First off, I would like to apologize for how long this post is, it kind of just got away from me, and if you do read the whole thing, kudos to you good sirs and or madams.
So I was reading a survival blog (which i can not remember but I'm sure one of you may recall) as I seem to always be doing, and the writer was describing an exercise wherein you the prepper make a list of anything and everything you can think of that would be made easier to handle via prepping. The list can include simple things as losing ones job, to absurd things such as a zombie apocalypse, everything you can think of. Then, once you have compiled your list, you prioritize your list. I've divided mine into four levels of events. So, this exercise is supposed to help you prioritize what things to get first, making you prepare for the most likely events first before you move on to other less likely events. You would continue on down the list until you're fully prepared for a zombie apocalypse and everything is fine and dandy. So without further ado, here's my list.
LEVEL 1 EVENTS LIST
Level 1 is filled with fairly plausible events, in fact at this very moment there is probably every one of these things happening right now somewhere in the world. These are events that as a race we deal with everyday and survive, for the most part.
Losing job - prepping, especially if you are fairly far along in your prepping will definitely help with losing your job and not have a foreseeable job lined up. A lot of people these days are going without a lot of basic essential needs due to not having the funds to provide for themselves and their families due to the bleak financial outlook right now all over the world. Whereas if they had been preppers they probably would have had a good stockpile of food and other products that would have given some breathing room to recoup.
Blizzard/Ice Storm - probably the most essential level 1 event to prep for as winter months without power can lead to a very quick death for sure. From not being able to access your funds, to powering your heater or cooking your food, winter storms can mess up your life in a hurry, especially if you leave in the northeasterly states and provinces of our two countries. Already overloaded power grids don't take much to completely collapse as seen a few times in the last decade. Camping stoves and makeshift heating devices will benefit you the most, or if you're lucky enough to be living in a house that has wood heat. Food and water preps are important as stated earlier the lack of power could rob you of money to buy more food and water.
Flooding - in my immediate area at the time of writing this, flooding is a big concern, especially when the river breaks up after the winter thaw. Theres a bend in the river down by the old end of town that causes all the big sheets of ice floating down the river to get stuck up on each other and cause a damming effect and this leads sometimes to flooding. On most years the flooding is minor, but every once and a while it's pretty bad...I've seen pictures of the whole town under at least some water. Prepping wold alleviate the need to leave the apartment building if all we were doing was waiting out the flood. Being twelve floors up is going to keep us out of any immediate danger from the flood, so food and water preps are going to help the most in a situation like this one. Also, any kind of camping stove like prep that you have that doesn't require power, as most likely you are going to be without power for some time.
Forest fire - Canada has a lot of nature and with nature comes a lot of trees and with a lot of trees comes a lot of forest fires. Everywhere I have lived has been a hot zone for Forest fires, and this place is no different. There are a few communities that I know of right now that are evacuated do to forest fires. For forest fires, especially maybe ones that quickly engulf an area close to your town, time is of the essence. Breathing issues caused by the smoke can be felt many miles beyond the outer perimeter of the fire, so anything that could alleviate the stress on your respiratory system such as medical masks, gas masks or even modified dust masks can and will help a lot. You gotta breath right? Having your Bug Out Vehicle fully stocked with supplies will be invaluable when your local authorities tell you to evacuate, barring you're the type that would evacuate when told to.
Hurricane/tornado - I personally have never been any where near a tornado, and haven't been within a continent of a hurricane so I wouldnt have any first hand knowledge of what to do. But as far as naturally occurring events that prepping would aid in, these two are it. While Hurricanes give ample warning that they are coming, a lot of the time the actual severity of the storm isn't really known until it hits landfall, which for a lot of people isn't enough time to determine whether or not to evacuate. Tornados though give very little notice that they are even coming, let alone where they are going to touch down, science seems to be quite baffled by the tornado and trying to predict where one may strike well in advance of an event. So depending on the severity of said storms hitting your area, you could be without power or even your home for a long time, and preps are going to save your life and any other lives you choose to provide aid to. In either event as well, proper procedure once you've decided to bug in, is to get to the safest part of your home, which in most cases is your basement. So keeping your preps in the basement is probably beneficial to people that live in an area that these storms are prevalent. Also, depending on the severity of the storm, you may end up buried under your home for an undetermined amount of time, essentially on your own as you or rescuers try to make their way through the rubble of your home and others looking for survivors. Food and water essential to surviving this scenario.
Earthquake - I've only ever been in a small earthquake, after shocks from the Seattle quake of 2000, but it was enough that it cause by first floor apartment to sway enough to concern me, couldn't imagine what the top floor felt like lol, or even what people in Seattle were feeling like. Earthquakes strike suddenly so having a plan set in place if you live in an earthquake zone is prudent as everyone in your plan should know what to do in the event of an earthquake and where to go if at all possible. Bug out bags and alternative transportation, like a bicycle, would be beneficial in an environment where structures could be deteriorating and regular transportation halted by debris.
LEVEL 2 EVENTS LIST
While not necessarily implausible, level 2 events are seen as mostly improbable. Most the average civilian, would believe that these events could happen, but won't happen any time soon. Nothing overly out of the norm in the list, but things the majority of people don't worry about on a day to day basis, based on either rarity of happenstance or general naivety of the inherent probability.
Race Riots - I'm not going to say where I live there is going to be a race riot in the near future, but I'm also not going to be surprised if it ever happens here. Race riots are going to be either a bug in or a bug out situation, no in between, unless you're one of the rioters that is. Getting out of town or holing your self up at home both have their advantages and disadvantages. Bugging in, leaves you in familiar territory with all your food and water preps as well as any and all your weapons of choice. Knowing the layout of the land and your home will allow you easier time dealing with the horde of people trying to kill each other and others just taking advantage of the situation. But, if the rioting turns into looting and/or full out chaos, being trapped in your dwelling could backfire on you. Bugging out gets you out of harms way, but could leave you lacking many preps you had to leave behind when you fled the city/town you lived in. Also, having to evade the riots/rioters could fail and put you and yours in immediate danger, left to fend off countless chaos encrusted fiends all by your lonesome. If you do however manage to leave the area that is affected, you should be safe, and able to find lodging elsewhere until e everything blows over.
Civil Unrest - race riots bigger uglier cousin, civil unrest could be caused by just about anything from a racially motivated social wrong like the Rodney King Trial Riots, or political upheaval like the 99% movement. Complete and utter civil unrest really hasn't been seen in north America in many decades, but could rear its ugly head not to far off in the future here. If the citizens of the United States got to the point where they believed that their local and federal government didn't have their best interest in mind, could get violent...leading to politically motivated civil unrest. Widespread panic by those not involved and complete mayhem by those that are, could cripple the country and halt all production of goods moving from one end of the country to the other. While not necessarily causing TEOTWAWKI, it could take quite a while for everything to get back to normal. Stockpiles of food and water, and weapons to protect yourself from the angry mob on every main street USA, would be helpful, as waiting out the storm is probably your best bet until you really know what's going on.
Tsunami - while the Indonesian boxing day tsunami was one of the biggest disasters in recent memory, people don't fear tsunamis occurring as much as other natural disasters. Tsunamis are the perfect storm of the right thing happening at the right time. If you're caught in a tsunami there's little that could help you other than having a bug out bag strapped to you at the moment it happened. Having some sort of flotation device would help but not a whole lot. Surviving tsunami when in the direct path seems to be more luck than anything. Now surviving the aftermath of a tsunami is where prepping would benefit you. From everything we've learned in the aftermath of the boxing day tsunami is that everyone is Ill-prepared to help governments and people react to such an event. Getting food and clean water in this situation is near impossible, as everything has been swept back into the sea. For any prepping to work in this situation though, your place of storage would have to be outside the destruction zone to be of any help to you.
Martial Law In Effect - while no one likes to think of their own government thinking that it's own people are so out of control, that it removes all your rights and turns your once democratic republic into a police state. But it could conceivably happen, especially if any other events on this level were to happen. Once TSHTF and panic fires across the lands, the government may have no other option but to declare martial law. This is definitely a bug in scenario if I've ever seen one, in my humble opinion anyway. Hiding out in your well stocked cellar would we great, you could even go old school, secret compartments, hidden doors, passages in the walls, you know super cool evade big brother stuff. How long martial law is in place is anyone else's guess, I have no idea how to determine how long something like this would last once the need is there. A fairly large stockpile of food and water would enable you to stay indoors longer and lessen your chance of getting caught out when you shouldn't or being somewhere you shouldn't....pissing off the all power encompassing military enforcing the now overly stringent laws of the land. If you must venture out to restock some products, camouflage suited to your environment is key, blending in and staying low will keep you out of the deadly crosshairs of a highly trained US marine.
Pandemic Natural - at any given moment a viral pandemic that could wipe out a large majority of mankind could happen without notice. Yet for some reason we all seem to think that the all powerful CDC and World Health Organization can bring us back from the brink with some eleventh hour cure. But when reality hits us all in the face and, there is no cure because there is too many sick and dying people and not enough resources to create a vaccine, then the sobering truth will slap every single one of us across the face. Even if the powers that be we're able to create a vaccine and distribute it to the people in a reasonable amount of time that it could save a good amount of the population, the social breakdown from the impending doom, would cause complete and utter mayhem across the board. People would more than likely be fighting in the aisles of pharmacies over anything they think may give them a better chances at staving off certain death by boosting their immune systems. Or people killing anyone that comes near them or their family if they even look remotely sick....it was Jim or us honey, him or us. World Wide Pandemic is a scary and sobering reality that we don't take all that seriously. As every outbreak of bird flu or swine flu or SARS or whatever that pass and we over sensationalize just to make people buy a newspaper or tune into the news just to have it become some joke to everyone, we get desensitized to the severity of the problems we could face at any moment. We should be more worried about pandemics, but we're not, and that's why viral pandemic outbreak is not viewed as a more probable threat.
Financial Collapse - financial forecasters say a complete financial collapse is highly improbably and that people shouldn't worry about the stability of the global bank. Sounds like something you would say to calm someone down before you tell them the house is on fire. Now I'm not a paranoid person, and like I've said frequently on this blog, that I don't particularly fear any one of these events actually happening, I can't discount the notion of anything happening if it is actually possible. The last decade since 911 has shown that the world economic structure is very fragile, from Clinton to Obama has seen the entire world economy and outlook change so drastically you would swear if this was a sporting event, that the fix was in. However unlikely a financial collapse is, it wouldn't hurt us to factor it into our planning. Financial collapse would essentially cripple anything and everything that our society runs on, as far as everything goes, third world nations would fair better G8 nations if all the money became worthless, they already live on nothing, what's different today? It's like in our nations the poor are more than likely gonna fair better in a SHTF scenario, because poor people know how to make something out of nothing and live on very little, from experience.
EMP Solar Flare - A naturally occurring EMP from a solar flare that's so destructive it shuts down all electronic devices is not a highly feared or even known about phenomenon, but could easily happen. Solar flares happen frequently, but at levels safe for the inhabitants of earth. Solar flares have historically played havoc with earth infrastructure but not to any worthwhile effects. But it's only a matter of time before one comes along and wipes us all out. Imagine waking up one morning and everything electrical had stopped working, as far as apocalyptic events that could happen, this is probably the most in like a sheep out like a lion as they come. Most people wouldn't even clue into what was happening for quite a while, panic probably wouldn't begin for days in most corners of the country, people would just trust that the local or federal authorities would fix it in a couple days at worst. Not knowing that the lights could be off permanently. Having certain important electrical devices in a faraday cage would help you maintain some sort of normalcy and allow a more transitional move into the world we're about to inherit.
Asteroid - a commonly feared but easily dismissed event is the asteroid strike, you know like the one that killed the dinosaurs lol. People believe that an asteroid strike would be detrimental to our planet and more than likely an extinction level event, but don't worry about it...since the Dino's bit it asteroid style, most people believe lightening won't strike twice, even though our planet has been struck many the time by significant space debris. Fear not Americanos, Bruce Willis gonna save the day and then we'll name some high schools after him and his crew....but in reality, we'd just mess it all up...sending the human race into obscurity with the last thing we ever do being a huge fail... I can see an alien race with a poster of an asteroid about to hit earth with the word "owned" under it.
LEVEL 3 EVENTS LIST
Level 3 events are events that everyone fears immensely but believes that they are either so unthinkable or so implausible that we needn't worry about them. While thinking something is unimaginable is not a dependable enough method to ensure these events don't happen, so far it hasn't been disproven lol.
Pandemic Man Made - just like its less diabolical brother the natural pandemic outbreak, the man made viral outbreak, or intentional release of a deadly pathogen while physically destructive like the natural pandemic, also has the crippling psychological aspect of being betrayed by our fellow man. Especially if the releaser had no vaccine or cure for it, just an apocalyptic mindset, and a big fuck you to the rest of world. There's no real way to prevent such an event, and no real plan of action that could protect us from this, as people that would do this would nodoubtedly plan out the dispersion of the pathogen down to the tee, with airports and airplanes delivering delivering the deadly blow to mankind before we even know what's going on.
Dirty Bomb Attack - terrorists have long been portrayed as coveting the use of a dirty bomb or high explosives encased in radioactive materials to make a makeshift poor mans nuclear device. Loading these radioactive materials into a van and loading it with simply obtained high explosives and the prevailing explosion and fallout aftermath could kill hundreds of thousands of people. Having medications and equipment designed to help and aid in radioactive events is a benefit in you kits at this point. Geiger counters, radiation suits and potassium iodine tablets and like medications will help you survive such an event. Not much you can do if you're at ground zero, but chances are you won't care if you are.
Super Volcano - the only natural disaster in the Level 3 Event List, the incredibly overdo super volcano that is the hundred of thousands of years overdo Yellowstone national park volcanic super cell. Apparently this volcano goes off about every quarter million years and is long overdo, and forecasters say when it goes, it's going to go BIG. Ash will blacken out the sun, and every living thing will more than likely die as without sun, plant like will die off and everything that lives on plant life (which is just about every living thing on the planet directly or indirectly) dies due to lack of sustenance. That's not even including the breathing complications and contamination of water sources from all the ash in the air. Underground compounds fully stocked with years worth of food is really the only way any of us are going to survive this major event. And even if it's not THAT big, a moderate eruption at this point would stunt the growth of life on earth and global farmers would not ever be able to meet the demand and people would begin to starve.
EMP Attack - like a natural EMP, the EMP attack would shut down all electrical devices, and cripple our modern society to the point of no return. An intentional nuclear detonation in the atmosphere over the US would send an EMP that would cripple most of north America is very possible and a few nations already have the technologies and know how to do so. Many nations have the reasons to do it, and it's only a matter of time before someone tries it out. Trying to fix the grid and design electronics that can better survive such an event could work to alleviate the damage, but as with anything that involved humans, plans are probably flawed and we tend to drag our feet over on this side of the world anyway.
WWIII - an inevitable outcome to the previous event. Any major attack on America or other like g8 nation would probably lead to what humans do best, take sides. Allies and enemies pairing off and strategically placing assets all over the world...chest thumping that eventually leads to full out war. A world war happening around us as, if like the previous event we were crippled by an EMP would be beyond terrifying. Imagine hearing a war going on all around you, but your in a dark house with no way of finding out what's going on outside or being even to see what's going on inside the house. WWIII would eventually lead into what could easily be TEOTWAWKI....because widespread war in this day and age is only going to lead to one place....
NUCLEAR WAR... The granddaddy of them all, the end all be all to the end of the world as we know it. You know, that button we dare not push...it's just been pushed. Once pushed there's no coming back, and we all know it, hence why we've not pushed that button since we all found out what happens when Japan got blowed up. But widespread war with certain super powers losing faith that they will come out of the winning end could lead to a hail Mary type logic, and the first tactical nuke goes up and then, if we're fucked at least I can die knowing they're fucked too mentality spreads like a wave across the worlds. Little hope in surviving a full out Armageddon nuclear apocalypse, but if you escape the actual detonations, you still have a massive dose of radiation to deal with, for like, forever. The medications and materials mentioned in the dirty bomb description will help you here, but staying away from hot zones is going to be important, but why would you want to go there anyway.
LEVEL 4 EVENTS LIST
The completely improbable and completely insane list hereafter, is a list of events that most everyday rational people believe impossible to happen. About as likely as unicorns or the return of the dinosaurs, people dongs like to think of such far fetched ideas occurring in reality, better leave these events to hollywood to perpetuate.
Biblical Armageddon - while anyone that is religious would get upset at me for putting this in a level that I describe as like unicorns, biblical armageddon is not something that anyone wants to contemplate ever happening. The idea that god has said, this is the end, now let's have a huge battle royale before we all get together in heaven and kumbayah ourselves off until whenever. However, if it does go down like that and your one of the many "left behind" you better have a game plan for the final battle between good and evil, cause that stuffs getting messed up...guaranteed. Don't know if we're getting food provided for the thousand year war, but you better stock up on weapons for that long a war...
Alien Reveal Reaction Collapse - many people believe in aliens, and many people can acknowledge the potential for life on other planets, but some just won't accept the notion. Which ever belief set is yours it matters not, if aliens made themselves know to us in some grand gesture that couldn't be argued against the proverbial shit would definitely hit the fan. From religious beliefs coming into question, to political pressures, to basic societal fears, aliens revealing themselves to us would shake t he very foundation of humankind. Old grudges could possibly be buried or made worse, new grievances could be born over who gets the rights to alien companionship or even who gets access to alien technology, the world as it sits right now is NOT ready for aliens. Complete social anarchy could ensue from alien revelation and self defense and a good secluded bug out location will suit you well in this situation. Waiting out the panic storm is about all you can do, and when that all dies down, and all that is left are people that are either cool with them being here or against them being here you still have to worry about....
Alien Invasion - whether after revealing themselves to us and determining from our reaction that maybe the universe would be better off without us, or just a plain old first contact attack, alien invasion would be a pretty bad day in human history. There's no Will Smith type soldier that can wipe out an entire advanced alien race, no mystery illness or allergic reaction to water saving us here, we're doomed. A race of aliens that has the technology to travel thousands of light years is not going to have much trouble destroying our meager troops (no offense troops of the world). And unlike every alien sci-fi invasion film or book ever written, humankinds heart or tenacity never say day mentality is not going to save us...this is reality people. Complete and utter decimation awaits us, and if any of us survive, preps are going to repopulate the earth.
Zombie apocalypse - lately there has been a lot of chatter on the interest of events all around the world that make the true believers giddy like a school girl at the notion of mother of all apocalypses the zombie apocalypse. While any rational person will say a zombie apocalypse could and will never happen, there are many the blogger or websites that devote a lot of time and effort to proving that one is possible if not slightly askew from the traditional zombie. From viral outbreak, to human intervention gone way wrong, to extreme mad cow disease, people are continually theorizing about the potential for a real world zombie apocalypse. From collecting zombie killing tools and advanced weaponry, to zombie proof architecture, zombie warriors are serious about the impending apocalypse. And the holy grail of zombie believers is huge I TOLD YOU SO once it has all began. To survive this apocalypse you'll need weapons...lots and lots of weapons, everyone knows that.
Post Matrix Apocalypse - the most improbable of apocalypses on this list but since I somewhat mockingly wrote about the notion of one HERE, I figured I should at least add it to the list of things to prep for. The low down on the matrix if you don't know is this, we are all living in a virtual world (the matrix) to keep our living bodies complacent whilst machines use us as a power source only to have us become "awakened" and because we are human, fight back against our oppressors (the machines) causing a post matrix apocalypse. Like in the original post about this event, knowledge is king, as everything we thought we had prepped in the matrix isn't actually real and not in the real world, however everything we learn mentally would still be in our minds as you can't learn something pretendly lol. I would imagine if you have prepped for every event leading up to this, you've probably already learned everything that could help you in a post matrix apocalyptic world, aside from maybe how to hack the matrix mainframe with your mind, but hey, that's a little too factionalized for this post lol.
So there it is, my attempt at prioritizing every event I could think of right now that you could prep for. It took a lot more writing than I thought when I started writing it, but who really knows what's going to hit the page once you start. If I forgot anything let me know in the comment section below, and maybe I'll put up a revised issue at a later date, also, let me know what your prioritized list would be. I'm always interested in how other people view what I view. So until the next exercise let's hope we get prepared for all these events before the shit hits.