The other day, I stumbled across a show on the National Geographic Channel called “Doomsday Preppers.” The show explores the lives of several Americans who are preparing for the end of the world. The preppers go through great lengths to ensure the survival of their families for an impending worldwide disaster. Each prepper describes their own version of how the end of the world will come, and how their prepping is tailored to that specific scenario. At the end of the show, a set of experts evaluates the preppers preparedness and gives them an overall rating.
After watching the first episode, I thought these people are out of their minds. I saw a couple completely cash out their 401k plans and purchase guns, food, buses, and a wide assortment of other doomsday prep items. But after I got over my initial judgement, I really sat down and pondered the whole idea of doomsday prepping. More specifically, if s**t hit the fan, would I be able to care for my family? And as much as I hate to admit it…I don’t think I can.
We live in a society where everyone is completely dependent on resources we can’t immediately renew without some sort of currency. Not to mention, the average person out there isn’t the “outdoors” type meaning if push comes to shove, the average person wouldn’t know how to live off the land. For example, think about your morning routine:
1. Wake up.
2. Use the bathroom.
3. Take a shower.
4. Brush your teeth.
5. Put on clothes.
6. Eat breakfast.
7. Leave for work/school.
Obviously this isn’t everyone’s morning routine, but for our purposes, I wanted to keep it nice and simple. So let’s examine a few things on this list. Numbers two through four all deal with using your bathroom. What necessity must we have in order to successfully use a bathroom? Water. Do you have a renewable supply of water within your reach that doesn’t require you to go to the store and buy some? The answer is probably no, unless you live out in the country. Number six, “Eat Breakfast,” means you are ingesting food. Did you harvest this food yourself through a garden? Or did you hunt to obtain the meat your eating? Odds are, you didn’t. You probably bought what you’re eating from the grocery store. Also, how did you prepare your meal? Did you cook it? Did you microwave it? If so, how did you obtain the energy source to cook? Again, odds are you didn’t create a fire before cooking or used renewable energy to power your appliances.
Whether you believe we’re living in the end of the days or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a disaster. Perhaps not to the extent of the preppers on the show, but prepared for events like Hurricane Sandy. Thousands upon thousands of residents on the east coast were left without electricity, running water, or gas. The tornadoes in Alabama a few years ago, and the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans are just two other recent examples of what can happen in a blink of an eye. If you don’t have a disaster kit in place, I strongly suggest creating one. Here’s a checklist:
– Water, one gallon of water per person per day
– Food, at least at three day supply of non-perishable goods
– Battery powered or hand-crank radio
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– First aid kit
– Dust mask to filter contaminated air
– Most towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Manual can opener
– Local maps
– Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
– Filled gas can
Once you have your kit ready, make sure you sit down with your family and discuss evacuation plans in times of disaster. For example, what do you do in case of a fire? What do you in case of a tornado? You’ll find that having these conversations with your family could mean the difference between life and death.
If you have time after reading this blog, I suggest taking the doomsday prepper quiz. Based on the quiz, it looks like my family and I would survive a worldwide catastrophe for about 0 to 1 week. In my best Florida Evans voice…”Damn, Damn, Daaaaaamn!”
As always folks, stay classy.