March 15th, 2009

10 Scenarios For Which You Should Be Prepared


photo credit: rodrick.reidsma

Preparedness. There is perhaps no other word that conveys so much, yet so little. What does it mean? To what areas of life does it apply (or not apply)? Being adequately and generally prepared of a necessity requires that we ask ourselves all sorts of questions, plan for various scenarios, and abstract our preparations enough such that they can apply to various circumstances, if possible.

For example, having a lot of food stored will help you if there’s an earthquake, fire, flood, unemployment, famine, etc. So, this preparedness item is quite versatile in its applicability and usefulness. Other, more specific items, such as a portable toilet or potassium iodide tablets, fill a much smaller niche and can’t be used for too many situations other than the ones they’re intended for.

Yet, they’re all important. Preparedness in this context means acquiring the knowledge, skills, and physical possessions that would enable you to comfortably survive whatever may come our way. In most cases, external circumstances outside of your control dictate what you must go through, and thus you cannot reliably foresee what will happen. So, preparing for the unknown can be daunting, but it is by no means impossible.

The following list of ten items illustrate various scenarios and circumstances for which we should all be prepared. As you read this list, do not become alarmed, frustrated, or fearful. The information shared below is not intended to elicit any of these emotions. Rather, you should explore the various scenarios with an open mind willing to make whatever changes necessary to become prepared for that potential event. Take them one at a time, consider what you need to do in your own life to be better prepared in that area, and make an action plan. Do not let this list, or your own preparedness plan, overwhelm you to the point of inaction!

I fear that too many people would rather die before “anything really bad happens”. While I understand why some people might feel this way, I strongly disagree. Crises provide opportunities for service, leadership, inspiration, and love. You may never be more needed in your life than at a time when others around you look to you for assistance. In such experiences, you can fill a critical need and be a great help to those who need you. I fully intend to survive whatever the future holds, and so should you.

With that, I present the following list of possible scenarios for which we should all be prepared. They are listed in no specific order, and are by no means comprehensive.

  1. Pandemic. The world recently narrowly averted a potentially massive pandemic outbreak, and yet few are even aware. The media isn’t reporting it, but that’s little surprise. The LDS Church has placed emphasis on preparing for this scenario with some instructional materials. The question you need to ask is this: if a pandemic broke out in America today, am I prepared to self-quarantine in my home for the next three months? Do I have three months’ worth of food, water, waste disposal, medicine, supplies, savings to pay the bills, etc.?
  2. Economic Collapse. The headlines are scary to ponder these days, and our situation is in many ways grim. Much is being promoted by the various governments of the world to stave off depression, but the truth is that our economic house of cards is built on a sandy foundation. Whether it’s next week or in five years, there will be severe economic problems felt by every individual in the world. People have already lost their life savings, banks are closing their doors weekly, the value of the dollar is eroding, and the market is fearful of what the government is trying to do. The questions you need to ask are: how much savings can I build up? In my situation would it be wise to pre-pay certain bills? Should I diversify out of the dollar into gold or silver? How would I meet my basic needs and those of my family if an economic collapse occurs?
  3. Martial Law. This sounds like something out of the movies or dystopian fiction, but it’s a very real possibility. As the economy worsens, there will be increasing civil unrest. Recently released documents from George Bush’s administration show that it had arrogantly (and un-Constitutionally) granted itself power to use the military inside the country’s borders to subdue and detain American citizens, free from any Constitutional checks or Posse Comitatus’ restraint. The groundwork for martial law has been in the process for some time, and its likelihood in the event of an “emergency” (whether real or contrived) is quite high. Even without using the military, our cities’ police departments have become highly militarized themselves. The question you need to ask is: do I have a personal plan tailored to my unique situation and location for surviving and escaping the heavy hand of martial law? Am I aware of my Constitutional rights, and taking steps to cement and preserve them now?
  4. War, Terrorism, and Chaos—Inside Our Borders. Scared of Iraq? According to a military affairs website, Mexico poses a greater threat to our national security than do terrorist factions on the other side of the world. With stories like these, that’s not a surprising statement. And as the chaos creeps closer to our borders; as it festers from within as a result of a tanking economy; as unemployment and entitlement claims rise; as state budgets suffer, hand out IOUs to citizens, and cut spending in sensitive social programs; and in numerous other circumstances that might incite protest and rebellion, the violent actions summarized on nightly news broadcasts may soon become overwhelmingly repetitive. You need to ask yourself: do I have the ability to protect my family from gangs or those who are desperate and violent? Do I have a community of friends and family to survive with (strength in numbers)? What supplies should I acquire and what measures should I take now to create an environment of stability and safety later?
  5. Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano. We live on the Earth at its mercy. At any time, she can erupt, shake, and cause us to feel her presence to our physical detriment. This especially hits close to home for those of us (in Utah and California especially) who live on a prominent earthquake fault, or who live near the ocean, close to a volcano, or in an environment known for other severe natural disasters (hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.). Ask yourself: Do I have an emergency route and an emergency vehicle? Have I established a place of refuge to which I can flee, should it become necessary? Do I have basic survival skills and supplies necessary to survive on foot as I travel away from disaster? Do I have a communications and evacuation plan to reunite with my family in the event of a disaster, should we be apart at the time?
  6. Nuclear. At the switch of a button, entire cities can vanish in a nuclear assault. The nations of the world have plenty of these weapons stockpiled, and frayed diplomatic relations and aggressive posturing may one day lead to a nuclear assault of varying proportions. You must ask yourself: do I live in a major city? If a nuclear event occurred within 300 miles of my home, do I have sufficient Potassium Iodide for all those I want to help? Do I have a safe shelter to avoid radiation? Do I know how to shield myself from fallout and how long I need to shelter in place? Have I acquired the knowledge necessary to survive a nuclear blast?
  7. Food and Water Shortage. Nations throughout the world are already suffering from severe famine and a decrease in food production. As the economy is factored in and its effects are felt, the number of people suffering for want of food and clean water will increase. You should be asking: do I have at least one year of food and water stored, especially basic staples that can be stored in bulk for a long time? If my current water supply was cut off or contaminated, how would I get water? What items can I store that would be used in a barter situation, or which I could freely give to others that might be in need, yet still be able to provide for my family’s needs?
  8. Communication Termination. Our communication network is vast, and yet very fragile. An EMP attack, strategic missile attack, or other similar assault could easily take down parts or our entire communication infrastructure in this country. You should ask yourself: do I have an emergency plan for my family that will allow us to communicate between ourselves and others as necessary? Do I own and know how to use a HAM radio, GMRS walkie talkies, and other communication devices that may allow me to access news, pass along important information, and otherwise be of assistance in the event we are unable to do so through conventional means?
  9. Discord and Division. As world events escalate in how they are individually felt, people will look for someone to save them from their problems. Some look to government, others to God, others to themselves, and others to the tempting stash of goodies in their neighbors’ basement. The Bible talks of division amongst families, and Christian people are aware of the prophecies relating to apostasy and the separation of the wheat and tares to happen in a future day. Whether in a religious context or that of families dividing because of politics or personal decisions, ask yourself: am I prepared for drama, shock, and heartache as those I love and care about may turn against previous affiliations and reject who I am and what I stand for? Am I spiritually in tune and able to receive the necessary personal revelation to stay the course, regardless of what others’ decide, and how many may follow that path? Am I firmly planted on the rock of Christ to prevent my being buffeted about by others’ actions, decisions, and invitations?
  10. Tent City and Places of Refuge. As a result of foreclosure and economic trouble, tent cities have been popping up in various cities for some time now. Authorities in Sacramento, CA, now estimate that 1,200 people are living in a tent city there, trying to cope with the hand that they’ve been dealt, and get back on their feet. Some believe that future tent cities will be places of refuge from a decaying world where the faithful can gather. But whether you go on an extended camping trip out of necessity or invitation, you should ask: do I have the resources necessary in order to do so? If, for whatever reason, I had to leave the comfort of my home and live in the outdoors for an extended period of time, what would I bring? How would I stay warm? What would I use for shelter?

Now take a deep breath. I, as much as anybody, hope that none of these things ever happen. But looking over history and closely following current events, the sad reality is that the potential for each is surprisingly high.

We must be prepared, and ready to help ourselves, our family, and those around us. Doing so requires mapping out our current plan’s weak points, assessing in what ways our supply of items is deficient, and making an actionable to-do list of things we will work on both in the short and long term.

It’s a lot of work, yes. But as conditions worsen around us, those who have prepared will, like the five wise virgins in Christ’s parable, be ready for the future and able to continue moving ahead in their life. As a young Scout, I learned the motto “Be Prepared”. But in my young teenager mind, I had no idea that those two short words entailed so much! Now that I am responsible for a family of my own, my firm determination is to survive whatever may come our way, and (hopefully) comfortably! I hope you’ll work towards the same goal.

23 Responses to “10 Scenarios For Which You Should Be Prepared”

  1. Curtis
    March 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks Connor. These things are good to think about and pick what areas I need to improve upon in order to help my family survive any type of scenario. I appreciate the work you put into this.

  2. rmwarnick
    March 16, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    Somebody’s been watching Glenn Beck too much.

  3. Connor
    March 16, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    Somebody’s been watching Glenn Beck too much.

    Haha… That would require having a TV. :) I have, though, seen a few clips of his show online, and yeah, his “war room” stuff is along the lines of what I’m talking about here. But Mr. Beck gets zero credit; my influence in writing this is simply observing the world around us on my own.

  4. Dima
    March 16, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Yeah, there must be a single source for any speculation of impending disaster. I mean come on, when you look at history you realize that none of Connor’s scenarios are remotely possible. So yeah Jesus was mistreated by the Jews…but it has been pretty smooth sailing since then.

    Yes, there are those that would wish you to believe otherwise. Those that for their own gain try to get you to believe that despite our immense progression as humans in the last hundreds of years, that disaster is still possible, even likely.

    I for one don’t buy it.

  5. Clumpy
    March 16, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Actually, Connor’s stuff here is a little more grounded than Glenn’s nightmare scenarios, though I made the same connection.

    Glenn’s stuff is basically: “2012. Obama has made murder legal. Blood is running in the streets. A nuclear bomb goes off in Alabama.”

  6. JHP
    March 16, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    Any of these scenarios could easily come about if we don’t stop spewing CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Oh, right, it’s all hype, so never mind :)

  7. Yin
    March 16, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Those that for their own gain try to get you to believe that despite our immense progression as humans in the last hundreds of years, that disaster is still possible, even likely.

    Just curious what you think Connor is gaining by posting something like this?

    I personally think that “progression” is making the chances of one of these occurring more likely. I mean c’mon. Some of them are already happening on small scales. Why is it so unthinkable that the crap could hit the fan sometime?

  8. Michael L. McKee
    March 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    It is quite unfortunate to witness the foolishly arrogant go about their daily lives oblivious to the very real and overwhelmingly likely scenarios alluded to in this post. Hopefully, they will awaken before it is everlastingly too late for them to prepare. I would be willing to wager many will recognize just how foolish they have been before this year ends. Preparation is a rather simple consideration once you realize that day #2 of the catastrophe is not a good time to start.

    To those who do not fully grasp the concept of God; It is better to believe their is a God and find you were right than it is to believe their is no God and find you were wrong. The eternal consequence of your choice is unfathomable.

  9. Mrs. B. Roth
    March 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Good things to think about?? Y’know, I just think I’m going to have to let me and my family die. I absolutely haven’t even a spark of desire to go about preparing for nuclear anything, pandemic, any of it. I have 3 small kids, you’d think I’d be especially eager to keep them alive, but I’m barely able to manage all the diaper changes and feedings, for crying out loud. This list just buries me in a mountain of helplessness and apathy.

    Hope the grandparents have time to prepare for terrorists and earthquakes.

  10. Carborendum
    March 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Dima,

    but it has been pretty smooth sailing since then.

    I’m not familiar with enough of your posts to know you. So please tell me you’re being sarcastic.

    Roth,

    Huh??? Wah??? (just deleted a string of epithets and criticisms).

    OK. I just took a moment to try putting myself in your shoes. I myself feel that way about the government (at just about all levels). But the difference is why I feel that way.

    My main question is “What am I able to do about it?” Does that sound familiar?

    In my case, though, it is about influencing other people. In your case, you only have to influence yourself. I can’t change other people. But I CAN choose to do things myself. You should remember your NEW Messiah’s message “Yes we can!” Don’t you believe you can? Or do you just need to depend on “The One?”

  11. Michael Decker
    March 17, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    Thanks for this post Connor.

    I have a personal storage shed full of food(gonna have to move it soon cause of hot weather coming soon), i have spent about 3 grand on these food items.

    I have also purchased 2 of those expensive lifesaver water filter bottles.

    I also am going to purchase some Gas Masks next, I think these would be priceless in a biological attack type of situation .

    I made this video I think you may find inspiring and hit that “Founding Father” freedom loving nerve, here is the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PjH-OWbRJk

    Take Care!

  12. Tim Harper
    April 26, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    @Dima

    Have you read the Book of Mormon? There were a lot of times when people got puffed up in pride and their “progression”, saying, “there’s no way our city could be destroyed”… and then it did. Just saying, you know, whether you believe in God or not, we are actually not as great and powerful as we like to believe ourselves to be sometimes, and the inevitable will happen, disaster will strike, and we’ll be humbled and brought down to humility.

    I suspect you’ll disagree with me, but as for me, I’d prefer to recognize that were not invulnerable, that we ought to recognize our dependence on our creator and his hand in our lives, and one of the things that God counsels us to do is to be prepared. It brings great peace of mind, actually, and is not as difficult as people make it out to be. Food storage is a better value store than gold, to a certain point.

    I hope none of this happens, and I’m still living my life happily and not consumed with worry. But if it does… I feel secure to know I’ll be able to feed my family through it! Don’t care so much about myself starving and going without as I do my sweet little children!

  13. bob
    June 7, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Connor, are you part of those tent city crowd?

  14. bob
    June 7, 2009 at 1:04 am #

    Michael L. McKee on March 16th, 2009
    Good things to think about?? Y’know, I just think I’m going to have to let me and my family die. I absolutely haven’t even a spark of desire to go about preparing for nuclear anything, pandemic, any of it. I have 3 small kids, you’d think I’d be especially eager to keep them alive, but I’m barely able to manage all the diaper changes and feedings, for crying out loud. This list just buries me in a mountain of helplessness and apathy.
    Hope the grandparents have time to prepare for terrorists and earthquakes.

    Do what you can. I was there once. Now I and others are trying to be ready to help other that have not been able to get ready.

  15. Connor
    June 7, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    Connor, are you part of those tent city crowd?

    If you’re referring to the scenario where the Lord calls his people out to gather to another location, then yes, I believe there is prophetic support for that circumstance.

  16. bob
    June 8, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    Thanks

  17. Carborendum
    June 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    Forgive me, but I think I’m mixing things up here. Someone’s got to explain it to me. I understand what a tent city is. But what does that have to do with this thread? And what does that have to do with calling us out from the wicked?

  18. Connor
    June 10, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    I understand what a tent city is. But what does that have to do with this thread? And what does that have to do with calling us out from the wicked?

    As I linked to in list item #10, there are some LDS folks who believe that there will be a future callout, and that that callout will likely entail a journey much like Lehi’s—in makeshift tent cities away from the civilization they’ve been commanded to flee from. For more information, I think that this summary explains this line of thinking.

  19. Skip in GA
    February 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Be prepared, but the chance for any of these occurrences is not “surprisingly high.” Be ready for these only after you’re ready for the real things that happen – losing your job, going on disability, etc.

  20. gason2
    November 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Great post.
    For those who think this is overboard, look around and see what countries are doing. Things are changing rapidly and a lot have their eyes set on destroying our nation. “If ye, are prepared, ye shall not fear.” I don’t let all that is going on around me get me down or afraid of what might happen; but me and my family are prepared for these situations. It is a great comfort to me and my family knowing we can ride it out if it were to happen. It is all about the forethought and willingness to pull your head out of the sand and see reality. Do not be one who will be caught unaware where you and your family will suffer unimagineable pain.

  21. telkontar
    November 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    #11 should be zombie invasion. Never seen Omega Man? :-)
    I think it is best to think about how any one of these incidents *somewhere* in the Americas (or overseas, for that matter) might affect us. We are all far more likely to use our year of food storage to assist 100 families for a 3-day catastrophe (quake/flood/fire/storm/volcano/tsunami) than to go to a post-apocalyptic scenario.
    About 12 years ago, my wife said that my Father-in-law said that his stake president said that Elder Oaks said (yes, a 4th-hand story) that: This time we’re serious about food storage. We got supplied over the next 18 months.
    None of these items are #1 risks. Think about what is most likely for you and your region. Then be prepared to survive and to help your neighbors. I know of plenty of middle class Mormons living off of food storage.

  22. mormonlibertarian
    November 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    thank you, Connor–

    I appreciate this, and I don’t listen to/have never listened to Glen(n?) Beck, nor do I plan to.

    I’ve never taken the ‘tent cities’ many members of the church discuss being part of at some future time seriously for myself, except that they do exist now for many who are homeless around the country/world; I will not laugh at anyone who does, though–

    I think it would be a very personal thing–

    depends upon where a person lives and what state he/she is in spiritually, etc. I do not deny that such things might happen; I just don’t see it happening that way for me–

    but then I am not in the “Mormon corridor”–

    I think that those who mock these sorts of scenarios had better be prepared; often that sort of laughter comes from discomfort–

    I have seen things happen recently in LDS wards that I never, ever thought possible; I have seen marriages I thought were almost infallible struggle and suffer.

    I have seen economic upheaval I never thought possible–

    Those of us who are on the front lines (wherever we are) of economic catastrophe are not laughing.

  23. Sean McLaughlin
    March 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    I know many of us perusing Connor’s blogs have some differences of opinion and thought about what he writes. I keep coming back to his blogs because there is a wealth of information and insight that’s well worth looking at–logically and well-informedly put together. I would say to Connor “almost thou persuadest me to be a libertarian”! As a typical Republican perhaps not, however, I am still still reading, and thinking, over the top impressed by the breadth and depth of his expressions on just about any subject he treats. Say what you will– he is worth the read.

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