Firstly, I’d like to say that the people of Japan are and have been in my family’s prayers over this last week. It was a terrible turn of events and I hope that recovery comes quickly.
With all of the turmoil we’ve seen during the last 10 years, I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned. To highlight just a few of the disasters:
- September 11th
- Hurricane Katrina
- 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
- Earth Quake in Haiti
- War in Iraq/Afghanistan
- London Student Riots
- Egyptian Food Riots
- Riots in Iran, Tunisia, and Libya.
- Greece Bankruptcy
- Iceland Bankruptcy
- The US Housing Crisis
- The near US Economic Collapse (I use the word “near” loosely)
And that’s just a few of the many tumultuous things we’ve seen in this past decade. Now, I’m not much of a nuclear bunker, aliens are coming, conspiracy theory jockey, but I do believe greatly in preparedness. Preparedness is not paranoia, although many people might try to convince you otherwise. Preparedness is understanding that the above list of things not only happened, but it is normal.
Yes, the above list of things is nothing exceptional, if you take the decade before this last one, you’d find an equally startling list of things. People in general, are just completely numb to all of this, and they are so used to their safe bubble, that anyone who talks about preparedness needs to be stopped. Preparers pop the safety bubble illusion.
Bad Things Will Happen
As I’ve just said, bad things have happened, and will continue to happen. It will be many of the same events just with different names and locations. You have to get out of your safety bubble, because something bad does wait in your future, we just don’t know what it is and how bad.
It could be a cold, it could be a broken finger, it could be a blizzard, it could be currency failure, or it could be all of the above. Regardless, you should be able to respond confidently to whichever storm you face.
Don’t prepare tomorrow, prepare yesterday. Get what you think you need together, and get it over with. Some things that I would suggest:
- A Decent First Aid Kit.
- A back up food supply. You don’t have to get fancy, but something to keep you from needing to run out to the store once something happens. I feel awful for the people in Japan who had to rush to empty grocery stores.
- Basic first aid knowledge.
- Books. Entertainment is often forgotten about when preparing for something that could be potentially lengthy.
- Insurance. Make sure all of your insurance stuff is in order! It’s easy to put this off until a house fire happens. Then people wonder why they can’t get decent reimbursement for all of the items that got eaten up.
- Protect Important Papers. Being able to prove who you are when there is a lot of turmoil happening around you could be very invaluable.
- Backup cash. When ATMs don’t work, backup cash is amazing to have.
- Bibles and Prayer. I know some people might disagree with me on this, but as far as I’m concerned, these are the most important tools you can have for survival. If your body doesn’t make it, at least your soul can.
Forgive My Tin Foil Hat
I know this topic deviates from my norm, but seeing what has happened in Japan really weighed this on my heart. Preparation in every form is invaluable. It’s important in personal finance, it’s important in school, it’s important at work, and it is important in survival.
You might feel silly having a small stockpile of food, but when hurricanes were blowing around us, neither me nor my wife had to worry about rushing to a hectic store and making it home before they hit. We both had the peace of mind of knowing that we were prepared.
If you, or anyone you love has been affected by any of the events listed, or even events I may have missed, my heart and prayers go out to you.