Planning is important, but rehearsal is when you will test your plan and identify flaws. Rehearsal is simply pretending you are in a survival situation and acting accordingly. Here are some survival examples to try:

  • Try living for a weekend without electricity. You can do this the real way by shutting of the breaker (to prevent cheating) or the easy way by just “pretending.” If you do the latter, you should fine each other for violating the rules. The exercise will teach you that boiling water over a camp stove or a fire in the back yard just to make you’re morning coffee can really wreck your normal morning routine. But hopefully the experience will also help you identify missing supplies, find out what works and what does not, and develop a new, stronger plan.
  • Try to evacuate your family to another location (anywhere from a friend or relatives to a motel 100 miles away). Give yourselves 20 minutes to pack. Once you’ve reached your destination make a list of everything you forgot and then add it to your bug out bag. Once you’ve settled in at your destination, take a minute to think how you would feel if everything you left behind was destroyed by a fire or if everything below the second floor was damaged or destroyed by a flood. Revise your storage and survival plans accordingly.
  • Go for a drive one Saturday in the fall. Pull over in a remote area (if it’s safe) and spend the night there with only the supplies on hand in your car.
  • Try eating only your survival foods for a weekend or even a week. This is a good one if you’re ready to rotate out some of your food. It also has the added benefit of letting you identify any dishes you can’t stand or to realize you need to add some spices and a cook book to your stash.
  • When Captain Dave was growing up, they tested the air raid siren the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m.  So declare an emergency one Thursday morning at 11 a.m. and see how your plan works.  See how quickly you and your spouse can get home, pull the kids out of school and shelter in your basement.  Then calculate how much longer it would take in a true emergency.

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