Practise & Develop
Throughout your preparation, it is incredibly important to practise and develop the skills you’ll need to survive. When disaster strikes, you’ll be thrown in the deep end and expected to swim; if you can’t, you’ll sink to the bottom, along with everyone else.
All the skills you’ve planned to utilise during a disaster should be practised and perfected. Practise during differing weather conditions if possible, for you could encounter differing weather conditions during a disaster. Start exercising if you don’t already, and move towards exercising with your Bug Out Bag on your back. During a disaster, you’ll be under a larger amount of stress; push yourself now, so you can cope when it matters. Practise using the resources in your Bug Out Bag so you’re familiar with them. With any luck you’ll discover a potential flaw in your plan or an item now rather than later, as a disaster unfolds around you.
Keep learning and finding ways to improve your physical and mental capabilities. Know your Personal Plan back to front. If you plan to meet up with anyone in the midst of a disaster, plan for them not showing up. Have several checkpoints, hours or days apart, and discuss how long to wait at each, should someone not be present. Consider the atmosphere of a disaster, and what outcomes are possible in your immediate vicinity. Reconsider every plan you make; think about what could go wrong, and what your alternatives are. Never become completely comfortable with a plan; relying on only one method to get you out of trouble can in itself be disastrous.
Test yourself Practically
When possible, test yourself practically by running a disaster drill. Act in the same way you would during a fire drill; act swiftly and as you would during a real disaster, but don’t go overboard. Go through the steps you’d take if a disaster calls for you to Bug In. Make sure you’ve covered your bases; create a checklist of The Basic Needs of Survival to see if you’re prepared. Study the route you plan to take during Bugging Out, and consider the metaphorical road blocks you may encounter. Hike part of the route you plan to take while Bugging Out if possible, to get a feel of your surroundings. If applicable, go camping over a weekend and rough it, with only what’s in your Bug Out Bag; practise living without the luxuries of a house.
The extent you go to plan for a disaster is up to you. The more you plan though, the better off you will be. Back up your theoretical planning with physical practice; know your plan back to front, and be confident in your ability to carry through.