I first penned this letter in December 2011. Back then, I was very concerned about our world and the direction that I saw it going. The signs have been there for a while. For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is. But now, the problems are glaring and in your face! You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong!
The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared. Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible! Responsibility is a problem in today’s world! We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us! And what if they don’t? Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt!
People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens? Well I say, that is good! You don’t really want anything to happen! You don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long! You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job! You don’t want the drought in California to effect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive! You don’t want any of that stuff to happen! But if it does….you wan to be ready!
Word of the day: Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, like our fore-fathers did it and succeed long before us, because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors survival in hard times of famine and war.
Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods. Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day! There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different! But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!
You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above! Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out. I wanted them to think critically! But now, I think people need a wake-up call!
After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!
An Open Letter to Family & Friends
I’m writing this letter because I care about you. Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.
Why the Letter?
Our lives are crazy. We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc. When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain numbing pictures flicker across the screen. We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.
And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable. We move from one task, event, errand, chore to the other.
The problem is when we look at our lives from a big picture perspective. What if our lives, all of the sudden changed? What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once? How could this happen? This can easily happen during an emergency. I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency. I’m talking about the BIG stuff.
The Big Emergency
The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks. It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide. But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.
The problem is that most people are not prepared for the BIG one.
Are you and your family most people? Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies? Do you have insurance for medical emergencies? Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency? Do you have other means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available? Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand? Do you have basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?
This is the whole reason for my letter. I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant. It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort. But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency? You’ll be glad you did!
Make a plan – What are you preparing for? What needs to be done? Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks. In reality, you will never be “prepared.” You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.” Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…
Set goals– When do you want _____ accomplished?
- Get a 3 day supply of food. Then move to a 3 week supply.
- Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
- Think about home and personal security.
- Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
- Start a garden
- Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
- Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
- Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping
Get active – go meet your goals!
The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one. It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing the world in the fragile states that it is in. It is always best to approach preparedness within community. You should go it alone only if no one else is willing. Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.
It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for. But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation. Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse! At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now. What happens over there, affects us over here.
There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there. One such scenario is an economic collapse. Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.” The fact is that it is way different this time. Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now. And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek. It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it. The concern has gone beyond the foil hat people. Just research it!
Please take this letter seriously. If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies. But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!
This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.