Television shows like National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers" are fascinating to watch. I enjoyed learning about the extremely prepared people that were showcased and listening to their philosophies on the future and their individual preparedness plans. However, these individuals are not indicative of the average Joe who just thinks it's important to be prepared for whatever might happen. Many of us still have an underlying belief system that the prepper is that militant mountain man living like a recluse in the woods. Most preppers are not militant mountain men separating themselves from society.
Most of the preppers that I have interviewed are men and women who have a basic philosophy of "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." This preparedness mindset really should fall under the category of both common sense and wisdom. It's sensible to be prepared in life for bad events. It's wise to plan ahead.
None of us have a crystal ball, but all of us have either health insurance, home owner's insurance, car insurance, savings accounts, retirement funds, stocks, bonds, investments, a stocked kitchen or at the very least a winter coat. Most of us do not have all of those items, but we generally have a few. When you purchase or invest in any of those items, you are planning for the future or preparing for risks.
Why would I throw a winter coat into that mix? Why do you purchase a winter coat? You probably purchased the coat with the intention of using it to stay warm "in case" it gets cold. Well, maybe it was already cold when you bought it, but you are still gambling on the fact that the cold will last long enough that you will need this item or you wouldn't waste your money on it.
What I'm getting at is that most all of us plan ahead in certain areas of our lives. Those areas are areas we are trained to plan for. We are required to buy car insurance and so we do. We are required to carry homeowner's insurance and so we do. The reason we are required is simple. There are risks in life. We all face them. We don't usually get to know in advance of all of the risks we will be facing from day to day. But, we face them nonetheless.
Why not evaluate all of the potential risks you might feasibly face and then begin to make plans to prepare for them? It doesn't have to mean that you believe the zombie apocalypse is coming. It won't mean that you have to stock pile and fill every area of your home with gas masks and weapons from the dark ages. But, it will mean that you are wise enough to recognize that you could lose your job tomorrow, that your health could fail, that someone in your family could be involved in an accident or that mother nature could bring catastrophe in the form of unpredictable or even predictable weather.
Being prepared will also mean that you have the common sense necessary to know that you should be prepared for these risks just in case. In future posts, I will address precisely how to start thinking with self-reliance and how to begin being prepared. It's overwhelming in the beginning when you haven't been planning, but getting started is easier than you think and it can be accomplished on a tight budget. You've already been trained to plan for certain risks such as car accidents or hospital stays, the next step is to begin to train yourself to plan for other inherent risks that you may face. Hopefully we will never need to be prepared, but just in case bad stuff happens to you or your family it will give you peace of mind to be prepared and have a plan in place.