From Howie B
September is National Preparedness Month. Are you ready? Ready for what is a great question. Yes, you should have some basic supplies in your home. These items include bottled water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, radio, First aid kit, family member’s medications, etc. A complete list is available athttp://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/. You should also have a few hardware items such as duct tape, plastic, a wrench, etc. But the real needs in an emergency are not the physical items – it is your mental fitness and capacity to assess, act and cope.
Since we do not know if this emergency has our family physically together or not, or is an emergency about just one member such as an accident, or overly encompassing emergency similar to Katrina, we need to be prepared for any circumstance, mentally. What is needed is a strong mental capacity of each person to cope with whatever unknown situation is presented.
Every day we should be looking to improve our personal skills and those of the members of our family. Each of us should learn to be more independent, think logically, assesses calmly, be clear and concise communicators, be good listeners; but above all we need to be action oriented.
Remember, problems of any size rarely, close to never, resolve themselves. They need our interaction. The first interaction should be to avoid the problem if possible. Should the problem exist and not be avoided or avoidable, take the appropriate time, as short as possible, to calmly and unemotionally assess it. What caused it? What will resolve it in the immediate? What will resolve it for the long haul and not have it reoccur? Next, plan how to resolve it. Who do you need to contact for assistance or to just communicate the situation? Now go resolve it!
This critical thinking process that you would use in a simple situation, such as your car breaking down on a highway or you getting violently ill when you are alone, is the same process that you would use in any larger or family emergency. The questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? all should be asked as you calmly assess the situation. That will help you come to the appropriate decisions to resolve the circumstance.
The key to being prepared is personal development skills. No matter your age, your finances or your family size, you need to make personal improvement a priority. You will be better prepared for any emergency and your life will be easier with less unnecessary drama. We can never be too prepared.
Five Important Things to Assist in your Family Preparedness
1. 1. Communicate with your family about different types of emergencies and have a plan and a contingency plan if the plan is not executable. Where will you meet, where do you store the emergency supplies, who do you need to contact, etc.
2. 2. Periodically modify, as your family circumstances change, and review your plan with everyone in your family and some extended family if they are involved, such as the safe meeting place if your home is not available or part of the plan.
3. 3. Teach everyone in your family to be logical critical thinkers with good communication skills. Play games; play with if scenarios and have periodic conversations about how others handled emergencies in the news and what they did well and not so well. The emergency we are preparing for may be nothing like a previous emergency that we have never personally experienced; we just don’t know!
4. 4. Have a few dollars of cash set aside for every member of your family in secure easy accessible place in your home. If power goes out in a large area credit card equipment and ATM machines will be inoperable and limit your access to goods, services and cash.
5. 5. Consider others beyond your immediate nuclear family. Your elderly neighbor, your pets, your close co-workers, your community.
FACTOID: The first U. S. Presidential election was held in 1788 where George Washington won 100% of the vote, a total of only 38,818. In 2008 31.1 million votes were cast.
Are you better off then you were four years ago? Probably not. Is it time to change quarterbacks? Exercise your vote on election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Also vote against questions 7 which is a large tax break for casino operators only.
Enjoy the beautiful fall colors, the cooler temperatures and the end of year holidays.