1) Awareness - The first key is awareness, because without awareness, you will never even begin to prepare. Let's face it, most people just go about living their lives as if nothing bad will ever happen. They simply don't want to think about it (too depressing, too scary), or don't want to confront unpleasant possibilities (too hard). If they had a motto, it would be "Ignorance is Bliss." They just want to go through life playing Doodle Jump on their IPhone (until something bad happens that their not prepared for, and they are left wondering when the government help will get there.)
I'm going to assume, since you are reading this article, that you are at least somewhat aware, putting you ahead of 80% of your fellow citizens. But you may know others who aren't awake. You may have even tried to talk to them and wake them up. Most likely, you failed, They simply don't want to here it. But don't give up. There is still hope. Here are some tips for talking to them about preparedness without upsetting them or turning them off to the subject.
Here's what not to do:
1- Avoid too much doom-and-gloom.
2- Avoid jargon. acronyms and "military" talk.
3- Avoid politics as much as possible.
4- Put away the tin-foil hat.
5- Don't nag.
Here is what to do:
1- Adopt a conversational tone.
2- Emphasize building security and safety.
3- Use personal experiences & real-life events.
4- Remain calm.
5- Use humor.
Still having trouble getting a spouse or friend to "wake up" to the potential dangers all around us and the need to prepare for those dangers? Survivor Jane has written a wonderful book that explains things in a non-threatening, non-agressive, non-paranoid, non-technical, and non-intimadating way: What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How To Go From Completely Clueless To Totally Prepared.
2) Self-Reliance - One of my favorite subjects, and I've written a number of articles on it. My take on self-reliance boils down to these points:
- Assume responsibility for your own life.
- Take the blame for your own life.
- Be informed.
- Know where your going.
- Make your own decisions.
- Learn skills.
- Gain experience.
Self-reliance doesn't come naturally, anymore. It isn't taught in our schools, nor is it encouraged in our pop culture. In fact, the opposite is true. Personal responsibility and accountability are not politically correct virtues, and if you bring it up, you will likely be accused of being unfair at best, or bigoted at worst. Self-reliance is thought of as selfish or anti-social by many folks today, and even is mistrusted by government authorities (they want you reliant on them, not yourself).
But, self-reliance is not anti-social or selfish. It does not mean shutting yourself off from your friends or community. It certainly doesn't mean heading for the hills and hiding, heavily armed, in a secret compound until after some dread doomsday comes to pass.
If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don't say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.
Likewise, we will be of little help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance may be one of the most generous things you can do.
The Bottom Line: If you are aware, and if you have built self-reliance, then you'll most probably will be okay, come what may...
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