Most people have no idea that there is such a thing as National Preparedness Month (as a matter of fact, many people within the industry have been surprised when we brought it up to them). But, there is such a thing, and September is the month. While getting preparations in place (and checking, rotating, and supplementing your supplies) should be done throughout the year, it is nice to have a reminder and a time to put your personal plan into perspective. September is a great time to do this, because the United States learned during this month more than ten years just how quickly things can change based on a single event, and how far-reaching those changes can be. The destruction of the World Trade Center may not correlate well to the type of emergency most families will want to prepare for, but it is a constant reminder of how unpredictable the world – and life – can be. More likely your preparations will be more focused on earthquakes, floods, extended power outages, tornadoes, wildfires, or hurricanes (there are more, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) realizes that they are not always going to be able to respond quickly enough to situations to save everyone, which is why they sponsor National Preparedness Month. By encouraging people to get the skills and equipment they will need to survive, they are promoting something that is quickly becoming less and less common: not relying on someone else. They want you to be able to save yourself. That may sound like a somewhat selfish thought, but if you are in a situation where your community is in danger, having what you need to survive will allow you to help others around you. Of course, being in a situation where you will be able to live through almost anything is much easier said than done, meaning you’ll need a plan. There are literally hundreds of books on the topic, and more are put into print all of the time.
We tend to take ourselves a little less seriously at Industry Outsider, however. Our goal isn’t to convince anyone to build a bomb shelter or move to the boonies, but to just help you become a bit more prepared as a part of your normal life. The best way that we have come up with to help with this is just by covering gear that is not only useful when you are enjoying the outdoors in your usual way, but will also help fill a gap in your preparations (if any). For example, in the past we have covered solar chargers that are great to bring along camping to charge your cameras, GPS systems, and cell phones, but could keep you connected to the outside world and charge your batteries in an emergency. Or the hand-crank radio that can be used either to listen to tunes in the sticks or get advance warning of bad weather. So, during the month of September, we will be taking special care to show you items that fill that bill. Solar chargers, lighting products from different categories, freeze-dried food, water purifiers, knives, and clothing for various situations are just some of the things we have on the schedule to show you this month.
If you know of a product that you think is great for both camping and an emergency, let us know. Also, if you have any thoughts or questions about emergency preparedness that we could help you answer, just comment here or ask the question on our Facebook page and we’ll do our best to give you an awesome answer. Happy National Preparedness Month, everyone!