Thursday, September 08, 2005

Be Prepared

Not all of us are good little Boy Scouts, but all of us should take precautions to make sure that we are safe if bad things happen. Joe Cathey has some suggestions that might be a little overboard, but are still a good place to start.

Basic principles go like this:
  1. Be self-reliant. The government will likely come to help, but it may take a while and technically they don't have to. The Supreme Court even made this official a while back. So you need to plan to have what you need.
  2. Plan. A lot. Sun Tsu got this one right, advanced planning gives you an advantage. When bad things happen it is a lot better to have thought about things for hours beforehand than to try to throw something together in minutes on the spot.
  3. Figure out what you need. Double it for safety. Double it again for pure paranoia. Good things to have are food, water (and means to purify it), blankets/sleeping bags/camping gear, a first aid kit, a crank operated short-wave radio, matches/lighters, a good knife, a defensive weapon with ammo, a supply of any prescription drugs you are taking, and something to carry all this crap in if you have to move. If you have a multi-member household, you should have enough of this stuff for everyone. Also when you spread the load across your household, make sure someone doesn't end up with all of something (within reason). Don't give one person both first aid kits or all the lighters.
  4. Have more than you "need". You probably only "need" enough of the above supplies for about a week and you don't "need" more than you can carry. But stuff will break. Food will spoil. The only road into town will get knocked out by the storm. Have extra.
  5. If other people know you are prepared, they will come to take advantage of you. There are several options to handle this. The first is don't tell people of your preparations, then they won't come. The second is to get good at saying "No" and have the ability to back it up (this is what that gun is for). The third is to plan for it and have excess so that you can afford to help others without hurting yourself and your family.
Some people may think that enforcing a "No" with lethal force is a bit extreme. People are not trees, we can't snack on sunlight. We need food, water, clothing, and shelter. In an emergency situation, if anyone tries to take these from you, they are not just stealing property. They are trying to kill you. Act accordingly.

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