I wanted to spend some time talking about Emergency Preparedness Basics. Now, a lot of the people already watching my channel and reading the blog may already be a good ways down the “prepping” road, with a zombie plan firmly in hand. This series could be good information for you, but primarily focused on those around us that haven’t started yet. A lot of people I talk to want to get started prepping but, let’s face it, it can be pretty intimidating for a number of reasons: cost, knowing where to start, even wondering if you’re crazy for feeling a pull in that direction.
I’m going to create a series over the next few entries, talking about the basics of how to get started and what works. Think of this as a good starter blog, either for yourself, or for friends and family that need it.
In recent years, popular culture has been bringing a spotlight to emergency preparedness and a lot of it can be entertaining – the zombie fad, “Doomsday Preppers”. Whether it helps or not remains to be seen. So far, it seems to leave people around the world thinking 1 of 2 things: “Do I need to prepare for disaster?” or “Are preppers crazy?”
The fact is that most people are already “prepping” on a daily basis, they just don’t call it what it is. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you pay any type of insurance? On your home or car…or life?
- Do you take a few seconds to buckle your seatbelt before you start driving?
- Do you lock your front door when you leave or before you go to sleep at night?
Why? When was the last time you got in a horrible car accident? When was the last time someone broke into your home? Do you really think you need to go to those lengths? Of course you do! The simple truth is that most people recognize the probability of catastrophic events in our lives and we find it reasonable to make small efforts to prepare against them. Is it really so crazy to stock a little extra food, maybe some medical supplies…maybe some extra water?
Look, I know these are heavy subjects to discuss, but I’m not talking about the end of the world or the “zombie apocalypse”. There are plenty of everyday scenarios that most of us should prepare for: natural disasters, extended blackout, loss of a job, economic recession, or even rioting and looting (as we have recently seen in the States).
When I was younger, I had a chance to live in Siberia and provide religious service to the people there. Having grown up in America, it was a real eye-opener for me, but I learned a ton and it started me down the “prepping” path. These amazing Russian people were not living in a 3rd world country, by any stretch, but they had to practice urban emergency preparedness on a daily basis due to the ongoing economic crisis at the time. Some had work, some didn’t.
There were roving blackouts…and the water would usually come on once per day for an hour or two. On top of all that, the winters are not kind. We had to learn to get creative to avoid getting in a bind with everyday tasks. For example: how do you make sure you can flush your toilet, wash your clothes, bathe or – most importantly – stay hydrated with the water is intermittent to nonexistent? We also had to learn to be more observant of “less-than-friendly” people around us that could potentially cause a physical threat.
Beware Normalcy Bias
Now, it’s really easy to say it can’t happen in your country. “This is America! There’s no way [random disaster] can happen here!” Again, most people think of a Mad Max style melt down on a large scale. The reality is these things CAN happen. They happen all the time…all over the world. They just tend to happen on a local level. Think about the economic unrest in Europe, the natural disasters around the world such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and – again – the riots that have taken place in several US cities. These things take place in a local area, leaving the people there struggling. The world marches on around them as if nothing has happened, but it affects them in a BIG way.
So, I’m creating a beginners guide to prepping, specifically around what families can do without drastically changing your day-to-day lifestyle…or breaking the bank. In the meantime, starting thinking about possible plans for these types of scenarios. Have you talked with your family or significant other about what you would do in the case of an emergency? If someone provides care for you, do you know if they have a plan for a disaster? In either case, do you have everything you would need to get buy for a few days if you couldn’t get to the store?
Stay with me and I’ll walk you through, step-by-step.