictures and read reports of the devastation that the biblical deluge caused. The water simply had nowhere to go and flooded out many in seemingly random ways. My home averted being flooded out by only one inch. A few doors down, hundreds of neighbors have not been so lucky. The FEMA investigators have labeled most of those homes “uninhabitable,” and 10-foot-high debris and rubbish piles line the curbs. It could have been much worse.

As the tension mounted, I received several communications from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding disaster preparedness. They gave me a few general heads up pointers regarding safeguarding my records and my inventory. Frankly, those communications did not inspire confidence. ATF maintains a public record of all Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and those records are mere clicks away to anyone with an internet connection. The water rose inexorably, and I waited. Eventually, the National Guard and the Sheriff’s office came by and pounded on the door. The evacuation order had been given, and it was time to get out. No can do.

“You don’t understand, sir. This is a mandatory evacuation order and you have to leave now.” And then I went on to explain what an FFL was and that there was no way that I was going to abandon my inventory to potential looters. A few glances were exchanged, and I was told to be safe. Off they went. ATF’s guidance states “If a disaster is imminent, consider relocating inventory.” For the life of me, I could not understand how that is practical. I had about a pallet of bottled water, 45 gallons of gas for the generator, plenty of food and strategically placed defenses, should looters decide...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N10 (December 2017)
and was posted online on October 20, 2017

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