Performing Your Survival Risk Analysis

Survival Risk Analysis

As you embark on your journey to self-sufficiency, acquiring gear, and honing survival skills, the question that inevitably arises is, “What should I prepare for?” Addressing this query is crucial for effective prepping, and one invaluable method to determine your priorities is through a comprehensive risk analysis. This article guides you through the process of evaluating potential threats based on your location, terrain, and environment, ensuring that your preparations align with the specific risks you are likely to face.

Understanding Risk Analysis

Performing a risk analysis involves assessing the likelihood of various events occurring based on your geographical location, terrain, and local environment. By comprehensively understanding potential threats, you can tailor your preparations to be more effective and focused.

2. Location Matters


Living in the western part of the United States exposes you to earthquakes and fires. This section delves into how to prepare for these events, emphasizing knowledge about their mechanics and interactions with different structures and environments.


Residents in the East should be vigilant against hurricanes and snow storms. The importance of being ready to evacuate during a hurricane and preparing for potential snow-related challenges is discussed in detail.


Preparation for hurricanes, fires, and tornadoes is essential in the South. Recent tornado incidents in Oklahoma highlight the need for continuous preparedness, emphasizing that survival is a constant commitment.


In the northern United States, freezing temperatures and snow storms pose unique challenges. Understanding the impact of the cold environment and ensuring you have an ample supply of essentials for an extended period is crucial.

3. Environmental Considerations

Your surroundings play a pivotal role in determining potential threats. For those in rural areas, the focus shifts from direct terrorism threats to the aftermath of such events. The article highlights the need for substantial preps in rural areas, considering the delayed arrival of goods and services during a crisis.

4. FEMA Recommendations

The article discusses FEMA's evolving recommendations regarding emergency supplies, emphasizing the need for an increased stockpile. It stresses the importance of adapting these recommendations based on your location, with rural areas requiring even more extensive preparations.

5. Terrorism as a Universal Threat

While specific locations may have distinct threats, terrorism remains a universal concern. The article underscores the indirect effects of terrorism and the need to consider both foreign and domestic threats.

6. Learning from Past Events

Reflecting on past natural disasters in your area becomes a crucial aspect of risk analysis. The article encourages readers to consider historical occurrences of floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms to better anticipate and prepare for future events.

7. The Pitfalls of Ineffective Risk Analysis

Drawing insights from the TV show “Doomsday Preppers,” the article highlights the common mistakes in risk analysis. It emphasizes the importance of avoiding overpreparation for unlikely events and wasting resources on improbable scenarios.


Concluding with a reminder of the significance of effective risk analysis, the article stresses its equal importance to the act of preparation itself. Failure to conduct a thorough risk analysis might result in misdirected efforts and resources. In a world of uncertainties, being informed and proactive is the key to successful survival preparedness. Share your thoughts on risk analysis in the comments below and continue your journey to self-sufficiency with related articles on our site.

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Give us your thoughts! How do “you” perform risk analysis?

Drop a comment below and let us know.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Jul 22, 2013 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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7 Responses to :
Performing Your Survival Risk Analysis

  1. Thanks again for re-posting one of our articles! We are happy to be partnered with Survival Life and appreciate the exposure on your site.

    Take care,
    Straight Forward Prepper aka Matt

  2. Dave says:

    Threat analysis:

    1 – location – New River Valley, rural, inland, mid-lantic; threats: major = lost goods & services, minor = weather extremes. No threat of floods, wildfires, mud/land-slides, etc., at this location.


    Emergency Goods

    a – storage system for foods (canned, dried, mres, bulk ingredients like salt, sugar, flours, spices), first-aid supplies, with computerized inventory management & rotation schedule (for 6 months plus).

    FWIW, we run a licensed home bakery, so we always have an ample supply of fresh bulk flour. Being self-employed, or at least able to provide a necessary product and/or service to your neighborhood, could be a significant benefit in hard times.

    b – fresh food production capability: 1/4 acre kitchen garden, orchard, berry patch, etc., chickens, beehives.

    c – food preservation equipment & supplies

    Emergency Services:

    a – 1100 gallon rainwater storage, 60 psi pump

    b – 4.2 KW solar electric system (BP solar panels plus Xantrex/Schneider Electric charge controllers and inverter) provides 240v split phase, entire home runs off-grid 24×7. Batteries hold about 45 KWH, and usually reach full charge by 10 AM. Also, 5 KW gas backup generator for emergency system maintenance, as well as some spares (solar panels, controllers & inverter).

    c – security – several safe rooms and a good supply of rifles, shotguns, handguns, ammo, the skills to use them effectively, and to teach others to do so – I’m a former Deputy Sheriff & certified firearms instructor.

    d – 4wd SUV, trailer, go-bags, etc., though flight from this “homestead” would be an absolute last resort.

    e – commercial snow-blower,

    f – 100 gallons of gasoline stored

    g – 2 years worth of garden supplies stored

    h – numerous strategically placed dry-chemical fire extinguishers

    This took, and will continue to take, a lot of time, effort and expense, but I think these preparations are relatively cheap insurance, considering the alternatives!

    Many thanks to for helping to spread the word, and helping to bring folks up to speed on these matters.

  3. Dave says:

    Upon reading my previous post, I realized that I had left out some important self-sufficiency resources acquired well before the current perceived need for “prepping”:

    winter heat: plan A: natural main gas furnace, plan B: several propane stoves & enough stored propane for at least one harsh winter, plan C: wood-stove capable of heating the entire house by convection, & enough cut/split firewood for at least one harsh winter.

    skills & tools: basic carpentry & metal working, plumbing (Cu/soldering,PEX), hard/silver soldering, brazing & welding (gas, stick & MIG/TIG), auto & small engine maintenance, mechanical engineering, computer software engineering (i.e. designing and programming/implementing solutions, not just “using” applications, with a focus on Open-Source software), basic electronics, basic gunsmithing, ammo reloading, bullet casting, basic chemistry (e.g. sufficient to determine & control pH & brix in home-made preserves, and the percent acetic acid in home-made vinegar)

    Of course computers & power tools can only make many tasks easier if you have the renewable and/or home-made resources to power them!

    As with many things in life, the most important aspects are: practical planning, proper prioritization and follow-thru!

    Planning and prioritization are important, but a great plan will not feed you and your family, nor will it light the lights or keep you warm (for long), so ya gotta DO IT or they ain’t worth squat!

    Stay safe…


  4. Ellen says:

    My first concern is the shut down of our banking system.
    No credit cards, no debit cards, no food stamp cards.
    What happens to our direct deposit paychecks?
    Second concern is people fleeing the big cities because
    of rioting. I live one and a half hours from Nashville,
    two hours from Knoxville and one and a half hours from
    Chattanooga. We would take a hit from all three cities.
    People fleeing in a panic with no plans except to get out
    of the big cities. No place to go and probably little or
    no cash. No food, no water and no shelter. Scary!!!
    Third concern would be a earthquake …the New Madrid faultline.
    You have to cross the Caney Fork river five times to get to
    Nashville…….you better know the back country roads.

    1. chris g. says:

      Ellen, If there were a significant enough earthquake to cause rioting and mass exodus from Nashville, would all of your 5 bridges, or even most, be intact? I’m thinking if the river is wide enough, fast moving enough….the un-bridged river would be your impediment to the unruly hoards. Obviously, it would also be an impediment to your movements…
      ..I too, am concerned about my ability to access my banked funds. In a total SHTF scenario how important would Federal paper be? In a natural disaster, I’m thinking any creditors may be sympathetic, (by nature or political force, I don’t know) until things return to “normal”
      We have no major bridges, mountains or other natural “road blocks” between our little farm and the hoards of Atlanta. But we do have good neighbors, strong fences- for livestock not vehicle resistant, and the ability to stash an unusually high amount of resources, in unassuming places!

  5. ChristyK says:

    When prepping you are best off seeing what needs you can have for every disaster. Whether there is a winter storm, a hurricane, flood, or you just lose your job, you need food, water, shelter, energy (cooking & heat for winter), medical care, defense. If you take care of these areas you should be in decent shape for most disasters whether personal, local, national, or worldwide. If your area is particularly prone for one kind of a disaster you can work a little harder for that one thing, but taking care of all of the basic needs will prepare you for most things.

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