Always Be Learning
October 1, 2012 by Tim Young
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a crisis is to always be learning. I knew that sounds like a tough thing to do, but in reality, you can learn new tricks and tips every day.
This sounds like something very elementary, but in reality, it isn’t.
You need to keep in mind that when crisis strikes, you won’t know what exactly is going to happen or, even worse, how it’s going to happen.
Crisis can come at you from any angle and in many different ways.
What if the food ran out? What if there was a plague or disease that spread quickly? How about a violent government takeover or war?
The point is that you just never know what will happen or when, so it’s important that you keep up to date on technology and even the lack thereof.
Think about earthquakes, for instance. Are you prepared for one?
I know from experience that I wasn’t when I was living in Washington, D.C.; neither was anyone else that I had been working with at the time.
I was taking a break in a coffee shop down the street from my office when the quake hit.
I can tell you the first thing that happens is a moment of shock. You don’t know quite what is going on when it strikes. Not many people had experienced an earthquake before. I was one of them, but I knew exactly what was going on.
The building shook — and it was an old building. The first thing that I did was look around to see if someone was shaking my chair; because for all I know, it could have been a friend messing with me. When I realized it wasn’t, I looked around the room and noticed that everyone else who was there was frozen. That isn’t any kind of exaggeration; they were actually frozen in place.
They knew something was happening, but they weren’t doing anything about it. Without thinking, I grabbed my bag and ran out of the building to my car.
Once in my car, I took off and got out of the city. On my way out, the traffic around me was no different than any other day.
As I tried to call friends and family to see where they were, I realized that phones were down. The cellphone system had been shut down because of an overuse. This would remain this way for almost three hours.
I was able to get out, because I had studied what to do in a crisis. The other people were standing around waiting for the building to collapse on them.
Luckily, it didn’t. But at the end of the day, I was more comfortable knowing that I was prepared to get out before the gridlock.
I had studied a lot of potential scenarios and was ready for a lot of different things to happen. This time, it was a simple earthquake. There were jokes later about how little damage actually occurred because of it. But think about what could have happened.
Knowing the different things that can happen in an emergency and the different types of things you can face are just the tip of the iceberg of knowledge that one can have.
You also need to pay attention to the climate changes — not only in temperature, but in social and governmental attitudes.
And you need to learn tips and tricks necessary to keep you going when the world stops.
As I mentioned above, we also regained cell signal after a few hours. That was a lucky strike. The next time, cellphones or communications may not return. I was prepared for that to happen.
Always look for new information on the Internet (while you have it) and at the library (while you have it).
Take notes and make physical copies of things for yourself. I can’t stress that enough. Don’t rely on the Internet and cellphones when you’re going to be in a jam. I know a lot of you are prepared to work without them, but you haven’t actually experienced it yet.
Make sure you take time to study and learn a couple of times a week, if not every day. You may even want to take time to practice how to get out of cities in case something bad were to happen. I knew multiple routes out of where I was just in case, but how many do normal people know?
I want you and your family to be as safe as possible in case crisis hits. So study, learn, practice and, as always, be smarter than they think you are.