Trials and Tribulations Offer Us Life Lessons, if We Look for Them.
My hope is that when things become closer to normal from our current crisis, most people will do some soul searching about the topic of being prepared – or being more self-reliant.
Too often others have set in judgement of people, like me, who believe in being prepared. We are often called paranoid. Ironically, not that long ago, being prepared was considered a way of life. It was called being considerate of others when we could take care of ourselves in a time of crisis. My blog Preparedness: Not Paranoia explains that thought process.
I can guarantee that it wasn’t the prepared people who were emptying stores and hoarding items (still haven’t figured out the TP thing) – instead it was just the opposite. We were the ones staying out of the fray, watching the craziness from the sidelines. We didn’t need to be there. We were already prepared for something like this.
The panicked and unprepared—many didn’t even really know what they needed—were the people who emptied the shelves of anything that resembled food or supplies. Most overbought with no idea how much they could even consume before expirations dates would come and go. And all those people hoarding TP might be wishing they had, instead, thought to store up on dried goods like beans and rice and flour.
There was no master plan for most of these people. They’ll soon see that it doesn’t do any good to have boxes and boxes of pancake mix with no eggs to go with them. Or stacks of boxed macaroni dinners with no milk. To be properly prepped takes time, forethought and planning. Something most people didn’t have time to do because they waited until the last minute to react. I can’t imagine the panic those people were feeling!
I’m not making fun of those who weren’t prepared. But I am saying let’s learn from this.
As example: weeks ago, before the panic buying started, many of you contacted me privately to ask what you could do to be prepared for a quarantine. Because you asked for advice and took quick action you were able to stay away during that panic buying mode. And you had plenty of stock to chose from – before the shelves were stripped bare. Being proactive is smart – even if you have some doubts that it will play out as you feared. At worst, you don’t have to buy food or supplies for a while. We all have enough stress dealing with the news every day, we certainly don’t need to add to it!
Most people who prepare aren’t the Doomsday Preppers you see on TV – and most of those people aren’t either, really. They’ve been forced to follow a script.
People who prep, like me, are everyday people who have learned skills from our grandparents and parents on how to do things for ourselves. We know how to plan an entire year for food, if need be. We can garden and preserve our harvest. We know how to cook meals from scratch. We can sew and mend clothes. Most of us know how to hunt and fish. We also don’t need to hoard because we know what we need and can use up in a set amount of time. Do we engage in those activities every day? No. We live busy lives, just like you. But the difference is, we have the knowledge and experience, should we should need it. That’s why I prefer the term Self-Reliance. And we have a master game plan that allows us to slowly add to our stores as we need, without a huge investment all at once. And no panic buying.
It’s not too late to take up this line of thinking of planning ahead. Production is going on around the clock. Supplies will again line store shelves. When they do, instead of hoarding, I hope people will purchase responsibly because they better understand what they truly need. Sure, when you buy one can of green beans, get an extra one for your storage. Just don’t take them all! That way everyone can get what they need and there will still be product next week as well. We can all get through this without the panic. And couldn’t we all do with less stress?