Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prepping and Preparedness - Life As We Know It

Our life as we know it is clearly being assaulted on a number of fronts until it seems that civilization is at the verge of collapse. Our own dependence on the trappings of what many consider a civilized society is our biggest enemy. Its effects on you and your family can be lessened or avoided with a decent amount of preparation ahead of time. On the other hand, you may have decided to let the institutions that control our civilized society take care of your problems. If so, you may be in for a rude awakening to the reality of our situation.

Let’s consider a variety of present day situations that can affect our lives.

1. While we are able to predict the occurrence of certain natural events to some extent, we do not have the ability to stop them from happening. Major flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters will continue to threaten our existence and without a proper amount of planning ahead of time will be an even greater threat to your survival. Our society is already crippled by an inability of our institutions to respond to these threats in an efficient manner. The strain which has been placed on our emergency services by these natural events has already been seen in recent events over the past few decades.

2. While we have one of the better systems of emergency services of any civilized society, it is increasingly burdened with a greater number of events and more people that need those services. As the population continues to increase and the severity of natural disasters, which also seems to be on the rise, increases, our emergency services which have been hindered by a lack of resources themselves due to a lack of adequate funding, mismanagement and an increase of government “red tape” will eventually be unable to keep up.

3. While our government institutions are largely responsible for a number of policies that affect our everyday lives, they are not the only ones responsible for our current situation. Many private institutions also have a role in these problems. Corporations driven by greed that are seeking ever larger profits continue to do so at the expense of those who have come to depend on their products and services without regards to the true cost of their actions.

4. As our population increases, there will be even greater demands on our food and energy resources. Shortages of food and fuel are already commonplace events in many parts of the world and we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking we are immune from those same shortages. The availability of these resources is continuing to decline and will eventually put us on a collision course with disaster.

5. We are also beginning to suffer the effects of an aging infrastructure that has been neglected to the point where we may not be able to fix the problem without drastic measures. This will only increase the cost of maintaining many of our basic services that are now taken for granted. Water supply systems, sewage systems, electrical power systems and many of our transportation systems (highways and bridges) are failing and very little if anything is being done to alleviate this problem and is being largely ignored until something actually does fail.

6. All of the above factors continue to place a severe strain on our economic situation as well. You also need to consider the effects of high unemployment rates, low wages and inflation rates that affect the cost of basic needs such as housing, food and fuel. Many of our basic institutions continue to ignore these problems and rely on government hand-outs to correct fiscally irresponsible business practices or rely on government printing presses to furnish the funds for reckless spending levels which are unsustainable.

It is this basic inability of our institutions, both public and private, to deal with these problems and situations in an appropriate manner that puts us in this rather precarious situation of needing to be prepared.

Be aware, Be informed. Be prepared.



Marie said...

One of the things that I wondered about when the floods have been occurring in various places is how people will be able to ever get back to a version of "normal". One person I talked to said they would collect on insurance, and I said, with all the floods and other property damaging events going on, there would come a point where the insurance companies would have to say they were sorry, they had no more resources to cover the damages. Seems like it would be best to have more than a "plan B"--hopefully various plans thought out ahead of time...

riverwalker said...

To: Marie

Even people who aren't directly affected by floods , hurricanes etc. will feel the effects of higher insurance costs or the inability to get coverage due to the large amounts of money required by insurance companies to settle claims.

There are some things that will be lost in these events that money can't replace and this is one of the hardest things to overcome. It may also take years before your life gets back to a sense of "normal".

Thanks Marie.


Anonymous said...

I'm really worried about #5, our infrastructure IS in trouble, all kinds of road hazards, breaking water pipes, sewer system breakdowns. What happens when this occurs in a Depression? Going to get pretty nasty for the people in that area very quickly, people are not used to dealing without for long periods of time.

Old Jules said...

I always tend to think the chickens will come home to roost, but I've been thinking it so long and bet so high on it with Y2K I'm not much inclined to think I'm a worthy prognosticator.

But the infrastructure's dying and there's no obvious place for the resources required to maintain, much less replace it to come from. The price of fuel's gradually showing up on the grocery shelves in the bread, meat and milk areas as it inevitably would. Nothing compared to what's likely to happen when the price of fuel for harvesting this fall, planting in the spring begins to take hold.

For now I suspect the price rises we see are just transportaton costs.

One of the things I learned about preparedness from Y2K is the fact no matter how well we've thought it out, no matter how prepared we believe ourselves to be, we'll have overlooked a lot of the obvious.

There mightn't have been a better prepared, more thoroughly planned out man and place in the US than I was, and I found enough holes in what I'd done during the 16-18 months I lived out there to raise a lot of questions whether I'd have survived long if it happened.

I'm not suggesting preparation isn't a worthy goal. Especially if collapse comes in moderation. But I am observing that a person oughtn't be too surprised to discover some deficiencies in what was planned for. Which is actually another kind of preparedness as important as any of the rest of it.