The 80/20 Survival Rule

My 80/20 Survival Rule is based on Pareto’s Principle.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsitystates that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

The principle was developed based on the work of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.  He noted in a thesis that 20% of the population in Italy owned 80% of the land — and conversely 80% of the Italian population owned the remaining 20% of land.

Further study of Pareto’s work revealed that 80/20 distribution appeared in many other areas of life

For instance…

Twenty percent of Americans pay 87% of the Federal Income Tax.

It has been noticed by city planners that 80% of vehicle traffic is limited to only 20% of the roads in a city.

In law enforcement: approximately 20% of the cops were responsible for 80% of the traffic tickets issued.

It Isn’t Always 80/20…

Some times the distribution is around 70/30, for instance in criminal justice, 29.5% of the US population has a criminal record — 69.5% does not.

Sometimes the distribution is 90/10…

However Pareto’s principle of 80/20 is shorthand for the idea: 80% of the results we see can be attributed to 20% of the causes.

So what is the 80/20 Survival Rule?

My 80/20 Survival Rule says that 20% of your preparations will protect you from 80% of the disasters that you are likely to face — and 80% of your preparations are needed to protect you from the 20% of disasters.

Your 80 Kit: A simple survival kit that includes a few days food, water, first aid kit, and shelter will protect you and your family from 80% of the disasters you are likely to experience.  Disasters such as: hurricane; flooding; tornadoes; wildfires; winter storms; earthquakes, etc.

Your 20 Kit: Your extensive disaster kit you would be needed to survive the other 20% of disasters you are less likely to face — the SHTF (shit hits the fan) events — like nuclear attack, EMP, severe solar storms, pandemics, etc.