Guest Post: Preparation: Why should I and how to start.

The following is a guest blog to kick off a new series of articles about personal security and disaster preparedness. Many thanks to Kim Walsh for providing the first article!

My journey to the preparedness world has been long and winding. Like many of my generation there was no reason to learn survival skills or think about disaster prep. We had stores aplenty right? We had easy access to everything we could ever want or need.

Then I got married. I married a man raised on hunting, survival, preparedness. Not out of any sort of paranoia like so many survival shows these days seem to imply but because it was just how his father had been raised and his father before him. I was reluctant to even open the doors at first. Who cared about edible plant or food storage or water filtration? We lived in a pretty populated place, we have never been rich but we had enough to go to the store when needed. And guns? Not needed. Violence and disaster happened to other people.

Then I got a wakeup call. An active shooter decided to shoot up our apartment complex. Our complex was situated more like a hotel. You had a secure door to buzz through and all the front doors were interior. The shooter’s apartment was not even 3 yards from my own. First I heard the pops. I brushed those off. Then I heard someone banging on my door. I was about to answer and ask them to stop as my husband was sleeping in prep for a late shift but some instinct stopped me. An hour later my husband got up for work and went onto the porch to be greeted by SWAT with guns drawn. We were asked if they could use our apartment to gain entry as the front door was glass and being watched by the shooter. Then we were evacuated. The officer who led us out said that ignoring that door probably saved my life
That is when I realized bad things can happen any time and any place and often do to wonderful people. So I decided to learn to shoot and to prepare for worst case. We have lived in multiple state but all were earthquake zones. One was also a volcano zone. So then my question was: How do I start?

The four real issues are: food, water, shelter, protection. So I have set about learning all I can about each in different situations. I now live in the desert on the edge of BLM land. I know where the water sources are for wildlife. I know where to find game. I also know several escape routes off the interstate if needed.

Examine where you live. What type of natural disasters can happen? If needed can you lock yourself down at home while still gaining access to food and water? If you need to get out of the area do you know the less traveled paths? Honestly it’s not about the apocalypse or aliens, it is about knowing that sometimes bad things happen. Job loss, illness, accident, fire, tornado, earthquake, hurricane, etc. Knowing that bad things are a possibility is what being prepared means. It is seeing those possibilities and doing what you can to make sure you and your family are able to weather any eventuality.  

Kim Walsh is a writer, designer, rights advocate, fribromyalgia awareness activist, wife, mother, and friend. You can check out her blog, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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