I’m sure you’ve heard it before. The hair-raising, official sounding buzzer that local TV and radio stations use to alert viewers/listeners to Emergency Alerts. Where I live, it’s primarily used to alert the public to severe weather conditions, though I’m sure it could be used for other kinds of emergencies as well, assuming there’s enough time.
When I was a kid, we had gas, as well as electricity, for heat and cooking, and our water came from a rain-catchment system. Other than making sure we had enough food to last a few days, we never really made any emergency preparations. As an adult, even living in a home powered exclusively by electricity, I never bothered with any sort of serious preparations for emergency situations, though we did have a kerosene heater for alternative heat. Even after we lost power for a week in February several years ago during an ice storm, I didn’t worry too much, other than to be sure we had ten gallons of kerosene stashed.
My dad always used to say there would be a time when man would have to live off the land again, and he thought it would come sooner than later. To that end, he taught me to hunt and some basic survival skills, and over the years, I’ve learned a little more. But as far as making actual preparations, I never really went out of my way.
Recently, though, I’ve begun to rethink that position, particularly when I think of how frighteningly fragile our way of life is. Turn off the electricity, and in a matter of days, chaos will reign as people become desperate. And we keep being told how vulnerable our electrical grid is.
I just turned 45, and our only child is grown. But Hubby and I unexpectedly have responsibility for our 3 little grandsons, as our daughter has become unable to take care of them. Suddenly, I was reminded of how precarious life can be when you have little ones depending on you to meet their every need. So, I started to think about what I could do to be ready for an emergency or disaster, without a big investment of time or money.
Around the same time, I stumbled across “Doomsday Preppers”, a series on NatGeo about the steps some people are taking in order to be prepared for disasters. There are people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on emergency supplies and shelters, and others using pretty much what they have on hand to be ready. I’ve also discovered several websites and blogs dedicated to “Prepping”.
I’m not an extremist, or even all that paranoid. Just an ordinary person who thinks it’s a good idea to be ready, just in case. Over the next several months, as I research the subject, and devise an emergency preparedness plan for my family, I plan to share parts of that with you. I don’t have a great deal of expendable money to invest, so my preparations will have to be inexpensive. I’m expecting a lot of it will be more acquiring skills and knowledge than stockpiling supplies – first aid, food preservation, etc. My hope is to inspire you to take steps to help ensure your family’s survival in a catastrophe.
What sort of scenario do you think might contribute to a collapse of our current way of life? Do you think such a collapse is imminent, or is it a more remote threat? Have you done anything to prepare your family? If so, what?