The power of a checklist and a calendar reminder.
Have you ever studied for a test and knew you had everything memorized only to forget important things during the pressure of the test? Have you ever had to try to remember the steps to some task that you did months or even years ago? The art of preparedness is to plan in periods of calm in order to use the plan during a risk event or to prevent a risk event. In our modern computer age two of your greatest tools are the checklist and electronic calendars. Many times we have to prepare for a risk event. Things like changing batteries in smoke detectors. Making sure we check fluids in the car. There are hundreds of small routine tasks that can help reduce the big and small risks in life. Since many of us have a computer or cell phone with a calendar, it is now a simple task to set down a couple times a year and schedule these maintenance tasks. By scheduling them you are more likely to actually remember and complete these tasks. Also by doing these tasks you can change you behavior from a reactive person to one who is proactive.
Now the other tools is the checklist. Right now I go to work and every morning for the last month there has been one or more car accidents. It happens every fall in the area I live. When the first snow hits there will the many car accidents. There are checklists for preparing for winter driving. These are proactive tools that can help one prepare. In fact if you check the Internet you will likely find a checklist for almost any common risk an average American is likely to face. These checklists come in two types. The first is proactive, meaning they provide a list of actions to prepare for or to avoid a risk. These can be put into electronic devices, linked to calendars, etc. They make it so you do not have to remember every detail and the order of the details. Much like cooking recipes allow us to not have to remember the details of preparing a dish so long as we know the basics of cooking. Now the second type of check list is one that would be used during an risk event or right after a risk event. These we generally want both an electronic and a hard copy of. This might be as simple as checklist for basic first aid stored in a first aid kit. The may be things to do for a insurance claim kept with important papers. Basically these lists are designed to help us handle the risk event. As such they have to be available in a form that will be useable during the risk event.
So as you thing about preparing for the important risks in your life, give a thought to using your calendars and creating or finding some good checklists.