Once again this year (as I try and do every year) I am reassessing my preparedness plans and goals. Dollars, time and other resources are limited so I need to make sure I am still on track and prioritizing my efforts as efficiently as possible. Last year this assessment turned into a four part series. Let’s see how many posts I can milk this for this year…
The process is pretty straightforward.
1. Re-evaluate what scenarios or situations I am trying to be prepared for.
2. Assess what I need to do to prepare for these scenarios.
3. Identify any gaps I have in being prepared for those scenarios.
4. Work to close those gaps during the year.
Sounds pretty easy and straightforward right? Yeah well, actually it is. Being more prepared is not rocket science. In fact, for the most part, it is just basic, good old fashioned common sense. Our parents and grandparents would probably have laughed at us for making such a big deal about “prepping.” For them it just have just been a logical part of their everyday life. In fact, based on Aesop’s fable “The Ant And The Grasshopper” we can pretty well assume that being prepared for adversity has been a part of the human good sense for at least the last several thousand years. It is only in modern times that the majority of people scoff at the idea.
The situations/scenarios I am preparing for have not changed. Flood remains on the list this year. Despite our home not having been threatened by a flood nearly 20 years, Hurricane Harvey proved that the past, in some cases, is not a good indicator of the future. Despite billions being spent by several different government entities several heavy rains in the last few months have shown that we definitely seem to be more at risk than we have been previously so it remains on the list.
So what’s actually on my list?
Here it is:
Man born of woman is short of days and full of trouble.
He blossoms like a flower, then withers; he flees like a shadow and does not last.
While it may come as a surprise to some of you, we are all mortal. We will all shuffle off this mortal coil at some point. For those who do not believe in a higher power, I guess that means that we will just cease to exist and become worm food. As a Christian, my views are a little different than that and so the most important preparations I can make are for where I will spend eternity. That is why my I include my “Walk With God” as my most important preparation of all. Regardless of what you believe, death comes to us all and we need to be prepared for that fact.
Some folks look forward to retirement. They can do that because the properly prepared for it ahead of time. For others retirement sneaks up behind them and bites them on one of any number of body parts and they end up as a burden on their families or eating dog food (cat food is way too expensive). I don’t think counting on Social Security counts as being prepared so we are doing what we can to prepare for retirement. Because we were poor for much of our marriage, Wonderful Wife and I are off to a late start on this. Recent expenditures to recover from the flood have been a setback to being more prepared in this area (our saving took a hit and we had to finance about $50K in home repairs).
I was arrogant and overconfident that I was prepared and ready when Hurricane Harvey blew through. I will be taking this much more seriously in 2019 and reassessing what I have prepared, where the gaps are and what I can do to be better prepared moving forward.
When the rain stopped from Hurricane Harvey I though we were good to go. Then I noticed the rising waters at the end of my street. The water rose for almost a day AFTER the rains stopped. Short of building a dam around my lot (the neighborhood association would NOT be pleased) and hoping I can pump water out faster than it comes down there is not much I can do to keep the waters out. The best we can do is make sure we protect what is most valuable and what cannot be replaced and have a plan for how to escape. We can also plan to make the recovery easier and quicker.
5. Financial Disruption
Things, like floods, happen and it takes money to recover. Four and a half years ago I was laid off and our savings carried us through. Personal financial disruptions happen everyday around this nation so we need to be prepared for them.
Those entrusted with spending other people’s money (our money) continue to be horrible stewards spending us further and further into debt. That will, at some point, cause some very serious economic impacts on the rest of us. It is important to be prepared for if and when any of these begin to affect us.
We have seen a couple of years of strong economic growth over the last couple of years but that won’t continue. At some point that will start to swing the opposite way and I want to make sure we are prepared when it happens.
5. Social Disruption
For several years I have been talking about the potential of civil unrest or even another civil war. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that we are still headed down that path. Being aware of the probability of such occurrences and being ready for them remains a top goal for us.
Those are the scenarios we are preparing for. Next we’ll start looking at each of these scenarios in more detail and begin to share our plans for dealing with them.
Take care and God bless.