Prepping is one of those activities that takes time, resources, and a discipline that most people can even begin to approach. While some people find it hard to afford everything they need in order to be adequately prepared, the United States Army teaches that there will never be an ideal situation. When shit hits the fan, it doesn’t matter if you have a years worth of food if you don’t know how to react in the initial phases.
The military breaks down an operation into a crawl, walk, and run, which is the perfect way to help train for a disaster. Each week, we will outline a unique disaster situation and you can use the post as a jumping off point to test your plan. These posts will not tell you what you should do, but rather what kind of situation you are in. If you want to bug out or hunker down, it is completely up to you. If you want to be the best prepared, train like you fight, and do not cut corners.
Your eyelids flutter open in the early morning and you throw the covers back. You’re always up for work well before daybreak, so you must be late. You think your alarm clock, but the display is black. Must have been unplugged, but you don’t have time to find the cord. Your phone sits blank on top of your nightside, but even though it is plugged in, it will not turn on either. After running through the house you realize that nothing works. No light, no computer, nothing. If it requires electricity it is dead. Without a way to figure out what is going on, you have a choice. Is this something normal or something serious?
To start off this exercise, you will not be able to use any sort of electronic device unless a faraday cage protected it. Though you wouldn’t know at the time, a tactical EMP wiped out your country’s grid. Aside from the complete breakdown of the electrical infrastructure, there is no way to know what else is occurring. This is used to test your initiative at implementing whatever plan you have. Would this alone be enough to ignite your disaster plans? Assume that you have made your choice and the next part of the scenario takes place 48 hours later.
In the dark hours of early morning, you stay awake. Without any power, candle lends an ambient glow to your room, and though you should be resting, you can’t. For the first time in a few days, you hear the distant rumble of engines. You peek outside, but there are no headlights on the road. The droning becomes louder, then, from somewhere unseen, you hear the detonations of explosives. You’re instincts were right. You don’t know everything, but you do know that you are under attack.
Contingent on your plan, test how you would respond to an initial aerial bombing. Though this might not be likely depending on your region, it is important to be prepared for every possible scenario. Common targets of an initial bombing would focus on infrastructures such as bridges, power plants, and military bases. Assume that all of the local targets that would fit this description have been hit. In addition to the property damage, civilian and government causalities have been sustained. Test how you would react to people asking for medical aid. If your plan includes staying away from others, assume that a loved one has sustained serious shrapnel to their lower leg.
After three days of constant bombings, you’ve heard people talking about troops in the woods. You do not know if they are friendly or enemy. If not already, you prepare for the worst and soon hear that roadblocks have been set up on any remaining roadways. The force manning them are not friendly, though they have not sent troops into your town you know sooner or later that they will.
You must decide whether or you want to stay in your current location or bug out somewhere safer. If you decide to bug out, the easiest way is to move on foot. While you might be willing to walk without a perfect sense of direction, you know that you have a hidden cache plotted on a topographic map. Use basic land navigation methods to find your cache before you make your ultimate escape.
While this exercise may not fit with every plan, it is a plausible scenario if your country is invaded by a foreign power. Most conventional armies follow the Geneva Conventions and will have far more discipline than you would see during a riot or another domestic disturbance. While this saves you from a bit of the chaos, you will have to worry about well-equipped forces. With modern thermal technology, it can be extremely hard to stay hidden. Evaluate your plan, pinpoint your weaknesses, and practice the things that you are doing right.