Simultaneous fire and flood after Japan’s March 2011 earthquake.
Even though it is we who should be making fun of them (and of course we don’t – at least not to their faces), non-preppers like to poke fun at us, and to suggest that we’re in some way foolish, maybe paranoid, and definitely being unnecessarily worried about things we have no reason to worry about.
Unspoken in their thoughts is always the concept that if prepping were prudent, surely the government would either do it for us, or encourage us to do it ourselves.
The curious thing about this perception is that – if they only cared to look and listen – they’d see plenty of examples of government departments at city, county, state and federal levels all encouraging us to become semi-self-sufficient for varying amounts of time.
Here’s the most recent example.
Los Angeles held a memorial ceremony today to commemorate the second anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, an event that killed 18,000 and destroyed 300,000 homes, to say nothing of the consequential tsunami which damaged three nuclear reactors and caused the second worst ever release of radiation as a result (only Chernobyl was worse), with fallout spreading even to the US (and causing a panic rush on Potassium Iodide supplies to the point where individual tablets started selling for more than entire bottles previously did).
Fire department officials attending the ceremony urged the public to prepare for future disasters, and said people needed to be able to cope for being at least ‘two weeks on your own’.
Fire Battalion Chief Larry Collins added
The message for a lot of us needs to be, ‘Be ready for anything’. The message used to be 72 hours, but we’ve seen in disasters like [Hurricane] Katrina, even [Hurricane] Sandy recently, that, really, if it’s wiped out your infrastructure, and your electricity grid and your communications, it will be very likely be more than three days before you start getting food, water and other supplies coming in from outside.
So there you have it, right from the horse’s mouth, as it were (here’s a link to the article). Be ready for anything, and be able to cope for at least two weeks on your own (what we’d term a Level 1 situation). That’s with no water, no sewage system, no external food supplies, and no electricity.
Update : An interesting article came out in Seattle just five days later, with more detailed information on likely disaster response/recovery leadtimes in WA, OR and SFO, and quoting more officials rejecting three-day preparations as being adequate. We discuss this in more detail here.