There is a group of people on the extreme edge of our society who are convinced that the world as we know it is about to end. They think that any of several factors can bring our culture and economy crashing down around our heads. And they take extraordinary measures to prepare for the future. They call themselves survivalists.
These people move out of the cities into rural areas; they set up their homes near natural springs or on land with dependable wells for water. They look for areas with an abundance of oak and other hardwoods to use for fuel. They prepare large gardens and build poultry houses to provide themselves with an independent source of food. And they do all this while keeping their survivalist homes out of the view of the public.
They stash away a large supply of fuels, batteries, dried or canned foods and plenty of clothes and blankets. Their goal is to have all they need to survive when the rest of the world crashes and people start falling victim to natural disasters, weapons of mass destruction, or start killing each other in food wars.
They even have a date for the likely occurrence of this crisis. They see the end of the Mayan calendar as the point of greatest danger. That date, if you have not heard about it is December 2012.
I bring this up because of the dramatic news over the past week or so. Hurricanes have caused considerable damage on the eastern seaboard and in the Gulf of Mexico. The last one, Hurricane Ike, caused so much damage in the oil fields and refineries that our supply of gasoline was reduced by 20 percent. Here in Northeast Georgia, many gas stations ran out and those who still have gas have driven the price to record highs.
At the same time, we are undergoing a crisis in the financial markets. Thousands of people are losing their homes. Even some of the largest banking companies have gone under. It is suddenly very difficult to get any kind of loan, whether to finance a home, start a business or even buy a new car. Thousands of people are losing their jobs. Some people equate the current crisis to the Great Depression of 1929.
To me, all this bad news gives some credence to the survivalists. The current events suggest to me that our dependence on the greater economy for our food, fuel, clothing and shelter can be at risk.
Now I am not suggesting that we all need to fill our basements full of cans of pork and beans, gallon jugs of water and a stack of blankets. Nor am I suggesting that we need to buy a gun for every member of the family and make sure they know how to use it in case a starving mob tries to steal our food supply from us.
I do think it would be wise to review our lifestyles and see where we can make our selves less dependent on the economy for our survival. A good garden, a pantry full of canned vegetables, a supply of safe water and a box of candles might be a good idea.
Don’t fear the future. But be prepared just in case.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/
I agree with everything you said except the pork and beans. No survivalist worth his salt will stock up on pork and beans. We can do better than that...canned tomatoes, beans, okra, and raise some livestock. NO PORK AND BEANS! Those who foolishly stock up on pork and beans WILL NOT SURVIVE!
Dear Mr. Gillispie, I agree with you on your opinion concerning this important matter. I would like to be able to email your article to others. Can you send it to me in email form? My husband and I very much enjoy the newspaper and your column. Thank you.
Again, no pork and beans, but 2 jars (not cans!) of Vienna are permitted. Again, this must be the pickled Vienna sausages in jars, not that mushy sissy canned stuff. Also, one large jar of pickled eggs is permitted. Vienna Sausages and Pickled Eggs are the KEYS TO SURVIVAL.