We are all told we need to prepare right?  I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.  A lot of people are preparing for the wrong things *gasp*.  And how I'm gonna be honest with you... that us us!  We had been preparing for emergencies for 6 years before I took this little quiz "How to Know What to Prepare For".  Now, the

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We are all told we need to prepare right?  I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.  A lot of people are preparing for the wrong things *gasp*.  And now I’m gonna be honest with you… that was us!  We had been preparing for emergencies for 6 years before I took this little quiz “How to Know What to Prepare For”.  Now, the good news is, we were preparing for the right things.  But I wish we took this quiz BEFORE we started it all.  It would have given us our much needed direction.  We also would have started sooner knowing what we did or didn’t need to invest in.

Download your What to Prepare for Worksheet and follow along

How to Know What to Prepare For

It’s important to know what emergencies you are most at risk for.  And I’m not just talking about what type of “natural disaster zone” you are in.  I’m talking about anything that is an emergency.  Big and Small.  I’ll give you an example for each of these steps.

First Step: Make a list of all your possible emergencies, big and small.

Grab a pen and paper. Sit down and make a list of any possible disaster that could happen to you, your kids, or your spouse.  List the BIG and SMALL ones down.  Here is a list to get you thinking.

  • Kid, yourself, or your spouse getting sick
  • Forgetting to thaw out meat for dinner (and guests might be coming over)
  • Unable to go grocery shopping (either due to sickness, weather, etc)
  • Child severely injured while playing
  • Car accident
  • Viral epidemic
  • Loosing a child in a public place
  • House fire
  • Buglary
  • Car break down
  • City water contamination or water shortage
  • Electricity went out for minor construction or from something else
  • Natural disasters (tornado, earthquake, blizzard, hurricane, etc)
  • Neighborhood blocked off from criminal activity or gunman holding hostages
  • Identity stolen
  • Loss of income

Example:  I’ll use these 4 emergencies (I want you to have 10-15 on your list): Kids getting ear infections. Ran out of an ingredient while making dinner. Loss of income. Tornado.

Second Step: Rate emergencies for how often they happen.

On that paper, make a list with 4 columns (to the side of your brain storm).  In the first column you want to rate each emergency from 1-10.  Number 1 being something that doesn’t happen often or never and 10 being very often such as once a week or a couple times a month.

Example: Using my disasters in the previous steps:

  • Kids getting ear infections. (7.  This happens once a month in the winter months, which is about a 1/3 of the year)
  • Ran out of an ingredient while making dinner.  (3.  It used to be often, but since we’ve built up our food storage, it’s not as much)
  • Loss of income. (2.  It’s never happened, but defiantly could happen in our life time)
  • Tornado.  (6.  We do live in Omaha, which gets tornado.  But in the 5 years we’ve been here we have only had one touch down miles from us, typically they all swerve above us)

Third Step:  Rate emergencies for how much it would change your lifestyle.Hare you having a hard time knowing exactly how to know what to prepare for?  You are not alone. Do this quiz and get started figuring out what YOU need to prepare for | how to know what to prepare for | emergency preparedness | next step in preparedness |

In the next column, rate the emergencies 1-10 for how much it would affect your life style.  1 being it wouldn’t be too big of a change to the way you live now.  10 being you would have to have a complete lifestyle make over.

Example: Using my disasters in the previous steps:

  • Kids getting ear infections. (1.  My kids are crankier, but won’t have any lasting affects)
  • Ran out of an ingredient while making dinner.  (4. If this happens a lot, and we don’t have the food we need, we would resort to eating out, and run out of money quick)
  • Loss of income. (8.  We do have a savings, but loss of income for a long period of time would be a significant change of house, and other items we enjoy)
  • Tornado.  (9. If our house is destroyed we would have to change how we live, while we fix the house or find another place to live)

Fourth Step:  Rate emergencies for how much time it would take to recover.

Finally, in the last column, number 1-10 how much time, or how hard would it be to recover.  1 being not much time such as a few hours or days.  10 being years or a possibility that it may never recover.

Example: Using my disasters in the previous steps:

  • Kids getting ear infections. (2.  It might take a week for the antibiotics to kick in.)
  • Ran out of an ingredient while making dinner.  (1.  Not much time at all, as I can just run to the store.)
  • Loss of income. (5.  This may take one month to a year to find a job to replace the income.)
  • Tornado.  (9.  If our house would to be hit by a tornado, we would have to do a complete build up.  Also, that means the neighborhood would have been hit also requiring time for builders.)

Fifth Step:  Determining your Top Disasters

Finally, add up the points for each disaster.  The top 3-5 disasters with the MOST points are what you should be focusing on.  Then, keep working down the line from there.

Example: Using my disasters in the previous steps:

  • Kids getting ear infections. (10)
  • Ran out of an ingredient while making dinner.  (8)
  • Loss of income. (15)
  • Tornado.  (24)

So, with my example.  We need to be focusing our preparation for a tornado, and loss of income.

Download your What to Prepare for Worksheet and follow along

In conclusion

Each family and situation is different.  That’s why it’s important to go through this worksheet with your significant other and family, and really decided how any of these circumstances will affect you.  I only put 4 in my example, but really you should have 10-15 items on your list to give a more sure foundation how to know what to prepare for.

What’s your #1 disaster you need to prepare for?  Comment Below.

Further Reading:

#1 Tip to Start your 72 Hour Kit

How to Build your Emergency Binder

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