Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category

I have a new favorite show, Doomsday Preppers from the national Geographic Channel.  Thanks to Time Warner Cable’s On-Demand channel, I was able to view the February 7th episode in advance this morning.  I am not sure if this is the first episode of the series or not, but I did see a that is does not strictly focus on the impending doom of the world on December 21st of this year.  The three groups profiled today had a variety of scenarios that they are preparing for outside of those pesky Mayans end of their calendar.  I think the only rival to the mis-perceived end of days was the new millennium and the running out of years available in certain computer operating systems.

The three groups that were profiled today were based on a variety of scenarios, all of which I do believe may have some merit to them.  While I may not go all-in with the total consumption of these folks lives that their beliefs hold, I really do think they have some serious concerns they are addressing.  Also, considering two of the three profiled were from Texas I really have to wonder what is in the water down there.

The first group had no particular reason for the world ending and the preparations they were making.  The only thing I could honestly come up with as a catalyst was the leaders unresolved issues from his service in Vietnam as well as the paranoia of a few more recent military veterans that are part of the group.  I have to give credit to this group for their overall state of preparation; they are currently self-sufficient on food and water with the ability to continuously stockpile food.  They are currently on the power grid, but have alternative means in place, which they regularly test, should that particular critical infrastructure fail.  Their compound in made out of nine, 40 foot shipping containers with limited, controlled, entrances and exits, from the top level they have up to 1000 yards of clear field of fire.  Yes, they do regular range and target practice.  They have trained their animals to move from their pens to vehicles that they can have packed and ready to “bug-out” within an hour.  They have regular and surprise drills to practice moving to their secret alternate location.  They scored very well on Natgeo’s preparedness categories which are reveiewed by a professional consulting company.

The second profile was of a botanist who lives in LA and is afraid of what may happen when the big earthquake happens in SOCAL.  He is a proud owner of a homemade bugout bag, practices scavenging and is honestly an expert in living off the land in the urban environment.  This guy has a pretty realistic point of view to me as far as preparedness after the “big one” goes, but he was the only one profiled that did not demonstrate any means of protecting himself outside of continuously moving.  That was his low score on the Natgeo scale as well.

Profile number three brought us back to Texas; this time in Houston.  A twenty-something female with severe paranoia of America running out of oil and the ensuing chaos that would result.  Again, another scenario that may hold some serious merit, if our girls methodology is a bit misguided.  She had the lowest scores of all three groups, my belief for that is more that she was operating more from and irrational fear as opposed to any particular skills or background in survival.

Now, all the funny stuff about paranoia and irrational fears aside, there were some really valid points brought up about preparedness and probably deserve much more discourse than I could ever hope to provide here.  Some of the things that everyone should take into consideration are: the inability of most folks to sustain their own food supply or clean water; there is only so much pre-packaged sustenance available and chances are getting any after a catastrophe would depend upon you getting to it first and being able to secure it from someone who wants it more than you do.  The government is only going to be able to provide so much post-disaster, YOU are the real first responder in any emergency, anything the government brings to the plate will probably be late and not sustainable indefinitely.

Preparedness is an individual responsibility and thanks to the media and sensationalizing of certain events, often gets a bad rap.  The truth of the matter is, there really is nothing wrong with learning how to take care of yourself and your family.  Growing your own food, living off of what you can scavenge, making your own fuel or home energy and even weapons safety have become both lost arts and skills viewed with skepticism by the general public.  There have been too many crimes perpetrated by “survivalists” over the last 20 years and the availability of consumables has allowed the average American to achieve a false sense of well-being and that there will never be a lacking in any critical need.  Sadly, this is just not the case.  Look for a series of future articles on basics of preparedness, not survivalist doctrine, but some good common-sense information that can help in any emergency.