Levels of Preparation: Prepared for What?

So, you’ve seen the writing on the wall and you are ready to get prepared?  World conditions are getting kind of scary and maybe a little peace of mind is in order… but, you have questions. What am I preparing for?  What are the situations that I could encounter?  What are the dangers? How much, or how little, preparation do I need?  These are all vital questions to ask when building a preparedness program for yourself or for your family.

Well, we will answer those questions but first let’s talk a little survival philosophy.  We are using the term preparedness and what we are really talking about is survival preparedness.  Preparing to survive…to live on.  Survival means two things:

1. That you are still alive after the catastrophic event.

2. That you intend to stay alive against all odds.

So, what are the threats to your survival?

Basically the human body needs five things to keep on living:

1. Air, a fresh supply of oxygen

2. A 98.6 degree body temperature

3. Water

4. Food

5. Protection from harm (i.e. self defense, first aid, preventative medication, etc.) 

Depending on the situation, and time elapsed, you will die if you are deprived of any of these basic needs.  For example:

You can live without serious difficulties for about…

Three minutes without clean air

Three hours without a normal body temperature

Three days without water

Three weeks without food

Three seconds with an armed marauder or a charging grizzly bear, ten seconds with a severed major artery, or months or years with an infection or disease.

You can see a priority list is developing with air, warmth (or cooling), water and food generally being 1,2,3,4 and protection a variable 5 (which may become first, last or in the middle depending on the scenario).  However, even though there is a priority ranking, in a proper survival plan all five need to be addressed with equal importance.  These priorities translate to the basic survival elements of shelter, fire, water, food and gear (which is the tools and equipment that you will need to help you obtain the first four elements and deal with the fifth).  Your preparations must take into account these priorities and survival elements.

Now that you understand the basics of survival, you will need to design a program of tools, gear and supplies that will stand ready to serve your needs in the advance or aftermath of a serious event, a catastrophic disaster, that could disrupt your normal way of life and threaten your existence.  May we give you some advice?  Catastrophic disasters are not simply “inconveniences,” they are tough survival situations.  Tough situations require tough preparations… we call it hardcore.  Make your preparations hardcore. 

Once you have worked out your plan it must be kept readily at hand to use in your time of need.  For most people that is interpreted to be a 3 Day Emergency Kit, or a “Bug Out Bag.”  This is what is offered by most dealers in preparedness supplies, and many people sleep more peacefully at night knowing that their “little pack” is resting under their bed.  And, that is good if you have to bug out (which means that you will have to grab your pack, leave your home and take care of yourself for three days).  But is that all there is to preparedness?  Is that the only action that you will have to take? What if you don’t have to leave your house but the power is knocked out and food supplies are short?  What if you must be away from your house for a week or more?  What if your pack is under the bed and you are at the office, or out running errands (the usual case)?  You can see that there needs to be more than one level of survival preparedness.

Let’s consider the following disaster scenarios and, as you consider preparedness options, consider that your plans need to cover not only yourself but your family members as well.  It is wise to realize that, In some scenarios, your family may become separated so each member should have his/her own pack or kit.  In each scenario a “catastrophic disaster” could be a natural or man-made occurrence, a terrorist attack, a war or an economic collapse.   Following each scenario will be a suggested preparedness option:

Scenario One:  You are away from home travelling with a friend to a nearby town, in your friend’s vehicle.  A catastrophic disaster has occurred and your hometown has been heavily damaged.  The roadway has become impassable.

Preparedness Option Level One:  This is the place for a small, lightweight personal survival kit.  The kit should contain downsized versions of the basic survival tools and can be carried in a belly pack, purse or briefcase.  This small kit should be carried at all times. 

Scenario Two:  You are at home. A catastrophic disaster has occurred with no warning. Your home is destroyed, or threatened with destruction, and it is not safe for you to remain.  You must evacuate rapidly and move some distance to a safe area.  Your car is not an option as it is damaged or its’ use is not feasible (traffic congestion, road destruction or obstructions, etc.).  You must therefore go on foot or bicycle.  It takes a minimum of three days for FEMA or The Red Cross to set up relief operations.

Preparedness Option Level two:  This is the place for a “Bug Out” Pack.  A lightweight, individual, self contained backpack stocked with the basic survival tools and gear, a water supply, protection items and 3 days worth of food goods.  This kit is kept in the home at the ready.  The Level One kit should also become a part of this kit when bugging out.


Scenario Three:  You are at home. You have been warned that a catastrophic disaster is imminent, or has occurred. Your home is threatened with possible destruction, and it is not safe for you to remain.  You must evacuate rapidly and travel some distance to a safe area.  Your car can be used for this evacuation.

Preparedness Option ThreeThis is the place for a survival kit of more substantial weight.  It can be kept in the trunk of the car.  A larger food supply is an option here, as is more family oriented gear.  Heavier survival tools can be used in this kit.  The Level One and Level Two kits should be become part of this kit when evacuating.

Scenario Four:  You are away from home. A catastrophic disaster has occurred without warning, and there is destruction all around you.  You have access to your car, but travel may not be possible.  Law enforcement is overtaxed and looting and other criminal activity is evident.

Preparedness Option:  You should have your Level One and your Level Three kits available. 

Scenario Five:  You are at work in your office in the city.  A catastrophic disaster has occurred, without warning, and there is destruction all around you.  You are trapped in your office and must escape.  It is your desire to get back to your home.  There is widespread damage to the city and law enforcement is overtaxed.  Looting and criminal activity is evident.

Preparedness Option Level Five:  You should have your Level One kit.  In addition a survival tools kit can be built for keeping at your place of work if possible.  This kit should contain heavier duty basic survival tools.  These kits can be combined for daily carry in a computer pack or day pack.

Scenario Six:  You are at home.  A catastrophic disaster has occurred in your town and utilities have been disrupted.  Your home is intact and relatively secure. You have no power for light and heat, water and gas service is not available.  Store shelves have been emptied and food supplies are not available.  Auto fuel is not available.  Law enforcement is overtaxed and looting is evident.

 Preparedness Option Level Six:  This is the place for long-term preparedness plans.  Your home continues to be your sheltering place and should be stocked with all the tools, supplies, goods and food storage necessary for a one year or more survival stay.  Non-electric and fuel powered appliances and tools should be emphasized.  Heating and cooking fuel, i.e. wood and charcoal, should be stored.  Of course the kits from levels one through five are a part of this plan.


A proper hardcore survival preparedness program should provide the necessities for keeping you and yours safe, protected, warm, fed and happily living on whether it be of a 3 day duration, a week, or a year.  The object is to be prepared, and if you are prepared…you shall not fear.  Follow me on Facebook for more updates. -Rudy


About Ata2ud Media

Ata2ud Media specializes in using social media to create your micro-social network. You can find us on Facebook @ ata2udmedia
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