Back in the 60’s there was a tune recorded by Barry McGuire titled “The Eve of Destruction”. Yes, that was a long time ago but yet today, I can still feel the power of its lyrics:
“Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave.”
Almost fifty years later, the context is different but the feeling is back: we live in a world gone crazy mad. To cope, many of us prepare for the worst while hoping and praying that a cataclysmic event never happens.
And yet, as I discovered during my recent vacation, most people are oblivious. Ask fifty people whether they prepare (or tell them that you are a prepper) and forty will say “what do you mean”? Five will ask if you are one of those crazies they see on television. The remaining five, if you are lucky, will nod their heads and continue the conversation, having found that rare, like-minded person that understands that prepping is a way of life that is crucial to long term survival.
This brings me to the topic of today’s article: living in a post-apocalyptic world. I have touched upon this topic before but a recent email from a reader brought it back into focus. She asked:
Do I want to live in devastation, hardship, danger, heartache? Do I want to be alive to worry about the health and safety of my children and grandchildren? Do I want to face cancer, radiation, atmospheric poisoning? Do I really want to be prepared to kill my neighbors if they come after my “stash”?
Today I would like to share the dialogue that “J” had with herself as she answered her own questions. Be forewarned. This is not light reading.
DO I REALLY WANT TO LIVE IN A POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD?
I guess that’s the biggest question I ask myself when it comes to all this “prepper” business. Do I really WANT to scratch and scrape and crawl into a hidey-hole for gawd knows how long just for the privilege of saying “I survived”.
What will the world look like after the said “SHTF” scenario? Will it be a place I care to live in? What may become of my beautiful landscape in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest area? What about friends and family? Will they be around for comfort and companionship and encouragement? Will the air around me be filled with fumes and deadly particles? Will the sweet, clean water of the Pacific Northwest be contaminated with radioactive materials and rendered unfit for consumption? What about plant life and livestock and the healthy soil needed to grow these two things?
I guess the answers to these questions are all the same: It depends.
It depends on what kind of world catastrophe hits. It depends on the quality of the surface of our world. It depends on the time required to return to some sense of “normalcy”. It depends on the sustainability of our gene pool. It depends.
Will it be a pandemic event such as a vaccine immune virus? I’m picturing in my head the Zombie Apocalypse here…laugh. But in reality it will probably be something far more innocuous such as a vaccine resistant flu virus that spreads like wildfire and kills through dysentery, fever and dehydration…specifically targeting the old, the young and the weak.
Will it be a catastrophic natural event such as earthquake, massive and widespread flooding, solar flare eruption, global storm upheavals such as tornado’s, hurricane’s, volcanic eruption….all of which will wipe out the electrical grid, destroy habitat and reduce the world to primitive, pre-industrial conditions?
Will it be a total collapse of the world financial system? Rendering a crippling blow to the economy and creating a “trickle down” catastrophic global situation triggering anarchy, rioting, looting, food shortages, and chaos.
Will it be the dreaded “finger on the button” CRIME against all humanity? The ego and power hungry dictator that assumes god-like power over mankind’s life, death and the future of our mother earth by unleashing nuclear or biological or chemical annihilation thereby poisoning the soil and the air for many hundreds of years to follow.
That brings me back around to my original self-question: Do I really want to survive in such a landscape of devastation and hopelessness?
I’m in my late 50’s after all. Would I help or be a burden to those around me? Being in this age group makes me more vulnerable to sickness, injury. My natural defenses are decidedly less hearty than my younger counterparts. Will they end up spending precious resources to maintain my life? Is it worth it to save an aging old woman at the expense of a child or a potentially strong and healthy young adult? Both of which have strong capabilities for strengthening the group dynamics. Do I want to live in a world where such choices must be made?
For myself, personally, I have come to consider the “It Depends” statement.
If it’s a short-term power outage the answer would be YES. I have experienced such periods of time when our little community was literally cut off from the outside world for days at a time (10 consecutive days in 2011). No electrical power, no telephone service, no cell signal. Roads blocked on all sides by fallen trees. No method of communication between residents other than face to face at a common gathering area. There is an encouraging (almost heroic) story in this example. Perhaps to be told at a different time.
But the bottom line in this particular scenario is that I WOULD want to survive a simple power outage…because it is indisputably “survivable”. Here’s where my stash of non-perishable food staples, back up generator, fuel reserves, potable water and medical supplies pay off. It’s a relatively short-term scenario with a definite end in sight.
The other SHTF situations are a bit more dicey. In more cases than not, I think I would choose NOT to live through them.
My life has been full and for the most part happy. I would not want to become a burden and force my friends or family to make “the” decision: me or someone with more life potential. I would not want to face a situation in which I might consider killing another human being…even to save myself. I do not want to see my miraculous world crumble and fall or be blasted to oblivion around me.
I do not wish to live in such a world. I am not afraid of death. I am not afraid to embrace it. I do not wish to be “snuck up on” from behind…..to succumb to insidious conditions such as radiation sickness, cancers, pollution, irradiated soil and air, lawless and morally depraved humans. There are dignified ways to pass from this life to the next…. dysentery, cancer, rape or murder are all roads I choose NOT to travel.
My decision will not stop me from “prepping”. At the very least it will see me through a severe storm event, a volcanic eruption, earthquake or even a tsunami. I will let my family, friends and neighbors know of my preparations….perhaps they would have need of what I’ve accumulated when I no longer have need of it myself.
I may consider it my final gift to those around me.
THE FINAL WORD
The question of whether life is worth living in a world that is falling apart is something we each need to ask and answer for ourselves. There is no right answer. Family, heath, faith/religion and a myriad of other factors come in to play as we each decide when and if we will drink the kool-aid.
For an optimist such as myself, this is not a comfortable dialogue. On the other hand, it is an important part of the journey toward becoming a consummate prepper – a prepper that is prepared mentally and psychologically for whatever life and our world will throw our way.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Today I share two post-apocalyptic items plus some items from the Amazon Top 10 and some whistles – just to lighten things up a bit.
The Survivors: This is an old British TV series about a rag tag group of individuals survive what appears to be some type of pandemic. We never know for sure. The storyline revolves around how the survivors prevail in spite of the roving gangs that will do anything for food, clothing and even more scary, control. There is even a former government worker who tries to set up an all controlling government, under her rules of course.
BIC Disposable Classic Lighter With Child Guard: This six pack of Bic lighters is reasonably priced but check around since these often go on sale locally. BICs just work – every time.
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.
BaoFeng UV-5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Ham Radio : I had to look twice when I saw the price of this – $31.76 as of this writing! The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported.
2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 Model: This device makes a great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking or camping pack. It is lightweight and robust and it just works.
FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp: Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.80 with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses standard AA sized batteries.
Rothco Safety Orange Flat Whistle – 2 Pack These flat-style whistles are made by Rothco, a respected brand in outdoor gear. Less than $6 for two.
SE 5 in 1 Survival Whistle: I have a few of these. They are a cheap but they do the job surprisingly well. Less than $2 so the price is right.
Windstorm Safety Whistle: This one is my personal favorite although it is a bit more expansive. It is still cheap, though. at less than $6.
The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
One of the best sale items this month is the Freeze Dried Chicken Breast Dices with Rib Meat. The price for a #10 can is $24.99 which represents and amazing discount of 42%. At this price I purchased some for my own food storage. (As you know, I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.)
Another great item this month is the Provident Pantry Baking Combo. This kit includes 12 cans of everything you will need to bake quick breads, breakfast items, and other goodies from your food storage. The price for all 12 cans is 109.99.
These are just two of the items on sale this month at Emergency Essentials. Click on the link below for more great deals from Emergency Essentials.
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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (www.urbansurvival.com), and can purchased from Amazon.