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Sitting around the dinner table, my guess is that at some point the conversation turned to the economy, natural disasters and the need to prepare. And, it is also my guess that there were a lot of roll-eyes as your companions thought “Oh boy, here we go again”.
Okay, perhaps I assume that you live and breath preparedness like I do but even if you don’t, I am certain that you have run in to people that are in what I like to call “Disaster Denial”. So what signs do these people display? (And no, I am not referring to the “I am blindingly stupid to reality” sign.)
Listed below are some common excuses for not preparing.
It is what it is. If my time is up, so be it.
The problem with this is that if there is a disaster of any type, there is a strong likelihood you will survive. And if you are going to survive, you might as well be safe with food, water, first aid and a way to defend yourself and your property.
Bottom line: Just because a disaster occurs does not mean it is time for your to “go”. You will likely live through it so why not live through it safely and with adequate supplies and gear to sustain and protect yourself.
Planning for a disaster will be a jinx and if I do it, it will happen.
Now this is silly, especially when it comes to natural disasters.
For the most part, hurricanes, earthquakes, winter storms and volcanic eruptions happen on their own schedule. There is nothing you can do to prevent them so why not be ready? Not only that but people who have prepared and who have taken steps to plan ahead often come through the experience feeling like it was not such a big disaster after all.
Bottom line: It is the people who fail to plan and prepare that are caught by surprise and are least able to cope when the inevitable disaster occurs.
I refuse to live in fear of the unknown.
The key here is to educate yourself so that you do no live in fear. Assess the risks in your area and for someone in your particular financial condition. There is a saying, be prepared not scared. That definitely applies.
Bottom line: Take steps to prepare for the specific disasters that may occur in your geographical area. Then do your best to educate your loved ones so that they too can live without fear.
I can not afford to prepare (or I am not rich like you).
With careful planning (and perhaps one less pizza a week) it is not difficult to take small steps toward building up your preps bit by bit, week by week. Some cans of food, some water purification tables, some pepper spray – not of these things are overly expensive, especially if acquired slowly over time. In addition, the pursuit of knowledge is free and simply knowing the risks is half the battle.
Bottom line: Gradually increase your back-up supplies over time and as you can afford them. Even if all you do initially is prepare for a short-term power shortage (flashlights, batteries, glow sticks), you are still doing something. You will be surprised at how quickly the items in your survival closet build up.
The government will take care of me.
What rock have you been living under? Has the government taken care of the health care debacle in this country? Nope. Has the government restored a healthy economy and jobs to the populace? Nope. Has the government effectively and efficiently provided disaster relief in the past? Not really. As a matter of fact, I just read today that FEMA is seeking to recover more than $385 million it says was improperly paid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. And that is the fault of the victims? Give me a break.
What you can count on is the government spending billions of dollars on wars that we have no business waging and of course, billions in taxpayer dollars on big company bailouts that insure that the top CEOs of this country have multi-million dollar compensation and bonus packages. This is the same government that will go after some poor taxpayer for what they perceive to be a $100 shortfall on their annual tax return.
Bottom line: Do not believe for a moment the government will be there to bail you out and provide relief in an emergency. Quite the contrary; expect to be on your own.
I am too old to start.
Taking care of your personal needs has no boundaries age-wise. Yes, you may be on a fixed income and you may be moving about a bit slower, but hopefully you still have the will to live and the will to survive. Whether you are in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or beyond, take the time to prepare a disaster communication plan with contact names, phone numbers, and a potential escape plan should an earthquake of other natural disaster occur. Enlist the help of your children or younger neighbors and share your concerns with them.
Bottom line: Preparing a communication plan does not cost a dime in dollars nor does it take any physical strength. All you need is time. Do not feel that you are too old. If you have made it this far, chances are you still have some great years left. You are never too old to begin to prepare for the unexpected.
My faith will carry me through.
Yeah, maybe. But I would rather go half way just in case the big guy is busy doing something else when a disaster or crisis hits. Your faith will not hydrate you with sufficient drinking water nor will your faith feed your starving body. Being spiritual and having faith is a good thing and will help you mentally to overcome a dire situation but it is your stored food and water that will sustain you.
Bottom line: Facing reality will go a long way in helping you deal with a disaster. Having the insight to know the risks and prepare for them will demonstrate to your family your willingness to provide and care for them. That coupled with your faith will be a powerful and unbeatable combination to get you through.
The Final Word
Procrastination is defined as the act of putting off, delaying or deferring an action to a later time. Alas, that time often never comes. And so I say: procrastination is not your friend and might quite possibly be your ultimate downfall. If you have friends or loved ones who scorn the preparedness lifestyle, please share this article with them. Encourage them to take make a plan, to build a kit and to get involved in insuring that their future will be safe.
Let us work together to stamp out disaster denial.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Cast iron items were at the top of the list. My readers love cast iron and so do I. Also at the top were Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers and the Lodge Max Temp Handle Mitt.
All New Square Foot Gardening: I put in a Square Foot Garden last year and was pleased with the results. It is not too early to start planning for spring planting.
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How to Live on Wheat: Everything you need to know about wheat.
Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: The Fiskars products are easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener .
Kaito Voyager KA500 Solar/Crank Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Radio: A lot of different hand crank radios were sold but this was by far, the most popular.
MAGLITE XL50-S3016 LED Flashlight: I own a number of these. Small, sturdy, and easy to handle.
Sabre Compact Pepper Spray with Quick Release Key Ring: The portability of this pepper spray adds to its appeal since it can be easily carried on a key ring or in a handbag or backpack.
The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever: Survival Husband lost over 10 pounds in two weeks on this diet.
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster: Written by Bernie Carr at the Apartment Prepper blog, this is highly readable guide to all things preparedness.
50 – 1 Gallon (10″x14″) Mylar Bags & 50 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: A staple for long term food storage.
Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon Paracord: As far as I am concerned, paracord ranks up there with duct tape and zip ties. I wish I had know about this stuff years ago..
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17 Responses to “Disaster Denial”
I believe in all the things you said with a small exception. Whereas I, too, have friends and relatives who state that God will take care of them, I also believe that. But my stance on that remark is to cheerfully add that He gave us brains and expects us to use them. If the Jews had really organized and been better prepared, Hitler would not have had quite the success with his ‘Final Solution’ as he did. I think that God knows all and sees all. He knows who will make it and who won’t. He knows who will help others and who won’t. I want to be ready for anything; if it is my time to go, then my kids and grandkids will benefit from my planning.
As you remember, I got to know you well back in 1998 when Wade and I moored out boat at Roche harbor for that summer. I have read through your blog and I am very impressed. I have been concerned about many things these last few years: economic collapse, the breakdown of society, food and petroleum shortages, terrorism, EMPs and so on. I generally don’t talk much about my views on this as folks look at me like I am nuts but geeze is it not obvious that we are all on borrowed time? It is not if but when one of these shoes is going to drop. I have been stockpiling canned food, water, guns, ammo, propane and like items for years. You have taken this to a whole new level Gaye and I admire you for it. I have taken note of your blog and plan to implement those ideas that I have not already done. Keep up the good work!
The “my faith will see me through” is something I often hear from extended family (and even my wife at times). I just don’t think it makes any sense to put your survival in the hands of faith… or anyone else for that matter. Besides, I think God would expect more of us.
Excellent article. Unfortunately, everything you say is true. Most people in our society today see no need whatsoever to prepare beyond the end of the week, have no capability to take care of themselves, and think you are hopelessly out of touch with our modern times for even thinking about it. We don’t even need a big disaster to need preperation – how about the specter of unemployment hanging over so many heads. That’s something to prepare for because it could hit any of us tomorrow.
One is never too old, too poor, too faithful to consider sound reason, or too blissfully ignorant (well, maybe discounting those who adamantly stand by their belief that their government will sufficiently provide for them in any crisis) to begin a path towards preparing for disaster, in whatever shape it may come.
I completely agree with this article. Since we are a “modern” society, we seem to have no need for the old ways. My generation has little knowledge of how to get by like folks did even 80 years ago. This concept scares the living heck outta me! By way of books and the internet, I am trying to each myself the basics of survival living – gardening, cooking, long-term food storage, medical. My family makes due on VERY small means, budgeting our costs for tucking some away for later is tricky. I was unemployed for 8 months after college and we use all of our saved supplies just to get by on my husband’s SSI. We are incorporating small arms into our repertoire as a means of family entertainment… but my kids (and in turn, us parents) knowing how to handle a bow, BB-gun and slingshot may come in handy. My only true, deep worry is living in an arid climate with very few fresh water sources and extremely poor soil.
Good article! I agree with everything you say…there are people who don’t want to discuss preparedness with me because they will not be able to stop thinking about it. This person has two very young kids. What will happen if/when there is a disaster situation?
I do, however, believe that God can come through in times of great need. There are many examples of this in the Bible and in our modern day life. I do agree that faith and preparedness is a powerful combination. God gave us a brain to use
Our modern concept of preparedness is a fairly recent term in relation to how long man has been walking the earth. People in the past had to prepare or there wasn’t food/seed/supplies for the winter or in times of drought. We got out of that mindset when things became easy to get….the local store.
I did recently write an open letter to share with others who are not in the process of preparing. You can read it and/or send it to a family member or friend by going here – //www.prepperwebsite.com/open-letter
I am linking to this article because I think it is a valuable article for others to read and pass along.
Excellent article. And here’s something to chew on. One of the biggetst problems I see is that there’s so much to think about on the topic of preparedness we forget some of the genuinely threatening basics, at least I do, until they are near upon us. I’d suggest everyone stop to think what $5.00 a gallon gas is going to mean. And that’s where we’re headed this summer. I can tell you from personal experience that the very first effect we’ll see is a huge uptick in violence this summer; its going to be brutal and it will feature the new phenomenon of the “Flash Rob”. Urban living will become a very dangerous pursuit and some cities will become free fire kill zones of random acts of violence on a level the local authorities are woefully inadequate to deal with.
My faith will carry me through?
I think Mark Twain had it right when he said:
“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so”
We all need to do what we can to help ourselves and and our fellow man without relying on divine intervention. If there was such a thing as divine intervention, why do disasters occur? Is God testing us when he allows innocent children to die in a disaster? I don’t think so….
Your post “Disaster Denial” is an excellent heads-up that so many people should be made aware of. You covered so well as to why some level of preparation is so important. If folks could only realize that the potential benefit of being prepared is so well worth the minimal effort to get prepared.
As another means for folks to understand how “Disaster Denial” can happen to anyone, they might check what Wikipedia says when they Google “Normalcy Bias”. It is amazing how having even some basic preparation… such as a good supply of drinking water… can be so important.
Thank you for the very helpful information that you provide for everyone.