“Shelter in Place” is a phrase dreamed up by US Homeland Security.
It simply means that everyone, except first responders and medical personnel, must stay at home until an all-clear signal is given.
It’s already become a common phrase in the Boston metro area. The governor of Massachusetts has already issued the “shelter in place” order twice this year.
Now that the precedent has been set, we’re going to hear this phrase with ever greater frequency and duration. Governors that don’t take this step in the future will suffer political and legal blowback if they don’t.
The first order was given before a huge snowstorm that hit the Boston area earlier this year. The second time was during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon Bombers.
It definitely works as a way to clear the streets. Here’s a Twitter pic of what Boston area streets looked like during rush hour:
However, over the long run, I believe this phrase is going to look as silly as “Duck and Cover” does to today’s world. The reason is simple. As the number of disruptions increase, we’re going to face a choice. We can either stay under constant lock-down, or we can become resilient.
That makes the choice simple: Resilience.
Resilient communities don’t shut down due to security/food/energy disruptions. They can self-generate much of that themselves. Often at levels of quality better than what is available from global sources.
When terrorism and unrest occurs, resilient communities can maintain security, even if they are helping to neighbors in need.
In sum, resilient communities don’t shut down and cower when the going gets tough.
They are the first responders.
Some food for thought.