First you have to decide what you feel you need to be prepared for. There are several categories of disasters or emergencies you need to consider.
- Natural – Floods, Tornados, Hurricanes, Mud Slide, Avalanche, Drought, Severe Winter Storm, Pandemic, Extraterrestrial (sunspots, asteroid, comet), Earthquake, Volcano and the like
- Man-Made – Economical, Social, Ecological, Bio-toxin, Pandemic (can be natural or human induced), Nuclear, Civil Unrest, War, Riot, EMP(electromagnetic pulse), Terrorism, Blackouts , Lack of Energy, Water or Food (Yes this can occur due to nature too, but are often human induced), Toxic Spill and the like
- Bad Luck – Accidents, Getting Lost, General Clumsiness, Disease, Illness, Injury and the like
- Spiritual – Armageddon, Rapture, Revelation, Mayan Calendar, Nostradamus and like prophecies
The “Bad Luck” category is one most of us are already prepared or preparing for. As stated before, many of us have first aid kits and various insurance for ourselves and our possessions. If any of the other categories are high on your list of probabilities and priorities, then you may need to re-evaluate the contents of your first aid kits or acquire a few additional ones.
List all the possibilities in order of probability. You must decide which are most likely to occur where you reside and what you feel their probability of occurrence might be. This is as much a scientific decision as an emotional/spiritual decision for each person.
List all your priorities within the probabilities. Hugh? Try this and remember this will be different for each person.
Jane is a mid-fifties woman who lives in Rio Rancho, NM and travels for a living, usually by air for 1-2 weeks at a time. She is out of town for half of each month anywhere is the U.S. She is basically healthy and has had no major injuries since her young adult and youth years. She is spiritual but not religious and detests big government, nor does she trust it.
At home she doesn’t need to worry about floods because she doesn’t live near an arroyo, but the area and Albuquerque do flood from time to time causing portions of both towns to be unreachable. In the thirty years she has lived in Rio Rancho she has only seen one tornado, no hurricane, mud slides, avalanches, pandemics or threatening extraterrestrial events. Snow has yet to accumulate in town where one can’t at least walk to the nearest store. Blackouts have rarely occurred and were usually related to lightening strikes or auto accidents.
There are major DOE and DOD research facilities just across the river in Albuquerque and an Air Force base. During the cold war Albuquerque was on the “first strike” list of the USSR. Trains and trucks transporting nuclear waste to the W.I.P. site do travel through the area. On the west side of town are three dormant volcanoes that have shown no activity in the 30 years she lived there. The Jemez caldera is just north and west of town and is active. The region has been in a drought for the past 10 years with some water rationing from time to time.
Although she is directionally challenged, she usually has a general idea where she is at and has never really gotten lost, not even when hiking or backpacking, which are her primary sources of leisure time activities outside of, dry desert and container gardening for fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs. She loves the outdoors and has spent many a vacation in wilderness areas. She is a long time DIY’r, despite her size and stature and has helped to construct a straw bale home.
For home her Probability and Priority list is as follows:
- Drought Blackouts
- Tornado Civil Unrest
- Earthquake Toxic Spill
- Flood Social/Economical
- Volcano Lack of Water
- Everything else falls in place here.
When Jane travels, say to northern California, her combined probability and priority list will look like this:
- Earthquake, Flood
- Civil Unrest
- Lack of Food and Water
- Mud Slide
- Everything else
As you can see by the above example, it is ok if more than one issue is ranked as the same probability and priority on your list. A hurricane, for example can also cause flooding. I used a sticky note pad and wrote each category on a separate sheet and then stuck them to the wall and moved them around until I found the ranking that I felt best described my attitude to these events. Try it out … this will probably work for you too.