Are You Prepared?

By Debra L. Butterfield © 2011

On Friday, someone broke into my apartment and walked out with my laptop. I’m thankful it was only my laptop and not everything else that could have been quickly sold at the pawn shop. All the same, my laptop had personal information on it that I now must take extra action to protect. Oh, I’ve read the articles about documenting your household items and credit cards, but I’ve just never taken the time to do it, and now I must pay the price. It’s a natural part of human nature to believe “It will never happen to me.” “It” might be cancer or a car accident or theft. Any crisis fits into the category of “it.”

There are both practical and spiritual aspects to preparedness. Today’s cyber world makes finding helpful resources easy. Here are three sites I found to have advice on a plethora of topics from nuclear threat to hurricanes to fires to identity theft.

Another practical aspect of preparedness is having a support network in place. Simply put, a support network consists of family and friends who are willing and able to help when you need it—lending a listening ear, offering advice, even babysitting the kids so you can have a break. (Developing a support system was covered in our July issue. For more information, please email me.) For a helpful support system worksheet by Will Baum, LCSW, visit 

The spiritual aspect is a bit more difficult to address. Our world is filled with many faiths and even the word “spiritual” has a variety of connotations in today’s society. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jew or otherwise, having a strong foundation in your chosen faith is important. It is not my intent to offer advice to all faiths. I cannot because I do not have a thorough understanding of them. Surely one piece of advice can apply to all and that is know the doctrinal tenets of your faith. Can you expect your Higher Power to help you, or is He/She/It just watching? Beyond that I will direct advice to those who profess the Christian faith.

The God of the Bible is a God who is active in the lives of His creation. He desires and seeks a personal relationship with His children (that’s us). He cares about what is happening in our lives. A relationship with God develops as we, as individuals, spend time with Him in conversation and in reading the Bible. As you read the Bible you are going to find verses that speak directly to you and your circumstances that will encourage you, guide you, and comfort you. Memorize them or write them down so when a crisis strikes you can immediately refer back to them. I also recommend having a Bible promise book. This book of Scripture is usually organized by topic and contains God’s promises that we can apply to our situation.

As a part of your support system, ensure that you include people who are mature Christians who can offer biblical advice and prayer when you need it. These friendships develop through an active involvement with a church.

Yes, all of these things take time to do, but in the long run will save you time when you face life’s difficulties. Even if all you do is make a master list of all your electronic devices with brand, model and serial number and keep it in a fireproof box you are ahead of the game. I couldn’t provide the police with the serial number of my laptop and that will seriously hinder the possibility of ever getting it back. But this morning at church I asked my pastor for prayer. I was upset at the prospect of the thief accessing my important accounts or coming back for my TV, DVD player and Nintendo. As I write these words, I’m at peace knowing that my God is watching over me and will provide me the emotional strength I need for any other difficulties that come my way.

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