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You’ve Got it All—Now How Do You Keep It?

 

food-storageAfter years of concerted efforts, budgeting, canning, lifting, organizing and educating, you feel reasonably confident that you finally have enough food, water, and other emergency supplies to last you one year.  But here’s the real question.  Now that you have it all, how are you going to ensure that you’ll get to use it when all heck actually does break lose?

 

I’ve posed this question to many and I’m dismayed to hear many of their responses.  

 

Some say that they will willingly share their supplies with others. Guess what? So will I, if necessary. But don’t you want to be able to decide who you will share your goods with?  Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen with any reasonable regularity.

 

Here’s why.

 

Suppose that an earthquake hits your area. (Where I live in the Wasatch Front of Utah, we’re right on a fault line and scientists say we’re due for a doozey of an earthquake. If you live in the Midwest near or in the states of Missouri, Tennessee, (comprising the Mississippi Valley) you are squarely on the New Madrid fault which is expected to have a 6.7 magnitude earthquake any time now.  So I think this is a reasonable scenario for many, if not all of our readers.)  Suppose that your home was somehow miraculously spared any severe damage to the point that you aren’t forced to flee elsewhere for shelter.  What are the ramifications that you will still have to concern yourself with?

 

jail-openFirst, ask yourself how many prisons or jails are within a 60 mile radius of you.  Are their walls built to sufficiently withstand an earthquake?  If they are, will there be sufficient security available in the midst of a catastrophic earthquake to keep the prisoners confined inside?  In the event of structural damage, do you really think that the criminals who are suddenly released from their prison walls, with no family or friends nearby, aren’t going to be on the prowl for survival supplies? Do you think they would just stroll into their local grocery store and purchase what they need?

 

ms-13-faceHow many violent gangs do you have in your area?  There are over 21,500 active gangs in the U.S. at present.  According to the FBI, there are estimated to be over 1,000,000 gang members in the U.S. who commit 80% of the crimes in our country.  Are you aware that MS-13 is the most violent gang of them all and has permeated at least 42 states in the U.S.?  One has to commit murder to get in the gang, and die to get out.  (see http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-29-ms13_N.htmDo you really think that in a time of chaos that they won’t be in search of appropriate supplies to sustain their group at all costs?  Think they are going to ring your doorbell and ask you nicely for some rice and water?  For more on MS-13, please visit MS-13 101 here.

 

Now let’s consider the abundance of drug addicts who live among us. There are currently over 7 million regular illicit drug users in America. Of course some of them will perish in such a catastrophic event, but the statistic of drug addicts comprising 2% of our current population will still hold true. Are you prepared to ward off 2% of the population suddenly unable to access their drugs?  Due to the force of nature, millions of drug users will be unable to obtain their “fix” and will do whatever they need to do in order to obtain more drugs.   (http://www.policyalmanac.org/crime/archive/drug_abuse.shtml) 

 

What if it’s not something so sinister?  What if a desperate mother or father finds themselves in need of vital food, water, and medical supplies for their children? Can we rely on all of society, including desperate parents, to behave rationally as they watch their loved ones struggle? How long could you watch your children suffer before you’re desperately inclined to press the borders of honesty and decency to get what you need for them?

 

looting-new-orleansLet’s not forget the overall lawlessness and rampant looting which has consistently erupted in the event of chaos and panic (Can you say New Orleans or Los Angeles anyone?).  Then there are the issues of actual law enforcement making an appearance, but attempting to infringe unconstitutional requests on the survivors. (See http://tinyurl.com/cpb7m9)

 

Do any of these issues potentially expose your family to the risk of being subjected to violence? Do these instances compromise your security or survival in the event of a catastrophe? So, don’t you think it’s just a bit naïve to believe that you’ll be fully permitted to go along your merry way and freely use your emergency preparedness supplies as you see fit?  I think so. And yet so many I discuss preparedness with fail to recognize this important aspect of truly being prepared. 

 

Let’s leave the motivation for food and supplies for a moment.  Being subjected by irrational people with a sense of entitlement to your wares is not the only reason why lawlessness may come into your life.  What about the paranoid, desperate individuals who are only capable of dealing with stress and chaos by taking virtue and life from others?  This isn’t just about whether or not you’d be willing to share your food and water with complete strangers. This is also about protecting the health and well-being of your loved ones in a time of chaos. 

 

national-guard-streets1Please don’t be misguided into believing that the streets will be patrolled by the U.S. National Guard or your local law enforcement. The local law enforcement doesn’t show up in record time now, and not until the crime has already been committed.  Do you think you’d get any kind of a worthwhile response time when the streets are littered with all manner of huge debris?  In all likelihood, as we saw from Hurricane Katrina, the law enforcement personnel will either be taking care of their own families or they will be answering the call of their Commander in Chief to what he sees as a priority.  A rape here, a robbery there, and a shooting there are not going to mean much to a military leader when he’s dealing with other emergencies such chaos can unleash.  Yep. You’re on your own folks.  FEMA government officials have announced repeatedly that it could be days, if not weeks before they would be present in a disaster zone. 

 

glock-firearm1So, the next time you decide who you’re going to share you emergency supplies with, you may want to consider your friends Glock, Winchester, and Smith & Wesson as a part of those decisions, along with enough ammo and SKILL to properly defend.

 

 

Preparedness Pro Note: If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

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power-outages

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You’ve no doubt read of the extreme number of homes and business in the Midwest which are without power for at least two weeks due to extreme weather conditions.  With over 1.3 million homes and business in the dark and cold until mid February, this translates into nearly 5 million individuals in a crisis situation. With the electricity out, heating will cease, microwave or oven cooking is eliminated, the days will be subject to minimal light in the midst of this hard winter, water pipes will freeze, so much of a normal life for these millions of people will be hijacked for an involuntary 14 day minimum.  Electricity affects your water supply, your food supply, your heat, your light, your medical access, your traffic flow and your security.  It even affects your access to gasoline and other regular supplies which you may take for granted.  Clearly, an electric outage of this nature is not just about finding things to do that don’t require electricity. It’s about completely altering your way of living, and even survival.  

 

 

In a previous article I wrote an appropriate warning about the occurrence of such a plausible situation.  I shared some relevant research in terms of the shocking numbers of employees available to restore common utilities in the event of an outage.  In most states, the numbers of employees per numbers of households is 10,000 to 1.  However, the economic crisis has forced layoffs so that the ratio in some areas may be as high as 13,000 to 1.  This ratio accelerates even higher in concentrated populations as well.   

 

 

Even with the assistance of the National Guard, this recent storm strike has manifested the reality of what I shared in my previous post.  Many are just a bit too naïve when they lightly think of the “what if” scenarios of their ability to survive an emergency.  They underestimate their sustainability due to a lack of sound information.  Keep in mind that in the event of a terrorist attack on our nation, the luxury of the assistance of the Guard will not be present, as they will be engaged elsewhere by mandate. 

 

 

optimus-fuelSo the question is, are you ready for such an occurrence in your life? Whether you’re affected by it or not, this trial can serve as a generous reminder to get prepared now before the same stakes face you.  Think of how much more bearable this particular situation would be if alternative cooking skills and supplies were available to those affected by the storm.  What if some water was stored away?  What if a small amount of fuel for a heater were on hand? There have been over 24 deaths reported so far as a result of this natural disaster—all as a result of the failure to appropriately plan for a real “what if.”  

 

I have a lifelong friend who’s braving this exact storm in KY.  Not only is she subjected to the standard trials of a power outage and all the problems that brings, but the storm also caused the large tree in her front yard to come crashing through her roof in the main portion of her home.  Fortunately, this dear friend of mine is happily prepared for just such a situation with ample food, water, medical, and heating supplies stored for just such an occasion—oh, and accessible.  She was even able to make use of her bounty to others who were not so fortunate to possess such mental preparation.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be in a position of helping others in such a situation than to be in dire need of it.  

 

 

In closing I want to share with you a brief thought I posted on my Facebook page. “You can learn in comfort or in chaos.  But I’d much rather learn in comfort.”  Of course there is still much to learn about truly being prepared for a mere 2 weeks, let alone a full year.  But the people who are affected by this storm are having to learn their lessons in a time of chaos, thus bringing upon themselves additional suffering and stress.  Since you have the opportunity now, wouldn’t you rather learn and prepare while you still have the luxury of light, transportation, and a chipper disposition?  Obviously how you learn and implement is your choice. When you will be required to use your knowledge is unfortunately beyond your control.

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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