By Denis Korn
I am continually asked by serious preppers, preparedness planners and managers, whether beginners or experienced, “What are the most important things I need to know in getting started or improving the preparedness process?” Effective preparedness planning is essential to ensure you are properly equipped to function during an emergency. One of the most important articles I have written concerning this issue is The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.
As many of you know, my approach to education is asking the right questions. That’s why these 12 Crucial Questions are so vital. When you study the 12 questions, you will discover that each question should be answered at the appropriate stage of your planning process. There is a lot of information to assimilate, reflect upon, prioritize and act upon.
All of the 12 questions are essential, and they are not listed in any order of significance (except for the first 2), however when I am asked to pick the top ones here are my choices.
- What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life? (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough). Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies? Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year? Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies? How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine? Work or livelihood? How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?
- How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question. Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
- What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist? An appropriate attitude is essential to survival and effective functioning during a serious emergency or disaster. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint is the foundational component of any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress, which will affect your well-being. Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning? Do you have a biblical worldview regarding trials and tribulations? Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope? Where is your faith?
- In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? This could include different responses depending on your predictions of the duration and severity of the emergency. Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending upon your answer to this question? This is another one those very difficult questions to fully comprehend, because not only can there be many perspectives to consider, being prepared to be mobile and leave an established residence or homestead requires a whole different set of planning points. If you had to evacuate or relocate right now, where would you go? With prior planning where would you prefer to go?
- What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely? This especially includes medical issues, nutritional requirements, and physical and emotional limitations. What psychological, social, medical, or unique factors could potentially arise from a long-term (6 months or more) catastrophic event? Also consider your personal, family, work, and community needs for timely communication during an emergency. Are any pets involved in your planning? Have you had a family, company, or group meeting to directly and honestly discuss what actions are to be implemented during an emergency of the type you determined might occur? For many individuals and families the religious or spiritual factor in preparedness planning and implementation – especially during a serious or catastrophic event – is the most important. If this applies to you, make sure all family members and friends are in prayer.
- Do you have a list of essential or at least important supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency? Is it prioritized? Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?
- What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate? This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave. Do you have a cell phone? Will towers be functioning? Land lines? Internet? Hand held walkie-talkies? Short wave radios? Citizens band radios? Emergency radios with two-way communication capability? During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival.
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