Define Your Disaster

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define your disasterUntil I seriously became a prepper, the most likely disasters in my life involved my nail tech quitting or my husband insisting on a homemade dinner! How times have changed. Now when I think of disasters, I’m thinking more along the lines of The End of Days scenarios with an unsettling feeling they could happen now, in my lifetime.

For which disaster, or disasters, should I prepare? These days of hard, uncertain times, it’s a little like playing the odds. Hmmmmm, should I prepare for a nuclear attack? If so, I’ll need an enormous amount of sheet plastic, duct tape, and I read somewhere that you’re better protected from fall-out if you have a few feet of earth piled up against your outside walls. Our HOA would just love that!

But, really, is my very first concern a nuclear attack? No. The odds are much better for a dramatic increase in crime and riots in certain parts of our city or peaceful protests that suddenly become very violent. Even better odds favor a continued deep decline in our incomes, higher taxes, and possibly losing our home to foreclosure. It just makes sense to first define the most likely disasters and then prepare for each as best you can. A comprehensive survival guide like this one makes this easy.

Define your disaster with this first step

Since the catastrophic event most likely to affect us is loss of income, that’s where my focus has been. Some time ago, I turned our spare room into a pantry, and my goal has been to store at least six months’ worth of food. This translates into a 6-month margin where I wouldn’t have to spend money on groceries. I’ve also fought hard to save every penny I can.

If we lived in an area prone to earthquakes, that would be near the top of my priorities. Urban dwellers may put personal and home protection at the top of their lists.

If you’ve been into the survival mode for a while, life changes over time, and so will your concerns and priorities. It’s worth taking a second look now to see if your prepping needs adjusting.

Here are a few possible disasters to consider.  Which ones are most likely to affect you?

Natural disasters — Mother Nature at her worst: wildfires, floods, earthquakes, drought, hurricanes, and more

Personal disastersloss of job, decreased work hours, illness or injury affecting your ability to work, your mother-in-law moving in

Nuclear events — including, but not limited to, an electromagnetic pulse and actual mushroom clouds

Terrorist attacks — use your imagination. Terrorists certainly do!

Social unrestriots, car-jackings, increased violent crimes of all types, prison escapes

War of any kind

Biological catastrophe — spread of diseases, either purposely or the natural spread of something contagious like Ebola

After thinking it over and talking with my husband, here is the list I wrote for our family.

1.  Loss of income
2.  Loss of home
3.  An event of any kind that occurs while my family members are scattered at different locations around the city
4.  Violent crime against my children, my husband, or myself
5.  Flooding
6.  Massive failure of the power grid

With some planning and prepping, you realize you have more control over how these events will affect your family than you might think. The key is to identify likely calamities and then take action. Fortunately, prepping for one event gives you a head start prepping for additional events, thus saving money and time.

Simply taking this step puts you light years ahead of millions of people, and I believe it will give you and your family some peace of mind no matter what happens.

What is Number One on your list?

Take this 5-Question Threat Assessment Quiz

Click here to download and print this assessment. This will walk you through the steps of identifying which disasters are top priority for you and then narrow them down to which one you should prepare for first.


Start getting prepared by defining the disaster that most threatens you and your family. 5-question quiz included.

15 thoughts on “Define Your Disaster”

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  2. with Nuclear Electro – Magnetic Pulse will stop my pacemaker and then would kill me So my son and family would not know how to use / cook the food I saved
    Violent crime is almost a weekly thing with me with when I leave my home but more six times people have show up Demanding for me to care for them when every time I ask for help they ignore me unless they could get money and/or extra food gasoline for them like showing up to take me to a doctor’s Appointment with a empty gas tank then asking to fill it up when it is less of a gal. of gasoline was used
    Pandemic I live alone with enough cleaning supplies better than a hospital to Sanitized every one and every thing that show up
    I just need the income to own a home on some land to produce enough food for 12 people with no one adding any supplies to what I have for a year …

    1. hillbilly girl

      Why do you feel duty bound to provide for others? They have their chance just like all of us. Slothfulness will reap its reward. Family has been informed that if they want food, they had best do what I have done or be prepared to pay for it.

  3. phyllis weaving

    I live on a river which rises often, though it has not broke into our property floods have been a problem in the U.K. this year.

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  6. I am preparing to be a human being…to return to basics…to raise my children and teach my friends that there is no box. To teach that all life is sacred. To do what you must but harm none intentionally. Movement is life. Death is only a feeling you have for a split second there is no reason to fear it. Age is like leveling up. You only need five things…Shelter, water, food, friends and believe in something…what you believe will make all the difference. And lastly I prepare because I am the power that drives this meat puppet and I need to take care of it so I might learn.

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  12. Recently I decided to start prepping. 2 weeks ago I got a generator and a water tote last week. I filled the tote yesterday and picked up gas for the generator a week ago. This morning at 3am the power went out, the septic full from a flooded yard and of course no water (on a well). I was excited because I was prepared and could offer my neighbors water. I wanted to say thanks. Many of the things I learned from you I have used today.

  13. Unfortunately the wildfires lately have reminded me our car is too small for the dogs, supplies and ammo. Anyone have thoughts on how to make an Aveo carry more? Or do we just need to look for a truck?

    1. Tough question because part of being prepared is planning for the everyday and Aveo is much easier on the gas budget than a truck and thus gives you more $$ to get out of debt or buy supplies etc.
      I love my electric car (see above re gas budget) but we have been dealing with snow snow snow and I miss my Subaru. I suggested to my husband that we find an older – good condition – rig for me to drive in this kind of weather, which comes around every year. Not too expensive but useful. I don’t want to drive his truck (I can barely get in the thing). So maybe you could find something like that.
      Another alternative is some kind of luggage carrier for the roof or a hitch and SMALL (we are talking Aveo here) trailer to haul extras.
      The absolutely best thing is you are doing is thinking and talking.
      Best wishes

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