(NaturalNews) Superstorm Sandy has passed, causing billions of dollars in damage, flooding New York City, shuttering transportation systems and leaving over ten million people without power. While the storm may have passed, the danger of looting has only just begun. As the sun falls this evening, the combination of darkness, ongoing power outages, and emergency services operating in overload provides the perfect cover for looters and violent criminals to start attacking homes and businesses.
As we previously reported, would-be looters are recruiting "looting gangs" on Twitter, hoping others will join them in committing felony crimes while stealing computers, TVs and other valuables, presumably by shooting or attacking homeowners as part of the looting process.
Looters obviously don't go outside in the middle of a hurricane, but now that the storm has passed, the real test of law and order begins tonight and may last for several nights. As long as the power grid is down, looters have a window of opportunity to break into homes and businesses and steal things.
In many areas, the power grid will be down for an extended period of time. This is partially due to continued high winds, since power line crews can't even begin work on repairs until the wind calms. Another complicating factor is the severe flooding in many areas, which has inundated electrical equipment with water. Last night, Con Ed was forced to turned off the power to much of lower Manhattan, and when they turn that power back on, there's no question that all sorts of electronics are going to be shorted out and fried.
Hundreds of transformers exploded across the region during the storm. That number may actually be in the thousands, as no official numbers are readily available. It will obviously take weeks to replace all these transformers.
One thing that has emerged from the storm is that bicycles are currently the best form of transportation, allowing riders to navigate around stalled vehicles, fallen trees and random debris. If looters also decide to mount bicycles, they could become surprisingly mobile, evading police with relative ease. This is an important lesson for long-term survival strategies, by the way: Have a bicycle at the ready, because it's ultimately the most reliable form of transportation.
Con Ed substation explodes
This video shows a series of explosions at a Con Ed substation in New York City. It has been reported that this substation was destroyed by the explosions, and the rebuild time is a huge unknown right now.
The homes and businesses served by this substation will obviously need to wait an extended period of time before power is restored. During the power outage, risk of looting and even vandalism is sharply heightened.
"This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst we have ever experienced," said Mayor Bloomberg in a Tuesday press conference. "[Repairing] our power grid is going to take more time and require a lot of patience. Con Ed is describing the damage to its power system as unprecedented in scope."
The real test begins tonight
As darkness falls tonight, we all need to keep a sharp watch on security in the areas hardest hit by superstorm Sandy. The big questions right now are:
1) How much looting activity will occur each night until the power is restored?
2) To what extent will local law enforcement and National Guard troops be able to prevent looting?
3) To what extent will property owners be able to defend their own property against looters and / or vandals?
Here at Natural News, we of course hope that looting is minimized or even non-existent, but we also know that looting has been a component of nearly every major storm in recent memory. We have no reason to suspect that the aftermath of superstorm Sandy would be any different. In fact, it would be irrational to believe such a thing.
We do know there will be many sleepless nights ahead as owners of businesses and homes work to protect themselves and their families from scumbag criminals who exploit disaster for their own personal gain. To aid in public safety, I have published a guide to tactical home defense that many homeowners may find useful.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.