To prepare? Or not to prepare? Is that seriously a question?

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In 2003 my family moved to Florida. We learned that hurricane season was from May until November and there were some things we should purchase in the event of one happening. There were several different attitudes about this information. Some were very specific and prolific in their preparations i.e. a 4-week supply of food, a whole house generator, tarps, extra roofing materials and a host of other supplies. Others were much more casual in their emergency arrangements. A few cans of tuna, extra crackers, peanut butter and a few gallons of water rounded out their stockpile. Then there were those few that were willing to risk it with nothing, because there hadn’t been a hurricane in our part of town in more years than they can remember. Every hurricane warning had been a false one, so why spend the money and have the aggravation for no good reason?

In 2004 and 2005, our town in West Palm beach suffered major damage and losses from 3 separate category 3 hurricanes. Fortunately, we erred on the side of caution and purchased a generator, a good chain saw and a month’s supply of food.

When a hurricane is on the horizon you have a good week to prepare. It’s not like an earthquake that hits suddenly. You know about it long enough to get gas, get food, shutter up your windows, fill your bathtub with water, etc. It’s very anxiety-producing while you’re waiting, but having things in order helps tremendously. The actual hurricane, though loud, intense, and scary, it’s generally pretty quick. It rarely takes more than a few hours. What makes hurricanes awful, is the aftermath. The storm surge, the flooding, the torn-up landscaping, the debris, the power outages for up to three weeks (in the hottest, most humid time of year), no stores open, no streetlights, and more. It’s a giant hassle, not to mention mentally and emotionally exhausting - and that’s if you have what you need. When you don’t, it’s devastating, for a long time. The one thing that makes it bearable, is generally, neighbors are out checking on each other, sharing food, sharing ice if they have it, really being neighbors.

I was so grateful my late husband and I listened to the counsel of others to be prepared even though many around us were ambivalent. Even though it was expensive upfront, even though there was a distinct possibility that we’d never experience a hurricane and indeed hoped we wouldn’t, I’m grateful we listened. In the end, we were merely annoyed at the inconveniences, while we were relatively comfortable with enough food, a generator for our refrigerator, freezer, and fans.

Unlike hurricanes, which are merely possible, death is absolutely inevitable. If properly prepared, the worst kind of devastation can be avoided. In this blog, we will discuss the whats, wheres, whys, whos, and hows of being prepared for, not just the end of life, but what comes after for the survivor. You and your loved ones can be appropriately ready legally, financially, practically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for one’s exit. Still, like a hurricane, the loss of a loved one will undoubtedly be difficult. However, as we will show in an upcoming post, it will be much more bearable knowing you are ready for it.

- Katie

Prepare Your Affairs Founders

ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS

Corey and Katie entered widowhood in 2016 after losing spouses to cancer.  They met and connected in a widow/widower support group and later married.  One of the principles they learned from their own experiences and those of other surviving spouses is that the more prepared a surviving spouse is on a financial, legal, emotional, and practical level, the better they will adjust to widowhood.  They will maintain their independence and control of their assets and be freer to properly grieve and move forward in life.  Conversely, those who are not prepared are more likely to have their lives flipped upside down.  They may need to move and uproot kids because they can't afford the mortgage, rely on family or other charities to financially support them, and/or change jobs to allow them to better serve as a single parent.  We hope to share what we've learned and help other families properly get their affairs in order and be prepared with confidence, peace of mind, and in control of their assets.