I have been watching a few television series lately called Doomsday Preppers, The Colony and some other apocalyptic type shows. They all have a theme of preparing for and or surviving an apocalyptic disaster of some kind. Those disasters could be anything from a national disaster such as hurricane, viral outbreak, nuclear disaster, civil war, solar flare causing the electricity grid to go down, major fuel shortages and many others.
For the most part, I think these guys are nuts. Most of the shows are American based – and most of the prepping activity has been based around the storage of large numbers of guns, ammunition and preparing for self defense when society breaks down. As well as long term storage of food and water.
But, they do make some sense also – for instance, if a solar flare was to take place and shut down the electricity grid, chaos could easily reign. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t be able to access any banking facilities to get our cash. We wouldn’t be able to purchase fuel, water and grocery supplies and chaos could easily take place. The recent outbreak of Ebola in Africa, and the fear that it can easily sweep through our own nations is a very real possibility. During the medieval era, the Black Plague decimated between 30% – 60% of the population in Europe.
In Australia, recently the government issued a high alert for terrorism. My wife and I were amazed when we went to the supermarket that evening and found they were out of a lot of stock. The check out staff told us it had been nuts all day. Researchers say that if something happened to the supply chain, most supermarkets would be out of stock within three days.
So I did some digging around on the internet and researched government sites. I looked at FEMA which is a U.S.A government site, and our own Federal and State governments for Australia. though it took some looking, I was surprised to find that indeed those governments, encourage civilians to store as a bare minimum, 3 days supply of food, water, medications and the equipment to cook and prepare in case of an emergency situation. In Australia some of the government sites encouraged people to have a minimum of a 14 day supply.
In many ways, it would appear that some form of prepping isn’t the nutty idea that I initially thought it was. From a Christian perspective, I have no qualms about the philosophy of being prepared for an emergency / national disaster. The Bible has many stories of people and nations preparing for national disaster. Indeed here in Australia, an old Estonian Christian told me the story of their church receiving a prophetic word about a long term drought coming; and a large number of them, who owned chicken farms, stocked up on large supplies of bagged wheat and barley to feed his chickens. They took the word so seriously, that the old farmer I was talking too, filled his spare bedrooms, and back room with bagged wheat. And he told me that the big drought did hit, and they had bird seed to get them through the drought for the few years it lasted.
However, the issue of national emergency / national disaster has raised some deeper ethical questions about the Christian ethic and lifestyle. While we may prepare – what are we to do about those who don’t? Three days. Fourteen days. Three months of supplies for each member of the family will quickly be diminished for every person you help who isn’t prepared.
From my own research- it appears that there is very little Christian thought gone into the subject. As a bare minimum, I would suggest that you prepare to be hospitable towards others.