You hear the news that the President has ordered a 10-day State of Emergency, and he has asked all citizens to return to their homes to watch the news and await further instructions. Your mind races to think of all the reasons why he had to make the declaration. Was it radioactive fallout headed from Japan? Is there a release of some newly flu virus that is coming? Does the government know of an eminent terrorist threat that may endanger lives? If these or other scenarios were to play out, could you be ready to heed the declaration and return home to “hunker down” for ten days or more?
The Boy Scout motto rings true as much now and it ever did, “Be Prepared”. Everyone needs to be able to take care of ourselves in an emergency. If your emergency plan is to call 9-1-1 and have someone bring you food because you are hungry, it is time to wake up. Our country is slipping into an entitlement mentality, believing that our elected officials are responsible to “take care of us.” No casino in Las Vegas would bet on that. There just are not enough rescuers standing by when the proverbial poop hit the fan. You may not have a chance to run down to the market and fill up a shopping cart full of goodies because everyone else in the area just heard the same message, and they may get to the store quicker.
Some people are better at this than others. Radicals may be called “survivalists” and they are ready for World War III, held up with their supplies until doomsday. Unfortunately, others swing the “pendulum of preparation” to the other far extreme. If there isn’t any food in the house, just eat on the way home at some restaurant. What if the restaurants are closed? This is a common outlook, but bad emergency planning. Get something on hand “just in case” some event occurs. People in potential hurricane impact areas know this. Those who get stuck for days in their houses in the Midwest due to snow and blizzard conditions are savvy and stock up. The American Red Cross warns us to be ready. Even squirrels know it is a good idea to have something stashed away for situations.
Make a list to have some important items ready. Stock up with at least 10 days of food. Cans of stew or tuna, noodles, beans, rice and nonperishable foods are best. Think of it as indoor camping. Careful, your neighbors, friends or family members may unexpectedly want to camp with you. Encourage them to likewise be self sustaining. Next, have cash on hand. If the ATM machines go down, don’t expect your credit or debit card to buy you much. Rinse out those empty milk jugs and have some gallons of drinking water. Lastly, have candles or flashlights if the power goes out. Do something now because later may be too late. Be prepared.