There will be threats and risks to you and your family during any emergency, disaster or “grid-down” event. This is the second article in a series designed to help you systematically identify those threats and risks, then rate them according to the potential affect they can have on your family. Once that is established it makes it clear what your preparedness priorities are (or should be) and how to make your plan.
In the previous article in this series, I introduced the Threat Matrix and ran through a brief exercise on how to use it. The value in such a valid and reliable systematic approach to defining and identifying threat potential is without equal. If you don’t know and understand the threats you will face, how do you ever expect to properly prepare for them? If you haven’t read the first article I would highly suggest you do so now. <Click to read the article now>
Here is the Threat Matrix that I introduced previously –
In the exercise in the previous article I asked you to just guess when rating the “Probability” and “Severity” aspects of the chart. Now I will give you some concrete definitions to go by. You can use mine or use them to give you ideas on developing your own definitions. Either way, once you are done, you will have a valid, reliable, and consistent approach to defining risks and threats.
The next chart gives you clear definitions of the potential “Severity” or impact of the event –
The next chart gives you guidance on step #1, listing and rating each threat or risk that you perceive you are facing –
Here is your homework assignment, list each threat and risk that you feel you, your family, your group or community will face during emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events. Then rate each item for probability and severity. Add the two numbers together and divide by 2 for the “Final Rating” in the worksheet.
Yeah, I know. It looks like a bunch of school work. And you are right, it is “prepper” school work. If you didn’t learn valid and reliable ways to properly assess risks and threats how else would you do it? Seriously!
Now, one more piece of the puzzle before I close this article, the mitigation that should take place for each category of risk and threat that appear in the pretty colored Threat Matrix.
Concern Level and Mitigation Efforts to be taken –
Little: Maintain awareness of these events, their timing and potential to move-up the scale should be reviewed and discussed regularly. A plan should be developed and discussed identifying the events and the potential trigger points that could move them to a more severe or higher probability rating and the resulting impact. These potential events should be formally reviewed at least every 3 – 4 months for movement; weekly in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.
Moderate: A written plan for corrective action must be completed within 60 days, mitigation begun within 6 months and completed within 12 months. The action plan must include steps to avoid the potential for serious injury, disability and the potential for death for the more significant events. A written plan should be developed identifying the potential trigger points that could move them to a more severe or higher probability rating and the resulting impact. These potential events should be reviewed at least monthly for movement; weekly in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.
Serious: Corrective action must be taken quickly and decisively within 30 days to prevent significant sickness, injury or to cope with significant infrastructure break-down. Monthly status monitoring of these potential events must take place. A written plan on the criteria and trigger points must be developed for steps to take should the situation worsen. Additional correction actions to be taken must be implementable within 24-hours should a situation worsen. These potential events should be reviewed at least monthly for movement; daily in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.
Critical: Immediate corrective action required within 10 days to prevent immediate or imminent death or permanently disabling injury. Daily status monitoring of these potential events by leadership must take place. A written plan on the criteria and trigger points must be developed for steps to take should the situation worsen. Steps to take must be written and made known to all family/team/group/community members. Actions to be taken must be implementable within an hour should a situation worsen. These potential events should be reviewed at least weekly for movement; at least daily in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.
I hope this has helped you understand how risk & threat assessment can help you think clearly, rationally and logically when it comes to prepping. With this system you can correctly figure out what your biggest threat/risk is, how likely it is to occur, how severe of an impact it will have on your family and what to do about it.
In the next article in this series I will present my top nine risks or threats that I feel are worth identifying and rating in the Threat Matrix. Then I will explain how to “mitigate” the risk or threat. Look for this coming article, it will be worth the time to read!
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