Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is It Too Late?

Day after day, huge disasters take place somewhere around the world. And as long as they aren't in our back yard, we fool ourselves into thinking that we're not affected.

But with the recent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening to impact a large portion of the shoreline, and the marine environment offshore, there is no doubt that everyone in America is going to be affected by this spill. You might live in Michigan or Oregon or Maine, but that oil in the waters of the Gulf is going to have a detrimental impact on your life.

Let's start with a quote from the President Obama. "I think the American people are now aware - certainly the folks down in the Gulf are aware - that we're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states, and it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home."

So how does this impact you, if you're not a Gulf resident? The truth is that we are all connected, economically. Let's say you own a business (or maybe you just work for one) somewhere in this country. Your business depends on a lively economy, because the only thing you have to offer is either products or services that you are hoping to entice other people to pay for. When a company goes out of business (no matter where it is), those employees lose their income and they are no longer able to purchase products and services from other companies. Maybe you think that won't impact you because those folks in the Gulf are so far away that they don't buy what you have to sell anyway. But hold on a minute — they used to be able to buy from somebody, and if they can't do that anymore, the companies they used to buy from are going to suffer. Trust me, eventually it trickles all the way down to you. And if your business slows down enough, you might be staring at a layoff notice before too long.

That's the horror of today's economic situation. And the economy was already bad enough without the huge hit this oil spill is going to smack us with. Then add the flooding in Tennessee, and the bomb scare in New York, and … well, just keep an eye on the headlines and you'll see there is no end to crises somewhere in the world that, now that we're all connected in a global economy, will have a direct affect on you. Things will cost more. Or they'll just not be available at all.

So, what can you do about all this? For certain, you cannot stop the disasters. Mother Nature, the government, and greedy individuals will make sure the headlines are never dull. If you are to avoid the damage at all, you're going to have to take charge of your life and get prepared to handle whatever comes next.
  • If you anticipate that within the next six months you are going to need (I said NEED, not WANT) things like new tires for your vehicle, shoes for the kids, office equipment, or other major purchases, make those purchases now. The nature of disasters is that it drives prices up, so buying now is better than buying later — but only if you can afford the items and really need them. 
  • Stock up on all the normal day-to-day commodities your family uses — toilet paper, canned foods, toiletries, medicines, etc. If you use it daily, have a 3-month supply on hand so you won't be caught short when some disaster suddenly halts either production or delivery. 
Sometimes I wonder, with all the crises happening simultaneously, if it's almost too late for folks who have made no effort yet to get prepared. One of these days it will be too late, but if you get started today I believe there's still time to get prepared. But I wouldn't wait any longer. Don't take this wrong — I don't deal in doom and gloom. I am absolutely an optimist. — but only because I am already prepared. And I'm still working on getting even better prepared.

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