On Preparedness

The other day something strange happened. I was sitting at home on a beautiful Saturday morning and both my wife and I received a text message from the “extreme alert” system. It read, “Civil Emergency in this area until 10:51 AM EDT Take Shelter Now”. Naturally, this did not sit well with me. I locked my front and back door, opened three news sites on my computer and checked the Accuweather radar map for any large storm systems. When I didn’t see any, my mind started spinning. 

I’m not a terribly paranoid person. I don’t have a bug out bag for the zombie apocalypse. Like most people, I’m too caught up in the realities of everyday life as a blue collar worker and a father to put much thought into getting ready for any “civil emergency”. I’ll tell you this, though. That changed last Saturday. My first action was to go to my gun safe, pull out my shotgun, AR15, automatic pistol and revolver. I made sure they were all functioning when unloaded, then gave them some food. The rifles remained on the bed and my wife and I donned the pistols. I went to my pantry with a cloth bag and gathered non perishable food items, while my wife packed baby clothes into a suitcase. That was the point at which I realized that I was not prepared.

I had no water. Months back I had stopped buying cases of bottled water when I had bought a filter for my tap. Now, I had no bottles to take with me in case of an emergency.

I had no medical supplies. Should one of us wind up in a bind, bleeding profusely, there wasn’t much either of us could do for the other.

I had less than a quarter tank of gas. The emergency alert said to take shelter, but when I looked up what a civil emergency could be, it said anything from a bad storm to a terrorist attack. I wouldn’t make a very good Wolverine if I couldn’t even make it to the hills.

And, I sat and waited. My wife panicked while I tried to act calm. Over an hour later, we both received another text message. “The Civil Emergency message, please disregard. There is no emergency.” As it turned out, a little boy nearby had gone missing and the local police department had tried to send out an alert to find him. Something went wrong, and the Civil Emergency alert went out instead.  We both gave a sigh of relief.

I learned a valuable lesson that weekend that I won’t soon forget. While an emergency is unlikely, it could still happen. We are all too complacent with our lives that could disappear at a moment’s notice. After last weekend I am much more prepared. Are you?

– By Ess

One comment

  1. Great article. I’m going to disagree with one sentiment and say that emergencies are likely. Storms, power outages, civil unrest – they all happen every day all over the country. The veneer of civilization is very, very thin and can be ripped away in a single event. Make friends with your neighbors, they’ll be the ones that have your back when it matters. Have a plan and rehearse it with your family. Have go-bags for each member of your family and keep your important documents together.