Testing Your Plan

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Editors Note: A guest contribution from COSurvivalist to The Prepper Journal.

You have built all of these wonderful plans for survival, you have bought or built all of the things you think you need, you have talked it over with your family/friends; but have you ever tested it in full show?

I mean have you turned out the power to your home for more than a couple of hours?

Have you lived through your plans, have you worked through the food in your fridge, then your freezer, then your saved dry goods?

Did you find that can of something (label missing) that was hidden in the depths of your cabinet that you couldn’t ever reach, and did you eat whatever was inside?

Have you worked to keep your house at a reasonable temp (winter or summer) without the comforts of heating and air conditioning?

Did you try to live off the amount of fluids that are currently available in bottles/cans or the water in your home’s pipes?

Now let’s build the scenario –

Events like power outages, wind storms (trees, branches, and power lines down), snow / Ice storms, flooding/tsunamis, earthquakes, or volcanic eruption are real possibilities in or around my location. There are also some of the other more remote possibilities such as solar flares, terrorist attacks, civil unrest, or invasion from a foreign country that could occur.

With little to no notice to your family, twice a year, come home on a random day and turn off the power to everything at the breakers, turn off the water at the main. For the next three days (or more if you can) live with what is currently in your house.

Heat or cool your house with what you have available on hand, or naturally. Use up some of that old wood/pellets/fuel, close the curtains, or open the windows at night and close them during the day for natural cooling. What temp in the house can you become comfortable with? Do you have the appropriate items for keeping everyone (including pets) warm or cool? Do you have spray bottles with water to use for cooling?

Use your food stores, like you said you should be doing, this test will force you to cycle through them. It will force you to use the perishable items, followed by your freezer items, then on to your canned goods. This will also help to practice your alternate forms of cooking, and use those kitchen items (cast iron/steel utensils) that you haven’t used in a year. This will force your family to evaluate if they want to eat because they are hungry or because they are bored. It will reduce or eliminate your use of the convenience foods and convenience cooking habits.

How bad do you want that morning caffeine? Is it worth waking up early to start a heat source to boil water, to brew your caffeine? How will you warm up that water in the first place?

How long can you go without your electronics/internet? Just how dependent have you become to those. No microwave, coffee pot, stove, fridge, blow dryer, room lights, TV, internet, computers, radio, fans, garage door opener.

Your home probably has a water store between 40-80 gallons. How far will that go in using it for cooking, cleaning, sanitation use? Don’t forget, it’s going to be cold water.

From a home defense perspective, your ADT monitoring is turned off (if you have it). What else can be done to ensure that your family/household remains safe and intact while your power is out?

Remember you turned things off, you can turn them back on at any point in time this time, but what about next time??

Lessons learned –

What items in your emergency planning equipment can you kick into gear and use, and what items were worthless in this scenario?

What did you do to keep yourself or family entertained?

What did you run out of because you didn’t have enough?

What other items did you wish you had before trying this?

What items will you be acquiring since completing this?

How has this changed your daily habits or item use?

Don’t forget you need to restock whatever you used from your stores, along with the plus side of lower energy/water consumption this month.

Good luck and have fun with this, remember this is only a test, you can turn the power and water back on whenever you are ready. This will really help you think about what will happen in the event of a disaster.

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1 Comment on "Testing Your Plan"

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Ken Skala
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I think that tests like these can reveal not just areas where we need to be better prepared in, but also what areas we need to be more self reliant to begin with. While it’s not always practical for everyone it’s a lot easier to not have to worry about losing power when you already generate your own from a solar array. Having a well means not worrying about losing water or having it contaminated on a ground level. While there are always things that can go wrong it’s usually easier to deal with knowing you have complete control over… Read more »