Preppers: Threat Assessment
Any Thing Can Happen But What Is the Most Likely To Occur
Some Preppers have a specific scenario in mind in which they are preparing for. It can be a super volcano, massive earthquake, the collapse of the dollar, nuclear war, armed invasion by another country or organization and the list goes on.
Some people may have concluded the threat is real based on their own research and from the analysis of others, experts or otherwise. A perceived threat is as real as one based on facts in people’s minds. Some people may find the idea of certain things happening as preposterous, however, you do not really know until you do a threat assessment.
Getting Started By Knowing Where You Live
Geography plays a role. Where you live will determine the types of threats you can encounter in many cases. Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms and to some extent wildfires, earthquakes and floods occur based on geographic locations.
You should already know what types of natural disasters are prevalent in your area and once informed you can then prepare for specifics. In the case of natural disasters, a threat assessment of likely disasters can be performed quickly giving you a clear sense of what you can expect, and how to prepare.
Geography May Also Play a Role in the Types of Manmade Threats You can Encounter
According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC) there are currently 100 licensed to operate nuclear power plants in the United States. The commission also regulates about 36 research and test reactors located primarily at universities where they are used for research, testing, and training (U.S. NRC, 2013).
Accidents at nuclear facilities are rare, but accidents do happen and it is a concern that must be addressed if you live near one. However, you should also be, as concerned if not more so, about sabotage from within the facility, as well as, an attack on the facility by any type of organization. Workplace violence while not common can happen as well, and if it happened at a nuclear facility, the ramifications could be enormous.
To see if you live near a reactor please visit: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/list-power-reactor-units.html
You should know where a facility is located in relation to where you live and determine if the radioactive fallout created by an accidental or purposeful meltdown would be a danger to you. You also have to determine if a direct attack on the facility would affect you. Explosions and armed attackers or even a plane purposely crashed into the structure would be a direct threat to anyone in the immediate vicinity.
Is Your Area a Target?
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, (BOP) there are 119 institutions, 6 regional offices, a headquarters, 2 staff training centers and 26 residential reentry management offices across the country.
The bureau also administers contracts with private corporations to operate 14 additional correctional institutions. As of May 2014, there are 217,001 inmates under BOP’s control throughout the system (BOP, 2014).
Terrorist caught on the battlefield may be in some federal facilities. Who, what, when and where is not always accurate, and should not be speculated on, but they could, in theory be in any federal facility. Certain terrorists are being tried in Federal Courts thus, are incarcerated in federal facilities.
Having these individuals in any area makes that area a potential target. Any prison state or federal could be considered a target by various groups or individuals for any number of reasons. Directs threats would include small arms fire, explosions and possible kidnapping.
Organizations around the world know that symbols are important, which makes specific symbols in America a target. Landmarks can be a target as well as patriotic celebrations such as marathons, Fourth of July celebrations along with malls or any area that has a large gathering of people, like Times Square in New York City. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you are a target because of the population density and even more of a target if there are American symbolisms present in the area.
By now your head may be spinning, so many threats so little prep. First, keep in mind essentials like food, water and medical supplies are not disaster specific, you will need them regardless of the crisis. Prepare in general, because you will always need certain items. Once you have done this then you can do a threat assessment to determine if there are any clear threats you need to address and then determine what if any specific supplies are needed.
For example, if you live close to a nuclear facility then it may be a good idea to prepare for radioactive fallout or have the means to evacuate quickly to avoid any fallout. You should consider a shelter that is underground (below ground level) such as your basement not only for protection from radiation, but also for protection from any armed attacks against the facility. You may very well need cover from flying rounds if an attack should occur because the federal response would be quick and you could expect a firefight in and around the general area.
The same would apply if you live in an area that has a federal prison that may become a target. You would need reliable cover in the event of an attack in the area.
You can address specifics but do not get tunnel vision and convince yourself there is only one threat you need to worry about. Disasters have a way of creeping up on those that are focused in one direction only.
You know what supplies you need, so as you do your threat assessment add particulars that are relevant to that specific threat. The point is, if all you have are radiation suits what happens if another disaster strikes, will the suits help you survive. This is the type of question to answer when preparing for any crisis.
BOP. (2014). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.bop.gov/locations/
U.S. NRC. (2013). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/power.html