How To Beat the
Next "Real Life" Crisis
My husband is flying around the galaxy delivering gold, food, and sundries to space stations on other worlds. Yes, he's playing an XBox game called, Elite Dangerous. He wants me to learn it and play with him, but I can't bring myself to get interested — it's too much like REAL life — except that it takes place in space. With unsavory characters like pirates, bounty hunters, federales (galaxy police), and political factions, and work to earn money — nope, not interested.
But lately, real life is . . . well . . . UNREAL! With world powers rattling swords, hurricanes, forest fires, predictions of a global market crash, bank failures, and countries defaulting on their debts, I can understand my husband's (or anyone's) desire to escape into a pretend-life game that he can easily leave if he chooses.
In "real life" we don't get to choose our crises.
We don't get to choose NOT to have setbacks and crises in our lives either. They come unannounced and uncaring without our permission.
As a hurricane was bearing down on Florida, one vacationer described the chaos:
"Restaurants are closing. Shops are being boarded up. The streets are almost deserted. Men are locking up their wives and daughters. Lines are forming at gas stations. The convenience stores are being cleaned out. Even the banks are running out of cash. We're evacuating right now."
In any kind of disaster situation, those who fail to prepare – or wait too long to prepare – will be the most vulnerable.
We just can't know when a freak weather event or natural disaster or man-made disaster or financial meltdown might adversely affect any of us, anywhere in the world.
Some people think having a food stockpile ready for a natural disaster, economic downturn or, worse yet, a terrorist attack is something they can put off for "someday" or "never".
I'd rather be ready. Wouldn't you?
Regardless of where you live, you will need these basics:
And what about a financial emergency? The banking system is fragile and vulnerable to any number of threats, including cyber attacks. If banks close and ATMs become inaccessible, you’ll be glad you kept an emergency cash stash. Include some gold, silver or pre-1965 coins in your emergency fund.
So, are you ready? Or preparing?
The likely answer for most of us is . . . yes . . .well kind of . . . mostly.
It's not uncommon to panic a little — or a lot — when an earthquake rattles your house, or a hurricane is coming in a few hours, or worse, a cyber attack or EMP or CME happens. The best way to be ready is to pre-plan with an ongoing "to-do list", plus a "grid down" plan of what to do if a critical event happens.
Everyone's circumstances are different, so an earthquake in my area may never happen in yours, but I'll share my to-do list just to get you started.
To Do List — Weekly and/or Monthly
My husband put together this "grid down" plan written specifically in the event of any type of electrical outage which will take the guesswork out of "what do we do first".
Planning ahead and having it in writing will help us avoid panicking and wondering what to do next.
Feel free to print the list below:
First Day "Grid Down" Plan
- Have plenty of flashlights located in easy-to-reach places.
- Locate all family members; ensure the safety of all; concentrate all family members in a currently safe area of the house.
- Instruct all family members not to use the toilets in any way. Do not flush them. Have your family members cover each toilet with a large plastic trash bag. Use the emergency toilet and sanitation supplies.
- Dress appropriate for the current weather.
- Give one of your family members the survival radio. Instruct them to start scanning for information about the disaster.
- If you have any non-flame emergency lights (battery run or solar), turn them on and place them where you and others can safely navigate the house. Close all curtains and blinds.
- Instruct your family members to install the WaterBobs in every bathtub and fill them to the top.
- Listen to what is happening outside your home. Peek out your windows to survey the situation.
- Inspect every part of your home and attached garage to ascertain its integrity. Seal off any room that is compromised (broken window, cracked wall, etc.).
- Natural Gas: Inspect your natural gas line(s) inside the home carefully for leaks (sulphur smell). If there are leaks, you must turn off the flow of gas coming into your home from outside your house.
- Electricity: Inspect the electrical connections in and around your breaker box. Inspect the breakers. If breakers are thrown, reset them. If they re-throw, make certain they are securely turned off. If there are sparks in your home, turn the main breaker off. If there is no electricity, turn the main breakers off.
- Water: If water is leaking inside or into your home, turn off the water at the connection to the city water main. It is usually in the basement.
- Water Heater: Turn the thermostat to “Off”.
- If you have weapons: Load the shotgun but do not chamber a round. Gather all handguns (loaded) and ensure they are safely and readily accessible, safeties off. Tell all family members where the firearms are located and that they are loaded.
- Cautiously and armed, surreptitiously leave the interior of your home. Quietly evaluate your surroundings and the people around you.
- Inspect the exterior of your home, your fence, your yard, and the neighborhood around you. Don't use a flashlight unless you have to.
- Natural Gas: Go to your gas meter. If you smell gas, take a crescent wrench and turn the valve carrying gas into your home to the off position.
So how can we beat the next "real life" crisis? The answer is always — be ready, not scared!
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