The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 3 (SATURDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency, or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

A fire, flood, or hurricane is QUICKLY approaching your home. You have just been issued a mandatory evacuation alert. You have 30 minutes from THIS moment to leave your home and your home will NOT be there when you get back. Everything will be destroyed.
Today’s Goal: Practice your evacuation plan and refine your grab list.


Today’s Tasks:

  • As soon as you finish reading this email, your family has 30 minutes to evacuate
  • Use your grab list as a guide for things you will bring (it’s helpful to designate who is grabbing what, even in actual separate lists)
  • Bring your 72 hour kits with you because you’ll need them
  • Print out today’s report card and bring it with you as you evacuate
  • Stay away from your house for 1 hour and during that time evaluate your 72 hour kits, your grab list items, etc. using the report card “questions to ask yourself” as a guide

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • This task only lasts the 30 minutes you have to evacuate, and the 1 hour you have to stay outside of your home.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make your grab list after the fact if you didn’t already have it.
  • Evacuate on foot as an advanced alternative.
  • Once you have finished your evaluation, you have our permission to “cheat” and go and purchase any missing items, or replenish anything you used during the “evacuation”. But you can ONLY buy emergency kit items, no donuts. You can always shop online for great deals too.
REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT.

Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.


  • It seems like these days people have shoes specified to every occasion. They have dress shoes, running shoes, hiking boots,cowboy boots, heels, flats, peeps, clogs and more! And with every additional person living in your house that is doubling and tripling the already monstrous amount of shoes. Where are you supposed to put them all?

  • Lkcheat

    great challenge! i dont technically do the challenges but i enjoy reading them for ideas. this year i got the opportunity for a dry run because i live in hurricane irenes way. being i was planning a vacation that week anyway, i decided to do a dry run with the family, leaving a day earlier than planned and on short notice. i already knew of a hotel in another state far away enough to be safe.i booked the room and debriefed the family.

    i told them we would be scrambling as if this were a cat 5 hurricane. since we travel often our toiletries and most clothes were already prepacked. what we did was get together and think and call out what we were packing but actually leaving behind for vacation, such as computers, heirloom jewelry,working licenses, birth certificates and their locations. we were taking along food and water from our pantry as usual so that was easy to do. we packed up the van in record time.
    we bugged out so fast that we didnt tell my neighbor across the street who stayed , that would have helped even though my mom watches our house.
    while we were away, we lost full power for 36 hours, 1/2 power for 6 more days, had only a tree branch down.lucky.

    things im glad i had: extra charged cellphone batteries for 2 phones
                                   2 rolls of quarters, always packed in case of laudromat-
                                   i actually used them when i returned that part of the house
                                   by the washer was not on so, off to the laundromat.
                                   cell phone # of my sister, living out of state for contact.
                                   enough blood pressure meds to last at least 2 weeks

    things i could have done better: had a source of cooking heat to safely use indoors
                                                  had all my paper records photocopied
                                                  had my travel first aid kit completed
    all in all, not too bad. i need also to focus more on bug out bags, have good bug in stuff. also i added a 14 gallon gas caddy on sale, not so moch for a generator as to swap out constantly in our vehicles. i has hubbys truck filled up thurs, the hurricane due sun. by the time i got out to do it fri there were several gas stations out of gas. this would save time.also i lost 3 tropical fish(my sons) because the airpump was plugged in to a downed outlet, will rethink that. its good so many people in my area took this prep seriously,im impressed.
                                                  

  • Megan

    It’s crazy, but the day after this challenge, we really did evacuate our neighborhood because of wildfires.  I was prepared because I’d been thinking about it, but I realized after that there were some sentimental things missing from my grab list- my wedding dress among them.  Fortunately everything worked out and our neighborhood was safe. These challenges may sometimes seem far fetched, but it happened to us!

  • Another thing I put in may safe box was the phone number for the 3 credit companies …made copies of all our credit cards…
    ….. SS phone number…all insurance phone numbers….and all of our utility company numbers….TV.. Phone ..Elec.. Propane ..water co. etc.
    If for what ever reason we needed to cancel these we would have the info.

  • Another thing I put in may safe box was the phone number for the 3 credit companies …made copies of all our credit cards…
    ….. SS phone number…all insurance phone numbers….and all of our utility company numbers….TV.. Phone ..Elec.. Propane ..water co. etc.
    If for what ever reason we needed to cancel these we would have the info.

  • Thought I had it togethr on this but when it came to the to grab list I for got where it was!
    I had started another folder and did not put it in there. I saw where I needed to update it and have decided to not only have a copy in my folder but also one taped inside the door of a kitchen cabinet. Some of the things we put was personal phone book dog leash and food….MRE box blood pressure kit…meds fire box with papers etc in it. Protable fan that uses batteries Invertor and battery if there is room. Of course 72 hr kits and all of my essential oils and  vitamins and hope we have room for it all! Oh and WATER!!!

  • Brchbell

    I forgot to mention that because we live so far out in the boon docks we always carry our 72 hour kits with us when ever we leave the house. We rework our kits every conference session to make sure we have what we need for the season approaching.  It’s easy to get stuck on one of our roads in winter time and stranded.  Could take as long as 18 hours for someone to get to you so must always be prepared!

  • Brchbell

    I was home alone yesterday.  I pretended the house was on fire so grabbed my 72 hour kit and ran out.  Spent a couple hours at the park and had a nice picnic lunch from my bag and used my blanket from it also to cover me up as it was quite chilly and misting. 

  • Laura

    Ok I am learning I really am not prepared my husband and i in this weeks couples meeting will be disscussing our prep where to meet what to do making our grab list. What to do if he is at work? etc etc this one is now more scarry for me because I really am not prepared especially if I am alone.

  • April in Maryland

    Didn’t see this one, but I think I could have done it.  I have a 72 hr kit in the front closet and another one in the car.  My sentimental valuables, the safe with important papers, and other papers are near the door.   I think it would have taken 15 minutes to get the essentials, and probably another 10 to grab a few other things.  I had filled the tank with gas, so that was okay.  It’s much easier when you’r single and don’t have to round up kids and pets.

    Although, what would we do if this occured when I was at work and my car at home? 
    I think I would have used any leftover time to get away. 

  • Dpalmer242

    This challenge was good to make sure my husband & I are on the same page and rethink our meeting place.  We both work and meeting two blocks from home would not have been a safe meeting place in the event of fire, flood or whatever.  What a scarely thought that everything would be gone when we returned.  My heart goes out to those who have been through this in reality.  We realized that we needed to think the list through carefully and have the car already packed with many items in the case of evacuation; i.e. sleeping bag, camp stove, etc.

  • misti

    This is a hard one for me, I have a lot of sentimental things including furniture, and pets, 5 cats a dog 3 snakes, 3 birds, a tarantula, 14 chickens, and honeybees. 

    I need to get pet cages together and decide how to sort the pets, we have one cat out of the 5 that went crazy after getting fixed, something in the surgery affected her brain, she now hates everything including 3 of the other cats and would need to adjust cages for that. I have no idea how to transport the chickens but they are a nice source of reliablefood that could feed us and all of the pets except the snakes, taranchula and one of the birds. Maybe I could put them in cardboard boxes and  take a roll of chicken wire, possibly a pop up tent for the pets to have space when we set up camp wherever we evacuate to.

    The 72hr kit stuff is divided between several locations. We never actually put it together as a kit, we use some regularly for camping and some for just in case, most of our food storage is stuff we regularly use and is constantly rotated on the shelves.

    I need to get the kit stuff together in one place and put sentimental items that I would want to take together with some type of cover close by, im thinking about one of those clear zip bags you get blankets in, to keep photo albums dry.

    I should make a list prioritized and with locations written down and a pre designed plan for the animals.  It really all depends on how much time I have, like someone else said earlier, the more time I have the more stuff I will pack.  If I had time I would pack the bees…

    Some things that were not on my grab list (that really should have been) toilet paper!, an extra pair of shoes, a way to make fire, blankets & pillows, a pan, a leash, the travel grill. Several of these I read from other posts here (Thanks!)

    Today we went to the mountains for some target shooting and were there for several hours. Before we left I read my grab list to hubby and said out loud where everything was, he added a few things to the list. I was thinking about what we would need while we were up there, being out in the woods helps make you think about what you don’t have and I added more to the list when we got home.

    I will do the timed test alone and see how I do, and have hubby do it alone, and then the two of us together and then we can figure out ways to simplify the process.

  • Dianne

    Today was crazy!  30 minutes to get out of the house with what is most important is a hard thing.  I will admit, it took us 33, but, part of that was because of our exchange student taking time getting out.I got up, saw what it was, and was mortified because my whole family was gone!  And, it said from when I was finished reading it, so I stopped and waited.  It wasn’t very long before they showed up, and we pulled our exchange students up to hear what we were doing today (one of them has really gotten into it… it is fun to see her want to do this too).  After I read it, we started the timer, and hussled.  We grabbed our external hard drive, our main hard drive, and 3 laptops with chargers.  We then grabbed all the pictures.  We have our 72 hr kits down by our front door (so those can be grabbed quickly) and we grabbed them.  We even have one for our dog, and we grabbed him and took him as well.  Side Note:  We typically go through them once every 6 months and use what is in there, and then replace it.  But, I didn’t in April, so that was a big no no!!  And if I had taken time to redo the 72 hr kits, I would have realized that the clothes in there were ready to go, but we all took extra time grabbing some clothes.  I won’t be missing that again.We also grabbed medicine, blankets, our volcano, plus another stove and gas with a pot and griddle, tarp, documents and money, passports, birth certificates, credit card copies of front and back, brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, a few games, a few movies, cell phone charger, scriptures, hats, jackets, good shoes to walk in… We drove a bit, and realized that with the exception today to purchase things that we may have forgotten, I kinda got out of purchasing gas… we stopped and filled up, and then headed to the mountains.  We figured that the fire, hurricane/tornado, or flood wouldn’t be coming from one of the mountain areas around us, so it was a safe bet.  We got up there, ate some of the kits (as some of us hadn’t eaten anything), and then re-evaluated everything.  We realized that we need to have a bit more in our kits for hygiene purposes, and the food in there would have lasted a day. We also noticed that the water boxes we had in there exploded, and that made us so terribly sad… Once our hour was up, we went and purchased more things to put in them (because of the permission – THANK YOU), and I am feeling a bit more happy.  We even got toothbrushes and toothpaste for each one, so we do not have to grab those as we are hustling out the door.  We got wipes, and we got brushes and shampoo for each one.  We got stuff to replace the drinking water, and some snacks… I think we are mostly good.  Monday night we will be going through our kits and repacking them to work.ALL IN ALL, it was great to see where we were lacking, and I am sure we are going to be more prepared next time!THANKS! 

  • Dianne

    Today was crazy!  30 minutes to get out of the house with what is most important is a hard thing.  I will admit, it took us 33, but, part of that was because of our exchange student taking time getting out.I got up, saw what it was, and was mortified because my whole family was gone!  And, it said from when I was finished reading it, so I stopped and waited.  It wasn’t very long before they showed up, and we pulled our exchange students up to hear what we were doing today (one of them has really gotten into it… it is fun to see her want to do this too).  After I read it, we started the timer, and hussled.  We grabbed our external hard drive, our main hard drive, and 3 laptops with chargers.  We then grabbed all the pictures.  We have our 72 hr kits down by our front door (so those can be grabbed quickly) and we grabbed them.  We even have one for our dog, and we grabbed him and took him as well.  Side Note:  We typically go through them once every 6 months and use what is in there, and then replace it.  But, I didn’t in April, so that was a big no no!!  And if I had taken time to redo the 72 hr kits, I would have realized that the clothes in there were ready to go, but we all took extra time grabbing some clothes.  I won’t be missing that again.We also grabbed medicine, blankets, our volcano, plus another stove and gas with a pot and griddle, tarp, documents and money, passports, birth certificates, credit card copies of front and back, brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, a few games, a few movies, cell phone charger, scriptures, hats, jackets, good shoes to walk in… We drove a bit, and realized that with the exception today to purchase things that we may have forgotten, I kinda got out of purchasing gas… we stopped and filled up, and then headed to the mountains.  We figured that the fire, hurricane/tornado, or flood wouldn’t be coming from one of the mountain areas around us, so it was a safe bet.  We got up there, ate some of the kits (as some of us hadn’t eaten anything), and then re-evaluated everything.  We realized that we need to have a bit more in our kits for hygiene purposes, and the food in there would have lasted a day. We also noticed that the water boxes we had in there exploded, and that made us so terribly sad… Once our hour was up, we went and purchased more things to put in them (because of the permission – THANK YOU), and I am feeling a bit more happy.  We even got toothbrushes and toothpaste for each one, so we do not have to grab those as we are hustling out the door.  We got wipes, and we got brushes and shampoo for each one.  We got stuff to replace the drinking water, and some snacks… I think we are mostly good.  Monday night we will be going through our kits and repacking them to work.ALL IN ALL, it was great to see where we were lacking, and I am sure we are going to be more prepared next time!THANKS! 

  • Kay

    This challenge was bad timing for us – after an all night lock in at the church, we didn’t get to bed till about 9:30/10:00 this morning, then slept much of the day.  We were able to participate the first day, but with the prepping for the lock-in, and then today – well….we didn’t get to do it…and tomorrow’s church.  Sometimes we don’t even come home between services.  🙁  We’ll have to see in the morning….

  • We failed this one terribly. But we have always planned to shelter in because of medical situations. So we discussed what we need to do  to make a 30 minute grab bag and made a list of what to get together. I will work on assembling that now. Part of that will be travel cages for 6 pets….1 dog, 3 cats, 2 rabbits and food/water/leashes for the above animals.

  • Duplexes2

    what’s a 72 hour kit?

    • Rhonnie

      Sorry.  Didn’t see that.
      A 72-hour kit is what the LDS calls a pack, bag, or other container that hold EVERYTHING you need to get by for 72 hours under extreme circumstances.  That includes clothes, medications, food, contact information, currency – whatever it takes.  they’ve got classes and lists for that stuff that are pretty comprehensive.  It’s the equivalent of a bug-out bag, survival kit, or whatever.

      • OutdoorsMom

        Um, not just LDS–it’s pretty standard actually.  Government agencies, the Red Cross, etc. all use the term 72-hour kit and recommend that people are prepared to go it alone for at least 72 hours after an emergency.

        • Rhonnie

          Thank you!  I’m supposed to be helping to teach this sort of thing later for another place.  It looks like most of what I need to do is update my information before I speak.  🙂

    • If you look at the option bar at the top of this page & go the emergency prep section then to emergency prep basics you will find the disasters kit (72 hour kit) section.

  • Rhonnie

    I like this one.  I didn’t do it this time.  But sometimes I like to just take a road trip, and not take anything but what’s in my pockets or the car (if I have it).  I have a small travel pack (bug out bag/72-hour kit), which occasionally rotate if I get around to it.  But sometimes I forget that, or can’t get to it in time (like when I get called to go take care of something).  Otherwise, I just make do with whatever I find on the road or trail.  The 72-hour kit is great, though.  And knowing where and what my most important things are.  Not much else that I’d take.  This makes evacuation time cut to about 5 minutes or less, if I have to.  There’s very little to pack.  Pack, meds, lock box, whatever communication device.  Bible, if it’s not already in there.  The kids and I still periodically discuss a basic plan if something… bizarre… happens, and we’re separated at the time.  We pretty much know where to find each other under most circumstances.  And where to meet up.  My daughter even has things set so that if she’s alone with the baby and the dog, she could probably get out of the house in under 15 minutes.  There have been too many times that things would happen (small stuff of life in general), and she became annoyed at the fact that she wasn’t all together.  Still, it would be interesting to see how we’d handle things now that the kids are grown.  When I forwarded this e-mail to my daughter, we were already discussing a camping trip if we actually did this.  And we’ve been able to cover most scenarios and problems in real life.
    Note to self:  Learn how to use a credit card.  Being stranded in a sub-urban area on a weekend is much more difficult for me than being stranded in the woods…  Now THAT one was a massive fail.

  • MG Cassell

    All I can say is if I ever have to evacuate, I’m leaving the teenagers behind. Here’s how my 30 minutes went.

    http://50dollarstockpile.blogspot.com/2011/09/7-day-challenge-day-3-evacuate.html

  • Bridget

    Ok, I was actually ready for this one.  We have practiced this routine many times over the years.  We seem to have practiced it so much that 30 mins was indeed too much time, they began to get desperate to save everything with the extra time.  We pulled my van up to the front door with the hatch open and the seats laying flat and 2 were throwing things in my van, then at the back door, hubby had pulled our car hauler (which is actually used to store our TP, bottled water, papertowels, charcoal….) to the door and the huby and youngest were throwing things in there.  After we left the house and got to the park, we did a survey of what was actually in there.  Guess what, I forgot the photo albums! 

    I think I will make a list for everyone and post it inside the closet door, it would include exactly what everyone is responsible for packing in order of importance.  I think I will also move the photo albums from upstairs to the bookshelf beside our hallway closet which houses our emergency stuff. 

  • OutdoorsMom

    Don’t forget about your pets!

    We keep a harness/leash, bag of dry food and bowl (our cat doesn’t like canned food), gallon of water and bowl, brush, vet records, small sample bag of cat treats (our pet store regularly gives us samples) and cat toy in our cat carrier (we just take out the emergency items when we take her to the vet). 

    Our cat carrier has a piece of carpet cut to fit the bottom so our cat is comfy when she’s in there, the carpet is leftover from when my DH built her a scratching post so it is familiar to her.  So maybe think of bringing your pet’s bedding if you have time (dog bed etc.)

    We also have a small litter pan and gallon baggie of litter next to the cat carrier. 

    Both items are stored in our front hall closet next to our 72-hour kits so they are always ready to go with us.

    • OutdoorsMom

      Our grab list worked well: 72-hour kits for each person, important documents, box of photo negs and discs, wedding album, emergency contact list (there’s one of these in each person’s kit as well) and pet items.

      And our kits are in good shape too as we rotate the items at the end of August and Easter (works for us). 

      The cat wasn’t pleased to be disturbed (she’s old and sleeps a lot in a sunny window) but she is fine now that she’s been back home for a bit.

  • Due to illness we will begin as soon as Teff gets up & checks here email. I will not prepare anything before then so we can 

  • Paul

    We havn’t had a chance to put our 72-hour packs together yet so we would fail this one. Only forest fire would apply here and the only road up here would be going right through that fire. Only option would be to bug out on foot down the mountain side. There is no trees there becasue its all rock. The only option at this time would be to throw some mre’s and a change of cloths in my pack, grab my boots, rifle, wife and cats and start hiking. Fortunately we do that hike once and a while looking for herbs and mushrooms so we know it pretty well.

  • Heyyou63plus2

    Well in my haste guess what I forgot?   I forgot my medicine !!!!  Fortunately my husband did not.  On his last quick trip through the house he saw my pill case on the table and grabbed it and then looked in the fridg. to see if I had forgotten that too?  Yes I did so he grabbed it also.  Thank God for the blessing of a thinking husband !  It is good to have two minds working at the same time, especially if you are elderly and if you are excited and in a hurry.  You can be as prepared as you can be and still something can go a miss !  God Bless All.

  • Heyyou63plus2

    My husband has quicklyattached the trailer to the one car and I have the other car.  I take my brief case with all important papers, then I grab our bugout bags, then I grab our valuables that have also been put in a separate brief case.   In the mean time my husband has brought in the dolly and loaded as many of the cases of storage food as possible and placed them in the trailer, he has returned for a second load, I have grabbed some extra cloths for us both and the blankets and pillows off the bed.  They are in the van.  I open a can of cat food and the cats come running so I grab each of them and put them in the cat carriers and the dog goes in the car with his leash, he is tooooo big for a carrier!  I grab the bag of cat food and dog food and we are off.  The bunnies and chickens will have to be sacrificed.   We are out of hereand yes I did remember to load the mobility chair and hubby has tossed in the manual wheel chair just in case.   That is it and we are off to my sons down state !

    • Gendot

      Great planning!

    • Bridget

      Heyyou, awesome job!

  • April

    THIS was the hard one for me…hubby and the older 2 kids stayed up late(prob turned on the tv after i crashed at 9, ha!) i think it took more like 45 minutes to get them up and out!