What Did We Learn from 2020?

While most of us would like to forget 2020, doing so would be a huge mistake. We were painfully reminded during the "year of the pandemic" of one of my favorite phrases that I attribute to the venerable Dr. Todd Conklin, Ph.D., "things that have never happened before, happen all the time". The takeaway point being that we cannot expect our future to be predictable and conform to our current belief systems which are based upon our own past experiences.

The first thing that comes to mind is the pandemic of course- a disruptive and deadly event which continues to threaten businesses and individuals alike. The pandemic brought severe supply chain issues and personal restrictions that current living generations had never experienced. And let's add the many violent protests, both left and right which occurred in various venues around the country-including the forceful relinquishment of a portion of a major northwestern city to a coalition of violent protestors for weeks on end.

The social upheaval our first world country experienced caused a host of personal security and preparedness issues that are usually only seen and endured in so called 3rd world countries. People ran out of necessities, feared for their personal safety and were afraid to leave their homes in some areas. Could this be possible in the USA? It definitely was and this is not a political statement. It's just fact.

Could we have predicted these events based upon our past? Probably not. Could we have better prepared for disruptions of this nature? Absolutely. What should preparation look like for the road ahead? It's been my belief and practice that personal resiliency and self sufficiency is the goal we all should strive to achieve. It looks different depending exactly where you live but there are important commonalities-personal safety/defense, access to alternative power, ability to communicate, access to money, medicine, food, water, and ability to relocate temporarily.

There are different parts of the country where individuals know that they need to be prepared to fend for themselves in the face of severe weather, a medical emergency, an interruption of the supply chain, loss of power or the threat of violence. In many rural areas, residents know that a call to 911 may take an hour to see an official first responder so they make it part of their lifestyle and culture to be self sufficient. But too many people living "in the bubble" in major metro areas have rarely experienced the sinking feeling of "no one's coming" after multiple calls to an overloaded 911 system go unanswered, for instance in the case of a flood, tornado or other localized disaster. But talk to people who have experienced first hand the feeling of desperation and helplessness because they dismissed the need for preparation and self reliance and I can assure you the have become true believers. "Foxhole religion" as they say.

I urge you not to rely on others for your personal safety and well being when a major disruption occurs in the future which it most certainly will. Take ownership and commit to be self reliant. Better yet, be able to help not only yourself but those around you if resources permit.

I encourage you to avail yourself to the many excellent resources which are funded by your own tax dollars such as or contact Savage Global Strategies for assistance with implementing your personal or business continuity plan. Since you braved the previous 3,000 words, here's a copy of my own personal preparedness list:

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