Family Resilience Essentials

Hey mainstream America, can we be clear about something?  Just because someone decides to keep a little food and water on hand… that doesn’t make them a tin-foiled, paranoid, raving mad lunatic “prepping” for a zombie apocalypse.  OK?

tinfoilPhoto credited to  Sorry to disappoint you, ladies. That’s not me.

No, just because we might have a few extra cans in the pantry doesn’t make us that caricature above.

It makes us intelligent, responsible adults who love our family.

Our great-grandparents would roll in their graves if they knew the vast majority of their posterity have thirty days of dog food in the basement, and maybe 2 days of people food in the fridge.  An improbable Sci Fi event doesn’t have to happen for that stuff to come in handy and really save our bacon.

  • An EMP doesn’t have to blast us back to the stone age.  Maybe a winter storm knocks out the power for 72 hours.
  • Aliens don’t have to invade Suburbia.  Maybe your home’s breadwinner loses their job.
  • Dogs and cats don’t have to mate and give birth to bloodthirsty killing machines.  Maybe someone has to take a leave of absence from work to care for an ill family member.
  • A meteor shower doesn’t have to destroy every grocery store.  Maybe yours is just picked bare because some bad weather is headed in.

It’s good common sense to prepare for some bumps in the road.  Good common sense we’ve unfortunately lost.

So what are our basic physical needs? (After skipping a pretty important one we can’t do too much about – Oxygen.)

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Security
  4. Shelter
  5. Energy
  6. Health & Sanitation

I’d like to start an ongoing series to explore each of these in turn.  There are a lot of simple things we can all do to increase the odds that those we care about most can weather a storm…  Whatever that storm might be.

I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t used to think much about these things.  It took growing up and maturing (a little), seeing a bit more of the world than the lovely small town in which I was raised, and starting a family.  When I took a marriage vow, it really hit home that it’s not just me anymore.  I’m responsible for someone else and she’s responsible for moi.  For the past nine years since then I’ve slowly tried to insulate our lives a bit at a time from some of the curveballs that could be thrown our way.  Obviously, you can never be totally good to go, and we still have a very long way to go, but I was feeling pretty pleased about the progress we’d made.

Then two years ago we had our first kiddo……………… BOOM! ………………  That certainly changes the way you look at things… am I right, parents?

You see, I’d never even really held a baby before they handed over our own in the delivery room. I  suddenly had no idea if much of my planning would work out now that such a truly helpless little soul was squirming in my arms.  I felt like in many ways, I was thrown back to square one in re-evaluating our Rainy Day Preps.

For example… do you know babies need you to do everything for them?  I mean everything, up to and including supporting their head so it won’t roll and snap off their tiny little neck.  Yeah, even that.

Want to know something else about a baby’s head?  Each one comes with its own self-destruct button euphemistically called a “soft spot”.  Isn’t that just great?!  No, that wonderful design feature is not protected away somewhere under an armpit, it’s right up on top!  Fan-tastic!

This new Dad obviously had a lot to think about.  Again.

Sometimes a water main bursts.  Sometimes a well pump quits.  Sometimes a car crash takes out a power pole.  Each of us live somewhere sometimes susceptible to earthquakes, or hurricanes, or tornadoes, or blizzards, or something.  Hopefully problems can be fixed by wonderful guys in white hardhats in no time flat… but sometimes they can’t.

For those times they can’t, it’s up to us to make sure our spouse and little ones are fed, warm, dry, and safe.

That’s just common sense.

Posted in Resilience Tagged with: ,
4 comments on “Family Resilience Essentials
  1. Christina says:

    New reader here, first time commenter: I agree with you completely. Less than two generations ago, everybody always had to plan for the winter, for hard times, for odd circumstances… it’s just that it’s not in the living memory of most young people in our society, not even those who are new parents who, if they are reflective people, are newly aware of life’s vulnerabilities.

    Of course, that does not mean that the concerns don’t exist, not only in most of the rest of the world, but right here at home in the USA. We, as a society, have been exceedingly lucky these past couple of generations; we have missed war on home ground, drought or other causes of famine, most of us have been spared the Acts of God such as Katrina. Because of that luck we are inexperienced. That and ignorance is what allows people to ignore the need for proper planning.

    If I am even partly right about the foregoing, I wonder why you care what others may think about your responsible plan to prepare for your family’s safety and comfort?

  2. Mike says:

    Very well said, Christina. Thanks for stopping by.

    Our family personally does not care one bit what others may think of us, nor our attempts to be more self-sufficient, self-reliant, and prepared for any challenges that might present themselves.

    It’s unmistakable there’s a stigma associated with being a “prepper” fabricated from mainstream media fed to your average American… and we’re trying our best to be (politely) vocal when we can to help change that. I think everyone I work with got more than an earful when they asked, “How’d it go during last night’s power outage when it hit that record -18? Man, we were scared silly huddling under a blanket…” I got to tell them how cozy we were with our woodstove, the kerosene heaters we loaned to vulnerable neighbors, firing up the paraffin lamps, etc.

    That’s the only reason we care what others think – So we can hopefully help convince them to stop thinking it. 🙂

  3. Patrick says:

    I for one think a chocolate AR-15 wrapped in foil is a perfectly reasonable prep to have. You never know when a little comfort food will keep the peace. Looking forward to series!
    Patrick recently posted…Black Powder Flint Lock RifleMy Profile

    • Mike says:

      Good point. High level stress and the fight or flight adrenaline dump can also work up an appetite. 🙂

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