Preparedness is about more than food and water. Here’s a list of areas in life that need attention for preparedness. More details on each of these areas to come in future blogs. Please let me know what you are doing in these areas of your life.
1. Maximize good health and fitness – To survive a disaster it helps to have a strong immune system and good physical strength. Start good health practices – eat healthy food, take care of health problems; get plenty of rest. Increase endurance, fitness and strength – start an exercise program today that includes aerobic exercise and strength building.
2. Develop mental and emotional strength – Take an inventory of stress and time wasters in your life. Clear up stressful situations in your life that you have control over. Start a stress management practice. Take time each day to slow down, tune into your body, clear mind and deeply relax. Find ways to have more joy in your life. Practice breathing through the physiological response to a stressful or frightening situation and then notice how the mind clears. If you can wait for this clearing, a better decisions can be made.
3. Develop an inner source for solace and guidance – For most people this source comes from a religion or spiritual path. Slow down and pay attention to the breath. To stay focused, count to eight while you inhale and then count to eight while you exhale. Practice until it is easy and you are able to stay focused for 10 breaths. Learn to quiet the mind with a short affirmation, word, or sacred mantra and repeat it softly or silently inside your mind. Listen for guidance from within, the source of your devotion or inspiration. Practice making contact with this part of yourself every day. When times are difficult, you will be able to tune in and receive the guidance you need.
4. Create a network of friends and/or family – Create a community you can rely on when you need help. Make an effort to be with them at least once a week. Make sure to have some fun with this group. Talk about your life and the future you want to see. Make a plan for helping each other if a time should come when you need to shelter in place or evacuate.
5. Develop a local food supply – get to know your local farmers and farmers’ markets; plant a vegetable garden; get involved in a community garden. Store extra dried food and preserved food, enough for at least two weeks. Learn food preservation such as canning and dehydrating foods from your garden and local farms.
6. Create a system for having a source of clean water – install a system for rain-water harvesting; get a water purification filter and/or iodine tablets and learn to use them. Grapefruit seed extract also is a good purifier.
7. Start wildcrafting – learn how to recognize medicinal herbs and edible plants that grow in your neighborhood. Get a local herbalist to do a plant walk. Start collecting these plants and try them out.
8. Develop your own local health/healing network – Make a list of acupuncturists, energy healers, herbalists and other natural medicine practitioners preferably in walking distance from your home. Get to know them. Even better, get them together and make an emergency plan for providing healthcare for neighbors to be prepared if local clinics and hospitals were not available.