In prepper circles, there is a lot of focus on SHTF, which the Prepper Urban Dictionary defines as: Sh*t hits the Fan—some kind of catastrophic event (natural disaster, financial collapse, terrorist attack) has happened. (This definition comes right in front of TEOTWAWKI: The End of the World as We Know it.)
While TEOTWAEKI occurrences grab the headlines and the imagination, they are really rare. These are what we refer to as low-probability high-impact events, and they have to be prepared for because the consequences of not preparing for them is so high.
But what about events on the other end of the emergency preparation spectrum? What about the high-probability lower-impact events?
The argument is that if you have provided for the high-impact events, low-impact ones take care of themselves. But is that really true?
Providing for More Likely Events
Job loss. While having a year’s supply of food, fuel, and silver coins will be very helpful immediately following a job loss, what you are really likely to need in the long-term is a strong social network and marketable skills.
Extended illness or injury. Your SHTF provisions are valuable, but probably not as useful as having kept up your health and disability insurance payments. Or having maintained a fitness program to prevent the issue in the first place.
Extended illness or injury of a family member. At some point you will either be a caregiver or will support a caregiver. When that happens, having a good relationship with your employer or having negotiated generous time off arrangements will be more valuable than a box of ammo.
Death. This is the highest of the high-probability events (100% chance). It’s also pretty high-impact. When it happens your family will appreciate an orderly estate more than a well-stocked bug-out bag.
By all means, prepare for the SHTF events, but not at the expense of more likely—or even certain—events. Even the so-called “low-impact event” can have a big impact if you haven’t provided for it.
And besides, the highest-impact event may may be the one that actually happens.