I admit it. I have a lot in common with the "teotwawki" (the end of the world as we know it) people. I am a survivalist. I have a survivalist blog where I share survivalist tips. I believe in being prepared for nearly any contingency.
I just don't believe the end of the world is near.
I live in Oklahoma, and we have crazy weather here. The power grid is touchy and unreliable. You never know what is going to shut down the power or when. and now we are having some heavy quakes in addition to the droughts, tornadoes, floods, fires, ice storms, high winds, hail, and - recently - deep snows.
Oklahoma has even had a hurricane. I know. Landlocked, right? But we still had a hurricane, with the eye and everything.
The only natural disaster we haven't had is a volcano.
It's really short-sighted to not be prepared for any contingency.
My friends laugh at me because I have little survival kits everywhere. I have one in my car, and I stashed ones in their cars (if I go anywhere with them, I want to be able to survive whatever happens, eh? And if I'm not with them, I want thm to have a good chance to survive, too.) I have one at my desk at work. I have some stashed at each friends' house, my sister's, and at all my children's homes. I have buried caches, too.
My home is nearly set for survival under any circumstances. There's 6 months of non-perishable food stored. I have veggie, fruit, and herb gardens. Everything I have electric I also have in manual (grain mills, food processor, coffee makers, food slicer, blender, mixer, knife sharpeners, drill, saws, lawn mower, treadle sewing machine...). I know how to shear sheep, pick cotton and flax, card, spin, dye, and weave wool, cotton, and linen. I know how to sew, knit, crochet, make lace, build and use a forge to make knives, hooks, candle holders, hinges, latches, raise chickens, meat and fur bunnies, goats, train dogs, build simple furniture, and so on. I know how to make medicines (and grow many of the plants to make medicine with - I have a degree in phytotherapy and was an herbal apothecary in Germany). I know survival medicine - I'm not a doctor, but I can keep myself and possibly others alive until we can get to a doctor. That includes emergency dental care. I can wildcraft, capture wild yeasts for baking and brewing and wine making and making vinegars and alegars. I can build a still to make herbal extracts and flavorings (and yes, alcoholic beverages,if I wanted to - or had to for barter pruposes).
This isn't bragging, it's something I think we should all know and should all have access to.
I never have been a believer in austerity. I much prefer bounty. There's so much we can do that would take us beyond mere subsistence survival and take us to healthy thriving. The skills I've spent a lifetime acquiring are just a small part of it.
I teach the things I know and share them with others.
And I think, fervently, deeply, with every fiber of my being, that we all should be survivalists at heart. We should all be prepared for anything that might happen to us. We all need basic survival skills for the situations we are most likely to face.
Whether the skills we need are the ones to survive and thrive in a large metro like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles or the ones we need to make through a wilderness hike, we need to learn and hone those skills.
Flood, power outages, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, car problems, broken chain on the bicycle, plumbing issues, wiring issues, fence repairs - we need to know about them even if we never intend to do them ourselves. Even if we can pay someone else to do them for us, we still need to know how it's done so we know it's done right.
Survival for humans isn't all there is, either. Pet survival, livestock, service animals, and wildlife survival are also important. Knowing what to feed and how to care for them is essential.
Yes, Itzl gets his story here, too.
He's a survivor himself.
He was a rescue, he survived a car accident, he endures all kinds of public situations and all kinds of weather. He has his little stashes, too, and his own survival equipment. He knows the sounds of dnagerous storms and what to do for survival, chivvying me and Xoco to the safe place and making sure we have our survival gear with us.
Ditto for Xoco. She's a survivor, too, surviving hydrocephaly and deformed hips and a really bad hiatal hernia. She, too, understands survival procedures and the drill for getting to a safe place in storms.
People who don't know how to take care of themselves in any situation worry me.