Are you ready? Are you ready, no matter what happens? More than 80% of Americans don’t feel ready to handle an emergency. The Horizon Experience Project was designed to help make you ready! Our goal is to help people get the knowledge, training, and equipment to feel confident that in an emergency, they can take care of themselves, their families, and their communities.
I was lucky when I was growing up. I was raised on a big farm in Vermont. My parents had large gardens and grew a lot of fruits and vegetables that we ate. We had apple trees and got together in the fall to make canned apple sauce, in jars, to enjoy all year. I learned to shoot firearms at a young age. I learned archery, how to start and build fires, how to make shelter in the woods, how to whittle and make spears, how to fire harden the wooden points, how to make stone spear and arrow tips, basic orienteering, and more. My father taught me how engines worked, and how to repair and rebuild anything from a tiny 2-stroke weed whacker up to a big Detroit V-8.
We lived out in the country, and as such we had to be self-reliant. Power outages were very common and often lasted for hours or days. We have to have heat, light, and water that wasn’t dependent on the power grid. Emergency services, like the police, fire department, or ambulance were at least 20 minutes away at the best of times. Bad weather, or an emergency at the other end of the county, could easily mean a multi-hour response time if we had to call 911. Given this situation, we had to be ready to handle most emergencies ourselves.
Even with that advantageous upbringing, there has still been a lot to learn, and my journey toward radical self-reliance is far from over! Horizon Experience Project is all about making that journey available to everyone.
To be clear, this isn’t about digging a bunker in your backyard and stocking it with 55 gallon drums of dried beans in case the Russians invade. This is about developing the mindset, experience, and tools to be prepared for a wide range of situations, and to be able to be an asset rather than a liability.
As a society, most of us have become very far removed from the core experiences and skills needed to survive without all the infrastructure we’re used to. We’re conditioned to avoid conflict, and most of us have no confidence in how to handle a physical altercation. We’ve become specialized and rely heavily on the specialization of others. If we’re hungry we can order food from our phones, or drive to a local restaurant or grocery store. If we’re injured we can call an ambulance, or drive to our local urgent care center. If our vehicle stops working, we can get it towed to a mechanic. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with making use of those options. However, it’s a mistake to be completely dependent on external services and systems for all your needs.
It doesn’t take an alien invasion or the collapse of civilization for a lack of key skills to be a life threatening problem. A snow storm, earthquake, flood, or washed out bridge can easily keep you from getting food and water from anywhere other than your home. A power outage can mean no water, no heat, and limited ability to cook food. A pandemic can mean closed businesses, full hospitals, and empty grocery stores. A wildfire, or building fire, may force you to flee your home quickly and you may have to survive for days with only what you carried when you ran. On a smaller scale, having basic first aid and medical knowledge can mean saving the life of a loved one, or a stranger, when an accident occurs. Having self-defense skills can protect yourself and your family against attackers. Being confident in handling conflict and de-escalation skills can prevent violence to begin with.
Local Government Emergency Managers typically recommend that you be able to shelter in place for 3 days without access to the outside world or any community or emergency services. In many recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, Colorado Floods, and more, many people were isolated for up to two weeks.
Whether you’re concerned about bad weather, a potentially violent confrontation or crime, or a large scale SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) event, being prepared, and being confident in your abilities, will make a huge difference to your mindset, dramatically reduce fear and anxiety, and can quite literally save lives. Being prepared generally isn’t that hard, and learning these critical skills is usually pretty fun.
The Horizon Experience Project aims to provide the education, training, and tools needed to confidently handle most types of emergencies and be able to protect yourself, your family, and your community in times of need.