Happy New Year!! Are you prepared?
So you want to be a badass superhero or superheroine, do you? What do you picture yourself doing? Rushing in and beating down the bad guys who are currently beating down the good guys? Catching the serial robber/rapist/killer that’s been terrorizing your hood? Saving the damsel in distress?
That’s pretty darned noble of you.
Now, how do you plan on doing this? Do you picture yourself getting off of work, grabbing a quick bite and then gearing up and heading out?
And once you come upon one of your much-imagined (dare we say, hoped-for) scenarios, how do you see the situation playing out? Are you alone? Are you armed? Do you travel in a group? What are your duties? Who’s got your back? Who calls 911? Do you physically confront the bad guy? How do you know if they’re armed? Is there more than one person?
What happens if you get hurt? What happens if your teammate gets hurt? Does everyone have your emergency contact’s number? If you have a spouse and/or children, do you have a disability or life-insurance policy in place? How will your family get along without you?
And supposing everything goes as well as planned,
Are you prepared to speak the police and give them your full, real name? Are you willing to talk to any press? And later, are you willing to appear in court to testify?
If you’ve got all the answers to these hypothetical questions, congratulations! You’ve done your homework. You’re one of the rare few that might actually be mentally and physically equipped to take on the role of real life superhero.
If you notice any of the above questions are lacking a detailed answer, it’s time to put the gear away and become better prepared. Without adequate preparation, you open yourself and your team (if you have one) up to a veritable plethora of worst-case scenarios.
Even if you don’t plan on confronting crime, it’s a good idea to be well prepared for your next handout or fundraising drive.
A New Year brings with it a tabula rasa for those of us who need to make new starts, new resolutions that add up to being better people. Now is the time to make your plans, and to plan to be better prepared for as many different scenarios as possible. We can’t forsee everything that’s around the corner, but to not attempt to prepare for the things that we know that might befall us is foolish.
A daily mantra (taken from my dojo) is:
It could happen to me. It could happen today. If it happens, I’ll be prepared for it and I’ll act on it.
This is just a little list of the things we can do to help ourselves, and after all, how can we best help others, if we can’t help ourselves?
For all emergency medical situations: CPR, CERT, and First Responder courses
For emergency/disaster situations: CERT, go bags, emergency plans
For going out on patrol:
Mind: clear mission objectives, knowledge of local laws, de-escalation tactics, calming techniques, awareness, and scenario training
Body: self-defense, medical kit, flashlight, communications, protective wear and gear, more scenario training
For going out, non-patrols:
Mind: clearness of thinking, objective, route, good thoughts and intentions, awareness
Body: physical fitness, protection, positioning
An additional link to get you started: 10 Ways to Be Prepared
If you spend an hour each week on becoming better prepared for this RLSH role that you’ve adopted, you’ll spend less time worrying about What if? and more time taking care of what’s next.