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What to Prepare For?

Typically a survival situation can take many forms. The likeliest situation would more than likely be a personal emergency, then a local crisis affecting an area, followed by a regional or nationwide disaster. The worst is the rarest but most extreme which is a worldwide catastrophe, something which has a fair chance of changing the current paradigm and potentially a great loss of life. This is sometimes referred to as The End of the World As We Know (Knew) It. To trigger such an event normally takes something like an extreme event, a Situation X in disaster preparation parlance.

As you might expect, the personal emergency situation is typically the easiest to prepare for. A worldwide catastrophe being the most difficult and impossible in some cases.

A weekend camping trip that takes a turn for the worse following a sudden change in the weather. A local emergency could be civil unrest in a nearby city. In 2014 Ferguson, Missouri experienced just such a thing (although that was almost considered a regional emergency as the State Guard were deployed). Then there's a global emergency, recent examples have not been severe enough to quite warrant an example but there have been plenty of scares. The 2008 Financial Crisis was a global economic crisis, not quite a disaster for the majority, but one that had the potential to cause a 'perfect storm'.

Fukushima was something that could be considered a national disaster with the potential for worldwide catastrophe. Japan was struck by a Tsunami which was initially a regional disaster, the resultant damage to the nuclear power station resulted in radiation leakage into the area and surrounding sea. This in turn sent the disaster to a nationwide one as the surrounding waters soon became contaminated. Although the radiation was only 'mild' it affected a broad area of the Pacific Ocean as it flowed on the watery currents. The radiation is not thought to have spread beyond to the other oceanic areas but some sealife was recommended to be avoided. An interesting consideration of the entire disaster was that looting was almost negligable, showing that an ethnic culture can mitigate or exacerbate looting in various ways.

A person new to preparedness and survival in general might be wondering where they fit in to this. The answer is complex as not everyone has the resources and / or the will to make the necessary sacrifices to the most extreme of situations.

So as a recap below from level of increasing severity:-

Personal Emergency - Shelter. Food and Water. Protection.

Local Crisis - All of the above. Foresight. Resource Stockpiles. Mutual Support Groups. Evacuation Routes. Bug-Out Location.

Nationwide Disaster - All of the above.

Global Catastrophe - All of the above. Well Prepared and Fortified Survivalists. Government Elites & Ultra Wealthy Deep Underground Military Bases.

 

Disaster Types

Earthquake - The San Andreas Fault-line is infamous for being the cause of most earthquakes in the Americas. Japan also is at risk as part of the 'Ring of Fire' circuit of faultlines. Elsewhere in SE Asia the earthquakes tend to take place below the sea but these can initiate deadly tsunami tidal waves!

Economic Collapse - Apart from Argentina in 2000 the western economies were considered resolute and a safe-bet for finances. Yet the warning of Argentina was not heeded and the near-miss of 2008 has seen spiralling debt, increased homelessness and stagflation become a reality. A complete shutdown of the country is possible, even for 1st world nations like the USA.

Forest Fire - Certain parts of America are especially prone to forest fires each summer as the heat and reduced rainfall set in. All it takes is a spark from a stray match or a discarded cigarette. Other causes can be arson but the result can mean tens of thousands of acres lost as trees go up like torches. Many holiday and vacation homes are under threat in the Rocky Mountains nowadays. While the fires can be downright vicious some years they rarely develop into anything beyond a local crisis.

Hurricane - Also known as a cyclone. These are formed over large areas of water and can pose a threat to shipping and shoreline populations. Unlike a Tornado a Hurricane forms slowly and can normally be tracked well in advance. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 struck New Orleans and the aftermath saw a temporary Societal Breakdown in the local area.

Tornado - The bane of the American heartlands. In the plains of the midwest an area of Tornado Valley sees many households at risk from twisters. Unlike Hurricanes Tornados form relatively quickly with a narrow path of destruction. Even with sophisticated tracking employed by meteoroligists their quiet approach can mean homesteaders and farmers are occasionally taken by surprise.

Tsunami - Also known as a harbor wave, these are formed by earthquakes, rockslides, glacier-collapse and underwater volcanos. Traveling across water with minimal signs showing until the shallow depth of a coastline, they are the killers of the unwary. The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami being one recent and devastating example.

 
 
 

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