Tag Archives: prepper

Preparing for the Wrong Possibility

7 Apr

I could get angry about California teachers doing active shooter drills, while distance learning on Zoom, but it made me think about my own prepping instead. Like teaching students to shelter at home, maybe we’re all preparing for the wrong thing.

My family are lazy preppers, so although we actually do have stockpiles of food for emergencies, I’m worried that we don’t have the one thing that actually matters. Water. We live in Arizona, so although we’ve got all this dried and dehydrated food, to eat any of it requires the one thing we don’t have in abundance in the Sonoran Desert. Mind you, we have the temporary solution of the local pool to give us hundreds of gallons, but I think all of us realize that’s only going to last us a couple weeks, maybe a month.

However, that’s a difference of goals between me and my wife. I’m thinking about surviving for years–total collapse of society–versus surviving for a month–temporary collapse of infrastructure.

My wife’s scenario is far more likely, I’ll grant her that, but I’m also thinking any level of infrastructure collapse means we need to buy a gun. Preferably a shotgun, which allows for minimal shooting skills, and maximum effect. Yet that’s a bridge too far so far… because the likelihood that our kids will get out a real gun and play with it and maim/kill themselves is far higher than the infrastructure collapse. The solution for that is to get a gun safe–or at least something you can lock it up–but now we’re reaching a cost level that’s not really acceptable for us. We can buy a pound of beans for a couple bucks every month–we can’t buy a whole gun “infrastructure” without hurting our bank account.

Now let’s apply this to something I know well: education. American high schools are designed to prepare their students for college, which is great, if your students are going to college. I decided to look up the numbers: in 2017, 2.9 million students graduated from high school, and 1.9 million (67%) enrolled in college that fall, including students aged 16-24 who graduated from high school within 4 years of beginning 9th grade or completed a GED. Now that applies to the majority of folks: In 2018, 93% of adults between the age of 18 and 24 and 89.8% of adults over the age of 25 had completed a diploma, GED or another equivalency credential. So you’re only leaving out 10% more of people for whom college is not an option.

Okay–so that means for just over half (57%) of all American students, they are getting the education they need to progress. Except that here’s the next fact: the national college graduation rate is 46%; bachelor’s degree seekers graduate at a rate of 60%. So… only a quarter of all 9th graders entering high school this year will actually graduate with a college degree. You’d think that would mean “Maybe we should train our students to prepare for the workforce, rather than than college, since that’s where most of them will end up.” But they can’t–because high school teachers don’t know how to do that.

Try this phrase on for size: “teachers teach as they have been taught.” When I went through teacher training, I went into my classroom doing lecture, because… that’s what I had been doing for four years previous. I had to reteach myself how to teach by using a variety of activities, half of which I made up because I couldn’t find relevant resources. How are we supposed to teach consumer education to our kids when the teachers themselves don’t know how credit cards work? Or taking loans? Or how to do your taxes?! Plus the teachers themselves went to college–they don’t consider any other career path valid. A beginning welder will make more than a beginning teacher and with far less student debt, and generally start a couple years earlier.

The teacher will look down a blue collar worker, since they didn’t have the well-rounded experience that they had. Well, you can get drunk with age-appropriate folks anywhere, in my opinion. Considering my kids want to get into the arts, why on Earth would I want them to go to college?! A college degree in their chosen fields gets them absolutely nothing. If/when they realize that being an actor/waiter is not a good career path, they’ll be able to go into college a couple years wiser, and won’t treat it as extended high school.

So this post went in a very weird direction, but so often in life, we’re preparing for the wrong thing. Where are the blind spots in your life? Let me know in the comments below! If you want to see what the future looks like, check out my books! But if you’re saving up for that gun safe instead, and $1.99 is too much, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Enjoy!

You Are Completely Unprepared

20 Sep

My family are lazy preppers; we are keenly aware of how thin a thread we hang by in the modern world. However, when it comes to preparing for the unthinkable, we mostly do a head nod. So… how much do I really care about the apocalypse(s)?

Since the Days of Awe ™ are here, guess it’s time to consider how ready I am when the unthinkable occurs.

Armageddon

So when there’s a spiritual revelation and the end of days, I guess it depends which end times we’re talking about. If it’s the beginning of the Messianic Age ™ then the Messiah will be revealed to everyone. There won’t be any question whether or not this is the Chosen One. Rapture is also a good option, because although I won’t be lifted bodily into heaven, I’ll have plenty of time to repent before Judgement Day. Even in the Mormon faith, I still get to go to the Terrestrial Heaven, so I’ll still have to get missionaries in the limbo zone I find myself in.

The Days of Awe are all about examining yourself and determining whether or not God will write you in the Book of Life for another year. Although I take that seriously, just like Earth Day, there’s a reason it comes only once a year. If you had to consider the infinite all the time, you’d either be preaching on the street corner or in a constant state of fear. Either is not acceptable.

I was talking with a fundamentalist Christian once and I said, “Man, if Christ comes again in glory, I’m really screwed.” To which he answered, “There’s grace enough for all.” I found that rather comforting.

Terrorist Attack on Infrastructure

This is the one that’s the most likely and the most damaging. So much of modern life is dependent on electricity. Internet out would suck, and seriously impact my work, but power? Major problem. As I’ve learned modern life will continue on for at least two weeks without power. But more than that? We step into the Mad Max world.

This is why my wife is currently buying beans like there’s no tomorrow. Beans are great because they provide protein, they last a long time, and very portable. Of course, we aren’t storing water, which is a far greater concern in the desert where I live. So we have enough food to last us for a year… if only we get the #*$& out of the Valley of the Sun.

The Second Civil War

This one I’m the least concerned about. Because even with the inevitable riots after the election, people have to be willing to sacrifice their nice comfortable life to fight for their right to party… sorry, a new government. Sure, our system has flaws, but you want to roll the dice on a new government? You want to give up your social media life to pick up a gun and risk your life on the barricade? Sure, you can talk a good game online, but you want to starve and get shot at for years to bring about your utopia? The numbers of would-be freedom fighters drop considerably.

In Belarus, people who protest know they’re risking their lives. If they get imprisoned, they’re going to be tortured. They’re going to be killed. In the States, they’re going to be imprisoned for 48 hours and then released. You might never show up for the court date. Hell, you might never be charged. It’s easy to protest when there are few consequences.

So I’m not very well prepared for this. I don’t even own a shotgun. I’m more concerned about my kids shooting themselves than defending my own home. I can barricade the doors and take out my swords and see what happens.

I’m sure there’s an apocalypse I’m missing. What have you been doing to prepare for whichever apocalypse you have in mind? Did I miss one? Tell me in the comments below!

When Lazy Preppers Garden – Part 1

3 Jul

Me and my wife are lazy preppers. We don’t stockpile ammo or live on a compound, but we do think having some water purification and long-term food supplies are a good idea. Because the world doesn’t have to end to be in a situation where you’re out of power, food, and water for several days, possibly weeks. For example, when we were living in Ohio, the wind that remained of Hurricane Katrina knocked down power lines all across the state, leaving us in Cincinnati out of power for three days. People in the surrounding counties had to wait a week, maybe two, before their power got turned back on.

So we keep a lot of beans, rice, and a lot of dried goods on hand… which is you don’t vacuum seal it, only lasts for so long. So we end up eating a lot of beans, rice, and other dried goods. We do have two vacuum-sealed boxes of beans and oats that will last 30 years, but if your wife insists everything has to vegetarian and kosher, that either means you’re gonna be paying through the nose for prepared meals… or you just rotate everything else through your diet. Beans and rice will last for up to seven years if you treat ’em right, and that’s the cheap way to check all three boxes.

Part of this lazy prepper lifestyle is gardening, to ensure you have a long-range supply of food. I’m crap at gardening, but my wife loves it, so there we go. Obstacle two, we live in Arizona, which means the temperatures in the summer are currently 110, will go up to 120, and oh yeah, water is pretty scarce. No problem, there have been natives in this land for hundreds of years, and have started selling their drought-resistant crop seeds to the general public. Obstacle three, we don’t live in the country, or even a regular house lot, we live in a townhouse with a postage-stamp sized back yard. No problem, there’s something called square foot gardening to address this very issue.

This post is getting too long, so I’ll continue it tomorrow. Meanwhile, what do you do to prepare for the coming apocalypse… or snowstorm? Put your comments below!

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