Well, it’s been a very trying couple of weeks. The weather has been–let’s call it “less than cooperative”. There are family issues to work out. My workplace is in a state of flux. And then the technical issues of the last few weeks. While I’m functional again, I haven’t been able to recover any data as yet; fortunately, nothing of truly vital importance was lost. Still working on it, but it’s a process.
The snowfall of a few weeks back got me thinking about where your “average guy” is probably failing to plan. (Not us–we preppers tend to be the obsessive planner types.) It came to me, specifically, as I was shoveling out the driveway, listening to neighbors with tractors and/or snow-blowers, and watching the plows cross back and forth on the road, not ever stopping to help. No, they instead piled a five-foot mountain ridge of wet, icy, slushy snow across the end of the drive.
The particular failure point is this: Who is coming to help, and when? Seriously–with the rose-colored glasses of “the Government is Coming to Save Me” off, give it a long, hard thought. In the event of a disaster, who is coming to help? When will they get there? The answers to these questions may tell you quite a bit about what sort of preps you need to have.
It’s long been a personal axiom that folks “out West” are generally friendlier to one another in times of need, politics aside. Sure, there’s the stereotype of the “rugged individualist,” but when it really hits the fan, folks out there generally help each other out. Here in the East, not so much. Oh, they’re not complete ogres, by any stretch of the imagination. But my reasoning is this: as people migrated to and settled in the West, there were fewer people around, generally. They helped each other out–and if they didn’t, they didn’t get much help, themselves. The folks who stayed in the East tended to be less than completely supportive.
Whether all that is true or not, we ended up shoveling everything out ourselves. It was twelve hours of work, both my wife and I laboring across two days, to get one vehicle out. No offers of help from anyone–not even the guys “trolling” past, looking to charge $50-$100 to clear a driveway. (Money which I would have gladly coughed up–particularly the day after, as I nursed some very aching muscles.)
So think about it: are your neighbors the helping types? How do they figure into your plans? Probably worth cultivating some relationships? For our part, we’re saving up for a snowblower, or possibly an ATV with a plow attachment. Then, after the next “snow of the century,” we’ll be able to dig ourselves out much more easily–and go on to help the neighbors.