Are you prepared for the unforeseen circumstances that may arise? 

Terrorism, rogue states like North Korea, the invasion of the southern border by drug cartels, natural disasters, and the violence of left wing criminals like the ANTIFA and BLM should be reason enough.  Never go out looking for trouble.  When trouble finds you, if you're not prepared, you are at the mercy of the people who WANT YOU DEAD!

There are four levels of preparedness: personal preparedness, vehicle preparedness, home preparedness, and "retreat / bug out" preparedness. Your personal level of preparedness includes your mindset and the items you carry with you. Vehicle preparedness focuses on the items kept in a vehicle, with the idea that they are there to help you get home safe. Home preparation pertains to the items that you need to sustain yourself long term at your home in the event of a situation like a massive terrorist attack, an attack on the power grid, or something similar. The "retreat or bug out"  preparedness is the place you go if you cannot get home or can no longer stay at your home. The focus of this particular series is on your personal preparation.

When we talk about personal preparedness, there are four basic aspects that fall into this category: spiritual preparation & mindset, physical body, personal skills, and gear. When people start talking about being prepared for an emergency, the first thing people always think about is the gear that you need. However, one of the most neglected areas of all is mindset.  Your mindset is something that permeates everything that you do.

In any life and death situation, there is always the chance that you don't survive.    Is your spirit prepared for what happens if you don't make it? I know I will keep going and fighting for the sake of my family until God decides it is my time.  Where are you going after you die? Your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior is the first thing to have resolved.  Ultimately, being prepared spiritually, is what really matters above all.

One aspect of mindset is having / developing the will to keep going no matter what. Think about some of the grueling training that many of the elite warriors go through to get to where they are.  One of the reasons they are put through such hard training is to weed out the people that will quit.  They can't afford to have someone quit in the middle of an operation because of the pressure.  Do you have the drive to keep going even if you are injured or exhausted? What motivates you?  Is it your spouse, children, or something else?  Whatever it is, let that be part of your focus to keep you going.  This is not something that someone else can teach you.  YOU need to dig down deep and find that part of yourself.

Another aspect of mindset is situational awareness. Today so many people have their faces buried in their cell phones and are not paying attention to what is happening around them. You should be relaxed, but alert scanning your area for any possible threats. This is not being paranoid but is being aware of your surroundings.  If you are watching the people around you, you often times can see the people who are up to something, or have bad intentions.  Along with situational awareness is the idea that you always leave yourself an "out". When we say leaving yourself an "out", we mean having a means of escape in every situation in the event things "go to hell."  If something does happen, your level of priorities should be to avoid the situation, evade your attackers, and if you've exhausted all other alternatives, resort to "life defense mode".  The best outcome in a life and death situation is not getting in the situation in the first place. 

Another important aspect of mindset is crisis rehearsal.  It goes along with situational awareness. What would I do if X, Y, or Z...happens?  This is followed by having multiple plans for those "what if" situations.  James Mattis has a great quote which embodies the prepared mindset, "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."  

Part of the prepared mindset is the idea of being able to improvise, adapt, and overcome.  This is obviously taken from the military circles, but it has genuine application to our civilian life.  Think about it.  In the event of an emergency, how could you accomplish certain tasks without the necessary tools.  How can you improvise in the situation to accomplish the task?

One of the great problems in America today, is the political correctness that we see all around us.  In a person with a prepared mindset, there is no place for political correctness.  This is about survival.  You cannot be afraid of offending someone or hurting the feelings of someone you encounter who gives you that bad feeling, worrying that if you are wrong you will be labelled as a __________(fill in the blank).  You cannot afford to be naïve.  Expect the unexpected.  Other people's values are not necessarily your values.  Think about it in terms like "when people lose everything, and have nothing else to lose, they lose it".  Realize certain segments of the population, like the gang culture, are already living with a survival of the fittest mentality. They are accustomed to that lifestyle. If they don't adapt, they will die.

Because your mindset affects all of the other aspects of your personal preparedness, I would dare to say it is the most important part of being prepared.

Continued in Part 2