War Gaming For Preppers – Why You Need A Bigger Plan
The Urban Survival Site has a post on “7 Urban Survival Mistakes That Could Get You Killed”. They have some good thoughts in there, but number two for me is by far the most important – having a plan.
If you don’t have a plan and don’t have any idea where to start formulating a prepper plan, a great place to start would be to create a Threat Matrix. This will help you prioritize the threats you face and start planning for the most likely disaster YOU face. It will also help you avoid some of my rookie mistakes!
But once you do have a plan, then war gaming it is the next most important step.
Here’s what Urban Survival has to say about a lack of a plan. Note that what they call a “stress test” is part of what I call “war gaming”.
“So you have water purifiers, food storage, cooking implements, first aid kits, etc. But do you have a plan? It’s important to think about what types of disasters could happen in your area and how you and your family would react. You need to know how to exit your home safely, have a location where you can meet up with friends and family, know the best way out-of-town in case you have to bug out, and so forth. Be sure to think these things through ahead of time. You may even want to run a stress test to see where your current plan is lacking.”
OK, once you have your threats prioritized, have formulated a plan to handle them and run a stress test to see how well you plans work, then you need to take it to the next level – War Gaming!.
I did a Threat Matrix and decided the foremost threat I faced was a flood. I prioritized my plans accordingly, acquired what I needed to withstand the threat and then I stress tested my plans. I stress tested them by pretending a flood was coming and acting out with my family how we would react. Everything was fine except for one big problem – the generator.
I can’t leave it outside obviously and I sure can’t run it inside and my plan called for putting it on the garage roof. It’s a flat top roof. The problem is, in my desire to have as much fuel on hand, I filled the generator full up! I should have put just enough in to test if from time to time. Now, with the fuel in it, it weighs a lot more. So I had to add a way to get it onto the roof in my plans. The stress test worked!
Then a ran across this man’s experience during Hurricane Katrina. As you read his experience, remember, he lived 150 miles away!
“The hurricane itself would hit land some 150 miles away from our town, but the impact would be felt locally for days, months and years. Anything fresh was gone, all the fruits and vegetables gone. Fresh milk, cold juices, bottled water, soft drinks, and most of the beer were gone. A lot of the meat was gone unless you wanted calves liver or some other weird cuts. Cold cuts, cheeses, and all that were emptied out. There was nothing on the shelves that remotely resembled bread, rolls, bagels, crackers, English muffins or anything else you could spread peanut butter or jelly on. Oh, all that was gone, too. Virtually everything else in the store food and drink wise had been bought out. It was a ghost land. If you had not been in the first wave of panic shoppers 72 hours before the storm hit, then you were flat out of luck. The question is now and have we learned our lesson that if we plan a Bug In during a SHTF are we any more ready today, than we were ten years ago?”
Then I started War Gaming my situation. What if there was a flood not in my town but nearby? What effect, if any, would that have on me? Wow! That was an eye opener! My plans only considered a local flood in my immediate little town. I immediately got out a map and starting looking further afield and pinpointed vulnerable infrastructure that could be hit by flood. It would take to long to discuss here what I found, but it opened my eyes wide open!
Now I had to consider not only how my family and I would react locally, but how would people further afield be impacted, react and effect me. And how would all that play into my plans.
Bottom line, by War Gaming my situation, I learned a lot more about the impact from outside my little town. Accordingly, I’m now prepping a lot more long-term and stocking things that may not be available should those areas be hit.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this infographic with a time line of when things run out if the trucks stop running. It will happen a lot sooner than you think!
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