After Katrina, the US government got on board with the preparedness “movement.” I put that in quotes because it’s not really a Movement. There have always been people who strive for self-reliance, which is really what “being prepared” means – having the skills and supplies to take care of yourself and your family. It’s just that the some bureacrat finally realized the government couldn’t do it all during a major disaster and that perhaps having people be able to take care of themselves, at least for awhile, wasn’t such a bad idea. Duh.
National Preparedness Month is an effort to educate and get more people involved with the idea of ensuring their families can make it through an emergency. There are all sorts of disasters and emergencies – Mother Nature emergencies (weather, earthquakes, volcanoes), personal emergencies (health, fire, economic), and man-made emergencies (insert a potentially unbounded list of cruelty and depravity here).
Being Prepared should not be equated with being paranoid. You don’t think up all the bad things that can happen in life and then proceed to safeguard yourself and your family against every one of those events. You just quietly make sure that if the electricity goes out, you can provide light and food; if you lose your job, you are out of debt and have financial reserves to ensure you can stay in your home and feed your family; or that your vehicle is kept in good condition, to limit the number of times you have to walk home. Actually, I find that being prepared brings peace, not fear.
As you get interested in becoming better prepared, you will discover an overwhelming amount of stuff, information, and opinion out on the internet. Don’t let this crush you, or cause fear. Find *your* focus and proceed along at your own pace. Start by addressing the basics of shelter, water, food, fuel, communications.
“September is National Preparedness Month” doesn’t mean that you have to do it all in one month, nor that September is the only month to pay attention to this topic. Preparedness – aka self-reliance – is not a Once is Done event. It is a continuous effort. September is just a good month to re-focus, re-direct, and re-assess your preparedness efforts. Or, if you are new to the concept: to get started!
Every year, I like to see what others are doing for National Preparedness Month. This year, let me direct your attention to preparednessmama.com. This site has a daily article throughout the month from other blogs and websites covering different aspects of the vast world of “preparedness.” Check it out. Follow through with some or all of the suggestions and get yourself a little more ready for what life can throw at you.