I had planned on posting this before the election but it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s time we talk about preparedness. We’re at the end of yet another contentious election cycle and I really don’t think this one is any more or less contentious than any other honestly. Does anyone remember Bush/Gore? The political system is broken and designed to fuck you over. It doesn’t matter who you’re voting for, they don’t care about you.
“But wait my guy…..” STOP
They’ll say anything it takes to get in or get reelected. It’s two wings on the same bird. They only care about getting and retaining power at the expense of our liberties. There are two systems one for the haves and one for the have nots and guess which group you’re a part of.
This isn’t a political post though, so enough about that, it’s just the springboard into the topic. Being prepared.
The election got me thinking about it because the talking heads were positing that there could be some level of civil unrest surrounding the election, I suppose they mean more than what we’ve already been seeing but I digress. Perhaps what they mean is more violent unrest from extremists on both sides of the spectrum. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that there hasn’t been any unrest. What we did have was dancing in the streets, so go figure but lets not take our eyes off the ball here.
Now if you really want to delve into this topic there are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to preparedness, survivalism and whatnot. That’s not what this is. This is just something to think about that should be, I would hope, common sense.
If you were the person running around earlier this year because you ran out of toilet paper, or hand soap or laundry detergent then this is aimed directly at you. That wasn’t a supply chain issue or a hording issue that was you being unprepared. “Wait, my fault?” you may retort incredulously. Yes you, your fault, own it. We just expect that we can have whatever we want, whenever we want it, it’s a cultural issue really but that’s a whole different conversation.
Society exists by in large because we all believe in it, much the same as with our currency. Again that’s another conversation for another time maybe. The point being that society exists on the edge of a razor and a big enough jolt sends things off course and out of balance. You can see this every time there’s a major disaster, things break down and people are generally left to their own devices. Look at what happened with Katrina. The structure breaks down, it’s inevitable and people are gonna people.
I may be rambling a bit but bare with me, this is how stream of consciousness writing works. Trust me we’re going to get there, it’s all related. The takeaway so far, you are the one who’s responsible for you and your family, nobody else.
Do you have a bug out bag? Are all of your important papers in one spot and easily accessible? Do you have at least 1000 bucks cash on hand? Do have extra water stored? Do you have extra food in your pantry or even in your fridge?
That last one may seem stupid but how many of you reading this are single dudes who spend the majority of the time eating out? Grab a coffee and bagel in the morning, order out for lunch, and stop on your way home from work and grab a beer and some food. What happens when you can’t go out? Does your fridge have a 6 pack of beer, a bottle of ketchup and a moldy onion? Stop it, you’re a fucking adult and this isn’t a college frat.
I’ve been doing food and water storage for years. When you watch people do the mad rush to the grocery store every time there’s even a hint of a winter storm you just have to shake your head. What do they grab? Milk, bread and eggs…..every single time. I mean what the fuck, is everybody going to make French toast? Those are staples in most houses, how do you not have that all the time? So watching this as I got older and I moved into my own place I started buying extra. It just makes sense.
When I got a bigger place I put away a little more. I’m not talking about a years worth of food but a month or two at least and if anyone ate actual portion sizes it probably would be more than a couple of months worth. The more you can store the better. If you have six months worth of food and you lose your job, it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Water, same thing. A person needs a gallon of water per day. That covers drinking, washing up, etc. I keep about 40 gallons of water on hand at all times. I recycled a ton of Arizona Iced Tea bottles for that purpose. I no longer drink Arizona Tea because of the massive amounts of sugar but again, I digress. During the year I turn that water over using it to water plants, fill the birdbath, whatever. Last year I got a notice from the water company, they found e. coli in the water. It was going to take some time to flush the system and resample. A process that could take a few days and that sucks, but hey, I have 40 gallons of water I could use for basic necessities you know like cooking and brushing my teeth.
I will admit that prior to covid I hadn’t thought too much about having extra paper goods on hand. I have a few extra rolls of toilet paper and paper towels in the bug out stuff but that was it. Now I keep double of everything. It’s not like it goes bad. I’m not talking about keeping 1000 rolls of TP but when you open a new bundle, and you should be buying the big bundles, you go out and pick up another one.
In addition to a bug out bag I also keep two Rubbermaid bins full of supplies. Those are more like end of the world type stuff and maybe a bit overboard but I have them nonetheless. A bug out bag should have the basics, a couple a pairs of socks and underwear, a shirt or two and a pair of jeans. I also keep a poncho, a canteen, some paracord, a compass, knife and matches.
The bins contain a variety of essentials, TP, soap, hand towels, mess kit, utensils, rope, matches, alcohol, peroxide, ibuprofen, sunscreen, toothpaste, pencils, a notebook, like real walking dead shit. Again that maybe more extreme but still better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.
Firearms are obviously a personal preference. I have guns and enjoy going to the range now and again. It’s damn expensive to shoot these days. If you are going to keep guns in the house then you should know how to use them and be proficient with them. If you have a family then you should also have worked out some kind of evacuation plan. Where to meet in case of an emergency, quickest ways out of the house, that sort of stuff.
Look all of this stuff is just insurance. It’s no different than having insurance on your car or house. You never want to have to use it but if you ever need it you’ll be glad you have it.
Take a few minutes and think about where you live. What sort of potential “disasters” might you expect? If you’re in the Northeast you’re definitely looking at snow, ice, thunderstorms and potentially hurricanes. If you catch a good Nor’easter and it drops 2 feet of snow are they going to be plowing your street or are you going to be stuck at home for 3 or 4 days?
For those of you in the gulf coast, Florida and Carolinas this should be old hat. If you’re not leaving when the storm is coming you sure as shit better plan on being self-sufficient. Food, water and if you’re smart, a generator and chainsaw.
In the West you’ve got wildfires and earthquakes, in the Central and South areas, tornadoes and thunderstorms. North and Central just a fuck ton of snow, jesus why the hell do you even live there? 6-9 months of winter? Hard pass. We haven’t even talked about flooding. There are relatively few places that are untouched by some sort natural phenomenon that can disrupt daily living. Now to be sure those instances may be few and far between but they do happen and when they do are you going to be prepared?