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By Kellene Bishop

New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP

New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP

Even hardened military personnel are taxed to their maximum ability when functioning as sentries for a structure round the clock. Regardless of how much military or emergency training one has, it’s simply unrealistic to think that anything less than 6 able-bodied adults can manage and protect a home in times of peril. Thus at some point it’s very likely that you will need to accept others into your home after a disaster that debilitates society as you now know it. Think about it. Let’s say that a home is “fully furnished” with a dad and a mom. In addition to the necessity of keeping watch on your home, there’s cooking, repairs, fuel acquisition (wood or otherwise) and ensuring that some semblance of comfort and normalcy are maintained. I dare say that most adults already feel strung out to their maximum capacity. So adding a 24 hour watch to your home with just the two of you either won’t happen or it will occur poorly. Either way that compromises your safety, so you will definitely need help. But who you trust and rely on to be a part of your home/community could be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. As such, this decision could be one of life or death proportions.

The circumstances in which you take individuals in will be a primary consideration for your decisions. For example, if the disaster is related to a pandemic illness, then taking ANYONE in could spread death to your home. If the scenario is one of a nuclear nature, then ensuring that they are clean from fallout would be an important consideration as well so as not to bring any radioactive material into your dwelling or spread to the occupants. Most other scenarios that I can think of at this moment are going to require considerations of a different nature yet it is those that I want to lay out what are the two most important considerations today.

die-hard-movie-posterTrust. Although we usually see these types of scenarios portrayed through Hollywood, there is still merit in appreciating how cowards and incompetents compromise the safety of all others around them. Remember the business executive character in Die Hard who thought he would make a move with the terrorists and benefit his own life? Instead he compromised the lives of at least two other people. How many times have we seen a movie in which the person who was told to “stay put” ends up not following directions and costs others their lives? While these examples have only been seen in the movies, they are realistic portrayals nonetheless. Thus those persons you bring into your home and community must be trustworthy. You must be able to rely on them to have a spine, follow directions, and that they will not compromise your safety and survival. In most instances, the cowardly and bullheaded persons around us are just as dangerous as the “bad guys.”

You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.

You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.

Contribution. Anyone who comes into your community should be capable and willing to make a contribution to the survival of the group as a whole. This can be in the form of vital skills, the ability to help with meals and chores, and also in the form of supplies when possible. They also have to be willing to learn to do things in the way that you’ve created as you’ve pre-planned for your scenario. In other words, you don’t want someone to come in, use up your supplies and then move along. They need to be an asset to you and your community. In a disaster recovery scenario, everyone except the sick and wounded must participate in the safety, well-being and functionality of the community. 

If it were me, I would recommend you making a list now while you’re calm and comfortable as to what you would expect from everyone in your community.  Then plan on enforcing it as much as is realistic in your scenario.

Obviously, being competent enough to judge and enforce what folks to bring into your community will require that YOU are properly prepared to defend and fortify your own. If you’re scared of your own shadow, you won’t exactly be in the best shape to play gatekeeper to your world.

Well, that’s my two cents for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this community matter as well.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

I’ll be blunt. I’ve rewritten the beginning of this article nearly 10 times now trying to lessen its uncomfortable impact. But it’s nearing 1:00pm already and I still haven’t successfully eliminated any discomfort the article may convey. So, I’m just going to say it like it is.

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

If you are smart, you will have a year’s supply of necessities for you and your family stored. But if you are wise, you will have extra supplies on hand for the refugees that you’ll inevitably encounter after a catastrophic event.

When I say refugees, I’m not talking about neighbors and family members who have willfully made no effort to prepare themselves—you know, those who think that they can just make a “Little Red Hen” play when things get tough. Whether you aid those individuals or not is a decision that is a very personal decision only you can make. (I’ve given you my two cents on this matter in a previous article.) When I say refugees, I’m referring to those who are displaced from their homes, their supplies etc. as a result of whatever disaster arises. It’s simply naïve of us to believe that we will only be aiding our own immediate family. Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking.

Scenario 1: A mandatory quarantine order is issued on Thanksgiving weekend while you have a house full of family and friends. No one is permitted to be out on the streets. What you have in your home is your survival and comfort supplies for those who find themselves stranded at a family gathering. (Hmm…for some this is a disaster in and of itself. :)).

Scenario 2: A tornado is heading for your area suddenly as you are out for a Sunday drive. Yes, you have a 72 hour kit in your car and yes, you have a year’s supply at home of necessities. But you are forced to immediately abandon your car and run for the nearest shelter—hopefully a person’s home with a basement. The home survives the impact for reasons only God knows. But the roads, power lines, and communication lines are destroyed in the wake of the tornado. Your automobile is somewhere out there…lying in a heap of course. Will the new friends you’ve made as a result of this disaster even have enough food and water for themselves as well as you sufficient to endure a few days or weeks while FEMA or the National Guard mobilizes for the clean-up and restoration of society?

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

Scenario 3: At 5:35 p.m. on a Friday night, the nation is hit with a fully debilitating electro-magnetic pulse. While you were fortunate enough to be in your home with your family in place, millions of others (some of whom you even know and love) are stranded right where they are. Think about it. Commuters, shoppers, night workers, expectant travelers at the airport, families enjoying dinner at a restaurant, parents and kids at a soccer game, etc. All of these people are stuck right where they are. Very few people have ever even conceived of a plan of what to do in such circumstances, let alone communicated it. So what do these people do? Do they begin traveling by foot? Will rampant crimes of unspeakable natures erupt? Yes. Will places of refuge be critical to the survival of all of these displaced souls? Absolutely.

We cannot assume that we will be comfy in our homes when a disaster hits. As all of you have do doubt experienced, trials never come at convenient times. I suspect that a major disaster such as I’ve described will be no different.

Countless narratives have been shared by the survivors of the World Trade Center attack. These narratives convey an almost super-human amount of charity, kindness, concern, and courage that was conveyed from one person to another as they struggled to escape the horror of the crumbling buildings. Not all who were affected by this event found this Christian side of them, but many, many did. I believe it’s impossible to squelch such an inclination in catastrophic types of situations. So what will you do when you encounter refugees from a disaster and you have nothing to offer them? Send them on their way empty handed? Perhaps you’ll be tempted to give of what little you have at the risk of putting your own family in mortal danger? Of course it’s simply not acceptable for us to shirk our duties to our own families in the name of helping others. Our forever responsibilities are to those whom we have been blessed with as a part of our family nucleus. But having to turn others away doesn’t sound like a comfortable moral dilemma to be in either, right? So, to put it simply, don’t put yourself in that position. Prepare for charitable preparedness now. Do so by asking yourself, “Do I have enough and to spare?” 

It’s not common for us to see real life angels nowadays. But that doesn’t mean that the work of our Lord ceases to go forth. The lack of celestial angels on the earth doesn’t mean that lives are no longer blessed. Rather our lives are blessed through the angelic service of others around us. In order to avoid a stressful moral dilemma, we would do well to be prepared to be charitable as well. Prepared is the key word though—not just assuming that you will give charitably when you are confronted with just the right faces of desperation.

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Even though it’s just my husband and I in our home, why do I have extra square buckets laden with hygiene supplies? Why do I have pans large enough to prepare food for a small army? Why do I keep buying fleece when it gets drastically reduced at the local fabric store? Because I do not intend to live out a disaster with just my husband and I.  I WILL BE FULLY PREPARED TO AID OTHERS WHEN NECESSARY. Can we give any more sincere thanks to a God who blesses us than when we clearly accept some stewardship for the care and concern of others? Are we more convincing in our prayers of gratitude when we actually back it up with actions of charitable preparedness? If I can give them a meal and send them on their way without compromising my own safety and survival then I will do so. If I can provide them with some tools (such as razors, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush) so that they feel more like a human being than an animal, I will do so. Besides, as I’ve pointed out previously, thanks to the use of coupons it costs me nothing anymore to obtain these kinds of items. So what excuse do I really have not to prepare to be charitable and mindful of the needs of others?

I know that this article on charitable preparedness may be a bit stressful to you as you’re probably working hard trying just to get your own needs met. But let me ask you. Do you think you would have some extra Divine assistance getting prepared for your own family if you also had the well-being of others in mind? I’m quite positive you wouldn’t be “doomed” in any way for approaching your preparedness efforts in this manner. I can personally attest that I KNOW that I have been blessed with “enough and to spare” because of this charitable preparedness approach. I have a different level of peace knowing that even if my home is obliterated, I have PROVEN myself willing to aid others in a disastrous scenario. As such I can confidently trust that the Lord will provide for me if ever I find myself a helpless refugee.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Here’s a component of preparedness that few people think about—obtaining the necessary skills now that will aid in the rebuilding of our society in the aftermath.

Picture this. An EMP has wiped out all of our communications and electrical systems. After 6 months, many have died as the result of such a disaster, but what will those who have survived do now that our nation has been thrown back into the 19th century? Sure the wise will be able to survive about a year on what they have stored and prepared for such an event. But what about beyond that? Seeds and farming won’t solve all of our ails. Does anyone know how to work a steam engine anymore? Who will make the shoes? How will we obtain clothes? Who’s got skills such as metal work skills, medical skills, child birth skills, construction skills, weaving skills, etc. We need to prepare for that aftermath as well as the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 

Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com

Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com

This isn’t just about rebuilding a society. This is also about you developing a skill that you can use to provide for your family. Let’s say that you’re a CEO right now. I’m sure the paychecks are great. But in the event you survive a financial collapse or an EMP strike, your paycheck will cease and your skills as a CEO may bring you very little sustenance. People will be forced to only barter for that which they actually NEED, not titles. Your professional customer service skills may provide for your family now, but what kind of skills do you have to back that up with in the rebuilding of a society and providing for others? Even the most advanced computer programming skills will become insignificant if we experience any type of event like I’ve mentioned in previous articles. So think about this, and fix it. Be sure that you are will be a vital part of your community in the long-term aftermath. Start researching and learning these “old fashioned” crafts and trades such as woodworking, leather working, weaving, iron works, steam power, cheese making (yup, that’s what I’m focusing on…hee hee) Who knows. You might really enjoy it!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Sumatra, Indonesia, was hit hard by the December 2005 tsunami. (U.S. Navy photo by Jennifer Rivera.)

Sumatra, Indonesia, was hit hard by the December 2005 tsunami. (U.S. Navy photo by Jennifer Rivera.)

A true disaster brings with it much death and destruction. Whether the disaster is an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or a long-term power outage, preparedness is not about standing up to the impact of such an event. After all, you will die or you won’t. There’s not much you can do against the forces of Mother Nature or a nuclear warhead right in your midst. But what we must prepare against and CAN prepare for is what is called the “Secondary Kill.”

I first heard of the apt term, Secondary Kill, in a novel by George R. Stewart, “Earth Abide.” While I felt this story was slow and generally very unrealistic, I did appreciate the author’s label of what happens to a society after the climax of the disasters impact has been felt. The wave that kills people immediately as a result of the impact of the earthquake or other disaster isn’t something that we can necessary defend against. Rather, our preparedness is for the duration of what we usually do have control over—the aftermath. And yet our history books show time and time again that the aftermath of the disaster does more to take the lives of unprepared citizens than the original disaster itself. This period of time is described by Stewart as the Secondary Kill.

The Spanish Flu photo c/o acenturyofnovember.com

The Spanish Flu photo c/o acenturyofnovember.com

The time of Secondary Kill danger reminds me of what happened to the soldiers who returned home from the Great War, safe and sound, only to find themselves battling the deadly Spanish Flu. Indeed the virus killed more individuals in a handful of months than the entire Great War did in four years! Talk about a Secondary Kill! This is exactly the same type of danger that we are confronted by in the aftermath of any disaster.

After the full impact of a disaster, there is much that can unnecessarily take additional lives. A lack of medical care for something as simple as a cut. A lack of food and water. Violence of desperate individuals. Insufficient clothing and shelter. A lack of heat or fuel. Even severe shock can kill someone as it renders them incapable of making sound decisions for their survival. Ironically, the absence of light can enhance the impact of shock and physical illness as well. These are all common causes of death after a full-fledged disaster during the time of Secondary Kill. And yet, these are all circumstances that we can learn to overcome now—in the comfort of our own homes. Wouldn’t you rather learn and prepare now while your family is well; you can alter your environmental comfort with the flip of a switch, or find the information you seek with just a few keystrokes? Our lack of preparedness now will simply intensify the impact of any disaster which comes at us. And the aftermath may be what kills us. I’d much rather die due to the powerful hand of God in the form of a tornado than die by my own ignorance and disbelief afterwards. Wouldn’t you?

PS: Preparedness Pro is giving away one of my favorite food storage items, Morning Moo’s chocolate and vanilla milk! To enter to win, simply comment on a Preparedness Pro article—any one of our articles on www.preparednesspro.com before Saturday, October 3rd. If you think about saying something, do!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

A lot of folks are e-mailing me or commenting that they don’t buy into all of this “hoopla” about the Swine Flu. My response is that it doesn’t matter whether or not the Swine flu amounts to anything at this moment, you STILL need to prepare for it. The point is that you should be preparing for the Swine Flu, Avian Flu, or Alien flu (yes, I made that up) the same way that you prepare for any other “disaster.” The only significance of the Swine Flu is the matter of timing. Due to the flu season and school starting back up, we MAY be looking at an imminent pandemic threat very soon. The fact of the matter is, you all still have a lot to do to get prepared to survive without all of your niceties that you’re used to. Just because the Swine Flu flurry may be perpetuated unnecessarily doesn’t make it any less of a circumstance to reckon ourselves with. I think that the issue with the Swine Flu being so pervasive in our minds is simply that it’s something that’s a bit more real to us. The timing of it is more visible. No one (who’s willing to admit it anyway) saw 9/11 coming. No one saw the damage that the tsunami was going to bring with it, and no one saw the complete disaster and horrible aftermath that Hurricane Katrina let loose on Louisiana either. Ask yourself, if you had a major earthquake tomorrow, would you be prepared? If your children all came down with some nasty flu and you were quarantined, would you be prepared?

Whether or not the Swine Flu ends up being equivalent to the Spanish Flu of 1918 is irrelevant. Yes, the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of millions of people. Yes, it affected virtually every part of the earth, even the Arctic and remote islands of the Pacific. But its biggest danger was that it came to people who were unaware, unlearned, and unprepared for such an instance. Thus what’s truly important is that you prepare for a pandemic situation like it right now while you can.

Here is a list of items for you that I recommend you have on hand in case you do end up having a patient who’s ill with a highly contagious flu virus. You will want to cordon off a room in your home for the care of such a person in order to avoid the unnecessary spreading of the virus. This list takes into consideration that you may or may not have electricity. (Obviously, this list is not all inclusive)

Items to Cordon Off a Sick Room

  • Air filter                     
  • Fan                                         
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Shower Curtain        
  • Sheets/pillow cases               
  • Heavy blankets          
  • Cot/bed                      
  • Bleach                                    
  • Rubber gloves            
  • Air masks                   
  • Hair ties                                 
  • Shower caps              
  • Thermometers           
  • Multiple sets of sheets                       
  • Ways to keep sick room dark           
  • Washcloths                
  • Portable water bins               
  • Capacity to heat water w/o electricity
  • Towels (paper and cloth)

 Items Necessary for the Comfort of Patient

  • Fabric for bandages (sanitize) 
  • Baby wipes
  • Anti-diarrhea meds
  • Anbesol                                      
  • Listerine
  • Chloraseptic
  • Whiskey
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Water, water, water
  • Salt
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Herbal teas
  • Essential oils
  • Lotions
  • Washcloths
  •  Towels
  • Multiple sets of sheets

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

  • Air flow
  • Visine
  • Hot packs
  • Cold packs 
  • Lavender
  • Garlic/garlic oil
  • Thieves Oil/products
  • Lanacane
  • Pain/fever relievers*
  • Vaporizers (battery operated)
  • Oversized T-shirts 
  • Gowns
  • Vicks Vaporub
  • Icy Hot
  • SOFT facial tissues
  • SOFT toilet paper
  • Gauze            
  • Medical tape
  • Neosporin                           
  • Hot water bottle
  • Straws
  • Allergy meds                          
  • Ensure               
  • Band-aids
  • Q-tips                         
  • Cotton balls 
  • Meal-in-bed tray
  • Eye dropper               
  • Mouth dropper
  • Books
  • Juice                        
  • Baby monitor
  • Pen/notebook for records
  • Anti-bacterial soap    
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Yarrow root
  • Goldenseal                 
  • Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy

    Red sage

  • Raspberry leaves
  • Catnip                                  
  • Oregano oil
  • Sage oil
  • Bragg’s Amino acids                         
  • Scar therapy pads      
  • Hemorrhoid ointment
  • Baby bottle                                        
  • Rubbing alcohol        
  • Bed pans
  • Deodorizer                                         
  • Walker                                   
  • Sleep aids          
  • Crackers                     
  • Cough medicine* (or makings for a hot toddy: 1 T of whiskey, 1 T honey, 1 T lemon, 1 C. of hot water)
  • Pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen)*                     
  • Simple proteins (peanut butter, canned chicken)
  • Pedialyte ( Recipe: 1 liter H2O, 2 T sugar or honey, 1/4 t salt, 1/4 t baking soda)
  • Hot cereals (cream of wheat and oatmeal are best on the stomach)
  • Anti-Nausea treatment (crystallized ginger, chamomile, mint tea, crackers)

*Remember infant versions too

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Ok, here it goes. I’m going to challenge you…nah—perhaps the better word is “DARE” you. In fact, I’m going to DOUBLE DOG DARE YA to take this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge.

food-challengeWant to find out if you are really ready for an emergency? Here’s a genuine challenge for you. Your ability to implement it will say a LOT about your ability to truly survive a real emergency. The Preparedness Pro Food Challenge officially begins August 1st and goes throughout the month of August. During the month I challenge you to go an entire two weeks without going to the grocery store for any food or household supplies. 14 days. No grocery purchases, no household cleaners, no produce. Can you and your family survive? No big deal, perhaps? Yeah. Say that after you’ve done it. Then I will bow to you and call you “The Preparedness Queen/King.”

Now take this seriously. No cheating. Don’t go to a restaurant or get one of those free hot dogs at the furniture store promotion either. If you go to the farmer’s market, you’re cheating. Rely on all of your food and household needs strictly based on what you have available to you right now. Do it the entire 14 days. Don’t cut corners. Don’t rationalize. And for goodness sake, don’t starve your family for 14 days. 🙂

Obviously, a disaster is no respecter of bank account balances, professional positions, or “time of the month.” It’s a true equalizer of all mankind. So, at the end of 14 days, what kind of man or woman will you be? I bet you have no idea just how often you “pick up a little something” at the store.

This challenge is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need to be made harder than it is. The challenge does not require you to go without electricity or any of your other luxuries in life. Just go two whole weeks without going out and buying anything you need for nutrition or household care.

Groceries photo c/o Shannon Steele

Groceries photo c/o Shannon Steele

The key to this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge is to do it without any notice or preplanning. That means that you don’t go out today and buy all of the groceries that you think you might need to last you two weeks. (Although, if I at least get you to do that much, maybe it’s a good thing. 🙂 ) Interestingly enough, I bet that even if you were to go shopping, you would still find yourself struggling. During this challenge I anticipate that you will struggle with what to cook. You will struggle with eating what you have instead of eating what you’re in the mood for. Bottom line, you will be challenged without all of the modern-day pampering we have when it comes to food.

So, can you take this challenge to heart? Can your family endure it without threatening a mutiny? Remember, I’m not challenging you to go without your other comforts of life. You can still watch television. You can still use your running water. You can still use your microwave and all of your other favored kitchen gadgets. Just abstain from the purchase of any kind of grocery or household items for two whole weeks. Prepare your meals any way you want. Ramen noodles? Frozen pizza? Using the microwave? Fine. Then again I would recommend you actually cook real food during this period as well, but I won’t hold you to that. Just don’t bring any additional supplies into your home to sustain you during this two week Preparedness Pro Food Challenge. Pick any 14 day period you want. Get your whole family on board. In fact, invite your friends and extended family to do the challenge with you as well. Come on, it will be a GREAT experiment!

As you accept and experience this challenge, write your comments on our blog. It will help all of our readers see some of the most basic areas of preparedness which they haven’t considered previously. I guarantee there will be some eye opening experiences.

Giveaway with GREAT Prizes! Photo c/o rei.com

Giveaway with GREAT Prizes! Photo c/o rei.com

At the end of August, we’re going to have a drawing for GREAT emergency preparedness giveaway items. We’re going to give away all kinds of preparedness items such as an EZ Sprouter, non-electric hand mixer, solar head lamp, and more. There’s a cluster of some of my favorite emergency preparedness items and I’m excited to give them to some lucky participants! The more times you write your comments on our blog on this topic, the more times your name will be entered in the drawing. We’ll hold the drawing on September 1st and notify all 12 winners! You may win a solar light/radio, private consultation time with me, or you may win a food storage cookbook. But more importantly, you’ll gain invaluable insight into whether or not you’re prepared in this one simple area. Obviously, if you aren’t able to last 2 weeks comfortably, you’re going to have a lot of trouble lasting a year. But what I really hope is that many of you will gain a sense of confidence and peace seeing that you can truly make it if need be. You can be creative with your cooking. You can be independent of our traditional commerce system. And you can successfully troubleshoot as the two weeks progress.

The question is, why wouldn’t you accept the challenge? There will always be excuses. And I can assure you that an emergency never waits until you are completely ready. Life will still have to go on regardless. But I assure you that none of your excuses will hold much water when you consider the invaluable experience you will gain from this. This is only a two week challenge. You get to keep everything else normal in your life. But through this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, you’ll begin to see where the gaps may be. You’ll realize perhaps just how reliant you or your family members may be on the conveniences of our society. Your kids will learn what they are made of. You’ll all learn to think and strategize just a bit differently. If I have a vote, I say heck yeah! Take this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge! You’ll be SO glad you did!

The winners have been drawn! Click here to see if you were one of the 12 winners!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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By Kellene Bishop

I’ve often had the question asked of me, “Why do we need spiritual preparedness for an emergency?”  I also frequently hear requests for a clarification of what I mean by “spiritual preparedness.”  Fortunately spiritual preparedness does not mean you need to have the Bible memorized, nor do you necessarily need to be able to interpret the Book of Revelations.  When I list the ten components of emergency preparedness, I assure you there is a deliberate reason why it’s at the very top of the list.  Bottom line, after all you can do, it may be your only source for survival.  Allow me to explain what I mean by that.

Stress, chaos, confusion - all byproducts of an emergency. Photo c/o stressrelatedillness.com

Stress, chaos, confusion - all byproducts of an emergency. Photo c/o stressrelatedillness.com

I anticipate that in virtually any emergency, chaos, confusion, upheaval, and stress will accompany the scenario.  You could have plenty of food, water, family, and physical comforts, but nothing will be able to take the place of what you have “stored up” spiritually.  If you’re not in the habit of reaching outside of yourself for comfort and peace, the likelihood of you being able to do so successfully in the midst of chaos is unrealistic, and yet I assure you that it will be just as vital as will your food and water.

Spiritual preparedness cannot be accumulated overnight.  It takes diligent and consistent effort.  Just like 1,000 sit ups in one sitting won’t prepare you physically, neither will a periodic drop to your knees in prayer.  In fact, chances are, if you’re not already in the habit of strengthening your spiritual standing, you won’t be likely to take any such efforts in the midst of a disaster.  To me that would make a person just as vulnerable during a disaster as a wounded deer out in the wild of Africa.

Think of it this way.  The children of Israel left the captivity of the Pharaoh with all of their provisions.  They took their clothing, their family, herds, water, seeds, agriculture and construction knowledge, and essentially everything they would need to survive a long trek.  But, when they came upon the edge of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s armies close behind them, could any of these physical provisions save them?  No.  What did save them?  Spiritual preparedness on the part of Moses.  He wasn’t prone to panic and pacing.  Instead he relied on something outside of his own physical abilities.  

I know several individuals who dabble in building model airplanes, train sets, and boats.  I assure you that Noah’s building of the ark had nothing to do with a “little hobby of his.”  He was not a shipbuilder.  He was a spiritually prepared man.  I’m sure it was the result of his spiritual preparedness that he was able to break the news to his wife that her backyard was going to be consumed by a large vessel and hoards of animals, and not a recent “marriage class” he attended.

Five of Them Were Wise by Walter Rane

Five of Them Were Wise by Walter Rane

What made the difference between the 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise virgins?  All 10 of them had vessels in which to hold oil.  All 10 of them fully expected to be granted access to the wedding.  And yet it was the spiritual preparedness that motivated the 5 wise virgins into action to actually fill their vessels with oil.  Didn’t even the 5 foolish virgins have every intention of filling their vessels with oil?  Surely you have the intention of filling your water jugs, your pantries, etc, right?  (What spiritual preparedness causes some to fill their pantry and their water jugs as opposed to others who just let them sit empty?)

In an emergency, situations will arise that we cannot possibly be prepared for otherwise.  Spiritual preparedness is often the only thing which can fill in the gaps of what we can and can’t do.  I find that it enhances my physical preparedness efforts as well, so long as I do all that I can.  Periodically I come up with ideas that I know I have never read in a book or heard of otherwise.  I’m certain that it’s as a result of my efforts to prepare spiritually for tough times ahead. 

spiritual-preparedness-911-from-the-groundI consider spiritual preparedness to be a key component to my “warning system.”  Some call this “women’s intuition”, or a “gut instinct.”  I hope you don’t mind my telling you that I usually refer to it as a “prompting of the Spirit.”  After 9/11 occurred, we heard stories of numerous people who avoided this disaster as a result of their spiritual preparedness coming in handy.  Some avoided getting on the plane.  Some avoided going in to work that day.  Many similar credible stories circulated before and after Hurricane Katrina.  For example, last week as I was heading out of town to teach some classes, I felt an unexplainable sense of angst.  I had no idea what it was attributed to.  Sure I get a bit nervous before teaching a class.  And sure it was a lot of work ahead of me.  But frankly I’m used to that.  As it turned out I felt the urge to ask a friend of mine if she’d like to join me on a road trip.  Surprisingly she did.  We ended up having TONS of people at the training events.  The effort and time that I had anticipated to be the necessary preparation work for the events ended up doubling!  I literally could not have done what I did without her.  (Thank you so much, Vicky!)  This is just a small example of what I mean by spiritual preparedness.  If I was more wrapped up in watching Oprah on TV, or staying busy 24/7 instead of taking time to listen to what’s really going on around me, I assure you I would have been in tears and a big emotional mess.  I’m sure such a state would have given me NO credibility as a “Preparedness Pro.”

Peace Amidst the Chaos in Iran, June 2009 photo c/o time.com

Peace Amidst the Chaos in Iran, June 2009 photo c/o time.com

Take time to pay attention to how you’re feeling.  Take time to be quiet so that you can listen to your instincts.  Take the time to instill habits which bring you a peace that may otherwise be foreign or in short supply in the midst of an emergency.  For those of you who believe in God, I assure you that He does not intend for those who are prepared to be panicked and helpless.  I figure that there’s a darn good reason why He urges us to be prepared.  Peace in the midst of chaos is what makes men great.   I’m certain that this is what He means when He tells us “if we are prepared, we shall not fear.”  Fear is debilitating and crippling.  I’m certain that if my spiritual preparedness is in short supply, I will be useless, and even a dangerous liability to those around me in the event of an emergency.  I am committed to being as much of an asset to my family and loved ones as possible.  How about you?

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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