2012 is fast approaching, and as we move further into a period of dramatic climate change, Black men and women around the world must begin to take survival preparation more seriously! Climate change is no longer a theory, it is reality.
“I’ve noticed the climate changing in Haiti since 1986, and since then, there have been dangerous storms and hurricanes,” says Yvelt Chery, an expert with the Centre National de Meteorologie (national meteorology centre).
“It’s very clear…because it’s supposed to be the dry season now, but it rains every night and this is causing lots of problems.”
Increasingly heavy rains linked to climate change are a threat to food production, because they will wash away crops and prevent farmers planting on flooded land, Chery adds. Around two-thirds of Haitians scrape a meagre living from agriculture. – from Trust.Org
What is a Survival Situation?
When many think of “survivial situations”, most people imagine being trapped in a far-away woodland environment or stuck on a deserted island, but recent history has shown us that most people who live in urban environments will face a “survival situation” at some point in time. Examples from recent news include:
Hurricane Katrina (death toll:1,836)
The Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 and 1999 (death toll: 739 and 271)
The 2011 Alabama Tornado Outbreak (death toll: 346)
The September 1 Terrorist Attacks (death toll: 2,973)
California Wildfires (death toll: 100+)
The Haiti Earthquake (death toll: 316,000)
The Great Blizzard of 2010 (death toll: 22)
There are also deadly diseases to be concerned about. Spanish flu was the worst pandemic of the 20th century. Up to 40 percent of the worldwide population became ill when it occurred in 1918-1919. The WHO estimates the Spanish flu resulted in upwards of 50 million deaths — or more deaths than those during World War I. Today, with air travel, public transportation, and more people living in cities than ever before, those numbers could easily be increased a hundred fold.
DONT THINK THESE DISASTERS CANT HAPPEN TO YOU! The threat of a deadly strain of flu, a flash flood, freak hurricanes, and even nnuclear disasters can quickly become realities. If you live along either coast of the United States, chances are there is a nuclear plant near your. What would happen if one of these began to melt down?
You have found yourself in a survival situation when:
- You will be isolated from life sustaining essentials (food, water, shelter, medical care) for longer than 12 hours due to environmental circumstances
- You are exposed to the immediate threat of a nuclear, biological, or chemical accident or attack
- You are in the path of a predicted severe weather system
Once you realize that you are in a survival situation, it’s time to get your priorities in order.
Know Your Priorities
What is the first thing you should worry about if you ever found yourself in a survival situation?
The answer is none of the above.
Once you have found yourself in a survival situation, your ORDER OF PRIORITIES should be:
The truth behind this order of priority is called the Rule of Three: The human body can only survive three hours when exposed to harsh elements. It can survive three days without water. It can survive three weeks without food. Therefore, your order of priorities should be based on WHAT CAN KILL YOU FIRST!
Again, the first priority one should focus on in the event of a “survival situation” is RESCUE! Get the hell out of harms way as fast as possible. The longer you wait to attempt rescue, the smaller your chances of rescue become. In the event of a hurricane there is usually advanced warning, so ALL AVAILABLE MEANS OF EVACUATION SHOULD BE PURSUED. Better to get the hell out of the way than try to “sit it out”. Hurricanes and blizzards are a few of the natural disaster that will give you a heads up, so heed their warnings.
Earthquakes, floods, and in some cases diseases arent as forgiving. They can strike without warning and will not give you time to prepare, so if you live in areas prone to these disasters, it is VITAL that you have a plan and be prepared. For example, I live less than 3 miles from a major river and in the past two years, I have experienced mild floods that have disrupted business and daily life. In the event of a major flood, lives WILL be lost in this area. So I have developed a plan to move to high ground as fast as possible, with tools to ensure my rescue if need be.
If there is no chance of rescue in the immediate future (for instance, you are stuck at the beginning of a hurricane that is projected to last hours), then focus on FIRST AID. Treat your injuries FIRST, then take care of the people around you – DO NOT TREAT YOUR FAMLIY OR FRIENDS FIRST! You cannot help your infant if you are dead!
Shortly after danger has passed, rescue crews will be in the air, on the water, or on the ground to survey damage and locate survivors. They will be able to HEAR or SEE you if you make it easy, and at the end of this post I will provide you with a list of key tools that will aid your rescue.
In the aftermath of an urban disaster, there will be no shortage of rubble laying around that can be used to build a temporary shelter. You may even be able to stay in your home. But in the event that your home is destroyed, you might be forced to build a shelter from materials that are around you.
Shelters should be SMALL, HIGH, AND WEATHER-PROOF.
The best survival shelters are made as small as possible. Because the inside volume is small, there is less space to heat. If your shelter is small enough and well insulated, you can stay warm and dry inside with just your own body heat. Be sure to use material that won’t leak or won’t be able to stand up in the weather. Cardboard won’t cut it.
Shelters should be built at the highest point possible so that rescue crews can find you and so that you are not at risk of being flooded out. If you are in a natural environment, you will be able to find shelters beneath rock overhangs or next to fallen trees. Just be very careful that there isnt an animal already living in the area!
Once you have attempted rescue and found suitable shelter, start drinking water immediately – regardless of whether you think you need to. In stressful situations, the body uses more water than it normally would, and the human body is about 60% water in adult males and 70% in adult females. A small decrease in these water levels can result in fatigue, delirium, dizziness, headaches, and ultimately death.
That’s not to say that in a survival situation you should drink any water that you find laying around! Water coming out of broken pipes, flowing in local streams, or in frozen form could actually kill you faster than dehydration! Remember that cholera, a bacterial infection spread through drinking contaminated water, was responsible for killing thousands in Haiti after the quake! Also, in cold climates, avoid eating snow or ice, as doing so could lower your body temp and cause hypothermia.
To be sure water is safe to drink and use,bring your water to a complete boil for at least 1 minute, or treat it water with household bleach. Add 8 drops of household bleach for every 1 gallon of water.
Food should be your last priority in any survival situation. The chances of Black men and women finding themselves foraging for food in the woods is slim, so knowing how to fish wont be of much use to you. But you can stock up your home with non-perishable canned goods, beans, dried pasta (ramen noodles are great!), and dry drink mixes. Dried beans and pastas can be soaked in water until they are soft enough to eat, and they are high in energy-yielding carbohydrates.
DO NOT WAIT FOR DISASTER WARNINGS TO GO TO PIGGLY WIGGLY! Everybody else will be packed up in the store fighting over bottles of water. You don’t want to get killed trying to loot a box of macaroni and cheese, so get stocked up in the good times to be ready for the bad times.
Once you are stocked up, bundle the cans and packages into one backpack so that you can grab and go if you need to get out of your home quickly. Don’t forget to pack a can opener!
Assembling a Survival Kit
A good survival kit should contain equipment that will make your rescue more possible, your shelter more weatherproof, and your food and water safer and more accessible. With a good survival kit, you don’t need to be a survival expert to survive. Here is a quick list of things to keep in your home, in your vehicle, and in a ready-to-go backpack that will keep you ready for anything!
|First Aid For Survival
• Gauze (sterile), and tape
• Bandages – various sizes, Ace
• Cotton Balls
• Aspirin or Tylenol
• Epsom Salt
• Antacids (Baking Soda)
• Kaopectate (diarrhea)
• Spirit of Peppermint
• Milk of Magnesia
• Pepto Bismol
• Small Scissors
• Rubber Tourniquet
• Hydrogen Peroxide
• First Aid Manual
• Antibiotic Ointments
• Stock medicine currently taking
•Vital documents folder
•3 days food water
•At least 40 feet of 2,000 pound test rope with open hooks. This provides more options and requires less storage room in the vehicle than a standard tow rope.
•3 Chemlights or crookneck flashlight
|NECESSARY TOOLS FOR SURVIVAL
• Tool kit (for bikes, cars, home fortification, etc)
• Short wave transistor radio
• small axe
• Boards, plywood – to board windows and doors
• Matches and Metal Container (altoid container)
• Insect Repellent
• Disinfectant – Pine Soil
• Medical face mask or Gas Mask – Pulverize charcoal, take two layers of cotton, put cotton between them, dampen and use this as mask
• Toilet Tissue
• Facial Tissue
• Sanitary Napkins
• Wet Ones – or some type of wipes
• Pails – For Toilets
• Mouthwash-(Hydrogen Peroxide)
• Wool Blankets
• Wool Socks
In closing, throughout any survival situation, it’s important that you do not despair and keep yourself and those around you occupied. Boredom kills, and idleness leads to hopelessness. Pack games, puzzles, and books in your survival kit, assign a “family leader” to hold everyone together, and keep each other motivated.
With the right priorities, tools, and mindset our people can survive any catastrophe with little or no training!
About the Author
Sergeant P. is a 10-year United States Marine Corps veteran and former Jungle Warfare and Survival Instructor in Okinawa, Japan. He has taught individuals ranging in levels of experience – from high school students to military Special Operations Capable units – all around the world.