Prepared like a ‘Prepper’

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Alice Bustos-Orosa

Alice Bustos-Orosa

The onslaught of typhoons and monsoon rains across the country is often expected in the months of June to November. Yet, in recent years, the wet months draw on longer, with its typhoons much fiercer.

We can only empathize with people who feel panicky du-ring strong rains especially when they’ve been traumatized by super typhoons and torrential flooding. Then too, we are all aware of the risks we face living in a group of islands right smack in the Pacific Ring of Fire—a position in the Pacific that makes us all susceptible to so many po-tential natural dangers like earthquakes and tsunamis.

A good friend, Donna, who works as a Disaster Risk Reduction consultant cons-tantly advises friends to talk about contingency plans among family members in case a natural disaster strikes the metropolis.

I’m quite sure you would agree that we all fear being away from family in the event a calamity strikes. I’ve been through some mo-derate earthquakes when I’d be palpitating and sweating from anxiety, and I felt a bit safer being with fami- ly members as we reas- sured each other we would get through those terri- fying moments.


Given our current circum-stances, everyone should be more conscious of being prepared for whatever na-ture throws our way. Ironically, our cultural trait of being fatalistic con-tradicts a need to be proactive about disasters. In fact, most foreigners are baffled how Filipinos can muster a smile amidst disaster and destruction.

Recently though, it’s a good thing there are campaigns on television reminding people how to take precautionary measures before typhoons hit. I guess it would help if we all imbibe a bit of the motivation and strategies that “Doomsday Preppers” take.

Doomsday Preppers is ac-tually a series on National Geographic that features otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as they know it. You’ll be amazed at the great lengths preppers will go to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties, including setting up bomb shelters or stockpiles. I know it may seem gloomy if one were to always think of the worst scenario. In going to such extremes, however, preppers feel a sense of security and control in unpredictable times.

By chance I met a friend’s sister, Rosanna, who surprised us when she con-fessed to being a Doomsday Prepper herself. She nar-rates how she has converted the guest room in her Quezon City home into a survival room. In place is a food stockpile that she diligently tops off with a new batch of canned goods every month; and emer-gency life-saving equip-ment, which includes life vests. Imagine how her houseguests must feel when they see that room!

According to her family, Rosanna even runs fire and earthquake drills at home.

Perhaps it’s the unpre-dictability of nature’s wrath that leaves us all feeling very vulnerable. Disasters are stark reminders of mortality and the fleeting value of material posses-sions. For the best part though, we should all recognize the wisdom in the Boy Scout adage, “Be prepared”—an adage which preppers devotedly live every day.

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