Will you organize a preparedness fair this year? Aim for hands on, enjoyable activities instead of giving a bunch of information download. You’ll find tons of ideas in this post.
Introducing the Provident Living Circus
Set Goals for the fair
It’s important to know what you would like to accomplish for the evening. These are the three main goals that we wanted people to walk away with.
- Take away fear and make the topic fun and memorable (hence the circus theme).
- Make the event family oriented so whole family groups can participate in age appropriate activities.
- Give people a place to start their preparedness journey and move forward.
After the event participants should leave with
Create a list of skills that participants will accomplish during the evening. They are more likely to continue to follow through if they already have some of the hard parts started or completed.
- A completed fire escape plan
- A home safety scavenger hunt
- A list for emergency kits
- A plan for food storage
- Knowledge of available church and community resources to support self-reliance
- Skills to explore and hopefully a desire to master them
- Know their neighborhood emergency zone for communications
When and Where to Hold the Event
Delegating Responsibilities for the Event
Disaster Education for Children
- Set up coloring and games stations
- Have story time for small children
- Show Bill Nye or other weather videos, which can be borrowed from most libraries and schools
- Make a fun family disaster obstacle course
Preparedness Activities for Young Men or Local Scout Troops
- Choose scouting merit badges that foster preparedness. Have boys teach some skills from them (those who have earned them) and have a list with merit badge counselor names so the boys can complete them later.
- Demonstrate a camping set up and create an “emergency camp”
- Wilderness survival demos
- Make a first aid challenge. Families draw a card with an incident or injury and have to perform the proper first aid procedure. A scout or facilitator determines if they met the challenge and/or gives support if they aren’t meeting it. This way they are learning and practicing actually skills, not just getting a flyer about what to do.
Young Women or Teen Youth Group
- Survival family photo booth – think zombie apocalypse photo booth minus the zombies. Try a “We survived!” theme with a funny memory to lean on in tough times. Remember the goal is fun not scary!
- Making an emergency plan station. Make copies for each family to fill out and have a person to help guide them through making a Fire Escape Plan and starting a wider disaster plan.
- Demonstrate water purification methods and play the “do you dare drink it” game (obviously, make sure it is safe before letting others try it). Use the boiling water method and different types of filters, both commercial and DIY. Teach or have information on how much water is needed per a person per a day and help each family calculate their needs for 3 days, 2 weeks, and one month.
- Talk about hygiene during an emergency, make a hygiene kit and bathroom display
Relief Society, Women’s Group, or Local Extension Agency
Do you know someone that has these special skills and would like to share? Many Master Gardeners or Master Preservers need community hours to complete their service requirements.
- Have a food preservation demo and provide samples
- Have a gardening booth. Ask an expert or Master Gardener to man it. Be sure this person is local and can answer questions specific to the microclimates in your community.
- Teach about food storage and provident living. You’ll need guides and a computer with a printer so they can use a food storage calculator and break it down into weekly o monthly purchases. Also, have a guide that can walk families through food storage planning using the Core Meal Method. Determine a week’s worth of meals your family will eat, and you can cook, and build your plan up from that to determine the yearly storage need. Then break that down into a weekly or monthly purchase guide. Call your guides “consultants.” We called this the “man eating elephant booth” (you know…one bite at a time).
Men’s Organization, local Rotary club, American Legion, or some other local Lodge
- Set up an outdoor cooking area and teach methods for cooking without power. Give a demo, samples, and recipes. Most men love BBQing and Dutch oven cooking and showing off their skills.
- Shake things up by placing deer, elk, bison, goat, or buffalo on the menu (think what you’d eat in survival situations), some local hunting enthusiasts should be able to help out, just be sure to check regulations first.
- Have home safety demonstrations and teach how to secure water heaters and shelves before an earthquake, how to shut off the gas, water, and electricity at home. A local handyman may be willing to do this for some free advertising.
- Make a gallery of techniques for hunting or snaring small game, and foraging for local edible plants.
- Have a booth of different kinds of kits and supplies on display with and hand out lists.
- Emergency and 72-hour kits in multiple forms
- Car kits
- First aid kits – conventional and homemade herbal remedies.
- Radios and communications (be sure to keep this simple). A local HAM radio group or other radio enthusiasts group can do this one. Have a few radios to showcase, a list of what to look for in purchasing a radio, basic how to use one, and local groups to contact for certification or training, and contacts.
- Have a booth on the self-reliance classes that each LDS stake is offering, and help people choose which to participate in. These free groups are open to non-members and members alike.