Are you the keeper of all knowledge when it comes to prepping in your family? We often see this behavior of hoarding knowledge in the workplace. Let’s say Joe is really good at a task doesn’t like to share what he knows because he feels that adds to his level of job security, or maybe he just likes feeling special. For whatever reason Joe transfers out or goes on medical leave and now everyone else is left scrambling trying to go through his files, invoices, stacks of papers on his desk in an attempt to figure out what exactly Joe did and who is contacts were.
You might have the perfect bugout plan, know exactly what your strategy will be during a home invasion or have the perfect setup for retrieving (and filtering) water, but if you are the only one who knows how to accomplish all of this there could be some serious problems down the road. In order to increase survivability in almost any SHTF scenario, not only must you share the knowledge with those you trust but you MUST conduct rehearsals in order to reinforce behavior and identify strengths and weaknesses in your plan.
Let’s look at the importance of rehearsals for a moment utilizing the home invasion scenario example I mentioned previously. It’s 0200 and your dog starts barking because a window has been shattered downstairs. What you couldn’t possibly realize while awakening from your slumber is that some drunk teenagers were hitting golf balls and one of them came crashing through your downstairs window (no threat). Still you heard the crash and believe that someone in breaking into your home. Your actions are as follows:
- Jump out of bed and grab whatever home defense gun you have at your disposal
- Quickly process the fact that you need to get your wife and kids up, call 911, get your family to safe location, investigate the source of the noise
- You wake your wife up, tell her what happened, tell her to call 911
- You run across the hall to your kid’s room grab them out of bed
- This whole time your dog is barking like crazy, making things even worse
- You link back up with your wife, tell her and your kid to lay low in the closet while you check out the noise, remind your wife to call 911
- At least 1 minute has passed, way too much time
- You finally start going down the stairs and later find a golf ball on your living room floor
The above scenario is probably a pretty accurate representation, thankfully it was only drunken teens and a golf ball which caused all of the ruckus. Yet what if it would have truly been home invaders? The time spent screwing around upstairs could have made the difference between staying alive and being caught off guard. This is why rehearsals are so very important.
Imagine this, once a month you rehearse what you would do during a home invasion. Every knows exactly what actions to take once they are awoken by the code word. (i.e. dad yelling “NITRO NITRO NITRO”) Mom grabs the back up pistol, the phone and pulls your child into the closet/bathroom with her. During this time both mom and dad quickly assess the situation to make sure they are on the same page with respect to the threat (window downstairs broken, possible intruder). Dad moves to cover the stairs while mom dials 911, dad once again assesses the situation to determine if clearing the rest of the home is a good idea or not (the alternative being wait for help to arrive). Even though everyone is a bit groggy they move through the required actions and everything flows much smoother, probably taking about 20 to 30 seconds versus 1 to 2 minutes.
The reason the family was able to execute the home invasion “battle drill” quickly and efficiently was because everyone was aware of the plan and they rehearsed the plan multiple times. If only dad had been aware and no rehearsals had been conducted…well the first example I listed (or worse) is probably what would have taken place. Now would be a good time to mention that mom should also know how to react/take charge if dad isn’t home. All of these possibilities are discussed during rehearsals and the walk through. I should note that it’s not just home invasions, the concept of spreading the knowledge and rehearsals can be applied to almost any aspect of your prepping strategy. Take the time to talk through actions required for certain events with your family and actually physically walk through how you would react. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and unprepared for any of the handful of SHTF situations which could put your family at risk.