The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"Preparedness – A Poor Substitute for READINESS"
Hurricane Harvey is a staunch reminder that, like self-defense, having resources is not the same for having plans and skill in their use. This week, Pat offers a short life-saving message about a true survival mentality.
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There’s a big difference between being prepared, and being ready. And this week, in observance of the absolute hell being rained down on south-eastern Texas and the millions of people being forced to endure that, I want to speak to this difference. I want to devote a brief Guardian Broadcast to the concept of readiness. Not only being prepared for what may happen to us, but being ready for it to happen with the slightest bit of warning.
When we look at Hurricane Harvey, what do we see: A storm that, in 56 hours, went from something minor – something that warranted no official predictions of devastation – to something that, even before it fully arrived, officials were warning would be a disaster of epic proportions.
So here we have a big reminder: life happens fast. Problems happen fast. Real, life-changing or life-ending problems.
And the solution to these problems is not always as simple as hopping in the car, which is something we need to be able to wrap our minds around.
Just like with our guns… where millions of permit-holding armed guardians falsely believe that a magazine of ammo is a cure-all to potential violence, we Americans tend to draw way too much security from the gas in the tanks of our automobiles. And on the surface, it makes sense: even a half tank of gas will get you far enough away so that even a direct nuclear strike wouldn’t hurt you. A hurricane can’t reach you. A disease can’t keep up with you. Flooding can’t touch you. Because in most of these events, safety and security are only as far away as the nearest hill. Or over the nearest hill.
But what happens when the path to that hill is blocked by 4 foot of water, and our car or truck is swamped? Or what happens when we get to that hill, but there are 20,000 other people already there, barely a place to sit that’s not covered in feces, and absolutely zero drinking water?
I can’t tell you how many war memoirs I’ve read where perfectly good tanks or personnel carriers were abandoned for want of gasoline, leaving wounded and unarmed men to run on foot to avoid encirclement, while 25 miles away gigantic fuel reserves were being charged for demolition to avoid them falling into enemy hands. This is about how useful the gasoline in our tanks will be, if we lack good plans on how to employ it.
And this is the difference between being prepared, and being ready. Preparedness is a tank full of gas. Readiness is having a plan for all likely contingencies. HOW are you going to use that tank of gas? And most importantly, WHEN are you going to use it? Where do you draw that line, and when do you make that decision?
Obviously, there are direct parallels to going armed and handgun combat – that’s what we talk about all the time. How we have to have thought about all this and practiced for the inevitability well in advance. But specifically with hurricanes, let’s continue this mental exercise: How and when do you decide to jump ship and evacuate? Or when do you decide that staying put makes the most sense?
Obviously, part of the decision is data driven: what is happening at this moment? How does that compare to the last few hours and days – in other words, what does the trajectory show? In the hurricane example, decide what your data-points are: What are the weather guys saying? What are the preparedness fanatics saying? What are the sheep saying? What seems like the best course? And how are you going to monitor the situation so you can be aware of developments in real time?
What options do you have available? Where can you go? And how can you monitor the escape-route so that you don’t begin a journey you’ll regret, because you get stranded or trapped along the way?
These are all just a few of the questions someone living in a hurricane zone needs to ask themselves WELL IN ADVANCE of any storm. Days ahead at a bare, reckless minimum; preferably the moment they move into a hurricane zone, and even then, re-evaluated every season.
And this is the greater mission of the Guardian in all aspects of life. Don’t just be prepared: be READY.
Ask yourself what disasters are most likely in the area you live in. And then think about it until you have a pretty good idea of what that would look like. Snow? Ice? Flooding? Fires? Power outages?
What is most likely for you? And what things would you wish you had on hand in those most likely scenarios?
And don’t even think about guns. Very, very, very rarely does disaster preparedness ever involve anything related to rifles or ammunition. I’ve always told people that: if you want to know how to prepare for the worst natural disaster imaginable, load three rounds into your most rugged handgun, and then sell all the rest of your guns and ammo. Then, put that money into methods of keeping yourself and your neighbors dry, warm, hydrated, and fed.
As always, the strategy is almost universal. But the actual tactics are going to depend on where you live and what your life looks like. There’s a lot of wisdom out there on this subject. We just have to take advantage of it.
Alright, that’s all from me for this week. Remember, my fellow guardians… your dependencies are counting on you to not only be prepared, but to be ready.