Folks living in remote areas are by nature more self-sufficient that urban dwellers. They are used to the fact that they, in most cases, have to rely on their own wits and resources. But 82% of Americans live in cities. As hurricane Katrina painfully reminded us, when tragedy strikes cities, the human loss and material damage is much more devastating because of the density of city population and complexity of city infrastructure.
Unfortunately, people living in cities are used to having all their needs satisfied by a range of providers, from government to private enterprises. They chose that kind of life, they are paying for it and they expect it. They are used to depending on the system to take care of them. But what happens when the system collapses? What do you do when nature throws one of its fits, or war breaks out, or the stock market crashes? All these finely-tuned services fall apart. The larger the city, the worse can be the total collapse of all services. And the consequences are, as people in New Orleans experienced, catastrophic.
This habit of expecting the system to take care of us is creating a very dangerous dependency which is not supported by reality. We have seen time and time again that even the best organized system suffers periods of chaos after an unexpected event, whether it is natural or man-made. It is easy to blame one government agency or another for not being better prepared for these catastrophic events. However, individually, we have no excuse for complacency. We have to do our part as well. Having a personal plan for emergencies only makes sense. And even if we do not live in areas where natural catastrophes are more likely, like a hurricane zone or earthquake-prone areas, nobody is ever completely safe and mayhem can happen everywhere. We are responsible to our families and to ourselves to make common sense preparations for the unexpected, and then hope we will never have to use them.
We are often tempted to shut ourselves away from it all. The news is depressing and it is difficult to know what is real and what is propaganda. But, unless we know what is happening around us, we cannot learn when we need to get ready for emergencies. Listening to the radio or watching TV regularly assures us that we will have enough time to get ready, whether to evacuate, or to batten down the hatches. Shortwave radios can ensure that we stay informed once the emergency situation develops. We can learn about the shelters, medical centers, or places in urgent need of help. If we know family members or friends who are isolated, it is up to us to make sure that they know what is going on and that they can count on your help.
The first hours and days after a catastrophic event are the worst. We feel isolated, often worried about loved ones that are not with us. It is to be expected that the communication towers will go down and that the electrical power will be lost. Having a two-way radio is a very small investment that will offer us independent means of communication with family and neighbors. Modern two-way radios depend only on the distance between them and their range now can exceed 30 miles. If you make sure your closest family members who live away from you, like parents and children, have one, you will be sure that you can reach them and check if they need your help. Check the review of a number of most popular radios at the Consumer Research website.