The importance of prioritizing for SHTF scenarios – Forward Observer Shop

The importance of prioritizing for SHTF scenarios

This morning I recorded a quick podcast episode of the Five Big Ideas of Preparedness.

One of my Big Ideas for Preparedness is Prioritizing Needs. We’re pulled in so many directions.

There are tactical, medical, communications, intelligence, survival/bushcraft and lots of other skills…

But there’s not enough time in the day to learn them all.

And we’re also being pulled into the belief that buying stuff will improve our level of preparedness. But just buying things doesn’t inherently make you more prepared. It just means you’re accumulating more stuff.

One of the best things we can do when it comes to preparing for an emergency, or addressing our local intelligence needs, is to prioritize our actual needs.

Here’s how I approach that:

  • Identify the mission. What are my goals? What am I trying to accomplish?
  • Identify the skills required to complete the mission. (Mission-Essential Task List)
  • Identify the gear required to complete the mission.
  • Prioritize your needs. Focus on the greatest need or largest impact first.
  • Execute.


Following this method of prioritizing prevents me from needlessly accumulating more stuff.

Prioritizing also helps me to outline and focus on developing the skills I’ll actually need for the mission, not just the skills I want to develop. (Imperative for 2019: Get my ham radio license. Also an imperative for 2019: drastically improve my Spanish because of my local demographics.)

Writing down your goals will increase the odds that you achieve them, and prioritizing your activities makes them more likely to be accomplished. We should absolutely be doing the same for our preparedness goals.


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 Comment

  1. The most dangerous course of action and the most likely course of action should be considered when looking at mitigating the potential Casandra effect of a threat.

    The problem is people don’t look at capability and capacity of a known threat so much as their perception of a threat.

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