I would like to share this with you. This is the first blog post I ever did. I have deleted the original blog and I thought, not only that you would all enjoy it, but that it should be 'saved in cyberland'. Enjoy!
This blog was originally written and posted Thursday, May 29, 2008
A major newspaper recently called it “The New Survivalism”. I call it common sense. We have all heard the horror stories about Hurricane Katrina. We know that New Orleans (just one effected town) may never fully recover from that terrible disaster. There are even towns in that area that simply don’t exist anymore. There are hundreds, most likely thousands, of stories about natural disasters in which things could have been changed by simply being prepared, physically, for the disaster.
Here’s a statistic for you (and I hate statistics, but this one is worth saying). Only seven percent of Americans are prepared, even for a small, local emergency situation, let alone a major one. I don’t know the percentage for the entire planet but you can bet that it’s less than five percent. I can tell you right now that there are two main reasons that folks aren't prepared for emergency situations. Number One: The wrongful thinking that ‘It’ll never happen to me’ and Number Two: ‘I don’t have the money to buy an emergency survival kit’. Let’s look at these one at a time.
Number One: I’m willing to bet that, with most major disasters, all involved didn’t even make it to the ‘It won’t happen to me’ phase. If you were to ask, most of them probably never even thought about it. We have become a complacent society with the thought somewhere in the back of our minds that, if it ever does happen, the government will help us or that we and our neighbors will stick together and get through it. Please, please, please don’t let that be the case. Our government is even less ready than we are to handle any large scale disaster situation. When it comes to our neighbors, there are a few of us out there that truly care for others and would help out but the majority will be worrying only about their own families. Keep in mind; I’m talking about the first three to five days here. After that, help will be showing up from several different sources.
Number Two: Money is important, yes, but isn’t your life, the lives of your family members, or even the lives of your pets, much more important? You don’t have to buy a kit. A kit can be put together over a period of time, one item at a time. Five to seven dollars (one less lottery ticket purchase or one less Latte) can get you a five gallon water container (two is a good idea), a package of water purification tablets, one emergency food bar (get at least one of the 3600 calorie size for each family member plus one extra), a flashlight, a box of emergency candles, a five gallon bucket ‘toilet’ (don’t forget the extra package of toilet paper), a small shovel, a tube tent or emergency blanket/sleeping bag (again, one for each family member plus one extra), a small first aide kit, an extra bag of pet food, a small water bowl for your animal, a cheap fanny pack and many other small items that all add up to a nice sense of security. Believe me, knowing you’ll be prepared for a few days while making other arrangements is a major load off your back.
Now, there are several other things we need to go over before concluding here. Planning is the most important. If and when something does happen, there is no guarantee that your family is going to all be together. Each person should know what to do and where to go to meet. You should have a route planned that may be less congested. Pick each place you frequent, the mall, school, work, the grocery store, the library, and friends’ homes, and choose a route to home or to where ever you decide to meet. You also may want to each have a list of phone numbers that are important. I keep a small list in my wallet because I don’t remember numbers. All I do is push a button on my cell phone.
Next, you need to have a route planned to get to other places from your own home or chosen meeting place. Pick several places where you either will be comfortable or where ‘help’ may find you. Comfort places might include a relative’s home in another town or maybe a camping place you've been before. Places to find help might include your local YMCA or high school or even a local large event center. Choose your route using ways that there will be fewer people or traffic- side streets, back yards, back roads or even logging roads, the less congestion, the less stress.
You also need to think about personal and mental comfort zones. Think about it, how well will Mom and Dad be able ‘take charge’ if Baby is screaming for Teddy Bear or if Tweener is whining for his baseball mitt or if Teenager is moaning for her MP3 player? You should choose one ‘comfort item’ for each member of the family. It’s also a good idea to have a coloring book and crayons, a note pad and pen/pencil, a book or two and a game you can all play, like cards, travel Monopoly, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game travel edition/card game or something similar.
The last thing and maybe one of the most important things is preparing your confidence levels as best as you can. Mentally, it is hard to be truly fully prepared for something major and unexpected. Humans, however, are survivors. We can survive anything from out of gas to global pole reversal because we can think and reason (and because we have opposable thumbs). We can live in trees or underground. We can make tools. We can eat almost anything. I know earthworms are gross but if you’re starving they look just like little, squirming hot dogs. We will be around even after the planet itself is destroyed.
Copyright 2008 Noel Napolitan of Survival Gear Central, Denver, Colorado
You may copy and use this article as long as the content remains unchanged and there is never a fee or charge of any kind for reading, saving or printing it. That said, please, share this with anyone you know who may be unprepared. Of course I would love you to visit my websites; however, I share this info to wake people up and to hopefully save lives.
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