Emergency Preparedness Planners Are not Planning on Saving you during a Disaster!
I’ve talked to a number of these people over the years, and two things always become glaringly obvious. First, these people usually despise anyone outside their Ivy League discussion groups – especially anyone who calls themselves a prepper. Second, they have no idea how to help people become better prepared, and many of them have no idea how to respond to an actual emergency.
Let’s briefly deal with the first point, because I believe their behavior is a huge problem – one that is likely to cost many lives.
Do Preppers deserve a bad rap, or do Preparedness Planners need to start listening?
It really depends on how you look at the situation. While I’ve been very critical of shows like Doomsday Preppers, I have met some of these people, and a lot of them are actually incredibly knowledgeable. Yes, some are only on these shows to exploit their 15 minutes of fame, but there are a great number of people who call themselves preppers that could be incredibly useful to the general public.
The problem comes in how the media, and shows like Doomsday Preppers, have chosen to portray these people. Instead of highlighting them in a way that can help better prepare the public, we often only hear the word prepper when it’s tied to some psychopath who just killed a bunch of people.
Sadly, and something that leads me into my second point, is the fact that these “preppers” often have more practical knowledge than the emergency preparedness experts our government pays to do this for a living.
Emergency Preparedness; or just more useless Government Bureaucracy?
I’ve been to a number of emergency preparedness conferences and expos, and the one thing that bothers me the most is how clueless most of these people are. While most of our first responders have a pretty good idea of what they’re doing, the bureaucrats – and the idiots who run agencies like FEMA – seem to have more interest in how they look than they do in saving the public from disasters.
Case and Point: Last year I attended an emergency preparedness summit that surprised the hell out of me. I went hoping to get a better idea of how emergency preparedness people plan for disasters, something I could share with the readers, what I came away with was anything but helpful.
Conference after conference was devoted to things like social media, how to respond to the media, and how to basically cover their asses once they screwed something up. Hour after hour was devoted to discussions on how to respond to the media when things “don’t go as planned.”
These people were literally reviewing case studies of all the times they screwed things up, and then talking about how they could have better handled the media backlash. I couldn’t believe it; instead of reviewing the screw ups, and then figuring out how to prevent them in the future, they choose to instead figure out how they could better respond to media criticism. Government at its finest!
You are the only First Responder you can really count on!
A couple of days ago, I wrote about my experience of watching someone get sucked under the water while attempting to swim across a cove I was fishing near. This experience, along with my experience at a number of emergency preparedness expos, has solidified my belief that you need to be your own first responder.
Whether it’s being prepared for future disasters, or being prepared to defend your home from intruders, the only person you can really count on is yourself. In most disasters timing is everything, you simply cannot rely solely on emergency responders to keep you safe. You must be prepared to deal with emergency situations yourself; even if that’s just keeping things stable until emergency responders can respond.
You are the First Responder during an Emergency, and you need to keep that in mind going forward. It’s your responsibility to do everything you can to learn the skills, and the techniques you need to survive in an emergency situation.