The end of the 2016 US presidential election and the events beyond it were a real eye-opener for me. For the last several months I have frequently read or watched a piece of news and asked myself, “is this really happening?” Unfortunately, every single time the answer was a disappointing “yes”. It seems every new political development coming out of the US is more ridiculous than the last. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.

Throughout my life I’ve heard people say that “the world is a crazy place”. I don’t think the world has seen the type of crazy that has emerged in the last year or so. There are dangerous forces at work now and what seemed impossible before, should not seem so impossible now. It’s gotten to the point where if I looked outside my windows and saw a mushroom cloud in the distance, that wouldn’t be all that surprising now.

It wasn’t a coincidence that on Friday, a horribly depressing day, I took stock of how prepared I was for an emergency. Recall that over a year ago, I began assembling my emergency gear, piece by piece. I bought an emergency kit which contained many essential items. The kit was missing food and water though. To rectify that I purchased emergency rations, good for the next decade. I also bought a few jugs of sealed water.

As I went over my inventory in my head on Friday, some missing items became clear. I didn’t have a portable radio. In an emergency I’d expect to have no Internet nor cell phone service. An old-fashioned emergency radio broadcast might be the only way to get information out to people. To fill that need, I bought a hand- and solar-powered portable radio. It also has a flashlight and contains a battery that can charge a smartphone via a USB connection. With so many useful functions, I’m amazed I didn’t get one of these early on.

The next missing item was a water filtration device. I can buy as much water as I can fit in my apartment but the possibility exists that I will eventually run out of water. Or, if I’m forced to leave my apartment, it would be impossible to take all that water with me. In dire circumstances I would be required to seek sources of water where ever they may exist and that water may not be directly potable. A water filtration device will make safe water that you might come upon. The I bought fits over a water bottle, hydration pack, and even has a straw attachment so that you can drink straight from a stream or puddle.

Both these items should arrive by Tuesday in the mail. Now even with these items I don’t think I’m done yet. I still think I could use more water so I will definitely get a few more jugs. I also think I need more rations. My initial supply would last for three days but I think it’s silly not to have more food. I would feel more comfortable if I had a minimum of a month’s worth of food.

Lastly, it’s a bit of an unfortunate thing but the reality is I have no weapons. If it all goes to hell, you will need to defend yourself. I’ve seen enough post-apocalyptic scenarios to know there will be terrible people out there who will do you harm. Now does that mean I’m going to buy a gun? Well, if I were “balls to the wall” serious about surviving a doomsday scenario, then yes, I definitely would buy a semi-automatic gun or even a carbine. There’s something troubling to me, however, about having a firearm in my apartment. It’s one thing to have a bunch of water, food, and candles lying around but once you own a firearm, that is a serious responsibility. Perhaps, that’s just a mental block that I need to get around.

Well, this is an evolving process so as long as I’m making progress getting better prepared each step, then I’m happy. Of course, every part of me hopes I never have to use of this.

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