thoughtful rambling part 5

This is the end . . . at least the end of this rambling mumbling free thought essay.  Tomorrow am supposed to pick up a package of bees and need to get those in the hive right away.  Have more work to do in getting the garden ready. Fortunately, didn’t plant anything else outside as we had FROST this morning. am also getting ready to Ebay my Goal Zero Yeti 150 and Nomad 20 solar panel, along with 2 of my Gun Tote’n mama carry purses.  And am WAAAYYYY behind on my office work.  So what else is new!!  On to new things . . .

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When the SHTF, whether it be a little or a lot, until we get our bearings, it will be hard. We will have to have resolve to face difficult situations.  We will have trouble adjusting to the idea that the normal no longer apply.  It may involve saying NO to people in need.  We may have to be secretive to people we have called friends.  We may have to use a level of force to protect what is ours.  There is nothing wrong with that, just that in recent years we have become programmed, especially women, with the idea that self-protection is wrong.  If you have a year’s worth of stores, and your neighbors have none, you don’t want to see them, or their children, suffer.  And if you have a year’s worth of stores and the electricity is out for 2 weeks, there may be no harm in sharing.  BUT, you will have to replace that year’s worth of stores from YOUR pocket.  And next time, when it might be a flu outbreak that has everyone locked inside for 3 months, they will be looking at you again to share.  And you might not have enough for everyone for 3 months without shorting your own family!  When you say no, your friendly neighbors might not be so friendly, feel they are entitled to what you have worked hard to put away for your family.  It’s a dangerous and slippery slope which we like to assume we’d never have to go down, but if a real SHTF situation comes along, you will!

So this is the area I’ve avoided for so long, weapons. You might need them, you might not.  Again, nothing wrong with being prepared.  But even more than weapons is the resolve behind them.  The ability to say NO and mean it, to support it. You will have guilt.  That’s okay, guilt won’t kill you, but you and/or your family might die if you give up your supplies!  If you don’t want to resort to weapons, that is your choice.   But don’t think that stepping aside and saying “help yourself” will save you when someone with a weapon comes for what’s yours!.  And are you willing to trade your family’s well-being because you were not prepared to face down a person with more resolve than you?  If you think that you have saved yourself by giving up your stores to the guy with the gun, you will rethink that when all you have to offer your children is a sad face.

Think I’m being extreme? So is this whole game.  If you even think that S**T can happen, so can the rest of it.  Its why we call it SHTF, or EOTWAWKI.  It’s the real game changer.  Don’t you think that the families in New Orleans, during Hurricane Katrina, were real surprised when they were told to get out of their safe homes, leave behind their supplies and, oh yeah, turn over your weapons by the friendly local Police or better, the National Guard.  Those who were otherwise prepared found themselves hungry, dirty, empty and poor in the same stadium as all those who were at the mercy of the elements.  With nothing of their supplies left in their homes when they finally got back! When it comes to the common denominator in a SHTF situation, we all sink to the lowest when the Government steps in to help.  That’s why you see so many of the Prepper forums and especially the Survivalists, eschewing the government’s help and programs.

If you have read to here, you are thinking, and wondering what it’s all about and hoping you’ll find some real answers somewhere. So here are my answers.  Educate yourself.

It doesn’t take much to find out how the people of New Orleans endured during Hurricane Katrina. It’s easy to find out how many people have been stranded on Georgia highways during winter storms. Or how often, for hours, people find themselves stuck on northern highways during storms, after an accident.  How long cities on the southern and eastern coasts have found themselves without power after a Hurricane. Or northern states have been without heat and power after a vicious winter storm or spring flood.  This is your start.  Being prepared for that possible 18-24 hours trapped in your car, or that 7-10 days without heat and hot water. Can you change a tire?  You might get stuck for hours waiting for help during a rainstorm on a major U.S. Highway! Watch what happens with supermarkets and other stores before, during and after those events to see how they handle the situations, how quickly they get restocked.

Know your own area. What shelter is there, where can you get help. How long does it take for emergency aid to reach you in a non-critical situation? Do you have natural resources? Do you know your growing season, what is suitable to grow. Can you wild harvest foods or healing herbs? Is there “stuff” to salvage? How quickly does your neighborhood turn when the lights are out for a few days. How do people feel about those they think “have” vs the “have nots”? How will they feel about you if they think you “have” and they “have not”?

You may think, it can’t happen here. That’s why there were so many people still in their homes when Katrina hit New Orleans.  That’s why people move shore side in the southern U.S. and are always surprised when their homes get hammered by Hurricane winds and waves.  How many times have you see the Mississippi flood through towns. How many times have you seen people lamenting what they have lost when a flash flood roared through their town in (fill in the blank). All those people thought it could not happen to them.  Ever.  It can happen to anyone at any time.  You might be prepped for World War III and lose it all in a fire!  S**T happens all the time.  Saw on the news this morning some car, wrong way driver, chased by police, rammed through the gate at an air force base and crashed into a F-18 parked on the runway.  Earlier this week, someone we knew had their car totaled and ended up in the hospital after someone driving under the influence hopped a median at speed and crashed into them head on.  There have been people shooting random drivers on interstates all across the country. S**T can happen anytime, to anybody, at any place.  Back in the day, our mothers used to make sure we had enough money for making a phone call and to grab a cab home when we went out on a date.  It never hurts to be prepared, be it cab fare or a year’s worth of food and water.

Continue your education. Look into what is happening with the economy.  Look at what’s really happening with health care.  Look at how many people are really unemployed (not what the government says).  Look at our Constitution, and decide if you want to follow its tenets and if you think the government should too.  Whether you agree or not, realize that there is a large segment of our population that disagrees with you.  What problems can you see developing from that?  Look at how people are reacting to immigration, to social programs, to the level of the nation’s debt.  What do you think will happen if China, now having economic difficulties of their own, calls in the money the U.S. Government owes them (worldwide economics, the nations of the world borrow from one another).  Look at what is happening to the nation’s water supply.  How do you think food supplies will be affected with the ongoing drought in CA?  If you live on the West Coast, it’s a direct link.  If you live on the East Coast, hear a lot of your produce is already being imported from other countries.  Do you think that’s good, and a safe, reliable source?  How do you feel about so much of our food being limited in source, or being polluted with chemicals? How do you think that is affecting your health? See there is a 400% increase worldwide in Type 2 Diabetes.  Autism is on the increase.  Cancer is more common.  IBS, Crones disease, all on the increase. What are we doing to ourselves?

Read up on Civil Forfeitures.  Don’t think the “powers” will come knocking on your door for your supplies, if they are willing to seize your cash, car, and home in good times?

As you learn the answers to these questions, you will know why Preppers and Survivalists are secretive. It’s why they don’t tell anyone they have weapons, cash, food or other supplies. It’s why they come off as being a bit paranoid – cause they are.  Trust does not come easily, nor should it.

In the beginning of the Jarkarta Epidemic, the hero is cautious about who is and who is not friend. He does have a couple of guys who stand by him and his decisions and help him out.  He offers some of his supplies to them, and in return, they offer him physical and emotional support.  That same trio moves forward as a unit in the next story, but all are better prepared when that SHTF event happens, if nothing else, in their mental attitudes.

And in the end, it is our mental attitudes that will get us by. All the supplies and weapons in the world will not help if you don’t have the mental attitude to hold them safe, to use them, and to refuse giving them up.

On the other hand, mental attitude will help us cope and persevere when things are not going our way. Will help us look at situations and their solutions, and our alternatives. To enable us to figure out what we can offer to those who can help us so that they will be willing and eager to make us part of their plans, even if we have no supplies or lack skills.

My personal journey of actually doing began those many years ago while learning skills living in a NYC apartment. Then there was my partnership 30 years ago with my sweetie that moved me into my first house. That led to a flower garden, then a veggie garden, then to drying and canning my own harvest.  There is no BPA in those glass jars you use for “canning” fruits and veggies. The jars and rings are re-useable, if you use Tattler lids, they are too.  No cans to throw away. Less waste on so many levels, along with higher quality than you can buy.  We heated with wood, which led to learning how to cook on the wood burning stove.  And making sure we had food on hand for when the snow got deep or the power went out.  And each step led to the next step.  Sometimes I feel like a hoarder, having so much that we don’t regularly use, but am trying to bring each of these things into our life style.

Will be the first to admit, though, that when things get busy, I’ll order Chinese takeout or Pizza. I hire someone to help clean my home.  We have a person we hire (only when he wants the work) to help around the property.  Someday I may have to do without this help.  Or someday they may be part of our “community”, gathering to help each other. And I do like my cars.  And I like Amazon Prime (and I also admit that on line shopping is destroying “main street, USA” more than Walmart ever did!).

I don’t expect to change anyone’s minds, hopefully just help you look a little outside the box. I know that writing this helped me to look into a little more rounded supply base and to rethink some of what I’ve been doing.  It helped me solidify some of my own thoughts on the subject, and plan for my next level of preparedness.

May it have been equally useful for you.

 

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