How Can Chess Prepare You for a Disaster?

By Beth Rowan, Founder of Evergreen Ally

To succeed in chess, you must decide up front whose game you want to play – yours or your opponent’s? If you don’t open strong and set up your play early, you may be relegated to merely defending your pieces from being taken.

The concept is the same in emergency preparedness.

Home disasters and crises do happen (hello, Coronavirus). The only thing you can control is how to deal with it. Will it be panic-hoarding toilet paper or confidently behaving to manage the situation?

My business, Evergreen Ally, customizes emergency preparedness & disaster recovery plans. I learned through a family tragedy how tough it is to rebuild your life after losing everything. Put simply, I help people identify the holes in their planning. I then educate and design safeguards so that they can navigate emergencies better.

It’s about being preemptive.

Here are 3 top tips to winning chess, from the United States Chess Federation, and how they align with optimum emergency preparedness.

1. Have a plan.

While the goal in chess is, of course, to win the game, it doesn’t just happen. A player must set up the board and initiate sequential moves that result in gaining the winning pieces.

When facing a disaster or crisis, having a plan improves the chances for survival and a quicker, less costly recovery. Without planning ahead, one is merely reacting and dodging hurdles, like a weaker chess player losing pieces. The weaker player knows he will lose, it’s just a matter of how big the loss will be.

 

2. Make the best possible move

Chess matches are timed, so each player must be strategic while using the least amount of time per move. They practice in order to excel at remaining calm and focused on maximizing each move’s advancement.

Staying calm and focused are also goals for an emergency plan. Once the likely hazards are identified and the best course of action learned, then you should practice this course of action.

The effects of panic are often overlooked. Who behaves intelligently under distress? When facing a new crisis, would you feel confident following someone else’s lead? Who will make the best decisions for your family’s safety and protection?

Without time to evaluate your options, how can one be assured they are making the best move?

3. Know what the pieces are worth.

Chess pieces have different movements and values. Players orchestrate their ‘team’ to work together to achieve a win. Understanding which pieces are more powerful and which can be sacrificed are important nuances for beating an opponent effectively.

In disaster preparedness, it’s vital to know your protections and risk levels. Do you live in a flood zone but are not covered for flood damage? Do your business contracts include a business interruption clause? Does a family member have mobility difficulties that could make fleeing a fire problematic?

Learning the reality of your coverage after a disaster event does not leave room for maneuvering. Addressing questions like a) How much money are you willing to lose? and b) How much disruption can your household endure? are vital, yet very individual.

A sound emergency preparedness plan involves household continuity, personal safety, financial security, and legacy planning that together achieve a speedy and beneficial recovery. Avoiding proper planning in any one of these areas can, essentially, be devastating.

Learning these fundamentals are a life lesson for anyone – even if you aren’t a chess grandmaster.

Beth Rowan is the founder of Evergreen Ally, Inc., providing customized Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery Planning. Peace of Mind, Delivered.

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