New Year Resolutions

28 December, 2011

Image by sunshinecity (flickr)So we come to the end of 2011, and as with every year, we start thinking about the things we’ve done, the things we will do and the ways we will change ourselves for the better in the coming year. People who blog about casual survival are no different. Regardless of your feelings on new year resolutions, this is as good a time as any to take some stock of your life and lifestyle and look at ways to improve things. If you can set some positive goals for the next 12 months or so, well, I’m sure not going to stop you.

Here are a few meager suggestions you might add to your list (not that we think there’s anything wrong with you; we love you just the way you are!). Some simple ways that you can improve your disaster readiness without breaking any of the “Lazy” rules – nothing expensive, time-consuming or difficult.

1) Improve your emergency kit. Whatever kit you have set aside for emergencies (even if it’s just a flashlight in a drawer somewhere), pledge to yourself that by this time next year it will have at least two more full days worth of supplies. A little food and water, set aside, in case of disaster. If you already have some, great! Now you’ll have two days more. If you don’t have anything yet, great! Now you’ve got a two-day supply and the start to a great disaster kit.

2) Take (or renew) a first aid class. Probably the most labor intensive exercise here (sorry), but also one of the more valuable ones. Everyone, young and old, should be fully trained and capable to execute basic first aid including CPR, basic AED use, and dealing with choking. There are Red Cross centers around the world, and they will be happy to help sign you up for a class to learn what we should all know. If you’ve already taken these classes (and good for you!), isn’t it about time to start thinking about renewing?

3) Improve your thinking: Try to get used to the idea of thinking about a place you go in terms of “what if”. If you were out at your favorite pizza place or at a friend’s house or watching a soccer game, and a quake hit, what could you do? How well are you prepared? How might you get home if you couldn’t use your car or the bus? What if people around you were injured, what could you do to help them?

This kind of what-if’ing is invaluable to disaster planning. It’s easy to do and can quickly find the holes in your plan. It promotes good “emergency readiness thinking”. Now, that said, it’s also easy to fall down the rabbit hole and get obsessed with these kinds of scenarios. We definitely don’t want that. If you can’t enjoy your life, there’s not much point in living it after all. So practice this kind of thinking occasionally, but only occasionally. I mean, you’re welcome to obsess over the end of life and such, but this really isn’t the web site for you.

4) Build, and use, an “emergency fun kit”. What’s an emergency fun kit? It’s not a real kit per se, but the idea is to have a bag with a change of clothes and some very basic toiletries on available. If, at any moment, a friend swung by and said “We’re going to Vegas, right now!’, you would be ready. It’s a pretty unlikely scenario, but you get the idea. As an added bonus, this is one of those emergency planning tasks that you can put into action without waiting for trouble. Just declare you’re leaving for the weekend and go!

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