As you may have noticed from my earlier post, this was supposed to be an in-depth look at a cool website I have been using, 13skills.com.  Instead, its a brief look at why we prepare for things, and the importance of redundancy in that preparation.

I am a prepper, and a future homesteader.  When most people think of those two words, they envision something like this.

Trailer Stacking Shipping Container Fort Extreme Food Storage

Trust me, no one sane wants to live like that, least of all my wife and I.  If you do, please stop reading my blog and go away.  You will only undermine what I and others are legitimately trying to build.

The basic premise of preparedness is that you are preparing for when systems fail around you.  That doesn’t have to be anything crazy like a conspiracy takeover of the world.  I am sure the people in the path of Hurricane Sandy would have loved to be a little better prepared.  Some of them are still without power.  Living where I do in Arizona, we lose power on a regular basis in the summer.  That could be hazardous to our health if we were older or had young children.

Systems around you will always fail at some point.  In 2011 in the late summer, three states and two countries had major grid down situations because a power employee changed a part.  Correctly.  California has suffered from rolling brownouts for years in the summer.  Blizzards close roads every year in the Northeast.  Preparedness is being able to step in with your own redundant system and be as unaffected as possible when systems do fail, whether its for a day, or for a month.

How is this lesson important, and why did it come to me?  Because my communication system failed this morning.  I got up early so I could work on my blog without always taking that time away from my wife.  I want this to succeed, so I am willing to work the extra hours for it.  Instead of having a nice, effective discussion of 13 skills, I sat for 25 minutes and watched my internet blinking at me.  Comcast decided this would be a great morning to fail.  So my communication system was down.  In my case, it meant my blog wasn’t what I thought it would be.  What if I had a high powered teleconference to attend?  What if I had VOIP or used Skype and had a conference call to be on?  What if I ran a web business from me home?

I had a redundancy in place, so for me it was a minor inconvenience.  I picked up my nice Galaxy 2 smart phone and started banging this out on the WordPress App until my internet came back up.  Slow beats not moving any day.  I was prepared, and that turned a loss of a system, into an inconvenience.  That’s why we prepare.  Look around you at the systems you rely on every day.  When was the last time they were disrupted?  What would it take to disrupt them?  How would you handle it?  The more you ask these questions, the sooner you can start thinking about addressing those needs.

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