Preparedness refers to a set of actions that are taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters. These actions can include both physical preparations (such as emergency supplies depots, adapting buildings to survive earthquakes and so on) and trainings for emergency action. Our nation's emergency managers, firefighters, local law enforcement officers, EMT/paramedics, and other emergency responders do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they can't do it alone. We must all embrace our individual responsibility to be prepared. Individuals must take seriously the responsibility of being prepared to survive for at least two weeks on their own, to create evacuation and shelter plans for themselves and their families, and to get out of harm's way when necessary. We must be engaged and educated about what we should expect from our government during emergencies as well as what the government expects from us in the form of advance preparation and responsible action. Community safety and personal preparedness is vital to the overall preparedness of the United States, and our ability to withstand and recover from natural disasters, man-made emergencies, economic downturns, and terrorist attacks.
Survival involves the knowledge and skills used in situations where modern conveniences and infrastructure don't exist or where that infrastructure has been severely damaged. Although survival skills are often thought of in the context of the techniques needed when lost or stranded in wilderness and remote areas; survival skills also apply to urban or populated locations, especially when those urban or populated locations are in hostile and non-permissive areas.
Fieldcraft can be described as the techniques used when living, traveling, or making military or scientific observations in the field, while employing stealth, camouflage, and evasion to remain undetected. Fieldcraft skills include land and water navigation, understanding the difference between concealment from view and cover from small arms' fire, using the terrain and its features to mask ground movement, obstacle crossing, selecting good shooting positions, camp sites, locations for effective observation, and counter-surveillance and SERE techniques.
Security consists of those preventive measures taken to mitigate hostile actions directed against us. One of the most serious obstacles to personal security today is an attitude of complacency or fatalism. "It can't happen to me" and "if it's going to happen there is nothing I can do about it" is dangerous thinking. Recent political events throughout the world have changed - but certainly not diminished - the threats that we face. A criminal or terrorist attack against you or your family can happen at any place and at any time, as can a natural disaster, or civil unrest that disrupts the infrastructure that surrounds us. However, you can influence what happens to you and your family by assuming personal responsibility for your own safety and security.