When you have so many different types of disasters to prepare for, it can be extremely hard to keep yourself level-headed. Sometimes it is best to come up with a list to give you priority of survival tips.
My personal feelings on the matter (which a lot of times, I forget) are to choose the “Mundane over the Insane!” You have to prepare for most likely scenarios first. If you hold true to the prepper motto, you must remember the disaster multiplier. Disasters that are smaller are usually more common, and so much more common, that their importance is higher than the large scale disasters… Not to mention that preparing for the smaller items gives you a step in the right direction for larger scenarios.
Let’s go through a list of most likely scenarios to prepare for and you should notice localized vs. global.
- Job Loss, Loss of Bread Winner, and Loss of Family Member: You would be wise to think about these scenarios first. We should be able to withstand a Loss of Income for several months on the low end. It is usually recommended by “non-preppers” to have six months’ worth available. If you prepare for the loss of a job, you are also on the track to the loss of income, or loss of critical (as if they all weren’t) family member. Easier to pay for child care if the “stay-at-home” spouse is gone as well. It is tough to think of these, but almost ANY other disaster type can create this one as collateral damage. These are everyday things that happen to everyday people. It is so common that it doesn’t even make local news most times.
- Mugging, Attack, or Break-Ins: It is common to have criminal activity in any area, rural or urban. Urban areas have more, but it is possible anywhere. It is good to know the “castle” law in your state and to have the defense supplies necessary and in good tactical positions to defend your home. It is also good to have self-defense training and tactical training to help you stay out of poor areas when possible, know what to look for when in those areas, and how to get out of a bad situation once you find yourself in it. This is another everyday item that skips the news many times.
- Fire or Flood: One that occurs less often, but still is pretty high on the frequency meter, is house fires or flooding. These can be brought on by other disasters as well. It is first a good idea to have insurance. Then have a great inventory of your belongings with photo or video archives. Anything that is of importance should be ready to take with you at a moment’s notice and electronics should be backed up off-site. It is very common for these things to happen to people, so let’s be ready for it. This is a more “down-to-earth” bug out scenario assuming you have a BOL.
- Loss of Local Water Supply: Water supply systems fail. My town is fed from spring water, but most are fed from rivers and lakes that have things being dumped into them and from reclaimed sewage that has been processed. They are all capable of getting microbial infestations, or have an industrial chemical introduced to the water supply from the process itself. I have heard of many “boil water” alerts. It is good to have water stocked in reserve that will give you a clean source to readily use. It is even better to have the water if your town’s water supply happens to just fail. It may not last but a few days, but that few days without water would not be pleasant.
- Tornados, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruption, Large Scale Fires, Winter Storms, or Earthquakes: I am not going to go into detail about each of these. I just wanted them to be together in a “natural disasters” section in this list. These are more of a large local, or a regional disaster. There will be interruptions to power, food availability, water, and many other things. It would be wise to have these things on hand. There are actually tornado, hurricane, or wildfire seasons. These natural disasters are cyclical and will occur, so it is a great idea to be ready when they do.
- Economic Collapse or Food Shortage: Now we go into the large regional and national scaled disasters that are much less likely, but by the time you are ready to prepare for these, you should be at least half-way there. All of your preps for the above scenarios are also to be considered into your preps for these. With the detrimental effect that current agriculture has on the ground, it is possible to think that the ground wouldn’t sustain the same level of growth over the years. If anyone does the math, it is inevitable that a large-scale depression or even a collapse (or redefining of the dollar for the U.S.) can occur. We should be ready for this to occur, but should be ready for the more likely things first.
- Viral or Bacterial Pandemic: It is fully realistic that a small change in a flu strain or another type of illness could cause a pandemic and create the need for you to get away from the area, or even just stay inside your home for an extended period of time while the illness goes through its cycle. You can call this crazy if history hasn’t taught of many plagues through the year. The idea is that our current knowledge and technology will fail if we are unprepared for an unknown strain. If you are ready for all of the above, I am pretty sure this one can be handled. You may find that you want to have a couple extra supplies for this that you didn’t even think of for the others, like specific first aid items.
- Nuclear Disasters, Chemical or Biological Warfare: These are much less likely to occur than most other disasters, but just like viral or bacterial are historically known to happen. We may know before it happens, or we may not. We start getting into specialized gear to deal with specific scenarios, but remember that the “prepper gear” is useless if you don’t have food, water, shelter, ammo, etc.
- Super-Volcanos: Now we are getting into the more intense scenarios that are much less likely to ever happen. Mathematically they can happen, so some basic preps to be able to survive when everything is possibly covered in ash, or the temperature is like winter, or other more radical scenarios are warranted, but we shouldn’t drive our lives on this because there is a certain point in which you are losing your life to the preps to maintain your life. It is easy to dive into the realm of the counter-intuitive preps, so keep everything in perspective and take steps, so you don’t ruin life or overwhelm yourself.
- Impact from Space or Solar Flares, Polar Reversal, Black Hole: If I may be honest for a minute or two, I have not and may not prep for this. There is way too many more likely scenarios that I am not fully ready for, so I shouldn’t spend my time on these. But if you are going to, it is going to get really expensive while you purchase specifically engineered equipment and structures. This crap killed dinosaurs and other animals. Just wiped them out. Maybe, building a bunker miles into the earth isn’t going to help if the impact is big enough. Would I like to have said bunker? Sure I would, but more for storm safety and the “neat” factor. I will not spend millions of dollars on it though. I know that some people can site things that can happen and why they want to prep for it, but even if you spend your entire life getting ready for it, your chance of survival of these is pretty meniscal. Spend your time more wisely on the above items.
My intent with today’s post was not to teach how to prep for each scenario, but to emphasize what we should be prepping for. I know that I probably missed several categories and disaster scenarios, but I am sure that you can stuff it in here between some others. You can always add your ideas and opinions in the comments. Get ready for the likely things first.If you like this and would like more, do the easiest thing,Subscribe to my Email Updates, so you can get the updated content AND be notified of any specials that I may be running specifically for email subscribers or follow my RSS Feed, and you will get updated content daily. You may also try to connect with me by following the link to my connect to the community page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ken Jensen is an American, Ex-Military Patriot that is knowledgeable and experienced in Electronics and Industrial Electrical design and maintenence. Ken is also an experienced Nuclear Reactor Operator and also worked on nuclear instrumentation. He grew up hunting, camping and spending time outdoors. In adulthood, Ken has spent many years learning wilderness survival and, eventually, urban survival.
Ken is the author of a book, The Honey and The Bee and is the main author and contributor to The Clever Survivalist Blog, Survival Guide and The Prepper Podcast, Survival Podcast