Cambrian: Opinion

Lady Tie Di: Be prepared - for anything

“What if?” Well, that’s a vague but loaded question, isn’t it? While it’s not healthy to dwell on any particular what-if too long, it’s good to be somewhat prepared. What if you get in a car accident? You have car insurance to help with costs. What if you get a pop quiz in school? You study so you may have most of the answers. What if there’s a “catastrophic event”?

Some of you may have heard of, know or even be a “prepper.” No, it’s not someone in a polo shirt with a sweater tied jauntily around his neck in deck shoes. Think uber Boy Scout. It’s someone who’s prepared to the nth degree.

Aside from having a life-long love of living simply (my ultimate dream would be to be completely self-sustaining, off the grid) and following my mother’s upbringing of making due with as little as possible, I wonder, as we become more and more mechanized and computerized, what skills do our kids have in an emergency situation?

Look at what you eat and drink. Look at what you drive. Look at what you do for entertainment. Look at your neighborhood. Do you know your neighbors? I am grateful everyday for my own washing machine. I am thankful for hot water that comes out of the faucet almost immediately. I like that I can run down the street and pick up another quart of milk. I count them as blessings, not privileges, no matter how hard I worked for them.

Do your kids know where that milk comes from? Do they know what goes into making a can of soda pop? Do they know what it takes to make a light go on in their bedroom when they flip the switch?

More and more schools have dropped Home Economics courses as well as other hands-on life skills classes like mechanics. Do you know how to put up tomatoes? (Granted, I’m rusty). Do you know how to grow those tomatoes? Do you know how to fix a leaky pipe? Do you know how to do basic first aid?

Shelter, water, food. I think if most people really stopped to think about it, those would be the first priorities that came to mind (I hope so!). Are you aware of the WWW.READY.GOVinformation

put out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the middle of the Yellow Pages phone book? While I don’t

depend/count on the government for much, I think it’s an important thing for every household to take a look at (I find it interesting they’re putting this out there now). Three days or three months without power, deliveries, phone service —anything is possible here.

I had two home births. A few days before Zachary was due, we had some good storms in Cambria and the power went out. At least three people were afraid I’d be plopping the kid out in the dark and so offered generators. While genuinely grateful for the offer, I reminded them, I was doing this as naturally and simply as possible—candles for light and blankets for warmth would be fine. Point being, we’ve experienced the most basic of shortages possible in Cambria.

I’m just saying: teach your kids how to grow food; go online and check out survival and preservation sites from places like the Mormon Church (yes, the Latter Day Saints); become friends with your neighbors, create a cache of goods and supplies (maybe even enough to share—hmmmm, sounds like a plan whether we’re in for stormy weather or not!)Maybe we should be planning together.

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at, or visit her web site at