The Downtime Prepper: National Preparedness Month

Before the Covid dumpster fire years, prepping for me was about gaining life skills. We had had years of life to do it in, with no real feeling of impending doom. We were truly prepping for natural disasters. I have lived through a couple of those, including living in the flood plains of a volcanic explosion. We wanted to be prepared for earthquake, volcanoes, tsunamis and bad winter storms – even wild fire. Societal collapse was pretty far down on the list of things I feared. Like at the bottom.

We learned to garden, to store water that we harvested from the rain, worked on solar, and so much more. I brought to the table my other skills I already had such as sewing and preserving food. We planned, we moved to rural land, and started all over, building a new infrastructure that bogged down my life (and still does) years later. We kept learning new skills, new methods and tried to be open to failure. Every winter storm and power outage was just practice, with the downside of not having cell service (which isn’t necesarily a bad thing).

Better to learn when failure doesn’t mean you will starve or freeze to death.

Covid brought an uncertainty. In dystopian nanny states such as Washington (and Oregon and California), the restrictions and lock downs lasted for what felt forever. I can remember in 2021, as most of the US had opened back up….feeling so frustrated in my state. Waiting as the governor toyed with his citizens yet again, acting like a nagging adult “if you just behave, you will advance to the next stage….and get more freedoms!” For a hot second we’d have things back. Then we would slide back, because King County (Seattle) would cry and cry about their “disease numbers” and was so over populated, and the rest of the state, rural and low population be damned, would pay for it. It wasn’t till spring of 2022 that children didn’t have to wear face masks to school – is just how bad it was. It didn’t matter if our tiny counties were nearly disease free. What Seattle cried for, Seattle got. Same with cities like Portland and Los Angeles.

We opted to simply stay out of society so we didn’t have to “follow” or comply with the rules. I figured out where I could shop to avoid masking up, and we spent nearly all our time on our land, outside, in the fresh air, alone from scared society. Working our land. People came to us to learn. They seemed sincere. Were they? I still don’t quite know. Mostly they were bored since they couldn’t travel or even go out to eat. They couldn’t see friends and family who were fearful. So they took up growing food and other skills. Some even would call themselves a prepper. They were growing food, preserving it and even building a pantry. They were learning how to make a fire, how to cut kindling. Even how to run power tools and do their own chores for once. So pretty basic prepping skills – of which they had none at the start.

But then the end of 2022 came and all the restrictions finally lifted. It seemed society just looked the other way and “forgot” the past 3 years that had happened. Three so very long years. That utterly changed me. But almost none of them had actually changed. Suddenly they had all their “freedoms” back. They could go into stores without mask restrictions. They could travel without proving vaccination status. They could sit at the cafe for hours with friends. They lost interest and got back to living. Not realizing they could do both.

Like with teaching others how to garden, teaching people how to prep, how to be a prepper, fell out of favor overnight. I watched whole groups fall apart, of what had been like minded folk. They just poofed. Locally and online. That one hit hard because it had been nice to have like minded people to be with. Like almost friends.

Stuck in the bad finical times of present, wondering daily if it will get better, or get worse. Every storm, every insanity wild fire, heat domes and so much more – yet the majority of society is lulled by whatever the news pushes daily. They have given up any control they had over their lives and chosen to quit caring.

But there is something:

September is National Preparedness Month. An actual month where the government asks, nay, BEGS, people to be prepared for disasters.

FEMA is hosting it again (and no matter your thoughts on FEMA…..there is nothing wrong with reading their suggestions. Better to be so prepared you don’t need their help if a disaster occurs. Take that thought and file it away. I hope to never need their special brand of help. Ever.

2023 Theme: Preparing for Older Adults
“The Ready Campaign’s 2023 National Preparedness Month theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3”. The campaign will focus on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by the all-hazard events, which continue to threaten the nation.

We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas.”

So…the take away? We all need to be preppers. Prepping gets you ready to handle what comes your way – fires, storms, wind storms, earthquakes and so much more. If you are prepared, even for a few days, it means the services that come to help have fewer people to need to get to – if you are not part of the problem! Especially if it happens in a highly populated area and there are 100,000’s of thousands of people with no water or food in the first 3 days.

Right now we are in a downtime. There isn’t the panic that things are horrible. This is when people get lazy. They quit caring.

Do you know what FEMA and the US government asks you to do? Almost nothing. Yet, even this small amount of work could make a massive difference in a disaster.

Oh, and if like where we live, and 65% of the population is over 65? It really matters.

Emergency Kit
This National Preparedness Month, we are reminding you to build your emergency kit. Don’t forget to include:

  • Non-perishable food and water that can last 3 days, per person and animal
  • Flashlights, radios and extra batteries/or solar to charge them
  • First Aid Kit

That is it.

How To Build A Kit. Is a comprehensive collection on their website.

Find the energy to care. Try to focus on how being prepared will remove the fear and uncertainty, should you not have to go to town, to battle with everyone else for water as a storm approaches. You stay home, and stay safe. Away from society! You can avoid disease and morons all in one easy move. And FEMA’s roving busses should they ever show up.

I’d recommend you do more than 3 days of course. But even 3 days will make a huge difference.

Just stop being distracted and get back to it. Keep working on your skill sets. Learn how to do more things yourself. This is life. It will free you!

I’ll be posting more this month of September on things you can work on to be ready for storms and natural disasters.