Last year when I read that National Geographic was looking for families to follow and document for their upcoming program “Doomsday Preppers” I was very anxious. I couldn’t wait to see the kind of people that would volunteer for the show and maybe even learn something new. Preparedness means so many different things to each person and you should never quit trying to learn as much as you can. But what I really wanted to see was how the show was presented to the public. While it seems that “preparedness” is becoming more mainstream and less taboo, there really hadn’t been anything like the show to date. After watching the show and several people telling me “I thought of you when I saw it”, I’ve come to the conclusion; I am not a Doomsday Prepper!
While I do believe the show does have many positive points, I cannot help but feel the producers are missing the main component of being prepared – LIFE. The producers portray these families as crazy, nut jobs who live a completely different lifestyle than most Americans. They seem to focus on the morbid aspect of preparedness and that those families who prepare spend every second of their day worrying about the death and destruction of a particular emergency scenario. In reality, living with a prepared mindset is not about death, it is the complete opposite.
Being prepared is about having the peace of mind that you can take care of your family no matter what situation comes your way. It’s about protecting what you have and knowing that you and you're family are safe. If an emergency does happen, because you prepared you won’t have to depend on anyone else. Being prepared should be about focusing on the good things you have in life and trying to sustain and enhance those things no matter what happens.
I am an extremely blessed man, with a great wife and wonderful children, and they are the main reason I prepare. I want them to live the fullest lives possible and never want them to have worry about anything. As any parent can tell you, the worst feeling in the world is seeing your child hurt or sick. If an emergency does happen, being prepared gives me the peace of mind that I can provide for and protect them. I never want to be in a position where I’m helpless or unable to do that. I have faith in God to always protect me and my family, BUT that doesn’t mean I sit around and do nothing. Remember the story about the man in the flood who was passive in his own survival:
A state trooper in a Jeep knocks on a man's door and tells him to evacuate due to a pending flood; the man says "God will save me." A few hours later the water is running through the man's first floor, and the coast guard pulls up to his second story window in a boat, but he sends them away, saying "God will save me." A little later, the man is on his roof, with floodwaters ravaging his house. A helicopter flies over and dangles a ladder, but the man waves it off. The man is swept away and drowns, and when he gets to heaven, he angrily confronts God with "why didn't you do anything to save me." God says "I didn't do anything? I sent a jeep, a boat and a helicopter."
Take a proactive role and make it your own personal responsibility to ensure you and your family are prepared in 2012. Remember that being prepared doesn’t mean you’re focusing on “doomsday” or the negatives of emergencies, it means you’ve got your priorities straight and you’re doing everything you can to protect what matters most to you. After an emergency is not the time to start thinking about these things, the time is now!