Lessons from the Past

Having been reminded anew that Florida is sticking out there like a sore thumb just waiting to be whacked, I thought it might be a good idea now that we are in the clear to take a look at how ready we are for the next emergency that will come our way, whether it’s the inevitable hurricane, or something more lasting and devastating such as a food or water shortage, a financial collapse, civil unrest, or even a terror attack. Think it can’t happen here? Don’t be so sure. Situations are brewing across the globe and our country that suggest otherwise. Are you paying attention and are you prepared for an emergency?

We saw the need for advanced planning this weekend even as Hurricane Irene made its way up the coast. Much of the population came face to face with their own lack of preparation. They were reminded anew of their dependence upon someone else for their everyday necessities when those in authority in some areas shut down power and transportation ahead of the storm; the unprepared went into panic mode. Headlines from Saturday…

“Hysteria…”, “People are freaking out…”

When you rely on someone else for so much, you eventually find choices being made that are not to your liking. Adverse conditions will arise, and the unprepared or dependent quickly find themselves “victims” who will run to whoever will take care of them. These are the people who can be found “freaking out” during something even as well-announced and easily prepared for as a hurricane. This is when some end up trading aspects of their freedom for basic necessities, comfort and security, and they set themselves up to become dupes.

If hurricane Katrina taught us anything, it’s that we don’t want to victimize ourselves during an emergency because of a lack of foresight. Lessons from 6 short years ago during that emergency remind us of the horrific results of a population’s malaise and a dependency mindset. The city stepped in and provided shelter, and a nightmare unfolded. Others decided to ride out the storm without a clue as to what they were in for and completely without adequate resources. They found themselves faring no better than those who followed the herd. As a result, the storm took upwards of 1,800 lives.

Taxpayers spent massive amounts of money so FEMA could wave the government checkbook around in the direction of any and everyone who failed to care for themselves, and we also spent who knows how much on rescue operations for those who were not ready or did not responsibly evacuate. We have a duty to provide for ourselves and our families so that we don’t become a burden on those who HAVE been diligent and responsible, and so we can maintain our distance from the dangers inherent in following the masses during a crisis.

Survivors are the ones who get ahead of the game; they can relax and be an asset rather than a liability to their families, friends and community during times of trouble. Having been through many hurricanes, I’ve learned the lesson of being a day late and a few supplies short. A power outage is a non-life threatening crisis for most, but it can bring about a host of troubles if you aren’t prepared. Add any number of additional adverse complications, and trouble multiplies quickly. If you follow the news at all (beyond the often misguided and biased progressive mainstream media), you will sense situations other than just hurricanes on the horizon. If you aren’t keeping in touch with what is going on, it’s a good time to begin. Watch and prepare so a crisis will not get the best of you. If you stay clueless, it’s likely that at some point you will find yourself shuffling along with the multitudes begging for the government to prop you up, and you may not like where that leads you.

We learned it in the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Preparing for potential trouble is not a radical thought. Many of us learned the lesson as kids in the Boy and Girl Scouts. It’s simple; be prepared. Assess your readiness far in advance of trouble so you can deal with it WHEN it hits. Do you have backup food, necessary medical supplies, water, power or fuel sources and cash on hand in case of emergency? Are you capable of protecting yourself? Do you have elderly neighbors or know if any of them have a disability that might cause them to need extra help in an emergency? Are you prepared to assist? Do everything possible to be able to fend for yourself and help others.

Are you in debt? Do you have a reserve for emergencies that will help you handle any disruption of income? Are you presuming upon the future? Do you assume there will be more money later and that you will catch up then? If so, you may want to think again and begin now to make the sacrifices that will put you and your family into a stronger financial position. Weights around your neck will only make it harder stay afloat during a crisis. Not only will financial freedom help you deal with whatever comes, it will also provide peace of mind during good times that will be invaluable. Then when job loss, medical problems or whatever are added into the mix, you can work from a position of strength rather than weakness.

No one is advocating that we become like Chicken Little, but history has taught us that stuff happens. Bad stuff. It shows that there are always indicators to the future which are overlooked by the population in general. Turning our heads to avoid unpleasant truth leads to nothing good. What are the indicators? Are they out there right now deserving our attention? Today’s world news tells us that crises will happen again. Those who are awake and prepared will survive, thrive and lead others to safety and recovery when the situation warrants it, and they are the ones who will provide the warnings for others. Find out who has been reliable in the past and pay attention. Better yet, watch for yourself and do your own homework, because “the clueless” put themselves in the position of becoming like sheep led to slaughter. Those who are irresponsible not only put themselves in danger, but they foist their burdens onto others, multiplying trouble for everyone.

What’s your readiness quotient?

Click this link and take the What’s Your RQ? (Readiness Quotient) questionnaire. I found this online at the website, The Council for Excellence in Government and thought it provided some thoughts worth considering. It isn’t an end all/be all assessment, but if you want to know, it should give you an idea of whether or not you are at all prepared for an emergency in your neighborhood. Expect that there will be a crisis. It may happen sooner than you think; it may not happen for years, but preparing is a simple way to protect your future.

Tomorrow we’ll look at some items to keep on hand as well as some kits on the market that make it easier to be ready at a moment’s notice should we face a crisis or need to evacuate. I’ll post some ideas and recommended reading to help us increase our “survival potential” for those who are interested.

How ready are YOU?