|My great-grandmother was the first "prepper" I had ever met. She|
understood old-fashioned preservation techniques, she canned
regularly and raised chickens for her own food.
Actually, this is nothing new since many of us grew up with family members who "prepped" for the year with canned home-grown vegetables and fruit jams as well as those who hunted for sustenance.
These days, prepping has become a conscious effort to use the "preparation" for future needs that might result from something gone wrong in society.
We have all seen the ideas for prepping stem from concern about solar flares, satellite destruction, economic collapse and so on. However, I developed an URGE to begin some minor prepping after living through Hurricane Ike destroying our house and our neighborhood, encountering looters in our own neighborhood, and being in a mandatory evacuation zone that resulted in police barricades blockading the entrances/exits to our neighborhood for an extended period of time.
Several of us "hunkered down" for numerous reasons. We were a family that choose to stay behind. If we hadn't made that decision, we would have certainly lost EVERYTHING in our house to the continual rains that came through the roof that had been blown away between the hurricane and a twister. Then, had we not been there, the people looting houses in the neighborhoods would probably have hit our house as well.
Yes, we took a chance, but after living along the Gulf Coast region our entire lives, we were not accustomed to be runners...and the one year we did abide by Houston's idea to flee, we were stuck in devastating road conditions for nearly 13 hours that caused more loss of life than the storm itself caused. Never again.
In dire circumstances, independent judgment calls must be made. We learned, the hard way, that the government might be well-meaning, but they are not always right. With a high level of preparation and determination, a person or family can make their choices and live by them.
During the storm that Houston saw complete government failure during evacuation, we saw lawlessness in droves...we literally lived through life and death situations while being trapped on the road. Of course, me and my two daughters were EACH carrying guns, such as a Glock, we were ready to confront any criminal element that wanted to rob us, especially since we were towing a 30 foot RV that looked enticing to people who did NOT prepare for disaster along the road.
|Houston's standstill roads during evacuations gone wrong.|
People were traveling with pets and the Texas heat made untold numbers of people's vehicles overheat, so people were finding their pets dying. The only solution at this time, for many people, was to leave their pet's body along the roadside. My girls and I witnessed a man being hit on the head with a crowbar and with his skull cracked, with blood running down his face, he walked in circles in a parking lot, not knowing who he was or what had happened...we could not get one officer to come help because they would have faced insurmountable odds with stranded, furious, unprepared, desperate people. This is when you are thankful that you know a little about "prepping."
STAY OUT OF SIGHT.
During the time we are stranded, my daughters were not even allowed to hold a water bottle above the truck window line. The RV door remained locked and we made trips to the RV trailing the truck only during a dire emergency, with a gun in hand. One thing is for sure, we did not want to become a rolling "outhouse" for all those around us who felt entitled to use our RV for their personal use. Sorry, but that is not an option.
Truly, during moments like these, you MUST think of you and your family. I could have embraced a generous spirit and began to hand out water bottles, but I also understood that I had two teenage daughters who would need clean water over the next few days...which the water ran out fast. After a trip that normally would take two hours ended up taking over ten hours because of the panic and ill-planned city evacuation, I would be extremely thankful that my "prepping" instincts helped me protect my daughters. We had enough water left for us to not become dehydrated. Water...it definitely runs out faster than anyone can imagine.
As for today's preparations...I am thankful, our land has a Spring-Fed lake that could be a source of water for us, in an emergency.
Over the past year I have taken my prepping efforts up a notch. Of course, we have a flock of chickens that provide plenty of eggs that could be used to provide nutrition, but I have also begun to store extra amounts of rice, tuna fish, pasta, matches, seeds, packets of Ramon noodles for the carbs and sodium, popcorn, dry beans and so on. I even purchased buckets with lids from Walmart, and I really don't know how to protect the dry food other than to keep it in a cool, dry environment, and I lined the bucket with a black, thick trash bag to make sure no extra light would get inside the bucket.
And now that the news is picking up momentum with revealing the issues our society is now facing, such as domestic terrorism from foreigners and from people living in America who feel their discontent gives them a right to destroy communities...I feel it is important to be prepared to "hunker down" in a different way.
After being in a situation that was so dangerous, for many days with my girls, it became apparent that the local authorities would not be able to respond to most emergencies due to the calls being far higher in numbers than can be confronted. We need to be able to fend for ourselves.
If we were not able to go into town to get groceries because of local unrest, we need to be accountable for our own residential and personal protection, meaning we need to be well-armed, well-trained and with ample ammo at our disposal, as well as prepping with extra food on hand to last several weeks, at a minimum.
Then, we have illness and potential bio-hazards, such as Ebola that could become a serious concern for our communities. Just as Hurricane Ike prevented the trucking industry from coming into our communities for the replenishing of desperately needed fuel, groceries and such...the community basically just shut down.
Everything closed...there was no business to be had, especially since there was not electricity to run the fuel pumps and registers and lights. Everything shut down, and it took weeks to restock and to resupply. If you needed gas, too bad. If you needed water, too bad. If you needed batteries, too bad. If you were hungry...oh well...nothing within a two-hour radius is open to help you!
With Ebola, there will be additional problems for any community that is stricken with a major outbreak because no one will be eager to rush into the area to truck in goods. Also, if a major outbreak occurs in a community, we will see a lack of people wanting to go to work, so this will also contribute to areas being forced to shut down. Growing your own food would really be a great way to be self-sufficient.
And the police cannot protect a community from certain hazards; the government cannot protect a community from certain dangers; personal responsibility must be embraced. Police and government services are a great "back-up," but I know that we are often our own first line of defense for many different situations.
Regardless, I appreciate and have high regard for those who put themselves on the line for our safety and for our rescue from those who are self-serving on a criminal level.
|Looters without a Cause - Ferguson|
If we were to suddenly be in an area where such a virus began to spread, rapidly, we would need to be ready to either leave the area for an extended period of time, or since we live on acreage, we would need to be ready to "hunker down" on our property and to not leave for however long it takes to have confidence that our community is in the all-clear. For a virus such as Ebola, we can all see how this could present a problem due to the extended incubation period of 21-days for those who are exposed to the virus.
This also means that people with chronic medical conditions truly need to have extra medications on hand and to have a First-Aid kit that is extensive.
Since things are becoming iffy with our federal government lacking guts and since this administration lacks an aggressive proactive stance necessary to protect the citizens of our nation, we need to be prepared for the worst and expect the best.
I do feel better, overall, that we are living out of the city and deep in the forest. I suppose that we would have to watch for looters desperate for provisions, just as we had to do when our neighborhood was hit by the hurricane.
|Ferguson-Fit-Throwers, any excuse to steal something and feel justified!|
Since we do have surveillance on the land and we have set up certain protections, we are better off than most, but I think that we all should be alert and prepared rather than afraid and unprepared.
Having a plan is better than being taken off guard. Does anyone else have a plan to protect themselves and their family from a community issue that could require individual pro-activity?