December 7, 2013
God, not government, is the source of man’s rights.
That God and man are supreme over government and government is formed and directed by man, were the revolutionary notions that spurred the Revolutionary War. Kings were neither Divine nor just. God did not grant monarchies power to direct the affairs of men. Man, the individual human soul, was delivered from the rule of government to become its master through the Rule of Law.
The growth of government beyond its Constitutional limits; Socialism and centralized control of every aspect of human life, has lead to a loss of the uniquely American traditions of individualism and self-sufficiency. As the entitlement-state crumbles, the healthcare system collapses, and the economy evaporates, restoring of the ethos of individual responsibility may become a matter of survival.
The model of preparedness, which I call The Concentric Rings of Security, places the power of personal safety and survival with the individual. This provides the greatest assurance of personal well-being in the midst of national calamity and/or natural disaster, because it provides a structure in which the individual can exert the most control over his life. This is how the model works:
The central point of security is the self. Those things over which individuals can exert the greatest power are physical and mental fitness, financial stability, flexible thinking, a robust skill set, and a sound spiritual foundation.
- As the healthcare system in the United States collapses and access to medicine and mental health services becomes scarce–or impossible–the degree to which one has managed his weight, blood pressure, risk factors for cancer, substance abuse issues, etc., may become the determining aspect in how well he weathers a personal or national storm.
- Strong relationships, a positive, faith-based worldview, physical activity, a satisfying occupation, and the elimination of damaging substances and influences lend to individual mental wellness. Psychological toughness and resilience are required for survival during times of personal or national crisis. Such resilience along with education and the ability to perform a variety of basic tasks will add to a sense of confidence that one can control his own circumstances. A secure mindset faces sudden change with creative problem-solving instead of panic.
- Living within one’s means and avoiding excess debt is critically important, as well as paying off debt already acquired. (see sample debt-elimination calendar PDF) The self-discipline cultivated by consistent fiscal restraint will help the individual differentiate luxuries from necessities, which is critical in times of uncertainty.
- Spirituality is the key aspect of individual well-being during times of crisis. Active worship, faith in God, and a hope-based worldview will provide a reservoir of strength which cannot be found elsewhere.
- People living on their own are responsible for having sufficient emergency food storage, means of personal defense, and a survival plan in case they are isolated from their extrinsic support networks for a period of time.
The first concentric ring outside the self is the family. With responsible adults at the head, families’ needs during times of disaster, war, or civil upheaval, may include emergency supplies of medicine, food, water, home goods, fuel, and any other items necessary to sustain life for an extended period of time. Such emergency contingencies should be tailored to the needs of the individuals in the family, their ages, and their preferences.
- Families should store the types food they will eat, and eat the things they store in order to minimize waste. Sanitary goods, clothing, fuel, cleaning supplies, pet food, livestock supplies, non-electronic forms of entertainment, and comfort foods to provide some emotional respite during times of deprivation, should be stored. Medications and first-aid supplies, firearms and ammunition, and all other considerations appropriate to the specific needs and tastes of the family, whether rural, suburban or urban, should be kept and defended in the case of extended periods of unrest, or isolation from outside resources.
- Families should have a plan for evacuation and emergency “survival kits” wherein they can transport the items they will need to survive without help for at least 3 days.
- Property should be adequately and properly insured, and appropriate members of the family should be prepared to defend their home and provisions.
- Parents should guide the members of the family to maintain physical fitness and mental resilience by enforcing an appropriate code of health as well as behavioral restraints that will help everyone navigate abrupt and frightening changes in their lives.
- The spiritual well-being of the family is the responsibility of parents. Prayer, scriptural studies, discussions about moral principles, and loving, non-judgmental support for one another provides a basis of strength and pliancy for every member of the family.
- Parents are responsible to live within their means and provide wise financial guidance to their children. A sense of security and control comes from living simply, minimizing dependence on elaborate technology for entertainment, and learning the skills of past generations which include mechanical tasks, cooking, home maintenance, animal husbandry, gardening and food production, sewing, first aid, etc.
The next concentric ring of security is the Church Community, or social community. Like-minded people within faith-based or interest-based communities provide a support network for families and individuals.
- Bartering for goods and services within a group of trusted friends and associates is a natural outgrowth of regional long-term crisis management. Specialized skills, food, and goods of all sorts may be traded value for value in such a way that the entire community benefits. Physicians, farmers, mechanics, midwives, teachers, hunters, and engineers are just a few of the professionals with skills that will be particularly desirable during times of hardship.
- The Church community, or social interest community, can provide food, housing, and other forms of support to those families and individuals who lack such things.
- Community farms worked and guarded on a rotating basis by the members of the community can be a significant food resource.
- Communities of like-minded individuals lend emotional and spiritual strength to one another as well as bonding and a sense of well-being through recreation, shared food production, and other social opportunities that add variety and pleasure to life. Spiritual wisdom and leadership will be a greatly valued skill within such a community.
The neighborhood as the geographical concentric ring of security closest to the family can serve as a physical and emotional barrier to civil chaos and unwanted intruders . Functioning much like the Church/Social community, the neighborhood can help to secure homes in the immediate aftermath of crisis, and provide a variety of resources in the longer-term.
- HAM radio operators within neighborhoods can be the last line of communication when more modern technologies fail due to an EMP or other loss of electricity.
- Neighbors can serve as armed sentinels to warn of unwanted intruders bent on looting or home invasions in the aftermath of disaster.
- Neighborhoods can set up physical barriers to secure the homes within for a period of time.
- Known and trusted neighbors are often already part of the supportive and resourceful Church/social community.
- Vacant or large lots within the neighborhood can be cultivated and used as community farms, or for livestock operations.
The town or city is the next concentric ring of security outside of the neighborhood and church communities. Civic involvement at all times is critical if one is to exert any measure of control over the direction and well-being of your town.
- Be involved in local politics by becoming a precinct organizer for your political party.
- Volunteer for civic committees such as planning, safety, business development, and sports and recreation.
- Run for local office in the city council or school board.
- Form or participate in activist groups that represent your principles with which you can hold politicians accountable and diminish the negative influences of corruption and destructive political policy.
- Become part of an emergency preparedness organization.
- Network within your neighborhood to build friendships that will be helpful during a crisis.
- Volunteer to teach youngsters basic skills that will be necessary in times of crisis such as small engine repair, gun safety, hunting, raising small animals, camping, etc.
- Network within your town and build alliances with many people and organizations.
- Write letters to the editor.
- Use social networking to alert friends and neighbors to political actions that may affect their lives.
- Involve your children in community service.
- Know the layout of your town, its geography and resources.
The concentric rings of security which lie outside your immediate community, town, borough, or city are the county and state governments. Civic involvement here is critical as well. Political knowledge and activism are necessary to exert power over the individuals and policies that will govern your county and state.
- All civic activities performed within a locality are also appropriate for counties and states.
- Run for office at the county level.
- Campaign for others who run for office.
- Attend county budgeting, planning, and other meetings to ensure your voice is heard.
- Run for school board.
- Attend school board meetings and share your opinions.
- Write letters to the editor.
- Publish a blog or newsletter highlighting local issues and sharing your views and possible solutions.
- Register to vote and vote in every election.
- Become a poll watcher or volunteer for your county elections division.
- Form a school advocacy group.
- Network with your county officials and state representatives.
- Share information about emergency preparedness at public forums.
- Join the National Guard, Reserve forces, or a local militia group.
- Pray for your local and state leaders.
The final concentric ring of Security is the nation–not to be confused with the government. Keep in mind that when government uses its power against the people for any reason it becomes the enemy of the people. The nation, and in the case of the United States of America, the republic, is a resource primarily for protecting its citizens from foreign invaders and protecting the rights of its citizens. The individual has the least control over this outermost ring, but organized action and relentless commitment to the principles of liberty will make a difference in the condition direction of the country.
- Vote in every national election.
- Campaign for your presidential candidate.
- Call your Senators and Congressmen each time an important issue is being debated at the national level.
- Join the armed services, or support those who do.
- Volunteer at election time to work the polls.
- Join a national organization such as the NRA or The Heritage Foundation to advocate freedom at the national level.
- Educate yourself about national fiscal policy and prepare yourself and your family accordingly for those things outside your circles of control.
- Pray for the leaders of the country.
The national problems we face today can feel overwhelming. But the big scene is not where the greatest good is done by and for individuals, families, and communities. Exerting control over our own lives, beginning with ourselves and moving out from there, is the key to our survival. With the right perspective and remembering that salvation is achieved one person, one heart at a time, should give everyone hope that there are no storms we cannot weather with the help of God.
by Marjorie Haun 12/7/13
Tags: civic involvement, crisis management, disaster, Emergency Preparedness, evacuation kits, family, government, home storage, LDS, Mormon, Preppers, provident living, survival, United States