Who's Committed for Peaceful Preparedness in 2012?

Preparedness doesn't come easily for any of us, but one of the best ways to truly build a foundation preparednessof preparedness is if you engage in activities that aid in your mental preparedness. The very best way I know to strengthen that particular Principle of Preparedness is to allow yourself to go through physical exercises so that you provide your mind with something valuable to recall should you find yourself confronted with a challenge that requires every bit of the preparedness strengths you've got on hand. So, the only question is, are you really committed to making 2012 a more prepared and self-reliant year? Then take a look at what suggestions we have for your preparedness efforts!

Introducing 2012 Preparedness Pro Challenges

Exactly how serious are you about being more self-reliant and prepared for life’s curveballs? At Preparedness Pro we’ve decided that instead of snarking about a December 21, 2012 apocalyptic event, that we’d focus more on being ready for anything that life has to throw at us, based on countless viable possibilities. So we’ve issued several challenges for you and your family, or group preparednessof friends, to peruse and decide which one you’re up for!

Choose it, and we’ll be a part of it, following your progress, efforts, and speed bumps either via an interview, photo article, or even filming you—whatever you’re more comfortable with. And yes, we’re serious about the privacy. We ARE Preparedness Pro after all. *wink* Of course all of these options will be done with your utmost of privacy in mind, but we all stand to benefit when we can learn from others’ experiences.

So, pick your challenge, commit to it by writing me, Kellene, and let us know  you're on for the game. We’ll cheer you on, check up on you, give you some tips to make it a great family experience and we’ll ALL benefit and do something much more productive than wringing our hands. And don’t you worry, you don’t have to be perfect for us to all benefit. You just have to TRY perfectly. How’s that?

Once you officially commit to a challenge, we’ll communicate with you and discuss the” what's” and “why's” of you selecting this particular challenge and discuss how best we can help you with that challenge; and more importantly, help you share your experience with others. This approach preparednessactually helps individuals with the challenge because as you experience the challenge your mind is naturally observing your actions as well. When we feel like we’re observed, we are more aware of what we do and behave a little differently as well. These challenges will not only benefit you, but it will also benefit the rest of the preparedness community who, like you perhaps, feel like they are the only ones who “get it.”  I think most of our readers will totally agree that they feel like the only one within miles who actually believes that the term “self-reliance” is not a declaration reserved solely for a terrorist.

In addition to the fruits that the challenge will bring you, each challenger will receive a small special token prize that will be personal to their specific challenge and will be based on what we observe during the course of that challenge. But, even better, on Dec 1st, 2012 we’ll also give away a Grand Prize to one lucky winner that will be selected based on who made the most progress in their preparedness efforts as seen during the course of their challenge. The Grand Prize? Well, to start with... how about a Humless Roadrunner Solar Generator complete with the solar panel charging package! (I love, love, love this one. It operates my string of LED string lights for 8 hours (see video) and even my FoodSaver when I’m wanting to seal my jars again!)

So, peruse the Preparedness Pro Challenges below, select one for you and you family and friends to try, and let’s all start learning!

 2012 Preparedness Pro Challenges


Lights-Out Challenge

Time: 4 Days

preparednessTo ensure you’ve got the right lights to rely on in the dark, plenty of easy foods, and entertainment for the kids, enjoy this 4 day challenge in which you turn off and refuse to use all non-electric lights in you home. This is sure to be an eye-opener as to where some of your vulnerabilities might be. So pull out your candles, lanterns, flashlights, etc. and make sure you're fully stocked up on SAFE ways to bring light into your home.


Eat-In Challenge

Time: 21 Days

Ok. 21 Days eating nothing else except for what’s in you home brings about a whole slew of preparednesschallenges such as time management, creativity, and just as important, finding recipes that you can make with the least amount of energy, but still with quality ingredients.  We suggest you make this a family challenge rather than having the burden carried by just one person. Whether you start out “cold-turkey” or you actually try to “beat the system” and stock up in anticipation of this challenge, you’re SURE to learn something useful to help you in your preparedness efforts. Oh, and by the way, yes, it is considered cheating if you go to the furniture sale and pig out on the free hotdogs. This challenge is about YOU providing food for yourselves--being self-reliant where the principle of food preparedness comes in, not others providing it for you.

Consumer Fast Challenge

Time: 14 Days

preparednessPut your money and credit cards away for 14 days and live as if your credit and currency is no longer viable—in other words you can’t purchase or pay for anything for 14 days—nothing, nada. This means no last minute purchase for dance shoes, no lunch money, no gasoline, no dinner-out and no groceries. Plan ahead to pay for everything you possibly can before you begin the 14 day Consumer Fast Challenge, including storing what little bit of gasoline you’ll need for the 14 days. You can do it!!

No Water Challenge

Time: 5 Days

preparednessWe sure do tend to take water for granted in our lives.  After all, everywhere we go we have access to potable water, right?  But for 5 days you’re going to need to create a water-free environment for yourself in which you can only rely on the water which you have on hand for all of your needs—bathing, drinking, cooking, thirst, laundry, sanitation, etc. You can have access to all other technology except water from any other source than what you’ve done to prepare. Thirsty yet?

Financial Armageddon Challenge

Time: 14 Day

preparednessThis challenge will require some cooperation from those who work around you; and it takes the Consumer Fast Challenge to a greater extreme. With this challenge you cannot pay for anything with checks, credit cards, or debit cards. You can only pay with cash or barter. AND even worse, you cannot ACCEPT any other form of currency other than the cash you have on hand and barter. Hmmm…we wonder what curve balls this challenge will bring about,  hmmmm?

EMP Challenge

Time: 4 days

This is the most extreme of the power outage scenarios. It basically means that for 4 days you cannot benefit from the use of electrical power, diodes, internet, etc. Much more than just doing away with the lights, this means that your entire home will have to run on your preparedness and ingenuity. You can still go to work as you normally would, but when you’re at home you’ve got to pretend that the power is out preparednesseverywhere around you. (so no calls to the Pizza Guy for delivery. OK?) You may still use your phone--as a PHONE--not as an entertainment source, in this challenge, but use it as a last resort, not to placate your own boredom or someone else’s for that matter. What will you do for light, cooking, cleaning, etc?  You’re soon to find out once you wake up on the morning of the fifth day that you’re much stronger than you thought, much closer as a family than you may have thought, and of course, you’ll be surprised to see some gaping holes in your preps as well. Isn’t it better to do this than to pay a few thousand dollars for one of those wilderness survival scenarios?

7 Minutes Bug Out Challenge

Time: 72 Hours

So many people believe that they can handle just about anything that comes to them--all because preparednessthey have a 72 hour kit.  But this exercise will definitely help you see things a bit more clearly.  Here’s the rules. You have to be able to transport with you all that you’ll need for 3 days; and you only have 7 minutes to gather it all.  Additionally, you’ll have to relocate to a camping scenario where there are only a limited number of facilities. This place must be no further from your home than what you can travel to and from on a full tank of gas. Your 3 day challenge begins as soon as your 7 minutes starts. You’ll grab and go and endure until the 72nd hour at which time you can head back home.

After the Earthquake Challenge

Time: 24 hours

Clean up, check on your neighbors, (knowing how to) shut gas off, preliminary first-aid application, and being without many of your every day standard tools and supplies is no picnic but it’s definitely one of the most likely natural disasters the majority of U.S. citizens will experience one day. We encourage this particular challenge to be done as a neighborhood, whether it’s just your block of neighbors, your community, your church members or maybe just as parents of Scouts. Either way, give it a try and you’ll see some gaps that will certainly help you to be better prepared for the real thing.

To commit to a specific challenge or date, just click on the Contact Us button on this site and let's get the ball rolling!





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Looked at your challenge. All of them are a piece of cake except the water and EMP and those are so hard I'm not going to do them. We live with a well and if there were no electricity and it were winter we would go up to the creek and turn on the ditch to get water from...summer would be easy except for hauling the water (only about 15 feet). I really do need to provide some way to get well water without the grid. A generator would do it but I do want to provide a long term alternative to the grid. I do not have a 72 hour kit because I live where everyone else who has one will eventually go...I'm not going anywhere. We live at the end of the road in a very small rural community. It is great that you are challenging people to do this and maybe even have fun doing it!

Hmmm. Interesting. You won't do some because they are too easy and you won't do others because they are too hard.

72 hour kits aren't just for bug-out scenarios. If there was a fire where you are, you could grab it and go. If you broke down in your car it could help until someone arrived. It could even be a last-minute overnight bag. They are nice to grab for spontaneous camping trips. There could even be a use for them post-grid-down, maybe you'll have to send someone out searching for something, or with a message, or what have you. Either way, every house (really every person) should have one, whether you think you'll ever need it or not. If you're that confident, keep it in your car and call it a "get home bag". But the general idea applies. I challenge YOU to assemble one for yourself.

I think I might be able to help you with the water one. I have an all stainless manual well pump that can be put in tandem with an existing electrical pump. It can be plumbed to run straight into your existing pressure tank, and there is a solar motor option(however I do not have that option installed on mine at this time). You can check it out at this site (it's where I got mine), and no I do not work for either the site or the pump maker. Hope it helps you out, I know I sleep better at night knowing that I have access to water at all times.


Okay...maybe we are all just a bit off (I had to laugh at the surely unintended pun "committed for preparedness" - many think we should be! hee-hee!)but I think this all sounds rather fun. My 11 year old daughter just said, "I'm not doing the water one!", so that may be the first one we have to start with! Fitting these into real life is going to be tricky, but,I guess the real emergencies will never come at an opportune time either!

Exactly, Holly!

In her defense, my sweet daughter thought that meant she couldn't have any water to drink for five days... no wonder she was so adamant about not doing it!! When I explained more clearly, she wasn't quite so against it, though still not so thrilled...I told both my youngest who were here reading all the scenarios with me that I'm going do some planning over the next few days and then it's on like Donkey Kong (kidspeak...sheesh!). My 14 year old prepper extraordinaire is totally psyched (teenspeak...even worse!)- the others will go along, so YAY!


I really like these ideas! There are a couple of your challenges which I won't really participate in because that's how we're currently working. I'm unemployed, so we are typically eating from our food storage and replacing items on a once monthly basis. So we're living your Eat-In and Consumer Fast challenges.

I am really intrigued by the No Water and EMP challenges. I think they are above our ability right now, so I need to do more work to prepare for those challenges. By just reading about these challenges I am thinking of what needs to be done on my checklist!

I can't wait for our family meeting tomorrow afternoon. I am going to discuss the 7 Minute Bug Out challenge with my family. I think this one is a challenge which we think we're prepared for. I think putting it to the test will be good for us. I realize emergencies don't come at a planned time, but for this practice I want to plan it to coincide with our Spring Break.

Thanks for the ideas to help us keep on our toes!

Everyone needs to keep in mind that NONE of these challenges are expected to go perfectly. It will primarily be from the imperfections that we all learn. And none of these challenges were created to "kill" anyone either. We put a LOT of thought into these particular challenges. Nobody, and I mean nobody is going to get through any of these without learning something--unless of course they are a "know it all" in which case they aren't someone who the rest of us would stomach observing anyway. :-)

Spring break--you sissy. hee hee (just kidding)

Your site is fantastic! I am challenging my man to do some of your challenges with me. We have been preparing since last year for 2012 and what may happen. He has it all set for doom and gloom but I am just looking forward to survival and having enough to eat for us and our animals. And if nothing happens we will be all stocked up and not have to shop for a while. I like that idea! we have been trying to do projects with the kids that are or will be practical too.

Can a deployed soldier get in on this challenge? I already meet most as we dont have much in the way of nice things. I reside on top of a 4K foot mountain in Kunar, Afghanistan. We have no power and only have bottled water and MRE's for minimum of a week. US Cash isnt used in this country so that isnt a issue however we Do bring laptops and ipods to pass the time. Could my squad mates and I try the new electronics challenge? Just curious how this is going to pan out. Being here is the easy part, just hope the bad guys dont come around as they may get more than they can handle with a bunch of bored soldiers with no entertainment. HAHA Thanks for the challenges. Check in a week or two.... depending on the weather here.
Kunar Province, Afghanistan

You can, though you've got all of your supplies provided for you instead of accumulating them for yourself. But I suspect that even with that, you're learning something everyday.

Be safe and God Bless. Hope you will find some non hostile entertainment!

Kellene, Guess I need to get this out to my stake and see who is willing to do it... That is quite a challenge but we need to see how prepared we are for anything... I am pretty sure we can handle most of this... Thanks for putting this out for us...

We are going to try the Eat-in challenge! This should be a fun, easy (I hope) way for us to learn more about food preparedness. If it goes well, we'll move on to the Comsumer fast challenge, and the Financial Armageddon Challenge. We're not quite ready for some of the challenges, but I feel we can do these. My kids are actually excited to see if we can do this!

I love hearing from some of you about the excitement that the kids are bringing to the table. cool!

On the EMP challenge could we assume our Farraday cage works and if we have a 1979 or earlier vehicle that it still runs? Say 15-30 minutes warning of EMP.
I've done a practice of a couple of you scenarios already and a the no buying thing almost monthly. LOL
I think I'd like to try the no water and EMP then the 7 minute bugout in March. I think those would be the hardest for me to do and by then I'll have my second water barrel and the solar oven and I should be ready.

You can "cheat" if you want Jamie, but you know better than anyone that we don't get a warning for an EMP. It doesn't show up on the radar, there's no "explosion" to see nor fallout. :-)

...Unless the EMP is in the form of a solar flare. Scientists have been predicting that by 2013 major flares could cause widespread electronic outages. One scientist told me that it could take months to years to recover from such events.

You've got a point there, but at what point do we get "the warning."
"CBS News tonight: we report that solar flares disrupted the nation's communication and electrical systems today and then..." :-)

Actually a CME (coronal mass ejection from the Sun) will be evident about 3 days before the EMP like event because the light generated during the CME travels faster than the mass ejected. There are continuous observations of the solar activity so there will be no high level governmental "Should we disclose this?" discussion. On the other-hand one of these gives no warning and can be transported by ship train or truck.....

Knowing about the CME is not the same as knowing that we'll have damage done to our electronics, though, yes, it is plausible that if you know about the CME (assuming that the Government felt that this was a matter worth knowing--which is highly unlikely) you could just assume that damage would be done and then protect your things accordingly.

I wasn't trying to cheat! much lol For a nuke Norad should give us a bit of warning. A solar storm takes about 3-8 hours to hit earth and NASA does have a few solar storm warnings for satellite operators. I wanted the test to be realistic like Sat TV expects interruptions for... That's your EMP warning/test.
I guess I need a random event to know that's my time to know the test starts NOW! It's not so good if I pick the 5th of March 8:00PM for my EMP or water test.
Perhaps we pick a random date each month and a task and you Kellene give us a post and when we see the post and the clock is ticking. If you cheat you hurt no one but yourself. It's not about winning it's about learning and seeing how well you do or don't do. It's pass/fail and a B+ ain't good enough.
I lived two months on my stored foods so 21 days is no biggie. But I did learn a lot about my inner snacker and a couple of candy bars, some popcorn and some crackers would have made a tough time better, or easier to deal with some sugar, salt and some recipes for snacks.

Remember the reason why it will not be detected is because the EMP can be launched much higher over the atmosphere than an nuclear bomb that's intended to harm all living things. Though NASA MAY be able to give us some notice of "possible" solar flares, they simply cannot give us notice of solar flares that will do damage because they won't know until the damage is done.
Unfortunately, just before 9/11 there was a study finished which was commissioned by our government regarding the military's level of readiness in the event of an EMP--but because of 9/11 it got swept to the side and we are still woefully underprepared for EMP damage.
Don't worry, a little cheating will only show you how hard it will really be in certain areas and then you'll do better to prepare for that in a real scenario. :-)

Here is a good example of the "eyes" on the sun, and the projected lead time for a CME to bring EMP like effects to Earth.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet on January 9-11. Weak effects from CH492 could cause a few unsettled intervals on January 12-13.

Coronal holes (1) Coronal mass ejections (2) M and X class flares (3)

1) Effects from a coronal hole could reach Earth within the next 5 days. When the high speed stream has arrived the color changes to green.
2) Effects from a CME are likely to be observed at Earth within 96 hours.
3) There is a possibility of either M or X class flares within the next 48 hours.

Green: 0-20% probability, Yellow: 20-60% probability, Red: 60-100% probability.
can be found at...
(I am not trying to be a pain in the neck by the way)

It maybe after the fact for EMP though I don't think so as NASA is very concrned about solar weather. Can we assume our farraday cages work and we can only drive a pre 1980 vehicle if we have replacement wires, points, sparkplugs and wires.
I'm just getting the parameters of the test in mind. I have an old vehicle but not if the parts toasted by EMP. That means I'll have to use my trike for getting around and shopping. It makes a difference to me if I want it to be a true test.

Jamie, you remember that 1980 is too late to endure an EMP. You'll have to go back to pre 1972 in most cases actually.

Darn! there you go again with that logic stuff. I guess if I do the EMP I'll assume the RV is toast. That will make it a bit harder. I'll assume the faraday cage works but everything else is toasted elecctronically and all I have is what is left on battery power unless I can get a solar charger and put it in the box. I'll still work for March 5th and 8PM I just wrote it at random but it's as good as time as any.

I'll still do the challenge of no water on March the 5th at 8 pm. I want to do the 7 minute bug out but that will be tough with my handicap but worth trying for and the EMP challenge since I tried to cheat in a smart way and Kellene won't let me.... LOL and insists I play right I'll do that in May.

I'm all over that water challenge. My water Froze up on Dec. 31 and hasn't thawed yet, long story. I also brought in the new year with -30 degree F. temps which meant my propane was liquified and not working. Thus no water and no stove to cook on. I decided it was laugh or cry time and thus we are rotating our bottled water and refilling our 7 gallon water jugs with fresh water. I've cooked in and on the wood stove and made do with what we have on hand. We have a heat wave today and a blizzard and should be back down to sub zero temps in a couple days. I do love the electricity, and that one will be hard. The eating in and no currency ones also sound easy. We do all our cooking at home, but I've never finished a thirty day challenge on not shopping.

Perhaps it's getting that first "fresh water" barrel or the tests but I do find that I'm more focused on getting ready for my upcoming test date. I've already found a couple of soft spots in my prep I thought were good to go and I haven't even started testing yet. I will post the problems via the contact button. Nothing big just thought I was good on some items and was not.

I have been doing a lot more tweaking and thinking about what ifs in a more concrete way since I have accepted the challenge. How can evacuate using just my Adult trike and how will I carry my pets as well as my bug out stuff, if my RV won't work? Now I'm working on an idea for a "tactical trike" and I'll use a couple of pet small pet carriers and bungie cord them to my bug out buckets in the rear basket. and strap my BOB on the front.

I think Bugging in is the smartest idea but if we get a chemical leak from a train derailment ( railyard 6 blocks away) a bike/trike maybe the only way out. I have a responsibility to my critters to do what I can without endangering myself.

I don't know why but I hadn't read this post until now. Several years ago we had an ice storm here in Missouri. Since we live out in a very rural area when our electricity went out it stayed out for ten days. Thank heavens were were prepared. The only thing I would do a bit differently is cook up and can as much of the two freezers as I could. We lost it all, however that was the worst of it. Cold, it was really cold, so we set up one room and did everything there. I was amazed the lanterns ( oil) Helped heat the room so much. During the day I read, quilted, crochet, and cooked. Hubby went to work. On day three we had water again , but we had been taking "spit" baths on the days we did not have water. We used from our storage and could have gone on for at least a month with out bringing in water. At night we slept with a cap on, socks and put our two sleeping bags together on our bed. we have wind up clocks and battery run so we didn't lose anything there. We had a wind up radio, so I could listen to news etc. I found what I missed the most was knowing what was happening around me.

Since then we have bought more propane canisters. I can much more of the meat products we bring into our home. We have a small 26 foot RV that we can move to which would be warmer and make our cooking easier, it has a pump up water pressure system from a 30 gallon tank and other than a few things, I might have to go to the house for we are go to go,but we keep it stocked and ready. Ten days with no electric was not easy but it wasn't bad and I could do it if I had to.

I did miss my toaster, which is now solved with the oven in the RV. I am now putting the effort in to canning butter and saving my cheeses with wax, thanks to Kellene, also I am coating my eggs with mineral oil, I did run out of them on day 5 and hubby was able to get them in town but in a real breakdown I would not have that option. I could not make my sourdough beard so I used the starter in pancakes so it wouldn't go bad and then the pancakes became sandwich material....I have done a couple of the challenges before and feel pretty well prepared.
One thing worries me, hubby is a type one diabetic. We have a six month supply and working to have a year, but then in a real breakdown in society would we be able to get more or would I watch him die????
Frightens me more than most things.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the lights out challenge for little kids' who are used to a nightlight? I personally hate night lights in bedrooms, but we do have them in the hall just outside their bedroom and in the bathroom (both areas where little natural light reaches - no windows).

You can use small solar lights that you've had outside or you can use the glow in the dark stickers on their walls.

Try the battery powered "Tap Lights" They work great, while giving off a very soft light.

keep in mind that anything battery operated will undoubtedly fry in the event of an EMP. So it's good to store some of that kind of stuff in a faraday cage.

I found the challenges interesting. I live in bountiful Utah and we had to live without any power for 3 days during the wind storm in December. This experience really helped me see some gaps in our "preparedness.". One of the toughest things for us was heat. Our heater did not work, our house was down to the 40's and boy was that cold.
I'm planning on trying the eat in challenge although I don't see it as a problem. I'm excited to try some new recipes I've been eyeing, Plus it's a good way to clean out my freezer before my next purchase of beef. Thanks for the info on your site, I appreciate it.

Regarding the water challenge: does that include the toilet?

Hey Kellene,
How about an update on this challenge.
I discovered your Preparedness Pro blog in the middle of October, 2012. I literally read almost all of the previous posts in about two weeks. When I found this post on the 2012 Challenge.
I had e-mailed you asking if I could count three unplanned weeks in January, where I was incapacitated after having surgery for multiply large kidney stones as doing the Consumer Fast Challenge: 14 Day Challenge? Was I registered? This was all done as a neophyte prepper. Honestly I couldn't spend any moeny since I wasn't working and didn't have any money.
This was how I fared at the time.
Money: I did pay the doctors with debit card, not cash. But, other than that, I didn't buy anything.
Toiletries: No issue at all *grins*
Food: Plenty on hand for the three weeks.
Fuel: Though I didn't buy any gas, the only time I drove was to the doctors, & hospital (often had others drive). Area of weakness.

Since then, I took your three day water challenge.

Yeah, I remember e-mailing you back that that wouldn't be able to count because the contest required regular accountability for the benefit of being able to share the winner's experience with our readers, and since it had already come and gone, I wasn't able to get that from you.
I'm certainly glad you made it through your own personal journey though!

Thanks for your response. No worries. Maybe I will reward myself a prize again. hee, hee. Probably a solar oven.


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