There are many things about me that (hopefully) remain closely held, even after years online ... blogging and participating in several discussion forums, etc.
But with time, more and more does come to light. Now here are a couple of fresh personal-info news releases ...
One, I'm the son of a preacher. (That may or not be a surprise.) My dad, now in glory, had more than his share of troubles with me, as I took a long time growing up. Nonetheless, I think his work and faith in me eventually paid off. In fact, I've got a few drops of the preaching blood in me, as evidenced by my periodic "sermons" anywhere folks will pay attention.
Two, moderation in everything--to include in preparedness--is a big issue with me. Why? Because in my life, I've been addicted to more things than I care to admit. I went through inpatient and outpatient treatments and I worked the 12-step program for different problems. Sadly, I let down a lot of people in my younger years. I still take one day at a time and thank God for each one. Thankfully, my head has been on straight for more than 20 years now, and I have been blessed to be able to give back in some measure to my loved ones and my community.
Stay on the Middle Road
Those little revelations are just a bit of background to this latest exhortation (hell-fire and damnation, if you will) for folks to do common-sense preparing for crisis and disaster ... but to not go too fast or get too locked in on the headlines, causing you to go overboard.
Like a lot of lifestyle choices out there, it happens too often where folks all at once go headlong into it, getting into financial difficulties because of drastic purchases they make to try to suddenly get squared away ... or destroying personal relationships or careers or making huge life-decisions on the basis of becoming suddenly scared about some scenario they read about on the internet. Let's face it--there's a whole separate reality online where the end of the world is imminent. If you hang out long enough online, it's not that hard to get sucked in.
It happens. Extreme prepper syndrome (my lame term) happens more often than it should. Experts would not likely call survive-a-holics (again, lame) addicts in the medical sense, but compulsive behavior like this that blocks out the rest of a previously healthy outlook on life can certainly manifest itself in those who are vulnerable.
I know A LOT of folks who need to chill just a bit ... to take in the whole panorama of daily life, and for most of us, to accept and appreciate that life today is pretty good.
Play the Odds
We are not only fine today, but the odds are overwhelming that the future is going to work itself out for most of us as well.
That said, I also clearly admit that we don't know for sure what tomorrow will bring, so yes, I always promote common sense preparations. Do it well, do it systematically within your budget. Take it one step at a time and make sure you fit it into your household's way of life as gradually and gracefully as possible (don't bludgeon your unwilling family with a sudden prophecy of doom--a surefire way to create turmoil under your roof).
Why go slow? Because, the last time I looked, we don't yet have the shadow of a comet darkening our world. Nor are Mr. Putin and his comrades seizing western Europe. And H5N1 still is largely an avian threat. As for the ongoing sub-prime financial downturn--stuff happens, but chances are a mixture of systems, processes, governments, banks, and bailouts will as usual, soften the impact on the average American.
This is all a meandering path to the point that nobody understands or plays the odds better than insurance companies. They have created one of the biggest industries of our modern world out of selling peace of mind to those who need it. Individuals, families, companies, and groups of all kinds need to mitigate risks. So we all take out insurance policies just in case the odds don't go our way. The insurance companies know actuarial tables and statistics inside and out and they are way out in front on trends that can endanger us. (When you see them bailing, THAT's the time to panic.)
The crisis preparedness marketplace is a cousin of the insurance industry, distantly related by a common peace-of-mind forebear. We are there for folks to help mitigate some of the risks we all face in an uncertain world.
There are never guarantees, but in spite of the ever-present doom-sayers, our world is, all-in-all, a pretty decent and safe place to call home. In a nutshell, don't sweat the little things.
The Best Way to Go
So my one always-relevant suggestion is for folks to prepare for danger or setbacks in their life with measures that are not sole-purpose expenditures, that is unless you have more money than you know what to do with and you have no one else to answer to insofar as how you are spending that superfluous cash.
Buy emergency storage food that is genuinely edible, that you will eat, and that you will enjoy. Don't buy stuff that you will have to throw away at some point ... and surely don't buy stuff that will you will not use before its shelf-life expires. You always will need food ... buy some of it to store away--stuff that will store well for many years and that you can go and eat and enjoy anytime you need or want to.
If you are building a new home or addition and there is some part of you that feels like you ought to have a safe place in your home to go to in the face of threats, then by all means, take advantage of that best-time opportunity to build-in a dual-use safe room or shelter that will protect your family from natural or man-made disasters. Besides making for emergency refuges--shelters and saferooms make for ideal storage spaces and even work-spaces or spare bedrooms.
Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Do you hike or camp? Many of those outdoor pursuits make use of equipment that can double as critically needed gear in the event of disaster. Keep that in mind when you make those recreational purchases, as you may just want to adjust your purchasing decision to cover all your needs.
How about investing in the means to operate some of the appliances and conveniences in your home in the case of blackout? Most of us have had the experience of having to do without power for some extended period of time, and at least risk losing all the food in our refrigerators. A generator (propane powered or diesel or gas powered) can be had for a very reasonable amount of money. Consider also a professionally installed transfer switch in your home that allows for that generator to safely power at least parts of your home. This makes sense for not only shorter-term power outages, but is a life-saver in longer-term crises.
The list goes on and on. More than creating a resource for how to prepare your home for disaster, I wanted to make this about approaching preparedness logically, calmly, not getting too worked up about any particular threat of the hour.
Things almost always do work out fine for the vast majority of people. The odds are strong you will live a largely unchallenged, uneventful life, particularly if you live in America. So to get too worked up about any particular possibility for doom is not a productive or enriching use of your energy or resources.
Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastleroyal.com