Planning for Your Next Disaster

With a huge, dramatic storm like Sandy, many people are asking, what do I do? What do I need? Well, as an outdoor professional for almost a decade, survival teacher and guide, I can tell you how to stay safe and be smart.


So, before a survival situation happens, it’s important to have the supplies ready and a plan in place. Different situations call for different survival items, however there are ubiquitous items that everyone should have.


FloodAsk yourself a couple questions:

  • How long will I need to survive for?
  • Who am I taking care of → Amount of food, water, batteries, etc.
  • What is the biggest threat? Looters, weather, wildlife, illness/injury


Urban Survival:

  • Solar/battery radio-Communication is key, especially to hear weather and announcements from the government.
  • First Aid- Rubber gloves, Band-Aids, burn treatment, butterfly strips, gauze, antihistamine, ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal, and any other prescription medication. Be able to treat and stabilize the person.
  • Multi tool-spend money on a quality, versatile tool, it can be one of the most important items.
  • Zip Lock bags- to keep items waterproof
  • Flint and steel/waterproof matches- Lighters are unreliable and do not work if wet.
  • Iodine or stove to boil water- water treatment is key and a must have in any situation
  • Freeze dried food and high protein snacks-Beef jerky, chocolate, more calories will give you energy and keep you warm.
  • Books, pictures, or musical instruments are great to keep up morale.
  • Duct Tape
  • Cordage
  • Hand sanitation
  • Hand crank flashlight and candles.
  • Some weapon to protect family and possessions against looters-Pepper spray, baseball bat, shotgun, Taser, handgun. If you have a gun, be sure to have proper amounts of ammo and keep it away from children.


Wilderness Survival: All of the items listed above and new items below.

  • Compass
  • Solar blanket
  • Gloves and hat-if cold
  • Bandanna-Multiple uses
  • Water Bottle
  • Signal Mirror- A CD also does the trick and it’s cheaper.


The biggest difference between wilderness and urban survival is typically things you cannot control like the weather. In the wilderness shelter, fire, and water are most important. Whereas, urban survival requires communication, safety, and the ability to last longer without power or water. In every situation, there is a hierarchy of needs, it varies on weather, physical condition, and supplies. Finally, have the proper clothing ready and wear it before things get bad.

  • Base Layer-Wool or Polypropylene
  • Warmth layer-Fleece or down
  • Outer Layer- Waterproof or windproof jacket
  • Waterproof boots and wool socks.
  • Gore-Tex is the leader in waterproof fabric and although it’s a bit expensive, it’s worth every penny when you are dry and warm.


Tips and tricks:

  • Clean your bathtub and fill it with clean water.
  • Be careful to not sweat in cold environments, once your body is wet it cools 30 times faster. This leads to hypothermia and often death if you are surviving in the winter.
  • Contact friends and family outside affected zone and inform them of your plan.
  • Disposal of waste is important to keep separate and clean your-self.
  • Keep yourself busy and be proactive with survival.
  • Even with all the supplies in the world, you must have a desire to live and fight. Thinking of loved ones or plans after the survival situation, helps a great deal.
  • Conserve energy when possible and save resources if they are not needed.
  • Dehydration is one of the biggest killers in all survival situations. , not enough water is consumed and poor choices are made, or unfiltered water is consumed and vomiting/diarrhea causes dehydration.


Bryce Karlman
The Hearing Pill

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