I'm not sure whether Americans are just stupid, spoiled, or both. While pictures of the devastation after Katrina were truly horrifying and our government dropped the ball big time in getting relief to the survivors, I can also say that the disaster showed what a bunch of wusses Americans can be. I will avoid playing the race card, but it was pretty sad to see all of the people yelling, "Help me!" Once again, our government failed, but that is no reason to just sit around and demand help. If help isn't coming, you had better take care of yourself! Many did and looted stores. I don't think anyone would care if you were running out of store with your arms full of bread and canned goods. It's another story if you were running out of a store with a 42" t.v. and a stack of dvd's.
I bring this up because the media is now showing pics of the devastation from Dean down in Mexico. They interviewed a man who lost pretty much everything even though he had little to begin with. Was he sitting around waiting for the Mexican government to come around and give him a handout? No. He was taking what little he had and rebuilding on his own. I know the media can be very selective about what they show on t.v., but it seems that the Mexicans are handling the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane a little better than the Americans did a few years ago.
I said this then and I will say it again. In the event of a truly monumental disaster like an earthquake, hurricane, flood, etc., you are essentially on your own for the 1st 24-48 hours. Have a plan! Have first-aid supplies handy. Have food that won't spoil that will last a few days. Have a source of heat and/or light. Have alternative supplies of water. If you're a camper you have an edge because you usually have a tent, sleeping bag, stove, fuel, water purification, etc. available. Hopefully you'll also be able to share with neighbors. Disasters should bring out the best in people, not the worst.