Some years ago I purchased my first home computer. After countless days of comparing prices, hard drive speeds, software packages, and more, I decided which computer was right for me. I had worked out pricing and was ready to make my purchase!
It was then that the sales associate asked if I wanted to buy a surge protector for my computer. Immediately I thought to myself, "No, I don't have enough money for that. I could use the money for software or for a better keyboard or something else." Then suddenly it occurred to me that if there were a surge of electricity, I would lose a $2500 computer. It was absolutely foolish not to purchase a $30 item that would, in essence, save my $2500 investment. The principle of protecting something I valued seemed like common sense to me. In fact, it was so appealing that I chose the most expensive surge protector with a lifetime guarantee. It was when I got home that I realized what I had done and decided to begin making some pretty interesting parallels about what my priorities were or what they should be.
- I had full-coverage insurance on my automobile policy with only a $100 deductible.
- My car was waxed at least once a month to protect that new car shine.
- I had my car serviced and checked before every long road trip.
- I shampooed the rugs in my house every year to keep them looking new.
- I purchased a $50 program to protect and repair my computer.
- I had a life insurance policy for me and my wife.
- We locked our house and car doors to keep our belongings safe.
Why did I do all these things? The reason was clear to me: I wanted to protect the valuables that were important to me. Then, it occurred to me, what kind of precautions am I taking when it comes to emergency preparedness? If a major emergency occurred today, would all my efforts protect the ones I truly love? Unfortunately the answer was no; I would not be prepared and all of my precautions for my belongings would not be of any use. Just like my computer-buying experience, I chose to be more concerned about a luxury instead of insuring what's most important: my family's well-being.
When it came right down to it, I realized that my priorities were not in order. I was protecting material things above my own safety and the safety of those I dearly love. In fact, for the very same price I paid for my expensive surge protector, I could have bought emergency equipment for my family.
I realized that I needed to make some changes. I set new priorities and began to purchase emergency supplies.
The first thing I did was to buy an emergency kit for my family. For a small sum I was able to insure my family with shelter, food, water, light, heat, and more in case of an emergency.
The next step in my preparation investment was my food storage. It seems almost impossible to store one year's worth of food for my family. I've decided to start small with one month's supply at a time. This has worked well because buying a months supply of food at a time is not going to drain my bank account. As my supply of food grows we will rotate the food and we will save money on our grocery bills.
It is always wise to take time to evaluate our priorities. For me this experience of purchasing a computer was a real eye opener.