Networking: The Best Survival Tool


Yes, it is extremely important to prepare as best you can for a natural disaster, to have at least a 72- hour kit, to have a fire-escape plan, to know how to purify water.  All of this will be essential in providing for your family if and when worst comes to worst. But chances are, when the storms do hit, you won’t have absolutely everything you need. There is no way to predict which type of natural disaster will come your way or when it will come. Because this is the unfortunate case, we must do the best we can to prepare by taking an educated guess of what may be in store for us, planning carefully for that scenario and hoping for the best.

As a buffer for our non-omniscient minds, it is a good idea to keep bartering items on hand in case of an unexpected emergency. Bartering items include cigarettes, soaps, blankets etc. However, without anyone to barter with, bartering items will do little good. If it takes a village to raise a child in normal circumstances, how many villages does it take to support several children in a drought? A flood? A hurricane? Don’t let pride, introverted tendencies, or prejudices get in the way of potentially strong relationships with your neighbors. All of the sudden, letting that ongoing feud between you and the Jones’ cause an irreversible wedge in your friendship will feel pretty stupid when you need to borrow their water filter and extra space blankets.

Networking is essential to human survival, both mentally and physically. There have been countless sociology and psychology studies that prove this fact. Humans (and every other living thing) like to be around others. As was reported in the New York Times a few years back, people with more friends tend to live longer. A ten-year Australian study found that those who had larger networks tended to have lowered hazard rates and were less likely to die during the study.  The role of friends in our lives, more often than not, goes over looked. Humans are inherently social beings. We are built to interact. In hindsight, this may be less for our own immediate enjoyment, but actual survival in this world.

In the cut-throat world of business this is certainly the case.  No matter how great your resume is, you still have to know a guy to get your first shoe in the door. Even with all of our search engines and networking sites, the best way to find a good job is still to talk to someone within the business. No reference can complete with a strong in-person recommendation of you.

In marketing, this is also the case, even with all the information that can be extracted from social media and rewards programs that track buying habits nothing completely with word of mouth advertising as Malcolm Gladwell asserts in his national best seller, The Tipping Point, word of mouth epidemics can be just as powerful as the deadly biological epidemics we have come to think of when we hear the word “epidemic.”

You can’t do it all alone, so be open to friendship opportunities around you and establish a network in your own community. A lot can be accomplished through relationships. Two is better than one, as they say. And fifty is better than two as I would like to add. Everyone has something to contribute in a disaster and everyone has a need. Why not let the two even each other out? Ultimately, you’ll be happier sharing with the Jones’ than keeping up with them.

Submitted by Camille H., a Food Insurance™ Guest Author


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