Gaye Levy, Contributing Writer
Today, with permission from Todd at the Prepper Website, I am re-producing an open letter to friends, families and others in your circle who have not started to prepare. I discovered this letter after writing about Disaster Denial and, truly, I believe that one of the greatest gifts you can pass on to people you care about is this letter and some guidance in helping them achieve their preparedness goal.
An Open Letter to Family & Friends
I’m writing this letter because I care about you. Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.
Our lives are crazy. We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffer, pay the bills, etc. When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain-numbing pictures flicker across the screen. We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just getting by with the talk around the water cooler.
And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable. We move from one task, event, errand, chore to the other.
The problem is when we look at our lives from a big picture perspective. What if our lives suddenly changed? What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once? How could this happen?
This can easily happen during an emergency. I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency. I’m talking about the big stuff.
The Big Emergency
The big emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks. It can be personal, based in your local community, or worldwide. But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.
The problem is that most people are not prepared for the big one.
Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies? Do you have insurance for medical emergencies? Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency? Do you have other means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available? Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand? Do you have basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?
This is the whole reason for my letter. I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant. It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort. But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency? You’ll be glad you did!
- Make a plan – What are you preparing for? What needs to be done? Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan; that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks. In reality, you will never be “prepared.” You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.” Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc. but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, etc.
- Set goals – When do you want _____ accomplished?
- Get a 3-day supply of food. Then move to a 3-week supply.
- Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc.
- Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses.
- Start a garden.
- Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival.
- Watch some videos on YouTube (search “preparedness”).
- Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping.”
- Get active – go meet your goals!
The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one. It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing the world in the fragile state that it is in. It is always best to approach preparedness within community. You should go it alone only if no one else is willing. Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.
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It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for. But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation. Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse! At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are all tied into each other now. What happens over there, affects us over here.
There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there. One such scenario is an economic collapse. Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.” The fact is that it is way different this time. Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now. And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek. It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it. The concern has gone beyond the tin foil hat people. Just research it!
Please take this letter seriously. If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies. But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!
Once again, a gracious hat tip to the Prepper Website for providing all of us with this letter to share with our friends and family. A copy is available from download at the Backdoor Survival download site.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us. Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!