You Can Never Be Too Prepared
Survivors of catastrophic events never say they were too prepared. Sure, they may credit their survival to a lot of luck. Preparation, though, helps to reduce the amount of luck you need. You may be asking what catastrophic events we should be preparing for. The truth is, the events I prepare for probably differ from the events you should prepare for. Why? Because where I live, what I do, and how I live my life exposes me to a different set of risks than those you are exposed to. This means that each person should have a unique shtfplan that mitigates the risks they encounter on a daily basis.
Where Do I Start?
To get started preparing your shtfplan, think about what your average day is like. Do you commute to work? If so, where do you work? Are you exposed to any risks? The risks you are exposed to most often are the ones you should have a plan for. Once you have a shtfplan to address the threats that are most likely to materialize, you can begin preparing for the black swans (more on this later). To demonstrate how to prepare your shtfplan, I’m going to walk through the highest probability risks I’m exposed to during the week.
I take public transit to work everyday. Whether you’re on the bus, train, or airplane, you’re exposed to a number of risks. Primarily, commuters on public transit systems are exposed to airborne pathogens like the flu virus or more recent coronavirus. To mitigate the risk of getting sick, I get annual flu vaccinations and keep my distance from those who are visibly sick. Now that the coronavirus is continuing to spread, I wear a N95 mask while on the train. Lastly and most importantly, I always practice good hygiene. It’s important to wash your hands after touching dirty surfaces.
Airborne pathogens aren’t the only risk of taking public transit. I’m at risk of encountering a mentally ill passenger or someone with intent to harm me. I always keep an eye on others commuting with me. Is anyone acting aggressively? Am I being stared at? I do my best to sit or stand near the doors, so I can slip out if I’m ever feeling unsafe. As always, the most important preps are the obvious ones. Stay safe by staying vigilant.
Whether you work in an office, construction site, or farm, you should always have a work shtfplan. Many companies have safety protocols in place to better ensure employees know what to do during a shtf event. You should pay attention to these protocols and even volunteer to take a leadership role in training your colleagues. Be aware of all workplace hazards, know how to mitigate the risks of each, and how to respond to a worst case scenario. Let’s go through two examples.
An active shooter scenario is truly a nightmare no one wants to encounter. That said, we should be prepared for one. According to the Department of Homeland Security, we have three options we can take during an active shooter scenario: run, hide, or fight. Our first instinct should always be to run. Evacuate the scene as quickly as you can. Getting to safety should be your singular focus. If this isn’t possible, you should hide. Hide under a desk, in the bathroom, or another area that reduces your risk of being targeted by the shooter. Fighting is your last resort. To be explicit, you should only fight if you have no alternative. If it’s between life and death, then you need to fight for your life.
Workplace injuries will differ significantly based on the type of job you have. If you use heavy machinery, you’re at risk of life threatening injuries. If you instead have a desk job, then you’re not at risk of anything much worse than throwing out your back while bringing files to the filing cabinet. For those operating heavy machinery, safety has to be your number one priority. If your employer prioritizes anything over your safety, then quit. You don’t want to ever be forced to execute your shtfplan.
Workplace injuries happen, though. You and your colleagues should all be trained on applying onsite medical treatment before medical professionals arrive at the scene. This is important: if you suffer a life threatening workplace injury, then your colleagues need to help you. Your shtfplan should include ensuring your colleagues know how to save your life. If you don’t believe this to be the case, then make sure you train them. It can determine whether or not you survive a workplace injury.
While many of us in the prepper community have been talking about black swans for a while, they’re now becoming a mainstream topic of discussion. Global pandemics, recessions, and terrorist attacks are all examples of black swan events we should have a shtfplan for. Low risk events with devastating consequences need to be taken seriously. I mention black swan events last because higher probability risks should always be addressed first. However, having a plan for lower probability but higher impact risks will help in better ensuring your survival. I’ve been thinking a lot about one specific example lately that I’ll cover below.
Experiment Gone Wrong
With continued advances in technology, there is an increased risk of an experiment going wrong wreaking havoc on humanity. Whether that experiment is with artificial intelligence or biotechnology remains to be seen. The race to monetize these technological developments, though, incentivizes researches to take big risks. Unfortunately, humanity will be forced to accept the consequences of these risks should the products of experiments escape controlled environments. When technology is growing more powerful, mistakes grow more costly.
Practical preparations should be made to increase your likelihood of survival. You should have a cache of food and water in your home in case it becomes too dangerous to leave. Living a relatively frugal lifestyle will also help you to build a shtf fund that you can tap in catastrophic circumstances. Learn how to bug-in and bug-out. Train yourself to become more self-sufficient. Early preparations creating a shtfplan pay dividends during a disaster.
Why a SHTFPlan is So Important
High and low probability risks are a fact of life. You are exposed to risks on a day to day basis. Others loom on the horizon. Developing a shtfplan and learning how to execute it increases the likelihood of your survival. As preppers, we need to take matters into our own hands. We cannot rely on others to save us. By identifying what you should plan for and what to do if shtf, you’ll become more confident and more prepared. Always remember, preparation is everything.
Do you have any additional suggestions for creating a shtfplan? Leave a comment below or contact me directly.