July 2016 was a brutal month for Germany. In just one week, four violent attacks killed ten people and injured dozens more. Each attack used a different weapon – a gun, bomb, axe, and machete. But it’s not just hand-held weapons Germany is concerned about. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, also plans to have a large store of smallpox vaccines and antibiotics in case of a biological attack. The country also is to have a gas and oil reserve spread throughout the country to last for 90 days. catastrophe
The German government has seen firsthand that there are dangers inside their own country – and perhaps more coming. They are taking precautions, but they are also asking their citizens to take some of the responsibility on themselves.
According to The Telegraph, Germans are being told to stockpile food and water in preparations for another attack or catastrophe. This mandate is the first of its kind since the end of the Cold War. They recommend storing enough food for ten days and drinking water for five days. People are urged to store two liters or drinking water per person per day. Other items they are encouraged to store are medicines, wood, candles, matches, flashlights, and a reserve of cash. These items will help keep them comfortable should they be confined to their homes during another bout of unrest or terrorist attack.
Germany had this type of emergency preparedness plan in place at least during the Cold War, but since then have eased off on being actively prepared. With the new threats emerging in their country, they are bringing back those precautions. While we never wish for unrest and alert such as Germany is facing, we can still apply their precautions to us on this side of the pond.
In the United States, we have seen our fair share of problems, be it attacks from extremists or just civil unrest. But the fact remains: we are not immune. The riots in Ferguson and Baltimore is evidence that any given day could see an explosion of violence which could keep residents locked inside their homes. During these aforementioned events, folks were ordered to follow a mandatory curfew in those areas, and even walking to the store in the middle of the day was a dangerous prospect.
If there’s one thing we can learn from Germany, it’s that we should, as a people, be prepared for anything.
Storing food and water isn’t just important for natural disasters. Civil unrest or terror attacks can make it all but impossible to get food from the local supermarket. Blocked roads, looting, enforced curfew, other situations might make it physically impossible.
That being said, the odds of being in a community facing these problems is quite low. However, the principle of preparedness remains. Being prepared for civil unrest is being prepared for a natural disaster, job loss, or other such emergency. Being prepared isn’t about living in fear of what’s to come. Instead it’s being able to live in relative comfort and safety no matter what life throws at you.