$1.1 trillion. It's a figure you won't hear coming out of the mouths of politicians this election season.
Sure, you might hear them talk about our national debt, which is at a staggering $19.4 trillion and counting. Or a shutdown.
Preparing for the coming stormBut $1.1 trillion is nothing to balk at - it represents the damages from 196 major weather disasters since 1980. This is what I call a "natural disaster debt." I'm sure the figure would be much higher if it included earthquakes. Even higher still if it included weather disasters that caused damages less than a billion dollars - which was the benchmark for this data. Either way, this report got me thinking. It gave me an interesting insight into why and how we prepare, and why self-reliance is intimately linked to our preparedness planning.
WHEN MOTHER NATURE WREAKS FINANCIAL HAVOC
As I mentioned earlier, our natural disaster debt number is probably much higher than the National Centers for Environmental Information data reports.
It's more than a trillion dollars. It's an unfathomable amount. It also highlights the importance of preparedness and self-reliance, now more than ever.
A Storm Doesn't Have to Be Deadly to Devastate
Of course, health and safety always take a priority over financial loss in a crisis. We prepare to protect ourselves and our families from the harm that Mother Nature can bring. If financial loss is the worst of the tragedy, we will consider ourselves lucky - and rightly so.
2016 Texas hail storm
However, a weather disaster doesn't have to be deadly to cause serious devastation. In fact, in April of this year, Texas was hit with one of the most severe hail storms on record, causing $3.5 billion in damages. Luckily, no one was killed.
Yet, I'm willing to bet that damage to homes and cars seriously affected the financial well-being of many Texans. Especially if the notoriously stingy insurance companies failed to hold up their end of the bargain.
Fellow patriots, this is one of the major reasons why we say you can never over-prepare. Sometimes, it may be easy to live through a storm, but the aftermath of a storm can quickly transform into a personal financial crisis. And just as a rock-solid preparedness plan can help you through an unexpected job loss or a tumble in the stock market, it can help you through the financial fallout from severe weather as well.
Mother Nature Doesn't Pay Back Her Debts
Politicians can and will argue about what to do with our astronomical national debt until their faces turn blue. Still, they won't be recovering anything from Mother Nature when she decides to cash in.
Storms will come - again
Could our government be doing more to make our nation's infrastructure more disaster-resistant? Certainly. Should self-reliant patriots hold out hope that they'll do that and trust their solutions will work? Hardly.
That's why it's every patriot's duty to engineer their own emergency response plans. Not only for the immediate circumstances of the storm, but the financial fallout, too. The ability to get back on our feet, back to work and back to our daily lives is what keeps our economy strong, regardless of what politicians decide is best.
This brings us to our last and final point today.
Study the problem - make a plan
Mother Nature's Debt Is a Tax on Hard-Working Patriots
When major weather disasters strike, and they will again soon, the financial burden is often placed squarely on state and local governments. Even if federal aid is granted, it hardly ever trickles down to farmers, small-business owners and more. These are the people who can least afford losses, yet receive the little help. After major weather disasters, these hard-working folks can expect to see increased taxes, insurance premiums and more impediments to making a good living.
These scenarios demonstrate the need for self-reliance above all. Giant corporations and bureaucratic organizations can often get through these crises because only a small portion of their operations are affected. But for the small mom-and-pop shop owner, having your only storefront destroyed by a storm can be devastating.
One final caveat: My Patriot Supply is dedicated to helping patriots prepare for all kinds of crises, not just natural disasters. We're here to help folks like you live more self-reliant lives, every day, not just in the wake of a major storm. If you've dedicated yourself to preparedness, you already know that Mother Nature is only one threat we face.
Spread the word before the next storm
However, it's important for us in the know to spread this message to those who are woefully under-prepared for Mother Nature's might. The more of us that band together in preparedness, the better chance we stand in recovering from storms that are usually completely out of our control.
So next time you talk with your neighbors, friends or family about preparedness, you can share these facts and insights with them. They might prove useful in helping them get prepared.
Have a great weekend and stay informed out there, friends!
Read last week's Survival Scout: 4 TIPS FOR PATRIOTS THAT MAKE THE MOST OUT OF HARVEST