Friday, June 6, 2008

The Preparedness Pyramid

Imagine a pyramid--pointy at the top, wider in the middle, and very wide at the bottom. Now image that this is the general shape that your preparedness activities should take.

The bottom of the pyramid:
  • This is a wide area and encompasses all of the basics of preparedness.
  • This is where you should spend the most time, money, and effort.
  • This is where you should prepare for the general threats that are most likely to happen such as fire, home break-ins, theft, evacuation, loss of power, loss of water, etc.
  • Some tasks: make sure you are completely covered by insurance, put together bug out bags for each family member, make sure your smoke alarm works, have a fire extinguisher in your home, put dead bolt locks on your exterior doors, put together a family communications plan, have an emergency fund, store an additional month's supply of food for you and your family, etc.
The middle of the pyramid:
  • This is where preparedness activities become more specific.
  • Research what disasters are most likely to happen in your area.
  • Spend your time and money on mitigating these specific threats that are most likely to happen.
  • If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, reinforce your basement and stock your basement with all of the supplies you need to whether a tornado.
  • If you live in an area prone to earthquake, take steps to secure your furniture and hot water tank.
  • Do tasks and preps that are a bit more in depth such as: get your HAM operator's license, take a karate class, install a security system in your home, have enough stored water and food to see your family through a multi-month disaster, etc.
The top of the pyramid:
  • When you've done everything in the bottom and middle of the pyramid, you can start working on the most advanced preparedness skills and supplies.
  • Consider worst case scenarios such as a total collapse of the economy, a total collapse of the social system, pandemic illness, etc.
  • Do the tasks and buy the supplies that could help you survive the very worst of what could happen. This includes: becoming a paramedic, putting in an alternative electric system, putting in an alternative water system, outfitting your own personal armory, etc.
As you can see, this is the basic idea of preparedness. It just makes sense to spend the most time, effort, and money on the things that are most likely to happen. One of the biggest mistakes I see new survivalists make is to become enamoured with being a "survivalist" and try to fit the profile by jumping to the top of the pyramid without making a firm foundation first. Some people have very nice AKs but have no idea how to shoot. Some people may start buying gold coins but not even have an emergency fund to cover a couple of months of bills should they get laid off. Others may dress in camo head to toe and play paintball every weekend under the guise of "being prepared for TEOTWAWKI" but not even have a working smoke detector that could save the lives of their family in what is a much more likely scenario of a house fire.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. It's always best to take care of the immediate dangers first. A balanced approach.