Saturday, August 30, 2014

Getting Prepared for Beginners #16 Don't Fear The Reaper

There are lots of disasters that could occur, but focusing on one can destroy your focus on living. Living in Fear is the enemy of happiness. Be prepared, but live.

Before I even get started I want to state that I am not saying you shouldn't be concerned about any of the events I cover in this post. What I am saying is that statistically these events are not very likely. Having a well rounded preparedness plan will have you ready for all of these events without focusing on just one. Obsessing about any single event will not benefit you in any way. All of these events are possible, I just believe that being prepared should be done out of a logical thought process and a desire for self reliance.

A lot of people start getting prepared because of a specific event. This may have happened to them, someone they know, or just been something that a person realizes could happen to them. The first reaction is "Oh crap, What if that happened to me?" This is a normal reaction. However decisions should not be made out of fear.

Fear can be a Catalyst but Should Not be a Motivator

There are a few tried and true marketing techniques. Sex sells clothing, cologne, makeup, and apparently food. Envy sells cars, houses, and jewelry. Fear sells insurance and prepps.

I want you to think about that. The people who are pushing fear are all trying to sell you something. Actually a lot of somethings.

There are a lot of very real things in the world to be afraid of. So many in fact that if you focused on only those things it could drive you mad. Fear has it's place. In a nice box on your mantel. If you keep your fear there it will never control you. People who are controlled by fear make bad decisions.

I hope all of you remember the Mayan calendar thing. The world was supposed to end December 21, 2012. There were people who spent their life savings getting ready for the apocalypse. I remember reading one report of a man and woman who sold their home, split the money and decided to party til the end. Guess what? We are still here.

Fear can be a catalyst but should never be a motivator.

If I could wave my magic wand and change one thing about the Preparedness movement it would be to remove fear as a marketing ploy. I follow a lot of alternative media on Twitter, but I follow a lot of mainstream media as well. I bet once a week someone is predicting doom by such and such date. That is not helping preparedness. Headlines like that are why  society thinks they are justified in calling us crazy. I actually got an email the other day saying the US economy would collapse in 6 weeks.

Really!?! If they truly had this information all of the people in "the know" would be scrambling to get supplies. What were they trying to get me to buy? Silver. Does silver have a place in preparedness? Yup sure does, but it is after peanut butter. At least it is on my list.

We are going to talk about some catastrophic events that people prepare for.

EMP

Electromagnetic Pulse. An EMP is one of the disasters that if you find someone who is worried about it, it is their primary concern. I know people who think about an EMP everyday. They try to consider an EMP in every purchase. Marketers love these people. If I can claim a radio is EMP resistant and back it up with research, a person who is obsessed with this event is going to buy, even if it is more expensive than it should be.

EMP FACTS

  1. EMPs are real. As much as I would like to tell you it is a bunch of hooey, I can't and keep my integrity.
  2. EMPs come in many forms. If you go by the strictest definition static electricity and even lightening qualify as an EMP.
  3. Small EMPs are much more common than people think. If you throw a fire cracker in a metal garbage can, you can measure the pulse with a good quality multimeter.
  4. With all but weapons specifically designed for EMP production, the EMP does not extend beyond the blast radius. So if an EMP does hit wait a couple of seconds and walk toward the light.
  5. If an EMP attack were to occur with a weapon designed for that purpose most advanced electronics would be fried. If you saved your radio there would be no stations to listen to. If you saved your cell phone the towers wouldn't work. Your flashlight would be fine. Older cars would probably be fine. Bottom line, unless you have an expensive generator, or some way to create your own electricity, don't worry about it. If you do, don't worry about it too much. It is statistically very low on the probability list.
For more information on EMP please visit my friend Graywolf Survival. He is working on a series specifically about EMP and how to survive if one were to occur. I like the fact that he is focusing primarily on a solar based event while covering a nuclear based one as well.

Yellowstone Super Volcano Eruption


Okay, so you have seen the documentary on the Yellowstone Super Volcano and now you are terrified. I can get that, but here is the deal. If it blows tomorrow, you will not be ready. If it blows in 1000 years you will not care. Yup, it is gonna blow, but there is no way to know when or even how bad it will be. Don't let this one scenario consume you. No one really knows what will happen if Yellowstone goes up. I remember when Mount St Helen erupted. The "experts" said it would be decades before anything grew on that mountain again. Guess what? The very next year things were growing. Will it be bad? It sure will, but no one knows just how bad. Focus on a basic level of preparedness and just go on.


Pandemic


This one is tough for me. I know a little about the concept, but haven't spent much time researching diseases and quarantine procedures. Being clean is very important. Washing your hands by itself decreases the likelihood of getting sick. Including some basic medical preparedness supplies help as well. Masks and gloves being the most basic, but possibly the most important. Hand sanitizer and disinfectants should also be very high on your priorities list. For further information on being prepared for any medical emergency check out Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. Here is their write up on pandemic supplies. Just be prepared to hang out a home for a little while and be healthy everyday. 

Dirty Bomb

Dirty bombs are small suitcase bombs that have an added nuclear component. Based on everything I can find, these bombs would not be any more powerful than another similar sized conventional bomb, except for the addition of some radioactive fallout. The actual power of this type of device is the panic that it would produce in the population.

If such an event were to occur, I would most certainly stay away from large cities. This type of event has not yet occurred. It is possible. Again achieve a basic level of preparedness and just live life.

Economic Collapse

Of all the possible long term events, this is the one that I think is most likely to occur. At the time I am writing this the United States is 17.66 trillion. And we are not the only ones. www.usbebtclock.org has a tab you can click to see other countries national debt. The numbers are telling. Almost every country is spending money they do not have. This cannot go on like this forever.

What is going to happen? No one knows. At some point we are either going to devalue our currency to the point where we can no longer buy things or we are going to get so deep in debt that we can no longer make the interest payment and we as a country will go into default.

Being afraid doesn't change anything. I have spoken to people, lots of people, that one of these disasters is what they want to talk about. You can see it in their eyes. They almost consider themselves an evangelist of sorts. Their chosen disaster is what will end society as we know it.

Living in a state of fear destroys health and relationships. Keep fear where it belongs, somewhere so it doesn't dominate but it is still available if we start to slack. Fear can and will if allowed to get in the way of your
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