Having my best friend living in Japan, just about 150 miles southeast of Tokyo, has made the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor event in Japan just a little bit personal for me. The area she is in hasn't been badly affected by the disaster, though there are rolling blackouts, possibly contaminated water, continuing earthquakes and aftershocks, as well as the potential of a nuclear disaster fairly close by. For me, it would be like all of this is happening in Chicago.
And I don't know about you, but that seems just a little too close for comfort.
I look at my supplies in the basement, the shelves of food, mylar bags of water, stacks of batteries, canisters of propane, and my camping supplies, and I feel deeply that it just isn't enough. Granted, we are better prepared than many. Some folks, through necessity, ignorance, or complacence, have only enough food for a few days or a week. Others have built fallout shelters in their backyards.
How much is enough? Is it a year's supply of food? Raising your own meat? Living off the grid? I don't really know what level of preparedness would make me feel "ready". Maybe I never will. Lord knows, I have no plans to build a bunker! If things got that bad, I'd be ready to meet my Maker and be done with life here. But there's a middle ground, somewhere between tin-foil-hat-crazy and la-de-da-oblivious, that I'm searching for.
And so we slowly build up supplies, buy ammo, grow veggies, can food, and learn new skills. I may not ever be "ready", but I'm doing what I can. And in the meantime, those shelves of food and bags of water might just come in handy.
Do yourselves a favor, folks: Prepare. Have a plan. Don't just be another victim waiting on FEMA to come save you. We all know how well that works out. Be prepared. You just never know.