Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Storm is Coming

There's storms a coming, not just one but several and they look to be coming together as a perfect storm. They will affect the whole world.

Terrorists who want the blood of Americans to run in our streets. 
Dictator bullies who envy everything we have, and want to take everything, even life itself.
Bugs and blights that spread from field to field and destroy crops.
Pandemics that sicken and kill.
Natural disasters that destroy cities.
Politicians that waffle on important issues.
Man-made disasters that pollute. 
Economies that dip and weave.

Then there are small disasters, that are disasters for our families but that go unremarked by the world. A job loss, being hit by a drink driver, or just getting sick.

Why do we prepare? Because we can see these storms coming, these things have happened before and they'll happen again. So we learn from what happened to other people and apply the lessons learned to us and our families and our communities. 

We go outside in the summer time and when we see clouds building, towering into the stratosphere we know that a thunderstorm will soon be upon us. There will be rain, and wind, maybe even hail and tornados. 

Do we still go out on the picnic we were planning? No, of course not, we batten down the hatches. We put the resin chairs in the garage with the bicycles and shut the windows. We run to the store for milk, bread, batteries and ice. 

The storm may miss us like it did last time and the time before that, but we remember the storm that did hit us a few years ago. We talked to the widow down the street who told us about the Big One all those years ago that nearly leveled the town. We hear on the news what's happening to other lands. We read in books what happened in other times. 

Like the ants and the grasshopper, ants live many seasons and so they prepare for the winter. Grasshoppers only live for a season, long enough to mate, lay eggs and die. Grasshoppers will die even before fall, much less winter, comes.

How do you feel when you run out of toilet paper? How do you feel when you're out of toilet paper and you were just at the store? Building a home reserve let's us completely lose that feeling. Oh, out of paper, just go downstairs and pull one off the shelf. No fuss, no muss.

If you're laid off, how would you feel if all you had was that 2 weeks pay severance check, versus if you had 3 months of food and cash stored up at home? What kind of job would you take, what would you sell, if that severance check was all there was between you and foreclosure?

Being prepared is not about being scared, it's about moving beyond fear and getting ready so you don't have to be scared anymore. If your city is shut down because a pandemic has quarantined everyone for two weeks, you know you'll be fine because you have a months food at home and you don't need to go to the store where people are fighting over the last of the milk and bread. 

Preparedness is also about freedom. Say you get a new boss, who's a bully. Who's going to stand up to him or walk away when the economy is in the tank? How much of a hold can he have on you if you have 6 months cash in the bank and a food in the pantry and a garden to grow more.