Sunday, May 19, 2013

Paranoid Prepping

Back in the 50s and 60s people were so freaked out about nuclear proliferation that some were building emergency bunkers in their backyards. They wanted to be prepared just in case the Cold War suddenly heated p. Most of them were more like storm shelters in the Midwest rather than something that would be able to withstand nuclear fallout and "the end of the world." But people felt safer when they had one.

These days bunkers are back in style and they are getting pretty extreme -- not to mention being extremely expensive. However, now people are putting in filters to collect the radioactive fallout, communication systems, arsenals, food stocks, and living amenities knowing that it isn't just about surviving the initial event, but the aftermath as well. They also build with the knowledge that there are any of a number of events that could bring civilization to the brink of anarchy and survival.

I have a friend who is paranoid and is working on her own prepping plan. Not having the money or the land to build a bunker she is doing more of her own thing. She has had no survival training and is in her 70s with some serious health issues, so it would be interesting to see if her plans would ever work. Her basic plan at this point is to have a bug-out bag for herself and one for her cat. A few weeks ago she informed me that she was making me a bug-out bag as well. Somehow I managed not to roll my eyes, and just asked her not to.

I am definitely interested in prepping, but for me it is fodder for the writing grist mill. I like to ponder the possibilities of what it would take to survive and the issues that might arise. When I was 11 I started writing a book I titled "The Day the World Started Over." It was crap, of course, because I had no real notion of what it would take to survive with only a handful of people left on the planet. Nor did I have much of a clue about the things that might lead to such an apocalypse. The subject has always interested me, but I don't walk around with enough paranoia to think that this is something that is likely to happen -- not on that scale anyway. 

It is not that I don't want to have a bag for emergencies, it is just that I would rather create my own. This is because I know her. She gets ideas that she thinks are really good and they may work for her, but they don't necessarily work for other people. If you don't like the idea she gets terribly offended on top of it all.

Another part of the conflict here is that I have had survival training and so I am aware of things that she isn't. So I know what I want in an emergency bag -- like the one I've had in the car for years. Ever since the survival training I have tried to keep a few basics in the car just in case the car breaks down in a tough place.

Since her packing is based on watching television and mine on training I don't know what I will think of what she comes up with. I know that she has been all up in the air over packing paperwork that she thinks she will need.  I have no plans for that beyond what I usually carry in my purse.

The actual emergency planning I have done is having some extra canned goods and water on hand, as well as some candles. Most of what is most likely to happen will not take me out of my home. Same for her, but her head is filled with all of the things that could go wrong.

To me there is one most important thing you need to have to survive and that you have with you all the time anyway -- right between your ears. If you aren't thinking straight you can have all of the tools, food, and arms in the world and still end up as a spot on what's left of the pavement.

So if the worst happens she may be more prepared, but I'm okay with that. I'm more interested in being prepared for today.

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