When I meet someone for the first time and tell them that I teach emergency preparedness skills, their responses usually fall into two camps:
- They’re totally onboard already, and would I like to visit their retreat bunker in the woods to dine on some delectable vintage canned rations?
- They know they should do something to prepare for emergencies, but it’s too overwhelming, and they don’t even know how to start.
To address the latter issue, I wrote a blog about how it’s very likely you are already working your way toward becoming a preparedness goddess, without even thinking about it.
But today, I’d like to take it to the next step.
I’d like us to consider things we can fit into our daily lives that make us just a wee bit more prepared for life’s emergencies…without going full Doomsday Prepper!
Make do with what’s on hand
There’s a hashtag that I occasionally bust out on Instagram called #PantryPrep. Entries tagged with this moniker focus on how one can use foods that have a long shelf life to prepare complete, nutritionally balanced meals.
As you can imagine, I deliberately stock my pantry with items amenable to this sort of exercise, but it’s also kind of fun to open up a friend’s cupboard and challenge myself to come up with a meal using only items currently in-house. (I have very tolerant friends. 😄 ) Next time you feel like you need to head to the grocery store, pause a minute and try to come up with just one more meal using stuff from your shelves. You might surprise yourself.
As you might imagine, you can extend this “making do” activity outside of the kitchen. For example, try putting yourself on a non-perishables shopping diet for a month. No new clothes, no birthday presents, no nuthin’. Whenever you “need” something, figure out a way to make do without whipping out Ye Olde Credit Card. I gotta confess: some of my best outfits have come about during these exercises!
Find your comfort zone…and then push the boundaries
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Seriously.
EVERY time we are at the precipice of some larger gain in our lives, there is the price of pain to be paid. And that pain doesn’t have to be physical. It can be mental. Like when we’re learning a new language and feel like a complete moron when we forget the word for “napkin” at a restaurant in our foreign destination. It can be social. Like when we’re at a cocktail party and don’t know a soul and have to endure the awkward minutes standing alone before finally connecting with someone over the chips and salsa. It can even be spiritual…which we experience anytime something new enters our life and rocks our existing belief system.
As my climbing partner and amiga Anna likes to say, “If it hurts, it must be therapeutic.” She’s talking about physical pain in the context of sports, but if you think about it, that little nugget applies to life. All of it.
Try new shit
This is a corollary to the discomfort directive above. New activities, exotic foods, foreign destinations. Try them all.
Keep that brain limber in the face of the novel. If you learn to go with the flow by choice, it’s really not that big of a deal when life shoves you into an extraordinary circumstance against your will (well, hello, Category 5 hurricane).
Set up a new social group…and lead it!
Okay, I admit, this is a bit of an advanced move…but it is SO, SO WORTH IT! In times of crisis, we need leaders. Strong, confident, capable leaders. Some folks are naturals at this…but most of us benefit from a bit of deliberate practice.
And guess what? The internet makes this assignment easier than ever! All you need is an interest in a topic and a desire to hone your leadership capabilities.
Sign up for something like MeetUp.com, register your group, and you’re off and running! Plan your first meeting within four weeks of establishing your meet-up, and don’t let yourself off the hook! Nothing like working with a bunch of strangers to hone your ability to benevolently coerce.
Note that you can also offer to take the reins in more traditional groups of which you may already be a part. I’m thinking church groups, PTAs, office committees, and the like. It doesn’t really matter what sort of group you lead; it just matters that you start molding yourself into someone who is comfortable taking elegant charge of situations and personalities when it’s merited.
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Deliberately shaping yourself into a woman who is prepared for emergencies really doesn’t have to take over your life, your house, or your wallet. All it really takes is a mindful effort and a wee bit of planning. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Want to see more articles on day-to-day readiness? Or maybe you’d rather have me focus on how to cope with major disasters? If you want to be part of the crew that is helping steer the future direction of this blog, sign up at http://bit.ly/readybetty. I’ll even throw in a free Emergency Guide JUST FOR THE LADIES!