Disaster Preparedness Training with Simulations

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disaster training simulationIn this guide we will teach you disaster preparedness training with simulation to prepare you and your family for anything!  Throughout many of our articles either Weston, Ryan, or Myself are always harping on the importance of training.  Yes we can all go to the range, cut holes in some wood, and do a little pew pew magic, but what does that accomplish when preparing for a disaster?  Yes you’ll be a better shot, but does that truly prepare you for the shit to hit the fan?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t and it is for this reason I will teach you how to simulate disaster to prepare for anything..

How to Simulate Disaster

By no means should you think simulating disaster will be a simple process.  Simulating disaster requires manpower and planning to truly create a dynamic disaster simulation.  Luckily for you, you’ve got Runik here to plan this out for you.  All pretentiousness aside, there are four elements any disaster simulation requires; disaster, objective, dynamic threats, and realism…


For this simulation the disaster you will be facing is my all time favorite or at least the one I feel is most likely is dirty bombs (improvised nukes made from radioactive waste) have been detonated in every major American city.  You and your family live in the suburbs a couple miles outside the city.  I’m not going to get into the complexities of nuclear fallout since we are not referring to nuclear warheads, we’re talking about dirty bombs which will most likely not be able to enter the jetstream that exists between the troposphere and the stratosphere 23,000 – 52,000 ft above sea level, meaning the fallout shouldn’t extend beyond 10-20 miles or so…


Your mission objective is to get your wife, and kids to your bug out location located outside the hot zone which is 10-20 miles outside ground zero without getting shot, and to survive three days without food, water, power, and communication from outside sources.  By achieving your objective you will mentally and physically prepare you and your family for disaster before it happens to avoid hesitation, confusion, and shock that could possibly get you killed.

Dynamic Threats

The problem with most range training is it doesn’t truly simulate the dynamic nature of a firefight.  In this simulation you will need eight close friends and/or members of your survival group i.e. militia to assume the role of enemy combatants.  You need these dynamic threats in the simulation because they represent a prominent reality in any disaster.  When society falls, humanity becomes hard to find.  By having dynamic threats in your disaster preparedness simulation you will train your mind, and body to expect the unexpected.


Each member of the disaster preparedness simulation needs to dedicate to the role, and their individual objectives.  Why do I say this?  Each of you need to convince yourselves that this is real or else the simulation will not be truly effective.  By giving each participant an objective to aim for you simulate what real enemy combatants’ objectives would be.  Since you all have your objectives, you could make it a little interesting by wagering the simulation.  Whoever completes their objective gets a few boxes of ammo, or a case of beer.  Make it interesting guys!

Prepare the Training Simulation

Now that we have reviewed the four primary elements to the simulation we will prepare for the training simulation.  First things first, call a meeting with the simulation team at your house.  Have a BBQ and sit down with your friends and go over this disaster preparedness training simulation in its entirety.  The ideal time to perform this training exercise would be on a three day weekend such as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The rules are simple and are as follows..

  • all cell phones and tablets stay home
  • if at anytime the exercise needs to end due to a medical emergency use a blow horn or a whistle to alert the stagers who will communicate to other elements
  • centermass/headshots are kill shots
  • leg shots mean that person must be carried by another team member and tourniqueted
  • should any tango eliminate the target group they themselves assume the role of target group and take on their objectives

Your simulation team requires eight people who you know have basic firearms skills, and two people who will act as the simulation stagers.  The teams will be as follows…

  • Target Group – Your family or group
  • Homebase 1 – Staging element who will set the conditions to enact the disaster
  • Tango Alpha – One enemy combatant
  • Tango Bravo – Two man fireteam
  • Tango Charlie –  Four man fireteam
  • Homebase 2 – Staging element for the bug out location

To get your simulation going you’ll need to invest in a little bit of equipment.  Note, your survival group should all chip in to get the gear since you’ll be alternating roles..

Disaster Training Simulation Roles and Objectives

Homebase 1 – This staging element kicks the party off and he/she can initiate the training op at any time they like!  Your mission objective is to pick a time of the day you think the target family will be least expecting it.  To begin the simulation you will;

  • access the target home’s primary power box typically located outside the home, and turn off the power to the home.  (Note: if target box has a lock on it be sure to take the lock off a day prior to the simulation)
  • alert tangos Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Homebase 2 the simulation has begun via ham radio
  • 60 seconds after the power is turned off you will throw one smoke bomb in the direction of the target’s exit path (i.e. driveway)
  • 3 minutes after the first smoke bomb is thrown you will toss a second in the same direction

Target Group – As the target group you will be the only people in this simulation who are completely out of the loop.  While the threats wait outside your door, you will be completely in the dark.  The minute Homebase 1 initiates the simulation you will have to complete the following objectives;

  • at the beginning of the simulation get your group or family out of the house with all of your gear (bug out bags for each person) within 5 minutes of the power being shut off and donning PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • travel to your bug out location while fighting through three fireteams to get to your bug out location
  • reach your bug out location and secure the area
  • survive in your bug out location without food, water, power, and outside communication for three days (or whatever your schedule allows for)

Tango Alpha – You are a single enemy combatant who will be queued to engage after the second smoke bomb is deployed, and your primary objective is to commandeer the target’s vehicle by any means.  Your role is that of a neighbor who wasn’t prepared for the disaster but has no supplies or working vehicle, so your only option is to take someone else’s.  How and when you engage the target is your decision.  You can attempt to breach the home or wait for them to exit.

Tango Bravo – You are a two man fireteam whose role is two men with a broken down car a couple miles away from the bug out location.  You can use your ‘broke down’ vehicle to block the road forcing the target to slow down to go off-road and drive around the vehicle, or move the vehicle manually, at which time you can engage from any direction. Again the idea of this training simulation is to be dynamic and unpredictable!

Homebase 2 – When the target group reaches the bug out location you will wait twelve hours, at which time you will disconnect the home’s primary power (if any exists) and pop two smokes alerting the target group that the 12 hour resting period is over.  Ideally, you should have basic first aid skills in case anyone has an accident and have a first responder trauma kit on hand.

Tango Charlie – You are a four man fireteam whose role is a marauding group of bandits who are going from house to house looting supplies, and killing anyone in your way.  If the target group makes it to the bug out location they will have a 12 hour reprieve before anyone attempts to breach the bug out location. How you breach, and when you breach is completely up to you. For tips on breaching you can read how to breach a building at night.

Training Simulation Synopsis

After reading this training simulation guide you can see it’s not rocket science, and I encourage you to add your own twists and turns to further the dynamic nature of disaster preparedness.  All of you think you will survive the apocalypse when the time comes because you have fifty pounds of cheetos under your bed and get inside the rings with your super highspeed tacticool rifle.  The reality is survival is so much more than that, and threats are around every corner so I dare all of you to try and survive this simulation.

With this training exercise I’ve outlined you will face four very likely threats that you won’t be prepared for, and you will have to think dynamically to keep your group alive.  Not only will you have to fight off threats, live without power (cell, computer, microwave), but you’ll have to survive with what you were able to bring with you and nothing else.  This is what true training is, if you can’t bring yourself to even try this exercise, good luck when the shit actually hits the fan brother

Final thoughts..

Just a few safety concerns before I sign off on this article guys.  Now, I know I said ‘family’ but if you have kids under 12 years old who aren’t mature enough to handle such an exercise, for the love of god do not include them in this exercise.  Seriously, don’t be a dumbass and scare the living shit out of your kids or I’ll kick your ass myself.  As a survival group you guys should switch off roles every time you have a training simulation and it is for that reason you should split cost of equipment.

If you live in the suburbs be sure to talk to your neighbors the day before the exercise and let them know not to be alarmed and not to call the cops, just tell them it’s a family tradition or a game.  Homebase 1 and 2 should both have trauma kits on hand, should anyone get hurt the exercise is over.

If any of you try this exercise or something similar we’d love to see some video of it!  If you guys have any tips or questions fill out the comment form below.

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About Runik

Certified NRA Instructor, Certified Military Platform and Performance Orientated Instructor, Training Personnel, and Emergency Management. Currently working towards M.A. Emergency Management - 101ABN/82NDABN - Charlie Wardogs

12 thoughts on “Disaster Preparedness Training with Simulations

  1. hawkeyeswatchin;
    Ky. lots of blood and guts with gang/moron turf posturing. No need to expect anything less than what you have articulated already, happens daily around here, lil Chicago gangsta wannabes. Have had conversations with prospective alliances but everyone is on edge thinking that they need to keep their activities secret. Like they can when they are driving around the neighborhood in a $40,000 upgraded Jeep rock climber with full testosterone kits hanging off of every nook and cranny. Looking to be discrete and under the wire but cannot do it alone “Gray man style” because there are a lot of 24/7’s in a crises situation. Need a team!!!

  2. You guys never cease to impress. Thanks for the tips Runik, I’ll be the first to volunteer my family and will send you guys some video! Where should I send it?

  3. Dang I need to find a unit but nothing in Charleston. Just FB roll calls. No training, not even a phone call or email when I requested to be in a 3UP.

    Ill go it alone with what intel I get here and my prior service training. Old school, but Im in a modified battle ready armored power chair. Wife is strong, Im the planner. If it hits maybe we will find a unit on the way. We are stocked and locked. To bad we can’t find others to train with. Nothing but a thing.

    Keep sending info. I use it!

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