You’ve heard it a lot: “Be Prepared!” “Rather safe than sorry!” “Always think ahead!”
It probably goes in one ear and out the other by now. It’s so overused in day-to-day life. However, as annoying as it may seem, it holds a great truth. Think of the fable where the ants are hoarding grain for the winter months while the grasshopper dismisses this need to be prepared. Boy was he surprised when the winter cold came. If you’ve never heard of this fable, read here: (http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/36.html)
Even well managed organizations and military establishments constantly stress this.
The Marines have a motto of “Adapt, Improvise and Overcome.”
The Coast Guard official motto is “Semper Paratus,” which means “Always Prepared.”
The Boys Scouts Motto is “Be Prepared.”
While we’re at it: Your parents – “Always take [x] with you, always best to be prepared!”
How right everyone is.
If that’s not good enough for you, read these awesome quotes about being prepared:
- “It is well to be prepared for life as it is, but it is better to be prepared to make life better than it is.” – Sargent Shriver
- “Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.” – Ed Bradley
- “Always be prepared to start.” – Joe Montana
- “You always gotta be on time, an hour ahead of everything. You always gotta be prepared.” – Beanie Sigel
- “I believe it is better to be prepared for illness than to wait for a cure.” – Roger Moore
- “Mother Nature may be forgiving this year, or next year, but eventually she’s going to come around and whack you. You’ve got to be prepared.” – Geraldo Rivera
- “What is down will go up. At the same time, you have to be prepared for what is up to go down.” – William Shatner
- “You have to be prepared to take a spill.” – Shaun White
- “To be ready to fail is to be prepared for success.” – Jose Bergamin
- “As you prepare for the many things that fall brings, such as school, harvest and winter, it is important to be prepared for the unthinkable. Supplies and a plan will significantly reduce panic and chaos in the event of an emergency.” – Mike Crapo
- “My expectations are not in any future event. I would rather just be prepared for whatever might take place.” – Dan Webster
- “Well, I always wanted to be educated and be prepared.” – Jon Secada
We hear it so much that we probably let is go in one ear and let it go out the other without even really taking it in. Until we have an emergency and we’re now hyperventilating in Panic Mode.
Bummer x infinity.
But while emergencies will pop up, we can make sure that we are prepared. You get trained at work for emergencies right? Why shouldn’t you do that with your life as well? Like they say:
- “when it rains, it pours”
- “bad things happen in 3’s”
- “what goes up, must come down”
- of course we are ALL too familiar with Murphy’s Law – “Anything can go wrong, will go wrong”
I don’t know who Murphy is, but I think he sucks and I don’t like his law. So why live your life in the mindset of “Anything can go wrong, will go wrong?” It’s such a pessimistic and stress inducing way to live. Why not be like the military or the Boy Scouts (relieve those youthful days!) or go ahead and give yourself leave to be like your mom? I’d rather feel prepared knowing “Hey, I Got this!” vs. “Flkskweriq albnguipor lsghoiwrhgn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Since there are different types of emergency and depending where you live (ie we don’t have blizzards here in the South), I’m not going to go into deep detail. Instead, I want to ask you a few questions for you to think about. If there was an emergency, disaster or otherwise complete shutdown, would you prepared?
- If there was a hurricane/tornado, earthquake, flood, fire or snow/blizzard, would you know what to do?
- Are you prepared for a few days or for a few weeks?
- What if you were alone and had no one to help you prepare for a disaster if able (ie hurricane or blizzard)?
- Do you have contact info (including addresses and phone numbers) for family members, nearby and far away?
- Do you know where the safest place is in your home?
- Do you have a siren system in your area?
- Do you have national weather service radio (with batteries) that can alert you should your phone battery die?
- Do you know where to find out emergency information for your local area and for your state?
- Do you have emergency numbers posted for police, fire, doctor, poison control, maintenance or HOA (Home Owners Association) depending on your housing style?
- If you do have an emergency in your place, are your insurance policies up to date? Should your home/apartment get damage, do you know who would pay for the damage and how much is your deductible/how much out of pocket? If you live in apartment, are you required to own renter’s insurance? (If you don’t have renter’s insurance, you really should get some!) What are you responsible for?
- As horrible as it might be to think about it, do you (and your family members) have a will in place should there be a catastrophic disaster?
Tough questions right? While it is unpleasant to think about these things, the pleasantries now will pale in comparison to the panic attack that could ensure during an emergency. Also consider what if you had a non-emergency, say someone one digs something up or takes a out a pole/traffic light? Are you prepared for that brief inconvenience that could still impact your daily life?
We recently had Hurricane Hermine stop by and make a visit. Although Florida definitely got the brunt of it, we got a lot of wind and a fair bit of rain (no flooding here though! Not like October 2015!) We of course had all kinds of warnings and watches (only 9 of them – hurricane, tropical storm, tornado, rip tide, marine advisory for Charleston Harbor). The hotel even offered to put me up for the night since I had to work 7-3pm the next morning when we were expecting our fair share of it. While we weren’t expecting anything crazy, we still had to prepare for if we lost power at the apartment or if I couldn’t make it to work due to wind and rain.
Around the same time, our apartment had a water leak. Apparently between the 3rd floor and ours, the AC drain line got clogged and the tray holding our water heater overflowed onto the carpet (nothing too damaging), and we had soggy carpet for 4 days + frustration as it took 4 days for maintenance to clean up, come back clean up again, come back, find the original problem and clean up again. I will say though, the blowers were very nice and once the clog was cleared, it got the water dried pretty quickly.
So, what to do, what to do?
Take another look at the questions I asked earlier. What could you answer right now? What could you answer pretty quick if you could ask someone (say your parents or other family members)? What do you have no idea on (for example, I have no idea if Charleston has a siren system or not)? Also, take an inventory of what you have and what you need. Depending on the area where you live, you may need different things (for example, I have no idea for a snow shovel). To help you out with this, check out Taylor over at Household 101 . She offers GREAT checklists and tips for such things. She has all kinds of things for you to create a Household Binder l. I’ve never thought of having one before, but it is amazing. She has a 3 day emergency checklist and a car emergency checklist that you should definitely check out, print and use.
While you’re at it, think about your car. Having a car emergency will probably be more common to have than a disaster, but just as equally important. Make sure that your insurance policies are current, up to date and knowing what you’re covered for is probably a good first step. Knowing what warranties and extras you have for your card (for example Road Hazard for your tires) is helpful. What’s your policy for your windshield? Are you fully covered in case it shatters or gets cracked? All information should be kept handy like the glovebox. Check out the inventory in your car, making sure you’re prepared and stocked up. Things I keep in my car: spare tire, jack, tire iron, jumper cables, wrench, screwdriver, pliers, other tools, twine, tarp, water, oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze/coolant, towels/rags, hex key (especially for pesky license tags). You can find kits like these at car supply stores or even stores like Walmart and Target (one is called Justin Case, cute right?)
Keep in mind having your handy mechanic/shop(s) in your kit or in the glovebox near should you need to make a call. Also keep in mind having some Tow truck companies numbers handy. I’m not suggesting just pick random ones out of the Yellow Pages. I would ask family and friends for their recommendation or ask your mechanic/shop who they use or recommend. Check into if your insurance company offers tow truck services that you could add on for a few bucks. However, make sure you know how far they’re go and how much it’ll be afterwards. I currently am with State Farm under my parent’s insurance and I have used the towing services a couple times. Bummer thing is, they only cover 14 miles and then it costs me. Luckily I’ve never broken down far from either my house, apartment or the shop wear my dad works for. Sometimes, depending on how busy the tow company is, it might be 30 minutes or a couple hours (I’ve waited for 3 hours before – I could have finished my Walmart trip, walked to the apartment and back to the car that particular day haha).
I hope that this has been insightful for you and reflective instead of scaring you. Making sure that you’re prepared now will save you time, money and heartache in the future. Check out what you have and what you need. Ask your family, friends, mechanic/shop, car dealer if applicable and insurance companies questions. Better safe than sorry, be prepared.
Keep checking back with the blog as this month I’ll be covering being prepared for different life things: including technology, health, blogging and finances. Find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, the Facebook page and my Facebook group, Shine Bright. Shoot me an email with any questions, tips, ideas or feedback that you have. I’d love to learn from you and your experiences.
How well are you prepared?
Continue shining bright