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Honesty – The Cornerstone of Effective Preparedness Planning

By Denis Korn –

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I have written a great deal on preparedness planning on this blog.  I have given both general and specific information on the preparedness process – tips – guidelines – action steps – and numerous crucial questions I feel are essential for proper planning.  There is still an area I believe that should be emphasized and pointed out as one plans for the unexpected.  As the current political, social, economic, spiritual, and natural earth changes concerns intensify, I see more folks taking emergency preparedness more seriously.  While this is a very good state of affairs, it also brings into focus the question of personal honesty – being honest with yourself.

What you may ask do I mean by personal honesty as it relates to preparedness planning?  It is simply this: Are you being honest with yourself when you assess the impacts of the scenarios you are preparing for on your daily life, yourself and your families emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health and well being? Are you avoiding or glossing over a critical concern?

Many people may be preparing for a relatively minor emergency such as the loss of electricity, flooding, bridge outage, or other local inconveniences.  Other scenarios run the gamut from short term to very long term.  Long term scenarios mean serious life style changes and potentially dangerous unknown situations.  Honesty hits home when your anticipated circumstances become serious and difficult to articulate, visualize, or embrace.  The importance of an honest answer to the first two essential questions of my article The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning cannot be over emphasized.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?  (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough).  Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?  Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?  Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?  How would your scenarios impact you or your families daily routine?  Work or livelihood?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question.  Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.

I have talked to many people who have a sincere desire to be prudent and prepared, and who have failed to do their due diligence and honestly assess whether their plans and provisions adequately match their anticipated scenarios.  Jumping on the bandwagon and settling for what appears to be OK supplies, kits, food, medical, etc. just because a few friends have done it, or the popular radio talk show host advertises it, or the salesman sure seemed like he knew what he was talking about, or the website looked pretty slick – and those prices – it looks as if they’re just giving those products away — this is not being honest with yourself!  You are REACTING not EVALUATING! (For a more in depth look at this topic see my post Barriers to Critical Thinking).  I am well aware of the difficulty of having to look at what life would be like during a prolonged or serious disaster.  While it is often not easy – it should be self-evident that reflection on the realities during an emergency is a necessity.

I want to encourage you to be honest in the answering of the above questions and in answering all the questions in The 12 Crucial Questions article.  Sincere honesty brings sincere peace of mind.

Another recommended and important article is: Beginning and Improving Preparedness Planning.

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