For those who might have missed it, 2020 has been an interesting year. It will go down in the annals of history as a year of disasters. But then, many people have referred to whatever year they were living through as a year of disasters. That’s because there have been many years in which disasters have happened. Disasters aren’t anything new to the world, even though each disaster might seem like something totally new.
The fact is, we can all expect to live through multiple disasters in our lifetimes, some that we may not recognize as disasters, due to their slow appearance and climb to disaster proportions. On the other hand, there are those which affect the entire city in which we live, knocking everyone on their heels.
Statistically speaking, we can all count on going through some sort of disaster on the average of every seven or eight years. While not all those disasters will be the same, they will all have a similar impact on our live, costing us in time, money and heartache. How much time, money and heartache they ultimately cost us is determined by how big the disaster is and how prepared we are to face it.
That’s what prepping is all about. Since we know that chances are high that we’re going to face our next disaster before a decade has passed, it just makes sense to prepare for it now. That way, when the disaster does come, our preparations mitigate against the problems, lessening their impact on our lives.
Granted, no amount of preparation is going to totally eliminate the impact of a disaster, unless it is purely a financial disaster and you have enough money in savings to weather it without any change to your lifestyle But of all the disasters that can occur in our lives, only a small percentage of them are purely financial disasters without some other element causing the financial hardship.
If our desire is to protect our families, then preparing for disasters is an important part of that protection. While we may not be able to stop the disaster from coming, we can make dealing with that problem as painless as possible, ensuring our family’s survival. Their survival is what it’s really all about.
While the modern prepping movement is barely a decade old, the idea of preparing for a disaster is nothing new. What those of us who are preppers have done isn’t discover something new, but rather, return to something our ancestors did before us. All through history, people around the world have had to prepare for disaster and most cultures did. Those which no longer exist either didn’t prepare or the disasters that they faced were bigger than what their preparations could get them through.
The very idea of preserving food comes from the recognition of the need to store up food to get through the hard times. We find this first talked about in the book of Exodus of the Bible. Pharaoh, the powerful king of Egypt, had two connected dreams which nobody could interpret. But there was a slave in his dungeon, the Hebrew, Joseph. He had previously interpreted dreams for two of Pharaoh’s servants, one of who remembered Joseph and what he had done.
The dreams spoke of seven years of coming famine, something that in that time could destroy the nation. Joseph counseled the king to store up food during the years of plenty, so that the nation would survive the lean years to come. For that, he was promoted from being a slave to Prime Minister of Egypt.
Egypt is close to the equator, so doesn’t have to worry about the winter. But people who live farther north and south have to deal with those lean times every year when winter comes. Plants don’t grow in the cold and snow and animals find places to shelter. So people who lived in those areas couldn’t count on being able to bring in a harvest, hunt or gather during those months. They had to have food stored up for the “disaster” of winter, or they wouldn’t survive.
Interestingly enough, this difference has had an effect on how cultures have progressed. Societies which have had to learn how to survive the winter have become societies where people are accustomed to planning and saving. Those where winter wasn’t an issue, where they could literally walk out in the backyard and pick food off the tree, are not as accustomed to planning for tomorrow. There is no need, as tomorrow they can still pick their food off the tree.
This has translated into modern society in the world’s most advanced nations. Because of the massive food supply and distribution system that we have, where fresh food can be stored for months before hitting the stores, we no longer have to plan on how we’re going to survive the winter. So we don’t. Then, when a disaster strikes, we cry out for the government to rescue us.
But the government has a horrible track record in helping the people out, when they have been faced with disaster. Even with the creation of FEMA in 1979, the government’s track record really hasn’t improved. While FEMA leads the way, bringing other government agencies into disaster areas, with the ostentatious job of helping people and businesses recover, what they really bring is a lot of red tape, all of which has to be dealt with before they start passing out money.
If we had to depend on FEMA to help us survive a disaster, we’d probably all die. Fortunately, there are other organizations, such as the American Red Cross, which are much better at bringing in immediate help, in the form of food, clothing and shelter from the storm.
This all boils down to one question we all need to ask ourselves; what it all comes down to… do we want our families to be forced to live like refugees when a disaster strikes or do we want to be ready to take care of them ourselves, being the family that makes it through all right, with our without help from the outside world. Another question we can add to that is… Do we want our family to die, if there is no help coming or do we want to do what it takes to ensure their survival?
Yes, prepping is hard. It requires work and sacrifice. It might mean not buying that new car or that 80” television set; taking a “budget” vacation instead of the lavish one you had planned on, or even not buying that big new house you’ve dreamed of. But isn’t your family’s security and survival worth it?
I won’t lie to you, prepping is expensive. Think of how much you spend on groceries each month and then multiply that by however many months worth of food you need for your stockpile. Better yet, don’t do that; the answer will be scary. Food isn’t all of it either. There are other things you’ll need to buy, in order to ensure that your family will be okay. It will take time and probably change your life.
But it’s worth it. Every bag, box or can of food you buy will make your family more secure. Every skill you learn will increase their chances of survival. When push comes to shove and the brown stuff hits the rotary air movement device, you’ll be the one who can take care of your family, while everyone else is waiting for help to come. Your family will be able to survive, even while those around you are perishing. Isn’t that a good enough reason to become a prepper?