S4’s SLS are based on any infrastructure stoppage resulting in the inability to obtain ordinarily available goods, materials, and services, for the average person. These levels represent a person's, family's, or group's, ability to function with entire independence from the normal social infrastructure.
Level 1 – 72 Hours. Unless you are in a hazardous environment situation, S4 considers anything less than this time period, more of an inconvenience, than a direct threat to personal survival. At the 72 Hour Mark however, lack of certain things will become problematic. Shelter - by this point expedient heating, cooling, Etc… will have to have been utilized to maintain a person’s ability to function. Water – while the average person can go considerably longer without eating, this is the limit for dehydration. Even 72 hours lack would have a pronounced effect on functional abilities.
Level 2 – 2 Weeks. This is a reasonable amount of time for an infrastructure breakdown to last regarding things like power, after a local catastrophe such as an ice storm, or tornado. This is also the time that ‘taken for granted’ type consumables will run out, even with rationing.
Level 3 – 2 Months. As events such as the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina have shown us. Regional Disasters can very well effect communications, water supply, and electricity, for months. This level is beyond the scope of the average person, for at this point, even holistic alternatives to normally readily available medications, need to be considered, prior to an event, and the storage of necessary supplies prior to an event is difficult to maintain.
Level 4 – 6 Months. Very few individuals, and even agencies, are prepared for sustained operations with no infrastructure support, for this amount of time. Unfortunately there are a number of scenarios, both natural, and man made, that could necessitate the ability to sustain one’s self for this length of time. Every facet of personal survival, including seasonal changes, must be taken into account for preparation at this level. S4 is currently working on transitioning from a Level 3 to a Level 4 point of sustainability.
Level 5 – Indefinite. Unless you are already living off the grid, in a completely self contained/sustaining environment, this is going to be very difficult to achieve. If you maintain at least a Level 3, act immediately at identifying alternative resources, and prepare as quickly as possible to be self sufficient, you have some chance.
S4’s ABC and D of Hazardous Environment Survival for the everyday person.
A – Air. 2 minutes. This is the one the you run out of the fastest, so it’s what you need to protect first. Something as simple as a smoke escape hood, may mean the difference between life and death, in escaping a fire, industrial accident, or terrorist event.
B2- Blood Loss, Body Temp. 5 minutes. Severe blood loss, and decreased temperatures will kill you with almost equal quickness. Blood clotting agent in bandages, thermal shield emergency blankets, and expedient shelter building materials, as well as fire making supplies, are always in our inventory.
C – Consumables, water comes first here, the ability to obtain, filter, and store it are essential. Energy bars are easy to pack away, and have a relatively long shelf life, as do multivitamins/mineral supplements. Thought should be given to necessary medications, or alternatives, in the event the length of sustainability increases.
D – Defense, keeping yourself, loved ones, and possessions safe and secure, after A, B2, and C.
S4’s Threat Awareness Conditions
White – For white out, or no awareness of your surrounding environment. Ideally, the only time you should be in this condition is while sleeping, and in an Increased Threat Environment, only when someone else is in condition yellow at the same time. Unfortunately, things like tunnel vision, even when in Condition Red, can cause white out. The guy with the gun across the street, may not be as much of a threat as the guy with a knife that walks up behind you, but you are so focused on the 1st , you don’t sense the 2nd .
Green – A normally safe environment, like home, school, or work. The trick here is knowing when to go to a higher condition of alert, in a normally safe environment. A knock on the door at home at 2pm may send you into Condition Yellow, but at 2am, Condition Orange. Hearing yelling at work may send you into Condition Yellow, while hearing gunshots should move you right into Condition Red.
Yellow – You do not have complete control of your environment, and the possibility of a threat exists.
Orange – Indicators suggest a specific threat exists, attempts to mitigate are now implemented.
Red – A specific threat to life has been identified, immediate avoidance or countermeasures are required.