Why Prepare for a Disaster

I am a firm believer in emergency preparation. It’s an idea that I’ve been exposed to a good deal since I was a kid. My church is big on self-reliance and helping others–and teaching others to help themselves. My parents kept boxes of freeze-dried emergency food storage in the garage. As a college student, I had a tendency to collect food, unlike my roommates who would wait till their cupboards were bare before shopping again. This has always been nice any time I’ve been too sick to go to the grocery store. It was especially nice when I experienced my first ice storm, completely alone,  trapped inside my apartment for a week.

Two months ago Super Storm Sandy on the U.S. East Coast was a devastating event for those who ignored warnings to evacuate and stayed home to weather the storm without the supplies they needed.

In this clip you get a picture of the horrible conditions that some of the storm victims had to face in the aftermath. In the end of the clip, a woman being interviewed complains that the government wasn’t doing enough for them. It’s a sad video. It’s sad to imagine what those people went through. But I think this was a sad circumstance that could have been different. The storm could not be avoided, but leaving oneself in such a vulnerable condition is avoidable.

I believe that if we are truly nourishing ourselves in a holistic sense, then we are going to do our best to take care of ourselves. This requires a degree of self-reliance, rather than treating the government as a parental figure and expecting it to take care of you. But even if you do want your government to take care of you, I can promise you that you will not get everything you need from them in a wide-scale disaster. They are not that organized, they may not have the funds for or want to spend all their funds on your particular disaster, and even if they did have everything you could possibly need, it’s virtually impossible to get everyone everything they need right away. So what are you going to do in the meantime?

Personally, I would want to be as comfortable as possible. I would want myself and my family to be eating the most nourishing foods possible, rather than waiting for a ration of something questionable. I would want to be warm and safe. I would want to have plenty of clean drinking water. I would want a way to deal with bathroom issues if the toilets aren’t working. I would want to have toilet paper!!

Most people think that a disaster is never going to come to them. I don’t blame them. I’m 33 and the worst emergency I’ve experienced was an ice storm, and I didn’t even lose power or water (although I could have). But you know what? I live in an area were I am surrounded by six large volcanoes, one of which is somewhat active. A major earthquake is expected to come sometime soon (it could be tomorrow, it could be 10, 20 years–who knows??). It feels like it will never happen…but what if it does?

One of the first steps toward emergency preparedness is recognizing what the disaster potential for your area is. What are potential emergencies for your family? Blizzards? Power outages? Flood? Water contamination? Job loss?

So where do you start? I will write more posts on the how’s of emergency preparation, and you can find loads of info on the Internet. But just for starters, get some water storage, then slowly stock up on non-perishable food items. Get a little extra of the foods you eat, and then rotate. Or just buy a box of freeze-dried meals. No need to be perfect about it–any food is better than no food. Also make sure you have a way to stay warm if the power goes out. Warmth, water and food are things you should never be without and are the basics of your emergency preparation.

Have you ever experienced an emergency or a situation where you went without food, water, shelter, warmth, power, income, etc? What did you learn?


2 thoughts on “Why Prepare for a Disaster

  1. We just recently started preparing (as you know) but I feel that we have at least enough food and water for the mean time. And we need to work on a heating device. But I’m glad you mentioned job loss. That’s a big reason we want to stick to budgeting. We want to make sure that we are financially secure, too, by building up a nice savings just in case.
    Though, I am working on collecting more stuff. And I’m excited to start making lots of soup to can in my pressure canner!! Yay!
    Great post

    1. We need to work on a heat source, too. We really tried to find a house with a wood stove or at least a real fireplace but no luck. You guys could get a fireplace insert and stock up on wood. At the moment we have lots of warm blankets and warm clothes, but I imagine it would be pretty sucky to lose our power in the winter with just that.

      By the way, I’m excited about your pressure cooker!

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