Originally Posted by Bad Itch
Not an underground one, no. Maybe when the time comes.
I should point out the response above was half facetious and half dismissive. I don't work in, own or live in or around anything you could classify as a bunker. By "when the time comes" I mean "If I ever have to go live in a hole for some reason, I will go live in a hole for that reason."
I am not awaiting some kind of "end of times" or apocalypse. I am not a prepper- I'm hardly prepared for breakfast or long weekends and holidays, so...
Originally Posted by dang
Have you ever watched Doomsday Preppers? What is your take on those types of folk?
Television frustrates me so I have left it behind 4-5 years ago and haven't looked back. One thing I absolutely do not miss about television is "reality" shows. Thanks for the beards, Duck Dynasty (I assume this is their fault... still trying to figure out where the white appropriation of man-bun/top-knot started.)
So I had to look up "Doomsday Preppers" - I'd heard of it but I hadn't taken any time to learn what kind of whack-factor applies to it. I still haven't apart from skimming the National Geographic channel's website for it to get an impression (like are they takin' the piss or are they trying to send an educational message with this content). That said, I have been aware of "preppers" and the broad range of personalities and MO's encompassed by that term for some time.
Everything has its "extremes", and preparedness is no exception. The mass media seems to like presenting us with the more extreme examples of things because that's what keeps the viewer's attention and in some cases aids in shaping opinions. Because extremes are what get noticed and subsequently discussed, the opinion I have formed in response to the label "preppers" for better or worse tends to lean towards a description of the more extreme examples of that group - the militia types, the "end is nigh!@!!!!3!!" types, and those looking to get off the grid and be ultimately self-sufficient for sociopolitical reasons. I think some of them are healthy, some of them aren't, and people gots to have a hobby.
If I toss that opinion which is formed mainly through exposure to the extreme cases, and look more closely at the method behind the madness I am left with a far more useful one: Preparedness is probably important.
Like I implied above, I am generally unprepared. "Unprepared for what, Itch?"
Pick a noun.
I live in a residential neighborhood very near the down-town core of a small city. The utilities infrastructure (power, communications, water) is good. There are convenience stores, 24hr grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants all within close walking distance from my home. My day-to-day lifestyle/existence relies heavily on the regular availability of all these things.
- I don't keep a lot of food on hand. What I have on hand in the way of dry goods frozen and canned goods would not sustain a suitably nutritious diet for more than a day or two before I started feeling like garbage if I didn't have access to grocery stores.
- All the food I have on hand with the exception of an overdue can of beets and and can of chickpeas needs to be cooked. (frozen haddock, frozen pork, rice, quinoa)
- All of the food I have on hand requires electricity to either preserve or prepare it (except for those beets and chickpeas).
- The oil fired hot water furnace which heats my home relies on electricity to operate.
- My land line telecom and internet services require electricity to function and I have no battery backup applied to them.
- The municipal tap water is fine to drink but if that were to change or become unavailable I do not have enough potable water squirreled away at any given time to cook with and drink for more than a day or two.
In the event of a sustained interruption in the availability of water, electricity or food supplies my situation would very likely become desperate (with varying degrees of desperate depending on the season) within a couple of days.
It's very easy for me to think about these things in the now with a comfortable degree of detachment but if I stop and think about it a bit harder what I need to accept is that in the last sixteen years there have been two significant weather events which have disrupted normal operation of the city for days at a time (I was fortunate during both of these events to live in the down town core on a particularly resilient power grid and a convenience store in the basement of my apartment building). There have also been subsequent weather events which have affected the lives of people in rural areas for up a week or more.
I need to accept that the same can and will happen again in the future - who knows when, really, but hurricane season comes once a year. I've had it easy so far but one of these times that won't be the case. I can rest assured that the people responsible for restoring services and utilities in the aftermath of these events are busting ass to get things working again, but those people are people too, and are all subject to the same hardships during these events - stuff can take a bit of time to get right again. It's up to me to ensure that I can live sufficiently (first) and comfortably (second) until things return to "normal."
So far in life I am super fortunate to live somewhere that I don't immediately need to worry about being shot up at the cinema or the mall, or blown up while hunting down a triple cappuccino, or flee town because of a riot or military coup. Things change. The day they change and my grocery store gets gassed while I'm in it or something, then "Shit, I never thought about that" is going to be my own fault if I don't know what to do in order to save my own life in a crisis, because I was not prepared to some degree for some eventuality
I'm one of those IT people and I live in a protective geek bubble defined by my career. I can be "handy" if I need to be, but I need to research and "read the manual" to be effective. I don't have much in the way of skills to trade other than probably labor in the event of a catastrophic collapse of society. I can't knit, I can't raise sheep to make wool to knit with. Raise chickens? What's a chickens?! There's a whole load of skills I don't have, and situations I don't have plans for. Could I adapt? Probably, but how I adapt is going to require forceps in a pinch and it ain't gonna be quite right after it comes out.
My thoughts on going "off the grid"? Shoot, that would be a pile of fun if I could keep up my rock'n'roll lifestyle - I'm not ready to get "down to earth" like that. But there's people doing it, and my hat is off to them. My tinfoil hat is off to all those poor bastards who are anxiously awaiting some kind of marked end of or collapse of everything as we know it - this is a good way to expend that nervous energy if they have to be that nervously energetic, but it would probably be good for them to relax a little.
The ones who have taken some time to make sure they know where their flashlights, candles and first aid kits are, who have put some suitable provisions aside (water and food enough to sustain their families for however long) and who have taken a minute to plan their exit strategy and route to a safer place in the event of something going unfortunately sideways near their home or where they happen to be - those ones get my respect.
That is my thoughts on those types of folk.
Actually, now that I am thinking about it the most recent tangent I've gone down which was related in any way to preparedness was a few weeks back when I was researching DIY solutions for high capacity uninterruptible power supplies to run my telephone and Internet service during a power outage. Mainly just for the internets. WHICH LOL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH MY ACTUAL SURVIVAL. So that was pointless. (Except... Internets!!)
%$!@!! this is too long.