Same as it ever was
Paste this bit from Jay Jardine on your fridge, since you're unlikely to hear it from anyone in authority as of, now-ish:
Count On The System To Fail
Always seemed a pretty good operational assumption to me -- now confirmed by the post-Katrina horrors.
I don't know how exactly that will improve my survival response when The Big One shakes the Lower Mainland to pieces one day, but this much is clear: no government, army or police force-- no matter how well funded or adequately stuffed with bureaubots these things are -- have any magical powers to bail your ass out when things really take a turn for the worse.
It's up to you -- same as it ever was.
I'd say this is half of the lesson of post-Katrina New Orleans. The other half is that citizens can not allow our governments to claim that this isn't true. The solution is not better and more expensive planning, ceding more responsibility to the powers-that-be to deal to protect us from every possible horror. We need to insist on more freedom, both as individuals and in voluntary associations, to protect ourselves and rescue our neighbours when the worst happens.
On a related note (and this may be a classic test for confirmation bias): Toronto Mayor David Miller mused a couple of weeks ago that law-abiding gun owners should be forced to store their firearms in a central depot. I wonder if Torontonians are more, or less, enthusiastic about this idea after watching TV the past few days?