Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Worst First...

Someone gave me a book a few years ago, called "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Journal". It has a lot of suggestions on how you should react if you find yourself in a tough situation, like being stuck in quicksand, or locked in the trunk of a car, or riding a runaway camel.

We don't have any quicksand around Hagerstown that I'm aware of, and I've pretty well given up camel riding, but it also has a lot of blank pages so that you can write down your own solutions to worst case scenarios that you are more likely to encounter in everyday life.

It's probably a good idea to have an escape plan in place if your house catches on fire. I'm a big fan of locating all the exits whenever we go into a restaurant, just in case. If I ever run off of the road and end up in a lake or river, I have an escape plan so that I don't drown in my truck. I'm still working on a plan to keep from drowning in the lake or river once I get out of the truck.

A lot of government units across the state and country are facing budget short-falls, and are scrambling to find solutions. As I've said before, I don't understand why the government has to wait for an emergency before they start trimming wasteful spending, but apparently that's how they like to operate, so I guess we'll just have to make the best of it.

I do think it would be a good idea to have a plan to reduce spending in place beforehand, though. My good friend Mike Kole had a good suggestion on the matter a while back. He suggested making a list of all of the programs and services that a city, town or county provides. Each member of the governing body would then assign a numeric value to each service, giving the service they deemed most important the highest number, and the the service they deemed least important with the lowest number.

The program or service recieving the lowest total would be the first eliminated. If that didn't save enough money to meet the budget, the process would begin again, and continue until the reductions were sufficient.

There were also suggestions that police and fire protection should be left out of the equation, since politicians are also fond of threatening cuts in essential services first, an attempt to scare us into just shutting up and paying more taxes, I suppose.

Anyway, I don't know if we've reached the worst-case scenario yet, but it wouldn't hurt to have a plan in place for when we do.

Just in case.

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