Sunday, May 13, 2012

This is not an emergency.

Emergencies are times of action, where you respond to a specific threat. No time for thinking, priorities, or negotiation, just action. But now, before any emergency, is when you can prepare.
First things first: Avoid emergencies. Some advice from a self-defence instructor applies here: Don't be there when the fight happens, then you won't get hurt.
Strangely, the more prepared you are for emergencies, the less likely you are to encounter one.
Communicate with your tribe ahead of time about potential issues and solutions.
The communication in advance about what to do in an emergency can be vital when communication is cut off. 'Hey everybody, if the house is on fire, get out and meet by the mailbox' can eliminate a lot of uncertainty.
If the only vehicle available to get someone to a hospital in an emergency has a key stashed in the toolbox, make sure several people know about it.
If you're hiking, tell people where you're going and when you're going to be back, and then let them know you got back safely. If you don't return, they're your best shot at rescue.
Some emergencies are unavoidable so you'd best be ready, because the only time you can prepare for emergencies is in advance.
There are two basic kinds of solutions: skills and resources.
In an health emergency the skills that come with first-aid training are essential for handling the emergency successfully. Consider some first-aid training, and be ready to call an ambulance.
If you find yourself in a self-defence situation, you need the skills now, not in a few minutes.
Some problems don't need skills, they need resources. Put together a household emergency kit that could keep you going in the house without power, heat, water and television for at least 72 hours.
Details for what a good kit needs are available at What a better way to celebrate Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6-12) than by getting a kit together with your family.
Some emergencies can only be fixed with a specific resource: money. Broken furnace? Money. Lost your job? Money. Cellphone fell in the lake? Money. Get at least $1000 into an emergency fund as soon as possible, then grow it until you can handle anything life throws at you.
Practice the skills you'll need, communicate in advance and stash the resources to endure an emergency. Hopefully it won't be necessary but if it is you'll be glad you're ready. In the meantime, enjoy the peace of mind.
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