Something I was thinking of that I did not mention in that last post of preparedness questions is to mention unimaginable mind-crushing terror. If you've never had someone try to rob you, dropped 70 feet off a cliff, had some drunk ass try and run you down on a motorcycle, nearly drowned, faced a friend who's armed and off their meds/rocker, saw someone drop on a motorcycle right in front of you, been in a car wreck, had a house / grease / whatever fire, saw your computer containing all your information for the past 8 years completely dead, or been smacked by a dump truck, you might not know a simple fact:
When you're scared (primal fear) you don't only not think straight, you don't think right. Trying to formulate a plan while you're scared out of your mind doesn't work. You can be the smartest person on the planet and when that grease fire breaks out you throw water on it, or when you see that guy go down on a motorcycle you rush to get his helmet off (never do this), or you try and out run the person who's trying to hit you with a car (generally you can get over and slow down), or you start praying to recovery mode that you can get your computer back (call someone before inserting a recovery disk, it'll kill ya), or you think you can take just a little fire to get down a couple of burning stairs.
When you're terrified time slows down, you notice too much, your brain is going super fast and super slow at the same time. You're getting message at the speed of light saying run, fight, try and reason with this thing or person or animal, you turn into a dumb reactionary with a hamster on meth at the controls screaming "let me out"
Something that does work is previously considered choices. You may not be good in executing them but you probably are going to remember. When you have at least a vague idea of what pre-terror you thought years ago in a random moment sitting reading a bunch of probably-never-happens you've at least got an idea of what choices you made then. It's also not saying what you thought of doing a year or two ago was right, but at least it's a considered action from someone who was a lot less agitated than you are when terrified.
I've been on stage in front of 500 or so people with an improv group that never performed together (it was a daily made group at CIF 6) and was not all that good with each other and still didn't bomb because all of us remembered basic training. Was not the greatest show but it was better than most non-established troupes that night. I've also been on in front of 12 people and bombed. At least when the going got tough I had something I could do rather than freezing.
I've come around an on-ramp riding a bike where the recommended speed was 60 and traffic was slamming to a halt around a pretty blind bend and remembered what they drill into you - bike up, wheel straight, apply brakes, don't lock, do what you have to. Terrified me was screaming stop stop stop stop pull the brake now (while leaned over) (this would lead to the front of the bike going down and me on the ground). Yes, I've taken safety courses.
I've been going down a hill in a snowstorm and my ABS refused to stop the wheels from turning as it was registering a slip - down the hill into an intersection (cross traffic going 40). I'd played enough in the snow and with ABS to know to pop the emergency/parking brake which finally slowed the car where the stupid ABS refused to. Not something I had exactly prepared for but it was something I knew because I thought to myself "you know, I might need to drive in this crap some day, might as well learn everything about it: Know your e-brake. Know how to stop when your brakes are not working.
No matter how much of a badass you think you are if you get hit hard in the throat you have roughly 6 seconds before you're useless from not being able to breathe/coughing and consuming more air than normal because you're in a fight. Speaking of which pepper spray doesn't work well against your average crazy attacker. Sure it hurts like bee stings and breathing fire, or like PCP or drug withdrawal. Crazy takes more than jalapeno extract to dissuade.
The object of a reacting gun owner is to neutralize the threat. Someone trained will fire at center mass until the person goes down. There are roughly 30 people on the planet who in a guns-drawn situation can shoot to disarm / not kill - trick shots are for 1970's movies. When your heart is beating at 150bpm and someone is attacking you it's a point and pull the trigger option. Should you have a gun pointed at you for any reason, please understand that this object has stated several hundred words, among these are "stop", "if you come at me I will give you the gift of lead" and "why don't you drop your weapon and have a seat over there".
The view of a police officer is if they are talking to you you are in some way a potential end to their life. Routine traffic stops turn into dead police too often, and domestic disputes turn into the person who called for help attacking the police for taking away the person they called police on. If a cop has stopped you mentioning they're fascist pigs, quotas, profiling etc gets you a ticket.
If a tire blows on your car and jerks you over, let off the gas and try to straighten the car, don't jerk to point it back into the correct direction immediately
If someone wants to steal your money, give it to them. It's not worth a fight / potential stabbing / shooting / beating. Conversely don't carry several hundred dollars around. If someone is in your house, you can assume the're a different level of crook. The reason castle laws are in effect so many places is someone in your house is a whole different level of dangerous.
I don't think you can consider your "green" skills complete if you haven't ever repaired clothing. I realized I'm not quite fluent in the art of stichcraft, but I've fixed 3 things this week that were otherwise unusable. Also took a belt recently and made it smaller.
If you don't know how to do something or how much it costs you're at the mercy of whoever you have to pay to fix it at 4am on a random Tuesday. Or at the mechanics. Etc.
People say they don't have the time to learn these things, or they have someone who does it for a reasonable price but they have no idea what other people charge, or make excuses that they don't need to know X. But the time they don't take to learn something they have to work 5 times as much to pay someone to repair it.
If you don't have a plan for your money you'll notice shortly you have no money.
If you think you can get rich really quick, you're probably not understanding the situation fully.
We've seen recently what relatively minor things can disable cities, countries even. In 8 years I've seen gas stations without gas, neighborhoods without power for days, food stores that had problems getting stuff in due to rain, snow, ice, flood, thousands of jobs disappear in a day due to rain, thousands in a day due to stupidity. We have people who were living paycheck to paycheck now at the streetcorners pushing the local homeless newspaper because their financial plan wasn't one.
And now, in the voice of Ali G, I say "preparedness, Aight?!?"