R. Ann Parris on Readiness “” from A-Aspirin to Z-Zombies


Readiness — A-Aspirin to Z-Zombies by R. Ann Parris

Preppers like to say “plan for the worst” with the goal of being ready for everything, A-Z. Sometimes, though, we hits the ABC’s and then jump right to the end of the alphabet and that “worst”. Sometimes, we haven’t even hit the ABC’s, or not really.

There are whole worlds of things that go wrong in between a 3-14 day utilities outage and walking around in tac gear holding watch and fighting off mobs or living off our wits in the wilds.

(For that matter, with some select exceptions — of typically inhospitable places — there aren’t actually that many wilds even left, not in the Northern Hemisphere and especially the U.S. and Europe.)

“Normal” Preparedness
Almost every nation has emergency and resilience information out there for its public to consume.

The U.S. has multiple agencies pushing preparedness — FEMA, the Red Cross, Ready.gov. So does Canada and Australia. Most states have their own, and sometimes it goes further with private small-scale and regional groups that try to prepare people for disaster. They hit us with weather and storm kits, car kits and maintenance checks, the need to be ready to evacuate down to knowing how we’ll travel and having alternative routes, and even information we need to have accessible without our usual devices. Many insurance agencies get in on those games as well.

Banks, credit unions and investment agencies push preparedness, too.

Whatever we may think about them and the stuff they get away with, those financial agencies will give us some very good advice. For example, the golden nuggets of being able to cover all of our deductibles and 3 days in a hotel at once, and having 30 days if not 3-6 months of base expenses socked back, with at least some portion of that readily accessible.

While many of us consider our tangible goods a form of both wealth/savings and insurance (and they can be), there are limitations.

Some of them won’t actually take effect until after weeks/months of not spending. In many cases, they leave money in the bank or our pockets, they don’t put it there.

Not having to buy groceries can help if a big bill can be put off or paid in installments. It can help if we’re injured and unable to earn the same amounts, in real goods or through paid work. Having supplies stashed back so we don’t have to buy every time a kid or college student comes home with 15 things they need for a project.

However, they don’t cover the deductible of getting a car on the road. They don’t put our family in a hotel/campsite/RV site if we have a housefire or tornado. They don’t pay for travel fuel and prescriptions if somebody’s in the hospital, and depending on how we set them up, they may not be great for travel and crock-pot meals while we’re sitting beside that hospital bed.

If we need money quickly, turning them into cash routinely means taking a loss. Sometimes that loss is only in potential value if we could sell slower, but sometimes we don’t even cover our investment.

Everyday & Practical Preps
Sometimes when we’re preparing for the worst, and only the worst, we forget that disasters occur to us without affecting anybody else or everybody else. Sometimes it’s even hit or miss within the same towns. It’s not always “work sunup to sundown, and sleep if there’s no light”. It wasn’t even before a preponderance electricity and desk jobs.

Most disasters that ruin lives, short term or long, still require us to be washed and able to present ourselves in public or at work, and involve a card or cash for paying for services (not bartered booze). We see them everyday on the news. We also have ample news coverage now of disasters from South America and Europe where a lot of daily life changes, but there are still degrees of social order.

While we’re getting ready for Planet X, Yosemite’s Big Blow, and the Zombies at the end of the alphabet, don’t forget to also be hitting the Aspirin and Band-Aids at the front.

More importantly, don’t forget that that vast majority of the alphabet is in between those two extremes. So are the things that go wrong in our lives.

If we truly want to be ready for everything, we have to spread our focus there, too.