Emergencies Don’t Wait

By , April 17, 2016

We’ve been sitting on a major project for more than a month now, whittling away at the sides of it occasionally, but waiting for the time to really do it right. Recent events have convinced me that time, in this matter, is a luxury we don’t actually have.

The project: assembling “bug out” bags, emergency supplies and essential items in a small pack that can be grabbed at a moment’s notice. Everyone should have one of these in case of emergency evacuation from natural disasters, house fires, gas leaks, or domestic abuse.

The Ring of Fire, the geological region prone to earthquakes and volcanoes on which we live, has experienced three major quakes in the last few days. Two occurred in Japan, one in Ecuador. To further prove today’s point, I’d all but forgotten Alaska’s own Mount Pavlof, which erupted recently.

These events brought home the importance of completing our bug out bags now, at least on a provisional level.

Living so far from the emergency aid systems upon which most Americans rely, emergency preparedness underscores most of what we do here on the homestead. For years, we’ve had and maintained a bug out bucket, stashed on one of the higher points of our property. We assembled it soon after we arrived, and check it periodically to make sure no one or thing has gotten into it.

That stash of supplies and equipment represents a good start. Recently, we decided to get even more serious about emergency preparedness, to assemble a bug out bag—pack, technically speaking—for each of us.

As with most projects, we began to obsess a little too much about assembling the best collection of emergency supplies in the smallest, lightest configurations, and at the most economical cost. We have lists everywhere, covering the very basic survival needs, to more elaborate collections. We’re mulling over many questions, which I’ll cover in a future post. Those decisions further slow completion of the project.

It’s a lot to think about. And, while we’re thinking about it, we’re going on with normal life: work on the homestead and in town, play practice, keeping in contact with family, writing the blog . . . . Assembling bug out bags is very important, but not obviously time critical.

We could so easily ignore the earthquakes and the volcano, and continue slowly toward completing our bags at the current rate. It’s very likely that we would never regret that.

However, emergencies don’t wait till we’re ready!

We could lose everything at any time, and find ourselves driven from home with only that bucket to fall back on. They say that earthquakes, and often volcanoes, occur with no warning. That being said, how much more warning would we need, in retrospect, than the recent earthquakes?

Today we’re assembling our bug out bags on a provisional basis. Yes, they can and should be improved as soon as possible, but less-than-perfect preparedness beats none at all.

Odd, isn’t it, that this should even be an issue for us? After all, I’ve written about it before, haven’t I? (See Waiting for Perfection.)

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