“We interrupt this program with a Special News Bulletin…” As a child of the 1980’s, it was so clear to all of us that one day we would be sitting at home, watching MTV, and talking with our friends on our cordless phones, when the high pitch emergency alert sound would pierce the air waves and hypnotically draw our attention to the television. It would finally happen; the Soviet Union would launch an unprovoked attack upon the United States, and we all have minutes to live before our world would be changed forever. That day never happened. With the collapse of the Soviet Union’s economy, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the reunification of Germany, the Cold War was over. There was no more living in the shadows of nuclear war. There was no more worrying if those “Russkies” are going to bomb us back to the Stone Age. We didn’t seem to live in fear any more.
On September 11, 2001, the fear returned. This time we never saw the threat coming. On that Tuesday morning, over 3,000 people lost their lives. It became one of the most frightening events in modern U.S. history, but the fear did not stop there. With the winds of war prevailing, we were struck again out of the blue. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took three or more days to reach parts of the city. People died. The next attack was an economic blow to our nation. Unemployment rapidly rising, home foreclosures mounting, fuel prices growing higher and higher, and the cost of food increasing took its toll on the American Middle Class.
Ten years after the attack on September 11th, I found myself sitting in front of the television looking for something to watch, when something caught my eye. I have always been a big fan of the National Geographic magazine and was quite happy that a television channel had been developed supporting all of the good that the magazine represented. What drew my attention to the channel was the title “Doomsday Preppers”. For those who do not know this show, you should. For those who have found it, you can understand where I am coming from.
During the pilot episode, one of the families introduced mentioned something about having a circle of people (friends) that you can count on and trust with your life. They had 22 people in their closely-guarded compound; they were ready to defend it with their lives. After watching the show, I saved the program on my DVR and wanted my wife to watch it. At first she was not interested. She believed it would be some crazy show. Later that year, while visiting family during Christmas time, we had an emergency at the hotel where we were staying. We were force to evacuate from the hotel and into the cold harsh early December morning. Fortunately, we were able to get to our van, start it up to get the heater going and give our boys blankets we had in the back of the van.
As we sat in the warmth of the van, we noticed another family with a little girl outside in the cold elements. My wife and I looked at each other and realized that we needed to help them too. We invited the family into the van to keep warm. The both of our boys and that little girl kept warm that brisk December morning because I threw a few blankets in the van. After that emergency ended, I vowed never again would I not be prepared.
When we returned home from our December trip and the next time “Doomsday Preppers” was on, I found my wife sitting next to me watching the show. Since then, she has endured my collection of emergency supplies and equipment. Now, every time we leave for mini vacations our “Bug out Bags” are packed in the van, ready in hope we do not need them.