Survival Guide in Emergencies! Compiled and
written by Don Butler Hamuniverse.com What will you and your family need to survive in a major widespread
You are viewing this article on an Amateur Radio Website. Many
amateur radio operators are prepared for communications in
emergencies but some may not have provided for personal and family
survival. This article applies to everyone who needs to prepare for major
disasters and emergencies for long term survival when you are "on
you have provided for your emergency power setup, (have you done that
yet?), you will need to provide enough survival supplies in
your emergency supplies to sustain you and your family for a
prolonged unknown period of time.
You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This
means having your own food, water, and other emergency survival supplies
in an emergency kit in sufficient quantity to last for an
unknown length of time. This could be only for a few hours, days, or it
could be weeks, a month or longer...only the disaster emergency situation
and your preparation in advance will dictate how long you will
survive before outside help arrives if ever. Local officials, emergency
responders or relief workers may be on the scene after a
disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately and YOU will
be on your own until they arrive. Remember these
words... "on your own". You
can not depend on being rescued or helped when others are "first". The
emergency responders may be totally swamped or they may not know where you
are or that you need help! Your wait may be a very long time! Are you
prepared to save your life and those you love?
What does human body need to survive? What are the
most important things you will need to survive in an extreme emergency
when you are without outside help?
The human body needs clean
water, food, clothing and shelter plus heat and cooling! These are the
basics of life!
WATER...THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!
Store before you will need it, one gallon of water per person per day
for at least three days for drinking and sanitation. (This is
the U.S. government recommended amount but you need to have more on
hand). Do you know how long you will be without
water? Once your water is gone, it is gone, you may not have access
to clean drinking water. You will have to provide a method of getting it
and making sure it is safe to drink!
Children, nursing mothers, and sick
people may need more water.
If you live in a warm weather climate,
plan for lots more than recommended. Water is precious...when you
don't have any. The average human body can not live more than about 3
days without it! The length of time varies depending on the air
temperature around you, the amount of exercise or physical activity
and other factors. Plan ahead for as much water as possible and this
should not be a worry for you.
Store water tightly in clean plastic
containers such as clean sanitized PLASTIC milk jugs, not the wax
coated cardboard kind, large covered buckets or plastic 2 leter
soft drink bottles with tops in the shade. Keep it from freezing
if at all possible. If the stored water bottles are subject to
freezing, remove the caps often to prevent bursting. Water
expands when forming ice! Don't over fill the bottles. Remember, water
weighs about 8 pounds per gallon (plus the weight of the
container), so don't use containers that you can not easily
carry. Never use rusty containers!
Keep at least a three-day
supply of water per person. After 3 days, will you need more? Never
under estimate...always have way too much on hand.
Do you have a method and the
containers to boil "dirty water" from a ditch, pond, creek,
stream, lake? Even rain water collected from a roof or an
underground well or spring could be contaminated from flood
water, etc and should be boiled before drinking! You may have
seen water being boiled over a fire using plastic water bottles on
TV...this can be done but is not recommended due to harmful chemicals
in the plastic getting into the water. Your choice if it means
survival. Check out YouTube for videos on boiling water in plastic
When boiling water in any container,
let the water come to a rolling boil for several minutes. Even if it
is not clear after boiling, it usually will be OK to drink. After it
cools, you can filter it with a shirt, sock, coffee filters, cloth,
etc. This only removes larger particles and does not purify it but
the boiling should. Never drink water directly
from the source which could be polluted unless you are
willing to stake your health or your life on it! Don't let dirty
unboiled water get into open wounds, your mouth, eyes, etc if
possible. Never trust any water unless you know for sure it is
OK...period. There are many Water
Purification products on the market that may be suitable for
FOOD, at least a three-day
supply of non-perishable food PER PERSON. Preparing for a week or two
is really the best idea..or even much longer. Try to use foods
that do not require cooking but use your own judgment. Warm foods in a
cold climate will certainly help warm your body, your spirits and your
well being. Hot or warm foods in a hot climate increase your
thirst. Try to stay away from salty foods, causes thirst and use of
valuable drinking water.
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and
Protein or fruit bars (Save aluminum
wrappers for signaling)
Dry cereal or granola
Canned juices (low salt preferred)
Non-perishable pasteurized milk or
High energy foods
Vitamin and mineral tablets
Food for infants
Cooking and eating
utensils including fire starters
Pack a manual can
Select foods that require no
refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. Bacteria in
opened food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F, and
if these foods are consumed, people can become very sick. Consume food as
soon as it is opened or prepared. Try not to save small bites
or portions. Eat them. They could spoil rapidly depending on the air
Survival Food packs can be purchased commercially and will feed one or more
people until your supply runs out. Many sizes and number of days per
person come ready to eat. Here is an excellent source for emergency
food kits and supplies:
CLOTHING. This will depend much
on the weather, your location and whether or not you have adequate
shelter from the elements. You will have to determine your exact
needs for your climate in an emergency situation. Cool clothing
in hot weather, warm in the winter. Have enough for a couple of
changes or more for each person. Never wear wet clothing in cool or
cold weather. This can cool your body core temperature to
dangerous levels. Dry the wet clothing before you wear it. This
is a good reason to have another change of clothing. Dress in
multiple layers in the winter and try to stay out of the wind whenever
SHELTER. This will depend greatly
on your situation and the aftermath of the emergency you are in. Very
large plastic bags used for lawn clippings can be used as rain coats or
wind breakers over other clothing and can be used for shade in the
summer. They can also be used for emergency tents. Learn how to make
emergency shelters with the materials around you.
Other Important Items
you will need or that could be very helpful.
Battery-powered or hand
crank Emergency Radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone
alert and plenty of extra batteries for both. Know the frequencies you
need to tune to before you need them. Mark them on your radio if
Flashlight and extra
batteries...if you use candles, BE CAREFUL...don't become another victim
of a fire! If you use candles as your main source of light, they will
eventually burn out or cause an unwanted fire.
First Aid Kit Check
them out on Amazon.com or make your own. Get a good Emergency First Aid Manual , study it from
cover to cover and pack with your first aid kit. Don't wait until you
need it to study it.
Two pairs of Latex, or other
sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
dressings to stop bleeding.
agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
ointment to prevent infection. Large tube. Rubbing
Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide
Burn ointment to
bandages in a variety of sizes.
solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
medications you take every day such as insulin, heart
medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines
to account for expiration dates. Prescribed medical
supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring
equipment and supplies.
Non-prescription drug and medicines:
Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
Antacid (for upset stomach)
Others as needed for your
FIRE! In most emergency survival situations,
fire will not only be a "mental" comfort, but you will need it for
minimal cooking, boiling
water, warding off animals if you are outdoors, drying
wet clothing, and heat in cool or cold weather. Fire can either
destroy you if you are not using it safely or it can be an
invaluable source for your well being, health and safety. It can
also help in your rescue when the smoke from it travels upwards to be
seen from rescue aircraft.
You will need some method
of starting a fire and safely. Never use gasoline!
Commercial Fire Starters available from many sources. These will
last for thousands of fires and don't require lighter fluid, matches,
Small bits of dry paper,
dry wood shavings or other combustable material to aid in
starting a fire.
Plenty of rope or heavy cord.
Very handy in building shelters.
Survival Knife! You know what a knife is used
for...do you have a good one?
Mechanical can opener for
Cell phone with
chargers, inverter or solar charger. Note that cell phones may not work
for weeks or months in a major disaster when cell phone towers are
on the ground. Attempt to get up high above your surroundings for "more
bars". Change positions from left to right and up/down while watching
"bars" for best signal. Local maps would be handy. If you don't have an
Amateur Radio License, this would be a good time to prepare! Learn how to get
waterproof containers or backpacks to carry your supplies in.
You may need more than
COMMUNICATIONS! Depending on your particular situation, the nature of the
disaster and many other unforseen factors, you may want the ability to
communicate with family members or others nearby when they are out
of your sight.
You will have to remember that cell
phones and your land line phone may be down for days, weeks, or
even months or longer and there will be no internet for emails. Your
electric service may be down for months!
needs for close range talking can be satisfied by very low cost FRS
type walkie talkies . These are battery powered handheld transceivers that
will enable you to transmit and receive over a limited area around your
location. They usually require AA type batteries. They are not "CB"
radios and they operate on a shared UHF frequency
band authorized by the federal government for short range personal use. No license is
required. The radios use FM and the sound quality is usually
very good from them so clear, noise free, communications can be had
when the radios are within range of each other.
range is limited to a few miles (usually a mile or 2) over
flat terrain with no obstructions between them like mountains, hills,
tall buildings, etc. Line of site communications is limited by the
curvature of the earth so for a man standing 6 feet tall, the range
would be about 3 miles to the horizon over flat unobstructed
all of the advertising hype of long range like 5, 10, 15, 20 miles
or more! These ranges can be had but only under ideal non-real world
technical conditions. Believe me, your disaster will be in the "real
world" and you will not be in the ideal, everything
perfect, computer simulation!
The FRS radios are limited (by
law) to no more than 1/2 watt of power depending on the model.
Some very good, dependable FRS type radios can be purchased at your
local stores or from online suppliers like Amazon.com. Don't buy used
units. Your life or family members may depend on the radios working
properly. Below are some good inexpensive choices that are
Sources for many of your survival
You will need some good
sources for many of the items listed above and we offer some more
suggestions below as a most important part of your survival equipment
sourcing. Below are some very good recommendations of excellent
Bodycare & First
Aid Insect Repellants & Accs Water & Hydration Lights
Knives & Tools Instruments &
Optics Clothing and Footwear Winter & Trekking
Bags & Packs Tents Sleeping Bags, Cots & Air Beds
(Don't forget a good supply of the proper batteries!)
Check out their camping and
tailgating department for many suggested items for survival use.
Spend some time there. You will be glad you
Click the ad on the
left for emergency preparedness kits and
How to Determine Your
Major Disaster Risks Due to Natural Causes. Can you
say with any certainty that your area is safe from earthquakes,
hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, or floods? Below are links to maps
that will help you determine your risk factor for various major and wide
coverage disasters caused by mother nature (Natural). These
maps cover: EARTHQUAKE, HURRICANE,
TORNADO ACTIVE WILDFIRES! INTERACTIVE FLOOD MAP (searchable) ALL OUT NUCLEAR
WAR....the end! (You probably would not want to survive)
list and information was compiled and edited in good
faith in part from many sources
including U.S. government recommendations but is not to be considered "all
inclusive". You will no doubt think of many other
items you may need to carry you and your family through these trying
times. This article in no way is intended to be a guarantee of
survival in a particular location or situation! It is impossible to cover
all and every situation you may encounter when attempting to
survive. You must assume all responsibility for yourself and your
family with the use of any of these recommendations and only you (the
reader) must determine if they may meet your needs in a time of
drastic local, wide area or national emergency. Without
preparations before you will need them, will you and your family have
a good chance to survive if you are on your
own for long and extended periods of time! I wish
you luck and a long life in attempting to survive!