For the past five years my other half and I have been interested in preparedness. As residents of New York City it started off simply as a logical possibility of needing to evacuate a large metropolis quickly, or shelter in place depending on the situation. Having grown up in a small New England town power outages, difficult weather, and other situations were a part of life. We always filled the bathtub, put the contents of our refrigerator in the snow, had oil lanterns, a well stocked pantry, and a cord of wood on standby for the fireplace so I thought it was only natural for my SO to get on board with these basic requirements.
Over the years we’ve gone camping (even in the winter), built up our gear, both been licensed for amateur radio, and purchased a chest freezer and amassed long term food. What I didn’t realize was how passive of a role I was taking watching my SO acquire skills and knowledge beyond what I had grown up with. It took some serious occasions like a massive blizzard and tornados back home and a hurricane and a tornado here in the city for me to wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as “preparedness” if you can’t cook with your stored food and rely on your knowledge when the internet goes down.
The other part of the wake up call is my position in life. In the not-too-distant future we’ll be married and looking to settle down somewhere more rural than the five boroughs. Having the abilities to take care of myself and my own when you are cut off from the rest of the world for any reason is paramount when you might be unreachable by first responders. On a more basic level, having a sustainable lifestyle makes a person take a long hard look at their life, their priorities, and what they can do to be independent on every level.