The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 7 (TUESDAY)

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.

Today you felt a prompting to do an act of service for someone in need. A dear friend is really struggling and it would be very helpful if you brought him/her a meal or a special treat. You have a super busy day with no time to run to the store, but you still want to make something NICE.
Goal: Have a go-to meal or treat on hand for “emergency” acts of service

Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook either a full dinner or a special treat for someone in need (be prayerful/thoughtful about this and really try to find someone you can do this for)
  • Use only ingredients from your food storage
  • Make a list of 2 meals and 2 treats that you can always create from your storage that would be nice enough to give to another family. Make sure you keep the ingredients on hand for them (add to your report card if necessary)
  • Once you have performed your “act of service” you are DONE with the challenge!
  • Compile all your report cards from the week into a master list of things to do, learn, and buy (use our master plan outline to help guide you)
  • SHARING TIME: Post a picture of the meal or treat you made on our Facebook page and/or share the story of the act of service you performed in either blog comments or on Facebook

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • AFTER you have completed your act of service you can go and get a donut or a big gulp or whatever other indulgence you have been missing out on all week!

Advanced Tasks:

  • Cook your meal or treat without power
  • Make a double batch and freeze one for an act of service on another day

THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING, WE HOPE YOU JOIN IN AGAIN NEXT YEAR!


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.

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 6 (MONDAY)

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 horrible hurricane (or earthquake, or other disaster) is about to hit your area. You have to evacuate within minutes and eat out of your 72 hour kits today. While you were gone your house was destroyed. Lots to think about today.
Goal: Test your family’s evacuation plan and 72 hour kit foods

Today’s Tasks:

  • Evacuate your house within 15 minutes of getting today’s email. You do not know if your house will be destroyed while you are gone so plan accordingly. Stay away until after lunchtime
  • Eat/drink ONLY out of your 72 hour kits until you return home
  • While you are out, make a list of potential reasons you may be forced to evacuate. For each scenario, write down where you would go, what type of stuff you would need in your kits, how long you’d be gone, etc. Use this list to re-evaluate what you may or may not include in your kits.
  • Make a list of all of your valuables to submit to your insurance company since your house was destroyed while you were gone (this is more valuable to have BEFORE you actually lose everything)
  • Using the daily report card, make a list of things you could do/buy to minimize your losses in a complete house loss (i.e. Fireproof/waterproof safe, computer backup options, safety deposit box for valuables, etc.)
  • SHARING TIME: Post a picture or description of one of your 72 hour kit meals on our facebook page or in the blog comments

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • You can’t eat or drink anything besides what is in your 72 hour kits until dinnertime
  • You must stay away from home until after lunch

Advanced Tasks:

  • Eat out of your 72 hour kits for dinner too
  • Evacuate overnight using only supplies from your disaster kit
  • Contact your insurance company and find out details about what would be covered in a total loss situation like this

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.

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 5 (SUNDAY)

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 drunk driver struck a power line near your house today. Power is out in your entire neighborhood all day long. You must cook meals for your family using no electricity, and make a NICE Sunday dinner! You must also entertain yourself (and your family members) without electronics (the HORROR).
Goal: Practice living without electricity

Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook all three meals without electricity
  • Make a NICE Sunday dinner from scratch (no opening up a can of ravioli)
  • Do something FUN that doesn’t involve power
  • Do an inventory of your fuel storage, how many meals can you cook with the fuel you have stored?
  • Review one of our powerless cooking classes (online class or recorded live class)
  • SHARING TIME: What tools/fuel did you use to cook without power today? Share a picture or description on our Facebook page or on the blog comments!

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • DO NOT USE POWER AT ALL TODAY (with the exception of posting your comments about today’s challenge, hehe)

Advanced Tasks:

  • There is a big storm going on outside and you can only cook indoors
  • Your pipes froze during the night so you have to use stored water as well

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.

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 4 (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.

One of your elderly parents (or grandparents, or dear friend, or child) is having severe health problems and can no longer afford home health care. You were asked to come and live with them for 2 months to help out with their day to day living and have to leave TOMORROW. Today you must help your family prepare for you to have an extended “leave of absence”. If you are single focus on getting your own affairs settled.
Goal: Teach your family knowledge and skills that depend on you

Today’s Tasks:

  • Teach the other members of your household how to do any tasks that normally fall to you (i.e. laundry, cooking basics, mowing the lawn, car maintenance, etc.)
  • Make sure to pass any financial information on to your spouse, significant other, or another family member. (Use this questionnaire we made last year as a starting point of the type of info you should pass on)
  • If you’re the one in charge of managing the family schedule and routines, write it all out and make assignments or arrangements for how the family could make it without you
  • If you live alone, make a plan for who would look after your house/affairs if you had to leave suddently
  • Make a list of all your logins for important websites that family members may need to access. Either print it and put it somewhere secure or save it in a secure manner on your computer
  • SHARING TIME: What is the ONE task that would be hardest for someone else to take over if you were gone for two months? Share in the blog comments or over on our Facebook page.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • No other limitations today.

Advanced Tasks:

  • After teaching your family how to do your “jobs” actually leave for the day and make them DO THEM.
  • If you’re single or don’t have a large household, pass along the information to a friend or family for taking care of your house and affairs FOR REAL. Not just a plan for “in case”.

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.

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 3 (FRIDAY)

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.


Health care costs in your country have gone through the roof. Battles are waging between government, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. All doctors have gone on strike leaving a gaping hole in available medical care in your community. Today will focus on what you will need to do to prepare your family for all kinds of medical emergencies, including getting yourselves healthier to avoid dependence on medications (if at all possible) and/or medical interventions.
Goal: Get your family’s medical history & supplies in order and get healthy!

Today’s Tasks:

  • Prepare a family medical plan to include in your Emergency Binder (see this sample medical plan a reader sent to us, you can be this thorough or just jot down some simple info for your family)
  • Do an inventory of your home medical supplies. Add items to your daily report card that you need to purchase (there is an awesome comprehensive list of suggestions found on this post Modern Survival Blog)
  • Print out instructions for basic first aid procedures (there are some helpful guides found at this link)
  • Review our notes from the CPR/First Aid class we attended at our church, then look up when there is a formal class in your area and SIGN UP for it
  • Research any specific medicines you are taking, find out how you can stock pile some, make a plan for how to keep them refrigerated if necessary, etc. (Also consider if making lifestyle changes could help reduce your dependency on them)
  • Since living a healthy lifestyle is so important for disease prevention, cook healthy meals AND do a physical activity as a family (if applicable) today
  • SHARING TIME: Please go to our Facebook page or blog comments and share any experiences you’ve had with providing home medical care and what items were helpful for you. This will help us all make our plans of what we need to add to our supplies.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • No eating fattening foods, sugary treats, or drinking soda or alcohol today. (Yes we’re taking away all our vices)

Advanced Tasks:

  • Purchase additional manuals on first aid and emergency medicine
  • Learn more about holistic approaches to medicine including essential oils (check out this post as a starting point)
  • Practice treating a pretend injury using supplies from your house

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.

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 2 (THURSDAY)

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.

Please note: Today is a NEW emergency, none of the limitations listed yesterday apply. Your country is experiencing a WAR and the water purification facility in your area has been bombed. All water services coming to your home have been halted indefinitely. (If you use well water, your well was destroyed too!) Today you will practice living without running water in your home and experience cooking, sanitation, hygiene, etc. with STORED water.
Goal: Learn what your water needs will truly be in an emergency

Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook all meals (and CLEAN UP) using only stored water
  • Take a shower or bath using stored water (Don’t cheat and skip this one!)
  • Use stored water for flushing toilets
  • Calculate your usage for the day and use that number to determine how much of a water supply you actually have
  • FILL any empty water containers you have been procrastinating on filling
  • Make a plan for how you will collect/purify additional water if/when you run out (use your daily report card to help)
  • SHARING TIME: Post a picture or a description of the task you found most difficult to do using stored water today on Facebook or in the blog comments.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • Do NOT use running water at all. To help you not cheat, you can turn off your main water supply for the day

Advanced Tasks:

  • To conserve water, use a sanitation kit rather than flush stored water down the toilet.
  • Get ambitious and do a load of LAUNDRY with stored water.
  • Go to the nearest source of fresh water and fill up several water containers and purify it.

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.

7 Day Challenge: DAY 3 Recap … Evacuate and Evaluate

This post is part of our 7 Day Challenge RECAP series we promised you. We will be going over each of the days of the 7 day challenge in depth to highlight our learnings, favorite comments from participants, and giving additional information where necessary.

What We Learned

While we have done evacuation exercises in the past, we always learn something each time we do it. Jodi has been disorganized lately and had her “grab list” items all over the house. She has always felt like her front hall closet is too full and small to REALLY contain all her evacuation tools. But on this day she realized that her basement would be a better “landing pad” for evacuation. There is an exterior door that leads to the driveway and she has storage shelves right by the door already. Definitely a light bulb moment for her.

Julie attempted the evacuation with her husband and got to try out her new and improved grab lists that she posted right on her front closet door for a fast and easy evacuation plan. Check out her great lists.

We both realized we still had some items to add to our Emergency Binders (Julie needed a will, Jodi had a missing birth certificate for one of her kids). We’ve had a few frustrations with our binders as we’ve been trying to expand them to consider more scenarios where we might need them. A few weeks after this challenge we discovered an amazing product that has helped us a ton. You can check it out here.

What YOU Learned

A few of our favorite comments from our Facebook discussions and comments:

Take the photographs, leave the teenagers

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.

This challenge prompted us to straighten up the store room. Now to clean up the garage. It was a real pain climbing over stuff to get to our gear plus we couldn’t get near the tent & couldn’t find a few other thing we know are in there.

I thought my binder was in good shape, but had to spend a couple of hours this afternoon updating it and adding a few more things. My inventory is a mess. I started several times. Some is photos from a couple of years ago, some is digital and now I am motivated to get it all together, digitize everything and get it in my binder. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

Don’t forget about your pets!

Read more about how people “survived” this day’s challenge

Follow-Up Questions

Where can I learn more about evacuation tips?
We have a page on our site that includes an evacuation list.

What is an emergency binder for?
An emergency binder is where you want to place all of your important documents, insurance information, etc. so that you can easily grab it and go in case of an evacuation. For more info on how to put together your binder read this post. If you are struggling with putting together your binder properly, check out this post for a solution that worked miracles for us.

Our To-Do’s For This Year

To Do: Redo our Emergency Binders using the Prepare My Life Planner, move as many grab list items as possible to one location
To Learn: Figure out different grab list needs depending on different evacuation scenarios
To Buy: Add some more “hot meal” items to 72 hour kits along with a method to cook them

What We Learned About Emergency SANITATION

This post is part of our 7 Day Challenge RECAP series we promised you last week. Once a week we will be going more in depth on one of the days of the challenge to highlight our learnings, favorite comments from participants, and giving additional information where necessary.

What We Learned

In past years’ challenges we have practiced full days with no water. It definitely takes a lot more water to cook, clean dishes, wash yourself, etc. then you would think. The 1 gallon per person per day is NOT enough for proper hygiene. This year we wanted to focus on the sanitation aspect of things because last year we wasted TONS of water flushing our precious stored water. We knew there had to be a better way. This year we hinted that people should put together a basic “Sanitation Kit” before the challenge ;)

Julie highlights some of the contents from her kit here:

What YOU Learned

A few of our favorite tips from our Facebook discussions:

Milk Jug Shower/handwashing: Tie large nail to a string and tie it to the handle of a milk jug. Shove the nail into the side bottom (1/2 inch up) of the jug – it acts as a plug and string keeps it handy after you pull it out to get water. The lid tightness adjusts the water flow. —– Put heated water in it and hang from your shower head for regular shower. It doesn’t give good volume to wash hair but showers great. Put one on kitchen/bath sink side to keep hands clean.

I emptied the toilet bowl by shuting off the little faucet, took an 18 gal. plastic garbage bag set it in the bowl. (Had to use some paking tape to keep it in place.) Sprinkled a little cat litter then went to the restroom! Sprinkled a little more on top – closed the lid & it was ready for my next trip.

For in between shower days, instead of baby wipes they also have oversized ‘shower’ wipes. They use these in hospitals instead of the old fashioned sponge bath. They carry them at the pharmacies. They’re nice because it’s large and thicker than wet wipes and helps stretch the days between baths

I did go out and shut off the main water supply, so I can check that off my list. Unfortunately, I was gone for a walk when hubby got up and he called the water company, then had to call them back when I got home and explained what we were doing for the week. Yes, he called and explained to them that there had been an error and his wife had intentionally shut off the water because she was spending the day being a pioneer.

Read more about how people “survived” this day’s challenge

Follow-Up Questions

Where were the instructions on how to put together a Sanitation Kit?
We hinted about this on the blog a few weeks ago. Click here to see the post.

Where can I buy the “SuperSorb” mentioned in the Sanitation Kit list?
We found it online at Amazon.com. Click here to go straight to that product.

Where can I just buy a ready-made sanitation kit?
The kit from the video above is from Shelf Reliance. It is a deluxe 4 person, 1 week kit and costs $135. It’s not available online but we can take phone orders for it. (Email fsmethrive@gmail.com if you are interested in buying a kit).

You can also buy a less deluxe kit from Emergency Essentials for about $50 at this link. Individual items for homemade kits can be purchased at Shelf Reliance, Emergency Essentials, and Amazon.com

Our To-Do’s For This Year

To Do: Research water purifiers in depth, add to our first aid kits
To Learn: Learn more about safe first aid practices
To Buy: A water purifier system and add to first aid kits

7 Day Challenge RECAP

First off we want to say thank you to everyone who participate in the 7 Day Challenge this year. It is everyone joining in and commenting and sharing their experiences that makes it such a great learning week for all of us. This year we were really “task-oriented” with the challenges to help people to be able to really DO each challenge, and to concentrate on a specific area of preparedness.

If you were following along with the challenge, whether actively participating or not, we hope that you filled out the report cards each day and the master game plan worksheet from Day 7. We did this last year and spent a year working on all of the areas we found we were lacking. We are looking forward to doing the same thing this year and encourage everyone else to join in with us!

To make it easier to come back to all of the challenges and great comments from everyone, we have summarized everything here for you so you can get to it in one place.

Day 1: Natural Disaster – “Sanitation Crisis”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 1
Facebook Discussion about Day 1
Day 1 In Depth Recap and Learnings

Day 2: Powerless Cooking – “Anniversary Dinner”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 2
Facebook Discussion about Day 2
Day 2 In Depth Recap and Learnings

Day 3: Evacuation – “Evacuate and Evaluate”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 3
Facebook Discussion about Day 3
Day 3 In Depth Recap and Learnings

Day 4: Be Prepared – “Getting Your Affairs in Order”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 4
Facebook Discussion about Day 4

Day 5: Economic Crisis – “No Money!”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 5
Facebook Discussion about Day 5

Day 6: Dietary Issues – “Gluten Free”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 6
Facebook Discussion about Day 6

Day 7: Natural Disaster – “Bread from Start to Finish”
Daily Challenge and Comments on Day 7
Facebook Discussion about Day 7

As a special bonus this year, we are going to be going over each of the day’s challenges in more depth once a week for the next 7 weeks. We’ll go over our learnings, some of our favorite comments from others, and go into more detail on things that you could do to be better prepared for that particular scenario in the future. We hope that will be a fun way for everyone to get even more out of the challenge!

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 7 (WEDNESDAY)

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 natural disaster occurred quite some time ago. You have been without power for a very long time. You’ve eaten all the easy-to-make meals, canned foods and all that. Today your task is to make bread, from scratch, without power. Once you are done making your bread you are officially done the challenge, and we encourage you to compile all your report cards from the week and put them on the master list of things to do and to buy.
Today’s Goal: To practice making bread (the hard way) and a game plan.


Today’s Tasks:

  • Make bread- from start to finish with no power
  • Compile all your report cards from the week into a master list of things to do, learn, and buy (use our master plan outline to help guide you)

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.

Advanced Tasks:

  • You have to HAND GRIND WHEAT for the bread, no all-purpose flour
  • Do a full inventory of your current food storage and make a list of things that are missing


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.