We left off last time discussing the likely hood of each scenario in the Threat Probability Matrix.
Individual – Localized – Large Scale – National Scale – Global
So where exactly does commonality come into play with these various levels of threats and disasters? Let’s take a look at what we all us humans need to survive and to have relative comfort in our day-to-day lives. Afterwards we will try to explain how the commonalities between these factor into our preparedness plans.
The basic human needs for survival / preparedness and to have relative comfort are:
- Knowledge, knowing what to do with the things you have.
- Water that’s clean and drinkable
- Shelter, could be your home, a tent, or proper clothing for your area.
- Food, canned goods, freezer stocked up, garden growing or freeze dried.
- Energy, be it heat to cook your food or warm your shelter or electricity for lights & radios.
- Security / Self Defense
- Low or No Debt
- Trade Currency, i.e. cash (or Barter items), to acquire the things you need from others.
Knowledge is something that takes time to acquire just like skills and abilities, they will need to be taught and learned. Hopefully you will spend your entire life learning new things and skills.
For instance, how to hammer a nail is a basic skill, but the knowledge is what size hammer and what size nail should you use for a specific job. If you are lucky enough to have parents, relatives or friends that can teach you things like cooking, gardening, carpentry, appliance repair, hunting, fishing, the list goes on, you should take full advantage of what they can offer.
Today, as I write this, there are skilled instructors all around us that specialize in areas that we can learn from and be able to gain the knowledge and tools we may lack. Some instruction is free for the asking, other may have a small cost and others may cost several hundred dollars. There are also books, DVD’s and the Internet for research and you should have a library card if you live close to a public library where knowledge is stored the old fashion way. Once a disaster happens, those resources might not be available so time’s a wasting, start getting the knowledge while you still can.
For modern preppers, as we are sometimes referred to, there are some basic things you need to know that are common to all levels of the threat matrix. If you already have a plan A for numbers 2 through 6 in case the current systems fail and have a back up plan B if there is a problem with A, you are in pretty good shape. If you don’t, then those are the first basic skills you need to somehow invest the time attending a class, reading and learning.
Consider what could go wrong with your water supply. We have lived in places where the city water supply became contaminated from floodwaters and chemical spills. (Greater New Orleans area, they get their drinking water from the Mississippi River). Having some sort of a way to filter, boil or chemically treat water to make it safe for drinking is a must have. With out clean water you will die and if you drink contaminated water you might only get sick or you might die. If you are on a well and you lose power, do you have back up power source or a hand pump? There are a number of ways to clean water, do you know one or more if you had to make your water safe to drink? How about keeping some amount of stored water on hand for a short-term interruption. There are containers from clean 1 liter soda bottles to 5 gallon jugs to hundreds of gallon tanks available from lots of different suppliers and sources.
Regarding your shelter and wherever it is you live now, a house, apartment or bug out cabin in the deep woods, we can address that next. If your primary plan is to shelter in place, there are a number of things you can have on hand to maintain the structure. If there is a bad storm and it damages your roof or knocks out a window what would you do? Having a couple of a blue tarps, several rolls of heavy mil plastic, some duct tape and a staple gun with a good supply of staples gives you the basics to make some temporary repairs after the weather clears. In hurricane prone areas we’ve all probably seen on the TV people boarding up windows with plywood to protect them from breakage. In flood prone areas, sand bags might be what you need to have a supply of. If your house has a basement and a pump to keep water out like some parts of the country do, back up electric power is needed. In areas where tornados are common, either a reinforced safe room or a storm shelter maybe worth investing in.