By Denis Korn -
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It is time once again to call attention to a previous post regarding a most essential factor in preparing for emergencies or disasters – HONESTY! This subject is not to be overlooked nor ignored. When you ask yourself the proper and crucial questions and sincerely seek, evaluate and take responsibility for your answers, then you can justifiably celebrate peace of mind.
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 and 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.
- 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?
- 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.
UPDATE – February 2012: Here are questions 3, 4, and 5 from The 12 Critical Questions for further honest evaluation.
3. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing? How about the knowledge of family or friends? What informational resources and references – books and other tangible items – do you personally have or have access to?
4. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends? This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies. What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination? What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?
5. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur? Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also? Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation? Do you have a community support network available? What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute?
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.