Paku Korero: Be Prepared

The earthquake that woke Tairawhiti earlier this year left some of us feeling ill-prepared as the Emergency Mobile Alerts and Evacuations were occurring. It was a sudden reminder from The Civil Defence to BE PREPARED for a disaster, but you know who else lives by that motto every second of every day?

That’s right; you do.

While you can’t possibly anticipate everything that’s going to come your way, you can strengthen your resilience, the foundational skill you need to deal with anything that comes your way.

Unpleasant life events occur when we least expect them. Here are a few simple ways things we can do now to be ready for any situation.

  1. Stock your pantry with healthy non-perishables like oatmeal, rice, wholewheat pasta, canned beans and veges, so you can always make a meal. In an emergency, you may not have access to a supermarket or food stores for 2 or 3 days.

  2. Go to bed. Getting sick seems unavoidable in winter when someone around you has the sniffles, but studies have shown that a good night's sleep of 7 hours or more, you are less likely to catch a cold than a person who sleeps 6 hours or less.

  3. Have a toolkit in your car. You will be prepared when your car breaks down in the middle of the Gorge at night, and your mobile has no reception. Load up your boot with a jack, a lug wrench, a jumper cable, just in case! You could also have a flashlight, warm clothing and a first aid kit.

  4. Start an Emergency Savings account. Who is prepared for another financial crisis, or even a family crisis, like a whanaunga from out of town passing away, and you don't have enough putea for gas there and back? Stashing away enough money to cover 3-6 months worth of expenses in case you get sick, lose your job, or are slammed with unexpected bills. This changes from person to person, so make sure its enough for you, or your household.

  5. Practice mindfulness and prayer so that you can stay focused on the present moment. Acknowledging your feelings and sharing them with God can help reduce the stress in your life and help ease your emotions. You may not be able to control the things that happen in life but you can control your reactions to it.

It would be easy to say things be wealthy and make lots of money so you can buy the world, or even to be naive to protect you from being overwhelmed by life, but the easiest way to make life a little easier for you now and when the next event strikes, be prepared.

Let's be ready before the next storm in our life to hit because being prepared can make all the difference.

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