Avoid the “Golden Hoard”

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The “Golden Hoard” is a word play on the ancient empire known as the Golden Horde. The golden horde was an empire which conquered much of the globe between 1240 and 1500 A.D. The empire crushed and pillaged everything in its path. The only way their destruction would cease was appeasement in gold.

In terms of a modern evacuation, a “golden hoard” would encompass two connected behaviors. One would be looting, the other, a herd mentality. Both follow the decidedly unprincipled rules of anarchy. Take what you can and run as far as you can. This sort of behavior is what makes disaster scenarios worse than they have to be. The first step is to avoid looting. Thievery and robbery will be very tempting for many who are evacuating. Some will reason that if they stay just a little bit longer and wait, they will have their pickings of whatever people leave behind. Some will even prepare vans and trucks which they will then fill with items taken from abandoned homes and businesses. Aside from the moral and legal implications of such acts, they will only slow you down.

The second step to avoid is the herd mentality of the horde. Humans naturally flock toward each other. We are simply wired to follow the pack. It is our most basic instinct and in times of crisis we rely on instincts above all else. You will be tempted to drive in the direction everyone else is driving. You will be tempted to behave the way everyone else is behaving. You will be tempted to follow. Do not! Prepare yourself to be a shepherd instead of a sheep. Lead; never follow.

There is one final point to remember about “the golden hoard”. You don’t have to steal or follow anyone to fall victim to it. You can fall victim to “the hoard” with respect to your own things. You can spend too much time trying to rescue possessions and lose precious evacuation time in the process. Hoarding items which you may eventually have to get rid of, is both dangerous and stupid. Prepare yourself for this reaction, as it hits many people at the moment of evacuation.

Remember your 5, 15, and 30 minute G.O.O.D.I.E Bag exercises. Their purpose was to separate the things you need to take with you from the things that you want to take with you. Evacuations are not camping trips or vacations. You do not know if you will ever come back. This does create the temptation to take mementos, family heirlooms and favorite trinkets. Items which may be of fiscal value, however, should definitely be stashed somewhere. A chain, a locket, a ring or anything made of precious metals or diamonds can come in handy as a form or currency, or even a method of bribery. Just keep in mind that time is your greatest asset; so seize it.

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