Many people wonder what the big deal is. After all, we live in a well advanced and solid society. There are no troops in the streets and we don’t go around killing each other. We are a loving and peaceful nation and everyone else in the world thinks we’re the greatest. We have a strong economy. Our currency is as solid as ever and we never fight. What could go wrong…?!
So what’s the point of preparing? After all, when something happens somewhere we just get someone to fix it and the government looks after it. The reason we pay taxes is so that we have some security! There is police, firefighters and the army to help us out whenever we need them so why keep extra food, water and god knows what else around….?
Besides, …who has the time to be thinking about all this nonsense. We all have jobs to go to and kids to raise and mortgages to pay. And the last thing we all want to do is end up looking like the weirdo down the road…with his camouflage and all…
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
Being prepared is not about gear. It’s not about gadgets and it is not about camouflage. It is all about awareness. There is one concept that all preppers must understand. It is this concept which is the basis for everything you will plan and execute when the time comes. It is the basis for all your preparations and it is the foundation of advancement not only in disaster preparedness but also in all aspects of your life. This concept is the acceptance of responsibility for your self.
Whatever happens to us in our lives, at some point we will have to take stock and realize that what happens is not as important as how we react to it. The types of safety nets we create will dictate how helpless we will feel when disaster strikes. Will we make decisions from a place of panic or will we be able to calmly ensure ourselves and our loved ones that even though there might be disruptions to our lives we will be fine?
Let’s use a simple example of a disaster preparedness…
A young lady is driving down an empty highway. It is getting late in the day and she wants to get to her parents’ acreage before dark. She picks up speed and tries to hurry. Suddenly her dash lights up with a flashing orange indicator light. Her tire is losing pressure. She pulls over to the side of the road and gets out to assess the damage. The rear passenger side tire is flat. There is still an audible hiss as the air escapes. Annoyed she pulls out her cell phone and calls for a tow truck. The vehicle is nearly new and a free tow is covered under the warranty. All is well. The safety net – her cell phone- got her out of a bind.
Now what might happen if this annoyance takes place in a spot on the highway where there is no cell service…? On New years’ eve when there’s practically no traffic…? In temperatures of -30 degrees…? Now her only safety net is her spare tire. If she doesn’t know how to switch it, the spare is not much of a safety net. She also has to have appropriate clothing so that she doesn’t freeze to death. All of a sudden the situation takes on a completely different spin. It is now much more complicated and difficult. This version of a mere annoyance suddenly requires some planning and preparation. The young lady should know how to use a tire iron and a jack. She should have a warm parka in her vehicle and a way to stay warm in case she doesn’t have enough fuel to keep the vehicle idling. The spare tire should be checked periodically and emergency supplies such as the parka and perhaps some hand warmers should be checked for functionality and expiry date respectively.
THE BIG PICTURE
On the international scene, the potential problems for which a safety net might be required are much harder to read. It could be that our nation is a member of a military alliance which is led by the United States and for that reason is hated in some parts of the world. And in that part of the world, a nuclear weapon is being developed. Could it be that America’s weaker neighbor has some potentially valuable targets? Do we have the military capability to deal with a potential nuclear strike on our soil? Can we mitigate the potential damage from a nuclear explosion?
These are some very hard questions that will take some serious homework to answer. In the end however, it will simply come down to our choices. Are we willing to look at the world we live in and asses it in neutral light so that we can understand the potential dangers we face or are we ready to accept that what we see at the end of our nose is all that there is?
Those of us who have been alive during the 9/11 attacks know very well that supposedly a group of terrorists have hijacked airplanes with box cutters and flew them into high-value targets in the United States while dodging some of the best defense systems in the world. Had anyone prior to that day said that this would happen he would have been labeled as insane. But 9/11 did happen and we are still feeling the after-effects some seventeen years later.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if a disaster is caused by a flat tire, planes flying into buildings or a nuclear strike. When an event like 9/11 takes place, at the moment of impact it doesn’t really matter who caused it or why. What matters is getting out of the danger zone and minimizing damage. What matters is keeping a cool head and making the right decisions, implementing the right plan and getting to safety.
We need to be aware of the world we live in so that we can accept responsibility for our well-being. We need to make the decision to accept this responsibility. The minute we give control to anyone outside of ourselves when it comes to our money, health, future, happiness, survival or any other aspect of our lives we become disempowered. We become dependent.
When people use safety nets like car insurance for example, it is considered normal, even mandatory. Why then is it so awkward to keep extra water and food in a pack, commonly known as a seventy-two-hour pack or bug out bag…? Even though organizations such as the Alberta Emergency Management Agency strongly recommends this and even provides instructions on how to build one on their website?
Emergencies and disasters will keep happening. What are we willing to do about it…?