An Everyman's Philosophy

This site's title roughly translates from Latin as "be prepared". The reality is that "being prepared" is something we ascribe to all of our lives in one form or another. We send our children off to school so that they may "be prepared" to earn a living, we save for retirement so that we may "be prepared" to have a reasonably comfortable life. From cradle to grave we prepare in one way or another for what life may throw at us. Why should a person that thinks rationally about scenarios that might endanger their families and loved one be labeled with dirty words?

We know that power outages occur, natural disasters happen and we can look daily at our economy as ask "will it really get worse"? I invite you to join me on a journey that asks questions and seeks knowledge. The questions pertain to risk and preparation for that risk that one is willing to commit to in their personal life - the WHAT. The answers to these questions relate to the steps you are willing to take to mitigate those risks - the WHY. The solutions to this all is the HOW.

A prepared mind is the most powerful tangible tool available to mankind when faced with uncertainties. Faith in God and his abundant Grace have a place, an important place in our lives.  I believe, however, that even God often favors the prepared. It is the whole principle of us doing for ourselves that which we should do.

We all prepare, in one way or another for things that are to come in our life. Why should preparing for a myriad of man-made or natural disasters be any different?

It is impossible to deny the possibility of certain events occurring in the future. Hurricanes and earthquakes happen – it is a matter of when, where and what the extent of the damage is. Man-made disasters that displace populations happen and will continue to happen. These and many other conceivable events that we KNOW for a fact will occur are reasons to prepare. Any event that has the capability of displacing you and your family has the potential to place you in danger.

What of other events, items that know occur occasionally but we cannot be certain that they will occur in our lifetime? Economic depressions occur; the US has suffered two in its history. Large asteroids fall from the sky, this has occurred a hand full of times the history of the Earth. Diseases mutate and become deadly – this occurs every two to three hundred years. The list could go on.

What of everyday survival and preparations? The likelihood of being raped, mugged, stabbed, or shot is still pretty low in the United States – but it happens. The chance that someone will kick in your door and invade your home with you and your family present is small but it happens. Failure to prepare for these events is essentially ensuring that if you are an unlucky statistic the event will go badly.

People fail to prepare, even based upon know facts of imminent events based upon a few reasons. Perhaps they are willing to play the percentages and assume that NOTHING bad will ever happen to them. Maybe they assume the government will take care of them, police up bad guys and provide for them if and when they are forced to relocate. Finances might play a part in the decision to ignore thinking of these things; many people assume it costs a lot to “be prepared”. Lastly, it is possible they want to avoid the stigma of being a “prepared nut”.

The government has proven that it cannot offer solid protection to you in all of the scenarios listed above. During Katrina government the government response was best described as awful; nobody in their right mind wants to intentionally become a refugee wholly dependent upon the government for support. The government never has been and never will be able to fend off the full effects of a depression. It is certainly also incapable of protecting your personal safety at all times and in all places. Faith in the government to see one through such events is simply misplaced.

To the rational mind the question of “should one prepare” is simply the wrong question. The better question is “what should one prepare for and how”.

A rational conclusion requires a rational method of observing facts and making conclusions. The Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) offers some utility in this regard – specifically in analyzing just how much preparation and for what is appropriate.

Using this model, we will define the enemy as any person or event that has the potential to cause you harm. In determining the reasonableness of preparing for any conceivable event we will look at the likelihood of an event occurring.

Beyond the realm of facts and relatively predictable events we are left only with beliefs. Some may believe the world will end in December of 2012 but this is not supported by sufficient facts. Thus our philosophy of “Everyman’s Preparedness” does not address such scenarios.

Our philosophy of everyman’s preparedness deals with everyday and likely events and practical steps toward mitigating the risk of those events.

Below is a list our possible enemies from most likely to least likely (and of course this is location dependant for you and must here be general in nature)

  • Car accident/breakdown
  • Medical emergency
  • Fire at your home
  • Robbery/assault
  • Natural disaster forcing relocation
  • Man-made disaster forcing relocation
  • Gradual economic downturn resulting in increased unemployment and crime

The true beauty of adopting this stair-stepped approach to preparedness is that almost every action taken to mitigate a risk of a more likely event plays into the required preparations of dealing with a less likely event. There is no wasted effort.

This method also plays well into more serious preparedness efforts if one is inclined to go that route. Anyone that is prepared to survive and asteroid hitting the earth, causing massive destruction, prepared for the events listed above along the way. Thus the "everyman's" philosophy of preparation that I advocate is not extreme, it is not irrational and it is certainly not crazy.

by Barry Clark

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