There was an ABC TV program some time ago about the resilience of primitive cultures. Maybe because they have so little they don't have much to lose? No it turns out because they don't have a dependence on anyone other than themselves, they just get on with it. Recover, rebuild and survive.
There are no SES volunteers to put a tarp on the roof or Red Cross, Salvos and others to bring food parcels, clothing and shelter. There is no free hospital and medical care. There is no government to accuse of a slow response or not doing enough. It's a hard life and full one and surprisingly they are happier on average than we are.
In one way we live in a fortunate society where there is a support mechanism. But how many of us then become complacent, lazy, not interested, soft and prepared to leave it to someone else. Taking no responsibility for own actions? Setting out to be a victim?
Gavin Webster in Greening of Gavin and Farmer Liz in Eight Acres recently touched on the preparedness issue. This blog from time to time mentions an item of preparedness. The subject is much more complex than the first thoughts of food, water and power.
When we think about being prepared it is most usually about the short term i.e. can you survive for a few days while the power is out, the taps don't work and the shops inaccessible.
But the subject is much broader. It is not just about the immediate what to eat, how to cook it and where to find the next glass of water. We don't always think about that tree outside the kitchen window being in the house or getting that surprise redundancy notice.
It is about Knowledge, Society Health and Wealth.
What skills do you have? When the roof comes off can you nail together a shelter or tie the knots to hold down a tarpaulin? Can you cook simple meals from basics? How up to date is your first aid? Do you know CPR? Do you even know what to do in the event of a disaster?
Rather than that racy novel how about making every second book you read something practical or a DVD/youtube of some basic skill.
Remember there are only a small number of emergency service volunteers. There is not one for every household. The more we do for ourselves the more these people can attend to the really serious cases sooner. You will appreciate this when you are one of the serious cases.
How well do you know your neighbours? In the event of any adverse scenario being able to work with your neighbours is something you will need to do. Make sure you know your neighbours and their skills and that they can rely on you. Be familiar enough to know who may have what. You can't afford a chainsaw but they may have one ready to cut that tree off your car.
The best way to understand your neighbours is to give them a hand with something. Pitch in and help them next time they have some onerous task. Got any surplus produce? Take them a sample. When they taste how good it is they may want to buys some? Say “Look whenever I've got some surplus you are welcome to it”.
Some people build their neighbourhood spirit by holding street parties others hold a harvest BBQ. Getting to know people means you won't be a stranger in trouble.
Part 2 covering Health will be out tomorrow.
Feel free to chip in with ideas and comments.