What is the biggest threat you face?

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Molly Malone 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #420


    I’m always curious what natural disasters or events that people find the most prevalent in their areas.

    Where I live in Virginia, flooding is the biggie. I live on a hill, but that didn’t stop my basement from flooding a couple of days ago when we got hit with the outer bands of Hurricane Michael. Aside from that, there aren’t any major natural disasters that occur regularly in my area.

    What about you? What are the most likely disasters? Have you dealt with these since you’ve been a prepper?

  • #1031

    John Wick

    We live in Tornado alley and several places close by deal with flooding. The last few weeks it has rained really bad where I used to live and where my parents still live. All the roads leading into town were flooded. The town North and South were also flooded.

  • #1042


    We’re in earthquake country here.

  • #1328


    Hurricanes and we are supposedly way overdue for an earthquake. We have little ones pretty much weekly but they are too mild to feel. We are starting to get a bad flooding issue too. Too many trees cut down, too much concrete poured and someone forgot that water has to go somewhere during the high tides and pouring down rains. Pretty sure someone blew off the fact this area is sinking in multiple locations. I guess when you blow tons of sand to shore up your buildings at 1am behind the blue tarps that makes everything OK.

  • #1411


    We have severe winters, tornados (though I’m glad we don’t live in tornado alley anymore), flooding (though rare). There are two significant earthquake threats, but both would cause far more logistical issues than actual damage.

    We are moving our life further and further toward grid independence and sustainability because that is the life we want. The fact that it makes us more prepared is great, but if it were just about being concerned about survival I don’t think I’d be up for all the manure shoveling. ūüėČ

    I try not to let my imagination run away with me contemplating events, but a large-scale economic crisis, civil unrest (though being rural we are somewhat insulated against that), or a major epidemic would be high on my list of concerns for big SHTF issues.

    There was an amazing article I read a while back about how preparedness, even though it is often preparing for the wrong thing, can make a world of difference. I think it was concentrating on post-WWI prepping in the U.K. that saved lives during the Blitz despite totally inaccurate predictions of what they needed to prepare for. I wish I could find that article. It was very encouraging. No matter what the priority a particular prepper might have they are always better off than if they were doing nothing.

  • #1415


    The biggest threat is the one I have never thought about. For the rest, I know things will not play out the way I expect but at least they will be in the ballpark.

  • #1425


    EMP or “Recurrence of another Carrington Event is inevitable,”

    Everything else is a cakewalk.

  • #1674

    Valerie Stonecypher

    I was going to say “earthquake” before I read 74’s post about an EMP.

    Gotta agree that every other disaster would pale in comparison. Interruption of electrical service is bad enough when it’s local and counted in hours or just a few days, so I can’t imagine how utterly terrible a national or world-wide outage would be. Didn’t I read somewhere that getting replacement transformers would take a couple of years? (Quick Google search…) Yep, here’s the salient quote and the article:

    If large power transformers are destroyed by a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, sabotage, severe weather, floods, or simply old age, parts or all of the electric grid could be down in a region for 6 months to 2 years.


    My husband has a warped sense of humor (well, so do I) and says the biggest threat after an EMP wouldn’t be no electricity but all those Millenials without their smart phones and medications.

    All that being said, the overdue Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake in my area scares me the most. We’re out of the tsunami zone in western Washington but definitely in the shake-rattle-and-roll zone of southern Puget Sound. We live earthquake prep by bolting down the house foundation and heavy objects, stuffing our old RV with preps and parking it away from the house, and planning for a life without electricity for many months after the projected 9.0 arrives — if we survive with the drop-and-cover under a table or something.

  • #1677

    James Mitchner

    Don’t over stress. I know there are some serious potential – Cascading subduction zone, Madrid fault line, Yellowstone ‘super’ volcano, EMP, nuclear exchange…. the list goes on.

    I just don’t stress over any of it. Why? I have a spiritual belief that puts all that in someone else’s hands. We will roll with the punches and accept what comes.

  • #1681


    the one disaster that HAS to happen is the one that scares me. default…..

    Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
    Oak tree you’re in my way
    There’s too much coke and too much smoke
    Look what’s going on inside you
    Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell
    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of DEBT surrounds you

    Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell
    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of DEBT surrounds you

    One little problem that confronts you (3:28)
    Got a monkey on your back
    Just one more fix, Lord might do the trick
    One hell of a price for you to get your kicks

  • #2393

    Wolf Brother

    The biggest threat I face routinely is weather.
    Rain can flood, heat can cause brown and black outs, cold can cause brown and black outs.

    SO FAR, The City Of Austin utilities have stayed on top of things. GENERALLY response to a limited black out 3 hours or less.

    After this last flood event, I am concerned whether the COAustin is spending the infrastructure repair money it should. We just finished our first EVER Boil water notice.

    Austin is a blue city and is full of self-righteous snowflakes. They have no trouble blocking traffic and yelling at people. SO FAR, the physical attacks have been very few and far between.

    I do worry what the snowflakes will do when/if we hit about day 3 of a city wide power/water outage.

  • #2784


    Running out of my meds, which is inevitable at some point.

  • #2791


    Communism and Police State , for all Americans .

  • #2805

    Crow Bar

    Realistically, severe snow/ice storm. Not talking about the ‘SNOWMAGEDDON!’ hype the weather channels push. 6-12inches in 24 hours, even 12 hours is meh.
    The kind of storm that takes out the power for days or weeks. When my wife was little, they had a ice storm that took down power lines in the whole county. Took nearly a month to get the power back up. Thankfully they heated with wood.
    We do too.

  • #2827

    James Mitchner

    Like Daisy, I, too, live in Virginia. A meteorologist will tell you that my area of the state is difficult to forecast due to the mountains. Our snowfall average is only about 12″ to 15″ annually. But I have seen over 50″. Last winter we only got about 10″. But what really nails us is ice storms. We have experienced some real humdingers along with the loss of electrical power which could last hours, days, or even a week or more.

    We also have experienced some significant flash-flooding this past summer and several destructive tornados as well. (We use to hardly even have a tornado, but have had three very destructive ones over the past two years.)

    Realistically for me, our biggest threat is severe weather.

  • #3308


    We’re preparing for scenarios that have historically happened in my area: Ice storms (1991, 2003), wind storms (2017), snow measured in feet (most was in 1999, but happens yearly), regional blackout (2003), major civil unrest (riots in 1960s). We can handle snow, but when it gets blizzard conditions, and the plows can’t keep up that’s when schools and businesses tend to close.
    I’m also concerned about pandemics, an EMP, and God forbid a nuclear event.

    Recently protests have been occurring up but they are mostly contained by police. The majority of the protests have been peaceful but there’s always a few idiots who will try to block the road.

  • #3320

    James Mitchner

    Below is a method I used in another life to assess risks for my employer. Maybe you will find it interesting and even get a few ideas. I guess there was a formatting issue because the chart listing all the identified hazards didn’t come over. Regardless, if anyone likes you can list those risks in your area, or even possible risks like nuclear war, and score it.


Each of the four criteria identified for describing and assessing potential hazards is to be assigned a descriptive term and number as follows:

    Low 1-2
    Medium 3-4
    High 5

    The criteria for each hazard is assigned one of the five ratings above and then totaled to determine a “score.” All listed situations refer to major disasters causing loss of life, human suffering, and property damage. Day-to-day emergencies or accidents that are routinely responded to by local emergency organizations are not included.

    1. The HISTORY rating is derived by the number of occurrences of the type of disaster under study over the past 25 years. If it has not occurred and if conditions have not changed to increase the hazard, the rating is “low;” once in 25 years – “medium;” and two or more times – “high.”

    2. Estimates of VULNERABILITY can be derived by comparing the area at risk to the population and property density. For example, thinly populated rural jurisdictions near nuclear power plants are considered less “vulnerable” than more heavily populated urbanized ones.

    3. The MAXIMUM THREAT is the greatest destruction that could occur for the disaster under study. For example, with a nuclear attack, jurisdictions with a high-risk or target area receive a “high” rating; those within 30-40 miles, “medium;” and other, more remote jurisdictions, “low.”

    4. The PROBABILITY of a disaster is a subjective judgment to be made primarily by local officials. The following guide may be used:

    a. Chances per year greater than 1 in 10 “High”
    b. Chances per year between 1 in 10 and 1 in 1,000 “Medium”
    c. Chances per year less than 1 in 1,000 “Low”


  • #3465


    Thank you, James. That’s fantastic information and an efficient way to assess things.

  • #5243


    An opportune time to reread this thread.

    Today we got some snow, not much but I80 was closed for hours locally and then statewide between a wreck and blowing snow/ice. Some family members made a 2.5 hour drive in 7 hours, only getting 1/3 of the way home.

    Our biggest concern here is the weather.

    It does shut us off from the world physically on a regular basis. And as such, is what I concern myself with. Sure EMP/Carrington effect is more cool and all but I can’t worry about something that I can’t predict. The weather will cut us off again. And again.

    More to follow.

  • #5253

    James Mitchner

    I came awake about 0330 hrs yesterday morning. ¬†Something wasn’t right. ¬†The house was too quiet. ¬†I looked over at the clock and the clock was dark, not showing the time. ¬†Laid there in a vain attempt to see if the ceiling fan was still turning. ¬†Too dark to tell. ¬†House felt cold, or at least a lot colder than normal. ¬†Hauled out from beneath the warm covers and checked things out. ¬†No power! ¬†We were getting some freezing rain at the time with temps in the upper 20’s and it was a bit breezy. ¬†EMP? ¬†Well, my iPhone was working so, no…. thankfully. ¬†Used it to notify the power company ¬†about 0400hrs that we had an outage. ¬†Found out later the outage was contained just to my road, with almost 200 without power. ¬†So… light off the wood stove? ¬†Roll out and connect the generator? ¬†We had visiting family in the house and I knew they would require running water once they got up. (we are on a well) ¬†I decided to go back to bed and wait until it got light outside.

    The power company texted that a tree was down across a line and that they estimated power to return around 1000hrs.  No problem during warm weather, but it was a steady cold rain and the temp was dropping inside the house.  I rolled the generator out and started a fire in the wood stove.  Even for those few hours it was nice to have hot coffee, a hot shower, and warmth.

    Power outages like this seems to be more common for us than previously. ¬†Thankfully this was just a few hours rather than days or even weeks. ¬†I’m with Whirlybird in that weather is our most immediate risk.

  • #5254

    Crow Bar

    Ever notice how even a hot cup of joe can make ones mood better?

  • #5283

    Josefina Arenas

    A disruption in the logistics chain, no matter the cause.  Also, getting necessary medications when that happens.

  • #5286

    Peppy P

    Prior to our relocating here our area was hit by an ice storm that left power out for 10 days. ¬†Everyone talks about it as a reference point. ¬†In the 7 years since it happened there haven’t been any major significant weather events but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. ¬†And no, the very ones complaining about how horrible it was has done anything to prepare for a future event.

    In our area, the most likely localized event would be a natural disaster.  Thanks for sharing the risk assessment.

  • #5294

    Red Carnation

    Our is certainly weather, and, as a result, poor driving conditions.

  • #7789

    Halle Corrine

    At this very moment, the biggest threat is natural disaster.  A snow storm is more likely, and tornados are common here. I also live close to a fault line, so an earthquake is possible.  I current live in the country with the majority of people being conservative.  A large number of people here have a license to carry and they hunt regularly.   I also live about one hour from the Army housing of biological warfare weapons, so a spill or leak is possible.  However, my surroundings are changing.  In two weeks I am moving to a large city.  My threat will then change.  I will be living in a liberal college town with a large Muslim population, so I believe my biggest threat then will be rioting and civil unrest.   I just signed the lease on a townhouse (crazy neighbors?), so I am preparing accordingly and having to re-think things.  The hardest thing for me is not knowing anyone.  I will be flying solo for a while, and that makes me just a bit nervous.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Halle Corrine.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Halle Corrine.
  • #7795

    Crow Bar

    @Halle Corrine,

    From my past experience, I have found bar tenders, and taxi cab drivers to be great sources of intel.  Go to a bar on a late afternoon, pre-dinner rush, order a drink and ask about local restaurants.  Good way to get to know the go/no-go areas.  Then if the conversation happens to expand to other city related topics, no worries.

    • #7829

      Halle Corrine

      Thank you, Crow Bar.  I will keep that in mind.  Great advice!

  • #7799


    Severe weather.¬† We have blizzards and whiteouts here.¬† Hate driving in it but usually don’t have to.

    Overall threats are low.¬† Cold can be severe.¬† EMP would be very bad.¬† We don’t have much sun in winter, very overcast most days.

  • #7832


    Biggest threat? Fires and tornadoes. Both have happened within sight of my house. Our subdivision is off a main north-south highway which is flanked by pastures. There is only one road in and out of our subdivision. another road exists but it has a gate with a big locked chain. One summer we had grassfires both to the north and south of us at the same time. Had the wind shifted we would have been sitting ducks. There was a run that week on chain cutters at the local hardware store.
    A few years back we had a tornado come through. Small one but it knocked down a few trees three houses down from us. I huddled in the laundry room (middle of the house– no windows; bottom floor) with two dogs and two cats until the tornado passed. I could feel the pressure change as it approached. Not fun!

  • #7864

    OldMt Woman

    “…big run on chain cutters that week.”¬† LOL RufusJ!¬† That has been on my list …to get better ones.¬† Current ones are not adequate and we’re in a heavily forested/twisted roads type area.


    Obviously WILDFIRE has and will continue to be a terror for us. Well experienced in that…unfortunately.

    Winter storms….some of them actual BLIZZARDS dumping feet of snow.¬† DH and I once hand shoveled our entire driveway… snow 3′ deep.¬† Plow guys can’t plow up hill in that.¬† Driveway is hundreds of feet long.¬† Took us DAYS…and we were a lot younger then.¬† Now we make sure to park a vehicle down near the road.¬† At least we can sled down and dig it out from there…and not be trapped.¬† Haven’t been having the major snow totals in recent years.¬† Honestly, except for the intensely heavy labor of digging out our selves and our animals, blizzards are a piece of cake…..as long as the power stays on and no one has a medical emergency.¬† No guarantees tho, are there?

    Flash flooding/lightning strikes…we have them at our place but they haven’t been bad enough we can’t drive thru the inches [not feet] sheeting over the driveway from overflowing pond. Pond can absorb a lot.¬† But one of the valleys has some real earth-movers sometimes.¬† Towards rear of property so doesn’t affect the driveway.

    ‘Course my idiot horse nearly drowned herself one stormy night…and I did not dive in to help her.¬† You have to know when to assist and when to keep your own skin intact.¬† Nothing my puny self could have done.¬† She did manage to right herself …untangle from fence she’d been trying to jump over [only cuz she wanted to be with other horse and couldn’t wait for me a few minutes…idiot!].¬† I did spend the next hour or more in pouring rain and lightning, cleaning and fixing up the scrapes and gashes she’d self-inflicted.¬† Lightning is super dangerous up here too.

    MtLions, big coyote packs, bears, feral dogs….weird feral 2-leggeds….

    Lesser chance but MUCH greater impact:¬† Nuclear attack, EMP, Civil Unrest [only if we’re in the city for some reason], we’ve had a few Shake-Bang type earthquakes..no damage.¬† No hurricanes…tsunamis.¬† ūüôā

    Economic Disaster….that’s one that does concern me.

    Threat most on my mind lately:¬† Getting Too Old To Adequately Respond To Any Of The Above….¬† ūüôĀ


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #7892

    OldMt Woman

    I’d like to slightly edit one thing I said in the previous post.¬† I mentioned that I considered a Blizzard to be a “piece of cake”.¬† That was supposed to mean “compared to some other disasters” on my list.¬† It is not to mean that they are not deadly….or that LEOs, First Responders, ER personnel, road crews, electric crews, propane truck drivers, etc are not working all hours of day and night trying to make them not-so-deadly for folks who get into serious trouble with them.¬† Didn’t mean that!

    I think I posted somewhere here, about a blizzard that DH and I had to [decided to] travel in…to get home.¬† Ended up walking the last half mile so more.¬† Were new to that area tho not to winter storms and blizzards.¬† We simply did not REALIZE what the weather was about to do!¬† A weird quirk that was well known regionally but we didn’t….yet.¬† Learned that!

    Blizzards are totally serious too.¬† I did state two qualifiers:¬† that if one has power==heat.¬† And doesn’t have a heart attack shoveling or some other medical emergency.¬† I should add:¬† if you are not traveling during one.¬† Then I prefer them because they are generally quite predictable.¬† If you know the local code words or pay better attention to the weather stations.¬† Unlike earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, and a lot of other disasters, you pretty much get the word that they are coming to your area soon.¬† You can set up for them and not plan to do anything but deal with them.¬† Stay inside unless you must deal with something outside.¬† Like animals.¬† Like snow overload on the roof that might cave.¬† [I haven’t had that one!]

    Anyway, “piece of cake” was somewhat…inaccurate.¬† I merely prefer dealing with them than most any other disaster I’ve lived through.¬† {shrug}¬† …but manual snow removal is getting closer to being deadly as DH and I are aging!! ¬†¬† Oye!


  • #7953

    Molly Malone

    My greatest threat is a lack of income, so this involves stockpiling food and necessities and building an emergency fund.

    Beyond that, I am concerned about fire. I live in an apartment building and it only takes one resident with an unattended lit candle to render others homeless. If there is ever a blackout, I will be ready to bolt out the door because a blackout is the most likely time for a resident to light candles and bring the hibachi into the living room to cook on. Also, buildings are packed closely together here, and a fire that starts a few blocks away can spread rapidly throughout a neighborhood.

    My other concern is civil unrest. In this city, if the lights go out, the looting, burning and rioting begin in 15 to 30 minutes. The rioters hit the pharmacies, liquor stores, jewelry stores, etc. first, so there is a window of opportunity to get home. There are other occasions for civil unrest, of course, usually related to politics, and paid for, orchestrated and triggered by the leftist oligarchy, but such riots are staged to occur within view of TV cameras in certain key locations; so if you stay home, or even sleep overnight at the job site, you’ll be ok.

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