This week, I got an email from my favorite group of online Mormon gals, at www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net . Their mission is to fulfill a tenent of the Latter Day Saints church teachings to have a year’s supply of food and supplies on hand to provide for your family and be a blessing to your neighbors. My mission, however, is to be a bad mamba jamba survivalist mother. I am a very ecumenical Catholic, after all.
One of the many things my husband and I do for our kids is provide for their bodily well-being. We have made this commitment to our children by bringing them into this world. Our obligation does not end because of a power outage or massive crop failure. It does not cease to be if the municipal water supply becomes undrinkable or, worse, shut off. So, after listening to Glenn Beck (also a LDSer) talk about food storage as food insurance, I had a few moments of panic, seeing my children standing in our kitchen asking for food that I couldn’t provide. Watching mothers just like me on the other side of the world live through this today has encouraged me to give more aggressively to end their suffering. More on this in a future blog post.
But, in order for any of this to make sense, we need to briefly touch on a few scenarios that might lead to a need for a relatively large amount of supplies on hand. There’s a blizzard that knocks the power out for days (fine, get in your car and drive to an unaffected area-costly, but appropriate). Flooding at the wastewater treatment facility leads to contaminated drinking water (go to the store and buy all of your water-moderately costly). You or your husband are laid off, or need to stay home to tend to a terminally ill child (dip into retirement fund, go on welfare-hugely costly).
But, what if the stores were out of water? What if your car wouldn’t start? What if you couldn’t access your money or didn’t qualify for welfare? What if it all happened at once? Is your house liveable without electricity, gas, and water? How would you meet your family’s basic needs? Your pets’?
Well, these things just won’t happen all at once, short of the Apocalypse…and that’s just going to be so bad, all the efforts to prepare are futile. That was my take on it. And then, I started reading. The apocalypse described above, where every modern convenience (and now necessity) goes away can be caused by one of our enemies detonating a nuclear bomb over our airspace. The huge energy from that event would send a “front loaded” surge through every conductive material in its range (the entire continental US). Because it’s front loaded, there’s no small fore-wave to warn your circut breakers and surge protectors to cut the power. Instead, every piece of wiring, including “grounded” wires act as massive antennas to amplify the surge.
In an instant, every piece of electronics, every car, every computer plugged in or not, has been fried. 9 out of 10 Americans are dead in the first year.
I won’t go into more details here, but this link and book are great resources: www.onesecondafter.com . All I know is that such a thing can happen. I have the opportunity to prepare for the worst of the worst, and in the process, every little temporary emergency is covered in full.
So, I have a few weeks of supplies on hand. Rinsing out juice bottles and filling them with water. I am learning more about how to use my stored food. I am locating all of my important documents. I am learning how to make a manual washing machine: http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/flatschallenge-how-to-make-a-camp-style-washer-instructional-video/ . My husband is going all techie and learning about radios and making an alluminum-foil faraday cage (ooo, and some helmets for the space alien invasion, too!).
The most important thing, however, is that our children know Mommy and Daddy will fight for them. When monsters have occassionally poked their heads out from under beds, we don’t tell the kids “There, there, it’s ok, I’ve got you.” We tell them, sometimes forcefully “Do you think Mommy and Daddy would ever allow a monster into this house? Never. If anyone ever tries to hurt you or takes you away, we will look for you, and we will always come find you. That’s a grown-up’s job. Mommy and Daddy will always take care of you.” And we will.
If you’d like to know more about some emergency scenarios, visit http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/7day/ to view the 2009 and 2010 challenge and sign up for the challenge this week.