Assuming you’ve read Threat Analysis Part 1, and performed the exercise of creating an ordered list of threats you are concerned about, let’s start making plans.
Take your list, and start adding details. What would be the short term impacts of that scenario? What about long term impacts? Are your concerns more specific than what you wrote down at first? Flesh things out, and go into detail with the negative impacts, the actual risks, for each threat scenario.
Using my list from the last article, we’ll start with Wildfire. Specifically, where I live, the threat is grass fire, with no nearby trees and a very dry and windy climate.
What are the specific risks?
- The house could catch fire, which threatens my life, the life of my partner, and my dog. That also could destroy all of our possessions.
- The horses could be burned, killed, or scared off.
- The various outbuildings could burn.
- Our propane tanks could explode.
- Our vehicles could burn.
- We could become trapped in the house for the duration of the fire.
- If there is a large fire, it’s unlikely that the fire department could respond everywhere at once, so we should not expect timely assistance from the fire department.
- Longer term, if the house, with all our belongings burns, we would need to survive with no clothes, medicine, etc…
Wow! That’s a scary list! But now let’s think of what we can do to mitigate or prepare for these risks.
How Can You Prepare?
My first idea is to flee the fire. Grab our go bag, maybe a few other critical things, the dog, get the horses in a trailer if possible, or set loose if not, and get out of dodge! Where to go would in part depend on the fire. Luckily we have a big truck so we could flee overland if the road wasn’t safe. So that’s Plan A.
However, after more thought, given the relatively short grass, and the potential difficulties in saving the horses, and potentially losing everything we own, I’ve decided that it would be much better if we could hunker down safely at home. The house was built to be largely fire resistant, which is a big plus. There are no trees near by, just low wild grasses.
So the new plan is to fireproof things as much as possible.
We will push grass from around the house back about 10 feet, and put in fire resistant plants and shrubs so we can still have nice landscaping.
We will do the same for the outbuildings, generator, and anything critical. There will be nothing flammable close to any of those things, and we’ll fireproof them as much as possible with metal buildings and metal roofs.
If we can catch the horses we will bring them into the garage. Failing that we will open gates and cut some fence to give them a better chance of running to safety. We will keep the vehicles on the paved portion of the driveway, with no flammable materials nearby.
The propane tanks are buried, and we are clearing grass from anywhere near any above ground propane piping and the access port to the buried tank. We are also burying as much of the line as possible, and building brick shields around exposed piping.
We will have readily accessible hoses to fight any small fires that spread to the house, and to hose down other at risk things. We will probably get a couple of gas masks to allow us to function in dense smoke.
We will prepare to flee in case the house become compromised. And if we flee we will bring our Go Bag, phones, credit cards, and cash, to allow us to be okay for a while without any of our other possessions.
We will make sure we have good home insurance which covers fire.
Once we do all of those things, I think we’ve done a good job mitigating the risk.
So do something like that, for each of the threats on your list.
Long Term Planning
Some threats may have long term repercussions, things like grid failure or financial system failure or any major breakdown of civilization. In those cases your plan should not only be tactical, to deal with the short term impacts, but also strategic, to survive and thrive long term. That may including things like setting up your house, or a bug out location, to be off-grid. Learning critical skills like hunting, gardening, first aid and trauma medicine, homesteading, and ensuring you have the knowledge and resources to survive in the face of disaster.
The Horizon Experience Project will provide a comprehensive selection of training courses, online resources, and critical products to help you be prepared for whatever comes.