Use threat probability as your guide when building a plan to deal with potential disasters.

Many in the survivalist community like to focus on what I call the “Hollywood Disasters”. This includes things like a total economic collapse, an unstoppable virus, a biological weapons attack or perhaps a complete shut down of the electrical grid. Now please do not misunderstand me, each of these threats is real and honestly could happen. My question to you is how likely are any of them to occur in the next 30 days, how about the next 10 years? Now answer these questions for yourself…

  • What is more likely to happen tomorrow morning, you lose your job or we all face a complete collapse of the U.S. economy?
  • Is it more likely that a person living near a large metropolitan area will have to deal with localized riots over a local issue or that a global pandemic will cause the death of 50% of the planet’s population?
  • Will a California resident be more likely to be effected by an earthquake or a global nuclear war?
  • In the next six weeks are we more likely to face a domestic trucker’s strike that disrupts the food supply or a global climate shift that destroys 50% of the world’s agriculture?

The reality is there is the potential for each of the above and countless other factors to radically effect our lives, yet if you are honest and don’t buy into sensationalism answering the above four questions is very easy to do. With that in mind I created what I call the Threat Probability Matrix when I formulated my modern survival philosophy. The rules of the matrix are quite simple, the less people effected by an event the more likely it is to occur to an individual. That statement may seem counterintuitive but it really isn’t, just consider the following line

Individual – Localized – Small Region – Large Region – National – Global

Now think of one disaster for each of these and ask yourself how likely you are to actually experience this event in the next year or next ten years. You can think of any disaster and then just assign it to one of the six categories and you will quickly see that in most instances the larger the effected area, the lower the probability that it will actually happen. Here are some examples…

  • Individual – Job Loss
  • Localized – Damage From Strong Storms
  • Small Region – City Riots Spreading To The Suburbs
  • Large Region – Large Scale Hurricane Damage To A Coastal Region
  • National – A Well Organized Terrorist Attack on 25 Major U.S. Cities
  • Global – A Rapid Climate Shift Brings On An Ice Age

Again I just plugged in some common disaster scenarios; you can plug in any that you can think of, assign them to an area of effected individuals and like clock work as you move from Individual to Global the honest probability of occurrence will decline as the affected area grows.

Why is this so important? Why does it even matter? Simply because if you want to properly prepare for potential disasters there is simply so much to do that it is very easy to become quickly overwhelmed. Due to this many people begin to start preparing but end up “falling out” simply because they come to the conclusion that, really being ready is just not possible. There is just “too much for anyone to do with out spending a fortune”, is a common statement.

It doesn’t have to be this way, by considering the probably and preparing for the most likely first and proceeding from there plans, preps and actions naturally fall into place as you develop your plan. As you progress through you own disaster preperation plan you will start to realize that by the time you prepare for individual, neighborhood and small regional disasters you are very well along your way to being as prepared as is honestly possible for just about anything.


Survival Tenet #6 — 1 Comment

  1. Jack, I am very grateful to have come across these tenets (especially #6) early on in my exploration into survivalism. The modern survivor philosophy is really “connecting the dots” between my interests in permaculutre, financial independence, self-sufficiency, and self-defense. I knew intuitively that somehow these various pursuits and interests were interconnected, but I was having difficulty drawing a clear line until I found your website. For me, it’s all about freedom!

    I am also experiencing the very real pull to buy a ton of gear all at once and try to get all my systems in place immediately (as if that were even possible) to prepare for a “worst case” Hollywood-type scenario. Your Threat Probability Matrix has helped me to take a step back, regain my focus, prioritize, and move forward with my survival plans in a systematic and balanced way. Thanks for the great info!

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