Astronaut Jim Lovell once said, “There are people who make things happen, people who watch what happens and then there are people who wonder what happened.” I find a similar set of breakdowns when it comes to disaster preparedness.
The first group is convinced the sky will fall in at any moment. Society will collapse, electrical power will be cut off, and gangs of lawless marauders will be running free in the streets. But this group has it covered, they have planned ahead. Their “bug out location” is hidden in the mountains, well fortified and stocked with beans, bullets and band aids. Their “bug out vehicle” is fully capable of carrying all their bug out gear and is ready to spirit them and their family to safety. These people are gung-ho and fully committed to their cause. For them, disaster preparedness is almost a form of religion to be preached and practiced to a level of high fanaticism. At the other end of the spectrum is the guy who, for whatever reason, has no intention of making any kind of preparations. When the topic comes up in conversation his response goes something like this: “Well if anything happens, I’ll just come to your house.” That’s the best way I know of to irritate a prepper. To which one person answered, “Why would you take food out of the mouths of my children when you had ample warning to prepare?”
No matter where a person finds themselves in this discussion, sooner or later you will be required to rely on what you have on hand. Whether you have prepared or not. Your disaster may be nothing more than a wind storm that takes down the power lines between you and the grocery store, or it could be a 9.0 megaquake that devastates an entire region for weeks. Either way you will fare better with just a bit of foresight, a few of the basics on your shelves and an attitude that says, “We’ll get through this, and hopefully help out our neighbors along the way.”
Most of us, I’m sure, fall somewhere in the middle of the debate. Not quite fanatical, but not quite complacent either. So now is the time to get started. On your next trip to the grocery store, watch for sales, pick up some non-perishable foods strictly for the purpose of setting them aside. Then the following time, do the same. Search your closets and drawers for old candles. You know the ones that are either broken or just don’t match your decor this month. Presto, emergency lighting. Dig out your old Coleman stove and fire it up just to make sure it still works. See how easy this is? You’re well on your way to being prepared.
For other suggestions check out www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org. You can review previous disaster preparedness columns at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Comments or questions can always be sent to me at email@example.com. Dave Robinson is an author, pastor, freelance writer and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.