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  • Mike L

Key Terms

Updated: Jan 5

Hazard Analysis

Identifying the events most likely to occur in your area. Hazards can be natural or man-made. Severe weather in the form of a hurricane or tornado are natural hazards while train derailments and car-jackings are examples of man-made hazards.

Next, you need to know the likelihood of a hazard occurring in your area. Of course, anything is possible but, is it probable? Florida isn’t a known earthquake hotspot, but hurricanes, thunderstorms and floods top the list of events to be prepared for. Everything you need to know about the Great Texas Freeze in February of 2021 should be in the name of the event. Hot and sunny southern states are no longer immune to catastrophic winter storms.

Needs Analysis

Identifying everything you need daily for your life. Food, water and shelter come to mind but think in terms of the quantity of food, medications and so on. Cash in small denominations, canes, walkers, eyeglasses, comfort items, service animals, electricity, flushing toilets, the whole nine.

FEMA Preparedness Cycle

FEMA views emergency management as an interconnected, four-phase process:

Preparedness: getting ready; making plans and acquiring equipment, tools, and resources.

Response: putting the plan into action; delivering food and helping those in distress and providing other resources to those in need.

Recovery: taking steps to repair/rebuild communities.

Mitigation: taking steps to strengthen at-risk communities through new laws and best

practices. Levees, storm water basins and storm shelters are all forms of mitigation activities.

SHTF: Prepper-speak for Shit Hits the Fan.

Bags: Go Bag/Bug Out Bag/ INCH Bag

A bag you always keep ready in case of an emergency or disaster. Food, water, medication, important documents, flashlights, batteries & phone/laptop chargers, clothes are all examples of the contents of go bags. Go Bags are also known as Bug Out Bags. INCH, I'm Never Coming Home is another name for go bags.

Bug Out

Bug Out and Bugging Out refer to to quickly leaving your home or the immediate area for a more remote or, secure location.

Black Swan Event

Black Swan events are events that are highly improbable yet have far reaching consequences. Black swan events are generally viewed as being predictable. For example, the 2008 financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic are considered black swan events.


The End of The World as We Know It. This term is used to describe an event that irreparably changes life as we know it and fundamentally destroys a society or country. Wars, acts of terrorism, man-made and natural disasters all have this potential.

Gray Man

Gray Man describes a person who blends into his surroundings and doesn't stand out from those around him. In the gray man mythos, he's well prepared to handle an emergency.

Long-Term Pantry/ LTP

This is the pantry you're stocking to get you through a long-term crisis. You can also use your LTP to resupply your short-term pantry. Your STP is used to resupply the working pantry in your kitchen. Typically, STPs contain the household appliances, assorted gadgets and the foods that you eat daily and those with a shelf life of six months to a year, such as mayonnaise; potato chips; cookies and crackers; nuts; cooking oils and so on.

Activities of Daily Living/ ADL

The activities of daily living are all related to personal care and include bathing or showering; dressing; eating; using the bathroom; getting in/out of bed or a chair. Aside from the elderly, those with sensory, physical and cognitive impairments may need assistance with ADL. The activities of daily living requires the use of fine motor skills as well as cognitive skills. For example, getting a glass of water requires the ability to retrieve the glass from the cabinet as well as filling it with water. Filling the glass without overflowing or dropping it, then handing it to another is an activity many lose the ability to perform. Again, it's common for some elderly people to hide their diminished capacity in this regard.

Scene Size-up

In the world of EMS, emergency medical services, EMTs and Paramedics perform a quick scene size up. Before or as they're exiting the ambulance, they're looking for obvious threats and identifying the number of patients and resources needed. I'm adapting the phrase for the purposes of prepping to mean you're making a quick assessment of your situation in a particular location.

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