Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice & the question always is; are you ready? Our power went out the other night and luckily it was back on within an hour. Jenny and I were in Joplin the day of the horrific tornado in 2011. The 22nd was our first day out without our newest arrival, Eli, who was barely a month old at the time. We left Joplin due to a headache that was bothering Jen and we were headed home to rest before going back to pick Eli up later on. Honestly, we barely had gotten in the house when my cousin called and told us that a massive tornado was headed towards our house. Tornado or no tornado; nothing was going to keep a stressed mom away from her new baby so we headed towards her parents’ home. The storm was no longer a tornado by the time it hit our poor little Subaru, but it was still blowing hard enough that we had to take shelter in a covered garage area of a home on the way to their house. Would we have made it the last two miles to their house? Maybe. Were we prepared for the storm that had hit? Not in the slightest.
I know that the survivalists and preppers think that if you have a bug-out bag, storm shelter stocked with food, and all the tools and weapons to hold off the zombie apocalypse, you’ll be ok in the wake of a natural disaster. Even meteorologists recommend having extra blankets, water bottles, kitty litter and a small shovel in the car for emergencies in winter driving conditions. Are we ready? Common sense dictates having at least a few flashlights, some matches and candles in the house in case the power goes off, but what if that happens at midnight and you can’t see to find them. Nothing stinks worse than trying to replace 3 AAA batteries in the dark by the light of a toy lightsaber. The sound is cool when you’re not trying to concentrate, the fact that they make the fighting sounds is neat when there’s not a frantic woman in the background telling you that you should have checked the batteries a long time ago, and the strobing effect of the light is not the best option of light to check out what’s going on in the house. So again I ask, are we ready?
My survival game on my phone has made me realize just how badly I like the comforts of modern life. It takes me an hour of surviving a game to get a fake camper 60 miles in the wilderness, and it took about 40 tries to get him out alive. (Plus this was on the easy setting!) It’s difficult because making decisions based on the time of day, how much energy he has left, what he has available to eat and drink, how much the area that he’s in offers in the way of wood for fire and shelter, food and water. All of these factors play a role in how he survives! If you use your bandages for tinder for fire the night before you get bitten by a snake, how are you going to stop the bleeding? If you use all of your food traveling, how are you going to have enough energy left to build a shelter and fire? These are the real life decisions that would come from a major event and most of us don’t want to think about it because we’re too comfortable with our heat and air being on at the push of a button, or now even on our phones! The main reason he dies in the game is the fact of poor decision making, not being focused on how I’m going to get through the situations that I encounter next.
Life comes at us quick, are you ready? I had 2 ½ hours to get ready for my first son to be brought home. Most dads get 9 months to prepare, I got zilch comparatively. Think back with me over the major events that have happened since we were born. I know I am a little older than some, so I’ll start with space shuttle crashes, the Berlin Wall coming down, tornados ripping whole communities to pieces, Hurricanes’ Sandy and Katrina, mud slides, dust storms, snow and ice storms, massive fires….. the list is too endless to even write. Are we ready? Physically, I don’t even know if my body would accept maggots and crickets, but I know I could catch fish. I’m pretty confident that I could kill a deer or at the very least a rabbit or squirrel to have meat. Being a farm kid, I have raised chickens, so we could have eggs and meat that way too.
What could any of us do? When pushed to the limits of what we’re capable, we have survived before. I’m not sure if you like camping enough that you would make it a way of life, but if you like it even a little, then, you would have an advantage, because you have been in situations where you have to cook food over a fire. It may not turn out Pinterest worthy, but it will sustain you. You have skills that others may not ever even thought that they might need. Building fires, pitching tents or setting up shelters from tarps, using an axe or splitting maul, bandaging yourself using a napkin and duct tape, these are all things that can be useful in a pinch. Hopefully, the world will continue towards peace and unity across our globe, but if it ever gets bad, we’re going to know how to survive. You just have to focus on what you would need; shelter, food, warmth, fire, sources of building material.
You have the tools, now go and hone them and have fun doing it now because one day, if we don’t hang on to them, then they will be gone.