It seems in this day and age the word ‘prepper’ conjures up mental images of a paranoid psycho who hoards food, rifles, bottles of water and who has an underground bunker preparing for the end of the world. The odds of the entire globe going ‘poof’ one of these days in so extraordinary rare that it’s barely worth mentioning. When a comet wiped out the dinosaurs a lot of them died out. Still, the planet does have a multitude of living fossils that we see today: reptiles, insects, some fishes and ginkgo trees are a small example of the living fossils we have. Proof that life will find a way.
But what is so wrong with being a ‘prepper’? Building a bunker in your backyard to shelter you for political downfall or what the Mayans foretold would happen five thousand years ago does seem a little…silly. Or is it silly to be prepared. Frequently in the news there are disasters both natural and man-made happening in the world. The mid-west got socked with a memorable blizzard, dumping over a foot of snow in one day. You can expect something like that to disrupt your plans for sure.
Me, my home is in the Pacific Northwest and the weather here does have its extremes sometimes. One day in the summer it can be sunny and 90F degrees of hot and the very next day be overcast and 65F degrees. Or the time back in winter and spring of ’05 and ’06, there was precipitation of some form for four months. Rain, showers, sprinkles, misting, drizzle, and my favorite, mizzle which is a heavy mist, light drizzle. If you don’t like the weather in Western Washington, wait five minutes it’ll change. Unless it’s overcast, it will remain that way for a long while.
Natural threats in my area aren’t limited to the weather, although businesses and schools do shut down when there’s an inch of snow on the ground. It’s justifiable. Some of the hills around here are so steep if you don’t have things tied down in your car, then as you go up the hill those items will be on your back window. For fun, check out Queen Anne Hill Snow on Youtube.com. There are a lot of videos of cars, buses and people wiping out while trying to maneuver that hilly street.
The natural threat that concerns me most are earthquakes. They strike without any warning what so ever. Imagine; waking up, it’s a normal day and you’re going about your usual business when suddenly the ground starts shaking, your things start falling, the power goes out and the cell phones have lost connection. The shaking gradually stops and you realize that you’ve made it through an earthquake. You can’t call home, the lines are down. The scary thought enters your mind…can you get home?
I lived through a scenario like this back on February 28, 2001 during the 6.8 Nisqually/Seattle earthquake. On the Richter scale, that earthquake was a good sized one. Death and injury wise, Puget Sound got lucky, there were fewer than 500 people injured and only one death due to a heart attack. After seeing pictures of the earthquake that struck Haiti a few years ago, and the monster that struck Japan back in 2011 (among others in the news) Puget Sound got fantastically lucky. Still, I was away from my home when it struck; about two miles as the crow flies and three miles driving. Every route I knew to take required crossing over a bridge of some nature. I was able to get home during the same day but I didn’t have a plan. That disaster brought into sharp relief how ill prepared I was, and how suddenly I was out of time to prepare.