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Are you prepared for the expected?

By October 15, 2014Advice, Business


The worst storm for some time hit our place on the evening of 14th October 2014, with heavy rain, strong winds and just generally miserable conditions. It was cold also, the Blue Mountains experienced snow storms which cut the rail line in October, almost exactly a year since devastating bushfires had ravaged the area.

So I am sitting here in the dark, (thankfully my laptop still has some battery power) writing this post and musing on what it means to be ready. Where we live, not being prepared for an electricity outage such as we are experiencing now, and have since about 14 hours ago is a pretty important loss of service….

  • We have no lights or power therefore
  • We have no lights
  • We have no water, since we have only rain water supply and the house pump will not go. Thankfully I am able to siphon water from the rain water tank.
  • We can flush the toilets, but only once, because we have no water (back to the old bucket flush)
  • We have little heating because whilst we have a wood burning slow combustion heater, it has a fan which is electrically powered and is needed for the heater to work properly It’s presently six degrees outside.
  • We can cook on our gas stove top but we can’t use the oven because it is electrically powered. I had to use a match to light the burners. Thankfully I had a match, and candles.
  • Our Envirocycle septic system does not work because it is electrically powered. Enough said.
  • Worst of all, my coffee machine won’t work.

We have lived here for more than twenty years, and we probably have an event like this once a year. One of my golfing mates has been nagging me for some time to buy a generator so all of these problems are easily solved, but I haven’t done so, even though I know I should have. Why you ask?

Well I know the power will come back on sometime later today so the problem will go away, and  when it does I will resolve to buy a generator before the next time, because I know it is going to happen again. I have an expected event on my horizon, and I need to do something to minimise the impact it will have on our lives. Somehow though, each time in the past I have put off the purchase, put off being prepared for the expected until it was too late, and had to bear the consequences.

There are lots of things in life like that. In my work, I try constantly to encourage people to prepare for the expected, be it retirement or illness or accident or death or a known future event. I know how easy it is to put off the decision until later, so I try to persuade my clients that a little preparation can make the future known events so much easier. For most of these events, my clients know it is going to occur, they just don’t know when. I know the power will go out sometime again, could be tomorrow, could be next year, but I know it will happen. I have some pretty rough workarounds for the problem I am facing today, which sort of work, but if I only gave the situation a bit more thought and got myself organised, I could do the job properly. This is exactly what you need to do in connection with the events you know are coming, and the sooner you get organised the better life will be.

For me, I’m off to buy a generator, now, not tomorrow, not next week, but now. What about you?

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