2020 is shaping up to look like Apocalyptic Bingo. A global pandemic like we haven’t seen in 100 or more years is upon us now. Locusts in Africa are swarming and giant hornets are invading the United States. A fire season and hurricane season are soon to start. Is this the end of the world as we know it, or is this a wake-up call to get prepared for more turbulent times ahead? In January, most of us could have never conceived that we’d soon be experiencing stay-at-home orders, shortages of food, and oil prices would fall to negative numbers. One way to view this current pandemic is a contagion that weakens our immunity to other potential disasters. It makes us more susceptible to other man-made threats and leaves us more vulnerable to the devastating effects of natural disasters.
The tipping point to a catastrophic level event is really the compounding effect of more than one of these events. A cyberattack or earthquake during a pandemic where things are already on edge could create a tipping point resulting in riots, looting, civil unrest, and martial law, amongst other potential issues. So, it’s important to really have a threat assessment of the major threats potentially right over the horizon.
Prepping comes down to prepping for the possible and prepping for the probable. There are so many possibilities of things that could happen. Unless you’re off the grid with a bunker and clean water and food supplies, you cannot ever be fully confident you’re adequately prepared. If you’re prepping in an urban or suburban environment, there are many things you can do to become self-reliant when one of these 10 threats become a catastrophic reality. Even a little preparedness in advance of one of these threats positions you better to survive.
In this two-part blog series, I will review 10 of the most significant threats to our safety and survival. In part 1 of this series, we’ll look at disasters of nature, those that occur because we live on this planet, and in the second part we will examine threats that are man-made. Often, the human-made, anthropogenic, threats stem from natural disasters. As I have said, the compounding effect of more than one of these events can aggregate a larger and more deadly time.
Knowing your area will determine what is more probable for you. Those are always the immediate threats you should prepare for. The “possible” are the secondary threats you face. They are worth preparing for, but what you’ll find is that preparing for the probable prepares you also somewhat for the possible.
In this blog, the first in the series, we will look at the Earth-centric disasters we face and how to prepare for them. These are the disasters from nature that we cannot prevent. These disasters range from the common like floods, fires, and tornados, to the less common, until today, like pandemics and food shortages. On most of the threats I will discuss, there is another blog or video I have created over the years. Search this site for a more in-depth analysis of these topics and detailed instructions on how to survive them. I will try and only provide a high-level overview so I can cover all 10 of the major and most urgent threats.
The biggest and most probable threat that we will face is natural disasters. These are catastrophic events that we can’t prevent or avoid while we are living here on Earth. The best we can do is prepare for them. Fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, blizzards, volcanic eruptions, and cyclones are the types of natural disasters that can affect our way of life. It is important that we properly prepare for these disasters to ensure our survival when they occur.
It is crucial to remember that natural disasters are largely locally specific. The State of California is very prone to earthquakes and wildfires, while the State of Florida is prone to Hurricanes. Knowing which natural disasters are prone to occur in your area is critical to your preparation. This will help you prepare first for the disaster that is most likely to happen in your area. It’s a good thing that the basics of preparation are the same, regardless of the disaster. You will need to store enough food for you and your family, have water for drinking and cleaning, and a first aid kit to deal with simple illnesses or injuries. You will also need to have bug-out bags ready for you and your family in case you have to evacuate your home.
Once you’re done with the basics, it is time to get more specific with your preparations. This is where it’s important to know which natural disaster is prone to happen in your area. If you’re like me in California, which is prone to wildfire and earthquakes, there are some things you need to do. To help you prepare for wildfires, you need to ensure your home is also protected by creating a defensible space. It’s the space around your home that will act as a buffer between your house and its surrounding environment. Earthquakes are another disaster you will have to deal with if you live in California. Though it’s impossible to prevent your home from getting destroyed, you can at least prepare it so it won’t cause additional danger to you and your family. One of the things you can do is to fasten or secure heavy items like refrigerators, TV sets, and shelves.
Wherever you live, you should sign up for local text or email alerts that warn when a storm is coming. You also need to monitor local news and weather reports, so you’re informed at all times. I already did in-depth blogs on how to prepare for wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes. I’ll put a link to these blogs in the description section below.
Another threat that we are facing right now is a pandemic. I did two separate blogs last fall on the global threat we face from pandemics and how to prepare for them. The concerns I mentioned in the blog turned into reality when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. The pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt, disrupting businesses, the economy, and our normal way of life. As the death toll for the Coronavirus pandemic continues to rise, more and more people are starting to realize that: one, the threat of pandemics is real, and second, a little preparation can be the difference between barely surviving and thriving.
Subsequent waves of the coronavirus are inevitable. Social distancing, the wearing of masks, and even how and when we gather will all be forever changed as a result of this current pandemic. Despite the devastating effects of Coronavirus, many experts believe that the long-term effects are still unknowable. Until the right medicines are determined for a treatment, vaccines with some effectiveness are created, and some herd immunity is developed, the pandemic will continue to hammer away at our world. To prepare for this threat, one of the first things you need to do is to ready your home. Similar to how most governments reacted to the Coronavirus pandemic, an order to stay home will be given. So, you need to better prepare to be in your home for an extended period of time, especially if it’s going to be a prolonged quarantine order. With the lessons of social distancing, hand washing, and how viruses spread, make sure you have some basic supplies on hand for the future like bottles of Isopropyl alcohol, for sterilizing things and the now ubiquitous face mask. The blog I did about pandemics provides detailed steps on how you can prepare. I’ll post a link to the blog in the description section.
Climate Change is an increasing threat we face now and in the immediate future. I’m not here to make a stand with regards to climate change nor am I going to argue one way or another whether climate change is caused by any sole combination of factors. Those things don’t matter, especially when we are talking about prepping for continued climate fluctuations. What’s important to consider is that the facts and science are showing that the climate is indeed changing. Yes, climate change is not new, and it will continue to change in the future. What’s alarming is the unprecedented scale at which the climate is changing. Its impact can be seen on the increase in the frequency of severe storms. 6 of the 7 wettest storms for the last 120 years occurred in the past 2 decades and they don’t see this trend changing soon.
Warmer oceans combined with the slower-moving or stalled cyclones are the reasons for the increase in storm frequency and intensity. This can cause sea levels to rise, which can have extended and devastating results. From excessive rains in traditionally dry areas to cold weather in what should be warm weather times, the agricultural industry and your food supply chain is the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The greatest survival skill in a prepper’s arsenal is gardening and foraging knowledge. Reducing your dependence on unreliable food sources minimizes the threat of climate change on your food supply. Which brings us to our fourth immediate threat: food shortages.
Famines & Food Shortages
The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly exposed the fragility of our food supplies. The issue is not that our farms are running out of supplies, they are running out of labor because of COVID-19. Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods, two of the biggest meat producers in America, and other similar companies stopped operations on plants where workers tested positive for the virus. Dairy producers have been forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk since they couldn’t sell in their established markets. With schools closed, namely elementary schools, demand for cheese and milk has decreased. The economic weakness of big export markets like China also resulted in a decrease in milk exports, further intensifying the dairy producers’ problem with the surplus of goods. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Aside from slashing imports, countries are also closing their borders because of the Coronavirus pandemic, further disrupting the global food supply.
To prepare for the looming food shortage, you should have a 2 to 3-month emergency food supply, some would say 6 to 12 months is the minimum. You never know how severe or how long this catastrophe will be. So, preparing for the worst can ensure you and your family’s survival. You should stock up on foods that are easy to cook and have a long shelf life. I’ve covered in detail the food shortage problem in one of my blogs. I also have quite a few blogs on what foods to make sure you have in your prepper inventory. I encourage you to check these out to understand the signs you need to look out for when it comes to food shortages. I also did a blog on how to easily build up a 2-week or longer supply of usable food. I’ll post a link in the description section so you can check out both blogs.
Civil Unrest, Martial Law, Civil War, Revolution
The Coronavirus pandemic may just be the beginning of an even bigger threat. The situation has sent a number of red flags up. And though there hasn’t yet been any large-scale looting or martial law, the government has already ordered its citizens to self-quarantine and stay home. When a population becomes too restless or feels they are not treated fairly, civil unrest can occur. Already, small pockets of people under the auspices of “freedom” are ignoring and protesting against the self-quarantining measures. Remember, a society thrives when it acts in unity against an enemy, and divided peoples are easily conquered.
Currently, the number of protesters is just a small percentage of the population. But it’s not hard to see many more Americans becoming restless if there’s no clear ending in sight for the quarantine period. Should this happen, civil unrest will likely take place to larger degrees. The natural government response is to declare martial law to restore order. Not everyone, though, will agree with this declaration, which can further cause a divide in our country. As states take sides, it’s not completely impossible to imagine that a civil war or a revolution could take place. People will lose faith in the government and start taking matters into their own hands. You can learn more about the possibility of martial law and civil war happening in our country and what you can do to prepare from the blogs on this channel. I’ll post a link in the description below.
The devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to plague the world, but this is only the beginning. There are still many threats that can affect us in the immediate future. The biggest and most probable threats we will face immediately are natural disasters, continued pandemics, climate change, famines and food shortages, and civil unrest, martial law, and even the possibility of civil war.
Three months’ worth of food or sources of stored clean water, can prepare you to survive both probable and possible threats that become catastrophic, global changing events. Think of the probable and the possible in terms of time, as well. Hurricanes are probable if you live in certain regions like the southeast United States. They will occur yearly. And, yes, while the Earth getting struck by a comet or a volcano suddenly erupting, like the now dormant Yellowstone Caldera, might be things you want to consider as probable, they may not happen in your, your children, or their children’s lifetimes. You could spin for hours on the possible, so always make sure you’re focusing on the probable, and adjusting your inventory and plans appropriately.
In part 2 of this blog series, we’ll discuss 5 more immediate threats, the man-made kind, that we need to prepare for. If you found this blog informative and helpful, please feel free to like and share it with your friends, family, and community. If you have any comments or anything you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment in the section below. I do read many of the comments and respond to them when I am able to–usually within the first hour of releasing the blog.
As always, please stay safe out there.