When did you start prepping and why? (and why you should, too)
(Dr. Bones says: Each day this week we will answer a question posed to us that is also being asked of several other preparedness bloggers. We will all answer the question on the same day; be sure to go to the other sites linked at the end of today’s response to see what they have to say. Also, feel free to answer the question yourself in comments!)
Living in South Florida, we have always been what I call “2 week preppers”. That means that we always had enough supplies to cover us in the case of a temporary loss of power and support in the aftermath of a hurricane. This put us ahead of most people in this nation, who have maybe 3 days’ worth of food in their pantries, but nowhere near able to deal with any long term survival situation. Before we examined the state of the world today, we felt confident that we could withstand any storm.
About 4 or so years ago, we began to question where society is headed. We were in the midst of the Swine Flu epidemic at that time, and we discussed what would happen if a truly worldwide pandemic came to pass. This has happened many times in the past, the most recent being the “Spanish Flu” pandemic in 1918 that took 50 million lives. It became clear to us that cities were poorly prepared for so many sick and dying people, and that even basic services would cease. The grid and our crumbling infrastructure could collapse, leaving us to our own devices. Reviewing our readiness, we found ourselves lacking the ability to succeed in this scenario.
Over time, we found that a flu pandemic wouldn’t be the only circumstance that could tip society over the brink. News about solar flares, increasing nuclear capabilities of hostile nations. EMPs. economic collapse, radiation leaks from damaged power plants, civil unrest, and other possible calamities seemed to pile themselves one upon another. The inadequacy of the governmental response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina told us that we cannot be forever dependent on Big Brother to take care of us. In other words, the storm clouds began to appear on the horizon.
Which led us to ask ourselves this question: Even if we assume that the chance of each of these disasters occurring might be small, what is the chance that one of these events couldn’t possibly occur at some point in our lifetimes? Our children’s lifetimes? Not so small.
So we decided to develop new skills (and some old ones) that could help us keep it together, even if everything else fell apart. We became part of the Master Gardener program of our state, so as to learn the basics of growing food. We obtained ham radio licenses, and we began to think seriously about food storage, personal defense, and medical supplies. We switched from raising pretty tropical fish to raising tilapia as a food fish.
We decided that our focus would be to help others stay healthy in times of trouble, and so we went about meeting like-minded people and teaching them how to deal with injuries and sickness. Our goal was to make those who were responsible for the health of others a medical resource. Parents, caregivers, and members of mutual assistance groups were in need of medical knowledge; we had it, and we made it our mission to impart that knowledge whenever possible.
It has been a long road these past few years. We find ourselves bucking the conventional medical wisdom from time to time. Our seminal article on aquarium antibiotics in SurvivalBlog has led us to more and more writing on medical topics, until we finally decided to publish an entire handbook on Survival Medicine. It is our way to make some contribution to the possible survival of some that, otherwise, might be victims of a grid-down world.
What will you do to ensure the health and well-being of those you care about in a long term survival situation? Perhaps more importantly, what will you do to make a contribution to a community that is trying to meet the challenge of succeeding, even if everything else fails? Don’t allow yourself to be complacent in the face of uncertain times.
One day, you might be the end of the line when it comes to providing food, medical care, and even protection for your family. You may believe that this is a burden you cannot bear, but you CAN face these obstacles, and you can overcome them. Devote some time and effort into preparing now, and you will have invested, not only in your own future, but society’s as well.
Don’t forget to see other bloggers’ responses to this same question at the preparedness sites below: