Threat Matrix

Threat Matrix

On Jack Spirko’s podcast a couple days ago, a caller asked Jack to explain how he goes about identifying the threats that he prepares for. Jack gave his usual great answer that, one, its very individual, based on your age, health, geographic location, financial situation, etc and based on the likelihood of the event happening. The caller asked for a graphic of some sort, to help make sense of it. I have developed an Excel spreadsheet that is based on the Army’s threat risk assessment model. I took a picture of it and posted it above. I think its self explanatory if you read the key. It will take you about 5 minutes in Excel to make one of your own, change the numbers to letters or otherwise re-arrange the key to suit you and then spend as much time as you want identifying the various threats to you and yours and then, once you have that, you can begin to do those things which will build your resiliancy against as many of the threats as possible.

Happy prepping!


About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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6 Responses to Threat Matrix

  1. I’m fuzzy about the PRIORITY OF WORK section, and also how you compare the numbers one with another. Please explain.

  2. cptcaveman says:

    I looked back at the example pic and no wonder I confused you. I did it ass backward. Take 1st aid during a job loss, which is the example. It is very unlikely that loss of your job will require 1st aid. But, if you need first aid it is very important, you take care of it in the survival stage. No sense trying to rebuild if your bleeding out!

    Priority of work is a military concept that basically lays out for you, in a given situation, what are the most important things to do first. Sort of like triage for actions taken.

    So, for the above example, 1st aid would get a low probability, but a high order of work, making it moderatly important to prepare for that example.

    If you list the top 10 most likely events to happen to you and the most important 10 things you can do to prepare for each, eliminate the duplicates and then carry out those preparations, you will be over 50% prepared for ALL emergencies. This is the Commonality of Disaster Planning. The matrix is designed to help you evaluate the likelihood and severity of disasters, so you can ID your top 10 or so. You use your own criteria for likelihood and severity.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Sorry, I’ve read your instructions over and over and still can’t make much sense out of the PRIORITY OF WORK sections, or how you compare (for example) First Aid+Job Loss with Regional Natural Disater+Transportation.

    Maybe I’m just dense? But the last paragraph is helpful.

    • cptcaveman says:

      No, it’s probably my explanation! Remember, it’s a tool, one you can modify to suit your situation. My general thought in developing it was to take the threat matrix I learned in the Army and modify it for every day use. So, I look at what are the most likely events that will disrupt my life and how probable they are to occur, that is one axis. Then I look at the severity of those events and that is the other axis. In general, something that will affect only myself is a high probability event, where a major, regional or national event is a low probability. A personal event can be either high or low in severity, but, in general, the more personal it is, the less severe. You may be distraught at the loss of a job or the loss of a family member, but there are societal and familial support systems to get you through that. If it is a national depression where unemployment goes to 50%, that is much more severe even for you than a simple job loss. The color code was my way of attempting to sort those probabilities and severities by the systems they affect. A job loss isnt likely to affect my immediate first aid need…but I could lose my health insurance. So, you balance your threats, their severity and then you begin to prioritize the systems of support you need to weather those threats. Once you have ID’d your primary 5 threats and moved to strengthen your preps for them and their consequences, you will find you are 80% prepared for anything.

  4. OK making more sense now, thanks a bunch!

  5. Pingback: Getting started 101 «

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