Once again in July a fire broke out right behind my home. I did the usual preps as per my experience the year before, but as I snapped away photographs and considered my options and risk, I realized that my entire experience was procedural.
Standard Operating Apathy, much like the risk of pandemics, shortages etc. I find myself almost indifferent to the potential of trauma or theoretical risks being levied against myself or my family.
This indifference made me think about how I respond to seeing the sort of crazy natural disasters people deal with (looking at you Florida!) and how they can be so chill with so much damage.
I often muse about what drives people to continue living in such inhospitable places and then I realize with a certain irony that as a forest fire chews up everything in its path, the girl and I are looking on, smoking a cigar and discussing if we should have pasta for dinner because with all the ash flying around it’s just not fun to BBQ.
Under extreme scenarios (even if in the distance), we as a species cannot endure sustained adrenaline. We cannot continuously smother panic and rush to mitigate threats.
In 2020, with our first forest fire, our neighbours were at their peak, mildly concerned with what I saw as a real, tangible threat.
In 2023, I didn’t even overthink it. I saw the fire planes in the horizon, neighbourhood sirens blasting and just watched with a sense of detached curiosity.
This apathetic reaction has made me consider my own experiences with emergencies and how simply knowing how things could turn out has limited any tangible panic. Below is a quick list of scenarios that we experienced that I actually wrote about on MTJS;
Theoretically risky, lots of elderly people died and yet the girl and I just relaxed with our off grid heating and used the opportunity to have a forced holiday.
Mild panic due to the pace of the fire and understanding that we could not outrun it, realized that we had cat bags, bug out bags, paperwork & ID etc., all ready to go. Watchful but relatively relaxed.
Concerned over potential spread, especially after fatalities in Italy but already in a good spot to hunker down. Bought extra stockpiles preemptively and stocked up on meds. Spent the pandemic shaking our heads at the stupidity of people.
4. Forest Fire Version 2
No panic, complete indifference beyond keeping an eye on the spread and musing over dinner.
Apathy is a killer, but understanding threats and mitigating accordingly without any panic is true progress and something I continue to strive for.
Some food for thought, what did you guys learn during your respective experiences?