You don’t have to be a genius to know that at any given moment something could happen, and everything changes. Our very way of life may be impacted. I’m not talking about small things like a new convenience store opening up down the road or the neighbours replacing the picket fence with a 5 foot wall. I’m talking about real events. Of lately the weather has made more than few scientific professionals scratch their heads. Countryside has been ravished by fires, and quaint riverside towns be innondated by flood water.
If you were in the firing line for an event like the ones I’ve just listed, would you be able to evacuate your home at a moments notice ? A good percentage of people would answer no. Theres nothing wrong with that, except for when your or the life of the ones you love are at risk, could you be depended on to up and leave with just a moments notice ?
In the worlds media, where every third TV show is about survival, armageddon and doomsday shelters, we all sit in the comfort of our homes, cat in lap purring happily, hot cup of tea and a couple of chocolate Tim Tams ready to be devoured, we watch a family on TV be rated by an invisible panel, on their ability to survive a nuclear attack. The family before had been training on how to use weapons to protect their house while loading chickens, drums of water and sacks of grain into their fortified bus for a secret location, following the release of a biological weapon.
Are these shows portraying a realistic approach to survival ? Are the scenarios even possible ? Yes !! People will always do what they think is right to protect themselves and their family. The scenarios, today, anythings possible, so why not be even just a little prepared.
I’ve caught myself thinking about scenarios where I’d need to escape the suburbs for the safety of seclusion. Which roads would I take ? Would the bridges be passable ? What if I couldn’t drive ? These passing thoughts concern me. Is the world really so unstable that these are things we should have a plan for ? Just look at the media, (true of fake) things aren’t running smoothly at the moment. Here in Australia we have the South China Sea tensions on our door step, Bush fires that are continuously burning, and then theres the really exotic stuff, solar flares that wipe out all electronics, meteorite, or maybe a old fashioned run of the mill economic free fall.
Without electricity, where I live, I could possibly sustain my normal way of life for maybe 3 days before I run out of water, my food in the fridge and freezer expires and I would have to leave in search of more. I guarantee people, tens of thousands of people, would run out before me. They’d load up they’re car and start searching, but not before attempting to get fuel. Fuel pumps need electricity right ! We pretty much live in a cashless society, how do pay when there’s no card facilities ? Thats a lot of frustrated people.
Being a regular camper I now the importance of being prepared. I have sealed containers stored and ready to be loaded into my vehicle. These boxes contain canned goods, bottled water, gas cooking facilities, even an inverter, solar panel array and dual batteries fitted to my jeep. This is all good and well so long as theres not a solar flare or EMP.
Don’t get me wrong, theres still things I’d need, but I’d be perfectly sustainable for quite a while. No, I’m not a “Prepper” or maybe I am. The very word “Prepper” is defined as someone who’s made steps to be prepared, but I’m a camping addict thats ready to head away for a weekend at a moments notice.
Over the past few years, I have noticed the increase in interest towards preparing for something to happen. Just like having a first aid kit in your car, people are becoming knowledgeable in areas such as where their local fire shelter is, how to preserve perishables and even what radio station the emergency broadcast is on. Television, movies, documentaries and books are increasingly showing “end of the world”, “environmental apocalypse” and “When someone foreign Attacks” type genres. Are they really trying to make the audience think, in an attempt to soften the blow of what might actually happen ? Maybe. It wouldn’t be the first time.
A friend of mine, a little while back, took great pride in showing me his “Bug out bag”. A bug out bag is a backpack containing items of importance that may assist you in the event of forced evacuation or escape. His bag contained his passport, cash, first aid kit, dried food, a utility knife (Swiss Army), matches/flint, compass and various other items he deemed important. At the time, I thought he might have held his head a little close to the microwave oven, but as time goes on, my opinion has changed. I have a bug out bag of my own now. If nothing else, its a great way of being able to find a bandage or my passport when needed. Being prepared might make a difference some day.
Meeting places ensure your not walking around looking for your friends. They make life easier. Over a dinner I had an awkward conversation with some family members about what we’d do if something happened and we needed to escape the suburbs. Where would we go ? The general consensus was that safety in numbers was paramount. But if we were all at work, in different places where would be meet up. Going home mightn’t be an option as we might have to find higher ground or shelter. Suggestions were passed around, and as it turned out, depended on the scenario. A decision was made, everyone knows about it, but we’re not going to feature on a TV show. Just like people living in bushfire prone areas, you must have a plan.
Skills are an important attribute to have as well, not just for the continuity of a certain lifestyle or job, but to ensure survival. Being prepared for anything is a very important skill not many people have. We usually have enough skill to get by in our lives, but what if someone needed first aid, and you were the only one around ? Could you bait a hook to catch your dinner, or rig a snare ? The elements have taken many a life which could have easily have been avoided if the person knew how to make a simple lean to, or shelter. Could you start a fire to keep warm ? These are very simple skills that can be learned by simply watching YouTube clips or participating in an all important first aid course.
I overheard a man talking to a friend over a beer at my local bar. They were talking about what they would do if there was a Nuke attack. My ears pricked up and I listened attentively. The drunker of the two pointed to a nearby manhole cover and said “I’d jump in there”. To me, it didn’t sound like a bad idea. I bet I could reach it before he did. The conversation developed into the whole China, North Korea dribble a couple of guys on their 7th beers talk about. It got me thinking though. I turned to the internet when I got home and found an informative video from the 60’s about what to do in the even of an atomic bomb. Great !!!
As it turns out, Melbourne has absolutely nothing planned for its citizens in such a case. London has its underground, Moscow has just completed city wide drills, but we don’t even have a local shelter thats not made of wood with a civil defence sign out front (thats made of wood). I feel like a little piggy with the big bad wolf outside. I do know of an old gold mine but making entrance in time would mean I’d need at least an hours notice before the flash and mushroom cloud appeared. Unlikely. A bomb shelter is out of the question here. You need council permission to change the paint colour of your house, let alone installing an underground shelter. I guess Im on my own on this one.
At the end of the day, everyones different and each of us have a different idea of what we should do, where we should go and how we should attempt to survive. Some of us will simply wing it and be ok, but one underlying fact still remains, those without plan will find it harder to remain safe, healthy and protected than those with one. In times of pandemonium you might have no-one but yourself to rely on for food, water and shelter.
There are small ways each of us can learn how to survive, some of them are fun, some not, but they’re all important.
Oh and if a zombie comes for you, the only shot is a head shot !!!