14 November 2012

The End of the World... As We Know It

        So this is my philosophy: any disruption in everyday life is the end of the world as we know it. That doesn't mean there will be a giant asteroid colliding with the earth or a zombie apocalypse, but it may mean your car ran out of gas, or the power is out. The world as you know it, or everyday life, has ended. That doesn't mean it won't start again, because it will. I think that's the problem we see with things like the "Doomsday Preppers" television show. It's all so final. Everyone has an earth-ending scenario. They're not preparing for a bad winter storm, layoffs at work, or a "normal" natural disaster. While I enjoy the show, the chances of a doomsday scenario playing out that destroys the world are pretty miniscule. So what on earth am I preparing for if not zombies? Well, a lady once asked Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, "Be prepared for what?" referring to the Boy Scout motto. Sir Baden-Powell responded, "Oh, for any old thing." He may have mentioned zombies, too.
     Basically, that is what this is for. I'm trying to find a realistic way to be prepared "for any old thing." So the title of my blog, "...For Tomorrow We..." is unfinished because what the ending will be is conditional, and the beginning is also missing because it's left up to each of us to decide what it is we will do before tomorrow comes, determining the end. Preparedness means that you've decided to do something today, for tomorrow. In order to avoid running out of gas in your car, most people stop at the gas station and fill up. To keep from being locked out of your house, you have a spare key. That is being prepared. Now we need to determine the other hazards we might realistically face, even if they are not as common, and learn how to be ready for them, then do what it takes.
        Maybe you've lived through a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, or another one. Maybe you're in tornado alley. Maybe you faced dangerous wildfires this summer. Maybe you remember a serious flood in the past. Maybe you can look out the window right now and see snow falling. What potentially makes those things a disaster is the effect they can have on people. If you're ready, you can make it much less of a disaster by keeping yourself alive or out of harm's way. It's only an emergency when it gets out of hand. If a pan of oil catches fire on your stove, as long as you remember that all you need to do is put a non-glass lid on it and turn off the burner, it's not an emergency at all. If you throw water on it and your entire kitchen catches on fire, you should probably call the fire department.
     When things get crazy, it's hard to make the connection between what you've learned and what you do, so repetition and practice are essential. In theory, I can make a small survival stove out of a tin can, but when I tried the other night, I couldn't keep the fire burning. Not a completely necessary skill, typically, but it could come in handy and I thought I ought to learn it. I'm not stopping there, though. I'll learn more and try again. I can document it next time and let you know how it goes.

     Here's a little video that I really like. I don't want to use a scare tactic, because people don't just change because someone tells them really bad things are going to happen if they don't. They have to want it. I think this video gives us something to think about, or at least puts things in a little different perspective. ...and I like it.

     I don't want you to go out and dig a bunker tonight and get yourself on "Doomsday Preppers", but if you'd like, you can check back here every once in a while because I'm going to try to figure out what it means to be prepared, why people prepare, what happens in a disaster, and a few other things, and I'd like to share it with you and maybe we can learn something together. 



  1. Insightful as always, Than! We are looking forward to this blog... and although the main fire for the boiling water may not have worked, you got a scorching flame from the wax with the cardboard can!

  2. My son, the Pyro, I'm forever proud of you!!! You truly have a way of putting fire under slackers. (I'm movin! I'm movin!) Keep turning up the heat, son. Many lives can be improved by your insightful lessons...now if we'd just listen and heed. Take it to heart, People! This man knows what he's talking about.