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Prevention keeps tragedy at bay. Preparation for tragedy gives survival a fighting chance.

Surviving Accidents, Illness, and Attack

Our lives can change in the blink of an eye. We can go years and years feeling comforted in the idea that bad things only happen to bad people or that bad things only happen to other good people. Young and old, many of us are coddled by decades of uneventful goings-on, thinking we walk on the fortunate side of the barrier between safety and danger.

Because that barrier is a thin veil of illusion, the most drastic changes come with no pomp and plenty of circumstance. This is a devastating reality to have to face when one is least able to do so. Our wounded servicemembers, those injured on the job, and anyone married to and/or the parent of an injured person knows this. And BC’s own Jet in Columbus and Richard Marcus know this. The road to hell is paved with the many things we don’t know ahead of time and the lessons we refuse to learn from those all too familiar with the fickle hand of fate.

Wills, living wills, and life insurance abound and can cushion the blow for our loved ones should we not survive an accident, attack, or illness. Few consider the provisions necessary for surviving the same. Those who volunteer in nursing homes, rehab centers, hospitals, veterans hospitals, active-duty healthcare facilities, nursing homes, or with the myriad of help agencies across the country stand in the very doorways an injured person does well to find months after they’ve been injured. Knowledge of resources and how to work the system is crucial and best sought out while one is able to do so unencumbered.

The odds that we as individuals will traverse this life with nary a need are very good. Add spouses, children, other family, and friends to the mix, and the odds drop through the floor. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who is battling more than their injury; they are battling for the basics: shelter, food, and peace of mind.

Prevention is big business. From baby gates to airbags, from helmets to home security systems, gizmos and gadgets have flooded the marketplace in an effort to protect our loved ones and ourselves from our own world. Self-defense classes can be had with one phone call. Wellness programs and neighborhood watches have cropped up from Seattle to Sarasota. All are trying to avoid that which could halt us in our tracks and change our lives forever.

Unfortunately, many have stopped short of preparing for preventative failures. Using but a fraction of the time spent engaged in sports, playing video games, cycling in place, and visiting with friends, we all have the opportunity to research the information, resources, and facilities available in our area so that should something happen, we aren’t going up against a wall of red tape and time-consuming tasks that have little to do with recovery when we are least able to do so. Sharing what we find with others spreads the preparatory love. Becoming a lifeline for others, all the better.

If you don’t already know, I urge you to open up your phone book and take a look around. If you have one, get out that health insurance policy and make sure you understand what’s what and what happens if you’re no longer able to pay on it. If you don’t have one, find out what you’d have to do to secure care and assistance. Do you know the disability waivers and provisions of your credit cards, bank accounts, and insurance policies? What can Social Security do for you? Who are the non-profit help agencies in your town and what services do they provide and under what circumstances? The primary considerations are financial stability, physical health, and mental health.

Knowledge is power because it helps to eliminate our fears of the unknown and helps to steady our resolve when going up against the known. We know what could happen and many have taken the steps to prevent it. It greatly increases the odds when we play it safe. Play it even safer. Find out what it would take to re-center your life in the event of an accident, illness, or attack. If not for yourself, then for someone else. The person for whom you do this will be forever grateful – especially if that someone is the future you.

About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.

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