Important to Me

For the first time in a year, I was able to go to a CERT Meeting. Being prepared and helping others s important to me, but my work schedule kept me away. I hate it when my priorities and actions don’t line up.

At first I was afraid of feeling like an outsider, but the group is awesome and welcoming. My worrying, as usual, was wasted brain space. The leader sent out a group shot from the meeting with the minutes. It meant a lot to see myself in the picture.

Tammy at CERT Meeting

The idea of the meeting was to brainstorm about how to get people to prepare for emergencies. Historically it has been proven that giving long lists of things to buy or telling people to make a plan doesn’t work. It can be overwhelming, people don’t see the need, or they refuse to be afraid about the possibility of bad things that might happen and simply ignore the odds.

Growing up in earthquake country, I’ve always known that I should have supplies on hand, but normally I never did. I was definitely in the overwhelmed camp. I didn’t believe I could do it all, so I did nothing at all.

Many times in my life having too much on my to do list led me to do nothing. Everything from cleaning my flat to choosing a carpet color have put me over the inaction edge. Each time eventually the pain of not doing it finally became greater than the action itself.

Attending this CERT meeting got me back to preparing … in baby steps. Ever since the leaking bottles incident, I hadn’t fully restored my water supply. Living in a desert, this is vital. So now I’m adding it to my shopping list each week. One $1 item a week is very doable.

At the meeting we discussed how language can also add roadblocks. Most people don’t want to perceive themselves as crazy preppers. One idea we had was a Disaster Survival Scorecard. This way people would receive a score for everything they got done. For me, checking things off a list is reward enough but some people are more rewarded by getting a grade. Okay, that would be me, too!

It was hard for us to know what would inspire others. The fact that we were at this meeting at all meant we’d already drank of the being prepared Kool-Aid.

Have you ever been overwhelmed to the point of inaction? or Are you motivated by checking things off lists?

6 thoughts on “Important to Me”

  1. I haven’t thought about disaster preparedness for a long time. As someone who lived through a major flood, I should actually be thinking about this more often. It was a tough time and one that I don’t want to go through again. Of course, if it wasn’t for the preparation of everyone around me, things could have gone much worse. It pays to have a little water hanging around especially if you’re in a place prone to disasters like Earthquakes. Seems like a good idea to me.


    1. Surviving a flood must have been very scary!

      Having well prepared neighbors can make all the difference. That is the main reason why I joined CERT: To learn how to be more ready and to help those around me be that way too.


  2. Inaction because of overwhelmedness is the name of my main motivation. Or lack thereof. I know some people who stockpile ammo, while my plan of survival in case of an emergency is to run into my backyard, raise my hands to the sky and scream “TAKE ME LORD!”

    Clearly I need help in this area.


    1. It is that level of overwhelm that we are working to help overcome. Breaking it down into little pieces – baby steps – has been a tremendous help for me. I recently went to a preparedness class that had all these things I need to buy. I haven’t even downloaded the list because it is too much, so I definitely feel your pain!

      I need to take the time, get the list, and prioritize it. Then create lists. Then buy one thing a week/pay period/quarter … depending on the cost. At least knowing I don’t have to go out and buy everything tomorrow makes me not want to go hide under the covers and pretend that California doesn’t have earthquakes!


  3. Many, many times I’m frozen by being overwhelmed, and have found baby steps work the best for me. Like the time I had fabric for a quilt for my husband purchased and cut out and then pieced a few squares but then it sat around for almost 2 years, until my daughter suggested a square a day. Just looking at a square at a time got me to dive into it. In 2 months I’d finished it. Simple? Yes. But sometimes it’s the proverbial forest for the trees. In my case – I only saw the forest instead of tackling it a tree at a time.


    1. There are so many forests in life! My water supply is now back to where it should be, so now on to my next baby step… Getting all the paperwork copied and together in one place.


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