Was talking with a neighbor yesterday and the subject somehow got around to “prepping” – big-time disaster preparedness. He’s of the opinion that things are about to go very sour, and very quickly, and as a result he’s working on a complete disaster preparedness program for his house and his family. He mentioned doing something he never, ever imagined he and his wife doing, which is becoming gun owners and going the whole nine yeards on training, shooting practice and all that stuff. Keep in mind, this guy is no right-wing conservative wacko from Idaho or somehere you might associate with radical survivalists, he’s a white-collar professional in (I’m guessing) his late ’40s, maybe early ’50s, with a couple of teenagers. Drives a nice Infiniti, just got the whole front yard of his house nicely landscaped, I mean he’s Mr. “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, so if he’s doing this kind of thing you know there are thousands of othere thinking the same kind of thing.
I know from Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit blog (one of my regular daily Internet surfing stops) that this nothing to be surprised at, he’s been preaching disaster preparedness for years, and he’s a law teacher in Tennessee, so he’s no survivalist wacko, either. PJ Media’s Bob Owens wrote about this just the other day:
I’m not sure when the tipping point occurred, but at some point recently the “prepper” movement exploded and became mainstream.
The media still demeans the more extreme preppers making bizarre preparations for what most people consider unrealistic scenarios — such as polar shifts or the Mayan apocalypse — but with the current global economic situation, the carnage of recent natural disasters, and the fragility of power grids, other scenarios are no laughing matter. “Putting things by” like our grandparents did is now regarded by many as a wise investment against uncertain times, and like any market, there are smart businesses willing to cater to this growth market.
That’s exactly what my neighbor was talking about. His view is that this country has gone so soft that, were anything to happen on a grand scale that involved our national or economic security there’d be a total freakout and a breakdown of law and order very quickly. “You see what’s happening in Greece and Europe”, he says, “anyone who thinks it can’t or won’t happen here is either a fool or deluding themselves”.
The fact is, in a world where we are all so dependent on technology for our daily lives, it’s probably not the most absurd idea in the world to start putting together a plan for what happens if (when?) the unthinkable becomes real. Disasters come in many forms – Rob certainly knows that from his Katrina experience – and even here in Arizona, where you don’t equate the likelihood of natural disasters occurring, the idea of getting a plan together is not the worst idea.
Of course, if a national emergency or disaster does occur, I sure hope it doesn’t effect the power grid and doesn’t happen sometime between the months of May and September – if it does we’re totally screwed. Heck, we lost our A/C for 2+ days during August several years back and we were this close to just closing up shop and bugging out to get the rabbits to an extended-stay hotel; were the regional or national power grid to go out for any length of time like that there’d be nowhere to hide from the effects.
I’ve already thought of a few things that are basic necessities, like putting $1,000 dollars away in a safe spot (the banks and ATM’s will be useless in a power-grid based emergency and bribe money will come in handy) and considering some minimal power generating solution – not just for A/C’ng a couple of closed-off rooms but so I have tunes and boat drink ice for the backyard patio while Rome burns down all around us. We’ve got plenty of room in the garage for food stuffs and I know Costco already sells that kind of thing. Me, I like the look of this site and think it warrants a little closer attention than I’ve given in the past.