Friday, May 23, 2008

25 Basic Preparedness Tasks You Can Do This Weekend

It's going to be a nice, long three day weekend and with the price of gas causing fewer people to travel over the holiday, what better time than now to have a family "Preparedness Weekend"? Here's 25 activities you and your family can do to work on your preparedness stocks and skills:

  • Peruse the Sunday food ads and add 10 items per family member to your food stores (preferably loss leaders).
  • Clean out the garage. This allows you to easily store your survival items, know where they are when you most need them, and see if anything is missing/old/outdated and needs to be replaced.
  • Go play paintball. This sport kicks your survival instincts/skills up a notch as you learn how to run through the brush, hide, set traps, etc. And it's fun.
  • Put together drawstring packs to leave under each person's bed. These packs should include leather gloves, shoes, flashlight, some cash, a bottle of water, an energy bar, a photo copy of each person's ID, a laminated copy of emergency numbers, and a calling card.
  • Spend half of the day in the library and the second half at a local park. At the library you will want to pick up books on edible and medicinal plants as well as local wildlife then try to identify any of these plants and animals you can find at your local park.
  • Camp outside in the back yard. It's free and it's a fun activity for the kids. The fresh air will be good for you as well.
  • Have a scavenger hunt by bus. Put together a dozen locations around your city that are accessible by bus and have each person see how quickly they can get to all twelve locations then back home. Come up with a way to document each location such as taking a photo, getting GPS coordinates, picking up a napkin from a local restaurant, etc. This activity will teach everyone how to use the bus system to get around (and if need be, out) of town.
  • Start a preparedness group. Invite like-minded friends over for a potluck picnic and suggest a six week trial period for a community preparedness group. Each person/family would be responsible for setting the location and the task for each weekly meeting. One week may focus on first aid, one week on the bug out bag, one week on orienteering, etc.
  • Go to the library or local book store and get the information you need to plan for a summer hike or backpacking trip. Set a date for the hike, then get prepared (physically as well as supplies), then go!
  • Practice your food preservation skills. Pick an item that is in season (strawberries for instance) then figure out various ways to preserve them (freezing, fruit leather, etc).
  • Enjoy some sort of physical activity together. Go for a long walk, kick the soccer ball around, play basketball, etc.
  • Turn off all electronics for the weekend (TV, computer, cell phone, iPod, et al). As has happened a couple of times over the past winter, the power was out and everyone was in shock because they didn't know how to live without the electronics in their lives. Use this weekend to practice going "electronics free" and focus instead on other activities such as reading, playing games, baking cookies, working on a project, etc.
  • Have a "no spend" weekend. Can you and your family go for the entire three days without spending a dime?
  • Set a financial goal as a family then brainstorm ways to reach this goal. Whether it is a vacation or to pay off a debt, have the whole family get involved. First research the amount needed for your goal, then have everyone get busy on meeting this goal (recycling cans, selling stuff on EBay, mowing lawns, etc).
  • Dump out everyone's bug out bags then repack them making sure the clothes still fit, batteries are still good, food is still edible, etc.
  • Buy, rent, or borrow an item and teach the whole family how to use it (items may include a compass, metal detector, GPS, ski doo, etc).
  • Think back to your younger days and help your kids build a fort either in the back woods, in the back yard, or in their bedroom.
  • Have a campfire, tell ghost stories, and make S'mores. This teaches a number of lessons including how to make a fire, how to share information through storytelling, and how to cook (well, maybe melting marshmallows and chocolate together doesn't count for cooking...).
  • Put together a communications plan and test it out. First determine what methods you would use then put people in different locations to test it out. Use cell phones, handheld radios, Twitter, email, a runner, connecting through various emergency contacts to relay messages, etc.
  • Practice first aid skills and put together a first aid kit. After a disaster has shut down everything (roads, power) and someone in the family has keeled over, you don't want another family member reading first aid how-to's to try to revive family member #1. Practice these important skills this weekend so everyone has a basic knowledge of first aid. Get books and/or a knowledgeable friend to help.
  • Have everyone in the family research survival topics for one day, document their findings, then report what they found out at a family meeting the next day. This will help everyone learn more about survival and will especially help the kids with research, documentation, and report giving which will come in handy at school.
  • Pick a room in your house and completely stock it for one year. For example, pick the master bathroom and buy enough toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, Qtips, etc to supply this room for one year. Do this for a different room each week or each month and you will soon have quite the stockpile which will see you through any emergency.
  • Plant a garden, no matter how small. Involve the whole family in starting a garden even it if is in a widow sill.
  • Call a family meeting and set a number of survival goals that you will work on for the coming year. Write up the goals on a big chart, place the chart in a visible location, and have each person take responsibility for various goals. Be sure to post updates regularly on the chart.
  • Volunteer. Have the whole family volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, church, community event, etc. One of the most important things we can do is give back to the community. As a side bonus, many of the people you will meet who are having a rough time of it, will have survival knowledge to share that can't be found in books.

1 comment:

  1. What a super list for home schoolin families to practice over the summer!