One of our core team members taught his 90-year-old father a technique he learned in a self-development course from the Pacific Institute. It’s called the military method, and it helps people stop worrying.
His dad had always been a worrier. As if fretting over something was going to make it go away. But it wasn’t until his father had a health issue (that he barely survived) that he taught it to him.
You see in the military they teach people that there is absolutely no point in worrying about stuff before it happens. In other words, there is no point in worrying about whether your parachute is going to open in basic training. A much better approach is to plan thoroughly in advance and then review it as needed. This approach has substantial psychological benefits.
In the military, you prepare for what could happen in advance and then park it away. It’s as if the preparedness suddenly allows your brain to release the concern or worry about it knowing that you’ve done everything reasonable that you could have, and because of that can deal with a situation as needed.
His father had grown up during the Second World War and so he had due respect for British military culture and he thus gave this some thought. After some consideration, he said, “well if you take that to its extreme there’s no point in even worry about even dying then.” “Exactly” was the trite response.
Now whether he’s buried it or it’s actually worked, we’re not entirely sure, but he’s stopped worrying. And so it should be for you.
There are enough things going on in today’s world to scare the wits out of somebody. But what if you could do just a handful of things that you knew basically covered you off. Once you’d prepared everything you could, you could stop worrying too.
After all, we buy insurance so we don’t worry about our children should something happen to us.
In the insurance world, the premium is a proxy for the security and the corresponding relief of concern. In the physical world, various different goods or services take that place.
So perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is what parts do I need to think through, in order that I don’t worry about things if things were really to go to hell. What if the power was to go down, not for a few hours, but a few days. What would you need for you and your family until things inevitably come back to balance?
Remember, once you can quantify it and act upon it there are a landslide of positive feelings and benefits that come along with your action. It’s actually a really small list. The answer is like a formula that looks like this:
Food + Heat + Water + Security = Safety & Peace of Mind
If we look at the Canadian preparedness guide, you’ll see that they recommend having a plan for 72 hours. So take the time to read it and make sure you have the adequate food and supplies on hand.
Here are three additional things we like to have on hand to make sure we’re prepared and thus not worried about things. (Note that at least one of our team members has this gear).
The Delta Eco Flow Battery is the runaway leader in its class. This unit, which two of us got off of Kickstarter, is now available directly.
With a continuous output of 1800 watts, a surge capacity of 3,300 watts (for appliance boot up) and 1300 watts of power capacity, it will run just about every single appliance in the house.
It has 6 outlets, a 12 volt out and all the USB and USB C ports one could ever use. It has even got a built-in U.P.S. to keep your appliances from turning off when the power goes off.
Most importantly, you can wall charge the whole unit in 90 mins, charge it from the cigarette lighter in your car or use solar (even non-proprietary) – for which it will take up to 400 watts of input! Not only that, it’s only 30 pounds in weight and comes with a lifetime battery replacement warranty.
A good goal for a backup battery system is to be able to cook six litres of chilli in an Instant Pot. It does. (On that note, the Instant Pot itself is an excellent survival tool – if you have power. I don’t know of any other device that will enable anyone to cook 6 litres of food in an hour).
Delta sells 110-watt solar panels (which they support) but there is also the option of running almost any other solar panel – anything up to 65 volts and 10 amps (though they do not support 3rd party panels).
(eg. Two 300 watt panels run in series generate 600 watts in ideal conditions. So you should be able to charge the unit in about three hours of sun).
But because the sun doesn’t shine all the time we also big fans of the Biolite family of products. A camp stove and LED lights can see a person through some rough times.
The Biolite Campstove bundle has got to rank amongst the best camping gear in the world. It will burn just about anything. Even in a windstorm, it’s never failed to light and you can have a pot of water boiling in under 4 mins. It’ll even charge your phone while you cook. Biolite also has an outstanding Firepit and Home Solar – Powered Light, Charging & Radio.
In 60 seconds. The UV headlight built into the bottle head will decontaminate 750 millilitres of clear water.
It is ideal for travel, having around the house and double does double duty when in a foreign country. You can take the head off and shine the UV light on your cutlery, plate, hands or even your food to kill nasty things.
If you’re going to use it in a stream with particles, use a second filter bottle to purify the water while straining the bits from it before you put the All Clear bottle to use.
A Big Buddy Mr. Heater will heat a 450 square foot room. While it should always be used with a non-enclosed space, alongside a carbon monoxide detector, the low oxygen shut off makes this an attractive emergency tool.
From 18,000 BTU to take the chill off a brutally cold home, down to a comfortable 4,000 BTU which you can run a 20-pound propane tank off of for a week, this is a handy unit.
Much like our detailed article on Computer Security, Physical Security is a topic and specialization to itself. It likely deserves a full article at some point. At this point let me just say that thieves tend to stay away from places that have recognized video-based systems. We’ve tried the Ring Doorbell cameras and they are successful for apartments and condos or homes (if you wire it to your doorbell).
Most importantly, thieves recognize these and (especially) if they can see more than one, they’ll typically move on.
It never hurts to have extra meds around in a pinch. In an emergency, supply chains can get stretched or jam up for some time. As many of the compounds used in common meds come from far off lands, asking your doctor for a 2 month supply as if you were going on a long holiday, can take a weight off of your mind.
Lastly, in emergency cash is king. Everyone should have a couple of thousand dollars hidden between the house and the yard somewhere. Remember that when the power goes down, so do the bank machines.
Basic preparedness has come a long way in just the last couple of years.
If you cover off just the basics of the four areas: food, water, heat and security, you’ll find that you can park your worries on the shelf along with the emergency gear.
And you’ll not only feel smarter and more content, but you’ll also be the most popular person on your block should you decide to share during an outage.
Just a little preparation is a great investment of both time and money which pays multiple dividends.