Hey there, and welcome back to my little corner of cyberspace. I thought that today we'd look at the Prepper movement that's become so big here in the States.
As long time readers will know, I've tried to avoid calling myself a prepper for some time now. Why? Mainly because it has so many negative connotations attached to it. I mean think about it for a minute. When most people think of preppers, what image comes to mind? For many it brings to mind an image of a wild eye nut job who is eagerly awaiting the coming of the Zombie Apocalypse and the attending break down of the Rule Of Law. They assume that preppers are convinced that our government is going to break down completely, or at the very least be replaced by a dictatorship of some sort. And I'll admit that some of the more rabid and vocal preppers out there don't help the matter with their mention of SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) situations. But for most of us who can be considered preppers, it's really more of a case of living the Boy Scout motto of Always Be Prepared.
Okay, let's be honest here. There's a lot of things that can throw your life for a loop; it doesn't have to be something that realistically is kind of unlikely. Hell, just take a look at my own life for an example. I was raised in Lexington, Ky and lived through the night of 148 Tornadoes back in 1974. I worked at a level one trauma center in Charleston, SC and lived through 4 hurricanes. I served as an EMT in Pennsylvania and still remember the floods that hit Johnston and Indiana, Pa, causing well over $1 million in damages; and last but not least, I dealt with the California style wild fires that ranged through western North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina last fall. In every case people went without many services we take for granted for days or even weeks. In the case of Hurricane Hugo, it was months!
So what do you do? You can just go about your life blindly assuming that nothing like any of these things will ever happen to you. And in all honesty, most of you would be perfectly ok. But then again nobody in western North Carolina, Tennessee, or Upstate South Carolina ever thought we'd have to deal with California style Wild Fires before last last fall; and look at what happened! Thousands had to evacuate, and thousands more lost power and water for weeks. Even more had to deal with brown outs as power companies tried desperately to compensate for power plants that had to be taken off line. Or look at Hugo back in 1989. It caused flooding as far inland as Columbia, over a hundred miles from landfall and effected an estimated 1.8 million people. In all honesty, I was one of those people who never thought something like Hugo could possibly happen to me (a very dumb way of looking at things considering my history), and I can guarantee you that I will never find myself as unprepared again as I was then.
Nor is natural disasters the only thing that could cause a break down in services. Take the Ebola scare a couple of years back. The fact is that we were very lucky back then in that the CDC and the appropriate officials caught the danger and took immediate action. As a result, we here in the U.S. were never in as much danger as the news media made it sound; but what would have happened if they hadn't acted so quickly? Just one or two people who had been exposed landing at a major airport could have easily resulted in a major outbreak. In sections of Africa, whole towns were placed under quarantine conditions before it was brought back under control; think how that would have effected your life if it had become necessary here. Many of us would have been mighty hungry before it was over as stores ran out of supplies and new stocks were turned away by armed police enforcing the quarantine.
So yeah, it can get pretty bad really, really quick; and it isn't really as unlikely as most of us would prefer to believe. So what do you do? Well first thing is to think honestly about what you'd do if the unlikely but possible happened. Do you have what you'd need to keep yourself and your family alive and well? Or would you find yourself desperately trying to keep the lions at bay as your family deals with one emergency or shortage after another? If you did need to evacuate, how long would it really take you to gather everything you'd need to take with you? For that matter, do you even know what you'd need? If it takes too long, you might find yourself in the same situation some home owners in Michigan find themselves in following the severe flooding of June 24.
So so think about it. Disasters happen more often than most of us want to admit. So the question is do you want to keep your rose colored glasses on, or do you want to join me in reluctantly admitting you are a prepper, albeit a sane one?
But it for now I've reached the end of my time for today so I'll put away my soap box. I hope you found some small amount of value to my rambling, and I hope to see you back again soon. And remember, if you're going to do something, no matter what it is, do it with attitude!