Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I Prep

This is a picture making the rounds on Facebook and in email.  I find it both humorous and terrifying.  A friend shared it with this commentary:

"I share the concern that we have given our executive branch far too much power to declare war, take away citizen's rights and spy on us. Reagan invaded Grenada and we said nothing and every President has taken it further. None more so than when George Bush used our fear to con us into willing[ly] giv[ing] up our rights with the so called "Patriot Act."  Obama has gone even further: declaring the right to kill americans with unmanned drones with no trial, no legal evidence and no public awareness or scrutiny."

While this friend and I frequently find ourselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum, we agree that it seems that all recent U.S. Presidents have taken on the challenge to one-up their predecessor on the abuse of our Constitutional rights.  And it's gone pretty much unchallenged because we've been so preoccupied with the details of whatever current scandals are going on and topics like gun control, the real intent of Islam, abortion, and gay marriage.  We, the American people, have got so tied up in details we have completely missed the big picture.  I shudder to even consider what life will look like when our next President pulls this trick out of his sleeve and removes even more of our rights.  Sometimes I even wonder if we're approaching a point where emotions run so high between those who support the cause of the current administration and those who oppose it that it tips our nation into revolution.

Conspiracy theory much?  Maybe.  But it is something I find truly frightening to consider!

And almost as scary is the thought of what daily life might look like in a post-revolution America. While I truly hope that we can mend our differences and pull back from the brink, I think it's prudent to prepare for a very different future than the present I'm now enjoying.  Kind of that old maxim of "Prepare for the worst and then hope for the best."

I think we get a glimpse of that post-revolution style of daily living whenever there is a natural disaster.  And in complete honesty, I think Mother Nature will dish out something disruptive long before our government declares war on its own people.  Think back to Katrina and some of the other big hurricanes... the devastation that was left behind, the lives disrupted and the primitive nature of living conditions for days, weeks and even months for many people.  No one is immune to experiencing a natural disaster.  They happen everywhere and so it makes good sense to be prepared for the days following a cataclysmic event.

Just this past week, Colorado saw unprecedented rainfall.  Here are comments shared by friends living there:
"Frightening what the News is reporting about missing people.  Started in the tens, went to a hundred and now it's hundreds and hundreds.  Doesn't mean they are gone, just that families have not heard from these people.  I pray they are safe and accounted for in this statewide disaster."  Todd Kinzle, Lakewood CO
Shortly after this, he posted about a hailstorm in Denver leaving things looking like it had snowed.

Photo courtesy of 9news.com on 9/6/13

"It is really mind boggling how many things shut down in our fragile system of living and what we rely on... in town... [near] where I live (I live outside of town) there is a 'no flush' order for the city sewer system.  It goes to show you how important back up sanitation plans are... no matter where you live!"  Jodi Webster, Sterling CO
Jodi expands her comment with this:
"...the city cannot use its sewer system and schools are closed due to no water and the no flush order.  People cannot get in or out [of this part of the state] except through Nebraska, but at least we weren't hit quite like the Denver area!"
The folks there who had the foresight to have a few days worth of food on hand, some bottled water, alternate ways to keep warm and maybe a camp toilet...  I bet they are thinking themselves pretty fortunate.  And this is why, despite the poo-pooing about doomsday I get from some friends and family, I have 72-hour kits and a well stocked pantry.  It's also why:
  • We are buying a generator as soon as finances allow.
  • I'm studying solar power and hoping within the year to have enough panels in place to run [at least] some of our household appliances.
  • I garden and keep working on my skills.
  • I study wildcrafting and learn how to identify both edible and poisonous plants, insects and small animals in my area.
  • We bought a house with a wood-burning fireplace.
  • I use medicinal herbs and simple OTC remedies whenever possible.
  • We have guns and strongly support gun rights.
  • I make and use natural cleaners in the home.
  • I'm learning about chickens and thinking of adding them to our yard for eggs, meat and fertilizer.
  • We are buying cast iron cookware that could be used outdoors.
  • The grill always has a full tank of propane.
  • I'm going to get a tent, sleeping bags and a camp toilet even if we never go camping.
Have I done enough to be a full-on prepper?  No.  But I think I've done a pretty good job getting started.

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