Quick Prepper Tip: Assess Your Risks

By Lisa Metheny published on in Quick Prepper Tips

Cheaper Than Dirt Quick Prepper TipGOOD is an acronym for get out of dodge. Many preppers warn that every household should have a GOOD plan for leaving home if something happens that forces you to leave. The truth is that everyone, whether a prepper or not, should have some basic evacuation plan for emergencies.

Tornado Funnel

Tornado Funnel

If you are not sure how or where to begin, the first step is to assess the potential risks to you, your family or your personal property and then build a GOOD plan from that knowledge. For example, those who live in the Midwest are not typically threatened by fast-moving wildfires, violent hurricanes or even earthquakes, so those common disasters are not on my list of potential threats in my location. But flooding, especially flash flooding, and tornados top my list. Of course, my list may differ from yours. Ask yourself the following six simple questions to assess your risks.

Six Questions to Assess Your Risks

  • What are the most common threats in your geographical location?
  • How quickly will you need to make a lifesaving decision to survive the threats? For example, hurricanes typically give you several days, if not weeks, to prepare, but tornados do not.
  • What level of threat will it take for you to evacuate your home?
  • Where will you go?
  • What items or personal gear will you take with you?
  • Do you have a plan to secure any pets or other animals?

Assessing your personal risks and developing a basic GOOD survival strategy ahead of time is always a GOOD idea.

What questions do you ask yourself when assessing your risks? Tell us in the comments section.

Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.

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Comments (14)

  • Hank Alvarez

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    Living in earthquake country we don’t get any warning and some locals are worse than others. My wife’s a commuter so she has a bug out/earthquake survival kit in the trunk of her car. I work 3.7 miles from home so I can hoof it if necessary but when we go anywhere further than walking distance in my vehicle mine goes with us and it’s got everything they’ve listed here so far.

    We have a pantry filled with canned and dry foods and some MRE type complete meals plus plastic 5 gallon barrels of the same if we’re forced to evacuate. We have enough water stockpiled for about 20 days. I refresh it every six months because leaving our home to the mercy of hungry vandals would only be a last resort and only if we were ordered to.

    We’re sitting on what I think is a good supply of ammo but I still wonder how much is enough. Some folks say what I have is more than enough and call me a hoarder but I’d like your opinions as to the quantity I should have on hand. Our range coach warned us it was coming and this contrived ammo shortage hasn’t really hurt us but we don’t shoot as much as we did.

    I see that idiot Boxer and her ilk are at it again after the last crazy slaughtered a bunch of innocent people so I’m worried as to how far I should go into our inventory. Please advise. Hank

    Reply

  • Silas Longshot

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    Good questions as the foundation of planning and prepping. If you don’t have a direction to go in, you’re lost before you start.
    surviving urban crisis. com

    Reply

  • Jay

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    I live near St. Louis, Missouri. It’s “easy” to plan for floods. But with new constructions, etc. It makes for lands that never flood now they are new areas that will flood. My scariest flood I been in was in 1993. Several parts of the interstate was under 40+ feet of water! Sink holes developed, etc. At this point in time, my suggestion is plan a “go bag”. A smaller one for each vehicle you have. And limite it to a book bag size… Anything heavier is just crazy… Majority of people cannot carry that more than a block. Plus I have elderly parents…so traveling is VERY limited!

    Of course if it’s high waters… We have to move. Tornadoes, is another subject. It’s… You’re hit or not! It’s the aftermath you have to worry about. Will you have to defend? Will you have to defend on the move because your place is too dangerous to stay at?

    We can’t plan for everything… But we can plan for the local area we are at.

    Reply

  • Paul Martin

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    How much ammo should you have? All you can is the flip answer. A more serious answer is: for hunting I used 5 years for 30-06 so that only comes to maybe 150 rounds. For self-defense, the number of handgun rounds is actually pretty low. If you use need your handgun for self-defense more than several times, you will be dead anyway. Same with shotgun ammo. For serious home defense, I figure 10 mags of 30 rounds each of 5.56mm per fight and a maximum that I could servive is 5 fights – 1500 rounds. 22 cal is the interesting one – good as a future currency and as trading material and for small game – I figure 20,000 rounds ought to do me just fine for .22 cal.

    Anyway, that’s how I figure. I could be wrong but will certainly listen to other ideas.

    Reply

  • Hank Alvarez

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    Jay: don’t sell us old folks short. I’m 72 and arthritic and I have three herniated lumbar discs. I bought a cart from Walmart that will handle 250 pounds, the height adjusts and the wheels are wide enough to turn without losing it. Last winter my friends laughed but I out waled them with their heavy packs.

    Reply

    • Jay

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      That’s great… It’s just that some people at your age cannot move on their own… Like my father… So count your blessings. But you bring up great points. Use tools to help you.

      Reply

  • Von

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    You can never have enough ammo. There may come a time when ammo can be a good currency. I don’t think paper money or even gold will buy a loaf of bread during an extended amount of inevitable social unrest. A box of ammo may!

    Reply

    • Jay

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      Ammo… That’s a given. The more the better… But the question is about bugging out. Where I live… Most likely we will have flooding with a tarnado. You can only carry so much. I tried carrying 1,000 rounds of 45 ACP. BOTTOM line …. For me that will never happen. So, I say imagine your location ended up like Springfield, where a tarnado taken out the entire city. That ammo stash maybe gone or not acceable. I never consider, an entire city basically whipped of the map. This ad was great to get us thinking. At lease if you can move and get out… Have a bug out bag

      Reply

    • romney

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      First, for a long list of sound reasons I think bugging out is “probably” insane. There is always the exception, however. You know your house, the layout, you can modify and strengthen it. You can keep water to last months or years; same for food, guns, ammo. DO NOT forget to begin to build a backlog of medicines and OTC remedies that will sub for Rx; like Omeprazol for Nexium, aspirin, etc. Check with your Dr. Backup lots of food for your pets and their medicine. I love mine too much to turn loose or kill. I will kill intruders with no regrets. If you are older you won’t do well in the summer; snakes, chiggers, ticks, mosquitos. Enough of these everyday bugs will make many people very sick and rundown, not even counting the possibility of disease. Winter can be hard and impossible in northern areas. You will be much more comfortable, secure, healthy, well defended, with 10 times more tools, equipment, supplies. Just make you home tight, tough, not worth entering for the price it will cost intruder slugs. If we are in civil war, anarchy, guess what? What is legal and not legal is a mute point. Make defenses via traps, snares, wires, bells, barb wire, fencing wire, poison, electricity. Use alcohol to make the intruders drunk so you can kill them as they loose their normal senses and sleep hard. Poison them with food, drinks. If you kill one take their guns, ammo, and anything you can use. This is SURVIVAL my patriot brothers. I WILL BE WAITING FOR OTHER PATRIOTS AND FIGHTERS TO SUGGEST MORE TACTICS AND SOLUTIONS.

      Reply

    • romney

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      Don’t barter away ammo! It may be the one bullet that the other person kills you with.

      Barter something that is not lethal, for God’s sake.

      Reply

  • Hide Behind

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    Each person has to have their individual responce before disaster hits and be flexible enough( defense in depth) to meet the unknown.
    Once you leave your hooch you are then in the unknown, and the unknown means about a week of civil follow the rules shelters or refugee status.
    Time to asess your own family’s trauma reactions to be managed and to see what the damage is, so 3 days supplys are not enough.
    A survival kit has to include cash . Not a poke filled with gold but actual money im real low denominations.
    Thinking your credit or debit card will work or ability to access cash machines is an unknown.
    K.I.S.S
    Ones plan must eliminate as many variables as possible and that means you need data, bag beeds solar charging for phone a t least ab5 multi band crank or solar powered radio.
    Cells ate notoriously unreliable due to multi users crashing systems.
    Three picture ID as there are many many more offivial bast…. today who work for a bureaucracy that loves to control and one thing they understand is official paper
    Vets of all ages copies of DD 214 ay judtbget you dome respect but …..
    Do not think you can just run to next village and find welcome arms, you will find smsll townsmen no better preparef than your old neighbors, so be prepared to pay your way.
    As to a house flooded deeply you sjouldbof had all records protected and not anywheres but at home or an outside the area bank box.
    Keep a real or a real good fake medical card that shows vacinations of yourself and vhildren because sure as heck somr fed will be giving mandatory vaccinations.

    Reply

  • Hank Alvarez

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    Home is not only where the heart is but where everything I need and want is located. I can improvise and some times it’s actually been fun to see what you can do without but after a while it can get to be a pain. Here in southern California we’re prepped well enough to be comfortable and safe at home for about three weeks but after that I would probably be thinking of plan B, (bugging out).

    My wife and I are two of many people who want to ‘get the hell out of California’ for a lot of economic and political reasons. In a major natural disaster I have no doubt that we’d be forced to defend our property and ourselves by ourselves. With the exception of my one of our neighbors, a Mormon family, I’d be surprised if after a couple of days if the rest of the people on the block don’t become predators. We have too many people with an attitude of entitlement who will depend on anyone but our selves. I have a yellowing DD214 somewhere in our files but it’s the training that I got with it the I really depend on and I think will really defend our lives. I will only leave when I have to. Hank

    Reply

  • Possumhead

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    After growing up in So.Cal, I “bugged out” of that place shortly after discharge from military in ’70. living in a camper on old 4×4 GMC service truck with a Siamese cat for 2 yrs. before settling down in the woods of far Northern CA. Knowing what I know now, I would have moved out of state, but where I live is not much like CA in most respects. Most of the rest of my life since, has been spent paying for a little cabin on seven acres in the woods. Along the way, I’ve gained appreciation for several survival tools not yet mentioned, that might deserve consideration on this topic.
    Some good points have been made regarding currency, and I think this is a big one. Small money, to some extent is handy, but even it might have serious limitations. Rural folks use a lot of barter, and it works very well.
    Most disasters include loss of cell service and electricity. Rural folks still use CB because it is totally independent, requires minimum power, and is very inexpensive.Base stations with big antenna can travel long distance, and it is well suited for economical mobile use. Some units have a few HAM freqs. that can tie them into a national/ international network that is totally self sustained, and geared for emergency operation. For several years, my cb was my only “phone” and it helped me connect with a whole community of more independent rural folks. To this day, one of our best defenses centers around a sort of “community watch”, and dependable communication is an essential part of that.. At least consider a pair of good “walkie talkie”.
    Hunters know this already. An extra set is a great trade item. That old cb in the pickup truck seems like an ancient relic, but watch that puppy come alive when phones (cell and otherwise) go dead, along with internet and basic electricity. A few times every winter, trees go down taking out a few lines, and it is back to the stone age for a while, We have come to think of it as just a drill for worse possibilities.
    One of the last items I would want to part with is my trailbike. It is street legal, … will stretch gas a long way, and will go where most vehicles won’t. One job I had was field photographer for a local newspaper, and after flood , windstorm and earthquake, when roads were blocked the motorbike was priceless. transportation. When everything else is jammed up, it will keep you moving quickly when the only other option is on foot. In a lot of other countries , this is the norm. ( checkout Saigon at rush hour )
    Not for everyone, everywhere, but I hate to give up my chainsaw. I’ve even collected a few I could trade off. It is essential in these parts for obvious reasons, but it also makes a pretty good weapon against anything but a gun or bow.
    Guns and ammo are pretty well covered here, and I agree with most of it. I would say that I do like lasers on guns. I went to a neighbors one night in a storm. The house went dark, and a red dot showed up on my chest about 50 yds out. I DID halt, and identify myself, but the experience was unnerving. It was like a warning shot without actually firing…..but.it is quiet, and saves ammo.
    Also wouldn,t want to give up my fireplace. It is not as efficient as a good wood stove, but it has a grill to cook on, and a heat exchanger to heat water.
    Seems like you can never have too many GOOD flashlites, and one good one is worth a whole box of junk ones. I bought a little Pelican “stealthlite 2400″ almost 15 yrs ago.. It uses 4 AA, is very tough,compact, bright, and waterproof. I got it when working as a heavy equip. mechanic, but since retired, it seldom leaves my pocket. It has been run over by my tractor, dropped out of a tree, and into a creek. I did break an inside part once, and Pelican sent my a new flashlite. Originally, It was expensive, but it can die any day now, and it don’t own me a dime.
    LED headlites are cheap and very handy when all else fails and a job needs getting done..
    I know a lot of what I could offer would be off the point of this article, but one point I think is on target, is……..don’t wait to “bug out” until the shit hits the fan. I know it is hard to pull up roots once established, but if You get Yourself and family out of the ratrace to somewhere You can be more self sustaining and independent, I think You’ll later be asking Yourself,……”why did we wait so long…..”

    Reply

  • Hide Behind

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    I have almost 15, 0000 rounds and rifle that can place every round into a .75″ circle killing up to a good size ferel cat or your neigjbors Siamese Blue Tip, possom and racoons; Yes an adult sizef whisper quiet .177 caliber scoped air rifle.
    This is a gpod weapon as a protein getter but almost as important is as a pest including snakes and rats.
    Snakes in floods move to dry ground as do rats, but even times agtrr hurricanes or totnados rats do move right in and let mr tell you rats can become quite large and will bite sleeping humans.
    Lots of animals carty fleas chiggers and lice.
    When skinning any animal you need a shsrp knife#1 survival tool and a sharpening tool as well.
    Stay OR RUN A MEDIUM KNIFE IS MUST HAVE and a knife may well be your last line of defensr.

    Reply

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