Information Overload: Navigating the World of Emergency Preparedness
Navigating the world of emergency preparedness and survivalism can be an intimidating task. Every site you visit, every video you watch, every list you read will have a different opinion on what you should do to best prepare yourself and your family for the worst. We’ve run into this same problem numerous times. Scrolling through article after article can get overwhelming, and it will probably deter you from starting in the first place. We don’t blame you; we’ve done it too. We’ve come to realize the best way to avoid the problem of information overload is to take action. When you take action, the learning will follow. The best form of learning comes through doing. Simply reading or hearing words will lead you to forget 80-90% of the material after two weeks. On the other hand, you’ll remember 90% of what you say and do after two weeks. The first step of preparing is taking the first step.
After people realize they must take the first step, most still don’t know what direction to step and what foot to step with. Of course, we don’t have an easy answer to that. Everyone’s situation is different, and you must assess your own personal situation to determine what steps to take. Luckily, we will have future posts with more detailed suggestions based on where you live and your current lifestyle. For now, we’re going to give an overview of how we look at the world of preparedness.
Our approach to emergency preparedness is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In short, the Hierarchy of Needs is a theory that depicts the motivation behind human needs. Working from the bottom up in the diagram, our basic needs must be satisfied before we can move to psychological needs and self-fulfillment needs. This is how we prioritize our preparation. By starting at the base and moving up, we ensure that all of our basic needs are met so we don’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s great to have a top-secret off the grid bunker to retreat to, but if you don’t have food and water you might not even get there in the first place.
One thing to note is we don’t advise you to start prepping for a global crisis right from the get-go. Instead, focus on prepping for a closer-to-home situation you may encounter, such as losing power for 48 to 72 hours or dealing with a flood that occurs in your area. Once you prepare for that, you’ll have a feel for what your needs are based on your personal situation and can apply that to bigger scale emergency preparation.
Stage 1: Physiological needs
Stage 1 is the first step in your emergency preparedness plan, and it’s the most important step. This includes essential items such as food, water, and proper clothing. Creating a stockpile of safe drinking water, long shelf life foods, and clothing that is appropriate for being outdoors in your environment is a good place to start. We also include first-aid supplies in this stage 1 prepping plan. If worse comes to worst, you’ll at least have the basic essentials you need to live.
Stage 2: Safety needs
Stage 2 goes hand in hand with stage 1, and these first 2 stages should be the bare minimum that you prep for. Level 2 includes safety needs such as shelter, personal security. A safe shelter for you and your family is critical for your survival and wellbeing. We view bugging out as a last resort. It’s more logical to shelter in place, provided that it’s safe for you to be there. Once you have a safe shelter, you can move onto ways to protect your family from outside threats.
Stage 3: Belongingness and love needs
Stage 3 moves from basic needs to psychological needs. Once you have your basic needs covered, it’s time to build out the community of people involved in your preparation. Of course, your family is the most important part of your plans. For a lot of us, family is the reason we begin prepping in the first place. The key to building your community is trust. You want to have people close to you that you can trust, and it’s important to pick the right people for your network.
Stage 4: Esteem needs
Stage 4 is where you start to expand on the needs you fulfilled during the previous levels. Everything you have planned for thus far will start to come together, and you’ll form a more cohesive plan to handle situations you may encounter. This is the stage where you feel confident you know what to do in times of trouble. Simply getting supplies in order isn’t enough. You’ll have systems set in place and will know how to execute if need be. Self-sufficiency is the goal here. Once you have the necessary supplies, you’ll start to grow your own food, collect your own water, and create your own power to allow you to live off the grid if need be.
Stage 5: Self-actualization needs
Stage 5 involves the continuous learning that accompanies prepping. At this point, you’ll have your plan(s) set in place in case of an emergency. Gaining knowledge and mastering your skills will only prepare you more. This stage is a continual learning phase where you aim for personal growth and to be the most prepared you can be. Ideally, at this point the majority of your prepping can handle a wide range of situations. The rule of redundancy is something else to consider in this level, where you have backup plans in case part of your original plan fails. Overall, this stage signifies the lifelong learning and honing of your skills in order to be fully prepared in any situation you encounter.
This was a brief overview of our approach to prepping. We realize not everyone will make it past the first two stages, and that’s OK. Our goal is to make people aware of the current situation. Once people are aware, we aim to help them get set up with their basic needs. The products we offer aim to satisfy stage 1 and stage 2 needs as stated above. Your psychological and self-fulfillment needs are largely addressed by your own efforts. We don’t claim to be experts on those matters, and there are many resources out there that go into much more detail than what we can offer. We plan on having future blog posts that reference some of our favorite resources for a more in-depth look once you get to those stages.
Lastly, future blog posts will go into more specifics for each stage. Again, there are differing opinions on the best way to prep, and it is largely dependent on your personal situation. However, we feel that thinking about emergency preparedness using our Hierarchy of Needs approach is straightforward and can be applied to most peoples’ situations. Browse our website for products that can help you fulfill your Stage 1 and Stage 2 needs, and follow our blog for more detailed posts in the future. We recommend checking out our Emergency Kits to help fulfill your Stage 1 and Stage 2 needs.