An Emergency Preparation Drill That Could Save Your Life

Bruce Fenton

Crisis Planning As Part of Your Security Plan

This is a drill.

Should you choose to accept this challenge, following the instructions in this drill could save lives and improve your peace of mind and overall security profile.

A great piece on safety from Kraken a few years back started with a premise “Let’s begin with the assumption that within 24 hours your usual mobile phone number will be hijacked by social engineers.”

Similarly, let’s begin this article with a drill: “You have 24 hours to prepare and travel at which point you will be stuck in place for 60 days with limited access to food, medicine, electronics, comms or help.”

What do you do? What do you buy right now? Where do you go? What loved ones or pets do you need to arrange for or help? What unique medical or safety concerns do you have? What about your passwords, hardware wallets, private keys and backups? Do you have hard drives or USBs you need to secure? How will you transport them safely? What if you need to stay in a shelter? How about communications backups?

There are lots of questions and sometimes just asking them is helpful. The time to mentally prepare for any security risk is when there are no problems.

In a hack, natural disaster, crisis or emergency there are several types of people‬

‪Some are well prepared‬

Some are unprepared

‪Some are lucky‬

‪Some are foolish ‬

‪Some are unlucky ‬

We can’t control all aspects of luck, but we can sometimes create our own luck.

One of my favorite business quotes is from Steven Spielberg “Luck Happens When Preparedness Meets Opportunity”. This applies to work but also investing, planning and even survival. Sometimes the luck might be survival itself.

We can also avoid being in the “foolish” or “unprepared” category. In most disasters there are a small number of people who make bad decisions: they ignore warnings from safety professionals, refuse to evacuate or don’t prepare. Inevitably these people are the largest drain on emergency and medical systems.

Preparing not only helps you, it helps those around you. The more prepared the members of a community the less drain on resources in an emergency: less runs on supplies if more people are well supplied, less avoidable mistakes if people communicate and are informed and therefor less drain on the emergency services and better chance of survival for all.

Prepping for emergency is one of the most responsible things we can do.

Some tips:

  • Emergency prep should be prioritized right along with smoke detectors and emergency finances
  • A little preparation goes a long way, in an emergency even basic things we take for granted may not be available
  • How you prepare depends a lot on the type of emergency and your location and situation
  • Find preparedness techniques you are comfortable with — There are thousands of resources online — find something you are comfortable with
  • Have a bug out and a bug in plan — if you need to leave or if you need to stay, have a plan for both and a backup for both as well
  • No need to go crazy on complexity — Occam’s Razor is best — have your plans be as simple and foolproof as possible — instead of having advanced hunting and trapping plans, have some canned goods — buy extras of supplies you already use, instead of an underground steel bunker make a comfortable room in your basement etc. be realistic about the nature of most / likely emergencies — esoteric survival gear is less likely to be useful than basic day to day staples
  • Have a network, have plans and backup plans — communicate with friends, locals and neighbors, think about who may need your help or who may be able to help you, have phone numbers handy etc.
  • Check out some of the many books, TV programs, YouTube videos, blogs and other content on preparedness

The Drill

So back to the 24 hour drill.

Take the next 24 hours and see how well you can prepare.

If you need to work, do so, pretend that time was occupied with an emergency and take the spare hours and prepare. Go to a discount store if you can afford it and gather goods and food you’d use anyway. Figure out your priorities and loves ones who you’d need to contract. Make a plan. Have a plan to get out of town and everything to do so prepped. Have phone numbers and backups, fill your gas tank, get a solar phone charger, repair that basement shelve you’ve been needing for storage etc. Supplies are key.

Every emergency also has the helpers and the heroes. The people who are so extremely prepared that they not only help themselves but help others. Their own loved ones and safety secure, they go out on jet skis or in trucks, two way radios in hand with extra medical supplies and coats …because they were prepared. Be like these people. Don’t be the idiot on the news who didn’t want to leave and needed 10 people to divert resources to save them.

If you ever truly have to you can move mountains in 24 hours. It’s a lot more fun to do it now as a drill than when you need to. It’s also a great experience that helps you prep and learn while also making you and your community safer. It could save your life, my life or the lives of others.

Here’s a video with more thoughts and some specific to #Covid19