You can never be too prepared to survive an emergency situation. Every year, lack of preparedness for serious situations such as natural disasters cost hundreds of people their livelihoods, or worse, their lives. Often times these people were simply not ready for the difficult survival scenario they found themselves in.
No matter how prepared you are, however, there can be a number of misconceptions that will trip you up and get you into trouble. It is critical to come at survival with all eyes open and no biases. For instance, do not take modern navigation technology for granted, learn to navigate by following the stars.
Learning to navigate using stars is an obvious essential skill for many preppers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are thinking of everything. As you prepare for the worst, remember that every person makes a difference, you are not immune to injury, and you may need to leave your designated hideaway.
Every Hand Counts
When facing a natural disaster, apocalypse, or any other survival situation, it is imperative to remember that every single person makes a difference in the survival of the group, regardless of their race or gender. Definitely do not let a hidden bias regarding gender roles trip you up. There are thousands of stories of incredibly brave and successful women who have saved lives throughout history.
Take for instance the incredible feats of some of America’s female military heroes. One example is Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester, who led her unit to a successful flanking position when surprised by insurgents in enemy territory in Iraq. Her quick thinking and courageous act saved lives and even earned her a Silver Star medal.
In difficult survival situations, the combined backgrounds and skills of your entire group will make a difference. A physically weaker group member may be a great coordinator who can organize where and how medical treatment is received. Or they may use their intelligence to devise a survival strategy that gets everyone through until help arrives.
Another important thing to remember in a survival situation is that injuries are bound to happen, and how you respond to them may make all the difference. For example, if you are surviving or seeking treatment in a rural area, help may be farther away. Already, healthcare workers have to go to greater lengths to extend treatment to rural areas — which means in the case of emergency, the availability of medicines in the area may be limited. Be prepared for this!
When injuries do happen it is critical to evaluate their severity and get the appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible if you cannot administer help yourself. One common misconception is that things like cuts or wounds will just go away if kept clean. Although this is usually the case, in more severe gashes there is a very real risk of infection that can ultimately lead to death if not properly treated.
Sepsis is the term used to describe the presence of harmful or toxic bacteria in the tissues of the body. It is a very serious, life-threatening condition that kills thousands of Americans every year. Symptoms include a fever, heart or breathing rate above normal when resting, discolored skin around infected area, extreme weakness, chills, decreased urination, and poor cognitive abilities.
When You Need to Move
Finally, regardless of your preparedness level in a particular bunker or home, there is always the possibility that it will be necessary for you to move locations. This can be the result of many things such as the severity of a natural disaster, a lack of necessary resources, or the discovery of your dwelling by unfriendlies. Whatever the reason, it is imperative to realize when it is time to move and act quickly.
In the case of a natural disaster, there are a number of general rules to follow to ensure you are both prepared and ready to make an exit if necessary. For any natural disaster, always be prepared with enough food and water to last a few days in case you are trapped in your home. Dehydration is one of the most significant causes of hospitalization during a prolonged natural disaster evacuation mission.
In the event that you do need to leave, it is best to have everything ready to go in a bag that you can easily travel with. Pack things such as necessary medications, food, water, blankets, and a first aid kit. Survival tools such as lighters or matches can also be important if there is a risk of needing to cook, boil water, or stay warm on cold nights.
Disasters can happen anywhere at anytime. The best thing we can do to get through them is to prepare to survive difficult situations. If you are preparing for a disaster, be sure to avoid misconceptions that can have severe consequences such as discounting the value of everyone in your group, failing to get medical help when needed, or not being prepared to change locations. Good luck out there.
Brooke Faulkner writes and raises her sons in the Pacific Northwest. She is always looking for ways to make healthy living an accessible part of every day life. Find more of her writing on twitter, @faulknercreek