I had to smile the other day when I saw that the government once again has declared September as National Preparedness Month. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that our leaders are bringing awareness to a much-neglected subject because too many people go through life with an “it will never happen to me” mentality. And sadly, too often those people end up in FEMA centers after a disaster strikes in their area.
I just think it’s naïve to assume that talking about this crucial subject one month out of 12 is going to effectively drive home the point that people need to prepare themselves and their families for a very uncertain future.
If catastrophic events including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, a multitude of tornadoes in the Midwest, severe drought in the West and Southwest, water contaminations in Kentucky and Ohio, and flooding in a variety of states can’t do it, mentioning the subject once a year certainly isn’t going to do the trick.
Of course, I have a vested interest in this subject. 4Patriots, LLC, the company I founded in 2008, is all about teaching people how to become more independent and self-reliant. All the products we offer (survival food, self-reliant power, water purification, and sustainable food sources) are designed to help people cope with the potential disasters that could come their way.
These problems can take many forms. The most frequent are extreme weather events, which are growing both in number and in intensity. But in recent years we’ve also seen plenty of water supply contaminations and both physical and cyber attacks against what even the government admits is a very vulnerable electrical grid.
And what might be even scarier is a potential disaster lurking around the corner. A financial crisis – far greater than what we experienced starting in 2008 – could be on the horizon, accompanied by food and fuel shortages, price gouging and civil unrest.
Companies such as mine sometimes get accused of using scare tactics to sell products. There’s no question that we warn people of what could be coming around the bend, but as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
We don’t have to make up scary, unlikely scenarios to convince people they need to be prepared. All we have to do is point to what has already occurred here and in other countries, and what is likely to happen again in the near future.
The more important message that we convey is this: nobody knows what the future will bring, so be as prepared as possible to handle whatever emergencies might unfold. And then, enjoy the peace of mind that results from doing the right thing to protect yourself and your family.
I’d encourage you to think about it this month during National Preparedness Month. But then keep thinking about it in October, November, December…
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.
Photo credit: ready.gov