“The duty of planning tomorrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.”
CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
This next little series is going to be very different from things I have published in the past… and I am honestly concerned that someone will think I am going off of the deep end. I certainly hope I am not.
I want to write a series of short articles for a very specific intention. I want to encourage all of my friends and neighbors to prepare themselves to survive without commercial, government, or retail help for at least a few weeks… maybe a month, at minimum.
Before I start on that path, though, I want to explain that I am not what would be thought of as a “prepper.” We do not have a massive arsenal, years of stockpiled food and supplies, a bomb shelter, or even a generator (yet). I do believe that society-ending events are possible, but unlikely. I dislike the thought of using limited resources to prepare for something that I think is unlikely or worse, unavoidably lethal. Those were resources that could have been used in a powerful way to impact people today!
However, I think society level interruptions are likely… and most of them can probably be ridden out with wisdom, creating the chance to minister to needy people, and help avoid a society interruption that turns into a society ending event.
Our system can recover from most things, I think, if enough of us can tend our own gardens during the time it might take a system to reset.
Think of traffic.
Traffic can be caused by an accident, but in that case, the resulting jams are pretty unavoidable until things are cleaned up. However, most traffic is caused by one person, or a series of people, unable to respond gracefully to a curve in the road, a blown tire in the road, or an accident going the opposite direction… so they brake. And the car after them brakes… and so forth.
Now, consider a crisis in which food delivery was interrupted for three weeks in your community. If most people could settle in, help one another (a big issue for me that I will comment on later), and wait until the service could be restored, then the crisis could be awful, but not society ending.
However, imagine what happened in New Orleans at a more massive scale. Imagine if food and water had not taken 2 days to get to people, but two weeks! What would we have seen? In two days we saw looting and worse. In two weeks, the entire area would likely have devolved to true anarchy. If the anarchy had spread, or been regional rather than just an area of one city, then what?
If most people within a region, state or worse (as I assume is accurate, but have no way of knowing) run out of food and water in less than a week, then everything else will break down too via riots, rampaging mobs, etc… What might have been fixed in a month might never be recovered as people abandon their jobs, and thus power, water, medical help, etc collapse and the situation escalates quickly.
Could governmental systems that we rely on respond well enough, soon enough, and effectively enough?
Do they typically with much smaller issues?
Have they in the past? (we will examine at least one of them before we are done)…
I want to encourage my friends and neighbors to consider being prepared to survive without that outside intervention so that we can be part of the solution rather than adding to the problems of such a situation.
As a Christ-follower, I am not afraid of such situations. My faith and God can sustain me in any situation… but I would see it as a great opportunity, that since I can reach into the community and help in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Also, my goal is to avoid radical out-of-the-box thinking on these… I want to instead offer up some short looks at some historical events, that if repeated, would require a family/community to survive for a significant period of time with little-no outside help.
So, I will not be examining global robot domination, no Zombies… though there is some risk of self aware computers taking over someday 😉 because it has not happened in the past. However, I will write a short article about the potential effect of solar flares on our complex electrical systems, because it has happened before. I will take a look at governmental failures, because they happen all the time.
(while I was writing this, the US government experienced a “shutdown” which actually had little impact on the majority, but greatly impacted a few. A FB message stood out to me as a mother panicked that she would not be able to get formula for her baby bc she assumed WIC and other dependency programs might be shut down. They were not, but it makes a point… if we depend on someone or something undependable, we will get left hanging eventually).
So, look out in the next few weeks for historical examples of things that we, as a race, if not a nation, have faced before under different circumstances and how we might be prepared to face them in the current less flexible existences we lead.
My main goal is to motivate families to make rational, wise, and healthy preparations for a tough time… and a desire to help their neighbors…
Information, not fear.
Planning, not paranoia. This includes some lists you might find valuable in your planning.
Looking to be a good neighbor…
I hope you appreciate the ideas and thoughts.