This Saturday we had a ward fan out. It was brilliant! It was preparedness themed. The point was to feel extremely unprepared; It worked! Here is how it went. At 9:20am we got a call from our district leader(someone that lives close to us) letting us know there was an “emergency” and we needed to grab the following:
72 hour kit
first aid kit from house
first aid kit from car
emergency car kit
picture of food storage
picture of water supply
picture of slippers with hard bottoms
picture of emergency contact list
picture of To-Do list(how to turn off utilities)
picture of evacuation ladder
picture of first aid cert.
Then we had to get to the church as soon as we could. It took us 10 minutes to gather everything and head out the door. Granted, our kids had their shoes on already because we were expecting the call. We just didn’t know what would be on the list. For the most part, I believe in a real emergency, if emergency personnel knock on your door they usually give you 10 minutes. So that should be the time to beat.
This exercise allowed us to see how easy it was to gather our emergency stuff and to see what was missing. Here is what we were lacking:
To-Do list. We don’t have a list pinned to the wall in our utility room letting us know how to turn our utilites off. It is super important. If someone knocked on your door and said “turn your utilites off and gather your things, you have 10 minutes to get out,” would you know how to shut your water or your furnace off?
Evacuation ladder. We looked into getting one when we first moved in, but when we talked to the agency that helped us open a day home they said the fire marshal told them ladders were bad. Instead we are to break a window, throw a mattress out and throw our kids onto the mattress…yeah right. Like I’m going to throw my kids out the window.
Go-Book. We have a go-book, it’s just not filled out. The purpose of the go-book is to store all your information. Banking info, mortgage and investment info, car and house insurance, copies of passports, drivers licenses and birth certs., pics of everyone in the family, all info you would need if you can’t get back to your house.
Other than those few items we didn’t have, we did pretty good. When my wife and I talked about it afterwards we felt we are also lacking in water supply and food storage. It’s not up to where it should be. We need more of it. But it was good to see how an emergency evacuation would go. Once we got to the church, the lady that organized it went through our kits and gave us points on what we had and took points off for what we missed. Let’s just say, overall, I’m glad it wasn’t a real emergency. A lot of people showed up with very little.
I feel most of us are still co-dependent on others to provide for us. We are not taking this self-reliance thing seriously. We will not be able to just go to walmart or superstore and buy water the day of the emergency. The shelves will be bare from all the other people that weren’t prepared.
Our take-away: We are not nearly prepared enough for a real emergency. We have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to go, which we will do, just one day at a time.
Our next goal: Have an “emergency situation” where we actually live off our 72 hour kits for 72 hours and see how we do. That should be an exciting 3 days!