THE TRUTH ABOUT “PREPAREDNESS MONTH” IT’S A LIFELONG JOURNEY – ONE YOU’LL CHERISH EVERY STEP
I’ll cut right to the chase today.
Look, if you're anything like me (and I know many of you are) you don't need one month out of the year to remind you to get prepared. Hurricane Harvey is reminder enough.
The first National Preparedness Month was in 2004 and yet, less than one year later, we saw an absolutely abysmal response by the US Government in providing aid to our brothers and sisters impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
I guess FEMA didn't follow their own advice when it came to getting prepared, or perhaps they simply weren't thinking about it because it wasn't September! (Let's see what happens with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.)
No, folks like you and I know the value of getting prepared at all times - not just one month a year and not just when disaster is looming.
We must take steps each and every day to be more prepared, more self-reliant and more independent. That's for a hurricane, earthquake (see our Survival Scout about the Cascadia subduction zone), power grid failure, recession, epidemic, global conflict and so much more.
Now, let’s discuss the unfortunate half-truths that FEMA is pushing in their National Preparedness Month messaging.
They’ve conveniently broken September down into weekly themes.
Week one promotes planning for “yourself, family and friends.”
Yes, preparedness must start with a plan. I question whether “friends” should be included in that (shouldn’t they be preparing too, FEMA?), but it depends on how close you keep those friends, I suppose.
But what type of plan? Last I checked, FEMA recommended a 3-day supply of food and water per person. We know from our experience that this is not even close to sufficient. After 3-days of a crisis, most will be left sorely lacking.
Even the Red Cross has upped their game, saying that 72-hour kits are necessary for those planning or scheduled to evacuate a crisis area. But they recommend 2-weeks' worth of supplies for sheltering in place through a crisis.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would be suspicious of the mixed messages that FEMA is sending.
They’re promoting awareness in September because, as they say, they need citizens like us to “be the help until help arrives.”
Yet, if you follow their guidelines, you’ll be no help at all, not even for yourself.
Are they setting honest citizens up for failure? Or are they woefully inept in providing proper guidelines? I lean toward the latter conclusion, but you are welcome to make your own.
In fact, much of the information found on Ready.gov doesn’t reflect the actual needs of survival.
Yes, keeping a list of important contacts, signing up for emergency alerts and making sure you are adequately insured are all great ideas.
But do those help you get through another day? In most cases, no. Water, food, and shelter do. Period.
I could go on complaining about FEMA, but what good would it do.
We know they can’t rescue all in a true crisis – but we as individuals can certainly handle ourselves – if we prepare each and every day.
Let me re-affirm something positive: preparedness is a journey. And that is a good thing. It’s not a slog. Not at all. And it's American. It's what our forefathers did.
Each day, we become more fulfilled in our destiny than the next. It is a true “pursuit of happiness,” a principle our great nation was founded upon. With each step in our preparedness journeys, we can know the blessings of liberty and security, in good times and bad.
I hope that if you get the opportunity to talk to someone about preparedness in the next month, you might dispel some of the half-truths and myths the government is spinning.
If you do have one of those conversations, we’d love to help the person you’re talking to take the first or next step in their preparedness journey. Have them call 866.229.0927.
Have a great weekend and stay vigilant out there, friends! And pray for our fellow patriots in Texas and Louisiana.
MPS Preparedness Advisor