This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.
For most people, it’s a widely accepted fact that our societal system is one of dependence. We depend on grocery stores to stock up food, just as we depend on our electric company to provide us with an uninterrupted supply of power. This dependence is mutually beneficial, since we usually invest money in ensuring that we are able to obtain such services. However, such dependence is not always a good thing. If your electric company experienced technical difficulties, could you live for a few days (or more) without electricity? If a weather-related event prevented you from being able to shop at the grocery store, would you have enough to feed your family? These questions, among others, are what motivates the concept of ‘Preparedness’.
What is Preparedness?
Preparedness could perhaps be better defined as ‘resilient sustainability’. Many people mistakenly equate the concept of preparedness solely with panic-induced food buying, stocking ammunition for a government collapse, or constructing a bomb shelter for WWIII. However, this is not the case. The basic concept of preparedness encourages you to be able to provide for your family, in the event that there is an interruption in the services we depend on. Services that you may not realize your dependence on may include:
- Grocery Store Food
- Plumbing (Drinking Water, Sewage)
- Road Maintenance
- Medical Care
- Garbage Disposal
- Communication (Internet, Radio, TV)
As stated before, being a society that is dependant on the exchange of services is not necessarily seen as a negative thing. It simply is an example of how our society has evolved, in order to operate as a series of symbiotic relationships. However, in the event that any of these services are interrupted, we do need to have the ability to adapt. This, in itself, is the true nature of preparedness.
Core Concept of Preparedness
It is a misconception among many people that preparedness is a fear-motivated concept. By being afraid of disasters that may or may not occur, we become motivated to stockpile food, medication and other supplies. Disasters that many people cite for their reasons for being prepared include hurricanes, tornados, pandemic illness, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, floods and potential nuclear attacks. However, your desire to be prepared should not be motivated simply by fear of a dangerous situation. Instead, you should be motivated by your desire to keep your family safe and healthy in case any of the services you depend on become interrupted. This is the core concept of true preparedness.
So, Where Should I Start?
Not everyone has the financial resources to gain complete independence from the many services that we depend on. However, you can take small steps to help build the skills that you can rely on in times of need. To lessen your dependence on grocery store food (and be healthier as well!), you can start a small home vegetable garden. To help lessen your dependence on your electric company (and save money!), you can install solar panels to help power your electrical needs. To be able to help your family in a medical situation, you can take a Red Cross First Aid Course. These small steps can help you to become more independent, less reliant, and can provide other benefits as well. By taking charge of some of your family’s needs, you can rest assured that you will always be able to provide for them, no matter what the situation. Preparedness sometimes requires you to make small lifestyle changes, but it provides you with numerous benefits for the safety of your family.