Coping: A Pop Quiz for Preppers

Although UrbanSurvival has been in the prepping space since 1997 when economics and being ready for “What’s the WORST that could happen?” we do admit taking a few years to rest on our laurels.self assessment test banner

With good reason, I might add: Once you make a decision to prep and actually do it, most of your preps will last a good long while – years even.

Still, I occasionally challenge myself (and this morning’s you’ve been nominated, too) with a Personal Pop Prepping Quiz.

There are no “right” or “wrong” answers to a lot of this. It really comes down in many cases to your personal appetite for risk – which is why prepping and economics get along so well in the same head-space: Both of really about Risk and there is a huge slice of “Futuring” involved in it, as well.

So role up your French Toast and pour some more bean…we begin now:

This Month’s Test Situation

This morning at 10:46, local time, a massive earthquake devastates your city. No small quake, this is a mother-giant. It is an 8.3 and the epicenter is 20 miles outside of your city! Instantly, power goes out. While your office is rocking and rolling, you remember to stand in a doorway. But three of your co-workers are injured by falling debris.

This is where you are and this is where you test your prepping from. Answer the following questions honestly. Don’t read the quiz and then prep. Pretend you are playing (as in golf) from where you normally tee-off during the work-week.

Questions on Preparedness

1. Since you have injured co-workers, do you know where the First Aid cabinet is at your workplace? Really? Do you know what’s in it?

2. In an effort to help your co-workers, you begin to apply first aid. Do you have any current First Aid training such as a CPR card or any real no BSfirst responder training?

3. If you do have basic training, do you know what an ABC Assessment in and how to perform it?

4. The co-workers are now stabilized. What is your next course of action?

5. You decide based on the serious nature of the event that everyone in your family will gather at a pre-determined rallying point. Where is that point?

6. You have a 2-meter ham radio set up in your car. Your spouse carries a 2-meter portable every day and the equipment is maintained and charged regularly. What frequency do you meet up on?

7. On your way to the car, you notice many power lines are down. How do you get to your car?

8. Once at your car, you open the trunk to review your onhand supplies. Is there a first aid kit? Is there water and if so, how much? Are there any calories handy because there won’t be any fast food joints working for several days?

9. You live 16 miles from home. As you attempt to get on the freeway, you see traffic is a parking lot. What should you do?

10. You have a cell phone, but cannot get a call out. How long is your comms window for cell providers in your area?

11. Do your neighbors know you are a prepper and do they also have rally points for their families?

12. Using back roads, you make it home. The house is OK, but there is some minor damage. What might you do to assess the safety of your home?

13. You find that your two 55-gallon drums of water you had planned for just such an occasion have been breached by falling debris and the water has all leaked out. What is your backup plan?

14. You have some freeze dried meals – and they seem to have gotten through the earthquake in good shape. But they require hot water. What is your source?

15. Damn. The barbeque that you ordered with a side-burner with just this problem in mind is out of gas…you used the last of it just two nights ago and you were going to refill both 20 pound tanks this weekend. What is your back-up plan?

16. You and your spouse, and kids, are working as a precision team, each doing rehearsed pre-assigned tasks. As nightfall approaches, what is your plan for the night?

17. Where are the AA batteries for your emergency radio? How many of them do you have and is there a radio-use plan?

18. You have relatives out of town. How do you get a health and welfare message to them, to tell them your family is OK?

19. You have a medical condition which is treated with pills. Do you have a back-up supply of your meds? Have you discussed “cold turkey” options in event of an emergency?

20. How many months of meds do you have on hand?

21. How many flashlights do you have? Are they all LED? How many sets of batteries do you have?

22. Do you have night vision gear? How will you use it?

23. Do you own a gun? If so, how will it be used and under what conditions?

24. Do you or your neighbors have a set of handcuffs or some long tie-wraps that could be used to detain anyone who crosses your path, or the path of your neighborhood self defense unit?

25. How much toilet paper do you have?

26. How much barter goods do you have if needed?

Answers and Scoring

First, there is not a hard and fast way to score this. Second, I can only give you my own answers and what would happen around here. Your results will be different.

1. We know where all the first aid supplies at the ranch are.

2. Don’t have a current cert, but have been through a lot of past training. I really could help.

3. ABC = Airway, breathing, Circulation If you are three for three, they live. At least for a while.

4. Fire up 2-meter ham radio that was kept at the office and begin listening to emergency networks to help scale your expectations of damage in the region.

5. Here at the ranch that’s the main house.

6. Elaine would likely show up on the local repeater with a handheld unit from the car.

7. Walk far, far around them. If raining, it’s even more dangerous. You don’t know where the power stops, so I’d give it 150 feet. Less with dry rubber boots on.

8. Car has first aid kit, 12 bottles of water, no MREs. My bad…got lazy.

9. We have four or five ways to get home thanks to back roads and no freeways.

10. Most places cell phones are good for 48 hours. After that, it gets dicey.

11. Out here we all have rally plans and we “got each other’s backs.”

12. House would have its major systems checked: Back up power, disconnect mains power, check for water pressure and finding none, go to backup water.

13. Drain the water heaters in the house and Panama’s apartment, recover fresh water from three toilet reservoir tanks.

14. 40 pound propane barbeque with side burner and always one space full tank (20 pound)

15. We have an EcoStove (rocket stove) as a backup that runs fine on pine cones which have billions of. Scrap wood from the shop, using care not to burn treated wood.

16. Set a watch schedule for the adults – 4 hour shifts. Shift positions constantly during shift to reduce blind approaches.

17. Batteries have two locations: One cache in house kitchen (30 AA and 20 AAA) while my office has 20+ or all sizes.

18. Because our relatives are in Seattle, my son (KF7OCD) and I will meet up on 14.300 (maritime services net) and move down to the uncrowded extra class portion of band to move traffic. Also have a few GMRS radios for neighbors when time comes. Adding: A good scanner that will cover LEOs, GMRS, EMT’s, and Ham plus NOAA frequencies. In addition to Kenwood TH-6F.

19. Ham radio or very short text msg. We have independent sat comms so unless the shop falls over, we will be solid with Skype and other services. We maintain some Skype to landline credits for just such occasions.

20. Have a cold turkey plan for the my one BP med. Phase down over one week, twice daily baby aspirin. 1000 doses on hand.

21. Six good flashlights, all LED. Multiple sets for each.

22. Yes, good night vision with tactical head mount and illuminator. 12 of the odd sized batteries.

23. Are you kidding? Understand that no unknowns are allowed on the property in event of civil failure. Be really, really clear on that.

24. Yes to lots of local manpower and tie-wraps.

25. 60 days of TP (note to build inventory)

26. Small amount or basics grains and such only. I do need to build a barter inventory. But we can trade comms skills as well, so not too worried. A few 22 LR’s perhaps say some, but I have always looked at that as bartering tools that could be used to kill you and take everything else.

Interesting little pop quiz, ain’t it? Take it yourself and feel free to share what you find.

I’m light on diesel fuel, MREs in car, reminder to Sargeant Elaine that in case of troubles how to get elevation to hit the local repeater…may move my portable satcoms and VHF yagi antenna to the trunk…hmmmm.

More TP and some low-clay storage paper, too. Big industrial rolls. Ugly, but easier than rags and Clorox rinsing…

Worthwhile exercise, I thought…hope you did too.