I recently read this post on Reddit and it reminded me of how unprepared a majority of my friends and family are in the event of a disaster.
This is quite disheartening as when you look over the current affairs in the United States – it looks like shit is likely to go down eventually. There is no excuse for being unprepared as I am telling you right now – again – shit is eventually going to hit the fan.
Whether that means there is rioting in your city, a major hurricane, getting stranded on the highway in a snowstorm, something is going to happen and as a man and the leader of your family, you are expected to get everyone through the suffering with as little physical and mental damage as possible.
Masculine Men (Leaders) Know What to Do – Even when They Don’t
If you read the linked post you’ll notice that the dude took all of the brunt work on himself – yet he expected and clearly articulated to his family what their roles were (and yes they all had a job to do, none of this women & children being exempt from labor).
He walked the neighborhood, scoping out the highest ground in the event of flooding, and did some recon to find any exit pathways (unfortunately they were flooded). My point is this – he had already planned this in his mind. At some point during his commutes, his workdays, his weight lifting sessions – this dude thought of what he would do if shit hit the fan.
You need to be prepared and in order to be prepared you need to run through mental exercises where you envision something bad happening and how you’ll respond.
If you’re a dad I’m sure you’ve watched your kid walk along a rock wall or some other ledge balancing as they go. In your mind you’ve already mapped out where you’ll step, which hand you’ll use, and where you’ll grab if the kid were to fall. This is where ‘Dad Reflexes’ come from, Fathers are in tune with their surroundings and specifically with what their family members are doing. You’ve pictured your kid falling from that wall 400xs so when it happens, boom you seem like you’ve got some premonition and were able to get there as soon as it happened.
Implement this same ‘Dad Reflex’ on a much more broad and serious scale.
Do you have a medical kit in your car? What about your home?
Do you have flashlights, candles, batteries, lamps, food, or a fire extinguisher in your home?
I could go on for pages with lists, gear, and reasons behind each – but that is not the point of this post. If you’d like a list of items, look at any of the ‘prepper’ sites that are out there. It doesn’t matter whether these people are worried about an EMP, Tornado, or some other nuclear fallout. Take the information that is applicable to you, look at the gear they have chosen to include, and find out why. Then look at yourself and ask the question, am I prepared?
In my Jeep I have a first aid kit, flashlight, knife, and a few other car essentials. If I drive by a car accident, I can help. If I’m at the playground and my kid eats shit jumping off the slide, I can help, if I have to batten down the hatches because of a storm and someone gets hurt, we’re good – I’m prepared.
You need to be confident in saying the same. Take a look at your house. Do your wife and kids know where the fire extinguisher is? Do they know where your water reserve is? Do you even have a reserve of water in case you lose power/water? What about lanterns or flashlights?
Disasters are similar to family vacations: The difference between a stress free vacation and a getaway that sucks is planning. You have to plan for the kids, plan for the wife, and never have that what do we do now moment – because that’s where the tears, arguments, and rage sets in.
The same goes for disasters.
If you have a nasty hurricane headed your way, you can greatly reduce the stress you and the rest of your family experiences by being prepared and planning. If you lose power for 4 days and are stuck in your house you’ll need entertainment, food, water, hygiene, etc. Have a plan and fill your role as the man.
If you don’t and you reach that what do we do now? moment – stand the fuck by. Your kids will be annoying the shit out of you, your wife will be launching nuclear shit tests, your mind will get fried, and ultimately, when all is said and done – you will look like a man who cannot fend for his family and this is a stigma you may carry forever.
You’ll be at cookouts and your wife will talk about how you didn’t know what to do and how terrible the whole experience was, she’ll know that her man isn’t dependable and will compare you to others. This will lead to future fights because as a man your pride will be hurt when she says, I bet Hunter Drew was prepared and didn’t have to go x days without food
If another storm is headed your way your wife won’t support you or trust your leadership as you failed in the past. Again, more fights as you’ll tell her this time will be different – blah blah blah
You are measured on your actions and there will only be a few times in your life where you can show your leadership and emergency response traits. If you miss that window, whenever you watch a movie and the main man is leading the way – your wife will think of how her man couldn’t do that.
So plan ahead and be ready for the time that your number is called and you are forced to step into the arena.
Our society is plagued with this notion that someone else will fix their problems and take care of them; Believe me, you will have to step into that arena and when you do so, you’ll be alone. There my be a time where nobody comes to help you, are you ready for that?
Now, lets shift gears and picture what happens if/when you do have a plan.
You give your instructions on what you need her to get done (Gives her a chance to make you proud)
You give your kids their orders (makes them feel involved and a part of ‘saving the day’)
You look at all possible outcomes/ways to reduce the negative impact on the family – then act.
You’ll have games and ways to pass the time so kids are calm, maybe afraid, but still calm and aware that they need to maintain a standard of relaxation and silence.
Your family will have food, light, and most importantly confidence that it’s all going to be ok – they’ll find comfort in the discomfort and view it as an adventure vice being terrified.
Your wife will see that you’ve got it under control and that she can relax and release her feminine side as she isn’t forced to lead – her man’s got it. This will allow her to ease enough to go back to tending her duties an not feel she has to look over your’s.
You’ll be alert, tired, and fucking smiling as you know you’re prepared and ready to handle whatever it is that’s thrown your way.
You’ll come out of it as a tighter unit and your actions will show your wife and kids that when push comes to shove, their man rises to the occasion. Your wife will talk about how you saved the day and took charge; your kids will talk about how they helped and how awesome it was, etc.
The difference between being a hero and being a zero is having a plan.