Prepping Intensive: Module 6

Drill Week!

Some other materials

Weekly Challenge

Are you ready to test your preps?

This week, we have a variety of drills for you to try! You can go all out for the Ultimate Drill or if time or weather doesn’t permit this, you can practice some of the other drills. Bonus cookie points to anyone who does ALL of the drills! 🙂

#1 The Ultimate Drill

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to go for at least 24 hours without the grid. This means no electrical power, no central climate control, and no running water!  Some people will go hardcore and turn off the main water valve and flip all of the breakers. Others will just opt not to use those items.

  • During your 24 hours off-grid, you’ll eat three meals, go to the bathroom, keep your family clean and at a comfortable temperature, and entertain yourselves. This a tall order in some locations!
  • Plan ahead of time how you’ll overcome the challenges – you can learn a lot this way.
  • But the real learning experience will come from the challenges you didn’t expect and plan for. This is how you will fill the holes that exist in your preps. It is far better to discover those gaps now, when back-up is as close as the breaker box in your basement, than it is to discover it when disaster strikes.
  • Give every family member a notebook so they can jot down what works and what doesn’t.  Once your Grid-Down drill is over, compare notes.  You may be surprised at the observations your children have made.
  • Make a shopping list based on the notes and fill those gaps!

#2 No Running Water Drill

If the total grid-down drill is not for you, try a no-running-water drill. Turn off the main to the house and go for 12-24 hours without water coming from the faucets.

You’ll need to be able to keep hydrated, cook, maintain hygiene, water your pets and livestock, and deal with human waste. Be sure to take notes! Let us know if you were surprised about how much water you used!

#3 Tornado Drill

Do you live in an area where tornadoes are a threat? Sometimes we don’t get much warning when a twister is headed our way.  Over the course of the week, use a stopwatch and call a tornado drill for your family.

  • Before the drill, make sure every family member knows where to go and a meeting place.
  • If you have a designated shelter, now would be a good time to make sure it’s equipped with supplies and gear to see your family through at least several hours.
  • How quickly can everyone get to shelter?
  • Can you improve on this time?
  • Are there changes that you need to make to your shelter plan?
  • Now spend time talking about where to go when family members are away from home:
    • At a friend’s house
    • At school
    • At a park or some other outdoor location
    • Shopping or on errands
    • In a vehicle

#4 Fast Evac Drill

Sometimes we have very little time to get out of Dodge, as people during a fire in California learned last year when a wildfire got out of control after hitting the fuel takes at the edge of town. Practice a rapid evacuation.

  • Have your emergency/bug out bags stashed in a location near an exit to the house.
  • Your vehicle should be equipped with an emergency kit as well.
  • If you have pets, include them in the drill. Will they need to be crated? Who will be responsible for loading them up and where in the vehicle should they go?
  • How quickly did you get out of the house?
  • Did you forget anything essential?

Make some changes based on what you learned. For example, Daisy’s family learned to display some sentimental photos and photos albums near a decorative container so that all of the items could quickly be put in the container and carried out. Share the changes you’ve made to your evacuation plan based on this.

#5 House Fire Drill

This is similar to the evacuation drill but slightly different. In a house fire, it is essential that family members have a place to meet so that you know everyone has made it out of the house. Time is of the essence in this drill because house fires can erupt quickly and spread dramatically.

  • With the entire family together, go from room to room and discuss how to exit each room. Each room will likely have a window, but will that window need to be broken first, and with what? Does everyone in the family know how to open the window? Is the window too high for some family members? What can they stand on in order to make a safe exit? Everyone should know how to quickly exit every room in the house.
  • In the case of a closed door, everyone should know to touch the doorknob and what to do if it’s hot to the touch. (Don’t open the door. Escape through a window.)
  • Everyone should know to do a low crawl on the floor to the closest outside exit and to have something to cover their nose and mouth — a face mask, if possible.
  • If someone in the family will need assistance, decide now who will help that person and how.
  • Pets present a challenge, but kids should know they must first get out of the house and get to the meeting place.
  • Establish a meeting place.
  • How fast did everyone get out?
  • Did the kids get to the established meeting place quickly and efficiently?
  • Do you have ways for people in upper floors or basements to get out safely or would they potentially be trapped?
  • Try the drill a second time in a few days but this time, throw a curve ball or two. Yell, “The windows are stuck! You can’t get them open!” or “Mom’s sick in bed. What are you going to do?”

#6 Medical emergency drill

In this drill, everyone in the family should know some basic first aid, CPR, and how to call 911 and provide information to the operator.

  • In this drill, an adult family member will be unconscious.
  • If anyone has had first aid training, they should check for a pulse and for breathing.
  • One family member should dial 911 and give facts about the emergency and the home address.
  • Another family member should round up any pets and put them in another room or outdoors, so they don’t interfere when the emergency responders arrive.
  • If you have a preferred hospital, everyone in the family should know this.
  • If the incident occurs at night, one family member should be assigned to turn on outside and interior lights and go outside with a flashlight to signal emergency responders.
  • Once the drill begins, each person should know what their job is and they should do it promptly.
  • After the drill, were there any problems? Did anyone panic? Was there anything that was overlooked?
  • If you’d like to try this same drill with a twist, the medical emergency should feature a major injury, requiring initial first aid performed by family members.

 Testing…1,2,3…

Weekly To Do List

This week, the to-do list is short because the challenge is so involved.

No-Cost Preps

  1. Set up supplies for emergency handwashing. You can use an old-fashioned pitcher and basin, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, or a combination of methods. While I don’t normally recommend antibacterial soap, during an emergency, it’s a different ballgame and can help prevent illness from poor sanitation.
  2. See what’s on Netflix and enjoy a disaster movie marathon with the family. Use it as a launch point for discussing what you’d do in the same situation, and maybe even getting them more on board with prepping.
  3. Download for free one of the best nuclear war survival manuals ever written, Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback here.
  4. Check the window height in each room of the house. Could you climb out to safety in the case of a home invasion, house fire, or some other emergency? Make sure each room has a sturdy chair or small step stool for this purpose and that everyone knows where to find them.
  5. Make a list of your preferred hospitals in case of an emergency and add that to your Grab-n-Go binder. Everyone in the family should know which hospital to request if an ambulance is ever called.

Low-Cost Preps

  1. Read some prepper fiction.  When you’re relaxing poolside, sometimes reading fiction can give you some new inspiration. Some favorite books are One Second After (a classic about life after an EMP strike), Day of Wrath (about a coordinated terrorist attack on American soil), and Going Home (about a man on a business trip far from home when the lights go out for good.)
  2. Potassium iodide tablets are inexpensive and one nuclear-event prep that only takes a moment to purchase and then stash somewhere safe.
  3. Stock up on some disposable cleaning items to make life easier during a short-term water emergency:

    Paper towels

    Paper napkins

    Disinfecting wipes (like Lysol wipes)

    Hand sanitizer

  4. Stock each bedside table in the house with a few basic necessities for emergencies. Think of what you might want each person to grab in case of an urgent evacuation.

LED flashlight or headlamp

For young kids, a lightstick on a lanyard. Teach them how to activate the light and then wear it around their necks.

Face mask like this one to protect from smoke

Extra pair of eyeglasses

Small bag with some cash and maybe a credit card

An extra car key

Cell phone (get in the habit of keeping it on your bedside table)

Investment Preps

  1. A lightweight bucket of freeze-dried meals that you can store near your home’s exit — grab it and go!
  2. Go beyond the basic first aid kit and add a deluxe medical kit to your preps. This one is suitable for first responders or this one that comes in a backpack. Even if there are tools and supplies in these kits that you don’t know how to use, you’ll have them for a medical professional who may be able to help but is without their own medical kit.

Shopping List

Antibacterial soap (Be sure to check the dollar store, too)

Hand sanitizer (This is a jumbo refill size jug of it)

Disposable cleaning supplies like paper towels, Lysol wipes, etc.

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Aguirre

Multi-use escape ladder

4 pack of fire extinguishers

Day of Wrath by William Forstchen

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