Do you need to be a "Doomsday Prepper" to be prepared?
In recent years we have seen an explosion of TV shows about preparedness hit the airways. Survivorman with Les Stroud, Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls, Dual Survival with Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury, Man Woman Wild with Mykel Hawke and his wife Ruth England that teach us how to be prepared for situations that mainly happen "in the wild". There are also shows that feature people who "extremely prepared" like Doomsday Preppers.
The question is do we really need these skills and is this what it means to be "prepared".
Many of these reality shows teach us skills to survive being stuck in the jungles or Borneo or in the wilds of Alaska, to survive a broken down Jeep off a remote mountain trail in the desert or after a shipwreck on a deserted island. While these shows are very interesting and teach some amazing survival skills, is this what the masses need to make them safer and better prepared for what I like to call...'Life's, what if's". A very small percentage of the population will encounter the situations on these shows. But what about the below?
*A car accident
*A vehicle breakdown at night on a dark road
*A fire in the home or office
*A carbon monoxide emergency
*A medical emergency such as a bad cut, heart attack, choking victim
*A sports injury or injury will taking a simple hike
*A chemical release/spill
*A robbery or assault
The above incidents are something just about every person can face on a daily basis. In fact, most of us will have to deal with more than one of these situations multiple times a year. This doesn't mean we need to panic, run out and spend thousands of dollars or sign up to take dozens of courses to try to become survivalists. We don't need to learn to live off the land, build remote bunkers, stockpile years of food and supplies or otherwise plan to live off the grid. I am not saying these aren't important things for some people and the skills learned could be valuable. But I would recommend some of the below as a better place to start.
*Learn how to use a fire extinguisher
*Practice rapidly exiting your home with your family
*Make some basic family plans for different types of emergencies
*Make back-up copies of important documents and store them in another place
*Have a safe room that everyone knows to go to in severe weather
*Learn some basic first aid and CPR
*Buy at least some basic supplies like a good first aid kit, some flashlights, fire extinguishers for your home and carbon monoxide detectors
*In your car have a flashlight, a first aid kit and at least one road flare
None of the above items are particularly difficult to do or expensive. They don't take up a lot of time and if you do them it doesn't mean you are "paranoid"...but it will go a long way in making you better prepared for everyday potential emergencies and will help keep you calm in the face of potential disaster. Once you get some of these simple things done you can then learn how to field dress a deer and use its hide to make a sail for your driftwood raft.
Until next time...be safe.