As I have reviewed the disasters in the last 40+ years I noticed pattern develop, a pattern of common risks, or threats, that were present each and every time. Granted, in some situation/incidents one or more items were far more prominent but they were all there. Strangely enough…the #1 item that was always at top of the list when a serious injury or death occurred was lack of, or poor, communications. Yes, communications. But, once I really dug into each incident it became obvious that communications was in-fact the #1 problem/risk/threat common to all incidents…especially when death or serious injury was present.
Now, that may lead you to ask why it is not the #1 item on my list. Great question! But, I have prioritized list based on Risk Mitigation principles. And that means what can hurt you the worst and happen most often. That sound set of principles led me to my prioritized list of the 7 Common Risks/Threats list.
And for those of you that really want to learn emergency preparedness AND truly be prepared I will share with you a condensed version of Risk Mitigation. Just, stand by…
The 7 Common Risks/Threats that exist in each and every disaster, emergency, and especially during “grid-down” are:
- Injury or Sickness
- Communications (lack of or poor)
- Organization (lack of or poor)
The risk of violence is always present in any emergency situation. There is always someone that is ready, willing, able, and depraved enough to take your stuff and/or hurt you or your family. The reason why this is my #1 item…Risk Mitigation principles. The severity, and potential finality, of the end result. In a matter of seconds your stuff could be taken and/or your life ended. A year’s worth of food storage is worthless if someone steals it or kills your family over it. You must be able to prevent violence from happening to you and your family.
Problem: If you can’t defend yourself, your family, and your stuff…anyone can come along and take everything you hold dear in this life.
Solution: Properly arm yourself with the correct weapons and have correct training on how to use them to defend yourself and your family.
Injury or Sickness –
Once again, the risk of injury or sickness is always present in any emergency situation. Think of any emergency…now, think of all the ways you can get injured or sick during that emergency. The outcome to your family can be devastating without the ability to properly care for minor and intermediate injuries and sickness. A simple infected cut on your finger could lead to sepsis and that can lead to death if not prevent and/or treated.
Problem: Without the ability to treat injuries and sickness you and/or family members can become incapcitated…or worse.
Solution: Acquire enough medical supplies and training to be able to treat minor and intermediate wounds and injuries. Learn how to avoid and treat sickness during emergencies (i.e. proper water sanitation, etc.).
Communications (lack of or poor) –
Here is that #1 item I was speaking about earlier. In every single emergency that had a serious injury or fatality…EVERY ONE!
There are two side of this situation, I call them hardware and software. The hardware are the gadgets; cell phones, radios, batteries, antennas, etc. The software are the skills, knowledge, process, plan, and implementation of communicating. Both are equally important.
Problem: Without the ability to communicate you cannot coordinate your emergency response with your family and/or responders. Leaving you exposed to every single aspect of what can/could go wrong.
Solution: Acquire sufficient communications equipment and training to use it. Develop a plan on how and when to communicate.
Organization (lack of or poor) –
At first glance this may sound a bit silly, but trust me…it isn’t the least bit silly. If you and your family aren’t organized you will be wandering around trying to figure out who should do what. And if you wait until the emergency occurs to set into place the organization…you will more likely fail.
Also, I am not talking about organization in terms of lists, plans, maps, etc. I am talking about “who” does “what”. Who will be the leader, who will handle logistics, who will handle defense, who will do the cooking, etc. If you are fortunate enough to be part of a larger group such as your church’s congregation or any other group, this becomes even more important. Having a way to organize any group of any size is vital to successfully overcoming any emergency. Fortunately you don’t have to invent the solution…it is already there for you.
Problem: If your family or group is not organized to meet the needs of the group you are far more prone to problems of all kinds, especially violence, injury, and sickness.
Solution: Learn and adopt the Incident Command System.
This topic is virtually self-explanatory. You must have a source of clean water to survive. Water storage and ability to produce sanitized water is vital. Without it you go from being disoriented to sick to dead in a relatively short period of time.
Problem: You can last 3 – 5 days without water before you will die. Drinking contaminated water assures you and/or your family of an agonizing death.
Solution: Have an initial supply of transportable water storage. Have the ability to purify sufficient quantities of highly contaminated water in potable water.
Another example of self-explanatory. You need the ability to protect you and your family against exposure to the elements. This applies to your body and to your shelter.
Problem: Hypothermia and hypothermia can kill…and do so rather quickly in some cases.
Solution: Acquire sufficient and proper clothing for each person in your family. Acquire basic shelter capability such as a tent.
Why is this the last item? Because a person can last 7 – 10 days without food and not be in too bad of shape. This is a slower form of becoming disabled and/or dead. However, this is a strange item because it is usually the first thing people prepare for when in reality it should be the last.
Problem: Without sufficient food/nourishment intake you and your family will starve to death.
Solution: Acquire 30 – 90 days worth of common pantry items that your family eats every day. Acquire an initial 30 – 90 day supply of easily transportable, lightweight food such as freeze dried food. Acquire a long-term supply of food storage capable of providing nourishment to you and your family. Acquire three growing seasons worth of heirloom (non-hybrid) garden seed sufficient for your family.
In this article you learned the seven common risks/threats to all emergency situations. You also were presented with basic broad, solutions. But, not to fear…in the next eight articles I will go into far more detail on how to provide exact solutions to the seven risks/threats.
- Layering & the Common 7: Introduction
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #2 – Violence
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #3 – Injury or Sickness
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #4 – Communications
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #5 – Organization
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #6 – Dehydration
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #7 – Exposure
- Layering & the Common 7: Part #8 – Starvation
2009 - 2020 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com See Content Use Policy for more information.