Sitting in the dark
Perhaps the deeper lessons of Hurricane Sandy are to be found in the burgeoning grassroots movement to promote more individual self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Just go to your local library and see how many books are there for learning skills like your grandparents relied on to provide life’s basic necessities. It seems we have lost or forgotten most of them! Further, it turns out that the way we live our lives today can be surprisingly vulnerable in a crisis.
Today, we live in an uncertain world facing many challenges in an uncertain future, and one doesn’t have to be a “Doomsday Prepper” to realize it might be prudent to learn some skills that increase our individual, our family’s and our communities’ self-sufficiency. In our largely rural area, people have many options: start a garden to grow some of your own food and learn how to preserve it, learn to make or to repair your own clothing, learn how to conserve energy, learn a useful skill and, if you have one, teach that skill to others. Today this kind of preparedness is leading people to live “off the grid,” to homesteading and return to the land, to live more simply on less and to practice a do-it-yourself ethic.
In our opinion, Hurricane Sandy is a wake-up call to better prepare for whatever crisis may come our way, including by learning skills that improve our own ability to survive and thrive. No one knows what that next crisis will be, but that won’t change the question: Will we be prepared?