Big surprise—the Mayans were wrong. I really don’t know anyone who took the threat of Mayan calendar seriously, but during my time on this earth, I’ve learned never to underestimate human stupidity. At least this time, as opposed to the Y2K scare, most people treated the threat as if it were a funny topic to post about on Facebook. For once, the hysteria seemed to be silly enough that the vast majority of the population just pointed and laughed. Good for you humanity, put a mark in the win column.
However, an unexpected result of the Mayan craze was a spotlight on preparedness. People who never thought about prepping actually took a serious look at their own situation, and some even invested in preparations for a more tangible threat. Most intelligent people no longer relegate the average prepper to a category of eccentrics. They know, as we all do, there are real threats with the potential to penetrate the thin layer of armor we use to keep society running normally. The Mayans simply did us a favor in reminding the world that sometimes things can go south. There is an adage in the preparedness community that the world is four meals away from anarchy. I don’t know about you, but after a day or two without food, I would start to come up with some fairly creative ways to fill my belly.
Since the 1980s, the frequency of weather related disasters has risen dramatically. Additionally, non-renewable resources will eventually become scarcer in the future, so it is no surprise that prepping is likely to become more common. Stockpiling food, water, ammunition and medicine will be just as customary as any other household practice. There will always be those who expect their governments to provide for them in an emergency, but your average middle-class suburbanite will have the ability to handle a prolonged disaster with some smart planning and some organizational skills. However, this shift in thinking won’t come without some trials and hard lessons along the way. Recent disasters like Hurricane Sandy reminded people another Katrina could happen anywhere. Fear and unrest from fiscal cliffs, public shootings and terrorism injects a notion of concern into the heads of ordinary Americans. Upcoming firearms legislation could hinder some levels of home defense that were previously available. If you haven’t already stockpiled your weapons and ammo—you could be too late.
While turning your home into a self-sustaining active military bio-dome defense compound might be investing a little too heavily, most emergency management experts agree that a 72-hour kit for your home is a minimum requirement for everyone. As we all know, most disasters are localized to a specific area or region, and waiting through a utilities interruption can be a trying event. Have you ever tried living without running water? It isn’t easy for a city boy like me. Beyond the 72-hour kit is up to you. A few things to consider is a safe way to store gasoline, a generator, long-term food storage, water, medicine, and of course home defense.
Personally, I’ve never been too worried about what everyone considers a normal level of preparedness. While I’ve never invested exorbitant amounts of my personal income to stockpiling for the end of days, I’ve always had a fully-stocked bug-out bag and a bug-in 72-hour kit at home. I keep a couple thousand rounds of ammunition on hand in various calibers and I learned how to do the tasks that could come in handy in an emergency. Basic medical skills, cooking without electricity, land navigation without the GPS and the combat skills I picked up in the military should serve me well should the need arise. I encourage all of our readers to meet a similar level of preparedness and not to worry when people call you crazy. You never want to be the one asking for a handout in an emergency.