(NaturalNews) An extremely volatile situation in New York and New Jersey following the devastation of superstorm Sandy is getting worse by the day, with civil society deteriorating so rapidly that residents are arming themselves with anything and everything they can, including shotguns, baseball bats, machetes - even bows and arrows.
With looting getting worse and authorities stretched thin, "hardened New Yorkers are ready to battle lowlife criminals to protect their homes and stores in storm-ravaged areas" hit hard by break-ins and pilfering, the New York Post reported.
Residents in Staten Island, Coney Island and other boroughs are complaining that they have been forgotten by emergency responders and city authorities, as evidenced by the dramatic rise in criminal activity. That has forced residents in the most beleaguered parts of the city to load up guns, sharpen machetes, and brandish a host of other weapons as a show of force against predators.
One resident, Jacinto Gonzalez, 42, armed himself with a baseball bat and stood guard outside his two-story rowhouse located on West 27th Street, near Neptune Avenue, with his family nearby.
Desperate residents using anything they can find as a weapon
Another Coney Island resident, Roberto Aviles, was seen brandishing a rusting, three-foot-long machete and warning that he had a gun as well. Having lived on Coney Island with his wife since 1995, Aviles said he was ready to take on criminals, singling out phony burglars who were posing as employees of the local power company, Con Edison.
"I'm prepared inside here," Aviles, 76, told the Post, showing off his machete.
A resident of the Coney Island Houses, Chris Lane, 50, assembled a small arsenal to repel looters and criminals, including a double pump action shotgun. He told the paper he had already scared off a group of thugs lurking around the hallways of his building when Sandy came roaring through the city Monday evening.
"They were roving in packs, not just one or two people. I had more than a little something, too," said Lane, referring to his weapons. "I let it be known that my floor is off-limits."
Outside a home in Long Beach, L.I., a signed summed up what weary New Yorkers were feeling: "Looters will be shot by local vet."
Another sign in a different neighborhood says, "Block protected by Smith & Wesson," a reference to the firearm maker.
"It's chaos; it's pandemonium out here," Chris Damon, a resident of the Rockaways in Queens, which continues to struggle without power or assistance, told Britain's Daily Telegraph.
"It seems like nobody has any answers," he added. "I feel like a victim of Hurricane Katrina. I never thought it could happen here in New York but it's happened."
The paper noted:
With little police presence on the storm-ravaged streets, many residents of the peninsula have been forced to take their protection into their own hands, arming themselves with guns, baseball bats and even bows and arrows to ward off thugs seeking to loot their homes.
So much for gun control...
The worsening chaos has led many New Yorkers to change their behavior in ways they never thought they would have to.
"We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed," Danielle Harris, 34, told the New York Daily News.
Keone Singlehurst, a local surfer, said he stockpiled anything he could - knives, a machete and a bow and arrow.
"I would take a looter with a boa if a felt threatened I would definitely use it," he said. "It's like the wild west. A borderline lawless situation."
Knives, machetes, bows and arrows. Do you wonder how many New Yorkers and New Jersey residents who once supported gun control laws and shunned firearms for personal protection have now changed their minds?
James Sanders, a city councilman, senses the growing frustration. He knows that what is occurring - the lack of support, the lawlessness, the growing anarchy - is waiting to boil over.
"We have an explosive mix here," he told the Daily News. "People will take matters into their own hands."
But his anger is directed at the Long Island Power Authority, the electric company serving L.I. He says the council needs to investigate why they have, as he says, ignored the Rockaways for nearly a week.
"LIPA has failed the people of the Rockaways," he said. "It's a question of class... serving the richer areas of Long Island and ignoring the Rockaways."
Really, Mr. Sanders?
Here's a question for him and his fellow councilmen that the people of their borough should be asking: "What did you do to prepare the community for the most destructive storm in many generations?" Turnabout is fair play, Mr. Sanders.
The best answer was the first answer - Be prepared
I won't let him off the hook for politicizing this disaster and pointing his finger of blame at someone else. But I will give him a little breathing room with some cold, hard truth.
The fact is there is no way that Long Island - or any of the hardest hit areas - could have ever prepared for this kind of storm.
It's not logistically possible. It's not economically possible.
Cities, townships and boroughs should take a lesson from this storm and prepare as best they can for the next time - perhaps stockpile food, water, gasoline at underground locations - but there will never be enough resources to fully prepare for storms of this magnitude.
So the best solution is the one Natural News has been advising for years: Personal preparedness. And even then, people need to have a Plan B - as in, what happens if I lose my house and all the preparation stuff I have in it? Where will I go then? What will I do?
Too many people in Sandy's wake who thought they were prepared did not have a Plan B. Now they are suffering like the rest.
Those of us who are warm and dry right now need to be paying particular attention to the worsening situation in New York and New Jersey and learning from it - before it happens to us and we are thrown into a similar situation.