Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why I am a Prepper

Don’t worry if you’ve missed Emergency Preparedness Month (May in Canada and September in the U.S.). It’s never too late.
Emergency preparedness is preparing for emergencies, disasters and unforeseen events in advance of them, so that your family can be self sufficient. It’s the ‘in advance’ that most people miss. They assume they’ll just run out and get a few things when they hear a storm is approaching. So will thousands of others, and stores only have a limited supply. Then what?
I am a Prepper for personal, spiritual and practical reasons, not necessarily in that order.
I am a nurse, so I tend to think “worst case scenario” with everything.
My reputation as an over packer on trips. Sure, they mock me at the time, but who do they come to when they need a Tylenol, nail clippers, an extra towel, or feminine products? That’s right. Same idea, here. I don’t want to suffer any more than I have to. I also don’t want my family to suffer. It’s my job to look after them.
My temperament. I find I have less anxiety if I am prepared, and I figure the emergency itself is stressful enough.
I feel I’m being a prudent manager of my household, like the Proverbs 31 woman.
That said, I don’t trust in my preparedness, I still rely on God.

The verse in Matthew 6:25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” is a verse often used against prepping, but the verse is about worrying about these things, not providing them. Who doesn’t plan their food for the week or clothing for the season?This is the same thing, with a little extra set aside for a rainy day, or a stormy day. I don’t worry, but I do work.
I think it’s prudent and foresighted. Emergencies, disasters, and unforeseen events happen. Being prepared will let me be in a position to help others at the time.
Emergencies: power failures. Remember the Eastern Seaboard blackout? How ready was your family?
Disasters: This past week we experienced an earthquake on the west coast and Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. We weren’t hit as hard as many Americans on the east coast, but the whole thing made people ask if they would have been ready. Snow storms happen here. Remember the ice storm of 1998? Montreal and Kingston were without power for weeks in winter. I had young children then and it made me realize I didn’t have even a camp stove to cook on if I was without power. There have been tremors and earthquakes in Ontario and Quebec, tornadoes (Barrie 1985) and local floods. The west has had crop failure when the Red River flooded the plains.
Unforeseen Events: These are things like terrorist attacks, short term power failures, water quality issues, or disruptions in food supply due to labour issues. Remember when Mississauga residents had to be evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night due to a chlorine gas spill from a derailed train? Or the recent evacuation of a northern Ontario street when it was discovered that a man had a room full of bombs in his basement? They were out of their homes for at least a week. Also, there can be police stand-offs in the neighbourhood, like in Whitby a few weeks ago. You get a knock on the door and you’re told to leave immediately because there could be gunfire.
Just those few examples show you it CAN happen here. So how prepared are you? Could you leave at a moment’s notice and not have to run around finding medications and clothing and other necessities if you had to stay away 1-3 days? Could you shelter-in-place? If you had a snow storm and couldn’t get out to the store, would you have enough food and water  for everyone in your family for at least 3 days? How about 3 weeks? How’s your toilet paper supply? It never seems like a big deal until you run out.
 So what are some Scriptural examples?
“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.”
 Prov. 6:6-8
Solomon tells us to learn from nature to prepare food for winter in summer.
Noah and his family stored at least a year’s worth of food in the ark.
Joseph was considered the wisest man in Egypt because he stockpiled food during the seven years of plenty for the seven years of famine, keeping a nation alive.
 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.  Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years.  And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Genesis 41:33-36
The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 prepares for storms. The word scarlet is also translated as “double garments”, or winter clothing.
“She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.”
Prov. 31:21
She prepares. She provides. It’s her job.
Convinced yet?
Stay tuned for what to do now that you know you need to do it.

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