Building the culture of preparedness isn't hard work. It's just work.
It means talking to people who might be interested in the message. Of course, if you can tailor and target that message to those most likely to be receptive of it, you'll increase your chances that the message will stick. Plus, it will do your soul good to talk to people who appreciate what you are saying and take it to heart.
Last weekend, we had a perfect example of it here in Texas. Friend and fellow KR Training assistant instructor John Kochan spoke at the Fifth Annual A Girl and A Gun (AG&AG) Conference near Burnet, Texas. John spoke on creating a culture of preparedness as well as being prepared for home emergencies, both large and small.
Here's what he had to say about the event:
As John points out, many people are already preparing for other risks in life. Preparing for a wider spectrum of perils is a logical extension of that interest.
When we are advocating preparedness, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to identify groups of people with whom the message will resonate. And so I'm not surprised that this had such a strong interest at AG&AG. What I am finding is that the gun community remains one of the top prospects for recruiting people to become prepared themselves as well as to be preparedness advocates.
We are also finding - and John's experience is anecdotal evidence of this - that the message of preparedness resonates strongly with women in the gun community.
Along these lines, Australian public policy experts began to look at how gender plays a role in making preparedness decisions. A series of deadly bush fires in 2015 prompted researchers to examine why more men die than women in such situations. I recommend you read the short article on this, as it really highlights some interesting data points in how different genders view preparedness.
One of the first things that jumped out at me in this article dealt with how men and women responding to the survey viewed preparedness:
The influence of gender on planning and preparation was evident in interviews with survivors. Men often talked about “hard” preparations, such as reducing fuel and setting up sprinkler systems. Women often spoke about “soft” preparations, such as planning household responses and measures to ensure the safety of children and other household members.
Perhaps the most important conclusion from the article is this:
The tendency for women to reflect more critically on their level of planning and preparedness suggests there are opportunities to develop bushfire awareness and education programs designed specifically to engage and meet the needs of women.
Similarly, the finding that women were more receptive to bushfire-related advice suggests opportunities for tailoring and communicating information, advice and warnings to women. It is also important that residents in bushfire risk areas plan and discuss the intended responses of all householders to avoid last minute disagreements and decisions.
The Australian research and our recent efforts here locally to encourage preparedness seem to support one another. Preparedness advocacy is not a one size fits all approach. It needs to be tailored so that it resonates with a diverse audience. Gender, faith, political leanings - these are all factors we should consider when helping others find their Pivot Point. We have to present the idea to them in a way that touches on their values and priorities.
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