Boy, if there’s one thing I’m passionate about, it’s got to be emergency preparedness! Ever since elementary school, when we got to pick a bunch of food to put in a Ziploc bag in case of emergency, I’ve loved being prepared. At the end of the school year (if there had been no emergency) we would get to take our bags home, and eat everything inside! It was one of the best things about the end of the school year. Everything in the bag had to be able to last the year, so my parents would always put fruit roll-ups, granola bars, Vienna sausages, and other snacky stuff that comes packaged. My school lunches were usually homemade, so those emergency bags were the best!
I have another early memory of loving emergency preparedness. The city where I grew up has a “Family Festival” every year. They have a parade in the morning, and then all day there are a bunch of booths at the city park. When I was growing up, there were sections of game booths (where you could try to win a goldfish or prizes), there were crafty booths, city information booths, and—since I grew up in California—every year they had an earthquake preparedness trailer for kids. It was shaped like a schoolhouse. Kids had to line up, because of course it was one of the most popular things, but when it was your turn, you got to go inside the trailer with a bunch of other kids, and everyone sat at little school desks. They showed a movie with Yogi Bear about preparing for earthquakes, and then the trailer would simulate an earthquake! During the earthquake, they wanted kids to see how the stuffed toys that were secured on their shelf didn’t fall while the toys that were not secured fell. Kids loved it! Mostly because the earthquake simulation was a fun ride that was FREE!
Now that I’m older, I can buy all of the fruit roll-ups I want, and go on all the rides I want to, but I’m still drawn to emergency preparedness. I used to wonder why. I’ve realized, emergency preparedness is not only about preparing for “The Big One” [an earthquake in California], or hurricanes, or famines, or a pandemic. For me, emergency preparedness is really about life preparedness. If the economy worsens and someday my husband loses his job, we may be eating food storage. If my 401K and other investments all lose value, or we have hyperinflation, we may be eating food storage.
Life brings so many challenges to everyone. The more we know, and the better we prepare, the better we are able to meet those challenges head on. Preparation enables us to maintain our liberty, our freedom, and our happiness. Choosing to prepare is about taking responsibility for ourselves, so that we don’t have to worry, and so that we can be ready for opportunities (including opportunities to help our families and friends). We can support ourselves—and maintain our dignity! I value those things, and that’s why I choose to prepare.