Sometimes I wonder whether all the efforts I put into preparedness really have any purpose. I haven't gone whole-hog into this venture, as I do not have an underground bunker in my backyard, nor do I have a retreat in the woods complete with solar panels, rain catchment system, and a moat. I have, however, started changing the way I live to be better prepared for eventualities.
I have been slowly changing my vehicles to emphasize four-wheel-drives that can carry some cargo and tow a trailer. I have some use for these in my ordinary life as there are materials to haul and camping trips to be made.
I have also been upgrading my camping equipment, as much of this equipment is useful for bugging in as well as bugging out. If the power goes out for a week like it did in the winter of 1996, I can see my way around the kitchen with oil lamps while I heat up my canned chili on the campstove. Other camping equipment would be similarly useful, whether it be water filters or portable propane hot water heaters.
I have also been putting away food that stores for long periods, and increasing the amount of convenience foods I keep on hand. For example, we like canned ravioli, so I keep more on hand and rotate through it.
I don't know whether my preps will enable my family and I to survive an economic collapse, natural disaster, or TEOTWAWKI, but I would like to think we have a fighting chance. Provided we don't get overrun or have to flee without any of our preps, I figure that we could survive nearly a year on what I have put away.
The problem I see in preparing for an uncertain future is that we are the only ones in the family that are doing it. My brother visited me recently from Alaska (we both grew up there) and stayed a few days at my home. When he saw my rows of buckets along the back wall of the kitchen, he started looking into them. I told him that it was long-term food storage. His reaction? "Oh, you're one of those." Meaning "survivalist" types. He just doesn't get it, although I thought that he would have been a little more in tune considering that almost all food in Alaska has been trucked in.
Incidentally, prepping is not new to me. I have been putting away preps on and off since 1994. I have been taking it more seriously for about the past year.
I took my brother with me to the gun show that was in town for the weekend. One of the tables was occupied by a pro-militia group. My brother had a negative reaction and remarked about the anti-government, "redneck" types. He is usually reliably conservative and despises Comrade Obama as much as I do, but I do not think that he understands what ordinary people are feeling about the Obama administration and the economy.
I sense that my brother thinks I am a paranoid, survivalist, gun-nut. That is probably true, and I take no offense. However, I worry about him because he acts like all of the other sheeple that I know. Content that his paycheck keeps clearing and that his current lifestyle continues uninterrupted. Meanwhile the winds of change are swirling around. What will happen to him if the economy does collapse or if hyperinflation turns our country into a post-modern Weimar republic? How will he provide for his own children? He does not see what is coming, scoffs at being prepared, and is unconcerned.
I have put emphasis on prepping for those I have a direct responsibility to save, namely myself, my significant other, and my child. I not only worry about how my brother and other relatives are going to make it when the SHTF, but I worry about my own family. We have preps to get through any number of scenarios, but our survival would be seriously impaired if we had to provide for twelve on preps meant for three. Most of our relatives do not know about my preparedness "hobby", but we are the ones who are always prepared and that everyone else comes to. I have no doubt it will be the same when SHTF.
None of this had really bothered me until my brother came to visit. Now I have something to think about....