I remember an eventful day when I was in the sixth grade. I was working on a class assignment when my desk started to jiggle back and forth. My first thought was that Bobby, the boy who sat behind me, was shaking my desk. I was turning to tell him to knock it off when the teacher shouted, “Everyone get down on the floor! Under your desk! Cover your head!”
Those commands sounded just like those in the earthquake drill we’d practiced many times. And sure enough, I later learned that it had been a strong earthquake of 6.5 magnitude that rocked my desk that day. Although people had been injured and buildings damaged, no one among my family or friends was seriously affected.
I lived most of my life in that earthquake fault zone. I heard over and over the advice from FEMA and other organizations to be prepared for another quake or other natural disaster. With good intentions, I would clip newspaper articles and save preparedness flyers, but I never got around to storing much more than my pantry and cupboards would hold.
In 1999, with Y2K doom looming ahead, I did go as far as buying 25# of beans, 25# of rice, and several gallons of water for potential supply disruptions. Oh, and some extra toilet paper—wouldn’t want to be stuck without that vital household supply! Nothing came of that alarm, and I never fortified my stash.
Fast forward a decade to 2009…and somehow, my attitude about being prepared began to change. I can’t pinpoint the reason or what prompted the changes, but I started to feel that it would be wise to be less reliant on grocery stores and shipping trucks. I felt an urgency in my heart that I could only identify as something to do with the food supply.
Since then, my husband and I have been stocking up on food, medicine, and household supplies. We’ve saved open-pollinated seeds for vegetables. We learned how to raise chickens for eggs and meat. We keep studying, gathering references, and learning how to do more things on our own. Just in case we have to.
We’re preparing for an unknown situation of an unknown duration. Like many of you, I’ve hoped my concerns would come to nothing and my preps would be unnecessary. But lately, every trip to the grocery store reveals more evidence that a transformation of our supply of goods is already in progress. Recently I’ve seen packages shrink as prices jump. I’ve seen empty shelves. There’s no telling when and where it will end—or even what “it” is.
Whatever it turns out to be, I’m glad we’re gearing up to get through it.
I’d rather be safe than sorry.