Thursday, April 29, 2010

Survival Thinking Breakthrough

Trying to think about all the things associated with getting prepared can be quite overwhelming. BUt I had a breakthrough this morning about how to put some bounds on the problem to make it more manageable.

It is a lot easy to think about it in terms of levels and layers. 

A level is a a circle of influence, it places a bounds on how far it needs to reach or how deep you need to think on it. And a layer is what needs and wants that level takes care of. At the very least a layer needs to provide or enhance food, water, shelter and medical supplies. 

Level A
At the center of your home you need a Saferoom. This is the place were your most essential survival gear is collected and stored. 
It doesn't have to be at the literal center of your home, just conceptually. In tornado country it should be downstairs, in flood regions upstairs. It doesn't need to be a steel-reinforced concrete but that would be nice if you lived in Tornado Alley without a basement.
It might be your master bedroom. Wherever it is it is the room you'll gather everyone to in times of emergency. It's where you'd gather if there was a blackout during a really bad thunderstorm at night.
This is the most basic and essential level. Hopefully you won't need this level very often, but if something does it should be able to get you through the vast majority of incidents. This is what you fall back to when the utilities that let level B work fail.

Level B
These is where most daily survival takes place. The kitchen, pantry, bathrooms, laundry room and bedrooms fall into this level. These cover your basic needs in everyday comfort. As long as normal support systems are in place you are fine. This is where you think about how the utility companies effect you. This is where you can clean and feed yourself and get some rest. If you work from home you would include your office/workshop in here since that is how you generate income.

Level C
These are all the other rooms of the house: the living room, dining room &etc. They are nice to have but not essential to your survival at any given time. 

Level D
This is the shell of your house. The roof, foundation, walls, windows and doors of your home. Think about the box and how it could be better at helping your family survive, it could be better insulation, pricker bushes under the windows, upgraded windows and so on.

Level E 
Your yard has all kinds of survival potential that needs to be explored unto itself. 
This is where your gardens go. You can put lots of levels and layers in here. That will have to come later.

Level F
Your property line and your neighbors. You probably get things from your neighbors that you never thought about. Runoff from their properties and shade from their trees, bushes and houses. How does that effect your property is what you need to think about.

Level G
Your neighborhood. What kind of people live around you? How easy is it to come and go? How many ways in and out are there? Where are the supermarkets, schools, hospitals, fire houses, ambulances and other essential services?

Level H
Your workplace. How far away is it? How would you get home during a disaster? Or just bad weather or an accident on the regular route?
And your children's school(s). What would happen if they evacuated the school?

Level I
Your city or county. They have a Department of Emergency Management with a plan for when disaster happen. What is it?

Level J
Your region or state. This is where you think about your out-of-state contact.

Level K
Your country. This is mostly political in nature.

Level L
Your continent. 

Level M
The planet.

and this can continue on into the solar system, galaxy and universe, but we don't really have to worry about those so much.

I'll go into the layers another time.