No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.
Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.
Food Guidelines for storing:
Keep food in a dry, unused area
Keep food enclosed at all times
Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front
Starting a Storage
Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers. Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.
1) Create Kits
First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.
2) Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals
Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.
3) Stock PLENTY of Water
A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
4) Stock up on Food Staples
You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.
5) Plan for Fire Needs
You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.
6) Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible
Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.
7) Plan for Every Emergency
Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.
These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.
6 Appropriate Measures On How To Deal With Disaster Emergencies
No matter how prepared we think we are for a disaster, we are never as fully prepared as we should be. Dealing with an emergency should help us to fine tune for the next time. Here are some ways to begin dealing with an unexpected turn of events and getting life back to normal.
Emotional tolls when dealing with devastating events can often be even more traumatic than the loss of a home, school, or even a family member. We get lost in reliving events that are catastrophic in lieu of dealing with recovery. Things can be replaced. People can’t. Everyone who has been in a natural disaster of any kind has their own perspective of the situation. Sharing this perspective will help others to deal with their own feelings. Anger, frustration, grief and feelings of sadness are all a normal part of dealing with a catastrophic event.
2. Talk It Over
Decades ago it was unheard of to ever speak of the deceased. Today, we know that it’s important to talk about that person, their life and what they accomplished. Why? Because it helps us to process what happened and it helps us to deal with the emotional trauma of the situation. Talking out our feelings of loss whether it be a loved one, a friend or even a building, will help us to process the situation and better begin living life in a normal fashion again.
3. Working Together As A Community
We see it every day on commercials, a community working together as a community. Many go into foreign countries to help people help themselves. Just as these folks are doing, it’s important to work together as a community to rebuild and clean up after a storm or disaster. Work with neighbors to retrieve salvageable items. Work together to find safe drinking water.
4. Maintain A Normal Routine
Establishing and maintaining a normal routine are important keys for returning life to normal after a disaster strikes. The more normal you can make life the sooner your family will start the recovery process. Eat your meals at the same times as you always have. Prepare a comfortable sleeping area even if you are in emergency shelters. Maintain any family routines if at all possible in order to re-establish the normal balance of life.
5. Restock Supplies
Once the crisis is over, it’s important to remember to restock all supplies that were utilized during the situation. While restocking, one should also consider what may have been helpful to have had on hand prior to or during an emergency, but wasn’t and stock those items as well.
6. Avoid These Coping Mechanisms
Many turn to drugs, alcohol and other poor choices in behaivor in order to cope with a difficult situation. These choices only make the situation worse, take a toll on your body, waste money and give those around you even more to deal with. Avoid these behaviors at all costs. They aren’t helpful to anyone involved.
Following these measures will help to return the normal balance of your life and help others to restore their normal balance of life as well.
Michael has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for EDisasterSystems, he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.
For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse,* if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up* and the great white throne appearing,* if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire,* he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in, psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. – CS Lewis
I am in my late 50s, and have seen “end of the world” predictions for a half century.
I also do preparedness.
So… what gives?
I have indeed lived through the “Run for the hills, the end of the world is coming” scares of many past decades: the Cold War, various asteroid, comets and rogue planets making a guest appearance at a planet near you, sundry predictions of WWIII starting, Y2K, the annual end of the world meltdown predictions from the global warming charlatans, and much, much more (including the epic global catastrophes of Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli and Kevin Costner’s Waterworld!) I have a particular distaste for the issue of anthropogenic global warming – on which I have done a 400 page paper – and which I consider to be perhaps the most expensive fraud ever perpetrated on mankind, bar none.
As one writer, whose name escapes me now, once observed, he had lived through many disasters, the vast majority of which never happened.
So, why is it that I do preparedness?
Simple – risk mitigation, a knowledge of history and an understanding that we live in a universe that – like it or not, be it long or short, a culture eventually reaps what it sows (even though individuals may escape). There clearly is one “possibility” that is indeed certain: I have to die, and I have to live until I die. In other words, if I don’t die, I have 100% probability of getting old, and then dying (of course, as Keynes famously observed, in the long run, we’re all dead). Thus, one form of preparedness is that I plan for either retirement, and/or make sure my will is in order (it might also be helpful to make peace with God – after all, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are going to be alive.) Similarly, it is also likely that if you devote an extreme amount of time to preparedness, your wife and children will either leave you, or you run the serious risk of alienating all of them. Or, if you aren’t married, you will end up with very few friends – and even less prospects of ever getting married! Preparedness starts with a dispassionate analysis of possible outcomes, based on your understanding of the world and history. It also means the prepper should make sure to take adequate time to smell the roses in his journey to readiness. You do not want to reach the end of next year, next decade, or the end of your life, having lived in a bomb shelter, or never having had the opportunity to actually visit the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, South Dakota. (Ok… well, make that the Pyramids at sunrise, or the Eiffel Tower at sunset, but you get my drift.) By the same token, one also needs to determine the value of that new Lexus vis-à-vis the value of preparedness and “only” being able to afford a Toyota Corolla instead. I don’t know your financial situation – however, I do know that a plurality of westerners have chosen to live for today – with the problem being that the results of “Live for today, for tomorrow we die” is that tomorrow you don’t die. Rather, you wake up and you have a massive hangover, you wake up and find there is no seed corn for next year’s planting – or you wake up and find you and are in debt (as an individual or society) that you will never be able to pay back.
This, then, is the initial step in the preparedness journey – prioritizations, and a cold analysis of what is certain to happen, likely to happen, possible to happen, and only remotely likely to happen. Yes, this will certainly be a judgment call – it can’t be helped – but your decisions can be reasonably informed, as much as your – and my – time allows.
So why prep? First, the goal is not to live in fear. Preparedness – paradoxically combined with faith in God – is the antidote to fear. In contrast to FDR’s dictum that the government should provide freedom from fear and want, the prepper is one who believes the same thing – only brought about by his own actions, not that of the nanny state, which inevitably can only do the exact same thing using your money – and do it half as well, using twice the dollars. You also need to weigh how much you believe is self-reliance – can you live with yourself being utterly dependent on everyone and everything. Yes, no man is an island, most of us live in community, and we need to interact, so there is indeed a continuum between total dependence and total self-reliance, with no one at either extreme. However, there clearly is a point where one “depends on the kindness of strangers,” or worse, becomes a ward of the state. If you are comfortable with this, please stop reading!
Another goal is to have the self-respect that can only be found in a reasonable degree of self-reliance. You cannot have true self- respect if you have no preparations made for what you determine are realistic threats, and expect others to rescue you. Further, one also has an obligation to provide for one’s family – not the nanny state, not the government, not the socialists – but you and me, individually. Indeed, the great falsehood about socialism, as Bastiat observed, is that “it is the great fiction, whereby everybody endeavours to live off of everybody else.” It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, and it by definition can never work – but that never stops socialists from their “we’re smarter, and this time we will get it right.” As a corollary of this, yet one further goal of the prepper is to not become victimized by the by a socialist mediated economic collapse (and they always end up collapsing) – be is a slow, grinding Argentinian-style collapse, or something more rapid and calamitous.
Am I being overly dramatic about what might result from an economic collapse? Ask someone from Argentina (which used to be one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago), from the Weimar Republic, from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland today, or New Zealand in 1986, or any number of other countries around the world that have experienced this.
History also guides my concern for preparedness. And yes, those who don’t know history – think those people you saw interviewed on Jay Leno’s walkabouts – will indeed watch it repeat… or at least see it rhyme.
And what is that history? Just to select a few examples:
The Black Plague of medieval Europe. Ahhhh, but we’re much smarter than that now, you object… that would never happen now. Really? Are you talking about today’s developing antibiotic resistance? Designer germs or intentionally spread diseases by terrorists? Maybe just a “vanilla” global nuclear exchange? Of course, the explicitly stated intentions by globalists is to reduce the world population by a very large percentage, so who knows how that may come to fruition.
The Jews in 1936 Germany thought it couldn’t get worse, and particularly the most civilized, advanced country in the world would not go to serious extremes. You know that story – though you may not have taken it to heart.
The Haidas on the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off British Columbia, my old home province. This proud tribe – the only Indian tribe that was advanced enough to hunt whales – saw 80 – 90% of their population wiped out when smallpox and other diseases were accidentally introduced when explorers arrived. The Mayan collapse is another aboriginal disaster many are now familiar with, given the Mayan calendar end of the world scam of 2012
Perhaps the history to be repeated will be something more along the lines of Russia in 1918. You may laugh off predictions of disaster, but 61 million people who died in the USSR did, in fact, see their very own TEOTWAKI situation realized, including perhaps seven million who were intentionally starved to death in Stalin’s Holmodor of the Ukrainian Kulaks. In fact, according to Stephane Courtois, around 100 million were murdered last century due to various socialist “solutions.” No doubt many Russians in 1910, as they listened to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy, felt the hell of the USSR just around the corner was not even a theoretical possibility.
On the other hand, we may see the slow, leftist devolution of an economy, such as seen in Argentina, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece. If you are one of the youth who has been unemployed for the past five years, you are experiencing your own slo-mo TEOTWAKI. (And in fact, if you are one of the 48 million Obama now has on food stamps, up from 32 million when he took office, you don’t need to wait to imagine.) Would preparedness have done a disservice to those Greeks who were “paranoid” enough to have anticipated the future five years ago, and engaged in preparedness? What are those who mocked the Greek or Argentinian “preppers” thinking right now? Perhaps Spiros the prepper in Greece prepared for an EMP event, but do you think that since it was an economic collapse that occurred instead, all his work was for naught?
What would you have said if, in 2007, I told you that GM or AIG would no longer be functioning companies in a couple years without a slew of free money? Would you have believed me? There has indeed been an economic collapse in the US – it is just covered over by printed money and ensuring Dancing with the Stars keeps running weekly.
The list could go on, from the Irish potato famine to Krakatoa to the possibly collapse of Las Palmas Island in the Atlantic to that occasionally restless magma below Yellowstone, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.
There is a full panoply of potential disasters – admittedly with low probability – but high stakes if they do occur. What is the cost/benefit ratio for you, personally? Only you can figure that one out, of course, but the point is: many times things go on just as they always were for centuries. Then one day, an 8th century Copt looks up and sees an Arab army in the eastern distance; a citizen from 13th century eastern Europe observes some Mongolian heritage peoples gathering their cavalry before his country’s foot soldiers using something never seen before in battle – stirrups. Or perhaps it is Vladimir Lenin quietly entering a train to be transported via sealed train car back to Russia for political reasons, or a group of Arab radicals the summer of 2001 finishing flight classes that did not include lessons on how to land their aircraft. Low probability, high impact indeed!
So, what to do? First, recognize that things change, and sometimes rapidly, after years of stasis. A very close friend who was doing his Ph.D. examining chaos theory did one study on what causes sand hills to collapse. Condensing years of study into several sentences, one can pile sand grain upon sand grand, until finally, after a seemingly infinite number of grains, one single grain causes a slide. What number of grains is it, and when is it that this occurs? Suffice to say, at one point there is a hill, and after what seems an imperceptible addition, the slide has occurred. Not a big deal if it is a sand castle at a beach. But it is a giant deal if it is 2008, the week before Bear Stearns collapsed, and you have your life savings in a failing bank – or perhaps it is October, 2015, the week before the $6 trillion-dollar pyramid of derivatives (which Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of mass financial destruction”) collapses. In fact, the dog’s breakfast of derivatives may never collapse. Maybe the Bernanke Fed really has invented a perpetual motion machine. Maybe they actually have mapped out the cause and correction of economic downturns. The question is, as Clint Eastwood put it, “So… do ya feel lucky, punk? Well.. do ya?” Less theatrically, does central planning still work – and are you willing to stake your life, and that of your family on it – or does it just make a worse collapse inevitable, as Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics pointed out: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as the final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”) Similar to von Mises prediction, Reinhart and Rogoff’s book This Time is Different documents that, historically, there has never been a good outcome when a country’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP. What is it worth to you to hedge against this threat of economic disaster?
When it comes to economics, warfare, or politics, is mankind fallible or not? Are you willing – after seeing the tech and housing bubbles just in the past dozen years or so – still willing to repeat the “this time is different” mantra? What are your assumptions about human nature, and what could possibly result from that analysis? Is the government all-seeing an all-knowing, or even relatively so? Or does bigger government just increase the risk when something does go awry? (“Hey, Klem – no need to get out of New Orleans… the Army Corp of Engineers know what they are doing). And when it comes to natural disasters, do we really still need to examine what a hurricane can do, or what havoc another Carrington Event from the sun might possibly create (one credible analyst predicted that if an EMP event were to occur, 90% of the U.S. population would be dead in a year). What is it worth to you to protect against that? And if it is not worth a penny, then presumably you do not buy auto or home fire insurance, either.
One final note. A great portion of us still need to keep a job, which in turn means compromises need to occur with time and money, as well as keeping living quarters in or near an urban area. If you are independently wealthy, good for you – go ahead and build, or move to, that retreat. I’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may be able to re-jig your life style by downsizing, changing jobs, or similar, to allow for a move. Well and good. Just be careful you don’t turn into Mel Tappan. Mr. Tappan was a well-to-do banker that – convinced society and the economy were going to collapse – relocated to a rural Oregon retreat off the Rogue River and created the highly regarded Personal Survival Newsletter in the 1970s – yes, getting to be almost 40 years ago now with still no cataclysmic disaster! Unfortunately, Tappaan was not near medical care when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980, only in his late 40s. Tappan is thought by many to have been foolish, but that is Monday morning quarterbacking. Perhaps if something like the early 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1979, and the missiles had actually launched, he would be considered prescient by the survivors. We know today that the Cuban missile crisis came within a hair’s breadth of seeing an actual exchange of missiles.
Recall, too, that rural retreats like Tappan’s, in a partial meltdown, may in fact be more dangerous, in that you have no community to rely on for defense, mutual encouragement and practical support. Large cities also may get more attention and funds from a bankrupt government – or, alternatively, they may turn into Detroit on steroids. The truth is, there are too many variables, too many facts, too many websites and too many opinions to arrive at a conclusive answer. We thus arrive back where this article began – risk analysis and risk mitigation – and which is where I leave you. Risk mitigation is a sober analysis of all the facts that you able to gather at present, then progressively elaborated as you move forward.
In conclusion, consider well this nine minute segment on lack of preparedness from the Twilight Zone, entitled The Shelter:
Long or short, there indeed will come some period in the future when citizens in the West will have wished they prepared. Don’t be one of them.
A big thank you to J. Vanne for writing this post.
Selfishness and Preparedness
by J. Vanne
Recently, a small firestorm was ignited by Valerie Lucus-McEwen, a government Emergency Management employee, who had the temerity to accuse preparedness types of “selfishness.” While your immediate reaction may be – as mine certainly was – “Are people really and truly this thoughtless?” – this question does deserve a proper answer, particularly as those who are easily influenced by the leftist media, or who believe the state really and actually is the omniscient, omnipotent savior of our personal and corporate lives, are actually asking this question. So, let’s examine the issue:
First, many preparedness types have, as part of their goal, the intent of helping neighbors and family who were unable – or unwilling – to prepare. In my own case, part of what I have in mind is assisting a large group of mentally retarded and Down’s syndrome children that my church has taken under its wing. (A group the state would do no more than “warehouse” if it were under their direction!). Not all preppers feel this way, but I would bet my bottom can of stored tuna fish there is an exceedingly large percentage of preparedness types who feel similarly.
One significant point of observation – that has significant ramifications relative to preparedness – is that, in my experience, the non-prepper type is generally of a socialist orientation. Of course, as most of you know, this approach was tried – and found wanting – all the way back in the Pilgrim era. Many of you are aware that when the Pilgrims first arrived, they worked out of a communal system. The result was starvation and death. As this approach did not work, they then “privatized” their system – and of course flourished. You can easily research this history yourself, but if one has any experience with human nature, it is immediately apparent why this didn’t – and has never in history – worked. The issue is that human nature is imperfect and selfish, just as Adam Smith wrote about in the Wealth of Nations. A simple recognition of this basic aspect of human nature – and finding a way to work with this reality, rather than against it, provides the most good for the largest number of people – exactly as Smith wrote, and exactly as history has shown for anyone who has eyes to see. To do otherwise impoverishes people, and in times of crisis, will lead to otherwise avoidable deaths. Working with this reality of human nature, rather than against it, has brought the greatest good for people overall in both good periods of history, as well as difficult. And for those of you with Judeo-Christian worldviews, this issue is why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called Communism “a Christian heresy” – viz., the Communist assumptions about human nature were completely off-base. Long story short, the question is: Is man perfectible (particularly with the best and brightest, such as Hilary, George Soros, Al Gore and Obama telling – nay, forcing – us what to do!), or are all men fallible, and the dictum of Lord Acton correct that absolute power corrupts absolutely correct. There is an unbridgeable divide between these two assumptions, and this divide makes itself manifest in the Hamlet-like “to prep or not to prep” debate.
The Fleet Street Letter put this matter perspicaciously a number of years ago, and is worth quoting at length:
There are two major traditions in Western political thought. The first is Aristotelian, logical, rational, centrist, mechanistic. You concentrate power and truth in the centre and apply it outward, shaping the world according to plan. This was the guiding principle of the Roman Empire. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire and the Church of Rome. Except for Switzerland, it has dominated politics on the continent ever since. Most recently, it has morphed into the European Union. The principle is simple – smart people can figure out how to run things, and should be allowed to do so. This was the idea behind Hillary Clinton’s health care task force (and now ObamaCare), as well as Japan, Inc. and even Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Germany. It has animated nearly every politician (each one of whom, as Garrison Keilor notes about Lake Woebegone children, are above average) in this century. But there is another tradition that is much less well understood. It is the tradition of the Roman Republic… of English common law… of Adam Smith and Emmanuel Kant… of Austrian School economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and of pre-Rooseveltian American. It is organic, rather than mechanistic – the tradition of tradition, based on the recognition that people, no matter how smart, cannot replace thousands of years of accumulated experience.Experience is embodied in the evolved systems of values, customs, rules and traditions that people use to order and give meaning to their lives. A free market and a free society allow people to express these preferences, as well as allowing the process of social and civil evolution to continue. This tradition, in other words, is neither liberal nor conservative in the modern sense, but anti-political. Indeed, it is often seen as “anti-intellectual” because it denies the authority of intellectuals to tell the rest of us what to do (through the political process).
Perhaps you, like I do, remember the “best and the brightest” who led the Vietnam war? How did that one work out? Or, if that news is too stale, perhaps you care to visit present day Detroit – which was the first city to adopt the socialist “Model Cities Program” in under Mayor Coleman Young a number of decades ago. Similarly, Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was a quasi- socialist endeavour, which was intended to end poverty. You can judge for yourself what all those $9 trillion dollars spent on this “war” resulted in (hint: we now have just under 48 million on food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office, and with more poverty than ever).
The basic misunderstanding is, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in The Law,
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
There is yet another misunderstanding to clear up for those of Christian persuasion, as exemplified in the Book of Acts, 2:24, in the New Testament, which states about the early believers “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.” Dr. Jay Richards addresses this superbly in his book Money, Greed andf God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by simply noting that the early Christians held things in common privately, voluntarily and without compulsion. This is light years away from the state forcing sharing, and under compulsion.
And one more important observation, that is applicable to the prepping community: When I donate my own money at present, I watch like a hawk where it is going, and what it is doing. When my money goes for taxes to “help” others – for the few dollars that actually make it past the money sucking gauntlet of bureaucrats – how much actually reaches its destination? Some research shows as little as 10% or so. As the saying goes, it is much better to teach someone to fish, rather than just gives them a fish for a day. And I can do a thousand times more, with a million times more love, for 1% of the money, that the government could ever dream of doing, if I were left with my own money to donate as I wish. Similarly, preparedness is most optimally left to the individual, not the state. I am clearly not saying there is no place at all for the state to assist. However, it should be ancillary and very secondary in function. To do otherwise is to set expectations that can only be dashed – exactly as was seen during hurricanes Katrina or Sandy.
So, how does this relate to preparedness with potential future catastrophic disasters? In a collapse – whether it be Argentinian/Greek/Zimbabwe style, or EMP, or a global war, compassion must be personal and voluntary. Not only is it more effective, it is more ethical. And it is more ethical because it is more caring, more direct, and more efficient In a collapse, there should be a voluntary exchange, and for those that are not prepared, there should be some type of assistance rendered by the one who has not prepared (it could be cooking, gardening; perhaps doing guard duty or carpentry). Where this is not possible, simple humanity and compassion should – and undoubtedly will be – the hallmark of many preppers.
In a serious collapse, there may well be a need to choose whom one would help, or not, but that is a decision that will be very personal. For myself – in contrast to the government representatives who so condescendingly accuse preppers such myself of being self-centred, I will indeed (as noted above) look to help the weak and helpless. You may object by saying “A lot of good that will do – we should, as per people like Dr. Peter Singer, just let the weak die.” To which I reply “A society that only values those of utility is not a society worth keeping – and in fact, is precisely the type of society – with its abortions, euthanasia, etc. – that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Another point: I would be remiss not to mention in the context of this article is the very self-apparent fact that for every person who is prepared, that is one less mouth to feed in a real crisis. This needn’t be addressed further, as it is patently obvious, but is yet another reality that the debunkers always seem, somehow, to neglect to address, though it is staring them right in the face. The regular silence by these debunkers is a stark testimony to what is either a lack of critical thinking, or a purposeful lack of honesty is examining the relative merits of preparedness.
God – or for the non-believer, nature herself – has written self-preservation into our very DNA. Certainly, from a Judeo Christian perspective, each individual person has the right to self-preservation. The Bible is replete with laws allowing for self-defense in the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament – while unequivocally admonishing believers to be irenic and forgiving, also quotes Christ telling the disciples, for example in Luke 22:36, in preparation for when He is gone, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” There are historically several approaches to defense in the Bible – complete pacifism, the use of “police” force, and just war, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, self-defense is well within the historical understanding of options for Christians in a violent world, although admittedly this can be a difficult issue to navigate, and there is a range of conclusions which sensible people can come to within the pale of faith. Similarly, I extend this self-defense conception into that of realm of preparedness. I think the extension is fair and reasonable, about which reasonable people can disagree in some areas.
Also, relative to preparedness and faith, clearly Proverbs 27:12 explicitly states – and which passage many preparedness types are familiar with – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” In a world where well-regarded individuals like Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University state the total amount of unfunded liabilities – federal, state, municipal and corporate – are now a staggering $222 trillion, where the amount of derivatives (which Warren Buffet famously once called “financial weapons of mass destruction”) world-wide makes that amount look like a molehill, in a nation where people like Jon Corzine can “lose” $1.6 billion and simply walk away without a day in jail, where lives are lost during Fast and Furious and people just shrug their shoulders, or a in nation about which Billy Graham’s wife Ruth once said “If God doesn’t’ judge America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah,” is preparedness unwise? Leftists may object, and that is their prerogative. However, if they wish not to prepare, then perhaps they ought to take to their own hearts and written commentary the one thing they forcefully invoke for everyone else in every other situation – tolerance. What business of theirs is it?
With all due respect to them, why is it our non-prepper friends, as exemplified by the written commentary of Ms. Lucus-McEwen noted above, why cannot they practice what they presumably preach about tolerance? Why must people like this actively vilify those with whom they disagree? (But of course, the answer is obvious – just as in the days of Imperial Rome, everyone but everyone must bow to the all-encompassing supremacy of the state. To do otherwise means crucifixion – 2,000 years ago, this was in the arena; today, it is the high tech lynching of a Clarence Thomas, the fashion execution of a Sarah Palin, or the just the “mere” thuggery against those of us who beg to disagree with big government by modern day Kristalnacht Alinsky ruffians.
The whole area of faith and preparedness admittedly needs much further and deeper exegesis – but hopefully this scratches the surface of the subject, and opens up additional conversation.
But even for the non-believer, one’s body is wired for self-preservation. And if nature is all that exists, logically one has no basis to “backtalk against one’s DNA,” which has written self-preservation into the body. From either a biblical or non-biblical perspective, self-preservation is an intrinsic “good.” Why should preppers then be castigated?
One final – and extremely telling – point about “selfish preppers.” The woman who wrote this disparagingly of preppers was a government worker. This means she makes a good living off of private sector people such as myself. As a matter of fact, I cannot currently make adequate preparations for my family and I because I have to provide a “princessly” salary and retirement package for her (the average government worker may make a third more in salary than a private sector worker, and retires much, much earlier). But here is the kicker: If there is a disaster – it will mostly likely brought about by yet another miscalculation by the self-proclaimed “best and brightest,” (think Vietnam, the internet bubble, Long Term Capital Management, Jon Corzine, the housing bust, etc.). Do you know where these “important” people will go? To continuity of government shelters! In other words, if there is a miscalculation, and a nuclear war starts, or an EMP or biological attack starts, they are all set to retreat to specially built giant, lavishly equipped caverns – while you and I fend for ourselves, due to a mess of their creation! Any word from our “preppers are selfish” commentariat on that? Why not?. If nothing else in this article sinks home to you, this should make crystal clear the hypocrisy behind the prepper criticism. The truth is, just as we see with today’s cronyism in high places, as George Orwell so aptly noted, “In the socialist workers’ paradise, we’ll all be equal… only some of us (usually them!) will be ‘more equal’ than the others.” Just ask Nancy Pelosi why her Congress exempted themselves, their cronies and their districts from ObamaCare if you don’t believe that.
In sum, I prepare the same reason my all my forebears did each fall: I don’t know what the winter (of this this case, the future) will bring. While for believers, God has promised to be with us and sustain us, as the old saying goes, we can’t ask God to direct our steps if we are unwilling to move our feet. I trust, and my feet move.
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There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of your valuable time to spend it here at The Prepared Ninja. There are many sites that I have spent time and found some useful information but when considering the time spent to useful information found ratio, it leaves something to be desired. Other sites where I have spent time yield a gold mine of information in short periods of time which is what I would like to share with you all today.
The two places I consistently get my modern survival/self-reliance inspiration and information from are:
The Survival Podcast – Jack Spirko is the voice of this daily podcast that is, “Helping you live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don’t.” There is not an episode that I can recall that I did not get something of benefit from it. Jack is also the king of guest interviews and will have just about every subject matter expert on just about every subject in his archives. If for some reason you don’t find the interview you are looking for, let Jack know and he will most likely make every reasonable effort to make the interview happen. As an added bonus, I love the fact that TSP is a podcast which allows me to listen to it while I am in the car. Since I travel a fair amount for work, I can listen to a good amount of modern survival info while I drive.
The Survivalist Blog – MD Creekmore is the keeper of The Survivalist Blog and rolls out some outstanding new content on a regular basis as well as maintaining an archive of over 3,000 survival and self-reliance related articles. My favorite piece of content that I look forward to every week from MD though is the weekly feature, “What Did You Do To Prep This Week?” where MD outlines his weekly preparedness activities for the week and in turn his readers respond with their prepping efforts and usually a healthy discussion ensues.
Both of these resources are outstanding and if there were only two survival/self-reliance communities that I could be a part of it would be The Survival Podcast and The Survivalist Blog.
Some other resources that are extremely valuable that I subscribe to and use on a regular basis include:
The Survival Mom – Lisa Bedford AKA The Survival Mom has a website that is overflowing with information and resources that can help you, your family, loved ones, friends, and community members get through tough times such as natural disasters, economic collapse, or even how to live a simpler life through practicing basic skills. The Survival Mom also offers free online classes and webinars on a regular basis which are a great value that can be enjoyed by anyone without cost.
Modern Survival Online – Run by Rourke, MSO is focused on survival, self-reliance, preparedness, firearms, and thoughts on the world of today. Rourke has a fairly extensive database of downloadable resources ranging from gardening to terrorism and everything in between. If you enjoy writing, make sure to check out Modern Survival Online’s guest writing contest while you are on the site. Another great opportunity that exists on MSO is the list of every post that has ever been published on the site which without having tried, I would have to guess would take just about an entire day to completely digest it all.
SHTF Plan – Mac Slavo runs a great ship over at SHTF Plan. While there is some great information about survival, what I rely on this site for is information about the economy and government operations that you can’t find anywhere else. The SHTF community is also very interactive which allows for its readers to not only benefit from the published content but also from the opportunity to converse with each other in the comments section.
Hopefully you are already benefitting from some, if not all, of these resources but if you are not I would encourage you to take a look at them. One or more of these websites may prove to be a valuable asset in assisting you in preparing for difficult times.
Do you have a favorite prepping resource that I didn’t mention? Mention it in the comments section below!