My Dad taught me that if you’re smart, you learn from your mistakes; if you’re really smart, you learn from other’s mistakes.
The after effects of the Haitian earthquake could possibly be dismissed – that country had minimal infrastructure, a weak government and a tenuous hold on civil behavior. Hell, voodoo is practiced in Haiti.
Chile is a different story. They have a dynamic economy, a functional government and economy. They had enough experience with earthquakes to have protective building codes. Yet days after the earthquake, there is widespread looting in the affected areas. Google ‘Chile looting’ for many articles or hit youtube for some visuals of the aftermath.
People need food, and if you and yours are going hungry, you are not going to sit tight and starve; you will become a looter and feed yourself and family. You will rationalize stealing for survival.The real aftershocks of Chile – the loss of the thin veneer of civilized behavior—is a lesson that needs to learned and not dismissed.
Even if you do not live in an area prone to earthquakes, are you so sure that nothing can interrupt your food supply? Your medication supply? What about a supply of cash if credit cards andATMs are not functioning?
Some time ago I realized I had more insurance for things that don’t affect my survival in an emergency. I even had “pet insurance”. I don’t live in an area prone to flooding, but I had it covered. I don’t live in an area prone to emergencies, but isn’t that why they are called emergencies? When I lived in the remote high desert of northern Nevada, seeing mountain lion tracks where I jogged with my dogs was not unusual; badger holes and coyotes were routinely seen. Carrying a pistol holstered on my camelback during those runs didn’t raise an eyebrow on those occasions when I came across either intrepid fishers (20 inch rainbow trout is worth a long hike!) or Police. Now, carrying the same pistol when running in NY would indeed cause a stir as would a mountain lion, badger or coyote sighting. My point is that a mountain lion in the suburbs on NYC would be an emergency of sorts, where the same mountain lion would not cause much of a stir in northern Nevada.
Being too late to make a long story any shorter, if you lived in an area where the roads went out weekly, or flooded every spring, or the electric power went out for days at a time several times each winter, you would be prepared. It’s where such things are unusual that they are considered ‘emergencies’.
Emergencies in American urban/suburban neighborhoods have rarely occurred. There are good reasons to suspect that some type of emergency is coming soon to a neighborhood near you. Like crossing a busy street without looking, it would be difficult to know in advance what type of car or truck hits you but the fact is you will likely to get hit by something. So it is with prepping. Having a minimum cache of water, food, medications, cash and perhaps a means of self-defense is more than prudent. An absence of such a cache is negligent. Whining how you couldn’t foresee X happening will not keep you safe; preparing for a generic ‘emergency’ will keep you safer. Preparing for X will likely help if B happens; there are many lowest common denominators to surviving emergencies stemming from varied scenarios.
How extensive your cache is a personal choice dictated by your mindset, your budget and living space.
Learn from other’s mistakes. Have a supply of water, food, medications, and whatever else you think necessary to protect yourself and loved ones on hand before that bolt from the blue lands on your doorstep. Or will be a bolt out of the red?