Saturday, December 3, 2011

“Being Prepared”

I have literally written down my thoughts and then clicked and not saved it several times now on the subject of “Being Prepared” and the reasons why this is so important.

I’m honestly not sure why I have chosen in the past not to save what I wrote. It is not because I did not think it was well written or that enough thought had not gone into what I was trying to say.

No, the reason was I felt uncomfortable because the subject itself for me seems stress filled and full of hypothetical situations where if you are honest with yourself they are no perfect answers.

Being prepared itself is not the problem but trying to determine what you are preparing for and to what extent is a critical issue!

If you spend anytime at all on the internet and go the route of looking on various survival sites you quickly can become overwhelmed by the degree of doom and gloom that is presented. Let’s see, some of the topics are: total economic collapse, no food, no water and protecting yourself from the ever present band of lawless thugs rioting and looting every house on your street. Oh, yea and solar flares, and I guess it is worth mentioning the 2012 end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar.

So with all this said it is no wonder why the vast majority of people have the tendency to throw their hands in the air and shrug their shoulders and give up before even starting.

Do I worry about not having power or water or sewer services? No I do not. Any disruption in services typically happens after a natural disaster and is short lived in nature. When this happens can you be uncomfortable, but it is not unbearable. Obviously the longer the duration the more frustrating it becomes but again it is not something that causes the fabric of society to come apart at the seams! I realize some may point to what happened in New Orleans and beg to differ with me. To that I would say that I agree; chaos can occur anywhere and anytime but after the dust settles society as a whole finds what is normal fairly quickly.

In the US we have had economic disasters with the stock market crashing and people losing lots of their wealth. People, however, did not go out and try to overthrow the government and somehow the population survived to the next generation and the next.

Are the threats we face real today? You beat yah! Will we likely see a huge amount of change within the next few years? We always have because that is the natural progression of things. Change is constant.

The most important part of all this hearing a line from Rudyard Kipling which reminded us: “Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.”

Take heart in knowing that change is inevitable. Also note that how you react to change is entirely within your control!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Typical Day ~

As a consultant for nonprofits that works via the web, most of my day is spent taking care of the website as well as answering the dozen or so questions that filter in from around the world….

A lot needs to be done when you have created a monster!

The site: has grown to over 770 pages. Within the site itself there are an amazing 85,000 plus links all pointing inward and there are another 28,000 external hyperlinks pointing to other sites, and of those over 17,500 are unique meaning not repeated. It is rather mind boggling when you think about this but everything has to be checked constantly to make sure all the links work and function. Beyond this additional content has to be continually developed and added to keep things fresh! This is why it takes ten hours daily Monday through Sunday and this has been done now going on thirteen years!

Monthly the site continues to receive 60,000 plus unique visitors with over 100,000 page views.

This morning’s emails:

A photographer in South Africa wants to connect with foundations to help tell their story.

Answer: A list of 121 foundations that have as a field of interest South Africa.

A medical student in residency in Washington state that has as a quarterly project to create an “imaginary project” to serve the indigent with questions of how and where to get funding and any another helpful information on the subject.

Answer: A link to the Washington State 2007 Charity Care Hospital’s report as well as a link to another report provided by the Washington State Hospital Association, and a suggestion to visit the CFO of the hospital where he is serving as a resident to ask for a dashboard overview of the current funding streams the hospital receives and pay close attention to the number of days in cash they have on hand for ongoing expenses as well as get a better understanding of the current bond rating which effects the hospital’s ability to raise capital and grow the services they provide.

A nonprofit in North Carolina that wants to know the possible pit falls for accepting a donation of property.

Answer: Without knowing what the property was used for in the past as well as how old the building might be and how long it sat empty, it would be hard to tell you all the risk.

I’ll try to help by listing a few: lead paint, asbestos tiles or other asbestos insulation around older boilers or heating units, you may also have underground storage tanks for either heating oil or older gas tanks depending on the facility.

Accepting a facility should require a title search as well as at the very least in my opinion what is called a phase one environmental assessment study which is not cheap.

Also, any building that sits empty even for short periods of time tend to fall in disrepair fast. Check the roof for leaks and visit the building during a downpour with heavy rains. The heating and air condition system can cost thousands of dollars to replace. A building inspector from the city or county might be a good friend to have when looking at a property.

Whew… all this before my first 9:00 a.m. and my second Diet Pepsi. I reserve Diet Mt. Dew for the afternoons depending on volume.

So now you know!