What are you preparing for?

Specifically, I am preparing my family and home for the following scenarios. Some are much more likely to happen than others.

1. Earthquake, volcanic eruption, severe winter storm, environmental meltdown
We live on a (currently inactive) fault line. We live near an overdue volcano. We lose electricity 1/2 dozen times each winter. The longest outage recently was 11 days in late December / early January. It was darn cold. But “environmental meltdown”? Isn’t that a bit dramatic? Watch this recent series from ABC and decide for yourself: Earth 2100: Civilization at Crossroads. Additional videos and more thoughtful commentary are here.

2. Terrorist attack (nuclear, biological, chemical)
Before 9/11 happened I would have given this a 1% chance of happening. But given that my day job revolves around importing Fair Trade products from Pakistan, a known terrorist-harboring country that is not remotely stable, my gut tells me the percentage likelihood of something else bad (bad like on the 9/11 scale of bad) happening during my lifetime is quite high. Especially since I live near a heavily trafficked West Coast port in the US.

3. Economic meltdown
Whether it is the Peak Oil theory (yes, I know there are lots of folks who think this is nonsense) or a US financial system meltdown (hey, that just happened!), this could lead to limited transportation + limited cash + looting. Lots of other folks go into the details of who, how, and why. It’s worth researching for yourself.

4. Home invasion (short-term burglary)
This is more than just a casual concern. While we live in a very safe town and neighborhood, once I had children my protective instincts and radar for this went *way* up. If you walk down the fairly logical path of any of the above scenarios, whoever *is* prepared (e.g. you have water and food for your family and neighbors) is likely going to become a target, particularly from those outside your neighbors and community.