A few years back I presented a shortened version of Chris Martenson’s Crash Course to a group of faculty. During the discussion one professor said that he understood the concepts, and he wondered when he should start preparing. It would be inconvenient to prepare any sooner than necessary. He made a good point; however, if we knew that a crash was imminent, then more of us surely would do something to prepare.
On the other hand, even knowing a crash of some sort is about to happen, many of us would still do little to prepare because our world provides bailouts.
Whenever we are hurt due to a person who can be sued, an attorney can appeal to the judicial system for relief. If a force of nature hurts a community, an emergency is declared, and state and federal disaster funds are appropriated. FEMA steps in, the American Red Cross shows up. We expect assistance to arrive whenever we should need it, so why prepare?
Puerto Ricans are American citizens, but Puerto Rico is not a state. Their tragic plight after Hurricane Maria hit them full force on September 20 is a situation closer to home than we like to think. They need food, water, and fuel. They need electricity and cell phone reception. They need functional hospitals and more doctors. They need a lot of help to get the debris out of the way and to get roofs back over their heads.
Would our President tell Floridians what he’s telling Puerto Ricans, that he’s not sure how much rebuilding should be done? (“The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!” – President Trump tweeted on September 29, 2017)
Americans feel entitled to Federal assistance. We’d like FEMA and the Troops to show up to organize, put up temporary housing, and provide muscle and machines. We’d also like the Corporations to show up with supplies. Whomever has money and power should assist. This is right and true, except that there are limited resources. Only the entitled get assistance, when it is available.
So it’s good to prepare and to not procrastinate. Planning to be entitled to receiving help is no plan at all.
In his Crash Course (viewable at peakprosperity.com) Martenson points out that when the probability of a disaster is high and the impact on you or your community of such an event is also high, then it is especially worthwhile to prepare for that possibility. His focus is economic with attention to the affordability of petroleum. When gas is not adequately fueling our system, as we see in Puerto Rico today, our lives quickly come to a standstill. How to prepare for that situation, whether due to a hurricane or some other event, is worth contemplating. Action follows thought.
We’re accustomed to living in a society which provides whatever we want whenever we want it. We’re also encouraged to buy more than we need. Our homes are stuffed with stuff. But is it the stuff we will actually need when there’s a glitch like a disaster?
Preparedness Procrastination and Entitlement Planning was published in the Paradise Post on Oct. 3, 2017.
Robin Huffman lived in Paradise, California from 1989 until she evacuated from the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018.