March 31, 2013

in Jumpstart

We have an ethical responsibility to help others around us when a crisis arrives. It may feel natural to hoard supplies when they become precious. But when the little girl or elderly lady from across the street is dying from dehydration, we are more likely to try to help in some way than to allow them to die with no remorse. The best possible way we can help is to take pro-active measures before the crisis event takes place. But even if it’s after the big event, urging a neighbor to fill up their bathtub with water before the pressure fails, or to place a bucket under their downspout before it rains, might preclude that knock on our door for help later.

  • Awareness of the need to prepare matures slowly and across a long time frame. It takes time to accumulate and absorb the right knowledge to survive. It takes time, effort and money to accumulate the resources and to take enough action to make a difference. Awareness is the first obstacle to being prepared to survive a crisis.

  • Even when we get to the point where we consider that we have enough to survive, most of our neighbors are unaware of survival needs and will not be adequately prepared. We will want to help our closest friends and have an ethical responsibility to help as many as is practical – but there are limits to what we can do. Help should be accomplished without diminishing our own survival status. Some tasks are difficult without groups and having a group that is capable of surviving greatly amplifies the effectiveness of each individual. If any sacrifice we make in terms of individual survival ability (sharing water or food) enhances the group enough to reflect back upon us, then we can come out ahead in the end. If we don’t want our neighbors to be dependent upon us, we need to find a way to JUMPSTART their ability to survive. We need to understand what knowledge and resources are critical to survival and determine how we can help them survive without crippling our own ability to survive.

  • The concept of JUMPSTART is to identify the critical knowledge and resources that will be needed in order to survive a crisis that eliminates all of the infrastructure that we usually take for granted and depend upon. Most people will find it very difficult or impossible to survive if our water, food and power supplies disappear suddenly and no help arrives.

    We need to identify survival needs over time. We need to know how much water has to be collected, how much food we need, and how much power or energy we must have to survive. We need to identify critical “tipping points” in these needs over time. If we plan on collecting rainfall for drinking water, we must know how much water we need to store to survive from one rainfall to the next. If we plan on planting a garden to produce food, we must know how much food to store until our garden begins to supply all of our food needs.]

    We need to identify critical resources that will not be available after a crisis event occurs. If an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) takes out all electronics that are not shielded, we need to decide ahead of time what small handful of electronic components are most important to put into a faraday cage for protection. If we plan on planting a garden, it is wise to have some seeds ahead of time. If we plan to grow fish in an aquaponics setup, it is wise to have tanks and pumps and some starter stock ahead of time.

    Then we can develop a plan to help others reach the critical tipping points where it becomes possible to become self-sufficient. We may have the ability to store some extra quantities of the critical resources without extravagant effort or expense (such as seeds). This kind of plan enables us to move beyond preparing for only our own survival and begin to prepare for the survival of a group.

    • We can JUMPSTART awareness by offering advice.
    • We can JUMPSTART knowledge by offering instructions and checklists on how to do things that will be important.
    • We can JUMPSTART action by offering help and supplies that are needed to survive.
    • We can JUMPSTART cooperation by offering a plan that enables a group to survive together.

  • The next article in this series will offer a knowledge methodology for survival as follows:

    1. Needs across time
    2. Inventory and storage
    3. Production
    4. Instructions
    5. Knowledge management

Continue to the next JUMPSTART article:
JUMPSTART: Knowledge

read other JUMPSTART articles

Ethics of Community
Self Sufficiency

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