Our "prepper" story began years ago when I realized during an intense winter storm that we were not as prepared for the emergency as we should have been. Once the bad weather had cleared, we began our first foray into "prepping" by increasing our fire wood stores and keeping extra food on hand during the winter months.
A few years later, like many others, we were relieved that the government's pressure on company's across the nation insisted their computer systems were ready for the year change to "2000." It made certain the Y2K scare was thwarted. We were certain all would be fine, and sure enough our extra stores of water and food were never needed. However, they did come in handy when money was tight and we could shop our pantry instead of the grocery store as we needed.
Then, on 9/11/01 and when Katrina hit in 2005 we realized just how vulnerable we could be. Our sense of safety as a nation was rocked to its core and we realized more than ever that the lack of preparedness wasn't just at a government level, but at a state and city level, and even more so the lack of preparation by families all over this country was practically nonexistent.
When FEMA began its Ready.gov website and public service announcement campaign we were like many families who looked at the information with interest, but not with any real enthusiasm or even any sense of urgency. Then after a few years we finally realized what their message was, I suppose it sank in finally after seeing it so many times. It was evident not in just what the ads were saying but in the actual slowness of the response during two of the biggest tragedies our nation had faced in the last decade.
The message was clear. Citizens need to be prepared to take care of themselves and their family members. Our government has clearly asked every American to at least prepare for three days of emergency supplies because based on what we have witnessed in past events it will likely take at the very least three days to gather, organize and then deploy emergency assistance in the wake of a large disaster. During the recent earthquake in Japan the response was even longer in some areas because of lack of access and the threat of nuclear contamination.
So we as a family are listening to our government. We know if a disaster or national emergency strikes, they'll do their best, but we also know by what they have told us we will have to go it alone for some length of time, so that's what we're doing, we're preparing, for those three days or for three months or more if necessary.
We're "sheltering at home" in hopes that our preparations for whatever emergency might come are never needed.