Able to Help or Looking for Help?

Still unsure if taking the time now to plan for some crisis is worth it for you?  Then let’s consider this from a different angle.  The question comes down to this one:  In a crisis, will you be the one “able to help” others or the situation, or will you be the one “looking for help” from others?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with receiving or needing help in such situations.  Even if it were possible for you to foresee every potential issue and could plan for it, there is only so much you can do ahead of time and with the resources at your disposal.  In fact, there is a saying, attributed to Carl Von Clausewitz,  that goes “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.”  The enemy here would be the crisis situation your plan faces.  So what is all this need for planning and readiness about?  Why do I keep bugging you about it?

Your planning allows you to:

  • Not panic.  In a sense you’ve faced the situation before in your planning and you’ve accounted for the basics necessary for you to survive for some amount of time.  You have bought yourself some time.
  • Respond more effectively.  Since you’re basic needs are known and addressed to some degree, you’re free to NOT have to deal with those issues along with everything else that the situation is presenting you.  You can respond from a stronger foundation.  You’ll be better able to recognize the issues that you hadn’t planned for that now need to be addressed.  There should be fewer issues to deal with in an already stressful time.
  • Better able to help.  While those that hadn’t planned or are direct victims of the situation are looking to get immediate help for their basic survival, you may be in a position to assist them.  Because you weren’t directly hit by the situation and/or had made some plans to meet your basic needs,  you could be better situated to provide the assistance or help them find the assistance others need.

Realize you can’t account for everything.  When some crisis is upon you, your readiness state is what it is when it hits.  You may have even done all your planning and yet the crisis directly impacted you to the point where you resources and ability to enact the plan are gone.  Still, I believe there is  peace in prior planning.  Survival odds are increased.  It is very similar to why people train.

In learning to fly I had to practice many emergency situations.  I had to practice the maneuvers required for each emergency situation.  For example, how do you respond if your engine shuts down in flight?  Also, how do you respond if your airplane stalls (no more air going over the wing and all its lift is gone) and your plane begins to lose altitude?  I hated practicing this stuff.  Honestly, it frightened me to think that I might one day be in such a situation.  Planning for such events even if they may not be that likely to occur is critical to survival.  I was very grateful for that planning and training when I inadvertently caused my airplane to go into a downward spin from only 3000 ft above the ground one bright sunny day.  While I was losing over 1800 ft of altitude, I was able to stay relatively calm as I began going through the steps that I’d been trained to do that would recover the aircraft and return it to normal straight and level flight.

Flight attendants brief passengers about the safety features and emergency response actions required of each passenger on every flight before takeoff.  Schools have drills for fire, tornado, and now intruders on school premises.  You could go on and on.  All of this is to allow you to NOT panic, respond more effectively, and be able to help others.

Children and spouses will look to you for answers to “what do we do now?”  Whether the “crisis” is a storm, a need to evacuate, a job or income loss, loss of power,  you no longer have the education or training businesses are needing, etc., make your plan.