The first thing you will have to do is examine all the different particulars of your daily activities. Break down the times you go to work, the times you eat outside of the home, the commute times, and the time you spend at home. By conducting a thorough examination of these areas and charting them out, you can best incorporate immediate action drills effectively. What are these drills? Here we go.
Immediate action drills are practice runs for when the SHTF at any given moment. They are not “time sensitive,” but rather reaction sensitive according to the situation. All these particulars I outlined for your daily routine? They will be scenarios that place you in different areas with different resources, amounts of people in the area, and avenues of approach and departure.
What you must do is simulate an event happening when you are in each of these different arenas…working, commuting, eating lunch in the mall, or at home…and take immediate action accordingly.
We’ve covered “bug-out” bags and equipment and all the different supplies we can pack with us. Now it’s time to find out the mechanics behind the area you’re in (according to these different arenas) and fine tune them accordingly. Let’s say you work in the city, on the 10th floor of a building, in a cubicle situated in a corner of your floor. Here’s your test. The event has happened: now you have to put your plan into effect and see the basic mechanics of how to get out of there quickly.
“Work! You want me to drill while I’m at work?” you may be thinking. Yes. Yes, I do. You need to “game” it, and make it happen. Have a day off? Go to work and chat with some people…simulate that you’re at work, and then put your plan into action. Are you skeptical? Hey, this will help you, not me, so bear with me.
Measure off how many paces to the nearest exit. Not akin to a robot, but at a brisk pace without drawing undue attention to yourself. Figure it out, and note it down. If the primary/optimal exit is blocked, do you have a secondary? Return to your cubicle as if you forgot something, and then walk to your secondary, pacing it off and noting the number. On separate occasions, take both exits…the stairs…down to the ground floor. Where do you park? Find your way to your vehicle. If you park in a garage, you should always park as close to the exit as possible on the ground/bottom floor if possible. Why? When 10,000 people are trying to leave at once, there may be a problem driving out, that’s why.
Note how many paces from the stairwell to your vehicle. Each day (if you have a different space) this will give you a different number, but eventually (after time) you’ll know all of the spots by heart. Now find the quickest route out of the building, and take that route back to the house. You want to take copious notes: places where you can drive on the shoulder, places where traffic jams may occur. “Game” all of these actions in your mind, and then do a dry run. You want to know all of your times, and the optimal routes.
Find out if there’s ever a “scheduled” fire drill for your building. This would be a perfect time to test out your escape plans…especially if you can arrange to have off that day, and then go into work. Then you can have an immediate action drill for yourself complete with a stampeding herd of people.
Immediate action drills also take the form of “if this occurs, then I do this” type of scenarios. In essence, you’re gaming everything. Why the paces and counting your steps from point A to point B? Because you don’t know if the power will be off, and what kind of visibility you’ll have in the confusion, depending on what happens. The more you practice this kind of stuff, the easier it will be for you to react in a calm and level-headed manner when everyone else is going nuts. You’ll be able to assess where problem areas arise, and how to place yourself into a combat-ready, Johnny-on-the-spot stance at a moment’s notice.
The only thing more important than reaction time is reacting effectively, and not suffering from the “paralysis of analysis,” or staying rooted in place and doing nothing. Practice what you are going to do in a life-threatening situation in each of these areas of your day. It will maximize your mechanics of avoiding danger/trouble spots, and smooth your movements down to make it easier when the real thing occurs. Notice I wrote “when” it occurs and not if. How you train is how you fight, so incorporate these immediate action drills into your preps and smooth out your plan for when the SHTF. JJ out!