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Watching the news this past week about events happening in Japan has been disturbing. The damage left by the earthquakes in Japan, as well as the utterly unbelievable images of the tsunami literally sweeping entire cities and villages away in an instant—these events present lasting mental images to me. Homes, cars and people also were literally washed away in an instant. The damage and destruction will take years to clean up and rebuild. Some people may never recover.

Close your eyes for just a moment and transform that mental image from the tsunami/earthquake damage to an image of what happens to a family or a business when the breadwinner dies unexpectedly or becomes disabled. A family or business sees the very foundation of itself, washed out by a sudden death or a lingering disability. Where stable ground once existed, now there is a gaping hole. The breadwinner is either “gone,” or the foundation of family (income) is so damaged that the household and its’ contents now sit upon a very shaky layer of mounting debt, tension, and emotional and financial instability.

It doesn’t have to be that way for our clients and prospects.

The products we sell—life and disability insurance—can magically and instantly help replace a washed out financial foundation or be “reinforcement” for surviving family members and key business associates. Money certainly can never solve the emotional issues associated with premature death and/or disability, but it can buy time and stability for those left to deal with a “washed away” foundation.

The events in Japan remind me of the devastation Americans have experienced in our own country, like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. My heart aches for those Japanese citizens who are in a complete daze and whose dreams, futures and memories have literally been “washed away.”

These images can be powerful tools to help people realize that while earthquakes and tsunami’s can happen, often with catastrophic results, the much more likely scenario is the sudden death or disability of a loved one right here on our home soil. Every day, our newspapers are full of obituary stories of those who died and left behind family members who didn’t expect to deal with a sudden and unexpected death.

We can do something to help. Mental images often help clients and prospects deal with reality. While it’s not likely that we will soon see the type and breadth of destruction here in the U.S. that our friends in Japan are now dealing with, it is much more certain that you or your clients will have a family member or a friend become suddenly ill or pass away. The time may not be now, but sometime in the not too distant future, it is bound to happen.

Let’s help our clients pre-solve that image of family and business being swept away by sudden news…. let’s help them plan now to insure their loved ones are not ‘dazed’ by news that sweeps them off their feet. Let’s help build solid financial foundations.