I got an interesting post yesterday asking why I still prepare and what I think will happen. Unfortunately, my crystal ball is broken but I will attempt to explain myself.

Have you ever seen the news coverage of a supermarket the day before a big storm is forecast? People are clawing each other for basics like batteries, candles, canned food and bread. I hate to be in big crowds and I dislike standing in line. I also live a good distance from a big market.  So I prepare.

After a longer term emergency, like Katrina, people were desperate for basics like food, water and diapers. They should have evacuated but the had no plan or means to do so and no destination in mind. They had no emergency supplies on hand and so had to rely on overcrowded shelters or the cruel streets while they waited for rescue. I want no part of a shelter so I prepare primarily to shelter in place (chosing a place where that’s possible) and have enough supplies to do so.

I recognizing that just because an event has never happened does not mean that it will never happen so I prepare. I know that food crisis can be brought on by currency collapse, drought, crop failures, oil embargoes, internet terrorism, grid failure or any number of unlikely but all too possible scenarios so I not only store food for today but grow plants that will provide an ongoing source of food and I store seeds and tools and knowledge so can provide for my family today and in the coming decades.

I know that I can’t do this alone so I prepare by investing in my health, my marriage and my community and by nurturing friendships with people I know will be my family in hard times. I want people to make music with, to laugh with, to trust and to share labor and break bread with.

I hope that life will tool along as it always has. I enjoy many of life’s little pleasures. I like good wine and sitting by my pool on a hot summer day. I like to drive into town for a movie or a nice meal on occasion but my happiness does not depend on it. If I had to trade in the pool for a bigger greenhouse or the car for an electric bike and some panniers, I would still be happy.

To be honest, I really don’t see how we go on as we have. The environmental damage is too great and our current economic model unsustainable. You could never run a home and family with the kind of fiscal irresponsibility we  see in our banking system. So I prepare, not for just a quick emergency but also for a world where things might look very different. I have said this before. Different does not have to be worse, just not the level of comfort and luxury we have become used to.

I can’t see the future but I can envision my future. I can see a life where I am warm and fed and where I am surrounded by a community that functions. I can see a life where I have enough for myself and where I can help my neighbors. I prepare not knowing so it doesn’t matter. Nothing is wasted because I don’t buy that which I can’t use, whether things fall apart or not. I am careful of resources because it is the right thing to do, even if there were no dead zones in the oceans or dead soil in our nation’s breadbasket. I will be frugal, even if our banksters solve our fiscal crisis this afternoon. I will live more simply so there will be enough to go around.