Blog #3 -A Different Way of Thinking
I wanted to take this blog to talk about changing the way we think. When you are living in the city, suburbia, or even a town, there is a tendency to just expect that the things you need will always be there: there will always be food on the shelves at the grocery store – there will always be gas at the filling station – there will always be water when you turn on the tap – there will always be electricity when you flip a switch – things will just be there.
I don’t consider myself a “prepper” but I do consider myself well prepared for emergencies. In our area of the country, we have forest fires through the summer months and at any time the roads can be closed and supplies prevented from coming into our closest town. In the winter, we were at the store and everyone was talking about the fact that they hadn’t had electricity for 5 days because of a severe wind/rain storm pounding our area. We hadn’t even noticed because we are off grid, and our preparations had us very comfortable through this same time everyone was complaining about.
Even if you live in suburbia or city, there are many things you can do to be prepared for an unexpected event that could restrict supplies to your stores or utilities. A little extra storage of the right kind of foods that will not take up too much space and really help to keep you from panicking when everyone else is emptying out the store shelves. Even simple water storage can make a huge difference.
One thing I noticed in the Hurricane Katrina situation in New Orleans was that most people panicked and expected the government or someone else to take care of them. People tended not to think for themselves and certainly were not prepared for what took place. Personally, even if I could not get a ride or transportation, I would have walked about 10 miles in any direction and gotten out of the mess and the crazy acting people. That’s if I was living there which I would not! The large cities of our country are too unpredictable and I believe it’s time to get out of those areas into more open spaces.
But even if you feel trapped in a city environment, there are still many things you can do to be prepared for the unpredictable. Just by having some essentials at hand and not following the crowd, you will be way ahead of anyone around you. And you will do it quietly, not drawing attention to yourself so you can execute your plan of action without interference from ill-intentioned neighbors.
I believe we are too conditioned to wait for someone else to take the initiative in our lives, especially under emergency conditions. It’s time we learn to take the initiative for ourselves; to think things through both ahead of time for preparation and during events for our best course of action. I believe there are basically two types of people; the prepared and the unprepared! If you will take the time and energy to think things through and make adequate preparations, you will not be waiting for someone else to make those decisions for you. You will not become victim of a poorly executed government program. You will be safely, comfortably secured away from the masses that are waiting at the leaking Superdome for the government to deliver drinking water while the bathrooms aren’t working!
It is my wish through this blog to bring you ideas to think about and incorporate as you see fit for your particular situation – ways to become more prepared and ready for emergency situations whenever they strike. No one gets a notice that an emergency is coming on such and such a day. They present themselves without warning and the only way to be ready is to be prepared ahead of time.
In building our off grid homestead, we were forced to begin to prepare for what might happen. We couldn’t just call up the utilities when the lights didn’t work, because we are our own utility. We had to have a working knowledge of our system so that if it stopped working, we could get it working again. We had to have extra parts around so that we could fix it in the middle of the night when all the stores were closed. The same was true for all of the other systems since none of them are provided by anyone else but ourselves.
Since we are on solar electric, we also had to learn how to do with less. You can only make so much electricity in a day and you have to portion it out carefully so you don’t run out before you can make some more. We learned that there were some things we could do without. We learned we could turn the refrigerator off during the night and save electricity for other things we needed. We became much more careful about leaving lights on that we weren’t using. Instead of demanding everything be the same as when we were on grid, we became flexible and learned to prioritize according to the system we could afford to build and maintain. We are still very comfortable, just not as wasteful.
A friend of mine says that everyone should turn their electricity off for one day a month and check on their attitude of how they deal with that situation – or maybe even the gas supply for cooking and heating. It’s amazing what attitude adjustments can be revealed under these circumstances – Something to think about any way. Challenge yourself with some simulated emergencies and see how you do. You will end up performing how you train, so train well.
Well, that’s probably enough to think about and digest for now so until next time – train well!