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Peter Getty is a philanthropist and contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. His work and writings revolve around environmental issues. Getty's philanthropic initiatives, as well as the organizations he supports, are committed to protecting the environment and spreading environmental awareness.

Preparing for Climate Change

Peter Getty doomsday preppersIn a recent article for the Huffington Post, I take a look at the reality television show Doomsday Preppers. The program follows a group of people who have made a lifestyle out of stockpiling guns and ammo, canned food, and gas in underground bunkers. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

They’re preparing a life for themselves just in case the very fabric of society falls apart. What kind of massive catastrophe might case civilization to come to a grinding halt? According to them, it could be atomic war, a full collapse of the world banking system, or some other doomsday scenario.

What we don’t hear from survivalists like these is the possibility of environmental catastrophe. The irony is bitter, since we have systems in place to protect us from catastrophes like war and true economic disaster. On the other hand, scientists all over the world know that we are facing environmental calamity, but haven’t been able to convince world leaders to take adequate action. After all, climate change is one of the most dangerous, obvious threats to our way of life on the planet.

So, who’s planning for the environmental collapse?

It’s probably not necessary for the average person to plan for the worst just yet, but let’s look around the corner at the future of the planet. A report from the United Nations says that climate change will most likely force millions of people to relocate, away from the equator, from coastlines, and potentially from areas we might not expect to become uninhabitable in a generation or two. This massive human migration will be practically impossible to manage, and will incite conflict and massive loss of money, materials, and life. Yes, violence may follow, which could have destabilizing implications on a global scale.

In the meantime, we’re seeing what seems to be a growing density of environmental disasters. On this front, we may be able to take a lesson from Doomsday Preppers. While it’s not quite time to install basement additions to house cases of Del Monte corn, having an emergency preparedness kit is becoming an absolute necessity in many parts of the world. Is your family ready for an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane?

Most of us keep some canned food in the house, but do you have backup bottled water in case the plumbing is shut down temporarily? How about flashlights with batteries, and candles with matches? A weather radio is also handy to have when the electricity shuts down. If you take medications regularly, it’s always good to buy ahead of time in case you lose access to your pharmacy for some reason.

Potentially more important than the goods you keep around is the plan you have for an emergency. In the event of a fire or natural disaster, it’s good to have a meeting place for your family and neighbors. When something happens and you can’t get home, you all meet somewhere so that you know everyone’s safe. And what if your neighborhood were evacuated? Have a plan of where you would go so that you can use valuable time packing and moving, not making calls and planning.

In this way, we can be ready for the disasters at hand, and help to avoid some of the big environmental challenges ahead.