Remember in "What about Bob?" when Bill Murray's troubled character took an unprecedented cross country trip using the "Baby Step" method? Preparedness always comes in baby steps. Slowly building, adjusting, adding, modifying, until one day we find ourselves ready (more or less.) Each essential item and process needs to have multiple resources, especially in an emergency. PACE is an acronym that addresses the need to prepare in layers. Each need (shelter, heat, food, water, light, communication, transportation, etc.) should have several back up plans.
PACE stands for:
Example 1: An everyday situation where we use the PACE method is calling a friend or family member at work. Primary - Call the cell phone. (No answer.) Alternate - Text a message. (No reply.) Contingency - Call their desk at work. (Call goes to voice mail.) Emergency - Call the company receptionist... or the police. (I guess it depends how big the emergency is, right?)
Example 2: Cutting a string from your shirt hem. Primary - Get scissors and cut it. (Scissors aren't there.) Alternate - Use nail trimmers. (They aren't in the medicine cabinet.) Contingency - Use a kitchen knife. (The knife isn't sharp enough to cut it.) Emergency - Chew the string off with your teeth.
Example 3: Power goes out at 3:00 am, and you need to get down two flights of stairs in the dark. Primary - Grab the flashlight you keep in your nightstand, right? (Your kids "borrowed" the batteries, ugh!) Alternate - You keep a pen light in your purse. (You left your purse on the kitchen table.) Contingency - You light the candle from the hall table. (There are no matches.) Emergency - Your cell phone, which was at your bedside, casts enough light to get to another flashlight.
See? Easy! When making a plan, purchasing gear and supplies, and storing items. Keep the PACE principle in mind.