Assessing Prepper Vulnerabilities

This is an excerpt from my PDF ‘The Preparedness Encyclopedia (TPE)’.
Download the PDF Version Here

You’re bound to have at least one weakness in your preparedness plan or preps. This section will shore up those weaknesses so one small mistake won’t leave you stranded. Risk management involves taking into consideration the likelihood of any risks coupled with the damage the risk will deal if it occurs.

Gear Vulnerability
Your gear or types of gear that might have adverse affects.

● Consumable Gear: You have a limited supply of consumable gear such as one use glowsticks. You should have calculated how many consumables are required to reach your destination plus 15% as a general rule.
● Broken Gear: Gear may break with use or on the way to your destination. Check the state of your BOB gear every month in case an item has accidentally been broken or crushed during storage. You should have a redundancy or partial redundancy for all gear in your bag, so if something breaks on the way there’s another item that can take its place even temporarily.
● Spoilable Gear: Some gear may be already spoiled by the time you open it such as canned food or freeze dried food. Take into account items that go off and have an extra 30% spare for edibles such as food and water.
● Electricity: You can’t depend on electricity in a disaster as it would likely to be the first amenity to be taken out. Therefore you shouldn’t entirely depend on your electronics such as your mobile, GPS or torch, particularly if you have no way of generating your own electricity. Not to mention that in an extended disaster, rechargeable batteries could reach their end of life before civilization returns to normal and you can’t exactly replace the battery in a phone yourself even if you had a spare.
● EMPs: Electronics have the potential to be rendered useless by an EMP, therefore you should always have a way to perform the same function which isn’t reliant on that device. An example is having physical maps and a compass instead of using a mobile device and if possible – having a way of communicating distances without electricity such as semaphore.

Environmental Vulnerability
Your location could be your biggest vulnerability, such as having an active volcano nearby or you might be living on a tectonic plate.

● Location: Living in a precarious location such as on a fault line only increases the likelihood of a disaster. As preppers it’s recommended to live in a stable environment where the fewest disasters are likely to happen.
● Climate: A harsh climate will make it much more difficult to reach an end destination. However the flip side is that few people will want to actively live in a harsh climate such as the arctic or a desert so you’ll have less threat of people.
● Creatures: Some locations have a higher than normal percentage of dangerous creatures such as Australia. It may be best to avoid these places as it falls under the same considerations as avoiding potential natural disasters.

Medical Vulnerability
Any known medically related issues that might affect your disaster plans.

● Health Conditions: Some people in your party could have a health condition ranging from minor such as hay fever to diabetes which requires constant medication. Your bug out plans should take all conditions into account no matter how minor as even something as hay fever could be dangerous if your route goes past huge fields of flowers.
● Accessibility: If one of your party is confined to a wheelchair or temporary crutches you may need special equipment or alternative plans to bug out safely. Be sure to account for any situations that may arise when they happen such as the broken leg of your primary bug out driver.

Team Vulnerability
Any problems that may arise with your family or bug out party.

● Age: Very young or old party members won’t have as much stamina or flexibility as the others in the party and may need special requirements. You’re only as strong as your weakest member so make sure they are able to keep up with everyone else.
● Complaints: Any complaints from other people in the party, but particularly children who aren’t used to a sudden change in lifestyle. Have a method to deal with restless kids whether it’s music, activities or games. Complaints by adults are harder to address as you may have justified reasons why you can’t solve it straight away, this causes them to grow more discontent over time which may spread to other party members.
● Betrayal: Some members of your party may choose to desert you due to poor leadership or just a change in heart. It’s important to keep the loyalty of your party members or a mutiny could happen which may leave you without anything. Be sure to address concerns from party members before they become a big issue. You should know each party member intimately and have a unique relationship with each one. If possible – have an insider mole who you trust completely and will tell you any news that people are gossiping about behind your back.

Unexpected Vulnerabilities
These are vulnerabilities to your party which you cannot realistically foresee or predict. They can range from minor to catastrophic. You may be preparing for an asteroid to hit within 1,000 kms (621 mi) of your area, but you would never expect it to actually hit your house directly. This is an extreme example of the unexpected. Another example would be a 20-something party member with no history of medical problems suddenly have a major heart attack.

● Management: You can’t risk manage what you don’t expect to happen, therefore as preppers it’s best to prepare both for bugging in and out for as wide a range of scenarios as possible.

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