Preparedness or Paranoia?

As time evolves so do the themes of movies and television shows that we find ourselves getting more and more hooked on. At one point in time our society’s television preferences included family sitcoms and love stories. Over the years our interests as a society have gravitated towards more fictitious shows often depicting “the zombie apocalypse”, “the end of time” and “doomsday'”. American’s are becoming enthralled with these adventurous tales that typically illustrate what life actually will be like in the future when the world comes to an end. As exciting as these thrillers are to watch, no one wants to actually be around long enough to live through an event like this. Shows including “The Walking Dead” and movies like “The Day After Tomorrow” are sparking viewer’s and government official’s attention causing political action to be taken.
Bug Out Bags” are one of the newest forms of safety precaution that are being suggested for use within every American household in response to these extremely hypothetical television shows. Whether they have been created in preparation for a doomsday event, or for the possibilities of another natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, “Bug Out Bags” are designed to provide people with enough resourceful materials to live 72 hours. This takes the term “survival kit” to a whole new level.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is a website designed to equip people with knowledge of what to do during a crisis and how to prepare for it ahead of time. These survival bags are not only suggested by FEMA but are endorsed by government officials including chief counsel for Senator David Vitter and Chris Geldart, director of the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Both of these men indicate that they keep bags in their homes, offices, and cars. Food, water, a first-aid kit, a fold-out solar panel that can be used to charge your phone, a camp stove, flashlights, candles and a fire starting kit are just a few of the items that can be found in this particular “bag of tricks”. Following 9/11 many residents assembled simple survival stashes. Although, a new wave of people have found themselves concerned and extremely shaken by threats of terror as well as the wrath of natural catastrophes such as Hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy. Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta’s, prediction last year of an imminent “cyber- Pearl Harbor” hack that will eventually bring down the power grid is solely enough to have people packing for the apocalypse.
These bags have become a necessity for just about everyone. With government officials and counsels stocking up and stashing them in everyday places, FEMA recommending them on their website and retailers like Los Angeles based Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems, who have tripled its sales in preparedness equipment; it is safe to say that these bags are a safety investment for you and your family. It makes you wonder though is it better to be prepared or are we just being paranoid?

-Kaitlin Batson, Alex Corrigan, Caitlin Ford, Parker Farfour