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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Survival Prep and Holiday Prep-- No Different

Happy Thursday.. Two weeks till 'Gobble Gobble'..

Let us first start off by saying yes we know.. we haven't written much about current events finance, the economy or the stock market, and there's a reason for that..

What is there really to write about between now and the new year??

Everything of importance; everything that will economically affect people in a potentially adverse way was pretty much can-kicked to 2014

And we're not going to spend 60-90 days writing on debt ceilings, partial government shutdowns and all that sludge unless something specifically occurs in the next month to make these topics immediate.
And the stock market..  It will go up and down and up and..more up..

So short of an unexpected crash, not too much to delve into under that rock..

We all know things are worse today than this day five years ago..  Unless you're filthy rich, it should be apparent.  

So its really all a matter of who you blame and that answer tends to be influenced by the (D) or (R) on your voting cards...  assuming one votes at all.

So today we'll just address a topic relating to both the holidays and the real world of today and tomorrow..
Preparation.

Most people fall into one of two camps on this one...  Either they are super-efficient individuals who plan and strategize especially when they know an event is definitely occurring so to avoid a panicky pushy populace..

The others simply wing it.

And if you wonder how you or another would do in a situation like an impending hurricane or snowstorm, or swirling rumors of a market crash...

The best way really to gauge which type of person you are is to observe how one treats the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.
For example, today is Thurs Nov 14th...  Assuming you are cooking dinner for your family this year, how prepared are you?  Bought the turkey and trimmings yet?   Do you know if 5 are arriving or 15?

Or are you waiting for the food sales so you can compete with your neighbors over a turkey that's 20cents less a pound?

If you're going out to dinner, does your restaurant need a reservation?  Have you made it?

If you're travelling, have you gotten your plane/train/bus ticket yet?  Why not?  
If you're driving a bit of a distance, have you checked your vehicle's tires, oil and other fluids to minimize the chance of any problems on the road?

Once again.. why not?

Of course if Thanksgiving to someone is popping over to the store the day before to buy a microwave meal because after all its just Thursday for heaven's sake..  we concede prepping is quite silly in this instance.

But it is a fact that a person who is efficient and truly prepares for the holidays weeks before they arrive are much more likely to be prepared for foreseen and unexpected emergencies like power loss then someone who just wings it...
A couple nights ago, yours truly went late at night to a 24 hour store to get a few essential odds and ends..  The store was completely barren except for overnight shift workers, and it dawned on me..

This is the Perfect time to get all Thanksgiving prep done.

So being that I wasn't the least bit sleepy, I took my time going aisle by aisle figuring out what I was buying.. the quality of item and quantity of... making price comparisons in my head between brand name and generic..

And it was heaven to just stand in an aisle and truly think what I was doing without other carts knocking mine and people nudging me aside at every turn...

And the prices I paid were really no different than if I waited a week.

And all the while as I am putting the Turkey Day necessities into my basket then immediately heading to the self-checkout kiosk, I was imagining what it will be like at the supermarket on Wed November 27th..

All those poor ignorant souls standing in endless lines because they assumed everything would still be there and/or worse, the poorly planned people who thought they were so efficient then forgot something off that list like butter, aluminum foil or cooking spray...

And I thought about those who will be travelling..  Obviously some people simply can not get out of work or prior commitments any earlier than they are, meaning travel on the busiest day of the year..
And that means weather and other time delays..and stress and headaches.. and more spousal fights and crying kiddies on the way to grandma's house they go

Then I compared to those who are able to travel just two days prior...

Airport terminals still crowded and weather can always be a problem anytime but statistically speaking, one saves themselves a lot of potential hell flying prior and making necessary preparations to have that day free...

Christmas is the same way..  How many people will not begin to buy gifts for others until Black Thursday/Friday?   How many will wait until Christmas is a week away..  or the next day?
And the pathetic part is everyone knows these days arrive annually on a calendar.  No one can say "I was thrown for a loop because I thought Thanksgiving was skipped this year or X-Mas was on the 27th?"

Yours truly actually finished all Christmas shopping the other day..  Not a brag.. OK, perhaps a small one..  But truth is, those Veterans' Day sales were pretty great this year and minimal lines..

Early birds always get the worm.

So if one can not be prepared for holidays which re-occur like clockwork every year, how can one expect them to be diligent when a Category 5 storm is heading their way or pay attention when its clear the economy is due for a massive tumble?
How difficult is it to have spare batteries, a heat source (or cooling source in summer) that doesn't run on electricity, canned food, flashlights, etc...

Most people don't and don't bother till the last moment..  Just like getting a loved one a present or buying a holiday bird..

If you wish or need to improve your survival prep, practice with Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday prep.  Test yourself.. make your list.. check it twice and don't put off till Dec 24th what you can accomplish  today..