Usually, during times of severe weather forecastings, I get inquiries about what I have in place to prepare. Here are my suggestions, but, as I have always encouraged, do your own research:
#1 ASSUMPTION: Focus on the assumption that ALL public utilities (water, sewage, electric) will be unavailable or contaminated and that you will not be able leave your house for a week or more. Calculate your needs based on what, and how much, you use on a regular basis then add to that by 10% just in case things get worse or friends/family need assistance.
#2 ASSUMPTION: I understand this may be contrary to "glass half full" thinkers but this will help prepare like your life depends on it; and it may. Assume things will get much worse than you can possibly imagine. Imagine every possible scenario and prepare accordingly. Discuss with your pessimistic friends; they will find the negative side.
Not having this one key component has killed more people in a survival situation than any other issue we can talk about. It's, probably, the single most important aspect of survival. Throughout history, man has endured the unthinkable. From great explorers being shipwrecked for years in the Antarctic to those who survived the unthinkable conditions in Nazi Germany, the will to survive can often help people live through conditions that most would consider impossible. The will to survive is a very powerful thing; being able to motivate yourself during a stressful situation is a critical aspect of survival. Maintaining a positive mental attitude is key during a stressful survival situation.
Whether stranded on a desert island, deep in a dense forest, or facing a desolated city, there is one hidden peril that threatens our lives in all situations, and we can't outrun or hide from it; our own thoughts. Having a strong grip on our emotional state, and more importantly being able to control it, can mean the difference between life and death. Because we have become detached from our native habitat, we have no experience with being without our creature comforts and basic survival skills like fire-making. Being comfortable with learned primative survival skills and finding projects to stay busy will help keep the mind occupied on useful activities. Here are some other tips and tricks to surviving and keeping the mind healthy, rested, and in peak condition no matter what happens:
1. Do Not Blame Yourself
2. Reaffirm Yourself - Say good things about you; don't put yourself down
3. Address Your Emotions - don't hide them
4. Stay Busy And Be Creative - keep the mind active on solutions, not the problem
5. Stay Positive - think of the positive things and focus on positive outcomes
6. Maintain Yourself Physically - A healthy body keeps the mind sharp. Stay clean, warm, fed and hydrated.
7. Avoid Caffeine or "Energy Drinks"
8. Slow Down - take time to analyze and think things through
9. Remove Yourself from the situation - think of other things that are good
10. Fake It Til You Make It - whistle, hum, do whatever you would do if you were on cloud nine
11. Maintain Perspective - No matter how bad a problem you face, compare it to the big picture.
12. Have a Routine - Knowing that certain tasks are done at certain times of the day is calming
13. Focus on Breathing - breathe slowly, thinking about nothing but your breath
14. Have Fun - Small breaks to do fun things will do wonders to keep you sane.
The Will to Survive - The story of Ernest Shackleton and the Crew of the Endurance.
How does your brain impact your survival chances in the wilderness?
Tips For Staying Calm During A Disaster
How To Bug-in And Survive Long-term
Surviving Cabin Fever
[Video 1] [Video 2] [Video 3]
EVACUATION and SHELTER are the two basic ways people can protect themselves from the effects of a nuclear attack. An enemy nuclear attack probably would be preceded by a period of international tension or crisis and outbreaks of hostilities in several parts of the world. This crisis period would alert citizens to the possibility of attack. That crisis period should be used for emergency preparations. A minimum of 2 weeks supply of food, water, toiletries, medications and other necessary items should be gathered prior to needing them. Keep vehicles fueled up. Store valuables and important documents, to be left behind, in a safe place. Review home security (locks and board-up) if you have to leave home. Discuss all plans and preparations with all family members. If possible, convert a designated area of the house into a shelter to avoid having to leave home. Other things to do and consider:
- Avoid, or escape, areas that could potentially be prime targets for a nuclear attack.
- Know (now) where local emergency shelters are located. Go there (w/supplies) if there is an immediate threat of attack.
- Take at least 2 weeks of supplies to the shelter.
- Listen to the news for updates.
- Leave children at school/daycare. You may not make it in time to pick them up. They will be protected where they are.
- DO NOT look at any nuclear blasts
- Get to the lowest level, and center, of the strongest nearby shelter and away from windows.
- If unable to find shelter, lay flat, face down, looking at the ground with hands on your head.
- After the shockwave, promptly seek shelter to avoid the coming fallout.
- Remove and seal clothing in a plastic bag to avoid radiation to the body.
- Wash your entire body, using soap and [emergency] water only.
- Wear clean clothes (multiple layers), leaving NO skin exposed from head to toes when outside.
- DO NOT go outside for at least 48 hours to avoid radioactive material/fallout.
- Limit outside exposure for the next three (3) months. It can take up to 90 days for material to decay.
- After being outside, shake clothes in a sealed area to decontaminate. Wash exposed skin.
[FEMA Nuclear Explosion Page] [FEMA Nuclear Survival Guide]
Radiation Exposure Medications: [Reference 1] [Reference 2] [Reference 3]
Other (free) Publications
Grab & Go Kit Considerations
Protecting Electronics from EMP
Using Sandbags for Nuclear Defense
How to Survive a Nuclear War: 10 Ways to Stay Alive
The movie, The Day After (watch here), is a frightening story of the weeks leading up to, and following, a nuclear strike on the United States and the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.
[Plot Summary] [Cast]