So you've decided to methodically ease some crisis-preparation activity into your already quite demanding, perfectly normal lifestyle ... you've come to understand that uncertainty is part of the daily calculus of life and you recognize a substantive opportunity to exert a somewhat greater amount of control over your tomorrows.
Congratulations. That's a nice red-letter milestone. Remember, taking it all step by step, working within your available time and budgetary contraints, is obviously the ideal approach. It's pretty much a no-lose proposition when you commit to preparing materially, emotionally, and spiritually for darker days. In the end, you're aiming toward a greater personal position of strength.
Stay engaged and you'll one day approach a level of comfort and satisfaction in your "material and emotional insurance" building that will make it all worthwhile, even if you never actually have to rely on your preparations to recover from personal, local, or even more far-reaching disaster. In fact, the preferred outcome is simply the "peace of mind" it gives that nothing else can really equal.
If you never have to confront a sudden turn in events that require immediate, near-term crisis planning and preparation, you should be thankful. However, at some point, many do face a sudden need to crank up the intensity when there is an obvious threat bearing down on them. Think hurricane; or perhaps an impending job loss; or a dangerous, spreading contagion in the population ... you can fill in the blank here and come up with your own potential scenario that might cause you to suddenly shift into higher gear with your prepping.
If you can make needed adjustments on the fly, then you've been on the right path all along. The key is to maintain the calm, systematic approach and you'll get 'er done.
Whether it's a back-up plan you follow in the face of danger or you have to come up with a whole new, more urgent plan of action, you'll still be way ahead in the game since you already know the rule set from your previous experience in thinking through and preparing for unkind scenarios.
That brings us to the main point of this post. There are major keys to staying ahead of the game, whatever the playing field. That is, pay attention and be in the ready position ... watch and be ready for things that most others probably are not even thinking about.
Don't get paranoid about your world. But do keep an eye on the forest and know where all the trees are as well.
Say what? OK--just a few examples and suggestions:
- keep an eye to the sky (and to the local weather station) if there's ANY chance of severe weather in your location. It's easy to do today and it's the smart thing to do to plan your activities after consulting your local forecast if it makes any sense at all where you live.
- assess your employment and income situation from time to time. Don't get blindsided with a layoff notice if you can help it and have at least an idea of what you would do if it does happen. If signs start to point toward a loss of your livelihood, take the initiative to counter that outcome. Set aside some extra necessities, reallocate your available resources to be able to make needed lifestyle adjustments, and stay positive about your future prospects. Then get out there and turn it into the best thing that ever happened to you.
- stay on good, heart-to-heart speaking terms with those most dear to you. People are surprised every day with very bad news from their loved ones that they should have seen coming long before, when they still had the chance to make a difference. Emotional recovery is a tough nut ... preventive maintenance is the best prep work you can do in the personal arena.
- crime and terror make the world the bloody place that it is today. You can't live in fear but you can bolster your self confidence and minimize your profile as a likely target in any number of ways. But whatever else you do, pay attention to your surroundings wherever you may be. Again, no paranoia--just use common sense ... when applied in regular doses, it can go a long way.
- the really big picture ... don't zero-in on any of the myriad of threats out there in the world at large. You don't need to be an expert in any of the fields of doom--there are plenty of folks out there who can do most of the specialized worrying for you. Just keep periodic tabs on what the general risks are in your own situation and make needed adjustments. Then carry on with your life.
Watch, listen, pay attention. Be ready for reasonable possibilities. If you've anticipated downturns before they happen, you're halfway home to surmounting them.