I like to read biographies of American entrepreneurs. It’s amazing what you can learn by studying the mistakes of successful people. My latest interest is the life of Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s.
One of his earliest memories was during the Civil War. Robert E Lee’s Confederate army was approaching from the south, headed to the Battle of Gettysburg. The fighting came close enough that Hershey would remember hearing the artillery fire for the rest of his life.
The local paper, the Lancaster Inquirer, reported, “If our Army should be defeated we should have no hope.” That night, the dinner table conversation revolved around the threat of the invading army. Hundreds of families fled north. Hershey’s family stayed in their home, but five-year-old Milton Hershey knew that SOMETHING had to be done.
So, he took his most valuable possessions, a few coins he had saved, and buried them in a coffee can in the garden. The only problem was that after the danger passed, Hershey couldn’t remember where he buried the can. He dug holes for days but never did find those coins.
This got me thinking about how we get ready when danger threatens. Some hope for the best and do nothing (like Hershey’s parents). Some run for the hills, like their neighbors did. But the ones I uphold are the ones who know that SOMETHING has to be done. Starting at that very young age, Hershey was always one to have a plan. Even as an old man, at at time when his company sold as much as 90% of the chocolate consumed in America, he was still trying to figure out ways to make a better chocolate bar.
Hershey did the right thing by being ready. His only mistake was barreling ahead without thought or preparation. Based on his perception of what was about to happen, he probably did the right thing. He protected what was valuable to him. He just forgot one small detail…to remember where he buried the money!
We want to help you be ready! That’s why we have a special corner of our website called The Basics. Here you’ll find a great collection of the things you need to thrive in times off shortage, power outage, infrastructure failure and economic downturn. It’s a great place to find what you need to become self-reliant and independent.
Of course, you’ll also find all those items, including wood cookstoves, non-electric refrigerators, oil lamps, grain mills, water pumps and everything you need for food preservation right on our main website, http://www.lehmans.com. But, on our main site, those products are mixed in with things that are just plain fun, like magnetic Scottie dogs, walking canes made from brass horse hames and Grandpa Witmer’s Peanut Butter Mixer.
And, because we want you to be able to prepare thoughtfully we’ve built a huge repository of articles, helpful hints and FAQ’s at our Information Center. I’d also like to recommend The Family Preparedness Handbook as a great way to help you understand what you need to do.