This New Year’s Eve takes us into yet another doomsday prediction–2012. And I have a bit of a warning. But not what you may be thinking.
Most people make fun of those that prepare -sometimes with good cause- as they sit warm and happy in their lives. They feel safe and otherwise invincible. Until, of course, the media and society as a whole comes along whipping everyone into a frenzy about ________________.
We have the following list to scare the crap out of ourselves with :
- 2012 Mayan Predictions
- Economic Collapse
- Peak Oil
- Solar Flares
- Global Warming/Climate Change/What ever they have decided to call it today
- Caddy Shack 2 – 4
I vividly remember 1999. Programmers had left off the first two numbers of the year in computer systems to save bits. It was assumed this roll over would crash everything and we would be sent back to the Stone age.
At the start of the year you could hear murmurs of people talking about the collapse of civilization. But they were just that, murmurs. As the year progressed people got more and more freaked out. All of the sudden, people that had taken their security and comfort for granted all their lives were now rushing out to buy all kinds of survival gear.
Needless to say, the year 2000 came and nothing of consequence happened. So all of the people felt silly for buying all kinds of survival stuff for nothing. They put their gear on eBay and took their stored food down to the local pantry. And they went back to “sleep”.
Therein lies the problem…
When it was all over they wiped their foreheads and felt there was nothing that would ever come again to disturb their happy little lives. They had burglar alarms, fire alarms, car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, and a spare tire in the trunk. But they had not one bit of extra food, savings, or skills outside of their day jobs.
Preppers call this “going back to sleep”. It’s when someone suddenly becomes aware of the fact that they are vulnerable because of a pending threat. However, when the threat passes without issue, they fall back asleep oblivious to the notion that something else may come.
More importantly, what will assuredly come is something much more mundane like loosing a job, a death in the family that comes with a financial blow, or any number of more common events.
These more likely events are personal. Which leads me to the Disaster Matrix.
The Disaster Matrix, first introduced by Jack Spirko (who actually calls it the Disaster Commonality Matrix), is the inverse relationship between how far reaching a disaster is and how likely it is to occur. So we have loosing a job, which is high on the likely side and low on the far-reaching side. It’s personal. On the other end of the spectrum we have a massive Asteroid that wipes out life on planet Earth-in our life time-that is very high on the far reaching side and very low on the probability side. This is global.
The take away is: Plan for the more personal things because they are more likely. Start with personal and THEN work your way up the scale. These personal events then translate into local, regional, national, then finally global.
But there is a kicker. In theory, doing the things to insulate your life-as best you can-from the likely, gets you 80% of the way toward being prepared for the unlikely. This is assuming that whatever the unlikely event is has some reasonable way of being survived.
But the bigger kicker is…
If you prepare in a rational way, these things help you live a better life today.
Storing food helps you take advantage of opportunity buys and keeps you ahead-even if just a little-of inflation. Learning to grow your own food can also be a way of off setting the ever-increasing costs of groceries. Raising your own live stock helps put you in touch with the animals you eat. It also gives you the satisfaction of knowing exactly how the animal was kept and what it was fed. Saving money and staying out of debt gives you piece of mind and gives you a cushion for tough times. These are just a few examples.
None of these things happen over night. In fact they shouldn’t or you risk “going back to sleep”. Preparing is a journey. It’s not a destination just to ride out an apocalypse. But if a cataclysm does come, you will be ready.
So as we head into 2012 and people start to freak out I ask you to do something for yourself: Relax, take a deep breath, and if you decide to prepare-which I hope you do-be in it for the long haul. Or, risk being yet another person trying to sell off all the survival crap they bought come 2013 to cover the debt they incurred.