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How we need to prepare


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Forced Assumptions

Never assume, it makes an ASS out of U and ME.

That statement may be desirable but it is unrealistic. We all make assumptions, it is in our nature and in reality beyond our control as we are forced to make them. You read about a situation and immediately your mind fills in the gaps with assumptions as to who and why. It makes for very interesting discussions but sometimes you are wrong and you just smile and shrug your shoulders. In most cases an assumption simply means you get it wrong. No harm done. In our situation though assumptions can be deadly. You read about fatalities all the time when people have made assumptions and not checked for themselves.

We cannot take the chance when we are preparing for unknown events. We must check everything and mitigate for everything we can. Although it may not be possible to mitigate for every event we should at least consider those events to see what we can mitigate for. Exploring outside the box is a very good way to do this and ways around other problems can be found by just being a little creative. However, when we assume something we don’t explore it That can be, and very often is, a mistake. You see almost every decision we make creates assumptions which must be explored. You decide to bug in. You are automatically assuming that your home is going to be there, the asteroid is not going to hit there, the radiation is going to blow a different direction, you can actually get there and many other assumptions. Bugging out is even worse, you assume where you are going is going to be free and also still there, you can make the trip from where you are, you will have enough supplies to make the trip, your other supplies will be there and many other assumptions. You mitigate what you can but these assumptions are what your plan is all about. So you need to be realistic and accept that there is likely a situation that you simply have not prepared for. You want as few of these as you can.

So when you are reading a story about something then fine, make all the assumptions you want, but when you are looking at an issue that may take place where your life or your families lives are in the balance then don’t make any assumptions unless you have to. Even then still chase every point down to the end and check out every fact. Any you can’t do that with then at least check up what the general view is, check out what others think and are doing. Do as much as you can. Work on the worse case scenario. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you are wrong like so many have before.

I’ve given many examples on this site of assumptions and what they could mean if you look back and those of you that have tried out your preparations, or even simply gone camping, have found several minor but significant issues that they have not considered. From forgetting the tin opener, the batteries, a torch to forgetting your passport or your tickets.

That is why I make checklists and shopping lists and, well, other lists. I don’t want to rely on memory and assume that I will remember the basics. When I’m checking issues I consider what the follow on will be from them and try and explore that continuing down wherever those issues lead. Mitigating for what I can and not worrying about those I am sure I cannot mitigate for.

So get into the habit of checking things that ordinarily you would assume. Count the volume of water you have, work out the number of days it will last you, consider your family, now how long? What if your partners family turns up, how long now? How will you handle it and be realistic, your partner isn’t going to be happy with her parents, brothers and sisters machine gunned down in the path. Then consider who may turn up that you have not seen for a while. What if they bring family? Think, evaluate and prepare making the minimum of assumptions and only those you have to.

At the bottom line though, sometimes you have no choice. You have to assume but if you do, err on the side of caution, be realistic and play safe. Assume the worst. It will be for the best as all the assumptions won’t work out worst case and you will be better off for it even if you have not managed to prepare as much as you wanted.

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