Think about what you have around you right now. Now think about what you might not have if a disaster were to hit. For many people, the first things they think about is having enough water and food. But there is a lot more to consider. Each person will likely have his or her own list of possible dangers or complications and there will be some differences in those lists from lists belonging to other people. When you look at the overall picture, though, there are five things that you can be guaranteed to not have if there is a long-term disaster.
Imagining life without power is much different from living life without power. If our nation’s entire power grid was shut down, what would you do? One survey of Americans said that it would only take two weeks for them to die. That seems more than just a bit shocking, but are those numbers really that far from the truth?
Most preppers have a good understanding of what constitutes an adequate water supply. However, that train of thought might be a bit different if there is no water available due to contamination. It’s about more than just drinking water. Water would be needed for cleaning and sanitation purposes, too. Water will become a commodity and one many people will be willing to exploit.
No Internet or Phone
It’s not just the loss of Facebook, email or Pandora that most people will have to worry about. Virtually every person on this planet is dependent on the Internet, whether it controls your bank account, your latest prepper packages in the mail or your medical records. If you haven’t considered how you will communicate with your friends, family and others if every phone line, fiber-optic line and wireless connection went down, it’s probably something you need think about now.
Cash may eventually become a thing of the past, but immediately after a disaster occurs, cash will matter. You won’t be able to reach your money in the bank and there won’t be any cashing out of 401(k)s. Consider some of the small-scale disasters, like storms or hurricanes, that have brought down the local power grid. Should e-commerce collapse, the problem will be intensified by the loss of anything in your bank accounts. You will only be worth as much as what you have on you. If your six-figure salary is in the bank, it’s not going to do you much good.
When Hurricane Sandy and Katrina hit, it showed how unprepared most people who live in urban areas really are for any type of disaster. In both of these areas, people who rely on public transportation weren’t able to leave the disaster zones once that transportation went down.
Unless you’ve done a bit of planning, personal transportation won’t get you far, either. Once the gas trucks aren’t delivering fuel anymore, you’ll need to have a plan in place for getting more. Gas stations still operating in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy were out of fuel within a few short hours. Those that still had it were limiting customers to less than five gallons.
Determine Your Threats
This list is meant to get you thinking about what would happen in a long-term SHTF disaster. Performing a threat assessment will help you improve your ability to handle the unexpected, manage threatening situations and protect the people you love. Remember, your threats will likely be a bit different from someone else’s.