I’m sure you’ve all heard or read the news lately, and there’s a lot of talk going around. Are we going to be “at war” as we probably think of it? Our troops have been fighting here, there, and everywhere for years, decades even, in one skirmish or another, but it could come to our country itself?
Of course. And even if battles didn’t actually erupt on American soil, there’s always the threat of terrorist actions and a credible one of cyber-attacks. But what exactly does that mean?
A wide-scale attack could interrupt gas and oil delivery, banking, food supplies, and utilities. It could happen in weeks, as has been suggested by Homeland, sooner, later, or of course, never. Do you really want to be caught unprepared by brushing this off and ignoring the possibilities? Here’s what to do:
First, when possible, avoid places where a lot of people congregate and involve either government facilities or symbols of capitalism, such as malls, theaters, and concert venues. If you can’t avoid these places, or aren’t yet convinced it could be an issue, practice situational awareness. It’s better to cancel plans or leave if you’re nervous about something and risk looking stupid than to be blown to smithereens.
Second, make sure you’re as healthy as you can be and if you’re taking prescription meds, get them filled if you can. Insurance companies often don’t do early refills, but you might be close enough to empty that it’ll work. Drink lots of water and exercise as you’re able.
Third, stock up on any items that A) you can’t live without and B) you can’t make yourself. Include seed packets too, just in case. A lot of vegetables can be grown inside or in a small pot on the deck or patio. For instance, our grocery list this week included alcohol and cigarettes because I don’t want to face whatever happens without either of these and because I don’t know how or have the capabilities to make them.
We always have six months, minimum, worth of supplies on hand, such as food, OTC meds and first aid supplies, household needs like toilet paper and trash bags, and so forth. In spite of having a well and a pond—and a pool, in a pinch—we also keep some gallon containers of water to be used in the interim if the well or pipes should have problems, until we can fix it.
Make a list of what you use every day and start shopping. Go heavy on shelf-staple and lighter on perishables. Don’t forget snacks, and make sure the stuff you buy is what you actually like. And yes, fill up water containers or buy gallons, again, just in case.
Fourth, stop by the bank and withdraw some cash in smaller bills. It doesn’t have to be much, it’s an emergency stash and you can always put it back once the threat has passed. Why do this? Well, if the internet goes down, or the power grid, both businesses and individuals will only be accepting cash; you might have hundreds of dollars, or thousands, in the bank, but you won’t be able to use your debit or credit cards. Sock it away somewhere safe and know that it’s there if you need it.
And finally, self-defense. No, you don’t need an arsenal and you don’t even have to carry if you don’t want to, but check your home for escape routes, hiding places, and weapons. Keep your cell phone charged as well as your laptop. Make a plan for your family’s safety.
Preppers have been doing all these things for a long time and are more ready for whatever may happen. You might think this is all overkill, and maybe you’re right. Or maybe not. My motto is to be ready for anything, because then you’re set and you don’t have to worry.