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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why I Would Not Serve

I was at work the other day and one of the managers asked me about joining a county wide committee that would cover emergency preparedness. I told her no. She of course asked why, after all I had completed over a dozen FEMA courses, was a qualified CERT Instructor, and seemed to be knowledgeable on the subject. I told her that those were the reasons I couldn’t serve on that committee.
I have been into preparedness since the 1970s. I have read and written on survival for a long time. I have very clear goals and plans for survival. If we get snowed in at work I can stay for two to four days just on the supplies in my truck. I have already scoped out my workplace for water supply, food supply, off grid heat and light, and know where I would go during everything from tornado to nuke attack. (I assume you have also done this at your place of employment?)
When I hear the county talk about preparedness they are never thinking of the individual, but rather ”the people”. They talk in terms of shelters, not sheltering in place. They talk about Red Cross shelter management and food service, not off grid cooking. They want to take care of the most people they can at one time, not help each family be prepared for self-reliance. I am a self reliance guy, I would much prefer to see everyone take care of themselves as they see fit, not move to a shelter for someone else to take care of. My kind of thinking does not go over well at those meetings, I know because I did sever on that committee several years ago.
As I talked to the manager about my thoughts on preparedness and the priority list I would approach I saw her eyes glaze over and her mind wander away. I do not know how to write this without it sounding way too egotistical, but I know too much about preparedness to serve on a committee like that.
If we got snowed in at work most of the office wonks I work around will be breaking into the vending machine for food thinking that is ok. I will dig out my BOB from the truck, my sleeping bag, and a few other items and go out to the maintenance barn and cook my dinner and go to sleep warm and comfortable. I will of course be an A-hole for doing this because no one else has planned for just such an event. They know that those things just don’t happen and they will always be able to get home to food and shelter. They should have been with me when I got snowed in at work in Detroit many years ago.
I made a list of events that I have seen happen in just the last decade. I could go back to the 70s for my list, but the truth is the list about repeats itself every ten years or so. Just a few of the local events I listed are:
Black out and power grid loss in Eastern US
Major snow & ice storm that shut down schools and work for two days
Train derailment that caused evacuation of houses for more than one day
A riot in the town I work and at my son’s college
Major flooding that caused loss of life and homes and closed many businesses
Factory accident that caused chemical release that evacuated homes
And from around the country and the world:
Tsunamis that wiped out coast lines. (Do you think the Great Lakes can have a tsunami, we are on an earth quack fault line you know?)
Wide fires that burned out of control for days
Hurricanes that wiped out major cities
Bombing and terrorist attacks
Ok, so just which of those events is the county committee suppose to prepare for? Hell, which ones are we to prepare for? As a preparedness type individual I know I can prepare for all of those events and be ready to bug out if I need to. The county templates are open shelters and provide food. Past that they do not have a clue. How can they? They have not read what we read nor thought about much past the cost of housing and feeding the multitudes.
Every one of the preparedness folks I know all have the same goal, protect their family and shelter from the storms of life. Oh, some want to head for the National Forests and live off the land and others want to set up a small compound where they are king, but even those do not want or need the county, state, or federal government to help them.
How about you? Do you want help from the county or would you rather handle it yourself?



American Prepper said...

Excellent Post Wolverine. It would be nice to see these committees begin to focus on teaching self-reliance as a solution to surviving disasters.

Anonymous said...

How about a two-pronged approach? Self-reliance for the masses and sheltering/feeding the masses who failed to or could not prepare?

treesong said...

You don't sound egotistical to me Wolverine. It frustrates the heck out of me that people have such glass-eyed views and limited understanding of how reliant they are on others for their sustenance and safety.

We had two inches of snow here today and I saw cars off the roads and people crawling out of them wearing shorts, flip flops and bitching because they were cold! While shopping I heard plenty of comments about running to the store to get milk and bread "in case the snow keeps falling." And people hoping it lets up so their kids go back to school next week.

I shopped to bulk up our inventory and visit with my two youngest grandkids. Otherwise, I would have stayed home.

We're new to this neighborhood and will soon discover how winter ready our neighbors are. Thanks for the post, Treesong

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