The show opens to dramatic music and rolling clouds…
“Ordinary Americans from all walks of life are taking whatever measures necessary to prepare [cut to a relatively normal looking man preparing for the total destruction of the power grid, a guy in breathing apparatus concerned about the Yellowstone super volcano and finally a lady who appears to think a plate of rice will avert financial collapse (?!)] and protect themselves from what they perceive is the fast-approaching end of the world as we know it” It’s impressive if slightly scare-mongering stuff.
But behind all the drama, and underneath the mildly mocking voiceover, is a sound message about preparing for emergencies, not just as individuals, but there is a strong emphasis on community preparedness – something that, as an Emergency Planner (more on that later), really resonates with me.
I don’t mind that my housemates mock my ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ bag (which I’ve had in various guises for 4 years now). According to the quiz on the Doomsday Preppers website, my bag would last me 2 weeks max. I’ve seen the contents of the bag, and honestly think that’s a little optimistic!
But I’m not trying to survive for 60 months, my intention, based on my appreciation of the risks that I face, is to cope for 24 hours, or get to a place of safety. There’s loads of checklists out there on what should be in your bag, but to me it’s a bit more personal than that. There would be no point in me including water purification tablets, I haven’t got the first clue about how to use them; but more than that, I can’t conceive of the situation in which I won’t have access to water (maybe that’s my own naivety?!).
Risk perception is highly subjective, and an introductory post probably isn’t the place for my thoughts on the heuristics involved, but it’s an interesting area which receives less consideration than I think it deserves, and is something that I intend to come back to.
My hope for this blog: to share my views on emergency planning and resilience, without the ‘accessibility’ trappings of my professional role; that said – the opinions here are mine and mine only, it does not reflect the views of the organisation I work for, or the organisations I work with (that’s the “boring but necessary” disclaimer out of the way!).
Now, excuse me whilst I go ready my supplies for December 21st…
Picture credit: National Geographic