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.

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 BS first 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.

Another Missing Time

Went to visit Ma Nature last night. Time in Kitchen: 2:38 AM.

Three minutes later, back in bed, asked the Amazon Dot “Alexa, what time is it?

Answer: “The time is 3:01 am.”

This morning, the times are back to agreeing with each-other.

Go figure.

OK, off to work on Peoplenomics for this weekend. See ya’ll tomorrow.

Write when you get rich…

22 thoughts on “Coping: A Pop Quiz for Preppers”

  1. Cash, coins, cash, coins, cash, coins. Things to keep from getting bored and killing each other – books, playing cards, bored [sic] games, craft/hobby supplies. Keep a comfortable pair of walking shoes/boots in the car or office so you don’t have to walk 20 miles in wingtips. Although low tech, binoculars or spotting scope. Containers of all sorts – backpacks, strong cloth boat bags, nalgenes, jugs, bottles, canning supplies, plastic bags, etc.

  2. First thing, my house will sink. I live on a pile of sand. I prep for the disasters likely in my area. I grew up in earthquake country, here it is possible, but on the bottom of my list. I just can’t prep for a house buried in sand! Regardless, this is an awesome list for any emergency and I will be printing it off and working through it. Thanks!

    • In a situation where the soil liquifies, some things will tend to float. Make sure you know what will and be able to get to it fast. That’s the place to keep your preps.

  3. So much depends on location and time of year. If you must try to survive in the city or if you are able to get to a spot in the country. Is the weather cold or wet or hot ? Walking 8 or 10 miles in perfect weather is not a big deal ( if health permits ) other weather extremes offer other difficulties. Far to many options to express and each one has its own variations. So let me ask this; if you only are allowed ONE item or action, what will that be ? For me, it would be get out of the city.

  4. good test. I think I passed.

    Need to go ahead and get the night vision, though.

  5. Thanks for the quiz! It’s a head’s up. I did pretty well at 85% or so, with my big gaps in comms. With very few to communicate with, it never seemed that important compared to handling everything else. My kids have all been indoctrinated in staying aware, and knowing that if you fall, you fall alone.

    The problem with recurrent training is that nobody has time for it. It’s best to learn EMT and other skills to the best depth you can and trust that you’ll remember, while reviewing things in your mind and keeping your library available. The actual certs. take too much time and there are too many unless it’s your career.

  6. Sorry George, but I’ll go to the foot of my bed or next to a heavy piece of furniture an act like a ball, rather than stand in a doorway. I’ve communicated with Doug Copp, an individual that has rescued more people from earthquakes aftermath. His experience, where he’s found alive people, next to said objects not under them. This taught him the “duck and cover” is meant to kill. Insurance companies don’t want people coming out of quakes needing aid the rest of their lives. Dead bodies no longer need care.

    Read the basics here and about ins industry – Doug’s site – his experience really says it all. Meanwhile, a lot of shills out there trying to silence Doug’s work.

  7. I have always said, you can prep all yo want to, but KARMA will decide it.

    Again, what if your at the docs office, or dentist or opthalmologist, or taking a sheet in the woods…all your prepping wont matter if youre away from home and cant make it back to get stuff at the moment it strikes. Your KARMA already knows where you will be at that instnat and whether or not you survive the calamity.

  8. We have not saved up a lot of plastic water bottles since we have a well for water. But, in the event of no electricity to run the pump, we have an alternative hand pump that we can substitute. Have to be able to keep the garden and animals hydrated, too. Seven chickens give us about 5 eggs per day for use or for barter. I’ve told my son to walk the railroad tracks to get here from Bend if his car won’t run. Got to get more chocolate. Can’t decide if I should classify chocolate as a food or medicine for girls.

    • Chocolate for the girls is considered a life saving method for the men involved. Better have lots.Linda

  9. Thanks, George. I’ll just shoot myself now and avoid the rush after the earthquake.

  10. If the water and electricity go off for a week, there is no urban survival. Injuries without antibiotics and sanitation are quickly fatal. Prior to antibiotics, pneumonia was the leading cause of death, and as soon as urban dwellers start burning trash and/or feces it will be number one again.

    The real test of a prepper plan is to turn off the electricity and water, and plug the sewer system as well.

    It’s not what you don’t have that will kill you, it’s what you can’t get rid of that will be the problem. Sanitation is as important as water.

    The secret to survival is to reduce your footprint to as small as possible as quickly as possible. Retreat to a third world status as quickly as possible, saving and optimizing supplies until the scope of the problem becomes known. I met a woman from Cuba who said her family lived on lentils three meals a day for 18 months, with only occasional vegetables and meat.

    Having all those mre’s and tasty foods are just going to make you feel bad when you run out of them. Several hundred lbs of beans in 5 gallon buckets packed in nitrogen and a solar oven with fitted cooking pans is real survival food.

    • Roles will be reversed. Those like the poor who are used to making do with less won’t experience as much of a change to what they are used to as those who are better off.

  11. So George. Right off I note in your prep plans that you expect to be able to use “local 2m repeaters”. In event a big EQ as example it is quite likely that they will either be destroyed or not have power or both. And you plan to use 20m for outside communication. But the EQ has taken your tower and beam down. And if the disaster is wide spread maybe no one will be listening because they can’t. Also there is the problem of bad guys monitoring HF and direction finding you so they can steal your stuff. Same goes for VHF only it happens sooner because they are closer.

    Seems like some revisions are needed.
    73 Bill

    • I jave backup antennas for all and even in Japan, there were still enough trees to get a J pole up on 2m and a dipole or wire beam on 20

  12. I love it..
    I usually argue that every home needs an AED ..with seventy percent of heart attacks happening while at home..what is the response time of emergency personell..what if it was a family member..what if it’s you..
    the best tool you hope you neverhave to use..

  13. You lost me when you said…

    “While your office is rocking and rolling, you remember to stand in a doorway.”

    The USGS states…
    “That’s outdated advice. In past earthquakes in unreinforced masonry structures and adobe homes, the door frame may have been the only thing left standing in the aftermath of an earthquake. Hence, it was thought that safety could be found by standing in doorways. In modern homes doorways are no stronger than any other parts of the house and usually have doors that will swing and can injure you.”

    The correct place to be is under sturdy furniture – a desk or solid table.

  14. Where can I get info on alternatives to thyroid replacement meds? Without them I’d be in a coma in 10 days, dead in 30.

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