What do you fear?
How does one chase fear away?
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
He was a great man, President of the United States even; so why is it so hard for us to use this statement and get to things that we know needs to be done; yet we still procrastinate that one thing? One reason is fear. Different kinds of fear; we fear success, we fear appearing to be smart, we fear appearing to be 'fanatical' in some cases; there are many types and levels to fear. Why do we allow 'fear' to paralyze us so? We all want to be successful and smart; and well, we have to want to be prepared for anything that comes our way in order to limit any ill effects that might challenge us in any given situation, right? So you ask, what can one do to prepare? We obviously don't know what we'll come up against on a daily basis, so how can we prepare?
I'm glad you thought that question. Many have thought about this very topic and have laid out some things you personally can do in order to prepare in many different ways; some cost some money to accomplish while still others are those things that don't cost a penny, just time. First we'll talk about the things that will cost some money to help you become more prepared, but one does not need to do it all in one fell swoop; no, you can start little by little and stocking it away in whatever corners and spare space you have in order to maximize your supplies and personal comfort. Later, I will post some sites to help you with your planning. After we talk about the cost-incurring part of planning, we'll get into the part that does not cost but time to help you prepare.
Small ways in which you can prepare for emergencies is to ensure you have some of the basics. For instance, extra blankets and water and flashlights, simple but they can help in a short need situation, such as when the power goes out and its cold. These things can be procured from any second hand store or thrift shop to have those essential 'extras' on hand. Next, you can buy a few at a time extra cans of food or dried goods and store them away, though some things you'll want to use and replace after awhile as their shelf-life won't be forever. But this will get you into the practice of grabbing a few extra's to have on hand in the event that you need them when you least expect to, so don't hesitate to peruse the shopping deals and grab some extras. You just might have fun doing so as well, sort of like a treasure hunt, only for emergency preparedness!! Other supplies you'll want to make sure you also acquire are things like first aid, personal supplies, things that don't necessarily need electricity etc. When buying your food supplies, make sure that you get things you'll actually eat or consume. This will make this experience a much more fulfilling one as well as successful. Now for the 'big ticket' items. These you may have to save up for, but in the end you will be glad that you did! Also, the sense of accomplishment alone is empowering and will help lessen the fear of 'what will happen if [ ___ ] occurs?', you'll be more confident that you are as prepared as you possibly can be! The point here is to GET STARTED! Don't wait until you think you can handle huge chunks at a time, do it now! You'll be surprised at how fast you can accumulate supplies and preparation materials. Have fun with this, make it a project for the whole family if that is your station in life; if you are single or other situation, there are things you still can do in smaller ways to make sure you are personally prepared.
Now for the things you can do to prepare and plan that does not cost anything but time. If you are like me, and like to know things, this will be the fun part! Get to know your geological area as well as you can. Elevations, where things are kept for emergencies in your community, things of this nature. Learn who to talk to or report to in the event of an emergency; are there any religious or community groups that have resources that you'll need to know about. Construct an escape plan should that be necessary. Figure out who and where those loved ones are that you'll need to contact and how, should the event arise, so that you will be able to do so. Get to know your neighbors as much as possible so that you know what their personal attitudes and beliefs are regarding different things in this area. Making sure you are aware of those things that immediately affect your safety and well-being can mean the difference between life or death and your immediate survival of a natural disaster OR even those things that aren't natural but are still 'devastating'. Things such as a loss of a job, whether by 'downsizing' or other reason, you never know when you'll be without your normal resources for an extended period of time. Times when you can't just hop in your car or other mode of transportation and go to the local store or what have you and get the things you need for your daily sustaining. Maybe an extended illness prevents you (or the family bread-winner) from working. It starts to affect your ability to obtain those things that sustain your normal and comfortable lifestyle to a point where you have nothing to eat or you are not properly able to obtain fresh clothing when the ones you've been wearing day-in and day-out with the normal washing in between start to wear them out.
One other thing you can do to prepare that does not cost anything but time. Preparing mentally and emotionally for things that could happen. Self-evaluate what it is you need to do to be strong in the event that something like what we've seen already happen in the recent past occurs suddenly. What would be your 'giving' point? What could you do to ensure that you are able to handle whatever comes? One thing I think would definitely put you ahead of the game is everything that has been discussed already. Just starting to have some of that in place would put most at ease because you know that some of what you would be worried about would be done already. The rest is a given. We all know we'll worry about those that aren't in our immediate proximity. So give yourself a little break on that part. If you talk to those you care about and figure out some form of personal plan on how you will deal with anything that comes up by way of natural or otherwise types of disasters or other things that keep you from living your life the way you wish; fear will have to definitely take a back seat to most anything. It will be diminished and you will be able to feel more confident in your accomplishments.