I’ll begin this post by saying that I am not a “doom ‘n gloom” kind of person. I am pretty optimistic and believe that most people are good; that said, I believe in knowing how to take care of myself if the proverbial “shit hits the fan”. So why this topic today? It seems that there are an awful lot of “doom ‘n gloom” people coming out of the woodwork, and last week, DH and I were approached by one.
I’ll start with some background, DH and I live in a rural area. I grew up on a hobby farm, and luckily had a mother who knew how to do a lot things like canning food, knitting, sewing etc. She taught me construction techniques, how to ride a horse and plant a garden; from her I learned how to care for livestock and milk goats. I’ve taught myself how to tan/preserve animal hides because I thought it was interesting. I’ve got books on natural medicines and herbs, making my own tisanes and teas and decoctions to “cure what ails me” (mostly just stomach aches). I’m frugal (probably overly so in some cases) in that I have towels and clothing, blankets and afghans, in the house going on twenty years of age. They get thin spots and I patch them. The edges fray, and I zip them through the sewing machine.
I know how to fire a rifle and a recurve bow, and I know how to butcher animals. I know a great many of the native plants in my area and little facts and tidbits about them, including a few that are edible (I hope to increase my knowledge of edible plants this year). The point of all this is that I know how to take care of myself should disaster strike; this is also the reason that last week, DH and I were asked if we would be interested in purchasing a large tract of property together with another couple we know, because “many hands make light work” and DH and I are willing and able to protect what is ours without being crazy and jumping off the deep-end. The “deep end” being, killing anything that moves.
Our friends were going to start looking for a place out in the country in a year or so, but they are genuinely concerned about a financial collapse and the USA plunging into “survival of the fittest”. The husband of this pair is an officer in the military and has a lot of skill with weapons, he’s also an engineer by trade. The rationale for asking DH and I about our interest in this venture is that with all of our combined skills, we’d be able to sustain ourselves and wait out any issue that came along.
I find myself in a quandary with this situation; while I’ve already responded to the inquiry with a short answer, I know that DH and I will have to give a “long answer” in the future. While I am of the mindset that I should be prepared to be able to take care of myself, do I really, truly feel that become a “prepper” like what I see on TV is the answer? Doomsday Preppers has become a popular show, and DH has taken to watching it; I end up seeing it as I’m usually next to DH on the couch typing up my blog. I’m of the opinion that some of the people profiled are downright crazy, while others have great ideas that I tuck back into my mind (For example, I didn’t know I could save eggs for months if I wash them and give them a coating of oil, or that cheese will last indefinitely when coated with food-grade wax. You have to store both of those items in a cool, dark place.) Women are “soft targets” and should really know self-defense; it’s a great idea anyway, but if you’re thinking that the world will devolve into a survival-of-the-fittest situation… knowing how to hold your own in a brawl is a good thing to know.
I was told that another couple of our friends were approached with this same idea/offer and they laughed saying that if the US plunged into financial collapse, they’d flee to Sweden. I thought about that response for a little bit, and then laughed; if that happens, the rest of the world will follow and planes aren’t going to be flying anywhere… and that is one long row to Sweden.
Having a plan for any disaster is a good idea, be it fire, flood, tornado, earthquake or epidemic. I know how to take care of myself and I know where everything I need is if I need to evacuate my home on short notice due to an unfortunate event. How about you, Dear Readers, do you have a plan of action if disaster hits, whether minor or major?