The New York Times website this morning has a front page story on Hurricane Sandy and the Disaster Preparedness Economy. Disasters like Sandy push preparedness up our list of priorities and give impetus to getting ready for what might happen.
The article points out that disaster preparedness has been seeping into the consciousness of Americans for some time now reflected in books, films, TV shows and documentary films. The business of making generators, gas cans, and even candles is booming as people begin to focus on a degree of preparedness that hasn’t existed since Y2K. Costco and even Walmart are selling foodstuffs for long term storage.
The news stories from New York and New Jersey demonstrate that people are still poorly prepared for emergencies and highly dependent on government to first warn them, then bail them out. Serious disaster events striking large population centers are no doubt FEMA’s worse nightmare.
In a rural community we have to recognize that in the event of any kind of disaster scenario (volcanic eruption, earthquake, tsunami, financial collapse) that we will be on the end of the food chain, so to speak, because of our low population and isolation. Even though Red Cross, for example, has a plan for the island with designated shelters, some food stuffs, cots and blankets it will be important that we are ready to take care of ourselves for the short term or the long term. Hopefully, some of the business that is making the disaster preparedness industry boom has been generated by islanders.
Short term the basics of food, water, medicine are key. Long term preparedness requires looking at growing our own food, making our own fuel, transportation alternatives, developing heat and power sources. The internet is a rich source of information with sites such as Natural News and Survival Blog leading the way. Many might find the political views of these blogs off putting as they tend toward Libertarianism and consistently denigrate Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party and sometimes the Republican Party. I suggest you overlook the politics and try to glean nuggets from the information they provide.
Survival Blogs Quick Start Guide for Newbies should get you thinking if you haven’t thought about this stuff already.
Hurricane Sandy seems a long way off but most of us know somebody affected by the storm. If you have experienced a disaster like Mt. St. Helens or the Columbus Day Storm or a California Earthquake you will no doubt be more inclined to pay attention.