Preparedness Pays: Draft Introduction

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Definitely a draft. Not happy with some words and phrasing, but it’s a start. Feel free to make suggestions but remember it’s the introduction, not the book. Details come later. Unless it’s a detail that will hook a reader. 🙂

Into every life some rain must fall. True, but there is no reason real or metaphorical rain that comes with the vagaries of life should be more than a nuisance. With a bit of preparation, “everyday disasters” become annoyances, and true disasters become something that you can handle.

Practical preparedness is something that should be a part of your lifestyle, rather than in addition to it. In the most basic sense, it is simply making sure you have what you need and use in everyday life so that you can handle the unexpected. It is not hard or complicated, it is not time consuming, and it is not (necessarily) expensive. It’s something that you can start small and build up as you go along — unless you’ve not done anything and the emergency is upon you.

Let’s start with some basics that will be covered in more detail in the pages to follow. Unless you want to make it that way, practical preparedness is not complicated or hard. Yes, there are an almost infinite number of possible disasters and if you try to focus on them, you’re not going anywhere because you will get overwhelmed. Instead, consider the following:

At the most basic level, there are only three items that can be impacted by any disaster large or small: people, places, and things. Guess what? Within each category, there are only two or three things that can happen to each of them. That’s a lot easier to deal with than an almost infinite number of disasters.

Time consuming? No, not really, though if you get into things you can put as much time and money into it as you like. In both cases, the time and money you put into it is far less than the cost of not being prepared. If you truly do incorporate it into your lifestyle, it becomes for most days a matter of a few minutes a day.

Expensive? That depends. In terms of preparedness for day-to-day emergencies, it’s easily within most budgets as the resources needed are truly everyday things. They are things you would or should have around anyway, and most of what you are doing is changing some types and quantities. That said, the more thoroughly you prepare, the more you can spend. Nice thing is, some of those expenses might be deductible and there may be low-cost/no-cost options for some things.

The thing is, the cost of not being prepared is always higher than the cost of being prepared. It could be that not being prepared could mean being late for work or even missing work; it could mean damage to your home; or, it could mean an unplanned expense. Being prepared could mean not missing work; it might mean lower utilities for your home; or, it could mean catching a problem before it becomes a problem.

How? Well, that jug of water might let you rinse off if the water goes off as you are in the shower. It can even let you bathe at need. Meantime, it’s available for use in making coffee, cooking, watering the plants, or other day-to-day activities.

Weather proofing your home not only lowers utility costs, it protects you against a range of emergencies from insect entry to keeping fallout outside. It adds to your home’s value.

Doing routine checks of your car, household machines, furnace, and other items is always a good idea. In this case, it might mean you catch that oil leak early before it becomes a major and expensive unplanned repair.

Practical preparedness can also open the door to new hobbies and family activities, and enrich your life. It all depends on you and how you want to approach things to find what works best for you and your circumstances. There are no magic lists of products or foolproof plans here, for one-size-fits all responses never work.

What is in here is a framework for thinking, planning, and then executing what works best for you. It is about making your life better and safer.

So, put aside the television and movie stereotypes. Put aside all the concerns over complexity and expense. Take a breath, a sip of beverage of your choice, and let’s start a mental journey you may find surprisingly fun and rewarding on many different levels.