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#150167 - 09/26/08 01:24 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: JohnE]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Some people are, indeed, hardcore dependency cases, utterly unable to manage their own daily lives without assistance, for no good reason. But some people have such large and immediate problems, combined with such limited personal, financial and family resources, that they are working as hard as they can to barely keep their heads above water from day to day, and so emergency preparedness has to be either a low priority or totally out of reach.


#150168 - 09/26/08 01:32 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: JohnE]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: JohnE
Does being empathetic demean me in some way that I'm unaware?

Darwinism is a biological theory, not a social one. Some people get that wrong.


#150169 - 09/26/08 01:37 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: Susan]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Susan
Children shouldn't play with fire until they know how to do it safely.

Cynical Sue

And it is the responsibility of adults to see that children learn to use fire safely.


#150170 - 09/26/08 01:49 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: JohnE]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: JohnE
I'm struck by the amount of hostility being projected towards those who aren't as "prepared" as some of the people on this forum seem to think that they are.

Indeed. There's a lot to be said for a bit of compassion for your fellow humans, and there's a lot to be said for a sense of duty to your community. I've always said that my own preparedness isn't just for me and my family, it's for me and anyone who needs help.

Here's a story you might like, on why you need to be prepared to help not just yourself.

My grandfather was a man who seemed to know everyone. His altruism seemed remarkably selfish on the surface, and his worldview was expressed (repeatedly) to me growing up, as follows:

"It always comes back to you, what you do for some guy in one place comes back somewhere else, so it's better for you to help a lot of people around you because you never know when you'll need their help when you're somewhere else."

My Grandfather didn't know what "karma" was by name, he knew it by instinct. And his Karma indeed did indeed spread wide from his little butcher shop in Queens, NY.

There was a little strip of stores - a drug store, a soda fountain, my grandfather's butcher shop, a laundromat, the post office and a deli. For a long while, we lived in one of the apartments upstairs from my Grandfather's shop. I was three or four, and would wander from store to store, visiting the shops and generally being a little kid back in the days when you let your little kids free-range.

Well, one day the drugstore owner closed up the shop when he retired, I remember he came to my grandfather's shop, we all said goodbye, I distinctly remember my grandfather shaking hands with him and giving him a big bag of meat and refusing payment in a protracted "argument" and for some reason my grandmother was crying. Eventually the store reopened under new owners. We moved out to Long Island, some years went by.

This was the early 1970's and the Interstate highway system was not really as built out as it was, and one year, we were driving up to our vacation home in New Hampshire (sort of near Clark's Trading Post, if anyone knows of that), when I started to develop a horrible rash, very quickly, and it was very painful. We were on some back-country road, somewhere in New Hampshire, and we didn't know of a local Doctor, or hospital or anything. So my mother looked at a map, and found a little dot of a town, and we drove to it, in hopes of finding some medicine for me, for we had nothing in the car suitable.

We roll into this little town, and there's a few stores - one of them is a Drug Store. We go in, and (by now you should be expecting this) the guy behind the counter immediately recognizes me and my father - of course, it's the guy from back in Queens. He grew bored in retirement so he opened a pharmacy. My rash was serious enough to require a prescription, so he called a doctor he knew for us, the doctor came by the pharmacy in a matter of moments, made a diagnosis, wrote a prescription, and everyone refused payment. My dad and he chatted for a long while, and eventually we drove off, and to this day, I marvel at this example of the way good deeds seem to be stored up for when you need them.

I'm happy to have a pile of AA batteries at all times, because I like to have my gizmos functioning, but I'm never hesitant to help out a co-worker or a friend or a stranger with a dead flashlight, and when we experienced river flooding in our area, I had no problem giving away stuff people needed that they "should have had" - stuff like containers for drinking water, stuff like a first aid kit, stuff like bleach to help clean their house. Yes, my own supplies were eventually replenished when the Red Cross and FEMA showed up, but in the short term, I was - am - glad to help others who need it.

Holed up with tons of stuff and screaming "mine!" is at about the emotional maturity level of a three year old.

Being judgmental and critical about people who don't have the exact same value system as you is the path we always take to war.

Your own "equippedness" is both a lifestyle decision and a value system. I personally like to be able to manage slightly complex emergency situations, and I personally like to be able to cope with serious emergencies in a hands-on manner, which is why I'm a volunteer firefighter/rescue technician. It gets my desire to "know what to do in an emergency" covered.

But at the same time, I know - and like - plenty of people who, I have to admit, are smarter than me and wealthier than me, and who have no particular preparedness plans for anything at all beyond maybe a flashlight and a spare tire in the car. They expect ME to know what to do in an emergency.

There have been a few times where I have gotten calls from friends with an emergency (for example lost 9 year old child in the woods, woman severe abdominal pain, small earthquake in the area) where I've told them - gently but firmly - that they need to call 9-1-1, not me. But what an honor and a what a great feeling for me to know that others think of me as a person to be relied upon in an emergency - and no, I don't belittle them for not calling 911, I don't denigrate their genes for not knowing how to tie a figure 8 on a bight or not knowing how to build a fire by a friction method. They are fellow human beings, and we have an obligation to use what our skills and abilities are to the ends of helping each other out, EVEN WHEN IT MEANS WE MIGHT NOT GET ANYTHING BACK FROM IT.

So, I post a simple question here - talk to a reporter about cooking without electricity. Simple question, could have a simple answer that would go a long way toward improving knowledge:

"If you have rubbing alcohol and a soda can, you can make a pretty good stove that burns cleanly, but that might not be needed as most prepackaged foods can actually be eaten without cooking."

And so forth.

But to turn the simple question into a case to make a value judgment against the types of folks who might not have thought about an improvised cookstove does nobody any good.

I have to say, I'm quite disappointed in some of the responses here. I wonder if, the next time you needed help with, say a car repair or a home improvement project, the person you went to for help instead belittled you for being an idiot for not knowing how to rebuild a transmission or install central air conditioning.

Are you equipped to survive and help others or is it just because you don't want anyone else to take your precious stuff?

#150172 - 09/26/08 02:06 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: MartinFocazio]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
There's a lot to be said for a bit of compassion for your fellow humans, and there's a lot to be said for a sense of duty to your community. I've always said that my own preparedness isn't just for me and my family, it's for me and anyone who needs help.

I am pleased to report that, at every disaster I've ever responded to, I've found plenty of people like you, your grandfather, and his pharmacist friend, pitching in, helping out, and doing whatever needed doing. Often, these people were elderly, poor or working class, and also had suffered the loss of their own homes, jobs, etc. Typically, they viewed their exertions as nothing out of the ordinary.


Edited by Jeff_McCann (09/26/08 02:12 PM)

#150178 - 09/26/08 04:39 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: MartinFocazio]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Well said, Martin.
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#150181 - 09/26/08 04:56 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: MartinFocazio]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
+100 on your post.
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#150187 - 09/26/08 06:02 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: MartinFocazio]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland

With you 100% of the way. If someone needs something or something done and it is within my power and ability to help out, consider it done.

Throughout my life someone was there in times of crisis or to guide me through the pitfalls of life, how could I not do the same for someone else. We all make mistakes and can underestimate the results of a poor choice, I know I have and will likely do so again, although I do try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat the same one over and over.


#150189 - 09/26/08 07:44 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: paramedicpete]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
A person builds a home below sea level next to the ocean and a hurricane wipes it out. I pay to have it rebuilt and also pay these people some money for living there (And I am paying some as we all are)

It happens again and we all pay them again. At what point do you stop rewarding stupid decisions on the part of the people that live below seal level next to the ocean in a hurricane zone? It seems some of you want to let them suck on that big government nipple forever, again and again and again.

I have nothing against them living there, after all itís a free country. But I donít like rewarding them with my money every time they get hit by a hurricane. Did I mention they live in a hurricane zone and several times a year they have a chance to get hit with a hurricane and have all of us pay to remodel their home?

Iím not saying to not help people, but to reward on going stupidity and dumb living decisions is not right either.


You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#150201 - 09/26/08 11:10 PM Re: News Reporter - Cooking w/o Electric [Re: BobS]
JohnE Offline

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal

I'm curious, you refer to "my money" quite frequently, are you paying some sort of fee to the people affected by natural disasters that I'm not aware of?

What is government's role if not to attempt to provide for it's citizens?

If the homes that you refer to are or have been financed, then they are insured and the cost of the claims is paid thru premiums. Not a dime of which comes from you.

Are you saying that there should be some sort of intelligence test to determine if the victim of a disaster should receive assistance?

Not trying to pick a fight, I just keep seeing the same responses and it makes me curious.

John E

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen

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