If you are reading this post, chances are that you have been thinking about the safety of your family. Whether it's a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake or an intentional one like terrorism, there is always something to worry about. It is important to not get overwhelmed and know what steps you should take first in order to be prepared for any situation. In this blog post we will go over the threat analysis process and outline some key points on how to make your plan more effective!
-Begin with identifying the hazards and situations that are most likely to occur in your area.
-Think about what is worst case scenario for you, not the average person (hint: it's usually worse).
-Identify where a disaster or event could impact you so thoroughly that it would take away everything you have worked to achieve.
It’s important to update this assessment on a regular basis. If you live in a well-established area, with little to no new development, a reassessment every one to two years is likely sufficient. However, if your home is in an area undergoing continual development, such as a new neighborhood or a booming commercial and industrial area, it’s better to update every six to twelve months, as new development can introduce new threats.
Start your analysis by writing a list of all the disasters, events, and situations you can think of, particularly those with the potential to directly affect you. Do some online research and drive around your area, writing down anything posing a potential threat, such as power plants, industrial chemicals, and nearby railroads or highways. If you’re unsure of what hazards they pose, you can check this Ready.gov list of disasters and hazards, which also has good information on how to prepare for these events. You can also check this comprehensive list of disasters and hazards, as a way to check the possible disasters.
Don’t forget to include frequent locations like work, school and anywhere you spend a lot of time. It’s important to keep in mind the proximity of a disaster can lessen or increase the severity of impact to you personally. Group your list of disasters into the following categories:
- Personal - person, family, house, school, church, workplace
- Local - neighborhood, town, city
- Regional - county, neighboring counties, state
- National and above - country, neighboring countries, globally
If you know how to use one, now is a good time to put your list into a spreadsheet, as you’ll soon be adding several more columns of information. This additional data will help you make decisions on the first threats to focus on.