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Warning Signs vs Warning Systems

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The recent link to Survival Mom from the Survival Cache Newsletter got me to thinking about warning signs that a widespread, long-term disaster is coming our way. My research included warning systems. Below is a very condensed version of my blog Warning Signs vs Warning Systems Would sure like to hear what other preppers think about this important topic.


1- Warning signs don't arrive with a plan of action. We have to decide what they mean and how to mesh our response with our existing survival plans. They are more general than alerts from a warning system, but give us more time to plan our response. If the Internet goes down, for example, it's not like a smoke alarm going off. Some signs will put us in a state of wait and see. Some signs will confirm our commitment to stay put. And some will bring us to the brink of bugging out. But none should catch us with our pants down saying "I did NOT see that coming!" when the disaster itself arrives.


2- Warning Systems generate alerts that are more specific and reliable than signs. But the warning comes after the disaster is detected, not before, so you and I have less time to plan our response to the information. If I hear a policeman driving through my neighborhood shouting on his megaphone, "Pack your vehicles with food, water and clothing and evacuate immediately." it's too late to bug out. Better to deal with looters and zombies with the help of like-minded preppers in my own neighborhood than to face them alone on a grid-locked freeway. Most warning systems are not networked with other warning systems. The Disaster Warning Network wants to change that by creating a network of sensors, computers and radios to detect danger, analyze its magnitude, speed and direction, and communicate geographically specific warnings to common devices such as cell phones, smart phones, laptops, televisions, radios and other devices capable of giving an audible alarm. Not sure that will help me survive a SHTF event, especially one that escalates to TEOTWAWKI


The 1938 War of the Worlds,8599,1855120,00.html broadcast by Orson Wells was before my time, but I see it as a sobering example of how most people might react to any public announcement of impending danger. It's also a lesson about how difficult it might be to verify the truth of a sign or an alert. Before you decide to stay put or bug out, you might try to answer questions like these:


Which warning systems do I have access to now?

Which warning systems will still be available after SHTF?

Which warning signs would I accept as evidence that a disaster is coming?

Which warning signs would make me decide to stay put or bug out?

Where could I survive better than right here?

What are my criteria for interpreting the word better?

What are my chances of getting my family to this other place?

Will my preparations mesh with city, state, national or global disaster plans?

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Not bad at all. Thanks for the links, Qwerty. I think I'd add 'will my preps CLASH with city, state, national or global disaster plans?'.


Living near a heavy refinery area, the call to 'LEAVE NOW' may not have staying in place as an option. Toxic releases do happen and staying put could be a fatal choice. Still I get your point. I try to tell folks that if TSHTF and you have not left before the event, you have no more than 24 hours to GOOD (get out of dodge). If you do not make it before everybody goes nuts, you are stuck for at least 2 weeks, maybe longer.


You are quite correct; planning is the answer. The whole 'Black Swan' idea is what you want to avoid. Being human, we can not avoid all of them but we had sure better try. Oh, a black swan is a foreseeable event that was not foreseen. World War 1 was a black swan; everyone should have seen how all the 'automatic' defense plans would force a war but no one had the vision to see the signs. If we have planned for the things we can foresee (economic collapse, pandemic, civil unrest, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), then when the black swan swims up our driveway we are much better prepared to survive.


Just my not so humble opinion.

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