““”It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.””
The world today has become largely unpredictable. Every country is fighting a battle of its own. While there are some countries that are struggling to bring economic stability, there are some that are struggling to withstand the internal social and political disruption. There are some countries that have shaken up due to a natural disaster, some that have become the target of terrorist activities while there are others that are fighting an economic collapse. No matter what situation the country is in, people everywhere, all over the world, are struggling to survive. While some are lucky enough to be living in places that have remained untouched by the horrors of nature or the wrath of man-made disasters, but despite the fact, everyone should make it a point to prepare for the worst circumstances. In the kind of world that we live it is difficult to say whether we will make it to the next day, the next month or the next year. There is no saying when your country, your city might become a target of destruction or when you might be made to face a fight or flight situation. Therefore, preparing yourself for any and every situation is a must.
A movement started by a group of individuals who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disarray of the social and political order of the country they live in, at a level that ranges from local to international is Survivalism. The individuals or the groups of people are the preppers or the survivalists.
There have been numerous events in the history of the world where survivalism has come into play. During the period between the 1930s and the 1950s, the world was in chaos with some of the greatest nations of the world pitched against each other in wars. From world war to cold war to atomic attacks, there was no way a person could survive if he weren’t relying on anyone but himself for his survival. During the 1960s, the United States, due to a rise in inflation suffered economic losses followed by a decade of the battle between famines and survival. There was inflation due to the 1973 oil crisis and the common people suffered the most because they could not cope with the burgeoning prices of every commodity including the basic needs such as clothing and food. There were terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centres in New York, America on September 11, 2001, followed by bombings in Bali, Madrid and London. This was followed by the disastrous tsunami due to Indian Ocean Earthquake 2004 and the Hurricane Katarina. Currently, the critical situation in the Syria makes people reflect upon the importance of survivalism.
The fear of war, internal or external, energy crisis, epidemic outbreaks and famines, economic collapses and the apparent powerlessness of the human beings against the forces of nature and the natural disasters are some of the reasons why it is important to consider survivalism as the only chance for survival.
Survivalism requires you to give a thought to every aspect of your life to be able to discern your most basic needs to the most urgent ones without which you cannot survive. Survivalism is all about preparing yourself for the worst circumstances with everything that you need to be able to survive the critical time. The preppers obtain emergency medical and self-defence training, they collect and reserve food and water. The main intention behind survivalism is to become self-sufficient and capable of taking care of yourself when the crisis strikes. Some people also build shelters that they will move to in the event of a crisis. This includes underground shelters and survival retreats. People prepare themselves for everything for as long as a year. Always remember, God helps those who help themselves.
The preparation for survival depends upon the circumstances for which the preppers are preparing. There are various categories into which survivalism can fit. However, the survivalists fall in more than one category when preparing themselves.
- Safety Preparation: Making safety preparations implies preparing for situations such as fires, physical confrontations, car breakdowns, lightning strikes, train wrecks and flash floods.
- Wilderness Survival: This involves preparing for situations such as getting lost in the wild, ship wrecks, and plane crash. This involves surviving for an un-estimated period of time till the restoration of better conditions.
- Natural Disaster Survival: This requires preparing to survive in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, etc. The main concerns include food, water, shelter and clothing.
- Economic Breakdown: There are predictions of hyperinflation. When that occurs, it will be difficult to buy even the most basic commodities. People will be charged for drinking water. To prepare for such a situation, the survivalists stockpile food and water supplies that will last them for a long time.
Whatever condition it may be, what is important is survival. Here is how you can start preparing for survival in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe when it occurs.
Water: Human body is 78 percent water when born. It is impossible to survive without water. According to the medical science, an adult human must drink no less than eight glasses of water on a daily basis. The requirements vary depending upon the kind of place we live in which brings into account factors like humidity and temperature. It also depends upon the level of physical activity the person does. Since water is primary for existence and no other preparation matters if you fail to collect enough water, it is imperative that you collect as much water as you practically can. You must store according to the requirement of eight 8-ounce glasses or two litres or half a gallon of water per day per person. There are numerous ways in which you can store water for a long time. There are some preparations that you need to do to store water for a prolonged period because no matter how pure it was when you stored it, it will go bad due to bacterial growth.
- Chlorine Bleach: Adding chlorine bleach to the water containers is one of the ways of preventing bacterial growth and storing it for a long time.
- Calcium Hypochlorite: Adding a solution of calcium hypochlorite is also one of the ways of increasing the shelf life of water.
Apart from resorting to the traditional ways of water collection and storage, you can also look for ready-made alternatives. These alternatives are available in the form of MRE or meals ready to eat packs each meal of which comes with the water supply for one person for one day. Apart from that they also provide individually packed water packets that contain water that is clean and safe for drinking. From a four day supply to a one-year supply of drinking water, MREs are the best way to get rid of the tension of storing the water manually and then treating it using traditional methods that also do not ensure complete treatment.
Food: Food is the next basic requirement after water. When it is for a short-term preparation, you can prepare yourself well by stockpiling a lot of food items that will last you for a month or two. They include:
- White rice and brown rice: White rice has a better storage life and will last for a long time whereas brown rice has numerous nutritional benefits and will take care of the nutritional need of your body.
- Mixed beans
- White sugar
- Iodized salt
- A gallon of oil preferably olive oil
- Canned meats that include salmon, stew, spam and tuna.
- Canned fruits and vegetable from a trusted brand
- Fruits and Vegetables
These food items will come to your help if the emergency situation lasts for a month or two. Beyond that, all these items will go stale and lose the health benefits. A highly considerable option here is MRE or meals ready to eat. These meals have the following qualities:
- Long shelf life from three days to 5 years
- Easy to consume
- Each MRE has 1250 calories that are just what the human body needs on a daily basis
- No preparation required before consumption of an MRE
- A pack for a day comes with the meals and snacks for the day, including eating utensils
- The MRE food has a variety including beverages and desserts with the taste of homemade food
- The MRE packsare hermetically sealed making them retain their nutritional value for a long time
- Clothing: Clothing will come into primary play as it forms a part of the necessities that everyone needs for survival. There is no possibility of going out of your shelter once the crisis strikes; your main aim should be to conserve energy. Wearing the right clothes is the best way to do that. Inflation will prevent you from going out and buying more clothes for yourself and your family. The time when inflation hits the markets, the prices of everything will be much more than what they cost today. So it is always wise to buy now when the prices are affordable and the commodities are available in a bounty.
Buy and store long underwear, sweaters and wool caps, especially if you live in a cold region. Loss of heat mainly occurs through the head so make sure that you have some warm head covers and gears that will prevent heat loss from the head. Get the right hat that will protect you from the sun and the rain. The main intention behind stockpiling clothes is to prepare yourself for all the seasons so that you have the right clothes to wear in the right season when the crisis occurs. Here is a list of the clothing items that you must have stored with you in abundance.
- Heavy socks
- Well fitted walking shoes
- Extra shirts and pants
- Rain gear
- Long Underwear
First Aid: Health care plays an important role when it comes to preparation. To protect yourself and your family from a crisis equip yourself with the following:
- Large family sized industrial first aid kit
- Herbs and a guide on herbal care
- A guide on home remedies
- Calamine lotion or aloe vera gel
- 2% tincture of iodine
- Alcohol swabs
- Sterile gauze dressing of sizes 2X2, 3X3 and 4X4
- Bandages of size 1, 2, 3 and 4 inches
- Latex Gloves
- Petroleum jelly
- Thermometer: oral and rectal
- Eye dropper
- Safety matches
- Vitamin supplies
- Medicines for a cough, cold and fever
- Activated charcoal tablets to absorb swallowed poison
As long as you are thoroughly prepared with for all your basic needs, and you have the determination to make it to the other side of the crisis, nothing can stop you.”