I have been involved in Emergency Preparedness since the late 1980's, back when I was still in the Army Reserve. At the time I lived in St. Louis, when Alton Brown was saying that the New Madrid fault was going to let go and cause a massive earthquake. You had to understand the 80's, with Reagan, the cold war and militia groups, preparedness then know as "Survivalism" was a big deal. Back then the media only talked about how evil survivalists and militia groups were and how if they weren't actively plotting to overthrow the government they were praying for it to happen. Preparedness, which in the old days was called plain common sense for farmers and their families, was marginalized and made scapegoat for people in larger cities and towns to abdicate their personal responsibility for themselves and their families, to the government.
To understand why I have a problem with this, you have to understand my background. I am the middle of 3 boys, my father was a city boy from Iowa and my mother is/was the youngest daughter of a farmer from Arkansas with many kids. While I grew up, I spent many of my summers on my Aunt and Uncle's farm in northern Arkansas. On a farm, you don't get up when you feel like it, you get up before the sun rises to get chores done. Then you bathe and eat breakfast, and depending on what part of the season you are you either go around the farm repairing fence line, moving cattle between pastures, vaccinating livestock or you dress go into town 18 miles away to work a day job to help pay the bills. One thing on the farm, you always are putting back product from the garden in your root cellar, canning vegetables, jellies and jams, slaughtering a cow, hog or chicken. you are always working on a farm from before sun up to right before bed. If you didn't, once winter came, you wouldn't have food in the pantry or money in the bank to pay for coal or oil to fire the furnace, gas or diesel for the tractors or trucks. In short you wouldn't make it to spring.
Farmers are very self reliant. Most farmers by late fall have anywhere from 6-18 months of provender stored, depending on the size of their farm and their family. One bad year was enough to put many farmers out, losing their homes and farms, so they made as many preparations during the year to help prevent that. When you go to buy a car or a house your payments are spread out over the whole year. A farmer getting the same loan, his payment is once a year, after the harvest of his crops or the sale of his livestock. and they pay a premium for that as well with higher interest rates and more point or loan origination fees than you or I do.
So a farmer knowing these things uses common sense and prepares for things he hopes doesn't happen, but could.
That is the essence of emergency preparedness. To prepare for something you hope doesn't happen, but if it does you will have the necessary skills and materials to live through it without it becoming life threatening. And that is what many people get wrong about it. To the media, people trying to make preparations instead of being willing to stand idly by and wait for someone else to help them, such as the government or the Red Cross, are seen as those "Evil Survivalists" and belittled or ostracized as not being "fair" to those who didn't make preparations.
I, through my various writing projects with Alpha Rubicon and here, am trying to raise both awareness and hopefully responsibility. I am hoping that people will take a more active role in protecting themselves and their families by getting the information they need to do so. That is why I have been working on the KTD Project, why I have the links to Preparedness related blogs and websites over on the right. To try to get people up off their keisters and start helping themselves. That is why I write posts high lighting the inexcusable government and NGO response times and lack of response times as they relate to Hurricane Sandy and it's aftermath in New York and New Jersey. I also will harp and complain about the media and their failure to do proper reporting on those failures. Because of those failures you don't know the truth, and it might be you or your family out in the cold, with no food, water, shelter or medical care. And I don't want that to happen.
So look at the things I have written. Look at the KTD Project. Really actually look. Look at what the files are, explore them, find out which files you might conceivably need in an emergency situation. I'm not trying to make money off of this, I don't get a dime from this. I am only concerned with you being in the position to help yourself and your family, instead of waiting on a failed government or NGO response.