We’re constantly bombarded by the thought of impending disaster. TV shows abound, frightening us with all the different scenarios that could befall mankind, plus what we see on the news about things that are actually happening in the world in which we live.
The truth is, a disaster could happen. Some of the more common occurrences include tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and ice storms. Although less common, huge meteors have struck the earth before and can do major damage. Volcanic eruptions can, and do, cause unbelievably costly and deadly damage; not only to life but to the crust of our earth.
Still, a good many such disasters are what made our world what it is today.
Maybe You Think You Are Prepared?
We may not have a real Godzilla, but Mother Nature can be her own Godzilla, and we have little defense against her when she gets into a bad mood.
In the storm movie, “Twister”, a family in the very beginning ran to what appeared to be a well-planned shelter, but it was only partially successful. You may have seen real footage of natives standing on beaches, when a tsunami struck before they could react and they, along with buildings, trees and everything else, were swept away.
Most of us probably don’t like to dwell on these dire possibilities, and therefore give little thought to just what we might do in case of a real disaster.
When you ask people if they hope to survive a disaster, they will reply that they would certainly hope to survive. But if you ask how well-prepared they are, only a very few might say they had prepared, and out of those few, some may mistakenly think they’ve prepared because they have a few extra cans of food in the pantry.
In actuality, most of us don’t spend much time depressing ourselves with thoughts of disaster and the idea of preparing remains somewhat distant as well. We may consider it, but there doesn’t appear to be any pressing rush to get started today. What you have to realize is that we seldom get an early warning. Disasters can strike just when we happen to look the other way.
But Won’t The Government Help?
One of the main reasons people don’t put more into preparation for survival is that a really good preparation is going to cost a considerable amount of money. That’s money that remains tied up and can’t be used. It doesn’t earn interest and we very possibly (hopefully!) may never need any of the benefits offered by our preparations.
Many assume our government will step in and help people when disaster strikes. FEMA has been set up to help, but we’ve already seen that FEMA’s efforts and help haven’t been much appreciated by the victims of deadly disasters such as Katrina only a few years ago.
But let’s take another step forward. Imagine a disaster so terrifying that it astounds the entire globe. Imagine a disease, like the Ebola crisis, spreading like an uncontrolled wildfire across our nation, across our oceans and all over the world.
No government would be able to stop this. As we’ve seen in movies, the government might try to quarantine those of us who remain uninfected, because to do the opposite would be unthinkable with millions of sick and dying victims vainly pleading for succor.
But I Can’t Afford All This “Stuff”!
Obviously, in a situation like this, you can’t afford to depend on anyone, not your city, state or even the federal government. Yet at the same time, many of us use the excuse that we just can’t afford to gear up for survival in the face of what we consider to be a remote possibility.
Most people, when thinking of preparation, may sit down and try to list the supplies they might need and immediately see the cost mounting at an alarming rate. An open secret that many don’t realize is, to paraphrase the old line, “How can one man eat a whole cow?” and the reply comes back, “One steak at a time”.
The secret then is, you break down the list and concentrate on building up your reserves in small increments. Every week, you can add a few items to your supplies and as you go along – hopefully without any disasters in the forecast – you’ll gradually build up the supplies you would need. Food and water are important of course, but you have to think of medical supplies. All sorts of bandages and Band-Aid type materials etc. would be vital. Clothing for both warm or cold weather, and for some, a weapon might be useful. An inexpensive pump shotgun can put up a pretty good defense in the case of roaming bands of predators as we’ve seen in movies, or real-life riots.
But baby steps will get you a lot farther than you may have realized. Just as daily practice makes a better musician, you can pick up a couple of items every time you’re at a store. You might first concentrate on preparing for a 72-hour emergency. That would mean allowing enough food and water to get your family through three days. After that, you continue to increase supplies as best you can. Sometimes you may want to take advantage of sales. Food items with long shelf life are, of course, a good choice. Freezers and refrigerators may not work during a disaster, so you don’t want to depend on a freezer full of food.
Finding Room in Your Budget
- Cut the fat: A good way to extend your budget is to give serious consideration to cutting out things you don’t absolutely have to have today. Once you feel you’re very well prepared, you may then start to reconsider how you spend money on non-essentials.
- Yard Sales and Auctions: Some recommend having yard sales to raise a little extra money for survival items, selling off things you no longer need or use. Or you could sell a few things on Ebay, or other online marketplaces. This can go directly toward your disaster preparations.
- Use coupons: Some disdain the plethora of coupons that we see everywhere, but this may be a good time to give them more attention. Coupons can save a good deal of money at the grocer’s. TV shows depict avid coupon collectors who buy hundreds of dollars of merchandise for only a few dollars. That’s making a career out of couponing, but you can still save a lot without becoming a fanatic.
- Thrift shop items: Visit your local thrift shop to find warm coats, gloves, hats, boots, etc for much less than buying new. It won’t matter that they aren’t the latest styles, or if they have a stain or a hole or two, if a disaster strikes. Plus, you’d be helping out a charity while adding to your own preparedness.
- Recycling: A free trick – empty one-gallon bleach bottles can be filled with water and the remaining hint of bleach will keep it pretty safe for a long period of time.
Of course, these are just a few ways to save on emergency preparedness. Can you think of others? Now would be a great time to give some serious thought to possible future disasters. We hope one will never strike, but if and when one does, we’d better remember what they taught us in the Scouts: “Be prepared”.