Time to plan for the unthinkable

Now that we’ve seen firsthand how the unthinkable can happen, we need to prepare for other situations that can (and probably will) happen.

By now, we’ve all been dealing with “the unthinkable” for many weeks now. “Nobody” thought this could happen, right?

Now, that’s obviously ridiculous. But that’s not important now.

The point is, that it’s high time to plan for the unthinkable. Maybe now, or maybe when our current crisis is over, but as soon as possible.

Thinking of the unthinkable

Is planning for the unthinkable a contradiction?

No, and you don’t need to take me literally here. I just mean, that you need to consider things that you think are unlikely. And be as prepared as possible for those events.

Here are a few things that I thought of, just off the top of my head. They vary in severity, but all are important in their own way.

Data loss

You have 10,000 pictures of your kids, your pets, and your family, including the last picture ever taken of your grandmother before she passed.

And it’s all on your phone.

Data loss happens. It happened to me, and I care a lot about this sort of thing.

Don’t think your phone will ever die? It will. Back those pictures up.

Don’t think your laptop might get stolen? It might. Don’t save your credit card information and passwords in your browser. Back up any important documents or files you have.

Don’t think Google Drive will ever go away? Come on. Look at all the services Google has retired. Find a different way.

Do you have backups? Have you ever tried to retrieve anything on them? No? Then you don’t have backups. Restore a backup to test it.


Do you think you won’t have something stolen? Maybe someone comes into your home, or maybe someone smashes a window in your car and takes something?

You need homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance. Protect what you own.

Take pictures of your important valuables. Write down serial numbers for your technology. Get a record together.

Floods, earthquakes, and other natural events

Do you think that your home will be standing no matter what? Think again. Many homes will slide off their foundations at the smallest rumble.

And I’m sorry if you love your riverfront views, but your home might become a boat when the floods come.

Get insurance. Make an evacuation plan. Think about what you would do if you couldn’t go home.

No communication

No one has a landline anymore, which is a shame, because if the cell towers wink out, and your internet falters, then goodbye to communication.

What’s your plan then? How will you reunite with loved ones?

Job loss

I shouldn’t even need to state this one anymore. Now that so many people have lost jobs or the ability to work, do you see the value in building up an emergency fund?


Sure, you won’t get sick. Fit as a fiddle. Colds are nothing. Never got the flu. “Why should I spend money on health insurance when I never go to the doctor?


I want you to live forever. I want your parents, children, friends, neighbors, and everyone who has ever been a dental hygienist, to live forever.

But we don’t. More to the point, some people die way too early. Maybe even decades before “their time”.

What would you do if your spouse or parent (or, heaven forbid, your child) died tomorrow? What would you do today if you were going to die tomorrow? Have you made a plan? A will? A legacy?

Take a deep breath, then make a plan

Okay, whew.

Sorry to make this a bleak post. I don’t mean to bum anyone out.

Here, click this link and look at some kittens. Take a minute.

Now come back!

My point in all this is that you have to plan for even the things you don’t think will happen. Because, as we’ve seen, they do.

I’m not saying you should plan for alien invasions or or build an underground bunker or anything. You certainly can if you want, but I’d start with the above first. Then you can plan for anything else that you can think of. Your imagination might be even better than mine. (Yikes.)

What are you planning for now?

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