On Being Prepared

What do we do when disasters happen? I’ve thought about this often. I remember the Y2K computer scare. As December 31, 1999 approached I tried to get ready. I stocked up on water and food. I bought a kerosene heater if the furnace stopped running. I thought gasoline would run out so I went out and bought six 20 liter containers and filled them up. I also had six propane tanks to use so we could cook meals on the BBQ. I sat in front of the TV and computer awaiting disaster. Fortunately, I never found out whether my preparations were enough because as we all know nothing happened. Experts later reported that the massive worldwide effort to rewrite millions of lines of computer code had averted disaster.

Yesterday we experienced major strong winds blowing in from the southwest. We’re used to the wind here but these were not typical of the breezes we get. The water level had been low for months and our “beach” had widened to over sixty feet. Yesterday’s wind made waves high enough that they crashed on the breakwater. The water was up to the boathouse.

Not surprisingly, at 1:00 pm the power went out. We expected this and had got out the candles, radio and flashlights. Sitting there on the sofa we waited for the power to come back on. We waited until eight that night.

My current disaster scenario involves peak oil. Peak oil refers to the point where the amount of oil being produced begins to decline.

There is much debate about when, and even if, peak oil will happen. I lean towards the view that it has already started because world oil production has been fairly stable in the last few years.

There are many challenges that could threaten us. Any disaster, whether natural or man-made, presents a risk. We can’t survive long without food yet we don’t think much about having no food. When we run out of food at home, we go to the supermarket. What if the supermarket runs out of food?

I’m going to get ready for that situation.

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