The vast majority of the population exists in cities or very near them. We’ve already seen what happens in places like New York and Watts when power was lost for just three days. There are riots, looting, and violence. Imagine a long-term or even permanent loss of power. Imagine that the gasoline supply is what is in your vehicle’s gas tank right now, and that’s it. Food in your pantry is what you have, and that’s it. Water? Fill your bathtub, sinks, or anything else you can find, but that’s it. Toilets? You better dig a hole in the back yard, because disease is not far behind, if you don’t. You could always use your precious gasoline to make a run to the store where everyone is looting, but you’ll find the stores aren’t built with huge store rooms in the back, like there were in the 1970’s. Everything is shipped just-in-time, but of course there won’t be any more trucks to resupply the stores, and there won’t be any more trains or ships. There is no way to get crops out of the fields in bulk; they start to rot in place.
Now, let’s say you did store up a significant supply of food and water, like the Mormons do. You have a whole year’s worth. Did your neighbors do this, too? Did the majority of the now-starving population do this? Do you think they will notice your family seems to be doing pretty well? Did you make the mistake of letting it slip out that you had these supplies? Now, put yourself in their position. They’re looking at their starving kids and hearing their cries at night while their neighbor runs his generator, cooks his good-smelling food, and drinks his clean water. How desperate would you be? Would you let your family perish? What about the police or National Guard? Well, if they hadn’t abandoned their posts to take care of their own families, which is very likely, they would be taking your stores and employing “redistribution” as outlined in the Executive Order, but like I said it’s not likely they would abandon their own families. There would be well-organized groups out there though; the street gangs, who will systematically rape and pillage, will eventually find their way to your house. Will you fight? With what?
Maybe your plan should have been to bug-out of the city and get as far away as you can with as much as you can. That would have been a good idea, if you had left in the first 30 minutes of the power grid loss. Those that wait find themselves stuck on the freeways, jammed up in traffic. Even if you do make it out, where would you go? What would happen when you get there?
Will you grow your own food? Do you know how? So, maybe you prepped a little and bought a bunch of seeds to plant. Were they “heirloom” seeds? All the seeds you buy in the store these days are hybrid seeds, engineered to produce sterile seeds or no seeds at all. This way you have to come back every year to buy more seeds, but there are no more because there are no stores left to sell them. Where do you get heirloom seeds? Do you know how to preserve your crops so you can eat them year-round? Canning is a simple thing to learn, but if you weren’t knowledgeable before the Internet went down you won’t have access to learn. Did you bring canning supplies?
Will you hunt? Like planting and raising crops, it’s a skill or a piece of knowledge you should have learned before the loss of power. Additionally, you need bullets and lots of them, because, again, there are no stores, and on a more ominous note it is very likely you will have to defend yourself and your family against some fairly seasoned thugs. Can you do this? Do you know how? It’s yet another skill you should have acquired before everything crashed.
All right, enough of the torturous questioning. You’re overwhelmed by now and maybe even depressed. I walked you into this subtly, and then I put it on pretty thick. I’m sorry, but I want you to know and to think about it. There is a reality here, and I believe a certainty that drives necessity to prepare.
There is a smart way to prep and at the same time be frugal. Most of us are limited, by budget, in any case. You may be surprised to know that smart and responsible prepping is doable for those that don’t have a lot of money. It may involve building or making your own tools, rather than buying them from a store, or it may mean slowly accumulating canned goods that you normally eat and then rotating them through your pantry. Large bags of grain or rice are very inexpensive and easy to preserve. Also, there are fairly inexpensive ways to purify water. A little bit at a time makes this affordable.
The majority of the part about accumulating knowledge and skills can be inexpensive or even free. Survivalblog.com is a wealth of information from folks that willingly convey their knowledge because they care about you and others like you. From planting and canning to medical, dental, and self-protection, if it’s not on the website, then it points you in the direction of where to find it or how to learn it. Spend a few minutes each day reading and researching. Within a few weeks or months you will be amazed at what you’ve learned. This is where I would start, and it costs you nothing. Why not?
Are you a Christian? If you are, then at some point you might struggle with the idea that God will provide. He does, and He will. So, now you feel that prepping is sinful, because you should be trusting in Him, right? I know; I struggled with that too. It was mostly because well-meaning teachers/pastors have used things out of context. While it’s true the “lilies of the field do not toil”, the context of the verses are addressing worry rather than work. Read the entire message, not just a single verse or handful of verses. In Genesis, Egypt accumulated seven years’ worth of food because God told them to do it, knowing there would be a shortage. (Gen: 41) Proverbs tells us that being lazy and not preparing is actually wickedness. (Prov 6:6-15) Paul tells us in Timothy that if we do not provide for our families, then we have denied the faith and we are worse than the infidel. (1 Tim 5:8)
These are just a few, and if you go to survivalblog.com and search under “Prayer Page” http://survivalblog.com/prayer/. You will find this subject addressed much better than I can here, as are the subjects of preparing, storing, self-defense, and even charity. Of course, after you read/research things, get on your knees and pray about it yourself. Ask God to show you His will for you in this circumstance. Regardless of what I say here, He is the only authority for your life. Some won’t, because they are afraid or don’t want to know the answer. We as Christians do that from time to time.
I’m reminded of a story where a man was in the ocean and his boat sunk. Several other boats came by the man who was swimming in the water, but each time they asked if he needed help he turned them down, stating that he believed God would save him. Eventually, he drowns and finds himself in Heaven. He took the first opportunity to question God as to why He didn’t save him. God’s response was, “I sent several people to help you, but you didn’t accept their help.”
…and with that, you’re off the hook.
Okay, you read it. I hope and pray it made an impression to at least look into preparation a little deeper. My father was a young man, during the Great Depression, living in Montana. If he remembered anything in his old age, it was the details of what life was like during that time. They had a 120-acre ranch and hunted, raised beef stock, pigs, and chickens, grew hay and grains as well as had a large garden. They canned everything they could, smoked their meat, stored things in a “root cellar” and so forth. It was nearly a self-sustaining lifestyle, though from time to time they sold excess or worked jobs outside the ranch to buy things they couldn’t make themselves. In modern times, this is what we would call a redoubt—a self-sustaining retreat designed for our survival in the event of a catastrophic collapse. The interesting thing is how the Depression left lasting impressions on my father. To hear his stories of that time conveyed one overarching fact—life was hard. To consider engaging in that lifestyle to survive, after living in the world we now have, is overwhelming. Without the knowledge of how to do it, it would be impossible. Will we need to do it? I pray to God, no. However, if your plan for retirement includes social security, an IRA, or pension, you have only to look at the headlines concerning U.S. and world economic instability to realize you might want to have a backup plan.
So you see, it doesn’t hurt to acquire knowledge, some materials, and have a plan. Having a bag or pack with just 72 hours of sustaining items would put you in a better position than 98+% of the population. We call that a Bug-Out-Bag, or BOB. What do you put in it? Search survivalblog.com. It’s free to find out.