Darren Blair, Cove Leader-Press newspaper (https://www.coveleaderpress.com/)

Pop quiz.

You’re preparing for work one morning when you get a group text message on your phone… a message sent to you and quite literally everyone else who works at the company you do. Seems some shenanigans have gone down behind the scenes and your company has functionally ceased to exist because of them. You will each be contacted individually as to when you can come into the office to pick up your final paycheck and your personal effects, as you will do so under escort.

You have whatever money is in the bank right now, your final paycheck, and whatever food and assets you have at your residence to hold you over until you either get a new job or get on some form of assistance.

How long will you be able to get by on that?

Sounds like an incredible premise, doesn’t it? I’m sure that the employees at Enron, Arthur Andersen, Dreamwave Productions, FTX, or any number of other such businesses would think otherwise. Gnarly things happened behind the scenes, the company went kaput, and the employees were left holding the bag.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the core of what is known as “emergency preparedness”. Now, the term may seem a bit loaded, but what it comes down to is quite simple. It’s where you sit down and ask yourself “what are some of the more plausible emergency scenarios I could run into, and how prepared am I to handle them?”. In a case like the above example, the “emergency” to be prepared for is “getting laid off”. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Do you have a reserves in place? Do you have a supply of food and other necessities on hand to get by? Et cetra.

None of this is about “living in fear” or any bit flung about by folks who disregard the importance of having a plan. Rather, it’s about sensibly preparing for likely situations so that if they happen you’re ready. For example, in my part of Texas tornadoes are a real threat, and so the public schools all make sure to teach children what to watch out for and how to protect themselves and their families if one should form; tornado drills are sometimes held to reinforce this in case a tornado happens while class is in session.

Nor does it mean that one should go into debt preparing for every possible contingency, as this is actually the *opposite* of being prepared. In fact, there are Facebook groups and other social media hangouts where people help each other gather supplies and make plans on the cheap. Close-out sale on holiday-themed pancake mix?

Oh yeah…

The ultimate goal is to ensure that if things go sideways, you and yours are safe and taken care of. There are plenty of resources to help you get started, such as the information provided by the American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html . Many government bodies in the United States also have such information handy. All it comes down to folks is a few minutes of time each day, and perhaps a few dollars per week as you can swing it in order to have that peace of mind. And that’s before such precautions as proper first aid training from a certified instructor, which is always a good idea. Even ensuring that your personal vehicle is in good working condition can make a difference.

Be safe everyone, but also be sensible and don’t be afraid.


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