Preppers a Look Back: Keeping Things in Perspective
May 1962 Nikita Khrushchev decided it would be a good idea to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. The missiles in Cuba were in response to the United States placing missiles in Turkey and Italy. The missiles were aimed at Moscow. Mutually assured destruction was openly discussed as part of the international arms agreement (Library of Congress, 2010).
Paraphrasing John F. Kennedy’s speech to the American people in October of 1962
“Unmistakable evidence shows a series of offensive missile sites has been established on the Island of Cuba”. The purpose can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike against the Western Hemisphere” (John F. Kennedy Library).
An attack by the Russians was real and the fear was real. The public at large was glued to their radios, televisions and newspapers were read at every dinner table across the country.
Experts had predicted 150 million American citizens would have been killed immediately and the country would be thrust into a nuclear winter. Millions more would die as a result in days, months and even years after, talk about doomsday.
All this before some of you were even born. Doomsday threats are nothing new. The world since its creation has been headed toward destruction, just as the minute you are born you are pointed toward death.
Schoolchildren learned drills in school, and parents feverishly stockpiled foods and radiation suits. Bomb shelters were built and some no more than damp holes underground. Candles, water, clothes, first aid supplies, food and military gear were hoarded by everyone. Food was grown everywhere there was space, sounds a lot like prepping today.
It did not matter if the Cuban missile crisis was averted (this time). It could happen again, there was always the thought of next time, so people prepared. This “almost a calamity” caught the American people off guard, never again many vowed. No one conjured up conspiracies, people dealt with the reality and the reality at the time was nuclear war.
What Is Your Reality
Some might say there are too many to count. The country of Iraq, for example, is now essentially a terrorist state with all of the infrastructure and military installations at their disposal. A country now that no one can doubt will be bent on the destruction of anything western in particular the United States.
Right now, it may be easier to determine who does not have a nuclear weapon. When an organization is willing to die for their cause then “mutually assured destruction” is not applicable. You cannot tell a country you will destroy them up if they launch a missile if that is what that country wants you to do, because becoming a martyr is their goal.
The likelihood of a nuclear war, in the traditional sense of the word war, is low, not impossible but low. What is more likely however, is a nuclear detonation in some city under western influence. It could be in the United States or in a European country. The possibility is there, while again its probability is low.
What Can You Do
What you can do is prepare as you would for any crisis. You cannot prepare for a single crisis because other disasters will catch you off guard, some you may not be prepared for. Another thing you can do is stop listening to all of the conspiracy theories out there. There are real catastrophes to worry about so for you to worry about the ones someone dreamed up in their parent’s basement is only distracting you from reality.
There are some out there of course that will use any crisis, any pending doom as an excuse to go off the rails, there are always some in any crowd. This gives some an excuse to shrug off responsibility, using the excuse the world is crashing down upon us, so go out with a bang. Those that do this awake in the morning realizing the sky did not fall, and now it is time to pay up for their foolish actions.
You prepare, you go to work, take care of your family and you stay informed. Do not convince yourself that civilization is ending so you have an excuse to stop being civilized. This only creates more problems for you and when a crisis does strike, you will not be prepared.
John F. Kennedy Library. (n.d.). Retrieved 2014, from http://microsites.jfklibrary.org/cmc/oct22/doc5.html
Library of Congress. (2010). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/colc.html