DISASTER ADVICE

Why we city folk are not prepared

Yes, this stuff really is for you. Those of us in the city & 'burbs need to plan ahead more than almost anybody


Let's be clear: While Preparation Concierge is for everybody, it’s aimed at those of us who live in the cities and the suburbs — the kind of people who aren’t normally associated with disaster-type planning. It is for the new dads in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and the professional couple who just moved to downtown Austin. The large extended family in Bergen County, New Jersey, and go-getters in the ATL and downtown L.A and Portland.

“We are vulnerable. We're packed in together, many of us live in tiny apartments, and we rely on public services.”

Because, guess what? In many regards, we are the most vulnerable. We’re packed in together; many of us live in small apartments, and we are hugely reliant on public services. And when things go wrong, we in most ways are the least prepared. If and when things go wrong, how do hunker down in an apartment, and if you have to leave, how do get out of those urban and suburban areas?

WHY THE TERM "PREPPER" KIND OF SUCKS

There is a reason. It sounds rather... fringe, right? The kind of Red State/Blue State terminology that divides. And it’s also the type of phrasing that makes too many of us roll our eyes and move on to other things. So we think that those terms do most of us a disservice, disguising the fundamental importance of actually preparing against bad stuff. In the last couple of years, the world seems an ever scarier place to a lot of us. (Heck, to most of us, really.) The East Coast storms and hurricanes; the West Coast’s wildfires and potential of massive earthquakes. That’s not even to speak of political uncertainties, foreign influences, and hacking concerns.

Here’s what we at Preparation Concierge are NOT trying to do: Scare you. We’re all worried enough. Rather, this is a way to take back some measure of control. To know that, if things go sideways, you have recourse and a way to exert your own sense of security for yourself and your family. Even if that means you and your family will simply have access to clean water and ample food. Look at the citizens of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Clean water was an immediate and sadly long-term concern for the island’s inhabitants. Six months after the storm, much of the island was still without power.


The dark night rises... Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

POWER PLAY: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ELECTRICITY

Oddly, no matter what kind of disaster or emergency might befall your town, city, or region, a lot of these concerns come to exactly that: Electricity and the electrical grid. Whether it’s a storm, a hacking attack, or a wildfire, chances are that it will cut off electricity for days or even months. And without electricity, our entire lives are upended. Cell phones don’t work. Gas won’t pump. Toilets stop working. Everything we count on stops.


Without electricity, our entire lives are upended. Cell phones don’t work. Gas won’t pump. Toilets stop working. Everything we count on stops.

Our infrastructure is built on supply on demand, and in our Amazon-centric days, we expect things to show up on-demand. Even grocery stores run on very limited supplies these days, so they don’t carry too much product to store (and go bad). Which means that any interruption of those supplies have serious consequences. Like no food or water on those shelves (and no Amazon deliveries) when you suddenly need them.

Which means it’s up to ourselves to get ahead of these things. Because things have happened and will happen again. (One of our founders lives in New York City, and he’s seen the electricity go out at least three times since 2003. He’s lived through 9/11 in the city, and survived an apartment fire which resulted in two fatalities.)

Convinced? We hope so. It’s only a matter to stop and think about these things to realize your importance. You don’t have to go crazy, spend thousands of dollars and obsess 24/7. But a few small measures could mean that (ugh, dreaded phrase) difference of life and death.


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