Emergency preparedness for many stirs up images of post-disaster and apocalyptic scenarios where civil order is gone and food, water, healthy air are not available. Perhaps the most extreme picture of such a disaster situation would be the one depicted in Mad Max movies where it is clear the survivors have to contend with a life that no longer includes the rule of law as we know it and amenities such as running water and electricity are all a thing of the past.
However, emergency preparedness is much more fundamental than these dramatized Hollywood visions of survival and we have numerous real-life examples of people struggling with disaster relief. Consider, for example, the desperation on the faces of people following Hurricane Katrina.
You really should be prepared for a wide range of catastrophic phenomena.
This preparation can include emergency essentials like the construction of shelters, the storing of food, water and health supplies and even the collection of weapons as protection against possible anarchy. To a large extent, these preparations help provide a comprehensive safety net for you and your family in case of disaster of any sort.
Types of Disasters and Catastrophes
There are different types of disasters or catastrophes that you might want to prepare for. Some of these are man-made and some are caused by nature. One of the man-made catastrophes would be nuclear war; the malicious introduction of deadly virus into the air; radioactive contamination of land, water and air. Another likely man-made catastrophe would be the worldwide collapse of economies due to hyperinflation.
Natural disasters that you might prepare for include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and hurricanes. Survivalists can point out a long list of meteorological disasters (blizzards, cyclones, droughts, heat waves, tornadoes, etc.) and space disasters (impact events, gamma ray bursts, solar flares).
Coping with Post-Disaster Conditions
Survivalists seem to agree that people in urban areas are more vulnerable in post-disaster conditions compared to their rural counterparts that are more self-sufficient. Far too many complacent Americans take for granted the resources available to them and rarely consider what their lives would be like without those amenities.
The Red Cross has prepared a list of the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Most preppers will cite emergency preparedness lists of what individuals and families must prepare in terms of food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, safety and communications. A whole new lexicon has evolved among preppers with acronyms such as BOB (bug out bag), BOL (bug out location), BOV (bug out vehicle). Some of the emergency preparedness advice given out by so-called experts are very detailed and carefully studied. A serious look at survivalist manuals will show strategies that leave nothing to chance.
The manuals written by survivalists can usually be downloaded free. They will provide advice on how to protect your home and what to put inside your survival kit that you carry with you should you need to bug out. Others will feature survival gear like knives and other tools together with advice on which ones are the most practical and efficient.
Perhaps the idea of being armed is a rather disturbing aspect of disaster preparedness. Many survivalists will say that when a really big disaster comes and when it adversely affects large populations for long periods of time, lawlessness and disorder will be prevalent; people will try to loot those who are known to have food and medicine and violence will erupt. Families therefore need to arm themselves to ensure their safety. Of all the images that disaster preparedness calls to mind this is probably the most frightening.
Many preppers lead ordinary jobs and maintain jobs. Some keep silent about their overwhelming concerns about survival and will only speak freely when in the company of fellow preppers. Others consider it an advocacy to spread the bad news about possible disasters so that others too may be prepared. While many may not subscribe to all of the ideas survivalists espouse, the fact remains that in recent years a good number of unexpected disasters have destroyed many metropolitan centers. This being the case perhaps their cry for preparedness should not be totally ignored.