Lifetime Disaster Assessment
Lifetime Disaster Assessment by M.B. – Survival Blog
Coming To Grips With a Life Changing Event
If you live long enough, you will undoubtedly face a life changing event. These events are not easy to plan for. And even if you know one is on the horizon, they always seem to catch you by surprise. I refer to these life changing events as sentinel events, because once they happen your life will be forever changed.
While I’ve practiced and taught strategic planning and business development in several different industries, including pharmaceutical sales and hospice/rehab/long-term care senior healthcare, I have survived several sentinel events in my own life. I generally feel as if I have come through them stronger and smarter because of my struggles. However, “no” that wasn’t a ringing endorsement of wanting to experience anymore of these type of events.
Losing your spouse, a child, your parents, or your career are all typical sentinel events that most people have to endure at some point in their lives. I once worked with a woman who had lost both her parents in a car crash as a teenager. She then went on to lose two of her three sons in the middle-eastern conflict Desert Storm in the early 90’s. I can’t even imagine how difficult and how emotionally devastating those sentinel events were for that dear lady. She had to be a strong person in order to survive and continue on.
Personal Sentinel Experiences
In my own life I have lost jobs unexpectedly. I’ve also lost both my parents after their lengthy illnesses. I had to deal with day after day during their steady decline. I had to do that alone, as neither one of my “do nothing”, worthless siblings ever lifted a finger to help or even offered to help.
In your lifetime, perhaps you have been injured in a serious car or plane crash or been the unfortunate victim of a violent crime. Whatever sentinel event has occurred in your life, there are several things you need to think about and make plans to address so you can get your life back on track. A diagnosis or a serious health concern, such as COPD, cancer, MS, et cetera are all life-changing sentinel events that people oftentimes have to confront as well.
Are You Safe?
The first thing to take care of is your own personal safety. You aren’t much good to your kids, parent’s friends, co-workers, and/or your spouse, if you are not in a safe environment. You can’t be fighting for your life or your safety, so remove yourself from whatever disaster or sentinel event has occurred in your life, if you aren’t in a safe location. An example of this is someone who is the victim of a violent assault or domestic violence, usually a female. Get to safety first before you do anything else.
Providing For Your Basic Needs
This should be easily understood, as you will need to be able to provide for your basic needs and those of your children and family. You are going to need shelter, transportation, water, food, and a safe place to dwell. Once you have these items covered, it will be much easier for you to assess what has happened and the steps you will need to take going forward. This is not the time for Monday morning quarterbacking. What is done is done. If it was your fault or mistake that caused it, say a prayer, ask for forgiveness, and move on.
Too many people allow themselves to get all twisted up with “shoulda”, “coulda”, and “woulda”. There will be plenty of time for self-reflection down the road. Right now you need to concentrate your energy on moving forward with your life, not being paralyzed through analysis of things in the past.
Personal SWOT Audit of Your Life
Those of you with a marketing or business background will probably recognize the marketing term of SWOT, which stands for Stengths, Weaknesses, Opportunites, and Threats. Conducting a SWOT audit, pronounced SWAT, can be a very valuable tool in assessing your circumstances and making a strategic plan of action. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your company, your co-workers, and in this instance to yourself. Opportunities and threats are external things that affect you and represent things you need to take into account in any planning session.