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By Kellene Bishop

Debt can weigh you down  Photo c/o usoge.gov

Debt can weigh you down Photo c/o usoge.gov

“I’ll start getting better prepared once I get out of debt.”  This statement makes me cringe, frankly. It’s a myth—a deceptive rationale—for SO many reasons. 

For starters there’s the misconception that being out of debt has “everything” to do with being better prepared. And yet there are countless aspects to preparedness that don’t require ANY money for success. Instead, they require an appropriate amount of willingness, a constant quest for knowledge, and a positive attitude. You can’t buy any of those things with money. In fact, I can’t think of a single time I’ve had to pay to go to the library and get books that educate me. I’ve also never had to pay for a CPR class or perusing the internet for additional information. Neither have I had to shell out a dime to a shrink to be better mentally prepared for a “what if” scenario. 

The other misconception about financial preparedness is that it’s a “top priority.” It isn’t. In fact, out of the 10 Keys to Preparedness, in order of priority, financial preparedness comes in at number 9. That’s right. There are 8 other more important aspects for you that will aid you in being better prepared for a disaster than having your mortgage and credit cards paid off. That’s not to say that getting out of debt isn’t important. But it’s not as important, for example, as making sure that you have food, water, shelter, and medical supplies in the event of a disaster. I assure you, your mortgage payment is the last thing on your mind if your child comes down with cholera, or the ground opens up all the way down your street due to an earthquake.

Overwhelming Temptation  Photo c/o southdacola.com

Debt Temptation Photo c/o southdacola.com

Also, as I’ve written about time and time again, it doesn’t always take money to increase your food, shelter, medical, and water supplies. There’s so much that’s simply given away at garage sales or by friends and family, and I can’t even begin to list all of the quality goods I’ve received for free or dirt cheap via coupons.

Another reason why financial preparedness mistakenly gets overrated is that folks tend to forget about the viable “fit hits the shan” scenario. One of the developing scenarios that I’m watching very closely is the possibility of an all out financial collapse—meaning that your money isn’t worth anything any more. And yet, if you had the necessary goods of sustenance in your home, regardless of what you paid for them, they will still be worth a great deal to you and your family. A case of tuna, regardless of whether you paid top dollar for it or got it for a steal will still give you 12 quality servings of protein in a pinch. I firmly believe 100% that there will come a time when a bucket of wheat is worth more than a bucket of gold. Why? Because currency will forever have its REAL place in the pecking order amidst a survival scenario—and that place is secondary to almost all others. You can’t feed your family on gold. You can’t even exchange gold for vital supplies if those supplies are limited in households across America. If you have a savings account plump full of money but no necessary supplies to survive an emergency it does you little good, right? What if there’s a serious power outage? How do you expect to access that hefty savings account, IRA, or checking account so that you can buy supplies? Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that thousands of other people will have had that same idea just before you get to the store. (Going to the store at the first sign of trouble isn’t a plan. It’s a suicide wish.)

BXP27956

Just groceries or bargaining tools? Photo c/o motherjonesfoodpantry.com

When things go south, yes, some cash on hand will serve you well immediately—like in the first 24 hours if you’re lucky–but expect to see that acceptance quickly disintegrate into a non-currency environment. Commodities such as food, ammo, tents, diapers, etc. are what will be worthwhile. Having said that though, remember that being prepared has a great deal to do with being INDEPENDENT regardless of what comes your way. So, yes, being out of debt is a worthwhile goal for you to be focused on. Just don’t let the other aspects of preparedness suffer as a result. When compared with all else that’s more vital to your family’s survival, financial independence just doesn’t hold a candle to spiritual, mental, physical, medical, clothing/shelter, fuel, water, and food preparedness.

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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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o mediabistro.com

Photo c/o mediabistro.com

A real emergency will change who you are today if you aren’t prepared now, pure and simple.  The difference in personalities and decision making in the midst of an emergency is very much like a Jekyll and Hyde complex.  Whether you’ll be Jekyll or Hyde in an emergency is up to you today.  Which will you be?

Priorities.  We deal with them every single day.  But think about this for just a moment. If you had to make a choice to pay your mortgage or feed your family, which would you choose?  Exactly.  You’d feed your family.

If you are REALLY thirsty, what can possibly prevent you from satisfying that thirst with some cold water?  Exactly.  Not a thing.  You would even be tempted to drink from an unknown stream to quench that thirst.

Given that the determined quest for food, water and other necessities is so deeply ingrained in all of us, what makes being prepared with such items in the event of an emergency or crisis so hard to swallow?  Why is the concept of having food storage on hand so darn far fetched?  Do you really think that the government will save you?  Uh, have you ever heard of hurricane Katrina?  How about the Teton Dam break?  You’re going to bet your life and survival on people who can’t even read a bill before they vote on it, and can’t even fathom that you can’t write checks for money you don’t have? 

hurricane-preparedness-weekDo you really think that you can just go to the store when an emergency is announced?  Ahem.  Our food system runs on a maximum 3 day delivery cycle.  The food will be there for a maximum of 3 days, but much more likely for 30 minutes in the event of a looming crisis.  Imagine dealing with that in a pinch—ask yourself again, would you be Jekyll or Hyde?  Also, did anyone else catch the fact that our U.S. President announced last Thursday that it was Hurricane Preparedness Week—last WEEK?  Yeah, as of this past Monday through the end of the past week.  I sure hope he’s not the one announcing looming nuclear attacks or coming hurricanes!  It will be yesterday’s news by the time he gets around to it.

Perhaps you think that you can get enough food from your neighbor.  “Dude!”  You don’t have food storage.  The same goes for your parents or your kids.  What makes you think that these people have enough for you and your family too?  Even those who THINK they have enough food storage for a specific period of time are usually incorrect in their estimation, by a long shot!  Are you willing to bet your life that your neighbor would be willing to share with you OR that you will even be able to GET to your neighbor?  Did you ever think about a mandatory state of quarantine due to an epidemic?  In the event of an epidemic, you can’t expect to “pool” your resources either.  If you live in a group/community the only thing you’ll be pooling is DEATH.  That’s NOT a plan.

Perhaps you think that your church will help you.  While I believe that a church is certainly more organized and capable to handle a disaster than our own government, it’s still not realistic to expect a handout.  Basic math is against you on this one.  Compassion has nothing to do with it.  Because even churches that adamantly teach and preach food storage to their members only have enough supplies to help a mere four percent of their MEMBERS.  How do you like those odds?

Here’s the reality, folks.  Hurricane, earthquake, financial collapse, nuclear attack, solar burst, EMP attack, terrorist attack, unusual weather, water contamination, transportation crisis, food shortage, viral epidemic—all of these are very real and potential challenges we could easily face.  That, PLUS a lengthy loss of employment and income.  All real.  All viable.  All being PLANNED for by organizations all over the world.  What you have in your home right now is ALL that you can rely on for the well-being of you and your family!  Look around you.  Can you survive right now?  If not, FIX it.  Because you’re not going ANYWHERE if you’re quarantined due to an epidemic.  You’re not going to escape to Grandma’s house if nearly any one of these disasters hit.  So what OTHER kinds of warnings and evidences are you waiting for?

Are you kidding yourself into thinking that you’ll be willing to fight for food, water, shelter, etc “if you have to?”  Really?  You can’t even bring yourself to fill some water bottles and store food which is abundant around you right now.  What makes you think you’ll be strong and determined enough to provide for yourself in an emergency?

Come on.  PLEASE.  Get real.  Start NOW.  It’s not hard.  It’s NOT expensive.  It’s not a lot of work if you do it right!

hungerThe fact is Americans as a whole have NEVER experienced real hunger.  I think a woman who’s been on the grapefruit diet MAY know what hunger feels like.  Hunger and thirst do horrible, unfathomable things to our psyche and disposition.  I know that I turn into a shrew when I’m on a strict diet.  Imagine what would I would be like if I truly had no food, no way to provide for my family?  You can’t expect to be the same person during a crisis as you are today.  It’s impossible.  

So make some sound, common sense decisions now which you can implement in comfort today so that you aren’t forced to be something or someone you don’t want to be in the future.  Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.  You decide.  

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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