First of all, I'm not John Galt, and I really don't envision a Galt's Gulch a la Atlas Shrugged. However, I am Galt in that I believe it's up to me to provide and protect my family and loved ones. For sure our benevolent government can't, and most likely will be what we need to be protected from. I am more convinced than ever that things have an increasingly high probability of going south in a big way and in a big hurry. That said, if you are convinced that the United States of America is eternal, that it could never cease to exist, and that horrible things could never take place in this country, I suggest you quit reading now, and immediately check out some books on world history from the library,
If you're not so blindly optimistic, but still think the odds of anything drastic upsetting the social fabric in this country are extremely remote, consider a few scenarios:
It was just reported today that a solar plasma surge like one that occurred 150 years ago would essentially cripple every advanced country in the world. This solar activity would create a massive electromagnetic surge which would essentially fry the transmission grid for months or years.
Too farfetched? Consider that a single nuclear warhead detonated in the atmosphere over the US would do almost the same thing. It's known as an EMP weapon, and would devastate us in much the same way. Iran is on the verge of producing a nuke, N Korea is getting ready to launch an ICBM, and Pakistan, with both missiles and nukes, is at risk from Islamic extremists.
Note that there has been no mention yet of a massive financial collapse, or terrorist attack, or a CAT 5 hurricane wiping out most of our oil refineries in the Gulf. Look, people in North Dakota don't expect that every year they'll find themselves stranded on the highway in a blizzard, or snowed in without power for days or weeks at a time. But happen it does, and because they're prepared, they survive.
So then, if bad things happen (and they always have), how do you take care of yourself and your loved ones? First of all, without making yourself into a tinfoil hat wearing paranoiac, you need to imagine- what you would do if you found yourself without power, water, easy access to food supplies, or gasoline to get where you needed.? Well, first things first.
Emergency supplies: This will include things like several days of drinkable water, food, flashlights and a first aid kit. This guarantees some precious insurance if a temporary emergency occurs What if it's a longer term crisis? The answer to this varies depends on where you live you, who you know, what your resources are, and what skills you can bring to bear. I'm fortunate to have some property with shelter, arable land, natural water supply, stocked fish pond, lots of woods with nuts, berries, and deer. I'm preparing for long term survival Everyone needs to consider the following essentials:
Shelter: If you can't see living in your current home for a week without power or running water, you need to find an accessible location that can at least provide the basics of shelter and water. Maybe this is a tent in a state park, or a friend's farm in the country – but you need to have someplace to go.
Defense: This might be issue number one, but if you can't make it a few days to begin with, you're probably hosed anyway. The 2nd Amendment is still in force, and you should avail yourself of your rights. If you are already a gun owner, great. If not, a basic 12 or 20 gauge pump shotgun is easy to buy, easy and effective to use, and ammunition is cheap and plentiful.
Provision: If possible, it would be a great idea to have at least a 30 day supply of some basic food supplies. This would include basics like beans, rice, sugar, flour, canned meats, etc. Vacuum sealed packets (if you have a FoodSaver type system) will take up small space and last a long time.
Sustainability – This covers a wide range of things necessary to survive in place for a period of months or even years. You will need to provide for things like seeds for vegetables, basic tools, fuel for heat and cooking, and possibly a renewable power source like solar panels or wind power. Don't forget the finer things, like good books (especially The Good Book), musical instruments and simple games to entertain and keep your mind fresh.
You are certainly free to take as much or as little of this advice as you wish. I truly feel that this is something that needs to be said, even if most everyone thinks it's nothing more than a sci-fi fantasy. There is abundant information available free and online, and a basic survival package is not expensive. Being prepared could well mean the difference between catastrophe and survival for you and those you hold dear. Mr Galt will continue to call, e-mail, Tea Party protest, and do whatever possible to return this country to its founders vision, but if it's not enough, come and see me in Galt's Gulch – all God-fearing patriots will be welcomed. Everyone else, enter at your own risk.