Preparing for the day after

A RECENT Yolanda related discussion between partners was about what we would have done if something like that happened to us personally. What if, in one fell swoop, everything was gone… the world as we knew it suddenly turned into a wasteland?

We imagined ourselves one of those doomsday preppers – like the ones you see in National Geographic and Discovery channels – stocking up on food and other  essentials, firearms, hunting knives and machetes.

Prepping for the big one? Photo borrowed from National Geographic Channels/Bryan Regan

Prepping for the big one? Photo borrowed from National Geographic Channels/Bryan Regan

Then the talk went to what skills we would need to survive, not only the immediate aftermath but to have a marketable trade in the days, months or years to come. I said I always wanted to study being a mechanic and thought of enrolling at the next TESDA course. Another guy also wanted to go to TESDA, but this time study carpentry.

Then I recalled that I had actually blogged about something similar before – in 2008 – when food shortages and financial crises were the pressing concerns. Here’s an excerpt of that blog, originally published in GMA Network’s site:

Looming Crisis

RISING prices, especially of oil and food – specifically rice – are sure to keep any government on edge. These are politically charged issues that could lead to serious civil unrest. Just look at news reports on the rice situation – not only local but international. Here it’s in the level of people complaining in lines for the low cost (subsidized) NFA rice. Abroad, they’re starting to riot.

Bloomberg reports that nearly half the world population has rice as staple food. The Philippines is among the top rice importers as our demand apparently is greater than the local production. Our sources in the US, Vietnam and Thailand are cutting back on their exports to ensure their own supply. Should this happen, where will we the get our supply shortfall?

What can I possibly do to avert this crisis? Is this a worry to lose sleep over?

I speak only for myself: it’s not what I’m worried about. (Before anyone out there decides to debate me on agriculture policy and this government’s competence, lighten up. This is neither the time nor place. Take your concerns to the useless bums over at the political desk.)

I’m not worried about the looming civil unrest and social crisis fuel and food shortages may cause. That’s just too big for me – it will come when it decides to come and I won’t be able to do anything about it.

What I am worried about is what I’ll do to survive once it does come.

You see, I’ve lived the cushy life of a guy in communications – I write, organize events, produce and direct shows… my hands are soft from moisturizing lotions and my adventures are in a climate controlled mall. Sure I work hard for the money, but what good is all that when the financial system collapses due to civil unrest?

This has been a lingering worry… should I blame my parents for sending me to university rather than trade school? Should I have hit nails with a hammer instead of hitting the books?

When the world as I know it collapses, what use will all the decades of intellectual discourse be? I don’t have a trade, a professional commodity that will be of use to society when we have to survive or rebuild from the ruins.

I should have gone to med school… or even nursing school. Doctors and nurses have it great. They have the money opportunities at good times, and will have plum positions in a crisis society. Even when cash becomes scarce they’ll get paid in poultry and produce.

Me? I will be as useless as this blog when the day comes.

So, what’s up with you?

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