Today is a day when many play lighthearted pranks on one another.
However, there is one prankster out there who doesn't wait for one day of the year, and who always takes the prank too far.
I'm talking about that "prankstress" - Mother Nature. And, when she gets up her tricks, it can often be with unexpected and devastating effects.
Let's explore her dangerous mischief and how to avoid being made a fool of by Mother Nature.
DON'T FOOL AROUND
MOTHER NATURE DOESN'T
Every emergency or crisis we prepare for is unpredictable. And, even with our advanced science and meteorologists, they often get things like snowstorms, tsunamis and hurricanes wrong.
Sometimes the threat is overblown and damage is minimal. In those times, we breathe a sigh of relief. But when weather or natural disasters are worse than predicted - many lives get caught in the fray.
And, it's not just physical damage and lives lost or injuries. Mother Nature has a way of burdening us in the aftershock of a storm as well...
WREAKS FINANCIAL HAVOC
$1.1 trillion -- It's a figure you won't hear coming out of the mouths of politicians. Sure, you might hear them talk about our national debt, which is at a staggering $19.8 trillion and counting. But $1.1 trillion represents the damages from 196 major weather disasters since 1980. This is what I call a "natural disaster debt". And that figure doesn't even include earthquakes or weather disasters with less than a billion dollars in damage.
No matter the real total, this report from the National Centers for Environmental Information got me thinking about why and how we prepare, and why self-reliance is intimately linked to our preparedness planning.
As I mentioned earlier, our natural disaster debt number is probably much higher than the National Centers for Environmental Information data reports. Still, more than a trillion dollars is an unfathomable amount. And it highlights the importance of preparedness and self-reliance -- now more than ever.
A STORM DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DEADLY TO DEVASTATE
Of course, personal health and safety always take 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 can consider ourselves lucky.
However, a weather disaster doesn't have to be deadly to cause serious devastation. In fact, in April of 2016, Texas was hit with one of the most severe hail storms on record, causing $3.5 billion in damages. Luckily, no one was killed.
Waco, TX Hail Storm
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.
Folks, this is one of the major reasons why we say you can never over-prepare.
While living through a major storm is the first priority, 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 also help you through the financial fallout from severe weather.
MOTHER NATURE DOESN'T PAY BACK HER DEBTS
Politicians 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.
Could our government do more to make our nation's infrastructure more disaster-resistant? Certainly. Should self-reliant patriots hold out hope that they will? Hardly.
That's why it's every patriot's duty to engineer their own emergency response plans. Not only for the immediate impact of the storm, but for the follow-on financial fallout. And, our ability to get back on our feet, back to work, and back to our daily lives is what keeps our economy strong.
Have a Plan
MOTHER NATURE'S DEBT IS A TAX ON HARD-WORKING PATRIOTS
When major weather disasters strike, 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 least help. After major weather events, these hard-working folks can expect to see increased taxes, increased 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.
It should be clear to anyone with a basic knowledge of preparedness, not to fool around with the unpredictability of nature. The risk to life, property and prosperity is simply too high to believe otherwise.
As we head further into spring, summer and fall, remember whether spring floods, tropical hurricanes or freak October snow storms, it pays to be ready.
The top two things you need when Mother Nature delivers a nasty surprise:
- Enough emergency food to last each member of your household for several weeks
- Access to clean, safe water (or a way to filter it to make it clean and safe to drink
Without these two things, your ability to survive is seriously diminished. Pass this fact on to friends and family who are woefully under-prepared. Or, ensure you have extra supplies on-hand for those that arrive during a crisis and did not plan ahead.
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 a real threat we face. But, those of us in the know need to spread this message to those who are woefully under-prepared. The more we band together in preparedness, the better chance we all have in recovering from a natural disaster. So, next time you talk with your neighbors, friends or family about preparedness, share these facts and insights with them. They might prove useful in helping them get prepared.
Have a great weekend and stay safe out there, friends!
My Patriot Supply
Read Last Week's Survival Scout: Life-Giving and Deadly: How to Prepare for Water Contamination
Read the next Survival Scout: The Preparedness Prophet
See our complete Survival Scout index of articles.