Watching the reactions to preppers in the media, I see some people thinking they should do something about getting better prepared. Good for them. One of the main reasons preppers are willing to put themselves in front of national audiences is to educate and help others be better prepared. But there are also other reactions. You know the type. The folks who say things like:
“Those people are crazy.”
“People are so dumb.”
“God help these worry warts!” (all actual twitter comments in response to the Doomsday Preppers episode last night)
That’s okay, if your only exposure to preppers is through Doomsday Preppers or other media sources, it wouldn’t be hard to get the impression that we’re all a bit crazy. So what if you don’t believe that the world will experience a polar shift or supervolcano eruption or mass nuclear war (as in Alas, Babylon) in your lifetime? What if all that just seems a bit wacky to you? Well, let me assure you, you’re not alone.
However, it’s not a reason to throw the idea of prepping out the window. There are other reasons to be prepared. Reasons that are a little more mainstream, reasons that might make sense to you, the average Joe or Jane. Here, I’ve compiled 10 not-so-crazy reasons to have an emergency kit and stock a little extra food, fuel, and medical supplies. In short, these are everyday reasons to be a prepper.
1. Job loss or underemployment. Especially in this economy, there are many people out of work. If you were to lose your job tomorrow or get your pay or hours cut, having a little extra food and cash on hand could help keep your family fed and a few bills paid while you’re looking for work.
2. House fire. According to ready.gov, “each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States.” Having a plan, and knowing your evacuation routes, and practicing fire safety and evacuation drills can help your family not be a statistic.
3. Cuts and scrapes. Hey, I said these were everyday reasons. How many times have you been away from home and needed a band-aid for yourself or one of your kids? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an emergency kit with medical supplies in your car?
4. And speaking of the car kit–how about those emergency snacks or diaper changes? Yep, it can all be there in your emergency kit in the trunk.
5. Not to dwell on vehicles, but mechanical problems are not unheard of. Do you have a way to contact help and a way to keep your family warm or hydrated while you wait for help to arrive? Or a flashlight and the know how to change your own tire? Lots more likely than an EMP.
6. Natural disasters. Choose your own adventure here. The natural disaster you are most likely to encounter will vary depending on your location, but something like the tornadoes that occurred this past week can bring about the end of YOUR world as you know it even if it’s not “the end of the world”. A bit of preparedness can go a long ways toward keeping your family safe and/or being able to administer medical attention in the event of a natural disaster.
7. Evacuation. We had an area evacuated recently due to a wildfire. What will you take and will you be able to get out in time if your home is threatened with destruction? Where are your birth certificates, vehicle titles, stock/bond certificates, and other important documents that could cause problems if they are destroyed? It would sure be helpful if they were all in one place that was easy to find. Even if you just need to produce a birth certificate to enroll your child in school or a social security card to get a job, it’s nice to know exactly where those important documents are.
If you have an evacuation plan, a list of things to grab, and even better, a kit to grab and go with essentials in it for yourself and your family for a few days, you’ll be one of the first on the road instead of stuck in evacuation traffic. Sweet. Especially if you’ve kept your gas tank above half full so you can get all the way out of town without having to stop with everyone else and fill up your tank.
8. Family unexpectedly comes to town. Do you have extra bedding for them? What about enough food to offer to feed them while they’re in town?
9. Last minute food. Maybe you found out someone was sick and needed dinner brought to them, or your kid is supposed to bring something to the potluck after play practice today, or you are asked to bring something to a bake sale, or there’s a field trip that you forgot about and someone needs a sack lunch, or any other food emergency. It’s sure nice to have some meals and snacks you can throw together without a trip to the store.
10. Power outage. What will you need to stay warm, fed, and alive with no power? If you have some extra food on hand and a way to keep your house warm (or cool for those of you in the south), you’ll get through the experience with a lot less stress.
There’s a start. What everyday reasons can you think of to have some extra preparations on hand?