Day 25: 2020 Pandemic. How To Do An Area Study. Understanding Threats and Assets

Bob Mayer
4 min readMay 7, 2020

5 April 2020 (imported to correct acount)

The first thing I have people do in my Survival Guide, and when I conduct Survival Workshops, is an Area Study. Why? Because everyone’s situation is different, thus generic solutions don’t necessarily apply to all. A handful, such as pandemics do. My wife’s mother just asked her on the phone how come we have masks-my wife told her I’ve got all sorts of stuff ‘downstairs’. She has no clue the half of it. But I’d done a blog post on the Inevitable Pandemic around the time I published the first version of my survival guide about eight years ago.

Anywho. An Area Study is examining your environment with the perspective of evaluating assets and threats so you can properly prepare. An Area Study will allow you to tighten down your preparation and focus on things in order of priority. It’s not just the environment but also includes yourself and your team.

In Special Forces, prior to deploying to an Area of Operations, we conducted an Area Study of that location. You must conduct an Area Study of your Area of Operations (AO). This means studying your home, your work, school, and any other locales where you and people on your A-Team spend a significant amount of time. When taking a trip, you should conduct a travel area study, examining the route you will take, your destination, and your route back.

There are so many cases where a thoughtful Area Study followed up by the appropriate preparations would have saved lives. Preparation is so much better than reacting. Which is what we’re doing now.

Think about it. You live in a tsunami zone. Have you actually driven your evacuation route? How long does it take? Have you figured out the quickest escape route on foot, when an accident caused by terrified people blocks the road or everyone in your neighborhood flees at the same time on the same route creating a traffic jam? You work on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Do you ever look around and ask yourself: how do I get out of here if the normal means of egress are blocked? While schools run active shooter drills, what about the work place?

Some of the core questions to start with: How close are you to the nearest military base? Nearest…

Bob Mayer

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to