Where to Start…

Where to Start…How to Decide where to get started on your road to preparedness…

If you are reading/visiting the SurvivalRing website for the first time, and there is no developing crisis in your immediate area, you have time to study this website, and all of its files, sections, and wide range of coverage of preparedness information for ANY threat to life or property. It is recommended that you start with natural disaster areas that affect the areas where you live first, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, and so forth. Mitigation (avoidance thru planning and preparedness) will save you dollars and stress, when you know what to do when something happens that will NORMALLY happen in your area.

The FEMA website and the SurvivalRing RED CROSS file sections have the greatest coverage in helping you deal with natural hazards. Downloading and viewing the FEMA manual FEMA-196-Risks and Hazards State By State will give you maps of natural hazards for each state, as well as nuclear target maps created directly from the government (but circa 1990). For more targeting info, visit the SurvivalRing page Civil Defense Now! > U.S. Nuclear Targets List . This page will give you the latest public lists as generated by the government, with some comments about how you might decipher what may now be new targets for terrorists and enemy nations in the future. There are also several maps there you may find interesting.

Basic preparedness, including storing food and water, 1 year food storage calculators, 72 hour kit list, fallout shelter plans, fallout shelter standards, news feeds, local and regional weather threats, and links to almost every government preparedness site are also to be found on SurvivalRing (see the right side mini-banners on this page). Extras include hundreds of megabytes of downloads of PDF documents (with those tens of thousands of pages of printable information as mentioned), covering shelter, Weapons of Mass Destruction training and response, nuclear threat and preparedness, field manuals, mitigation, recovery, and so much more. Use the drop down menus above to navigate each section of the website.

Getting Started

This page is intended as an overview of how to get started on collecting, sorting, and studying Survival and Preparedness information. Whether you find it here on SurvivalRing, or any of a thousand other websites offering real and useful documents, training, suggestions, plans, ideas, or simply information, you may quickly become overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of printable pages you may find. If you have just enjoined the search for info, you may simply have an inkling of what is available, or you may have no idea just how to find that first bit of information YOU need for YOUR situation. Here are MY alert levels, to get your attention…they are ZILCH through OHCRAP.

One – Level ZILCH

Everything is Copacetic (Fine, excellent, going just right). This is your very own BASE level for NORMAL…nothing going on, no storms on the horizon, no strangers in sight, no local hazards of any real concern for you AT THE MOMENT.

THIS is the time to do a little research on what is a local threat ( nature, crime, targeting, access, etc.) and have plans in mind on what to do for different events that *can* occur. The geographic area of your concern can be local, your entire state, or your region of the continental United States. Start small, but continually expand your search for info as you become comfortable with your knowledge and application of preparedness tools.

Two – Level BOING

Something is afoot. Storm fronts are days upwind…the local police are practicing for future events…the weather is extremely dry and wildfires are possible…extreme rain events upstream are occuring…the power company is having problems with some of their equipment and you loose power a couple times a month.

ANY of these events is like getting conked on the noggin with a large pine-cone…no pain, but it got your attention, and now you’re looking UP. You should be checking the local weather through the web, your radio, or the news…or watching cable news a couple times a day. Thinking ahead here will get you comparing generators for the home and RV, UPS power backups for the computer, some extra food in the pantry that doesn’t need to be cooked or made from scratch, and purchase of a weather radio, police scanner, or shortwave (bonus points here for battery powered radios, with a gold star if you pick up a hand-crank powered communications tool).

Three – Level THWACK

The horizon is different somehow…thunderheads are building…lightning can be seen but not heard…the radio reports problems with nature/ with infrastructure/ with rioting…the TV is showing images of places in YOUR town or part of the state, that are NOT good.

This kind of event is the one that makes your heart skip a beat…it’s too close for comfort. Now you should be getting the latest radar image from the net of your area, monitoring the scenes on the TV, and getting your 72 hour kit out from under that stuff in the closet, just in case. This is the time that you have some PLANS on what to do, based on taking that time to research threats at level ZILCH. You know what you need, where you might go, and how you might hunker down if level Uh-Oh is attained. Tools, supplies, and radios are IN HAND, and you are in a heightened sense of your surroundings, but doing your normal, everyday chores.

Four – Level UH-OH!

You see “the problem” directly. The squall line from the cold front is a couple miles away, and heading your direction…the wall cloud is starting to form, and the funnel might be seen dropping…you hear multiple public safety vehicle sirens in the distance…there is smoke rising a few blocks or miles away…you see the plane/ the train/ the semi truck/ the bicycle either out of control, or heading for trouble in front of you…your power is out…your phone doesn’t work…your cell phone can’t get a signal no matter how you hold it… it’s dark and someone you don’t know is outside your house without a good reason…there’s been a huge explosion, or many, upwind…the news says the asteroid won’t miss the earth.

This is the kind of event that stops you in your tracks, creates adrenalin rushes, and makes MOST people freak out to the point of inaction. You better be calling the police, radio, tv, and friends looking for DETAILS, as to what the real threat is, and from what direction is may come. You should already have a plan in mind, and ready to put into action. You are heading for the basement, the phone, the shotgun. You KNOW it’s up to YOU to be the difference in safety, or lack thereof. The radio is blaring…the lights ALL come on…and you know that the outcome will be in your favor IF you’ve thought of the consequences and acted and planned for it beforehand.

Five – Level OH-CRAP!

You are suffering directly from a natural or manmade event. You don’t have a place to go, you’re stuck at home/ at work/ in the car/ in the wilderness. Fire has engulfed your home…the tornado is mere seconds away…the hurricane winds are lifting the roof off your home…you’re in a ditch, upside down hanging by your seatbelt…you’re hunting, and you’ve lost your sense of direction, and your compass, and it’s getting dark…someone is breaking the window to your kitchen door at 3am downstairs…you see a blinding flash outside that is the brightest thing you’ve ever seen, followed by incredible winds…a flash flood has caught you camped out next ot a dry stream bed.

This is the time that makes the difference between life…and death. Either you make it, or you don’t. You have plans already in action, have training that helps make the right decision, have tools at hand to get you where you want to be, and have the psychological confidence in your being to know you’ll make it through this problem…or you don’t, and suffer a horrible outcome. Worse, you watch as loved ones around you suffer.

NOW is when you will live based on preparing at level ZILCH. Your family and friends may be with you as well, thanks to your concern and forethought. Yes, there will be a huge mess, angry neighbors, costly replacement, and still some pain and agony. But, think of it this way….preparedness is easy…recovery is hard.

The above five *SurvivalRing Threat Levels* cover just about anything… and yes, your PRE-PLANNING can mean the difference between life and death…for you, and your family. It’s about having the information IN YOUR POSSESSION before it is needed…no matter what the threat is. You HAVE to read it…understand it…comprehend it…and implement it…NOW…before the threat is at the door, or already on the horizon.

Maybe now you might be thinking more about what might be a threat to you…in the future. Read more below, about what I offer, and what others consider threats…for you…for the military, the internet, other families, businesses, schools, and much more.

Low Threat Levels

A Low Threat Level occurs when things are happening far away,in the other side of the country, or overseas, that if allowed to run its course, COULD develop into long term problems (weather systems, economic downturns, terrorism, or some kind of attack). When this occurs, common sense tells you that you should pay a little bit more attention to the news, while making sure you have basic necessities such as emergency savings, 72 hour kits, a safe room in your home, and a plan for evacuation (Who goes, Where they go, When they leave, and When they arrive).

Basically, this is called HAVING A PLAN. Use the SurvivalRing website to understand the wide variety of possible threats and know the basics of response. Pay particular attention to the NBC PREPS files, the basics of shelter information, and the hazard maps available in the Civil Defense NOW pdf file.

Developing Crisis

There are going to be times when things are looking scary, whether it is an approaching tornado, hurricane winds coming your way, or localized threats from civil disturbance, and you develop a higher state of personal alertness. Constant contact with news communications ( radio, TV, cable, etc. ) through home, car, or pocket radio will help you gauge your response to preparing for things that MAY happen. Understanding of shelter systems, family training, practical response for medical needs, and an already gathered, assembled, and tested emergency kit will give you a sense of confidence in knowing what to do when events occur. Having a place chosen to evacuate to, a shelter design planned and ready to go ( tools, equipment, supplies, and so forth ) will make things easier. Studying the full spectrum of fallout shelter information presented here will give you an edge on the world in knowing just how far you can get in getting ready for ANYTHING.

This is the time to actually PRACTICE if you have not already, and gather extra tools, supplies, and equipment (chain saw, plywood, a police scanner, shortwave radio, filtering for shelter, extra storable food, etc.) IF YOU HAVE NOT YET.

Yes, if things DO get bad, they can get really bad, really fast. What may be in the next county or state can reach your neighborhood fairly quickly, much faster than most would anticipate…unless you are WATCHING and LISTENING. Training BEFORE any event is an asset, and the FEMA manuals on the CD and the CERT training materials found here are a great start to being prepared.

Imminent Threat of Immediate Danger

OK….so it happens. An F-5 tornado is coming your direction…or the next Hurricane Andrew has hit the coast and is coming toward you…or the L.A. Riots are being reenacted in your front yard…or Al Queda has just crashed a corporate jet into the nearby nuclear plant.

What do you do? Panic? Pray? Or do EXACTLY what you need to do, to have a positive outcome in the long term?

Knowing just WHAT to do for SPECIFIC events is the trick. How do you know? By Studying EVERYTHING here. Actual time is going to have to be spent reading, reading, and MORE reading. Using material here to find MORE study and research material elsewhere is going to help even more. The 20,000 pages of data and training information available on my CD Rom ( see the image and links on the upper left side of this webpage) will give you enormous amounts of informaton on mitigation, response, and recovery areas. But it is not everything, nor does it intend to be. It will get you in the right frame of mind, and seed your thoughts with more areas to look into…if you are serious about LONG TERM SURVIVAL.

So, here is a question…suppose the WORST happens. An all-out nuclear attack ensues. Warheads are on their way. Nukes are being detonated and people are dying. What Do You Do?

Well, FEMA spent a few decades and massive funds studying this, and created PREPAREDNESS PLANNING FOR A NUCLEAR CRISIS (HS-4). Click and view the HTML version or download the PDF version from the Civil Defense Now Downloads page. You can decide EXACTLY what to do and where to go and how to live, with info included in this manual. But, it takes action. Your action. Nobody can do it for you… and YOU have to KNOW you can do it, once you know where to start.

Act now. Preparing for the WORST…prepares you for anything less. Do It Now.

Now, here are some OTHER definitions and examples of Threat Levels and Alert Levels.

Updated: December 12, 2013 — 2:57 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.