Given the name of this website and the podcast, it’s fairly obvious that I am a proponent of being prepared. While I derived this opinion from decades of personal experience, looking at the major disasters over the past few years should make it obvious, to even the casual observer, that individual preparedness is the key to making it through a disaster or crisis event. Individual preparedness can also lead to community preparedness, where we could all gain from being a country of self reliant people.
When you’re prepared, not only do you have the things that your family will need, but you also create opportunities and options for yourself. Conversely, if you have no preparations, then you leave yourself no choice but to make the same decisions that everyone else has to make. By not having the foresight to store things like food, water and fuel, you create the situation where in order to obtain these things during a disaster, you will need to walk long distances and stand in line for hours at a time, just to obtain a small amount of goods.
When the option is between being prepared and not having to venture out in search of basic supplies and staying home to take care of my family, including protecting them from the criminal element, being prepared is the easy choice to make.
Let’s take a look at some of the headlines that are coming out of the effected area ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
While the leaders of New York State and New York point fingers, millions of people are without electricity when the nighttime temperatures are getting down to near freezing.
[From East Coast power recovery slows, 3.5 million still in dark – ]
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter Thursday to the CEOs of state power companies, saying he would “take appropriate action” if utilities fail their duties.
The gas shortage is growing and people are growing impatient waiting for someone to help them. The panic is growing so bad that they are going to tap into the Strategic Reserves to provide fuel. The SR is for military purposes, so that the military always has the oil needed to defend the country; it should never be used for anything else. The issue is the inability to get fuel to the people due to all the debris in the roads and the lack of electricity, not a lack of fuel to deliver. If regular fuel trucks can’t get into the area, what makes anyone think that opening up the SR is going to make this magically happen?
[From Anger grows over fuel shortage in storm-hit Northeast – ]
Enlarge Photo Reuters/REUTERS – A sign asking for help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is seen in the BroadChannel section of the Queens borough of New York November 2, 2012. Four days after superstorm Sandy smashed into the U.S. Northeast, rescuers on Friday were still discovering the extent of the death and devastation in New York and the New Jersey shore, and anger mounted over gasoline shortages, power outages and waits for relief supplies. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
[From New York fuel “panic” grows even as ports open, reserves tapped – ]
A third day of gasoline “panic buying” among storm-stricken New York area motorists prompted authorities on Friday to tap strategic oil reserves and waive shipping regulations even as limited deliveries resumed in the battered region.
A couple of other interesting points in the story above. One, is all the people that are demanding to be taken care of by the state, and the other is all the anger at the rationing that is taking place. Rationing is what happens so that what little is available can be spread around to as many people as possible.
I don’t know about you, but I would be ashamed of myself if I wasn’t able to take care of myself and family. It’s one thing to have everything you own destroyed in a flood or fire and need assistance, but these people are sitting in their homes whining because there’s no one there to wipe their nose. If you’re going to rely on a government that hasn’t prepared for the event, don’t go crying because they suddenly can’t take care of you.
It’s not just major disasters where preparedness comes in handy. Even what is expected to be a short term evacuation from a train derailment can turn into a major inconvenience. Residents that were evacuate from the effected area have already been away from their homes for three days and it’s expected that it will be several more days before they can return.
[From In Kentucky, evacuation enters third day after derailment, fire – ]
Hundreds of residents outside Louisville, Kentucky, were kept from their homes for a third day on Friday as authorities allowed a chemical fire triggered by a train derailment to burn itself out, local emergency officials said.
These are only a few examples of why it’s better to take some time and spend some money to get prepared. Sooner or later, you will find yourself in the midst of a disaster or other life event where having preparations will be useful; it’s a part of life. Yet, you can take action now to be self reliant and not have to worry who’s going to take care of you; to continue to provide for your family, as they look to you to do.
You can find a lot of preparedness information on this site, as well as many other good sites on the Internet. It’s never to late to start getting prepared, and it’s better to start sooner than later.