Very often, people tend to marginalize anything which the media wishes to marginalize. We see shows about “preppers” and assume that they are doomsday kooks.
Sometimes we need to look beyond these generalizations and see the facts. Here I am going to present some of my thoughts on things that we should all consider. You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope that you at least think about some points to consider in the event of a disaster of any kind. Not all disasters are “end of the world” or “government is out to get you” situations. Sometimes, bad things happen and last for a few days (bad storms, tornado, ice, flood), or turn your life upside down for an unknown period of time (riots, terror attacks, etc).
1. The Government is not your guardian angel. Anyone with any common sense could look at the results of natural disasters and terrorist attacks and see that the government is not going to be there to save us in a crisis. Government is too big to make decisions quickly, and even when they finally make decisions, they tend to make stupid decisions.
So, let go of your thoughts that the government will take care of things. They will get there, eventually, but they have a ton of bureaucratic BS that they go through before any real action is taken.
You are, ultimately, responsible for your safety.
2. Be prepared to survive without shopping for three to five days. If terrorist swine or natural disasters wreck your city’s water supply (just to use a simple example), it will take time to get things up and running again. It could be something even simpler, such as getting snowed in. Just figure on needing a gallon of water per person per day on-hand in your home for drinking. If there is any advanced notice, fill every bathtub in your house with water so that the toilets will work (in case you didn’t know, the toilet will “flush” if you simply pour a bucket of water into the toilet bowl, no water supply from the city needed – but don’t drink the bathtub water, drink the bottled water you have for such a crisis.). As long as you are careful, two bathtubs of water should take care of things for a few days. Alcohol is more valuable in a crisis as an antiseptic than a tool for relaxation – use is as such.
As for food, there are things called MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). These have come quite a long way since what you have heard about from your Father, and they have a truly incredible shelf life. For about $75, you can have enough MRE’s to keep you and yours fed for quite some time, and kids love when you take them out and make some for a night of “roughing it”.
Oh, and next time you put toilet paper on your shopping list, buy twice the amount you normally buy, and set the extra aside in a spare closet. You will thank me someday. Simple things can provide a sense of normal life in a crisis, and our monkey brain needs this.
3. Have a “Go Bag”. You really need two of these. One is a bag filled with the essentials for a short term crisis: clothes, snack foods, weapon and ammo for self-defense, any daily required medicines, first-aid kit, some water and MRE’s. The larger one is for when you need to abandon home for an unknown period of time. It will have essentially the same stuff, only more of it. In the event of a disaster, you may need to get the F out of Dodge without taking time to pack. Having these bags makes this possible.
Although this is one of those things that some use to discredit people who wish to be ready to survive any unforeseen circumstances, how many expecting parents have a version of the “go bag” prepared when the time gets close for the baby to be born?
4. Learn about the likely threats. Different areas have different threats they face. While in our current time the threat of a terrorist attack is supposed to be pervasive, the fact is that some areas are under a greater threat than others. Some countries are under a much greater threat than others as well. Get this information and keep up to date.
But not all threats are going to be from other people. Natural disasters can strike at any time. It is wise to know what threats are more likely for your geographic area. For example, the area of Texas where I live has had some “earthquakes” in the past few years. Registering on the Richter Scale at around 2.0 these are hardly damaging events. So having a plan in the event of a “big one” is not unwise, but there are much greater threats here. We get a lot of tornadoes here, and tornadoes can knock out power for days on end. Ditto the ice storms we tend to get in what passes for winter in Texas. These are a more realistic threat, and as such are what we should be prepared to face.
5. Have a First-Aid Kit. In the event of a disaster, life goes on and things still happen. When you do not have running water, if you did not prepare to keep the toilet running, you are going to be more susceptible to diseases and infections from minor scrapes that might otherwise never have been noticed.
Be prepared to treat problems yourself, at least temporarily, that you might normally visit an emergency room or quick care clinic. Splints for setting broken bones, supplies for treating cuts and more traumatic wounds. Oh, and you might also want to get some training in how to treat these injuries.
In short, nothing on this list will require you to wear a tinfoil hat. Really, this is all about being smart about your own safety. The list could be much longer, but this, I feel, is a good start. Let me know what you think.