Louisiana Officials Demand That Self-Reliant Locals Stop Surviving The Flood Without Permission


Locals who were not affected by the flood began cooking and donating food. Others helped flood victims to begin gutting their homes so they could start to rebuild. This community in the bayou pulled together to show the world that a real emergency response begins at home, undertaken by the very people who were affected. They didn’t wait around bemoaning the lack of FEMA, Red Cross, and government aid. They got to work.

They opened up their own shelters in local businesses that were not affected. They distributed immediate relief to those who were displaced. They performed their own rescues, organized the response, and used social media to coordinate their efforts.

They made just about everyone in America who heard about their efforts feel a wave of pride. In fact, they were so effective at their own free-market local disaster relief that they rendered the government’s assistance all but unnecessary.

And that is when the government said, “Oh, no. We can’t have that.”

h/t XB

  • robins111

    I suspect their system is very like Canada’s where affected communities are funded for disasters when they can document the actual outlay. Further they allow for about 15% administration fee to be levied on top of the costs. Home grown volunteers generally don’t submit bills so the rake off is not there. In addition most of these people are not willing to submit to any government controls and as such are beyond the pale for any level of government which thrives on control. There is also the factor that these people tend to ‘show up’ the official rescue critters and theres the envy factor.

    • All of that!

    • disqusW6sf


    • B__2

      There is a tiny amount of reason behind some of these actions; regarding rebuilding permission, donated food, and cajun navy.
      Rebuilding permits: To require permission for any repair work done is crazy – but you don’t want people to use the excuse to tear down a building and erect a new building that they previously could not built under existing local planning laws.
      Donated food: There are a few sick and twisted f**ks out there who might just want to poison food so they can donate it. There is a larger group who just have neglected to prepare and preserve food properly so that it doesn’t cause food poisoning. I suspect that the Red Cross is very wary of distributing food that poisons the recipients and who consequently sue them for damages.
      Cajun navy: In most large scale natural disasters, there is always the criminal element going around looting or robbing victims of the disaster. in addition there are foolhardy individuals who are ill prepared and clueless of how to properly assist without needing rescue themselves. Informal coordination with the local police should ensure that random unknown individuals are not looting flooded homes or businesses.

      Having been the devil’s advocate just above, the overwhelming majority of people are just trying to do the right thing and help their fellow humans in the face of a disaster. The government should be reaching out to the donators and volunteers instead of the tax, license and restrict policies they seem to want to implement.

      • Minicapt

        Lawyers who seek easy money. Followed by politicians with too many unfilled ‘working hours’.


      • V10_Rob

        Fair enough, but most of this falls under the description of a statistical minority doing evil, and those types are going to do it during normal times too, if they see an opportunity (eg. poison at a community bake sale).

        Most of these concerns don’t need a mammoth federal bureaucracy to mitigate against. The overwhelming majority of citizens want to and will do the right thing, left to their own devices. Just make sure that there are stiff penalties for anyone caught trying to take advantage of the situation (and actually enforce them).

        Rebuilding permits: Issue a blanket waiver for permits, so long as the repair and construction closely matches what was there previous; you can’t sneak in a 2nd story, and square footage must be within, say, 5% of your last property report. You figure you might as well build that house extension while the walls are torn up? No problem, you just have go through the full permit process as you normally would. Warn people to thoroughly document (photos and receipts) everything done, as it may be audited (like taxes, offload the paperwork burden on to the citizen). Anyone found to have abused that waiver is subject to huge fines (no $5000 slap on the wrist, that’s just the cost of doing business, I’m talking 6 figure at least) and demolition of the new structures.

        Donated food: Everyone that drops off food, spread their donation out on a table, take a digital photo of them with it, get a name. If some sick **** deliberately poisoned something, you’ve got a high-res mug shot of them and their ‘gift’. As for accidental food poisoning, that’s just life. Even professional cooks and food services contractors screw up.

        Cajun navy (looters): Presumably the police and maybe the military are patrolling. Have them do stop and frisks (and forewarn the public that volunteers will be tolerated, but scrutinized). If they come across people claiming to volunteers, they can take a minute to question them (in a cordial manner, no need to be a jackbooted ass). Ask them where they’ve been and what they’ve seen, what area they intend to be operating in, give their boats a quick inspection/search for anything suspicious. Take a smartphone video of the exchange, giving date/time/location, asking each volunteer to identify themselves to the camera. Make sure they know how to contact professional first responders if they encounter an emergency situation, and wish them a good day. The objective is not to conduct an extensive background check on non-criminals, but to dissuade the bad guys from

        Cajun navy (foolhardy): As you say, some informal coordination could go a long way. They want to help, and that sort of civic spirit should be encouraged whenever possible. I wouldn’t mind seeing a reintroduction of the concept of Civil Defense. That is, the citizenry being prepared and trained to look after themselves and their neighbors during a crisis, with an emphasis on taking responsibility for the mundane (making sure everyone has food and water, ferrying stranded people, etc), thus freeing up the professionals to concentrate on bigger problems (medical emergencies, patrolling to prevent looting).

  • Frances

    Some years ago, the local Public Health Board tried to pass a bylaw banning all church and community potluck dinners unless all food was prepared in an “approved” kitchen. That idea, thankfully, received such negative feed-back that it was dropped. Any potluck I’ve been to, the only danger is to my waistline from all that delicious food. I take greater risks going to restaurants (and heard of at least one high-end one where a fair few of the diners at a professional event were very sick after but nothing proven).