Over the last year or so an idea has peculated through my conscious mind from my subconscious mind that I need to be better prepared. Now I am generally a very down-to-earth person, not given into any fad or craziness. Usually it's my first instinct to cut across the grain, to zig when everyone is going to zag. I tend to listen to these subconscious suggestions as over the course of my live it's saved me a lot of trouble. If I go "with the flow" on these instincts, then lots of good things usually go my way.
For example, I was out registering my truck at the DMV when I saw a gun store that I never knew was there, and decided to stick my head in and look around. When there I asked pretty much out of the blue about the FID and Handgun saftey class that the nanny state makes us take to get a LTC (license to carry i.e. CCW). Turns out for $94 I get the Mass class, the NRA class, and get to shoot a bunch of firearms - next class starts in 10 days. Coincidence? I think NOT. I have since filled out the paperwork and submitted it to the local police for processing, and I have an interview on Monday with the Chief. I'm a little nervous because he has the final say on what I can or cannot get. Maybe I'll post how the process works here in Mass so everyone can see how lucky you are in other states.
Recently, Every time I go to the grocery store I've picked up some extra canned goods, and I got about 10 days worth of food - it's a start.
So why bother? Here in the northeast we get hit with hurricanes, blizzards, and nasty storms called nor'easters. In a 5 year span, it is 100% guaranteed we will be hit with them. Most of the time it's no big deal, but every now and then, we get hit with a really nasty one. We lose power, and life sucks for a few days maybe a week. Ten days or so of food means I can help out one of my neighbors if they need it, until the power comes back on.
I personally feel that everyone in America should have food and water in their home for at least a week. Canned goods are cheap enough that there is NO excuse not to have this done. Poop happens. Look at those who were buried in snow in the Midwest this most recent winter, they had food stored so they survived without FEMA screwing things up because they had common sense enough to say "Gee, it snows in the winter, I might get stuck in the house!" As I recall there were only a few deaths when hundreds of thousands were affected. Good job!
Now I'm on a limited budget so I cannot mail order a year's worth of MRE's, expensive water purification rigs, 55 gallon drums to store extra gas, etc. I just cannot do it. However, I will slowly increase what preparations I have, and eventually I might have some of those items. For now, I am going to stick with the percentages. Some gear does double duty. I have a lot of camping gear already as I love to go camping so I have propane lanterns, stoves etc. Just need to stock extra propane so I can run these for a week instead of the 3 days of a camping trip.
So, basically, there is a 100% chance I will lose power in 5 years. I should be 100% prepared for that catastrophe then. If there is a .0001% chance of global nuclear war, then I should put my budget's $ into something that's probably more likely to happen. Buying NBC gear without having a bicycle to commute to work in case of the Peak Oil crash (.1%) is just silly. I agree that having some nice land somewhere outside of the beaten path is a great idea, but I am unwilling to sell of everything I own, abandon my career and move out to the sticks. If you have, then my hat is off to you, I just cannot do it myself.
So I urge everyone to prepare. Start with the most likely scenario for your area, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. and make DAMN sure you and your family will be ok. Then re-evaluate. Counting on the chuckleheads at FEMA for anything is about as smart as playing in traffic, Boston traffic at that. In my links I've linked to a few of the survival blogs I read every day. I might not agree with them on everything, but I do agree with them that the time to prepare is NOW!