First, let me express that I don’t actually buy that today is the end of the world. They Mayan calendar was an instrument for measuring time, just like our calendar. It “foretold” events, but astronomical ones that can be predicted with great accuracy. It never saw future events. Like a meme going around Facebook said, if Mayans were so good at predicting the future, there would still be Mayans.
However, all the hullabaloo about this date provides a good opportunity to talk about disaster preparedness. Armageddon isn’t happening today, but we did find ourselves under a tornado watch yesterday. We live inland, yet find ourselves in the path of hurricanes with significant regularity. In short, there are still plenty of bad things that can happen, even without the apocalypse visiting us.
Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own preparedness. Oh, FEMA will come sweeping in at some point and do their very best to help people get their lives back on track, but why wait?
The federal government urges each person to maintain a 72 hour supply of food, water, and other essentials. Of course, this is the same group of folks who took two weeks to get water to the Superdome in New Orleans.
Last year, The Journal ran a story about “preppers” following the success of the National Geographic Channel show, Doomsday Preppers. The advice we got from these preppers was pretty straight forward. They advice to put together a list of potential disasters, starting with a worst case scenario – an apocalypse basically – and then run to the most likely, say something like a power outage. Start with prepping for the most likely and build up to your apocalyptic scenario.
While it’s completely up to you how far to take it, I think the advice about starting with the most likely scenario and move up in intensity with your preparations. Think honestly and rationally about how bad it can be, and prepare accordingly. It doesn’t take much to start, just a few extra cans of food each grocery trip will do the trick. Flashlights, batteries, and a whole host of other essentials will get you set just right. You know what you need.
I’m also going to recommend you buy a firearm and learn how to use it. A 12 gauge shotgun is a good place to start, then take a firearms safety class. The truth is, if you are ready, and your neighbor isn’t, he may decide he’s entitled to what you have. You and your family need to be able to defend themselves, though we all pray it never comes to that.
The world won’t end today, but with a bad disaster it can feel like the end of the world. After the floods in 1994 and 1998, Albanians should know all about how that feels. So, let’s use the occasion of the Mayan calendar resetting, and the ensuing fear, as a positive. If you’re prepared, disasters are inconveniences for you and your family. They’re not the end of the world.