Monday, November 23, 2009

Thinking...

In the past few weeks, I have spent more and more time thinking about our preps. (I still despise that term but nothing else really fits) Why? I can't name just one reason.

Our current economy scares me. While I know and hear of more and more people losing their jobs or being layed off, I hear our government tell us that employment is on the rise. Unfortunately, these figures are highly exaddurated or even totally made up. It's hard to believe them at all when the give you employment figures for areas or districts that don't even exist. They know how bad it is, they just won't admit it.

I get scared to death when I think about how long I have been layed off. I have NEVER seen or heard of it being this bad in my lifetime. What if I'm not back to work in the middle of January, my unemployment runs out, and I don't qualify for another extension? Sure, there are jobs out there somewhere, but the payscale is rediculous. I often wonder how anyone survives on $10 an hour. I've seen warehouse jobs or physical labor that pays $8. In my eyes, thats slavery. Taking a $10 an hour job would leave me with LESS than I currently bring home in unemployment benefits by roughly $60 a week, how could we survive on that? Will I have to work two jobs and give up everything we do here just to get by? Yes folks, I'm scared.

What if we can't pay the electric bill and it gets shut off? What about the gas? Phone? ...all possible. Sure, no one wants to live without the slightest minimal electric gadget or without ready hot water or heat at the touch of a thermostat, but I want to be sure we can make it IF one of these things were to happen with little to no interruption in our daily lives.

Now I've said many, many times in this blog that I an not one to worry about any of the "SHTF" scenerio's that many people talk about, but that doesn't mean it doesn't cross my mind from time to time. Am I worried about an outright attack on our town? Of course not. But taking out power plants has been a threat since the cold war era, and it's no different now with our threats of terrorism. With everyone in this nation being so reliant on electricity, losing it for an extended period of time would cause panic everywhere affected. Not just no tv or video games, but your food would spoil, you would have no heat, no lights, no a/c, no communication, nothing. Imagine NYC or L.A. without power for a month, it would be total chaos. (Yes I know, none of us live there, but it was just an example.) There's also always been a threat of nuclear attack, but I don't think about that at all, there really is no point. If one would ever hit nearby, we're gone, plain and simple. No matter how much you prep, no matter how many iodine capsules you swallow, it's not gonna be Mad Max, and I'm not going to run Bartertown. (though the car would be pretty fun to have lol)

I'm sure that what I am about to say, I have said many times over and over since I started this little blog. I think more of acts of nature far more than I think about all the things others do. This is Ohio. We aren't in earthquake flood, or tornado/hurricane territory, but once again, thats not saying it can't ever happen. I remember a few VERY small earthquakes, and a handfull of tornado touchdowns here in my life., though they are very very rare. Flooding isn't a big issue from any nearby rivers, not to mention our county is a higher elevation. (it was named SUMMIT for a reason!) But it is possible that our basement can flood with heavy rain. We are 100 yards downhill from the main road, and with the way the road falls, we get more water down our drive than the ditch beside our house. (gotta love county engineers) Twice since we have been here, our basement has flooded. Granted, it was only an inch or 2 of water, but still enough to cause damage. A stronger than normal storm could easily do more. Also, our septic system is behind the house where the yard levels out. It would be easy for a heavy storm to send water down the drive, past the house, and flood out the system, backing it up into the house.

These are the kinds of things I think of when I look at our preps. Rainstorms, lightning,ice, snow, wind, and ice. We've had 3+ foot snowdrifts across the driveway. We've had ice storms that take down tree's and powerlines. We've had strong winds to the same. (see post sept16th 2008) We had a 2 day outage and never skipped a beat thanks to things we had on hand.

Once again, as I always stress, I don't "prep" for WW3. I have no plans on living in a basement bunker eating MRE's and clutching an AR15 waiting for the "enemy" to come. We try to use a little more common sense, and base it all on things we know. We stock nothing we don't use on a daily basis other than camping, fishing, and hunting gear. We use what we store, and we store what we use. It's pretty simple, just the things we need to get by.

For anyone reading this who has no idea what I am talking about, think about this: You are awakened by a loud storm and turn around to check your clock, the screen is black, your power is out. There are trees down across your drive and/or the road. Your phone is out too. You can't get out, no one can get in. What are you going to do? What if this turns from a simple hour or two that we've all dealt with to a tri-state outage like NY, Pa, and NE Ohio had several years ago? What if it lasts a few days? A few weeks?

I've asked this question to many people, and though general answers vary, most say that they would find a way to leave and head to a friend or family member that wasn't affected. OK....How far away are these people? You have 1/4 tank of gas. Your ATM card is worthless, and since gas pumps are all electric and digital, you can't GET gas. Yes, you're stuck. Are you going to be able to survive?

This is the part that sometimes makes me shake my head, and other times want to laugh. I know people that barely have enough food to last them two days. I know people that don't have such simple things as a flashlight or small first aid kit. Some of the people that HAVE some food have nothing but frozen meals or canned soup. Well, you dont have an oven or microwave, and you never thought of a hand crank canopener,oops. It amazes me sometimes how so many people have so little, if not nothing, to get them through even the smallest emergency situation.

Many of the people we talk to about all of this think we're crazy, stupid, or just plain paranoid. Let them think what they want. I've made it through things in the past just fine. Ice storms, power outages, snowstorms, been there-done that. I can in no way compare myself to someone who has dealt with tornado's, earthquakes, flooding, or hurricanes. I commend those who live in the areas prone to such things and prepare for them in the same way I prepare for things I am fimilar with. I can't imagine boarding up my house for a pending hurricane any more than those people can imagine shoveling snow for 2 hours just to get out of the driveway. We all prepare for things we know and have dealt with.

I'm writing this long post today for a few reasong. One is being able to express my view and opinions on preparadness. ( it IS my blog lol), and two being to hopefully make even just one person reading this to think and prepare themselves. I don't want anyone to think they immediately need to run out and buy a years worth of groceries, buy out the local army surplus store, and get a generator and 100 gallons of gas, but I want people to at least think about what they would do in an emergency BEFORE it happens, not during or after.

I'll end this much-longer-than-I-intended post with just a few simple questions:
Are you prepared?
Why not?
What's stopping you?

Chris has left the building...err bunker lol

4 comments:

Kymber said...

Chris - thank you so much for posting a comment on Scarecrow's guest-post at Stealth Survival...by your doing so has lead me to your blog! i am always on the look-out for new blogs that i can learn from and yours seems to be full!

thank you again...i am very much looking forward to going through all of your archives!!!

and this may sound trite or insincere (and i promise that it is not!) - thanks for simply being here for me to learn from! it's people like you who can help change the world!

Happy Days said...

No, we are not prepared. We do have a fairly good size generator...but only 15 gallons of gasoline. And as for food, probably enough canned food for a week. We do have a manual can opener. It's the only one we do have. And we don't have a basement - just a 3 car garage. Guess we could pull one out, but If the storm is really bad, it could blow the door off - then we'd have a mess. You do have a good point. It never hurts to be prepared....debbie

TheMartianChick said...

Good topic! I believe that my family is about as prepared as we can reasonably be at this time. Preparedness is a process, not a destination. We don't prep for the end of the world, we prep for all of the craziness that is bound to happen...storms, job loss, illness, etc...We like knowing that when stuff happens that we are still going to be comfortable, eating the foods that we want to eat and doing the things that we like to do.

I wish that more people would prepare...Last winter, my husband was reduced to a 32 hour work week. To compensate, we just didn't buy groceries very often. We didn't have to! We cooked from our pantry and never lacked for anything. Any night of the week we had our choice of chicken, 2 kinds of fish, turkey, beef, etc...Our bills still got paid and the kids were able to stay in college, uninterrupted.

Keep spreading the word! More people need to hear this message.

Angie said...

Kudos to you, Chris! Like TheMartianChick said, "Keep spreading the word! More people need to hear this message"
I too get made fun of for my "preps". Although I think most people just give me the-deer-in-the-headlights-look! I don't care, I know what I am doing and why!
Last year my husband was temporarily unemployed and it was such a relief that we were already living the way we were! As you know those checks are not like the ones from a job!
In the past two years, his income has decreased by about half. I became a stay at home mom before that. And here I still am! It certainly is not because of a high income! It is through being frugal and wise with our money! And of course the preps. We estimate that we have lived on less than $20K this year. So those $10/hr jobs are doable! It takes work, but it CAN be done if you are determined and wise with your spending!
I hope that a decent job comes your way soon. Unfortunately, I think Ohio has a long way to go before it bounces back.

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