Developing Your Personal Infrastructure and Security
Most of the time the government provides security and infrastructure for the public. However the government is not able to guarantee either security or stability in the power grid. You can count on power for your home most of the time. You can count on gasoline for your vehicle and home heating most of the time. You can count on local law enforcement most of the time. (Law enforcement officers may be willing all the time – but simply unable. This isn’t criticizing their work ethic.) But what about that tiny ‘rest of the time’ when you suddenly find yourself on your own?
The most likely event would be a temporary shutdown of government services where you are able to stay in your home or go to the home of nearby family, a friend, or possibly even your church. Assuming you will be at home what you will need is a way to heat part of your home, cook food, flush toilets, and stay safe. Heating your home can be accomplished with a wood stove that you use during cold weather even when you have electricity. You can cook on your wood stove so that would solve the cooking dilemma as well. If you happen to have a gas cook stove it should work without electricity. A camp stove using propane is a very affordable alternative. Remember propane stoves are not safe for indoor use. You would have to go outside to use it. If you cook on a gas grill consider upgrading to a grill with a gas burner on the side. You need to have water stored well in advance. I suggest a minimum of 20 gallons. If you have city water it may still work during a power outage. If flooding is not involved in the power outage then the water supply will probably remain safe.
An alternative way of charging your cell phone and other devises important to you is necessary. It may be as simple as a car charger if you have access to your car and fuel to burn while you are charging everything. A solar charger is another option. A gas powered generator is a more expensive option. Kerosene lighting is not excellent lighting, but it is affordable. Kerosene can also be used for cooking and heating.
Usually your personal infrastructure will only have to sustain you a few days to a few weeks. It shouldn’t break the family bank. It should simply help you get through a tough time as efficiently and safely as possible. Or course no matter how well prepared you are a bad attitude will ruin everything for everyone. (Don’t forget to prep mentally – self-definition – self-discipline – self-reliance) Cheerfulness and patience are actions far more than they are feelings.
If you are interested in a home situation that would allow you to have your own personal infrastructure all the time you will need a lot of money! However there are solar and other options available. Before you start thinking that big make an effort to set up a full week of supplies and equipment that would allow you and your family to be self-reliant. That is your personal infrastructure. Infrastructure plan B is an alternative residence if your home is unavailable or uninhabitable.
Personal and family security is another matter. Protection begins by avoiding trouble to the extent that avoiding trouble is possible. Then security is self-defense! Self-defense is an entire topic in itself, but you do need to have some ideas regarding personal security. If you are spending a week without public infrastructure services your home door locks will still work. A barking dog will still be a barking dog. A well lite yard may be an impossibility unless you have solar powered outdoor lighting and enough sunshine to charge up the lights. Do what you can to make it obvious that someone is home. Determine in advance if you want to have a gun. If you decide you want a gun, but are unfamiliar with fire arms, you need to talk to experts to determine the gun that is right for you. Then you need to take a gun safety course and practice shooting until you are comfortable with how your gun works. I suggest a handgun that is common so ammo will be more readily available and affordable. By the way, I have an air-weight 38 pistol. The problem is that the recoil is so violent that it is not fun to shoot. I can’t hit anything anyway. My next goal is a laser sight. That way I only have to get the red or green dot on the target and pull the trigger. Did I mention gun safety? Oh yes – I already mentioned it but it is worth repeating.
Other options are, knives (you need training for knife fighting), a policeman’s baton ( again – you need training to use one effectively), pepper spray where legal, and even household items like a fire extinguisher can be used as a weapon. (spray the intruder with the fire extinguisher.) Unfortunately there isn’t anything that works as well as a gun if you know how to use it. A personal favorite is a double barreled shotgun. I wouldn’t have to think about how to load it or shoot it. It can be reloaded quickly, and I don’t have to be a good shot. On the negative side it kicks like I suppose a mule would kick.
If you state allows concealed carry then it would be a good idea to get your permit now. I admit that while I have a permit I seldom carry a gun. I plan to scare an attacker or robber by showing him/her my permit.
When you begin to make plans for personal/family infrastructure and safety during a disaster you are beginning to take charge. This does not leave you dependent on FEMA and the speed and efficiency of their operations. You definitely want to do more than think about it, but thinking about it is the place to begin. You don’t want to spend a lot of money or time on things that won’t actually be helpful.
Stay within your budget. Putting yourself in debt is not the way to set up a sound personal infrastructure.
Buying things no one will eat is not going to help.
Buying a million meals of pinto beans is not going to help if you don’t happen to love pinto beans.
Remember that people won’t suddenly be able to eat things they cannot eat before a disaster.
A diabetic will still be a diabetic. People with food allergies will still have food allergies. You don’t want to compound a disaster by having a trip to the emergency room – providing you can even get to an emergency room!
Buying a gun and being afraid or unwilling to use it isn’t going to help.
If it is doubtful don’t buy it or at least take some time to consider the purchase.
Basically – know yourself.
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