Making an Attempt to Understand

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Firefly, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Guest

    Hi everyone,

    My husband is a member of this forum, and a big fan of this site. Thus, I have been browsing around some of the topics lately, and noticed one in particular, of someone trying to get some advice on how to convince his spouse to understand what exactly he's doing in making the emergency kits, etc.

    I know for a fact that my husband probably feels the same way with me... I just don't GET IT. So, I thought I'd come on here to hopefully get some insights and information on exactly what I'm not getting.

    Now keep in mind that I'm not trying to make fun of anyone or anything like that -- I'm honestly just trying to understand the whole thought of all of this, in order to hopefully understand why my husband is so passionate about all of this. I'm all for making an emergency kit in case of a tornado (I live in the MidWest), or having a vehicle break down, or something like that... but it just feels like it's being taken too far to an extreme - almost like preparing for the End of the World or something like that.

    Is it a preparation for a societal breakdown? Or nuclear war? Or what? Like I said, I'm really just looking for some insights on understanding a little bit more the idea behind all of this - so I can stop looking at my husband like he's crazy! :)
  2. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    This is going to seem harsh, but...

    There's no universal preparedness level. What people should be prepared for varies with locale, climate, etc.

    Whether your husband is taking it too far, I can't say. You don't really offer ANY insight into what preparations he's making. I'm sure just about every ignorant jackass in New Orleans would have thought that having some food supplies, ammunition and weapons, etc. would have been insane. Hell, most of them thought it was silly to actually evacuate...

    Why don't you do what grown-ups do, and ASK your husband what he's preparing for, and how he's doing it. We don't know what he's doing, and can't really tell you what he's preparing for, what preparations he's made, or why he feels it's necessary.

    You're married to the guy. Be a big girl now, and go ask HIM. Don't come onto a forum and ask us to read the guy's mind. We can't do it.

    ...and HE's the crazy one? :roll:

  3. hopefully one of our folks who does long, well thought out posts will post in for you. I'm not too good at that, but heres what I have to say.

    Level really depends on the person. Some people are after high-level preparedness. ie: nucular war(good insight here is the show jericho), societal breakdown, end of the world as we know it, etc. These folks tend to want to stockpile things like nonperishable foods, water, fuel, etc.

    For me its a matter of, what if there is a natural disaster, resulting in some minor breakdown for a short period of time, or for the event of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. So I keep what I call a "get me home bag" it contains survival gear, quick shelter, fire starting, etc. So its primary purpose is to SAVE MY LIFE in a bad situation.

    Now the question of why, thats the tough part to really convey. It depend on the person. For many its just because we don't like the thought of finding ourselves in a bad situation that we can't get out of with what we have on us. Lets face it, you never know when something bad is going to happen and leave you stranded or in some other bad situation. So for people like me its all about, save my(or others) lives if something bad happens.

    For other folks it is about the end of the world and LONG term survival. Again, lets face it. Look and absorb what is going on around us, how would you eat if we had another 1929 stock crash and things cost a fortune? What if the folks in the middle east decided no more oil and all these semi trucks that haul food to your local grocery store can't run? The store has <2 days of stock in that situation. Why not be prepared with foods that won't go bad?

    On another point, what about the cost of goods? Everything is going up substantially. what can it hurt to store up food and other consumables while they are cheaper?

    Hope that helps, let me know if I can clarify.
  4. z71silverado98

    z71silverado98 Member

    Your IP doesnt show use from 2 screen names so I cant help but feel like this is a bait attempt.

    If it is indeed an honest question, Even if he was a bit blunt, im going to have to say Uraijit hit the nail on the head. If you're that concerned/curious, get involved w/ what your husband is doing.
  5. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    Well, I personally think its noble of you to at least go find answers instead of just discounting it as foolish. You might have already asked him and not got satisfatory answers (doesn't matter who is at fault for that), but even if that was the case most of us apprecite that you are still willing to try to understand what he is thinking.

    But yes, we need to know what all he is doing for us to defend him or agree with you.

    And, to answer one of your questions, lots of us prepare for two parts of a bad situation: Surviving the initial problem (with generators, extra food / water, etc, like in the case of anything causing a power outage); and getting away from the problem area (because of other people around). That second part deals with the problems that occur when people are past the "I don't want to die" phase, but the situation is still not under control (think about Katrina - after the disaster itself, the people left began looting from and taking advantage of eachother until control was regained).

    At least, this is how I look at it.

    Good luck finding your answers.
  6. When Katrina hit it was everyone for themselves for weeks. Preparations for Katrina would have to be similar to what preparations for end-of-the-world would look like. Take it from me; if those flood waters had gone much higher (or if the dam had broken) we would have had a mini-Katrina in the Midwest. I'm not saying you should prepare a nuclear fall out shelter with supplies for 10 years, but it doesn't hurt if you do.
  7. Firefly

    Firefly Guest

    Well, for one, I have made an attempt to discuss it with my husband, but it almost seems as though HE's not even quite sure about what the preparations are for. I get a lot of "in case something happens, and we have to be on the move quickly". Which tells me that it's just for the "unknown".

    Two, the IP address should match up now, since I'm at home, and the first post that I made was while I was at my work computer on a break. . . so I can assure you that I'm not trying to defraud anyone by my question, but to more or less understand from other people's points of view. Reading a lot of the posts, everyone seems to have somewhat of a gentle ear and comradery with each other, so I figured it would be a good place to try and get other opinions.

    I'm honestly trying to further my "line of sight" and open my mind to other possibilities by asking others who have the same interests and understandings as my husband does -- because my friends and family are more in my boat of thinking - so that's another reason I wanted to post on here.

    To answer a previous question, a lot of the supplies seem to be like "camping" type gear - water canteen, warmers, multi tool, etc (I'm not exactly sure of all the supplies as I really haven't had an interest in it before... hence this post).

    So, there's seriously no need to be rude to me or anything like that, because it's not some marriage "make or break" issue, in which a long, deep conversation with my husband is needed. It was just a question that I had that I thought would be well suited on this forum.
  8. urotu

    urotu Member

    Sometimes people get very serious, especially when taking about TEOTWAWKI (End Of The World As We Know It), or SHTF (S*** Hits The Fan), so don't mind the rest of the bunch, they're just being themselves, and it's all good.

    I might also, real quick like, ask that you use a different color for your posts, as that one is hard to read and really hurts my eyes :D

    Disaster preparedness is no laughing matter to many folks, for some it's more of a hobby, but we all like to think we're taking it seriously. And as for your hubby saying it's "just in case" or something similar, that's just exactly what it's for, you never know.

    I'm not sure where in the mid-west you are, and it does cover a fair area, but depending on your location there could be any number of things that might happen. My family if from Iowa, just a few miles from the Missouri River, a flood could wreak some serious havok and you might have to get out and move to higher ground. Tornados are ever present, and a really serious one that lasted for a while could be a reason. In the winter blizzards are a concern, and all of these things come along with power outages. I know those are geneally dealt with fairly quickly, but as a youngster I remember some outages lasting for as long as 24, maybe 36 hours. Anything longer would warrant some better preparedness than the normal Joe.

    Although I, personally, think terrorist attacks are far fetched, many don't, and being prepared to be able to up and leave in a hurry will give you a head start on your average citizen who might not be as well prepared.

    Many of us are preparing for TEOTWAWKI, that doesn't neccesarily mean nuclear war though. The Great Depression was TEOTWAWKI for many unprepared people of the time. Another market crash of the dollar losing it's value could easily bring that back on, or at least many people think.

    I think that Katrina should have been an eye opener for a lot of people, but unfortunatley it wasn't. They think because they're land locked and a hurrican can't hit them that they are immune from natural disaster, but that is far from the truth. Whether or not you've had one in your lifetime or even your parents lifetime doesn't mean that an earthquake or even volcanic activity couldn't start up overnight in many areas where you might be on a fault line that has long been dormant. Dormant means sleeping, not dead.

    I know much of it seems far fetched, but just research what happened in the aftermath of Katrina. Try going to and do a search there. There are some real horror stories of people who stayed put in the more rural areas and weren't evacuated. Those who were prepared faired well, those who didn't not so much.

    My bag needs to be ready for anything anytime, mostly so I can just up and leave and go backpacking. But the upside is that it's ready for if and when I need it in an emergency.

    Besides, when the Zombies come I'll be ready :eek: :eek: :D :D :lol: :lol: :lol:
  9. firefly,

    i hate to answer your question with a question, but here goes. if you or your family/friends do not believe in being prepared for any real world disasters, then who will take of your family? unfortunately, our local law enforcement and military cannot possiblity take care of everyone, and if you are able to receive any type of assistance, it may take days or weeks.

    sounds like your hubby is being a man and is accepting his responsiblity of taking care of his family. "the likelyhood of anything happening maybe small, but not being prepared is bigger."

    there are many levels of preparation, and that is something everyone will have to determine. some may say storing food, water, and ammo for 6 months is 2 much, while others might say the opposite.

    finally, understand your hubby's "camping equipment" and asked him why do you think we may need it or what is this for? you may surprise him and provide simplier solutions or replacement to what he has or/and you may get a better understanding to what he is doing.

    good luck!!
  10. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Member

    First as a husband, and father, THANK YOU for attempting to understand your spouse.

    Part of the need to prepare is a way for a man to "provide" for his family, in the event of an emergency. Its also a security blanket of sorts, when you have taken care of as much as possible in an uncertain world.

    I live in northern Minnesota, and here the major problems are usually weather related, snow and ice storms or tornados knocking out power and such. I live in the country near a small town and we have had a Haz-mat incident withing the last five years. A chemical plant burned to the ground. We had to evacuate the surrounding area, and part of the town. Thankfully the wind was from a direction that it blew the smoke into farm fields and woods, not into town. Having a bag for each person ready to go so that in the event of a problem you can leave A.S.A.P. is a good thing in that type of situation.

    In the event of a terrorist attack in the Twin Cities (Mpls, St. Paul), or the Fargo Moorhead area we would be an evaculation site for may people. As a result keeping a supply of food and other needed items that could be in short supply only makes sence.

    For a better idea of what he may have in mind check out the survival guide at the following link.

    It also may be a good way to get your spouse to go camping to test his stuff and skills out. And sit by a fire with a glass of wine and...well you get the idea. Also I agree that the color of your posts are hard to read.

    Take Care and Stay Safe.
  11. Firefly

    Firefly Guest

    Sorry about the font, I thought it was cute :) Anyways, I live in northeastern Iowa and the only natural disaster threat that comes by here are tornadoes. . . which understandably is a REAL threat and needs to have some type of emergency preparation.

    I guess I always just see things in terms of perceivable threats, rather than some of the scarier, more outlandish type - in which movies fictionalize to the point of where I think to myself that it "wouldn't happen." Such as, The Trigger Effect and movies like that where chaos ensues and people are left to defend themselves and fend FOR themselves.

    You know, maybe I'm stuck in that bubble of "everything will be fine" or "nothing will happen like that". I just wish I was able to clearly see the point. . . or maybe, on second thought, I don't wish that -- because I really do think that the only thing that could really make me understand is if something DID happen. . . which really wouldn't be a good day for anyone. :(

    Thanks though, for everyone's comments (even the harsh ones). Maybe subconciously I have a little survival in me - because I do tend to stock up on bottled water and toilet paper when it's on sale!
  12. Hello Firefly,

    Thanks for posting your concerns & questions about your husbands goal for preparedness.
    As far as I can tell he is making minimal preparations for your "normal disasters." Food stocks, water, shelter & first aid are the things that every person should have in their home.
    But what if you need to leave your home in a hurry? Most people ignore the warnings about weather until it is too late, or almost too late. It would be terrible if you had to spend your last few minutes before the Tornado(or whatever) hit your home, running all over the house looking for things you need to take.
    Wouldn't it be better to at least have some gear ready to go when you need it?

    My wife & I each have a BOB. In each are some camping gear, food, shelter & a change of undergarments.
    Let me ask. Would you have grabbed a pair of undies when you were frantically running around the house throwing things in a bag & heading out the door??
    Could you last 3 days outdoors if your car broke down on the way to get to a safe area?
    Do you take any Meds or have any special needs? My wife is a Diabetic & although she does not need insulin, she does need to eat to keep from feeling ill & possibly going onto Diabetic shock. Hence the need for having enough food "just in case" something happens or goes wrong.

    My wife thought I was crazy for having my "End of the World Bag" as she called it. That is until the 2007 Ice Storm knocked out power in our area for 13 Days.
    Cooking our thawing meat on the grill & making coffee & heating soup on top of a borrowed Kerosene Heater wasn't much fun but we did a lot better than many other people who didn't have a grill to cook their meat on or a heater that they could set a pot on top of.

    Necessity is the Mother of Invention but I'd rather not be inventing a heater when it gets freezing cold out. Better to already have one ready to use when you need it.

    PM me if you would like my wife to chat with you about her ordeal in 2007.
    Now she thinks being a little prepared is better than nothing at all.
  13. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Firefly: Its better to have it and not need it, vs Needing it and not having it.
  14. well put guapo. neo needs to leech that wifi so he can post on this one.

    By the way, thanks for trying to understand. I suppose what it really boils down to in the end is the male psyche. We have always been the type to provide for our families, and in todays times of generally being able to have what we need it gets funneled into providing for the what ifs in our lives.
  15. I'm on the East Coast, PA.
    Hirricanes not a problem? I remember Agnes back in 72 or even the simple flooding of last year where intire communites were underwater and streets looked like flowing rivers and I'm in the higher elevations.

    Terrorist attacks too far fetched?
    Ask New Yorkers.

    How about blackouts or riots and the ensuing looting?
    They have happened.

    NY and other major metropolitan areas are well protected from attack now or as well protected as they can be. The government has cut funding to the smaller areas to spend the money on the larger areas while the threat of terror attack has not diminished.
    Next time the terrorists strike and they will, it will be in smaller, less protected areas. Areas like yours or mine..

    Then there are the n'er do wells and the druggies and gangs, they're everywhere now. If you haven't seen them then look a little harder.

    So what shoud we or your husband prepare for?
    Terror attack? Mass civil unrest? Natural disaster?.
    Perhaps we should sit unprepared as it will never happen here?
    Tell that to those who have experienced any of the disasters already mentioned.

    Your family and friends will be the first to arrive on your doorsteps being unprepared as they are. It'll be "Oh. we know who has supplies and can protect us untill order is restored".

    None of us wants to shoot anyone nor go through the work and yes it is work to be prepared, nor do we really want the expense entailed in being prepared. We would rather spend our time, money and energy enjoying life and there is a key word, LIFE.

    Another key word is RESPONSABILITY.
    We want to ensure the survival of our lives and the lives of those we love, people we care about, people such as yourself or your children if you have children.

    We would enjoy going to the nudie bar or gambling with our buddies but that money is better used to provide an insurance of sorts for our families.

    Against or for the war, take a look at Iraq. In area it is the size of a large state. We have a hundred and some troops there and cannot ensure order, peace, stability and that is with troops, armor, air support, etc.

    Now try to compare that with the size and population of just your state.
    Are there enough Police if a disaster were to strike your state? Enough to provide you peace, security, food, shelter?
    I don't think so.
    If you do think so then try finding out about the victims of rape, murder, robbery and assault in wake of the Katrina disaster.

    An old adage states "Better safe than sorry" and another states "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure".
    So True.

    I truly hope this helps you understand.
  16. JasonJ

    JasonJ Member

    i gots to say.. I rather enjoy preparing Bug-out bags.. and survival kits, and stockpiling MRE's (which i think are tasty treats)..

    i cant say i do it for any legitimate reason, i dont anticipate any situation where i would need any such prepared items.. HOWEVER.. that is exactly why every family should have such a thing: because you dont ever see it coming.

    like katrina and New Orleans.. or the Tsunami that hit the philipines..or the Kobe earthquake...or whatever else you can think of, but its the stuff you cant think of that requires the most preparedness.

    but for me, its kinda fun, i dont want to belittle the idea, but its almost like pretending when youre a kid and playing "army guy" or whatever.. except that the potential for it being real is there.

    nothing wrong with your husband being prepared for the end of the world.. (unless he's draining financial resources or going off the deep end like rationing food daily), just kinda go along with it and say "thats nice dear" and if you guys ever actually need the stuff, he wont be able to say "i told you so".
  17. American Red Cross:

    Look down the left hand side of the page for a button marked "Preparedness". Lots of good information as well as a video presentation on preparedness and first aid.

    EDIT: Also, if the area you live in is prone to tornado activity, then there is no reason you should not have preps for AT LEAST 72 hours.

    I live in North Idaho, about 10-15 minutes north of Coeur d' Alene. Right in the snow belt. Our house also sits on the convergence of 3 fault lines. If an earthquake hits here, we'll probably get sucked into the bowels of the earth... :lol: Snow, ice and extreme cold are our major concerns. Power outages in cold climates can be fatal. I have personally witnessed a very small tornado not too far north of our house. We have had 100 mph gusts of wind at times, too. We have a generator, a wood burning stove (not fully installed yet :oops: ) and a gas fireplace. Lots of blankets, sleeping bags, etc for warmth, and so far I've built up maybe two weeks worth of food supplies.

    I, too am glad that you are trying to understand the preps your husband is making. All I can say is just try to support him the best you can. His efforts will pay off when you least expect it.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    I guess I'll chime in here. Welcome to the forum by the way.

    OK I am a retired firefighter with 22 yrs experience and have worked with my home county and state Emergency Management Agency for most of the time as well as communication with EMA you will need food water your medicines and some other first aid supplies also some clothes handy would be nice [I spent 4 days in the same clothes and underwear once and I don't ever want to repeat that ever again]
    Another good site to go to is Frugal Squirrels forum they have some FICTIONAL stories but they also give you some ideas of what to expect in a full blown emergency

    Think living with no power, running water or septic service. Your money is worthless and there are gangs of lawless hungery folks all around you. You have food water stored up and maybe a generator running and ou have some power. How will you get more fuel for the genny? How will you get more food when what you have saved [or not] is gone? How will you defend yourself from the gangs and other folks who will kill you or worst?

    Several other good sites are and the alpharubicon net.

    Also feel free to ask any questions you have out here we all hopefully can answer them
  19. Some of us remember racing home from college, grabbing our girl friends, and racing away from Three Mile Island...... just another "What If".
  20. Geez I'm getting old. I'm only an hour from TMI and I forgot all about it.
    Good point NewSkate.