I grew up in the north. My youth was spent in Detroit, Michigan and my teen years in north central Ohio. In other words, I am intimately familiar with long winters. When I was young I specifically remember my mother and father keeping a cardboard box of winter-time emergency supplies in the trunk of our family car.
My mom made sure there was an old blanket and she’d stuff the box with extra pairs of mittens and knit hats, just in case. My dad would put a bag of rock salt in the trunk and a short handled flat shovel. My parents weren’t “doomsday preppers”, they just knew that winter weather was unpredictable and sometimes you might get stuck. I remember my grandfather keeping snow-chains for the car tires in the trunk of his Buick.
If we can take away a positive from the long and unusually cold winter this year, it should be an awakening. How many of us have gotten overly comfortable and assumed that everything we need for personal safety and survival is just a mobile phone call away? How many people who looked down their noses at those “paranoid preppers” found themselves stuck out in the freezing temperatures with nothing but a phone in their hands and no help available?
Levels of Preparedness
No one expects you to keep two week’s worth of emergency rations in your car. There are different levels of preparedness for varied situations. I suppose the first question you need to ask yourself is what is your primary concern? Do you live in the Great White North and are worried about freezing? Do you live in the Deep South and understand that a hurricane could knock out the power for weeks?
We can refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and look at the base level. Every human being, regardless of location, requires clean water, food, shelter, warmth and sleep to survive. Next up on the pyramid is security, shelter (protection from the elements) stability, and freedom from fear. After the foundation is taken care of man can focus on their social and psychological needs.
In today’s society, many simply take the bottom two levels for granted and assume that there will always be food, water, shelter, etc. just because it is their “right” to have those things. These people spend the majority of their energy on distractions and enhancing their comfort. Any form of discomfort upsets them and messes with their chi.
Brownells Emergency and Survival Gear
Our good friends at Brownells have recently launched a full service Emergency and Survival Gear section and added to the thousands of products they already stock. The purpose behind the ESG section is to allow you, the end user, to shop for what you need from a single web store, versus several different sites. The first two tiers of Maslow’s list can be addressed at the Brownells online store.
They don’t sell water, but their do offer numerous water filtration devices to ensure you have clean water to drink. You can find long term storage food that does not require refrigeration and actually tastes good. Emergency lights, multi-tools, packs, fire-starters, and outdoor survival gear can all be ordered with the click of a button. An area that is often overlooked is Emergency Medical Gear. No, purchasing gear does not give you skill. However, skilled hands can make good use of quality first aid and trauma gear.
The ESG section on the Brownells website is conveniently set up with category tabs such as “Tornado, Blizzard, Earthquake, Blackout, Civil Unrest, and Stranded”. You can also choose from sub-categories such as “At Work, Home, or In the Car”. When you click the tabs you’ll see a number of suggested items for dealing with such emergencies.
The Time is Now
Regardless of where you purchase the essential supplies you would need for yourself and your family, the time is now. Actually the time was yesterday, just in case you missed the memo or have been sleeping.
You have a choice to make; leave your family's safety to chance and luck or you can take the deliberate steps to secure their futures. My parents and grandparents were not “doomsday preppers” they simply understood that ‘stuff’ happens in life and it is your responsibility to be prepared for it.