They say they’re not doomsdayers or survivalists, but a handful of people who met in a small room at a Mahomet church last week say they believe it’s time to prepare for emergencies and disasters. And they want others to the same.
The group, known informally as the Christian Emergency Preparedness Network, wants church and civic groups to band together and prepare food, water, equipment, expertise, security and more for what they believe is an impending crisis.
It has nothing to do with the upcoming election, says David Pike, a crop scientist who lives in Champaign and is retired from the University of Illinois.
“We’re not here to generate fear, but we’re here to generate an awareness and then a preparedness,” he told about two dozen people last Wednesday night in the upstairs meeting room at the Mahomet Community Free Church.
Since he retired, Pike said, he’s had more time to read, and what he’s seen on the Internet worries him.
“When you’re doing an 8 to 5 job and you’re earning money to feed your family, sometimes you don’t read so widely and you just put your nose to the grindstone and do what you’ve got to do. Since I’ve retired, I’ve changed my mind-set. I see some of the writing on the walls.
“I look at the financial stresses on our state and our country and I do wonder when and not if. Eventually I think we will face some difficult times.”
Mark Thompson of rural Fisher, who organized the meeting with Pike, was more blunt.
“I have to stress that a network like this is a ‘we the people’ network with no reliance on government. We cannot rely on the government to save us in an emergency situation,” Thompson told the small audience.
“If the Internet is hacked and it goes down, or the government pulls the plug on the Internet, you know what that does to business? It will wipe business out if they leave it off for any amount of time. It will stop trucking. The domino effect that can happen on a number of different things is huge.
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