The goal of this article is to give those who are too lazy to prep or are convinced nothing bad will ever happen a fighting chance. When you’re faced with a disaster, be it natural or man made, you’re going to need to respond quickly.
This article is going to focus on a global catastrophe type scenario. In a situation more localized like storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes, rescue teams should have you sorted within 24-48 hours, depending on your location and the size of the area/disaster.
Evaluate The Situation
Hopefully, you’ve gotten wind of the situation early enough and are checking the news, interwebs or social media to learn more about exactly what has happened or what is going to happen. You’ll need to determine, through your evaluation of the situation, if you should hunker down or haul ass for the hills. You can determine this by evaluating the disaster scenario you’re facing and the potential threats it poses. For example, if it’s a hurricane and you drive a tiny Smart Car, you won’t want to get caught in those winds, so you’ll want to hunker down. If you live in the city and a bomb goes off downtown, you’ll need to get away from potential fallout, collapsing buildings, and civil unrest. Basically, you will need to decide whether it’s safe to stay home, or you need to leave for a safer location, on a case by case basis. The answer will vary from scenario to scenario.
Remember this, if you have nowhere to go (like a cabin in the hills or friend’s house in a rural area), and the only place you can run to is in the woods, and you have no survival skills, you might be better off staying in your house. If you leave your home for the woods with no shelter and no skills, your reason better be a good one. You will be putting yourself and your family in danger.
Getting Your Supplies Quickly
If you’re bugging out, you need to leave your house within five minutes of receiving news of the disaster. If you wait any longer, you may be stuck. The panic and chaos outside will be unbelievable. Delegate a family member to fill up a bag, sack, pillow case or whatever you have, with enough food and water to sustain each member of the household for three days. Or simply tell them to empty the cupboards into the bag. If any of your family members have prescription medicines, tell them to grab them. Have someone else grab anything and everything that can start a fire (matches, lighters, road flares). You grab anything you can use to protect you and yours (knives, guns, bats, crowbar), and a first aid kit. Where are you going? Grab items essential for the area you are headed (coats, boots, gloves, hats) and any keys you may need. The ideal place to run is a location at least 15 miles outside city limits, which is near a natural water source and has natural food sources (fish, game, vegetation). Again, if you have no survival skills, you’re better off either going to a friend/relative’s outside the city or staying put. Your escape route should not rely on major highways as this is where EVERYONE will go and they will most definitely be jammed up. You should rely on rural routes, surface streets, and off road routes. Basically, any road that will keep you from interacting with large groups of people.
Hunkering down in your home is the wiser decision for those with no outdoors/survival skills or friends or relatives who live in a rural area. In most all disasters, water will be your greatest commodity. Keeping this in mind, as soon as you learn of an impending disaster, fill every container in your home with water, including your bathtubs and sinks. In most every disaster, civil unrest and looting are all but guaranteed. Protect your home by fortifying all first-floor windows and doors quickly. If you don’t have boards or sheets of plywood, break any wooden furniture and screw them to your window frames with 3-4 inch wood screws. Barricade all entry points, like your front and back doors, as sturdily as you possibly can. You will only be able to rely on what food and water you have on hand. Let’s hope the pantry was freshly stocked when the time comes. There is no way of knowing how long you will be hunkered down. Depending on the scope of the disaster, food, water, and medicine will eventually run out and you will need to leave and go scavenging.
Rules Of Survival
Keep your distance from people you don’t know. There will be people who would rather take what you have than provide for themselves. These people may have weapons, and will be a danger to you and your family. If someone is at your door, asking to come in, and you don’t know them, stay away at all costs. Don’t fall for their trickery. They may claim injury or hungry children. Stay your ground and remember that you are in the same situation. You are no better off than the person outside your door. Also realize, if they were in such a great need of help, they would move on and not waste time banging on your door.
Always have a weapon. For the reason stated above you will need a weapon handy at all times. Hopefully, you are practicing your God-given right to keep and bear arms. Otherwise, you will need to use whatever is at hand, or you can fabricate, to protect yourself. Kitchen knives, baseball bats, screwdrivers, even if you have to grab a rolling pin and go old school angry housewife to defend you and yours, then that’s what you do. There are a lot of people out there willing to hurt or kill you just to take your stuff. Now put those miscreants in this disaster scenario. They’ll kill you for a can of ravioli. With no hesitation.
You will need to scavenge. If you’re hunkering down in your home, and the situation lasts long enough, you will run out of resources. Running out of food may only take a few days; depending on the number of people in your home versus the amount of food. Before this happens, you will have to leave the relative safety of your home, and find resources. Remember, we humans can only last approximately three weeks without food and three days without water. When scavenging, try not to go alone. If you’re the only able bodied person of the group, and there are no choices, well then…Godspeed. Go to buildings you are familiar with first. Never walk blindly into a building without doing a little scouting first. Hang back, observe for a while. Find out, from a distance, if anyone is going into or coming out of said structure. Approach the building from cover and try to look through windows to see if it’s occupied or even worth entering. It may be cleaned out or destroyed inside. If you find items, take essentials and non-perishables. If you’re desperate for sustenance and wary of the location, don’t pick and choose; take everything you can carry. You and your family can sort out the good from the bad when you get home.
Try your best to keep your cool. Things will get worse before they get better. During these types of scenarios, people have reported a feeling of impending doom. Anxiety, tension, depression, and myriad other negative emotions could overcome you, causing a variety of reactions and decisions that could get you killed. You need to push all those feelings down, way down. You have a family to look after. Or, at the very least, yourself to keep alive. Your mission is to survive. You will succeed.
Remember the rule of three. You can survive three minutes without air, three hours in extreme weather without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Always remember, the rule of three, it will dictate your priorities. If you are approaching any of these limits, you need to act quickly.
Good luck and God bless.