A new way of looking at preparedness

I would like to present another way of looking at preparedness. On could use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a basis for preparedness. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”.


According to this theory we have different needs with each need forming the basis for the other needs. The lowest level of needs that must be met are the physiological needs. Without these needs being met the needs above become less relevant. When we think of preparedness we tend to think only of the physiological needs of food, water, shelter. However, preparedness can equally apply to Esteem or any other level. What is required is an understanding of your needs and the hierarchy of those needs. One way to view this is to think about each level and where you stand on the needs of each level. This is your baseline. Next take the time to determine where you would like to be with each need in one year and in five years. This provides you ideal state. The difference between your current state and your ideal state is the gap that you will have to prepare to meet. That is the first level of preparedness. So you create plans to address these gaps. Hopefully, you will also ACT upon these plans. Now comes the next level of preparedness. This is based on RISK. Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a certain outcome. A risk can result in a negative outcome or a positive outcome. We normally tend to think of risks in terms of negative outcomes only. The key to risk is that it has a probability of happening. It is not a certainty. So you have your plans to reach your desired state or maintain your current ideal state. So the next phase of preparedness is to identify things that can impact your desired or current state. Once you have identified the risks you have to assign some type of probability of that risk happening. After that you have to quantify the impact if that risk occurs. With the hierarchy, probability, and impact you now have a way of prioritizing risk on a level of importance. With the positive risks you will work to take actions to increase their probability of happening. With the negative risks your will to reduce the risk and/or mitigate the impact of the risk.

If you take some time to really think about what I have laid out. You will see that it provide a practical framework for you to get started in preparedness. Now it is not perfect because probability, impact, and ones understanding of reaching a desired state can be both subjective and subject to error. But that is the reason for a one year and five year view. You will refresh your view yearly or when major events in your live occur. As you go through this process at least once a year you will begin taking control of your life. When this occurs true preparedness will just become a lifestyle for you. It will also be a preparedness that is tailored to your wants, needs, etc.


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