Using REAL EVENTS to Educate, Train and Practice

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Caljack. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

Have you ever been hit with a left jab or perhaps a right cross, How about a combination? I’m sure you know or can image that being the recipient of a one two punch can leave you shaking your head trying desperately to get your senses back as quickly as possible. What if you never saw it coming?

This past week the world felt the impact of that one two punch; first there was the terrorist attack using a large truck as the primary weapon and then an attempted military coup.

In fact, the recent assassination of five police officers and the upcoming potential demonstrations, and civil unrest during the political conventions are all real life flashpoints, which could easily force you to activate your survival skills. All these recent and potential upcoming events all have one thing in common for Preppers. They are all perfect opportunities to educate, train and practice.


The purpose of education is to teach us skills that we use later in life. The basic skills, reading, writing, simple math for example are vital when learning how to read a map or plot a course with a compass. Health classes teach us about our senses and proper hygiene, gym classes teaches us physical fitness and hopefully good sportsmanship.

Science classes usually teach us about our planet, the environment, and various insects and animals. Most of us consider these things as basic education and yet we need to learn how to adapt them now in a survival situation.

In this day and age, many people and especially the young have become slaves to technology. Yet, in all likelihood, technology will not be there when they need it the most. – They will have to rely on the ability to speak.


The art of communication is more than just being able to speak. Face to face the exchange of information –to inspire confidence, to take charge, to get others to follow your lead-cannot be learned nor instilled in others though some app on a smart phone.

Thus a leader can use a live event just like films in school to educate others– on how to adapt certain survival or other skills in such a situation. Many of us use the Prepper Journal to educate ourselves by reading the articles that are posted and by other means.

A group leader or parent can use such real events to evaluate the practical knowledge and/ or psychological impact on a person or a group. This can be especially important information to gather on children.


There are two main types of training; Static or fixed training, such as I mentioned under education, taking classes in self defense, first aid, or other useful skills. The other is variable training.

How should you react to the various real life incidents listed above.

Back in the 1970’s, a number of our embassies came under attack. One Friday night, suddenly and as fast as your TV remote control can change a channel, the embassy I was in was attacked.

My training up to that point was 6-7 years in the military to include the Vietnam War, an endless night cradling an M-16 inside a fox hole while somewhere in the darkness VC snappers were paying us a call and then just a few years later, keeping tabs of large groups of demonstrators in a South American city.
Yet, in that moment when the first explosion rattled the windows, a whole different set of variable training had to be instantly evaluated accepted or rejected. My past experience did not fit the situation.

Today, a real life incident can suddenly flash on our TV or Computer screen or we hear about it over the radio. Outside, there is a mob of people causing a crisis and even more people, arms high in the air, their cell phones in their hands recording the event. This is a perfect training situation for you, your family or your group. Training your kids to “not follow the crowd” is not easy-but it is the RIGHT Thing to do.


First, I want to stress the point that I am not advising you or anyone to go to a life threatening situation or crises. Usually, the TV coverage provides enough educational and training opportunities simply by watching for example:

  • Type of Threat
  • Location of the Threat
  • Size of the Threat
  • What hostile action is being committed?
  • What preventive measures are being used by law enforcement? Are they effective?
  • Is information provided by the media or news outlets current and accurate?
  • What action needs to be taken? Bug out, hunker down, barricade entry points?
  • Do you need to post guards, show of force?
  • Do you need to set up a command and control center?
  • What avenues of escape or evasion are there?

Take advantages of safe opportunities

While I mention earlier that you should not go to any situation that might threaten your life, a family member or someone in your group. That does not mean that after a short period of time- once and only if the situation and the area are secure by authorities – you might want to consider a field trip- if doing so will help in the educational and training process. (No gear)

Another option would be to go to a similar location –without your gear, and have your family or group evaluate what they would do or would not do, to escape a hostile situation, like the one they had recently watched unfold on TV.

If you have teenagers or there are other adults with less knowledge and or experience in your group, consider having them take charge of the group. The whole purpose of practicing, is to develop the proper skills and thought processes-you need-so you are ready.

It is important that everyone in your family or in your group understands not only the world we live in but also that threatening events can happen in a flash. Having a bug out bag, a loaded weapon, and have experience camping-does not make you totally prepared.

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Mike Lashewitz

Excellent! Thank you for your service brother.


Thanks Caljack. Interesting piece. When I was a the Benning school for boys a loooong time ago, most of our assignments revolved around receiving a document that outlined a ‘wartime’ scenario, and a map of the area. We were tasked with conducting offensive operations or defensive operations to either gain control of, or retain control of the outlined area. We developed battle plans, lists of assumptions, missing information, and the like. We then presented our plan to the group. The next day, we took a trip to the ground depicted in the written scenario. We had the opportunity to review… Read more »


Although, this is a great write up- one thing to add.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, get out. Being former fire and police, and now currently a medic; please don’t linger. Don’t take selfies or video- leave. And don’t walk, run. If you watch the people in the Dallas shootings, they were walking or taking videos…. the people in Nice, ran. Do the smart thing, talk it over later, learn from it and adapt.

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