[catlist name="Articles - Week 6"]
Some other materials
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.
Weekly To Do List
- 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.
- Download the Hesperian Sanitation Guide – consider printing it out.
- 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.
- Subscribe so that you get emails from all of your local stores. Most stores don’t send out flyers each week anymore but you can get the same information right to your inbox in most cases. This will help you plan your shopping trips efficiently.
- Pick up some inexpensive risers for your beds. Why is this in the Sustenance category, you ask? Because you have now cleared a lot of new space for food preps! (These will lift your bed up to 8 inches. If you can, order a set for each bed in the house.)
- Buy a digital thermometer for your refrigerator. In the event of a power outage, this can help you to determine whether or not your food is still safe for consumption.
- Identify any simple health issues do your family members deal with that do not require a doctor’s supervision. Jot those down and then find at least 1 home remedy for each. Add the home remedies to your SPI binder.
- Build a simple Faraday cage to hold various electronics. You’ll find complete instructions in this article as well as in Dr. Arthur T. Bradley’s book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms.
- Download this Army First Aid manual. Print it out if you can. Alternatively, you can purchase it on Amazon for less than $15.
- How will you stay warm if the power goes out in the winter? If you don’t have a built-in off grid heat system like a fireplace or woodstove, now is the time to choose a secondary system. Look into propane or kerosene heaters that are safe to be used indoors. Purchase a supply of additional fuel and a battery operated CO monitor.
- If you live in tornado country, stash some emergency supplies in your storm shelter. Flashlights, first aid supplies, food, water, and sanitation supplies are essential.
- Put together some lights out kits for the main rooms of your house. Each kit should include a light source and a fuel source. Storing them together is a great idea so that you won’t have to go searching for a lighter or more kerosene in the dark. You can make these part of your decor by making a pretty display of an old fashioned kerosene lamp and a decorative box with matches.
- For the next five weeks, set aside at least $10 per week and add it to a small compartment in your bug out bag. Your stash of cash should contain small bills, all $1 and $5.
- If you have children or grandchildren, do they know how to call 911 and what to say? This week, stage a drill in which you, the adult, are too sick or injured to get out of bed. Prior to the drill, rehearse how to dial 911 (for young children), and then what to say to the operator. In preparation for the arrival of emergency responders, children should know to put all pets in a back bedroom, outside in a fenced yard, or in their kennels. A night time emergency requires them to turn on both outside and inside lights, making it easier for the responders to find your home.
- Are you prepared for the potential of a fire? In an emergency situation, the fire department may not be able to respond. Stock up on fire extinguishers and have an escape plan to get everyone safely out of the house if necessary.
- Make sure you have something to do if the power is out. Stock up on off-grid entertainment: arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals.
- Consider getting an inexpensive kiddy pool. During a summer power outage, it can provide some respite from the heat for both children and grown-ups.
- Got coffee and a way to make it? If you are someone who enjoys (or needs desperately) a morning cup of coffee, invest in an emergency supply of coffee, shelf stable creamer, and an off-grid way to make it. (A coffee press is probably the easiest method.)
FerFAL arrived on the prepper/survival scene with stories of his experiences and observations through the years of Argentina’s economic collapses. In Surviving the Economic Collapse, Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL) covers urban survival in depth and realistically. He says, “The world will not end. It will just get a bit more…complicated.”
The winner of this book will enjoy an interesting read with plenty of practical action steps. Don’t miss this next Sunday Night Check-In to find out the name of the winner!
- Coffee Press (This one is less than $15)
- 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.
- Bed risers
- The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Aguirre
- Multi-use escape ladder
- 4 pack of fire extinguishers