Preparedness: Assessing local risk

This morning, I read that California’s Pacific Gas & Electric is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. From the article:

PG&E didn’t anticipate how quickly extreme wildfire risk would spread throughout its service territory, and now, that risk threatens the company’s survival…

“It’s hard to believe that anybody would have predicted that it would have been like this. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Unfortunately, this is what happens when we fail to assess risk.

This company is worth billions of dollars and didn’t act on the risk that electricity could spark wildfires under some of California’s worst drought conditions.

And it brings up a very important point for preparedness…

How closely are you following your local risks?


So much time is spent on the prospects of financial collapse or a grid-down event or some other high impact scenario, but are we following local threats and risks as closely as we should?

What about the follow-on effects of a national emergency that begins 2,000 miles away but ends at your front door?

If you want to receive my four-part email series on building situational awareness, then sign up below… But don’t miss out on some truth bombs below that.



The first truth is that if you’re preparing for a financial crisis, economic collapse, or a grid-down event, you should be preparing for the local effects of that event. The second- and third-order effects of an event are likely to have a much greater impact on your security and well-being.

And the second truth is that not only do most people not understand this, but most people don’t know how to think through these complex scenarios.

It’s not rocket science. It’s just a way of thinking that most people have never encountered or been taught how to do.

Most people haven’t taken the time to consider the threat environment, which consists of four threat types: Conventional, Irregular, Disruptive, and Catastrophic.

Most people haven’t taken the time to think through their operating environment. There are six layers.

If you know what those are and you’ve done a detailed Area Study/Assessment, then you’re far ahead of your competition.

If you’ve made it this far, you are in the 99th percentile of the preparedness community because most of your peers haven’t thought this far ahead.

And that’s problematic, because many people believe unconditionally these catastrophic events will happen, but they’re not as prepared as they should be.


If you don’t know anything about Intelligence, first know this: it has incredible utility for emergency preparedness. No other skill comes close.

In fact, all other skills should come after intelligence. And I’ll explain why in the very first email…

There are four emails and they will not appear on this blog. Email only. And I promise you — you have my 100% guarantee — that I will not spam you, offer you fluff, or barrage you with sales gimmicks.

What I’d like do to is offer you a new opportunity to think differently about true preparedness. It’s totally free and it’s totally worth your time.

Four simple emails. The knowledge I provide is my gift to you, if you’re willing to take the first step.




I’m going to teach you how to think like an intelligence analyst, and how to gather and compile the  intelligence information that will make your SHTF decision-making much, much easier.

Better information leads to better decision-making. That means you need Intelligence so you can make the best decisions.

Let’s start with the Area Study — it’s not complicated and I’ll make it even easier by giving you a step-by-step guide on how to compile the information required and where to find it.


Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper


Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.


  1. Thank you for providing this information. I’m from West Virginia and have been in the DC area for about 4 months. I can tell this place is a powder keg waiting for the fuse to light. After years in the Marine Corps and learning to pay attention to your surroundings I really have to stay alert. These articles really help me to know there is some body else with the same questions. Will I be ready and who can I trust.

  2. As always, thanks for taking the time Sam. Your website is invaluable and knowledge unsurpassed. Thanks for being such a resources to the preparedness community.

  3. This is the perfect info you can’t find anywhere else, UNLESS you work for a .gov agency. Thanks Sam for for making your knowledge available to those searching for answers

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