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The power of preparedness

As hardy, resilient DustBowlOklahoma farm and ranch folks, my grandparents faced drought, floods, the effects of two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

As for the last disaster, my mom remembers wetting towels to put in the windows and around doors in an attempt to keep the dust from coming in the house.

Preparedness helped make life easier.

In another childhood moment, she sat terrified in the storm cellar as her dad and granddad held the door shut with strong rope to stop the suction of a tornado from pulling anyone out.

Preparedness helped save lives.

This is not to say every day of farming and ranching was horrible. But all my family grew up keenly aware of how to “hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.” Taking the personal responsibility to prepare is simply a family habit.

For my grandparents, that meant taking time to put things out of the way of floods before the huge thunderstorms rumbled by. It also meant stocking up on supplies — enough for both humans and livestock — in case no one could make it to the store for days or months. Their due diligence in keeping the farm safe and secure even included the best and most feared Doberman Pinscher in the state, Duke.

Preparation is key in self defense and emergency thinking as well. As a volunteer firefighter and EMT a few years back, I was trained in HAZMAT drills that were pretty unthinkable and unlikely. I sure hope a dirty bomb doesn’t go off in my city, but thankfully our local firefighters could handle it and much worse.

My karate students over the years worked their butts off to make themselves ready for something that may never happen. So did I. I really doubt I will need the skills learned in those blindfolded drills against multiple attackers, but still it was fun, exciting, and taught me to move and think in different ways.

Preparation is key in facing disaster, the bully at school, or the knife-wielding attacker. Research shows people with even a small sense of control over their situation perform better that those who believe they have no control. When you realize you have options, you are enabled to take more effective action.

In self defense situations, the more you know about your own skills and the flow of physical, mental or emotional violence, the more likely you will be to respond in a way that keeps you safe.


  • United States Coast Guard understands it, “Semper Paratus” or “ever ready.”
  • Boy Scouts understand it — “Be Prepared.”
  • My grandparents understood it, “Lori, we never know what might happen. Best to be ready.”


UPDATE on the release of the ebook, The Narcissist: A User’s Guide:

Both Betsy Wuebker of Passing Thru and I thank everyone who has downloaded our power-packed ebook! If you haven’t yet, you can discover more about it here, and then read Betsy’s great backstory to its beautiful layout and design by Sirius Graphix here.  (The wonderful folks at Sirius Graphix made sure we were prepared for our launch!)

We’ve found the rush of  emailed feedback, comments, and discussion to be great, and we want to invite anyone to share their stories as well for a future, follow-up book. Interested? Drop Betsy an email: betsywuebker AT passingthru DOT com

Again, thank you!


Thank you for visiting and learning more about self defense.
If you think others can benefit, please pass it on!

Lori Hoeck

Photo: Wikipedia Link

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hilary February 6, 2010, 2:03 am

    Hi Lori .. I love that picture you presented there with the constant awareness and preparedness .. shouldn’t we all. As you so rightly say – you have some control if that preparedness is there and you can be flexible if things don’t go according to plan. Your book certainly seems to be ‘hitting’ home and is offering all sorts of ideas to us .. I’ll be reading it now I’m back .. thank you – Hilary

  • Lori Hoeck February 8, 2010, 7:58 pm

    Hi Hilary,
    Some people can fly by the seat of their pants through tough times, emergencies, disasters, or difficult relationship, but it is rare! The rest of us have to rely on preparedness. Thank you.

  • janice February 9, 2010, 4:09 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Preparedness from a place of positive thinking and pure old fashioned common sense stops you from being a Cassandra or a misery. Feeling you have the spiritual – and practical skills – to help you cope with anything life deals out is one of the best ways to feel in control of your life, if such a thing is possible. That’s why I love the Serenity prayer so much.

  • Lori Hoeck February 9, 2010, 11:21 pm

    Hi Janice,
    The Serenity prayers certainly makes for healthier thinking, but it can be tough to find that mindset, especially this part, “Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.”