Well of course everyone cares about being prepared for the next time they don’t have food or electricity or drinkable water or access to life-sustaining medications or a working toilet. Right? Who wouldn’t care about that stuff? Not caring about your own emergency preparedness would be the equivalent of your left brachial artery being severed, watching your blood spurt to the ground, thinking, “Gee, I really ought to do something about that,” or even worse – simply denying you even have a problem. “Tis but a scratch – It’s just a flesh wound!” (forgive the Monty Python humor in the following video, but it makes the point!)
Or would it?
It all comes down to the difference between a need and a requirement. Anyone reading these words would agree that humans have a need for water. However, most often water only makes it to the requirement column when you don’t have any. “Yes, I agreed back when, that we all have a need for water, but now that I don’t have any, I require it for survival!”
So what shifts a line item from the needs column to the requirements column on our individual list of values? From a reactionary perspective, the catalyst for this critical shift is typically some type of crisis. I know I need light, but now that the electricity is out and I can’t see my hand in front of my face, I require a candle or a flashlight or a chemical light stick or a match or something to help me navigate these creaky, switch-back stairs from the second floor of my house without crashing to the bottom and severing my spinal cord.
The proactive approach requires intellectual thought transforming into action. I recognize I need a flashlight at the top of my staircase. That which we focus upon, gets results. Consequently, I focus on that need until it becomes an action. Lights go out, I simply reach for the flashlight now sitting in its assigned place at the top of the stairs. No cervical spinal damage incurred.
Unfortunately, there sometimes exists a significant barrier between the reactionary approach and taking a proactive stance. Walking through this barrier is akin to slogging through a northern Canadian river of molasses in January. This barrier is called Apathy and it flows ever so slowly and insidiously amongst millions of people around the world when it comes to the subject of emergency preparedness.
Definition of apathy? Webster says it's "a lack of interest or concern". So, you have to ask yourself, do I suffer from apathy? Most likely everyone experiences apathy toward some aspect of their existence. I, personally, couldn't care less if the windows in our living room have purple curtains with pink polka dots or the frilly, green, sheer things which hang there today. (My wife, however, feels quite differently and has no apathy toward the subject whatsoever).
Here's the real question: “Am I apathetic toward what I consider to be the most important values in my life?” The knee-jerk answer might be, "Absolutely not! If it's truly that important to me, I'm certainly not apathetic about it!"
I think we can all agree - the physical well-being of ourselves, our families, and even our employees ranks pretty high on the scale of importance. Truly these line items constitute needs. So, what's the status on your individual, family, or business's 72-hour emergency supplies? Do you have adequate stores of food, water, medications, sanitation requirements, emergency lighting, and other essentials of life? Are your reserves fully stocked? Refreshed as required? Ready for life's inevitable contingencies? Do you have enough food at home to last a week? A month? How about 3 months? Enough drinkable water to last the same?
So. If you couldn’t respond to our pop quiz with emphatic YES answers, then you must be found guilty, my friend. Guilty of having a need, but not a requirement. Guilty of getting stuck crossing the Great River of Apathy. But do not despair! This guilty sentence does not carry irreversible consequences. Not if you act now (at risk of sounding like an infomercial). And act you must. Emergencies are happening all around us every single minute of every single day. Just because your number hasn’t come up… well, you know the rest.
How do you successfully cross the Great River of Apathy to shift your needs into requirements? Keep moving! If you don’t have 3 month’s worth of emergency food, how about simply start with setting aside a single day’s worth? Don’t know what to store? Heck, that’s what we do here at East Coast Preppers! Of course we’d love for us to be your resource, but if not – find another option.
So allow me to conclude this blog post with the Latin phrase FACTA NON VERBA. It means “Deeds, not words”. It is truly a singular goal of ours to educate people in the dangers of standing still in the Great River of Apathy when it comes to emergency preparedness. The single most important resource in achieving self-reliance is the individual. Let us all work together as individuals to ensure that we are not left standing still in the middle of the river and inevitably drowning in Apathy.