~~ Ravan's Disaster Prep Recommendations ~~
It is Thursday, 21-Sep-2023 08:07:07 PDT in Silicon Valley, California.
recommendation \Rec`om*men*da"tion\, n. [Cf. F.
1. The act of
recommending. 2. That which recommends, or
commends to favor;
anything procuring, or tending to procure, a
favorable reception, or to secure
acceptance and adoption; as, he
brought excellent recommendations.
state of being recommended; esteem. [R.]
Possibilities, Preparedness, and Paganism
Why Worry About Disaster Preparation???
The short answer is: Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong,
in the worst possible way at the worst possible time. Katrina was
proof of that.
The long answer: do a search on disaster preparation and look at what both
the doomsayers and pollyannas are saying.
Isn't Survival Preparation a Christian Fundie thing??
No. The need to prepare for all sorts of disasters has nothing to do with
religion. Mother nature is a bitch, and terrorists are perfectly willing
to smash infrastructure if they can. Nowdays we have computers, too, and
a heavily computerized infrastructure that can be vulnerable to programming
oversights and sabotage.
The risks of fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, ice
storms, pandemic and man-made disaster are too numerous to describe here.
All inhabited areas have at least one of the types of risk, and some have
several. Our planet is not a tranquil one, but alive and active. Add in
global warning changing weather patterns, and things get interesting.
Gee, it looks bad! What should I do?
- Get a grip. The end of the world is not here, Jesus is not having
a second coming, nobody is going to ride off on comets, Armageddon is not
looming overhead. It's just that the infrastructure in your area might be
disrupted for an unknown period of time (not forever) to varying degrees
for various causes. Where and when is not known, although some of the
countries in the former "Eastern Block" will get hammered if there is a
disaster affecting them.
- Assess the Murphy factor in your life.
Where and in what way are
you dependant on the local infrastructure?
Do you have a
How do you handle emergencies?
- Take inventory on what (if any) emergency supplies you have. This is
just plain good sense. Mother Nature can be a 14K b***h, and will always
catch people with their figurative pants down. See some of the news
reports in the last year about floods, fires, ice storms, blizzards,
tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. if you don't believe me.
- Make a plan, and then do it. Plan for one to three months worth of
food staples in your cupboards and storage. This has the added benefit
of, if you come on "tight" times, you can still eat. It may not be
interesting food, but it helps (I know). This is just plain common sense.
Big events like Katrina are NOT the only likely emergency around.
The emergency might be a simple job loss that buts you on an
austerity budget that makes you chose between rent and food. If you
have stored food, it's not as nasty a choice, is it?
- Make a portable emergency kit or "bug out bag" and keep it in your
car. Then if you get stranded, or have any other away from home
emergency, you're not without resources. Even those who are on foot can
keep a small first aid kit, a multitool, an "emergency blanket" and a
bottle of water with them. Get the habit.
You're Saying "Don't Panic, But Do This Panic Stuff"??
<sigh> I'm saying "Be prepared in your life for whatever
happens." Yes, this means disaster planning, emergency planning, and
personal safety and "survival" awareness. You don't have to be a militia
kook with an AK47 to be prepared for life's emergencies. A habit of
emergency preparedness will serve you well no matter where you live. If
you are prepared, you can help others. In a way it's like carrying
jumper cables in your car.
One job I had was as a safety administrator for a company. We had regular
"earthquake awareness" and "disaster preparedness" campaigns. Interest in
seriously preparing for anything more than a 24 hour power outage was
virtually non-existant. Dumb. A major disaster is going to shut a lot of
things down for more than 24 hours. Ask anyone who's been hit by one.
The Silver Lining to the "Doomsday" Cloud...
The entire Y2K mess had, IMO, a big silver lining:
- It promoted an awareness of how dependant we are on the
infrastructure. People who ordinarily wouldn't think about it are
looking at reducing their dependance on fossil fueled, grid
supplied energy. Conservatives with solar power, composting
toilets, and other environmentally friendly ideas.
- It also is promoting disaster preparation in people who haven't
previously prepared for anything but minor emergencies, if at all.
If this saves pain, suffering or someone's life in the future,
regardless of Y2K, it has helped. How many people more would have
perished in the Katrina mess if Y2K hadn't "raised consciousness"
- People who are prepared themselves for big problems can often help
others with smaller problems. Being prepared for whatever
comes along is very empowering and reassuring.
I've several times reached into my food stores to give food to friends who
are on the short end of the financial stick. I regularly make sure that
my friends have at least some emergency lighting (candles, oil lamps). I
sometimes even have a spare campstove lying around.
But What Does It Have To Do With Paganism?
Emergencies DON'T CARE what your religion is. The hard, cold fact is:
EVERYONE NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES! I don't really care what the
emergency is, or how long it lasts. Earthquakes, fires, floods, whatever!
They are definitely "equal opportunity disasters!"
That's why we have organizations like FEMA, and the Red Cross. They
encourage people to be prepared, and then they can help out with the
things that individuals can't do. The less "individual" supply bailout
that FEMA has to do, the more money is available to put things right
again. When FEMA falls down on the job, there is still more that you
can do. Yes, our infrastructure is great, and usually quite reliable and
stable. But disaster relief people, and insurance claims adjustors, know
just how nasty it can be when the infrastructure is disrupted or breaks
As pagans, we are more aware than your average Joe just how capricious
Mother Nature can be. Preparing for emergencies is part of living with,
rather than over, nature.
All Right, What Should I Stock??
That is a matter of personal preference. Ideally, you want to keep it
consistent with the stuff you eat everyday (no, McDonalds burgers DON'T
store well...) That way, you can eat and replace it as part of your
regular shopping. Think of it as having a higher "buy more" threshold on
basic goods. That way it doesn't mess up your food budget (BTW, some
foods in bulk are cheaper!)
Here are some suggestions:
|Egg Noodles||Canned Chili||Bottled Water|
|Canned Chicken||Bottled Spaghetti Sauce||Macaroni &
|Cream of Mushroom Soup||Toilet Paper||Garbage
|Candles||Canned Veggies||Peanut Butter|
|Jelly or Jam||Unopened "miracle whip"
|Coffee||More Bottled Water||Chocolate|
|Spam||Canned Fruit||Hard Candy|
|Campstove & Fuel||Rain Gear||Basic Tools|
|Mylar "Emergency Blankets"||First Aid Kit||Personal
|Batteries||Oil Lamps||Camera & Film|
|Spices (big containers)||Picnic Supplies||Camping
|Olive Oil||Multibean Soup Mix||Powdered
That's the type of stuff I've stocked for years. If it stacks, stores,
and is readily available, we store it. YMMV.
Why do you care?
Because I firmly believe in Murphy's law. And I firmly believe that the
devastating effects of emergencies and disasters can be blunted by just a
modicum of preparation on everyone's part, regardless of religion or
politics. From a bout of unemployment to a massive earthquake, the
preparations that I advocate will help a lot in smoothing the way toward
Go to The Disaster Recipe Page to
find out some
people's recipes for storable food.
Please feel free to e-mail me
questions or comments.
Page built February 15, 1999.
Page last changed/tweaked on 3/22/2007