I am currently in the middle of reading Lights Out about how some families and their neighborhood cope with the aftermath of an EMP attack. I’ll save the main discussion of the book for after I finish it, but the book has got me thinking about the neighbors around me, and what would they be like in the event of a large scale disaster.
I had previously posted about my “Un-Neighborly Neighbors” in a previous article. I will give you an idea how the rest of them appear to me. The neighbors next door seem nice, and I’ve exchanged pleasantries with them a few times. However, they are the “Temp” family, as they are only in Houston for a few months, then are getting moved to another state by the husband’s employer. Two doors down appears to be occupied by three roommates: one of them is this mid-40s woman who likes to wear 5 inch heels and wide brimmed hats. She can’t be bothered to say “Hi” to anyone; we call her Ms Aging Model. I doubt Ms. Aging Model would be very helpful during an emergency; she cannot even be bothered to park her car inside her driveway – she double parks too. Across from her is the one I call Mr. Rudeman, he has been known to back his car out of his driveway at 11:30 at night, park in the middle of the throughway and sit in his car with the engine idling, while texting for an hour. He is so rude he does not even move out of the middle of the driveway. We watched him below our window-when another neighbor tried to get out, he had to maneuver around Mr. Rudeman. There’s Mr, Barbecue, the guy at the other end of the building who barbeques on this huge grill in his small patio, when building rules clearly state “No barbeques allowed” on the patio due to fire safety rules. Naturally, he does it after building management has already left so they never see him. And lastly, there are the Loud Teenagers from the other building, who yell loud insults at each other, at 2 a.m. weekend nights.
Can we see ourselves banding together with this cast of characters in the event of a societal collapse? The only promising one is the “Temp” family, but they will be moving soon. I actually don’t trust the Loud Teenagers, as I feel they would cause trouble even in normal times. Definitely the Un-neighborlies, Mr. Rudeman, Ms. Aging Model and Mr. Barbecue would be the last people I could hope to count on.
We like the area we live in, as it is close to services like banks, groceries, medical facilities, restaurants – all the conveniences that a city has to offer. The apartment continues to we well maintained. But lately the quality of tenants that have moved in leave something to be desired.
In a short term emergency such as a hurricane, it would be fine to stick around and hunker down in the apartment (unless it’s a Category 3 and up). But in a total societal breakdown, the apartment complex will become unsafe to be in long term. Even in “normal” times I doubt most of the neighbors I described would be very trustworthy, let alone in a long emergency. But it’s better to know this in advance so we can plan accordingly. What do you think – are your neighbors reliable?