PLANT, PREPARE, PRESERVE, CONSERVE!
May 31, 2012
The National Geographic Channel has been airing a series called Doomsday Preppers. You may have seen it. If you haven’t, you’ve certainly heard of it. As with all things trendy, other similar shows have been spawned. Some of the admissions on the show have been over the top. Some of the stockpiles have been shocking. Some preppers may seem rather extreme in their end-times planning, and yet I can’t help but feel that some of what they say makes sense.
Apart from the prediction of a cataclysmic December 12, 2012 event along with all the other end theories, there have been some disturbing events no one can dispute worldwide.
This could be a natural cycle, or it could be Mother Nature expressing her displeasure at us. Just as our bodies produce antibodies to fight off invasions of viruses, bacteria or poisons, etc., might not our planet do the same as we propagate and multiply, straining and polluting resources, affecting the balance of all.
In the past couple of decades, we have seen some major catastrophic events from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 to Katrina in 2005, to our own flooding of 1993, tornados of 2003, and just last year 2011, the destruction of Joplin.
This year, we are seeing major extremes of heat, drought, fires, and flooding. It is rather ironic that these two polar opposites, drought and flooding, can both adversely affect that most precious and essential commodity for life—water. The lack of it means having not only crops fail but also livestock, too much can have same effect drowning crops and animals and being rendered undrinkable through contamination. How many times have we seen boil orders issued the past few years because of water main breaks here in the metro area? It definitely seems prudent to stock up in advance on water before the need arises and shelves get emptied. Bleach, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide would be useful to stock alongside the water. Dams, water towers, and reservoirs can all be affected by so many conditions, even electrical storms.
MCPL has hosted many programs on safety and crisis preparedness, container gardening, and canning and preserving to keep up with the recent demand for a prepped lifestyle. Some episodes of preppers related to that. One family of four feeds themselves for a whole year with produce grown on one-tenth of an acre. One woman they call the Doris Day of preppers had tons of canned goods including meats. If one had no power to heat or cook, these can be eaten right out of the jar. That reminds me, batteries would also be good to stock for flashlights, radios, especially weather radios, etc. If you want to make your own checklist, we have resources for you. If you missed our programs on the subject, we do have a multitude of books and videos, including some on urban gardening.
More community gardens are sprouting up, but even a couple of friends could do their own—say one has the land but brown thumbs and the other has green thumbs but no land. What a great collaboration to share resources and enjoy fresh flavorful produce! This can save money on gas from travelling to supermarkets with overpriced, bland products, help avoid standing in line jostled by too many rude people, and at the same time cement a wonderful friendship.