Yesterday I asked a police officer how prepared he was for an emergency. Do you have lots of water at home and your car, emergency kit, food, etc? Nope, he said with a smile. I got guns. I can get what I want. Of course he was joking, or at least I think he was, but there was a little sliver of truth there that got me thinking. What if I have really prepared myself, but others have not. Won’t they want my stuff?
I shuddered when I recalled Aesop’s Grasshopper and Ant fable. In that story, the Ant’s diligence pays off. The Grasshopper fiddled and played while the Ant worked to store food, so when winter came, the Grasshopper lost out. Big time. But in that tale, the Grasshopper didn’t have a gun either.
I would be the last person to advocate getting a gun for your Emergency Preparedness Kit. It’s not that I don’t know anything about guns. I grew up on a farm where my father taught me to shoot a rifle. I loved being with my father and went pretty much everywhere he went, which included hunting deer, rabbits and squirrels. But the rifle had a role in that rural setting and it was used strictly for putting meat on the table and nothing else. The point is that I don’t believe guns, notably handguns, should be a normal part of anyone’s “things to keep around the house.” This is the 21st century, for heaven’s sake. Can’t we just get along??
But what if...? It does make me pause. What if the Grasshoppers come to my house looking for my Antly reserves? I have no problem in standing up to bullies, but I am also realistic. In stressful times, people will not act as they normally would and desperation might make people do abnormal things.
As a mother, I am very protective of my children, but I am definitely in the “lightweight” division in any battle and I really need to consider other ways to BE PREPARED! Hence, I have decided that I need to do the following:
1. I need to make a concerted effort to get my neighbors prepared. If it takes a village to raise a kid, it will certain take the efforts of an entire neighborhood to survive a big disaster.
2. I need to secure my reserves. It will be no Fort Knox, but I really should make sure that the place where my Emergency Supply Bins reside are not set out like a buffet bar.
3. And I will get some pepper spray. You can buy a “civilian” caliber pepper spray canister for personal protection at sporting goods stores (although I fail to see the “sport” in using pepper spray...). It is obviously more of a deterrent than Homeland Security, but it might be enough to scare away a Grasshopper, or two.
You can’t prepare for it all, but by remembering human nature, you may be able to build secure surroundings to protect yourself, your family and the community you call home.