A Crisis of Choice

 
OK. It’s no secret.  I could very easily be called “zealous” in my preparedness efforts.  Some lovingly or ignorantly (I don’t mind which) may even call me “paranoid.”  That’s OK.  The bottom line is I’m ready for the majority of crises that may occur.  

And as such I have a great deal of peace of mind and fortitude.  Clearly it’s hard to be so prepared and stay completely under the radar of the notice of friends and family, and even more difficult when you regularly write a public blog.  :)  So I’m sure that many other like-minded people can relate when I share with you some of the following comments that I regularly hear from friends, family and associates:

“When all hell breaks loose, I know where I’m going” (Translation—I’m coming to YOUR house, Kellene, and helping myself)

“Why do I have to store any food and water?  You’ve got enough to feed an army.” (Translation—I absolve myself of any responsibility to take care of myself or my family because I can manipulate your good nature to take care of me instead.  Meanwhile I can purchase my boats, fancy cars, have a mortgage bigger than I can afford, go into extensive debt, and ignore any reasonable indications that I must be prepared.)

“I don’t need to be prepared.  I’ve got all the ammo I need.” (Translation—When the going gets tough, I intend to forsake all of my standards of morality and ethics and murder and pillage to get what I want.”

“If you’re a good Christian, I’m sure you’ll share with my family in an emergency.” (Translation—I have no need to comply with scriptural warnings on my own behalf.  So long as there are others that will be obedient, I can ride their coat tails and absolve myself of heeding the very same warnings that others have been given.  Oh and while you’re at it Kellene, can you also say my prayers for me, read the scriptures for me, get a college degree for me, and take over the care and nurturing of my family?)

“Why be prepared?  When everything goes South, I just want to die anyway.” (Translation—I choose to ignore the “enduring to the end” quotes in the scriptures.  Instead I choose to determine when my life ends and I do not value my worth and my ability to help others in a crisis and beyond.  I forsake the innate human desire for survival, perhaps even out of cowardice, but definitely out of a lack of faith that any good can come from surviving and helping through a crisis.)

“I don’t need to be prepared for more than 72 hours.  The government will provide for us just fine.” (Translation—I forsake my own accountability for the well-being of family and loved ones.  I also believe in the Easter Bunny, Socialism, and that pro-wrestling is real.  Oh, yeah.  And I also had no television, newspaper, or internet access during the Hurricane Katrina debacle.  And, and one more thing.  I also dabble in fortune telling.  I know that there’s no such thing as a disaster significant enough to last long-term, such as a year or more.)

Unfortunately, anyone who’s made significant attempts to be prepared has heard all of this nonsense before.  And yet for some reason they struggle with the proper response. Well, this is how I deal with it.  First of all understand that I absolutely LOVE my friends and family.  While family has always been important to me, I’ve somehow been blessed with lifelong friends as well.  In fact, my feelings of love and concern for one or the other are hard to differentiate at times.  Lately my circle of friends has increased significantly.  I find myself reaching out even to friends from junior high and high school and employment from years past.  I believe the reason is due to the fact that my awareness for the need to be prepared for a real emergency has been heightened substantially.  As I ponder the ramifications of such an event incurring in our nation, I can’t help but feel more connected to the people around me in a very humanistic way knowing that they will struggle if they aren’t prepared.  I know that witnessing their struggle may even be more difficult for me than the crisis itself.  That being said, while my concern is genuine, I realize that I cannot argue with reality.

 caution

 

First reality check—there’s a lot of assumption by a person who believes that they will even be able to MAKE it to my home for food, water or other supplies.  What’s to say that they haven’t moved by the time a disaster strikes, or that they are trapped in their home due to a nuclear blast or a pandemic quarantine for a long period of time?  PLANNING on going somewhere else in order to survive is NOT a plan. Second reality check—sharing is voluntary.  I’m sorry, but if I have a choice of bringing someone into my “community” who has been faithful and has done all that they could do to prepare and can contribute to the strength of the survival of the community, then they are going to get first dibs on what I have to contribute.  A community is only as strong as its weakest link.  Can any community afford to take on a dangerous liability or vulnerability and risk the lives and health of all others involved?  A person who has willfully, belligerently, and defiantly ignored all reasonable warnings of preparation is not an asset to anyone else. Third reality check—and this I believe is the most important.  Food and water is NOT the real security.  They are only a material representation of the faith, confidence, knowledge, and mental preparation required for a person to survive an emergency.  Confidence cannot be instilled into a hollow soul simply by will.  The same goes with faith, mental preparedness and extensive amounts of knowledge.  Thus, as much as I wish to usurp the natural laws at times and give my friends and family a “brain dump” of my knowledge and the proper mentality I’ve acquired over the years to deal with most imaginable crises, I cannot.  To do so would be to violate an eternal law of choice and agency.  I have this peace of mind, emotional and mental attributes as a result of my preparedness efforts—the purchasing of food, the classes I’ve attended, the countless hours of research.  Not the other way around.  Even more importantly, I must guard against the disease of fear.  I simply cannot allow your fear to infect the world of preparedness and peace that I’ve worked so hard to create.  While material goods can be willingly shared, the peace and confidence which one seeks in light of an emergency cannot.  It is only had by exercising faith and a commitment of action in response to that faith. I hope that this assist many of you who may be postponing your own preparedness, as well as those who are encountered with the kind of opposition I’ve shared previously. In closing remember this one phrase of wisdom. “You can warn them, but you can’t own their actions.”

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Comments

72 hours is a fantasy. Look at Katrina. 2 weeks is more realist and longer then that is better. 4-6 should be enough for a regional disaster.

It's absolutely ridiculous that anyone label "preparedness" as hype. If such was the case then DHS, FEMA, and the Boy Scouts would have no place in this nation. Such "hype believing people" deserve to suffer a bit in my opinion. grrrr... But you're right. When it's a sister, I feel it's about CONSTANT education (out of love, of course) and then being prepared for when folks CAN'T help themselves...not won't.
Keep in mind Noah had to turn away a lot of folks who "wouldn't" prepare.

I had to read this article a couple times. It really made me think. Recently I learned how to can butter and excited about it, shared with friends and family. The reactions were from one extreme to the other. Most people laughed at me, including my family. After all, we'll ALWAYS have butter :D My friend was upset because she bought a large amount of powdered butter, but planning on canning from now on. We now compare notes and exchange ideas.. I think either you are a 'prepare' personality or a 'everything will be fine' personality. The 2 are hard to mix. At least in my house. I took a poll of 10 people. 7/10 don't/won't/can't deal with the issue of preparedness. 1 in 10 says we might have a problem but will worry about it later. 1 in 10 says she doesn't have the money to store food. That leaves 1 in 10 supporting everyone if things go south. Wow. BTW love your site :)

Jen, I'm glad I wasn't too far off base with my examples of comments. *wink* My hope is that mother nature doesn't clean out too many of us who are prepared. *grin*

I have heard these so many times and thought the same thing. We had a neighbor who was wonderful but said he didn't need to prepare for anything as he'd just come next door with his wife. We joked about this and, because he was extremely helpful to our family for years, I told him he and his wife were welcome but all others would be shot on sight. He laughed and then realized I was serious. And then he laughed and said he loved being my neighbor!

It's like people who tell you they don't need to get out of debt because the government will take care of them -- it all comes down to personal responsibility! Glad there are at least a few of us are out there! :)

Actually, after I posted this yesterday, I did about 2 more hours of research. I've decided that all of the naysayers are relying solely on government advisories--the same that won't permit Laetrile to cure cancer, advise against steam canning tomatoes, and so much more. Considering that there's more than enough evidence of canning butter for over decades and it's safety, I'm going to do so with vigor! Thanks for "making" me look into this further.

Kels,
I'm glad you liked the article. My hope is that that 1 in 10 will compound to a few more who are prepared.
Also, you may want to do some research on canning butter. I had planned to do a great deal of it, but found a great deal of health controversy on it. I'm not done with my research yet, but I found enough that I've put off canning butter for now. Just FYI.
Take care,

I use the standard 'open kettle' method you find on-line. The standard sites I find for info say ..http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001i3O. That seems to cover everything I can find. The UGA.edu doesn't consider it canning, just storage with the standard 'we don't know enough to say a thing' thing. I would hate to think it would be spoiled or make us sick when I needed it. Any info you have would be great. Thanks so much :D

Kellene, PLEASE update us as soon as possible on the bottling butter issue. I learned to do this on your site and need to know what you think/ have found as I was told by others not to do it. Just don't trust the folks at the government agencies! Thanks for all you are doing!! Blessings.

This article was written in 2009. I've not changed my position on bottling butter especially when using the solar oven method.

Only my husband and parents know I store food, and none of them know exactly how much.

We live on the dead end of a sleepy, lower-middle class neighborhood. My immediate neighbors' father has been planting perennial edibles in their yard almost since they've moved in, and they recently added some caged animals, but I'm not sure if they're pets or livestock. I gave them the extra Chaya tree I was given when I bought a few. They're young, and didn't tend to the plants their father planted at first, but they're tending to them better since the recession/depression.

Neighbor across the street has many fruit trees. Neighbors behind us have many pecan trees, we have one. There's quite a few wild edibles in the field next to us.

If things went bad quickly, enough to where they ran out of food, I'd offer them enough to stay alive, and not very tasty food as long as they planted some of the seeds I'd share, and built a rabbit hutch. Especially if I said it in front of the immediate neighbor's father.

I do wonder about caching the storage in a couple of places. The only thing I can come up with is to heavily wax the cans, then bury them. I've never had standing flood water longer than 24 hours like the folks near rivers.

I recently read an article, I think it was by someone going by Grandpa, about what to do when strangers come asking. He said he'd never give out food to anyone not in his inner circle, but send askers to a nearby church or soupline that he would make donations to periodically.

I don't think our area would be too bad off as far as water, since we get many heavy rains throughout the year. I've ordered a few large barrels, and plan on getting a HEWs or WaterBob also. Those should get us by in between rains, if something happened to public water -- as long as we were very frugal with it. We already have quite a few smaller containers that did us fine after Ike.

I agree that the key to survival will be knowledge. My family (extended) thinks I'm nuts because I actually DO look into how to make a composting toilet (even though I have no intention of setting one up right now); how best to wash clothes off grid (I'm leaning towards the 5 gal. bucket + toilet plunger method) and so on. But knowing the basics of how something would/could work will allow me to improvise, even if I'm away from home and my 'stash'.

My sister is like this. Before Ike, she bought a 24 pack of water bottles and didn't grocery shop, because the stores were all too crowded.

She ended up living with me for 3 weeks. I had more than enough water for our family (in my neighborhood, power was restored very, very quickly) and so I gave her our extra, plus extra flashlights, candles, and so on.

Now the swine flu hit, and while I was making sure I had the government recommended 2 weeks of water stored, she refused to even consider stocking up anything because she didn't want people to think she bought they hype.

Perhaps I should stock up for her family, too.... I know I would never turn my sister away!

I found your swine flu comment interesting. I am assuming you are talking about the scare a year or two ago. I live in Canada and we didn't hear a thing about having 2 weeks of water stored, but the swine flu shot was pushed onto us BIG-TIME. I have a friend who lives in Germany, and she told me they heard about the swine flu, and they had the shots available, but there was no mad rush (here there was line-ups that were hours long...). She said some people got them if they wanted, some didn't, but it was not all over the news like it was here. I find it interesting that North America governments feed on the fears of the citizens. I actually learned a lot about how government works during the swine flu 'pandemic'.

yeah, see the date of the post. It was written in 2009.

I don't have all the answers, but I do have this one on disaster preparedness/recovery:

A letter pertaining to disaster (hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, fire, etc.) has been sent to President Obama on behalf of all insurance policyholders. As a matter of transparency on the record of insurance consumer protection, any response by President Obama will be posted on the following Website for review: www.disasterprepared.net/president.html

Qui potest et debet vetare, jubet: (Law Maxim)
HE WHO CAN AND OUGHT TO FORBID A THING [IF HE DO NOT FORBID IT] DIRECTS IT

Thank you for addressing this issue. I've been reading several preparedness blogs and seldom see much on this subject. I especially like the third reality check. So much of what we're doing is mental. We're in a world where society / gov't is telling us to help those who don't help themselves... (not those who "can't" help themselves). If we're ever in a long term national disaster, this issue will explode. Thanks again for this well thought out response to a hot potato issue. I'm hooked on this blog!

Oh, also, one more thing. I've researched a LOT of washing methods for clothes, towels, jeans, and sheets. I've purchased a couple of great "plunger like" tools (called mobile hand washers) that I'll use with big buckets. I've also found a cream of the crop double basin galvanized system for washing as well. The bottom line is you really don't want your hands to have to be in water to get your clothes clean.

Terah, that's AWESOME to hear! Mission Accomplished! If you have a "request" for a particular topic, feel free to let me hear it!

I have a special request:) I bought the pressure cooker you recommended. Now what? Where's the best place to start if you've NEVER used one before. Thanks!

Start with the recipes in the book that came with it. Also, Cooking Under Pressure is a GREAT cookbook. Also, I highly recommend the recipes that I"ve provided on this site as well. Some folks use their pressure cooker religiously to cook rice and mashed potatoes in. You've bought a REALLY safe pressure cooker, so have fun and don't be afraid of it. :-)

Shreela, The brilliance in your comment is how well thought out you are. You're miles ahead just by thinking and mapping it all out in your mind. Sending folks to a soup kitchen, local clergy, etc is an excellent strategy, especially when I regularly donate to such locations. Let them oversee this kind of distribution. Being able to collect rain water is an excellent supplement, but to be clear to other readers, it should not be your only plan for water.

Thank you for enlightening us on this topic. For those of us who are new to the being "prepared "process this has definitely given valuble insight. I look forward to learning more!!!!!

As always, great food for thought. I think the most critical part of emergency preparedness is having a PLAN. Just thinking through the possibilities and identifying what your next steps should be is critical. The act of planning keeps me focused and motivated from week to week. It also keeps me calm.

It never ceases to amaze me how blind people can choose to be. All you have to do is look at the increasing incidents of disaster over the last few decades to realize that things all steadily getting worse. No one can expect to be immune regardless of where they live. It just makes sense to plan and prepare for some kind of disaster because sooner or later it will occur. If you don't believe in the warnings from the scriptures, then just look around you. The evidence is there!!

Thanks for all the advice. Beyond my own household, I've got 10 family members in four households living nearby. I am fairly certain that none of them has more than a week or two supply of food and water. My wife and I are still working to build up our year supply, although we have made good progress over the last year. We have wondered what to do if disaster strikes and the family comes knocking.

While we still have much to discuss, it's good to see the thoughts and opinions of others who are in the same situation. Thank you.

I have had all the things you mention said to me also. The very worst thing I have heard from some people is that they will come armed and take what I have to feed their family! It saddens me so much that these people are serious, and take no responsibility for their own welfare. They just laugh at me for trying to prepare (I'm a beginner) and yet hedge their bet with threats to my well being!

Be sure to check out the Best Clothes Drying Rack. It's a must have product IMO. Also, Lehmans.com might have a wringer for ya.

Thanks for all the wonderful information on this site. I have just started with preparedness (yes, I know I am going to be playing catch up) but with all of the lists of stuff to get, I never considered how I would wash my clothes. Thank you for the "plunger type" method you talked about. Found one online and am currently searching for a manual wringer (only for getting the clothes a little dryer before hanging them) and a couple of buckets. I have used the wash board method before (with 6 kids worth of clothes and no washing machine) so I can handle this part. I also would put the kids in the tub barefoot to stomp on the clothes to help...lol. I spend many hours a week on this site gaining more knowledge. Thanks to all of you for the information.
Angie

just watched the movie Noah,

just watched the movie Noah, excellent!!! it shows what can happen even today. substitute the water for: pandemic, drought, emp/sun and the results are the the same. ur home is your arc, any you must have ur own army of angels to help......

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