Community—Your Best Chance for Survival

Community—Your Best Chance for Survival

Are you missing the critical link to your survival?

A strong community may play the determining factor in how well you come out of the challenges that lie in the future. Every good emergency plan should include a network of individuals who, as a whole, possess all the skills, talents and resources to thrive during a disaster.

As human beings, we are designed by nature to live in groups and depend on each other for survival. The family is the perfect pattern for successful communities.

Each family unit is unique and most have room for improvement. In spite of the flaws, this unit provides the best opportunity for each member not only to survive but to thrive. The family has effectively functioned for thousands of years with no comparable equivalent.

Throughout history people have lived in small groups or tribes, clustering together for protection, friendship, division of labor, food and shared skills. In ancient times, banishment from the tribe or community was a certain death sentence.

Survival rates significantly increase when a group of people work together. Rarely do you hear of one family intentionally isolating themselves from the group. The benefits of the group might mean the difference between life and death.

Your Community Must Be Prepared

No matter how well we prepare for possible hazards, if our community is not prepared, we are in trouble. If we are the only ones with food, we become a target. Could we really feed our young son and watch his little friends starve to death if we have the means to help, thus putting our own family at risk?

These problems are significantly lessened when each family in our community is prepared, even if they just have a supply of longer term food storage tucked under each person’s bed.

You may not have the ability to motivate your entire city to prepare, but you may have great influence over your neighborhood or social groups. Community not only blesses each other during tough times, but can lift and strengthen each other through the daily challenges of life.

Successful communities are deliberately built through planning and effort. They have long standing traditions, close relationships, and a culture of self-sufficiency. Everyone is considered family. They look out for each other and maintain ties that keep the group strong.

Some areas are routinely struck by disasters. The citizens choose to stay there and rebuild over and over again. That crazy determination comes from a love of a community and the residents that live there.

Design and Build Your Community

In a perfect world, your immediate neighborhood could be built into an ideal community. Most neighborhoods can be greatly improved by building and strengthening relationships. There are times and places where that is not a possibility. Sometimes it may be dangerous to develop close relationships with neighbors who participate in illegal drugs or other illicit activities.

Use wisdom in everything you do. Do not put your family in danger.

If you live in a dangerous neighborhood, build a network of like-minded people outside of your local community. Many preppers have a bug out location where they plan to evacuate to if the city gets too intense. It may work for you to buy some land with some friends and create a well-stocked home away from home.

In either case, that community of people is critical to your survival. A plan to ride the trouble out all alone is not generally a successful one. You might have the ability to build your own group and hand pick the members. Most of the time your group is determined by geographical location (neighbors or church members), birth (family), or some other variable out of your control.

A group of people will have a variety of necessary skills and resources. It is difficult for one person to have all of the necessary expertise such as; medical, emergency response, communications, small engine repair, carpentry, physical defense, baking, preserving, and gardening.

Combine the skills of 10 families and you will be amazed at the diverse skill set you have access to. This collection of skills and resources increase probability of survival.

The same goes for resources. Financial resources and time allow an inventory of valuable tools to be accumulated. A mature couple in the neighborhood may have acquired many tools, but may not have the physical strength and stamina to make the best use of them. A younger couple may be in the opposite situation, strength and energy, but no money for tools. Working together both can benefit greatly from the relationship.

Just as each of us brings strengths to the group, we also have limitations which make us dependent upon others for survival. Young children are completely dependent on others for every aspect of survival. A mother who is caring for those tiny ones does not have the time to devote to others in the community because her energy is spent on the children. She makes a valuable contribution, but her time is limited.

Perhaps you raise chickens for eggs, but just can’t bring yourself to slaughter the birds. This is where community comes in. You have a neighbor that loves to hunt and doesn’t have any issues with slaughtering and preparing the birds. You raise them and he slaughters them for the cost of a few birds to feed his family. Working together, limitations are eliminated.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, but it is impossible for each member of the group to contribute equally. Each must be the very best they can be in order for the group to be strong. It is important to carefully think these tough questions through.

A group may include several young children, while they are the promise of a brighter future, they only consume resources. These contribute to the group by providing love, hope, and a reason to work hard and provide for a brighter future.

The group may include an 80 year-old couple who you might assume is a burden and an expendable part of the group, perhaps even dead weight. While it is true that they may be physically weak and slow, they can provide valuable resources through accumulated knowledge, wisdom and possibly even physical resources. Their home might boast a 50 year old walnut tree that produces enough storable protein to bless the entire group through the year.

As you build your community, look for a variety of skills, experience, and resources to balance out your group. The best characteristics for group members might include; integrity, resilience, strong work ethic, adaptable, willing to learn, and a strong desire to contribute to the welfare of the entire group.

Be Patient with Community Members

No matter what your survival community looks like, they all have one thing in common. People and people are not perfect. The following quote by Jeffrey R. Holland puts this concept in a unique light:

So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you…. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. …so be patient and kind and forgiving. 

This is some great advice from a very wise man.

Anger, hostility, resentment, accusations, and other negative approaches will not bring out the good in others. People are going to fall short of your expectations and make mistakes. That is just the way it is. Here are some suggestions to help you deal with the human factor in your community:

• The past is history. Learn from it, but leave it behind you.
• Work to become your very best. Allow others time to do the same.
• Exercise great patience and love. Lead by example.
• Acknowledge different viewpoints and consider the value of each.
• Follow with a cheerful, pleasant disposition.
• Learn to forgive others, as well as yourself.

Avoid Destructive Behaviors and Individuals

While you may not have control over everyone that is in your group or community, there are certain traits that are highly destructive and are not in harmony with a successful community. Selfishness is the root of most problems in society. It really is not all about you. We like to consider ourselves stewards of our resources, not owners.

Entitlement can be a very real threat from within a community or from outside it. One mother in our elementary school was overheard to say, “We don’t need food storage. We have guns and we will take whatever we want.”

Entitlement is a totally appropriate developmental stage for a 2 year old, but grownups should not act like toddlers. It is wrong and unacceptable for anyone who has passed that stage to think they deserve something that they have not honestly earned. Just because you are a member of a community does not mean you are entitled to property or resources that belong to someone else.

Appearances can be very deceptive. Are you at risk from those you assumed to be safe? For this reason, it is wise to practice a little operational security and not reveal all of the details of our plan to anyone, even in a healthy community. It is important not to make your family into a target. We can still work together without putting your family at risk.

Build Relationship with Neighbors

As a society we have become isolated, living on the same street or apartment building for years and never getting to know our neighbor. This voluntary isolation contributes to lack of a sense of community, depriving folks of great benefits. Life can be much richer when neighbors reach out and get to know one another, help each other, and build relationships.

Camaraderie promotes group resilience and survival. People in supportive social networks tend to have stronger immune systems and are happier. The healthier the culture of the group, the better the members deal with the stress of disasters and are able to recover sooner. We encourage you to help one another and be prepared to share resources and skills to benefit your group.

Aquire Skills, Knowledge and Physical Resources

Building skills and knowledge is an important factor in self-reliance. You may lose everything that you have worked hard to acquire. Your home, tools, food, everything may be gone in an instant. However, the knowledge you gain and the skills you master will help you to survive regardless of your circumstances. What you know is more important than what you have!

Physical resources are an important part of self-reliance. Provident living is preparing for the future while enjoying today. That means that you need to come up with a reasonable plan to acquire needed tools, supplies, and food storage. It may require sacrifice and hard work. It is well worth the effort when you know that you can take care of yourself and your family in the event of a sustained emergency.

Promote Self-Reliance in Each Individual

Self-reliance is an important characteristic of each individual in the group. Can you live off of your stores for an extended period of time without draining the resources of the combined group?

Healthy communities are not socialist communities. All resources do not belong to the group. Each member of the group first works for self-reliance and then for the success of the others in the group. They are not a drain on the resources nor are they sacrificing the basic needs of their family unit to allow others in the group to live in excess. Balance, wisdom and order.

Each member of the community should do their best to be prepared with; shelter, water, food stores, medical supplies, clothing, fuel, tools and home food production. Help each other plant food producing trees, vines, bushes, herbs and other perennial plants as part of the landscape. Grow a vegetable garden, even if it is only in pots on the porch. Share with others and involve the entire family.

Officially Organize the Community

A large group will need to be officially organized into smaller groups or blocks to increase efficiency. This works well for a single neighborhood or for organizing a thousand people. Divide neighborhoods into groups, or blocks, using geographical boundaries that make sense.

The sad truth is this, if you leave it up to someone else, it likely will not get done. We encourage you to stand tall and initiate the process. It is your neighborhood and you have the ability to make it a safer, better place. You do not have to do everything, just lead out and keep the momentum going. Once the plan is in place, it takes very little to maintain a healthy neighborhood.

Develop Faith in God

The final critical component is faith. At the command of Elijah, the prophet, the widow of Zarepath’s barrel of flour and jar of oil never became empty. When her son dies, he brings him back to life.

The Lord has power to do all things. He required this widow to prove her faith and use the very last of her supplies to feed a stranger, knowing that she and her son would soon die of starvation. This great act of faith blessed her and her household with food until the drought ended. Developing faith in God and learning to draw upon the powers of heaven through prayer just may be the greatest survival skill you will ever acquire.


You choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. We encourage you to be part of the solution. Prepare your home and family. Then reach out to others and help them prepare for the challenges in our future. Together we are stronger than we are alone. Together we will love life, build a better future and thrive when disasters strike.

Thanks for being part of the solution!

Prepare 2015 — August Homework

Prepare 2015 — August Homework

How quickly could you evacuate your home if you needed to? Where would you go? How would you get there? Disasters usually don’t provide advanced warning before they strike so it is a good idea to prepare well in advance.

Make a list of possible scenarios where you may be required to evacuate your home. Plan a few different destinations: outside your neighborhood, outside of your city, and one at least 100 miles away. Clearly mark planned escape routes on maps. Consider alternative routes in the event one way is blocked.

Design a survival kit tailored to your unique needs and destination. If your destination is in the mountains you will pack very differently than if you are vacationing in Disneyland until the storm blows over.  For more information on how to create the right survival kit see The Provident Prepper–A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies Chapter 5.

Prepare 2015 August goal is to update your survival kit. Spend 15 minutes minutes going through your survival kit. Spend $20 on necessary supplies as you rotate food items, check clothing sizes, add fresh batteries, and ensure your kit is ready if you need to evacuate today.

Commuter Survival Kit - Copyright Your Family Ark LLC


The most important thing is to get your kit together. You can use backpacks or containers that you find at garage sales or thrift stores to get you started. My dream bag is a Zuca Bag. They come in many different colors and styles, but the big draw for me is durability and functionality. These bags have a telescoping handle, sturdy wheels and a light aluminum alloy frame that can hold up to 300 pounds. The bag can also be used as a seat.  Zuca bags come with insert bags which make organization simple.

zuca bag

As for now, I have a well-stocked personal survival kit in a large red backpack that will do the job. I have ordered some inexpensive prescription eyeglasses to put in a couple of the children’s kits using their current prescription and stronger reading glasses to add to mine. We are a little more prepared now than we were six months ago.

Survival Kits - Copyright Your Family Ark LLC

Every time we rotate these kits I am truly grateful we haven’t had to use them, but it is a great feeling to know they are ready if we ever do.

Doctor Prepper Interviews Jonathan and Kylene Jones

Doctor Prepper Interviews Jonathan and Kylene Jones

Doctor Prepper interviews Kylene and Jonathan Jones––and you will discover they are not your normal urban family! They are all about educating real people and helping families prepare in realistic ways. They provide the physical, emotional, and mental tools and skills that you may need to not only survive, but thrive in a crisis situation. They instruct others about using resources wisely and prudent preparation for challenging times. They want to help you become better prepared for whatever emergency or crisis you may be required to face in today’s uncertainty.

What the Jones’ are not promoting is gloom and doom, nor how horrible or evil the world may have become of late. Where they can, the try to exert an influence for good and stand up for that which is right. However, the world’s population will do what it is going to do. This could likely result in dangerous situations such as war, chemical, biological, nuclear holocaust, or other man-made disasters. Nature will continue to challenge us with a variety of disastrous weather-related events, including tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, floods, droughts, forest fires, etc., and some geological-related events, such as earthquakes, volcanic action, tsunamis, and other phenomena.

To listen to the show click on the link below:


Thanks Doctor Prepper for a very interesting conversation on a subject that is near and dear to our hearts!

The Provident Prepper Blog Tour a Great Success

The Provident Prepper Blog Tour a Great Success

The Provident Prepper - A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for EmergenciesJust what do people think about The Provident Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies? (name recently changed to The Provident Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies). We hosted a blog tour to find out and were quite pleased by the results. We invited a wide range of bloggers to review the book. Some preppers and some not … even one from the UK with a unique perspective. The only compensation the reviewers received was a complementary copy of our book.

The Practical Prepper Blog Tour 2014A huge thank you to each and every one of those wonderful people who agreed to give their honest opinion of our work! Thank you to Meagan and everyone at Cedar Fort Publishing who made this blog tour possible.

And now for the results …

Moms Love 2 Read – The Practical Prepper—A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies is a wonderful book for every family to have on hand.  It shows tips for how to prepare for any emergency and also how to prepare your family so that they are less scared and more prepared.  A wonderfully written guide for families of any size.

Shanda at LDS Women’s Book Review I read this book cover to cover, curious about the suggestions the authors presented for each circumstance. I was inspired, shocked, and entertained by some of the examples given of how other people have planned for emergencies. (The Chunky soup and rice idea sure makes it easy to knock out at least one or two dinners a week in my emergency menu plan, though!)

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to be more prepared for an emergency. It’s a resource I think “preppers” of all levels will find useful. I am definitely more inspired to get my preparedness show on the road, and I thank Kylene and Jonathan for their efforts to educate others on how to not just survive, but thrive, in an emergency.

Rhonda at Read-A-LotWith all the different options they give us for different budgets, needs, disaster for your area make it so everyone can do a little to prepare all the time. Maybe it is buying a case of water and couple extra cans when on sale.

… It has a lot of good information. Plus they show you some websites to find out more information. This would be good to look at every month and see where you are or what you may want to work on next.

Shawna Wheelwright at I Love to Read and Review BooksNo matter where you are NOW this book will help you prepare for the FUTURE! Filled with practical advice on how to know what dangers could happen in your area of living, what to do if it happens, and website links to explore… You will learn how to prepare for natural disasters, outbreaks, personal disasters and more. With this book you can not only survive, but you can THRIVE! There is SO MUCH WONDERFUL INFORMATION in this book! I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND EVERY HOME HAVE A COPY!

Shawna also posted Ten Fun Things About the Authors. You may learn more than you ever wanted to know about us!

Bruce Curly at A Poet’s Life – I wholeheartedly recommend The Practical Prepper to anyone who wants to know how to prep and for those who have a deep knowledge of the field. When I worked on a biohazard detection system to identify anthrax back in 2003, we created a “store of knowledge” manual that included everything anyone 50 years in the future would need to know about how it worked. Practical Prepper is a “store of knowledge” for prepping. By using it judiciously, you will dramatically increase your chances of being around 50 years from now, and you will still find it useful then. 

Chris Todd Miller at Confessions of a Logophiliac I speak three languages but I’m not particularly fluent in this subject, which is why I was so pleased by this book. It’s not a rote agenda of must have’s and must do’s (although I think you’d be wise to pay attention). Kylene and Jonathan take a practical approach to prepping. Whether you’re just starting out and want to make a few changes or you’ve been-there-and-done-that, you’ll find something in The Practical Prepper that you didn’t know before (at least I did). The book starts with the basics and simple things you can do to start preparing yourself, then goes into greater detail about extended or severe events.

They understand that not one method will fit everybody and so they’ve crafted their advice to be both general and specific. You can take what you need and apply it to your circumstance. If you need more, they’ve got sections that cite additional resources. If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that it’s not a matter of if, but when and to what degree. … Just get the book!

Brooke of The Cover Contessa – All in all, I found this to be a very good book for the beginner Prepper and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to start prepping. The book is an easy read. The provided web links give the reader access to more specific information not found in the book allowing the book to flow unobstructed by lists and checklists.

Dorine White of The Wright PathOkay, something a little different. My readers know that I love dystopian and apocalyptic books, well, going hand and hand with that is being ready for the end of the world. So, when this book came across my desk I jumped on it. The Practical Prepper by Kylene and Jonathan Jones is “a Common-Sense Guide to preparing for Emergencies.”

I was impressed by the amount of research that went into the book. … I even found out some things I’d never thought about before, which is rare because I love survival stuff- flannel squares for reusable toilet paper and Fritos for fire starers!

I loved the book and it is a great place to start. Don’t be the one in the neighborhood that has to depend on everyone else for food and water. 5 stars!

Jamie at Prepared Housewives I don’t have the words to give this book justice, but I can tell you it’s definitely going onto my favorites list. This book is exactly what the title says, a very simple guide for anyone to follow. It covers everything you could possibly need to know in a fun way, while at the same time refraining from turning into a never-ending dooms day encyclopedia. The authors truly practice what they preach – the book is filled with pictures, real-life examples, lessons learned through experimenting, and so much more you could only know if you actually tried it!

Tressa at Wishful EndingsThe Practical Prepper is all about how to be prepared for any catastrophe that we might face. I really, really loved how the book was organized! I loved how much information was included, but I felt it was concise enough that it wasn’t overwhelming and included plenty of options so that I could personalize things to my own family and our needs and likes. Do I feel I absorbed it all? No. There was a wealth of information provided, some of which I’ve learned before, some of which I had forgotten, and some that was new to me.

The Practical Prepper is a really good resource. I’m planning on taking my family and home through several of the sections, or at least part of them and the “action plans,” to make sure that our home is secure and that we have survival kits ready to go, among other things.

If you’re interested in being more prepared or looking for a preparedness resource, I would definitely recommend The Practical Prepper. I know it will be helping my family to be better prepared.

Bookworm LisaSo, yes I thought I was prepared-ish. There are more things that can go wrong than we realize. This book takes a look at many different circumstances that we need to prepare for. It isn’t written in a way that causes panic, the reader doesn’t feel the need to rush out and start buying things that they can’t afford just in case. It takes a practical look at emergencies and a common sense approach to preparing for them.

… I am not as prepared as I thought. But, I do have a start. This book is great at guiding the reader from their own level of preparedness and nudging them in the right direction.

Sandra at Jeanz Book Read and Review – The book is one that I’d say should be on everyone’s book shelf as a reference book, along with a medical reference book too. As I have said this book is probably deemed to be more relevant to the US and the natural disasters that occur there but who knows what could happen? In the UK we seem to be having more and more crazy weather conditions.

… I found the book a fascinating, informative read. Yet at the same time a little scary thinking of all the things that can go wrong in the world and the realisation of how many things we take for granted on a daily basis. Life would certainly be a lot harder for example without water on tap, or central heating in the winter, or cooking without electricity or gas.

Katie’s Clean Book CollectionThis book starts out with the categories that people fit into. Unfortunately, I think I’m a “Target Painter.” I know that disasters and bad things happen, but I don’t want to think about it. I get overwhelmed with the thought of preparing for such events. This is a great book in that it outlines exactly what you need to do, what supplies you need, how to use and store items, and any and all other information relating to this.

Each type of natural disaster is outlined. I loved that feature, since I can look up what is common in my area and know what to do to prepare and where to look for more information. There were disasters mentioned that never even occurred to me–solar flares, nuclear hazards, etc. Checklists are included for the reader to use.

I loved the section on communication and the lists that were included in that part. There are step-by-step instructions on what to do, some things that I never thought about. I loved the personal examples that were included because it made it easier to visualize.

Cathy at A Book a Day – This book is a very good book to have around, I like that there are many different types of emergencies discussed in it. I like that it makes the steps of being prepared for pretty much any emergency you will ever face seem doable. It takes a huge seeming responsibility and breaks it down into manageable bites.

The authors have done a really great job figuring out what they need to do and translating that into what pretty much everyone can do. I also like how they talk about what they would each do in certain situations, things like Kylene needing to have chocolate to survive, it makes them seem like someone you know that just lives down the street. Make sure to check out this informative book and get prepared before it’s too late!

Cathy at Totally TembertonThe Practical Prepper: A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies by Kylene and Jonathan Jones is a user-friendly guide to preparing for emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, civil unrest, and other unexpected disasters.

In this new book, the Jones’ don’t give you rigid lists of what you need to store in case of an emergency. They provide practical step-by-step instructions on how to truly prepare for and survive in a time of disaster. From the basics to the more advanced, their methods will assist you in preparing for all types of disasters from man-made (civil unrest, house fire, terrorism, etc.) to natural (drought, earthquake, blizzard, etc.). The book includes charts to help you determine your personal risk for each type of disaster.

Cynthia J. Koelker, MD at Armageddon Medicine – Did you ever wish you could find a single book with common-sense prepping advice you could actually implement?

The Practical Prepper is just that, a must-have read for both neophytes and seasoned preppers alike. The writing is down-to-earth, easy to understand, with sections logically organized according to expected needs. Thus delightful book includes chapters on food and water storage, medical concerns, emergency heating, lighting, and cooking, sanitation, communication, fuel storage, shelter, and much more. It is not a wilderness survival guide, but rather a realistic approach to what a normal family can and should so to weather a crisis and safeguard loved ones.

… In summary, you can’t go wrong acquiring this handy survival manual. Consider it an investment in your future and that of your children, when (not if) a crisis arises.

Heather at Fire and Ice I learned a lot and the authors really got me thinking about what would occur in the event of a natural disaster or war related threat and how my family would cope. I also truly enjoyed stories of canned goods that have stood the test of time in a sunken ship. Even for the most skeptical storer, this book is a must have! I do wish there was a list of supplies discussed at the end of each chapter because I found myself making mental lists and wanting to write things down as I read. It would help to have a shopping list or simple checklist for those of us who like to see things laid out and ready to mark. Otherwise, the Practical Prepper was the best book on preparedness I have read thus far. I would recommend purchasing it!

Marjory at Grow Your Own GroceriesThe Practical Prepper is a book that will help you get started. And it delivers on the promise of its title – it really is full of very common sense information.

As I was reading it, I came across a information that I just want to have around in the home library, such as the charts that show how many drops of chlorine you need to sanitize a gallon of water. Or the storage life of different types of fuel sources and what happens when they get too old. … If you are looking for a solid practical guide to prepping then this book is a good place to start.

Andrea Urban at I Get Ready – The book is called The Practical Prepper by Kylene and Jonathan Jones and it is FANTASTIC! (You can consider that Yelling if you like). The reason it’s fantastic is not the content … now don’t get me wrong the content is engaging, well-researched and skillfully pulled together. Most of the info was a review for me but the way they presented the info and THEN (here’s the AWESOME part) make you accountable with easy to follow action items is what sets this preparedness book apart from the rest.

Min Reads and Reviews WOW! What helpful to get you through an emergency. Each chapter is detailed with do’s and do not’s from just getting started to make your own potty chair. The authors offer some fabulous advice at the end of the book.

“Your final action is to love life. Live every day and make the world a better place because you are in it.” (page 346)

There is some very helpful advice on many subjects of emergencies. From water purification to shelters, and much, much more. You will find this resource invaluable in helping you prepare for your family for the unknown.

Backdoor Survival I am going to be extremely brief in sharing my thoughts about this book. In my not so humble opinion, this well written, well document handbook is as good or better than anything I could have written myself! Gaye Levy

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the tour! What do you think of The Provident Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies?

The Provident Prepper - A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies



Risk Evaluation

Risk Evaluation

This school was destroyed by a tornado.

This school was destroyed by a tornado.

It is nearly impossible to prepare for every possible disaster. I was talking to an American Red Cross employee about disaster preparedness. She said that the most common disaster for the American Red Cross is a house fire. In the course of our conversation she shared an interesting discovery with me. Their office had never handled a disaster they prepared for. They work to prepare for a wide variety of scenarios, but had never had an incident unfold exactly as they had trained. However, their ability to handle nearly any situation comes because of dedicated research, preparation and practice.

While you can’t predict with any great accuracy what events you might encounter, you can evaluate your risks and prepare for the most likely events. Your risks vary depending on geographical location, weather patterns, city size and other personal circumstances.  A person living on Tornado Alley should give great attention to tornado protection while another living on the San Andreas Fault in California would have greater risk of earthquake. Some events, such as an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) or solar flare may be a shared risk for inhabitants of a very large geographical area.

The formula we like to use to calculate our risk is:

Probability of an Event x Consequence = Risk

P x C = R

This formula takes into account two important variables. The likelihood that this event will occur in your specific circumstances (location, history, etc.) and the possible severity of consequences which may occur from a given event.  It is impossible to predict the exact probability and consequences. The goal is to help you understand where you should focus your efforts. You may assign any percentage you wish to your event – this is just a guideline. None of us have a crystal ball which allows us to see into the future so just give it your best guess.

Probability assessment may include:

  • Not likely to occur
  • Not likely but a definite possibility
  • Equal chances of occurring or not occurring
  • More likely to occur than not
  • Absolutely certain this event will occur

Consequences may be categorized into:

  • Inconvenient – short term loss of power, minimal property damage, no risk to life or health
  • Minimal – power loss, minimal property damage, minimal risk of injury or compromised health, life will return to normal with only a short interruption
  • Moderate – Some destruction/loss of property, limited food or water availability, moderate risk to life or health, day-to-day activities interrupted, physical safety at some risk
  • Severe – Serious illness, long term power outage, critical disruption of infrastructure or supply chain, usual daily routines impossible, life changes drastically, physical safety at risk
  • Catastrophic– Death, mass casualties, life changes drastically

Using this formula, we can calculate our personal risk and focus our efforts on the events which pose the greatest risk for us personally. While some risks have a small probability of occurring the consequences may be so great that it requires our time and attention. Let us run through a few examples.

We live in an area which is prone to severe winter storms. The probability of having a severe winter storm in any given year is around 95 percent. We calculate our risk for severe winter storms as:

Severe winter storm risk for Jones family – high risk with moderate consequences.  We pay good attention to this risk. We address it by preparing for winter storms with alternative heating, lighting and cooking sources, food and water supplies, along with ways to entertain the family for extended periods without power.

Remember these calculations are quite subjective. Jonathan and I would calculate each score a little differently due to our individual perspectives. The exact number is not what matters. The goal is to determine the amount of risk in order to direct our preparedness efforts.

Another scenario would be the risk of a geomagnetic storm (solar flare) or an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). Some scientists are predicting a solar flare in the near future. We can only guess at the level of damage this may cause. The technology and means to detonate an EMP is currently in the hands of terrorists. The consequences of a natural geomagnetic storm or man-made EMP are similar. Wide spread long-term power outages, which would immediately cripple us, interrupting transportation, water, sewage, communication and food supplies.

National Geographic made a video entitled Electronic Armageddon. This movie is a great way to get a basic understanding of what an EMP is and the effect it could have on you.

In my humble opinion, I would estimate a .50 probability, but a severe consequence level. We should spend some energy and resources in preparing for a geomagnetic storm or an EMP. The greatest concern is long term power outages. We need to plan for alternative power for our home for a year or more. This means alternative heating, cooking, lighting, sanitation, etc. We should be prepared for the inability to get any supplies from outside sources for at least a year. A one year supply of food, critical medications, clothing and other supplies would be important. This is a huge task. Set realistic goals and make steady progress toward those goals. Start with a two week supply, then one month. Keep making progress.

Have you noticed a common theme in each of these risks? While each may have a few unique preparations, most have the same basic requirements. The key is the ability to sustain human life without assistance from an outside source. As we practice provident living we are prepared to handle whatever life throws our way with the least amount of disruption.

Take time to explore the possible risk links on this site. Educate yourself and learn what risks your family should prepare for first.  Make a list and get to work. Remember, this is a process, a journey, not a destination. Life will provide us with all kinds of challenges. We are not preparing for some one time event, while that certainly may occur. We are learning to live the provident life. Make progress one step at a time. Motivate your friends and neighbors to prepare. Together we can rise to meet any challenge and emerge stronger and better for the opportunity to face it.