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- Somewhat justified in AKIRA (manga version), as by the time major humanitarian aid efforts are on their way to Neo-Tokyo, Tetsuo and his followers have already organized the survivors into a militantly isolationist nut cult who attack the relief workers.
- In Scryed, the Lost Ground has been placed under the jurisdiction of HOLY, which doesn't seem to care about civilizing the area in any way other than getting Alter Users under their control.
- The combination of an earthquake and a surge in demonic activity causes a large chunk of Tokyo to become a lawless danger zone in Demon City Shinjuku.
- Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an Aversion. The anime is about how to deal with a post-earthquake condition.
- Averted in Uzumaki, where relief is quick to come in once news about the weird shit going on in town reaches the outside world. The problem comes when whirlpools form in the harbor and sink all the ships, and any attempts to get into or out of town run headlong into the roads following entirely different paths.
- Slightly justified in Devil Survivor 2, where the government has much bigger things to worry about than an earthquake, such as an invasion of Eldritch Abominations.
- And the fact that everything outside of the three cities is gone. Like an empty void gone.
- Batman: No Man's Land: After two outbreaks of a horrific genetically engineered plague virus are followed by a devastating earthquake that smashes Gotham City flat, the government (influenced by covert supervillain activity) decides that any further aid and reconstruction would just be throwing good money after bad and orders the city evacuated and left to rot. Anyone refusing to leave is no longer their problem. Gotham is left to the mercies of the Arkham inmates, criminal organizations, and street gangs for over a year, and the government actually goes so far as to declare Gotham to no longer be part of the American territory (something that's not possible under the US Constitution) and shot down any attempts to bring relief aid to the people who insisted on staying!
- And Metropolis, a city that had similarly been extensively damaged by Lex Luthor shortly before, was fixed magically (by GOTHAM NATIVE Zatanna the Magician) but nothing was done to restore Gotham (until, ironically, Luthor paid for the repairs to get the publicity that got him elected President.)
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Raccoon City is sealed off and the inhabitants left to die to prevent the T-Virus from escaping.
- Outbreak: The city was quarantined, and the plan was to drop a Fuel Air Bomb on it to stop the infection from spreading.
- The Crazies: The Remake has the first city cordoned off and Fuel Air Bombed. Worse, they made everybody think they were evac'ing, when they really were just herding them into trucks to burn them alive. Survivors made it to another city which was then targeted for the same treatment.
- In Day of the Dead (2008), the Army cordons off the town, and all phone and cellphone service is cut off.
- 28 Days Later: While society has pretty much entirely collapsed in Great Britain, the outbreak had not spread outside of the British Isles due to the very short period between infection and full on Rage. Granted, it has only been less than a month, and other governments may have still been trying to figure out how to help, assuming that their first aid missions weren't overrun or driven out by the spreading outbreak.
- 28 Weeks Later reveals that there were a large number of refugee camps in Europe, so at the very least Britain's nearest neighbours were probably pulling uninfected civilians out of the ports or off the beaches.
- Super 8: An alien has gotten loose in a town. Rather than try for a covert operation or even "try" to save any of the several people who have already been kidnapped by it, the government evacuates the town and initiates " Walking Distance ", a.k.a., "burning the town to the ground". They don't check if everyone is out, or even try to stop people coming back in.
- The Dark Knight Rises justifies it. Bane has a nuclear bomb powerful enough to level the city, and threatens to detonate it if anyone enters or leaves Gotham (though delivering supplies is allowed). The government has no choice but to enforce this.
- Averted in Night of the Living Dead (1968). Government establishes safe havens and rescue operations almost immediately, but the characters are trapped in a remote area and cannot initially agree on whether to take the risk of traveling to the nearest shelter.
- This is initially subverted in No Safety in Numbers, with the authorities trying to supply the quarantined shoppers with food, medicine and other supplies. Once they realize how deadly the virus is, however, they play it straight and seal off the mall so as to let the virus burn itself out.
- The government tries to do this in Arnette, Texas in Stephen King's The Stand. However, due to the communicable nature of the superflu, they realize that containment became impossible "as soon as Campion bought his first take-out hamburger."
- Used as a plot point in the original The Day of the Triffids, as well as the first TV adaptation. The major conflict in the first third of the book is between one faction of survivors who were trying desperately to hold things together in central London and keep the victims of the blindness plague alive until some official relief effort turned up, and another group who'd realised that there wasn't going to be one and that the able-bodied should get out while the going was good. The second group turns out to be right, and the first faction's desperate attempt to keep as many blinded and helpless people alive as possible for as long as possible was all for nothing. Just because it's a Cosy Catastrophe doesn't mean it can't be pretty bleak at times.
- Without Warning: Justified in that FEMA is gone, as is the rest of the federal government, and all America save Seattle, Hawaii, Alaska, the base on Cuba, and bases and forces overseas.
- Devil Survivor features the Yamanote Circle, a vast swathe of Tokyo's shopping district, cordoned off by military forces ordered to kill anyone trying to escape the blackout zone. Partly justified by the government's advance knowledge of events that are soon to take place and their attempts to keep the released demon-summoning technology from spreading to the rest of the world, and then FULLY jusitfied when it's revealed that the angels were the ones who told them to lock down the circle, and have them under threat of heavenly retribution if they refuse.
- Averted in the Left 4 Dead series. There was a governmental response from a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of FEMA, "CEDA". But the infection grew out of hand far too quickly for them to handle, and thus the military began to resort to more... extreme measures. Players will occasionally run into the remains of CEDA checkpoints, evacuation centers and other evidence of the initial response that was quickly overrun.
- After the opening destruction in the video game inFAMOUS the government occasionally drops food and medical supplies, but no personnel enter the area, and there are groups of soldiers with authorization to use deadly force on anyone attempting to leave the city. Partially justified in that some unknown and deadly plague has infected a goodly amount of the citizenry.
- Subverted in the Deus Ex series. There is a FEMA organization that exists but there's a twist; it just doesn't do what people expect them to do. Mainly, they maintain the fictional equivalent of CIA black sites.
- Among other things, it's directly and intentionally responsible for the disaster it's supposed to be managing, and actively trying to make it worse.
- The original premise of I Am Alive was that a massive earthquake in Chicago coincides with mass water shortages worldwide, so no early rescue teams arrived at the city.
- Subverted in the finished game with the Event, a cataclysmic series of disasters so widespread and destructive that it not only hindered relief efforts but also effectively destroyed almost all semblance of civilized order within a year after it began. This in turn left the survivors to fend for themselves...against other survivors.
- Justified in [PROTOTYPE]. Blackwatch places the entire island of Manhattan under strict quarantine and will destroy anyone attempting to leave the island; in this situation, it's unlikely they would allow humanitarian aid to enter.
- Averted in Dead Island which has everything from the Australian Biological Institute setting up quarantine zones and medical stations to the Banoi Island Defense Force working with Australian special forces to contain the outbreak.
- In the early Resident Evil games, Raccoon City was cordoned off by the military and basically left to fend for itself until the government finally went ahead and cratered the place with high-yield warheads.
- Both averted and played straight in This War of Mine. Many people were evacuated at the start of the war, but many — including your group of survivors — missed the last evacuation and the fighting prevents the delivery of humanitarian aid or any further evacuations.
- In The Bottom of the Well, it may initially appear like thus, but it's just an (understandable) delay — the authorities aren't on hand immediately, but they do show up. For example, there will be vigilantes-slash-looters blocking a bridge if Alice gets there early, but if she gets there later (or can afford to wait), the military will run them off. If Alice survives long enough, there's an evacuation centre where people are treated — although they can't do much for people who've already received too much radiation, which (depending on player choice) may or may not include Alice.
- Averted in the Pokémon Fangame Pokémon Uranium; whenever a meltdown threatens the well-being of citizens, the Rangers immediately leap into action to evacuate the area.
- In Brickleberry, the episode "The Dam Show" involves the main cast and many other people stranded on an uncharted island thanks to Firecracker Jim blowing up a dam that gets them washed up there. It's actually inverted as near the end of the episode, a FEMA officer does show up with a boat ready to go and take them home. Woody and the rest of the people celebrate that they won't go hungry after all..... camera pan to the FEMA guy hogtied and being roasted in a barbecue by Woody.
- In South Park, the episode "2 Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", people are impacted hard by a flood caused by Stan when he crashed his boat into a beaver dam. FEMA doesn't even show up as they're too afraid to risk going through all that global warming.
- In the animated series spin-off of Friday, in one of the episodes where a flood hit a predominantly African-American town, federal rescue teams pick up the only white man they could find and call it a day.
- This sums up a lot of what happened after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. In that case, the lack of a coordinated FEMA response became a national scandal when private corporations and regular citizens got their own relief efforts into the city long before FEMA did.
- In a case that dwarfs Katrina, the Pakistani response to the devastating 1970 Bhola cyclone in what was then known as East Pakistan was so mishandled that it became one of the contributing factors to the Bangladeshi Liberation War the following year. Yes, this trope set off a revolution.