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Family 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 emergency?

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 your own".

 Survival Supplies
After 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?

Click now to get PREPARED!

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 bottles.
    • 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 you.
    • 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.
    • Some food suggestions:
      • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
      • Protein or fruit bars (Save aluminum wrappers for signaling)
      • Dry cereal or granola
      • Peanut butter
      • Dried fruit
      • Nuts
      • Crackers
      • Canned juices (low salt preferred)
      • Non-perishable pasteurized milk or powered milk
      • High energy foods
      • Vitamin and mineral tablets 
      • Food for infants
      • Cooking and eating utensils including fire starters 
      • Comfort/stress foods
      • Pack a manual can opener 

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 temperature. Emergency 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: Click now to get PREPARED!

    • 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 possible.
  • 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.
  • Survival Videos "Survivorman" Les Stroud
    More Wilderness Survival videos on YouTube Check out the self-feeding fire technique by Paul Scheiter.
  • 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 needed. 
  • 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).
    • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
    • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
    • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Large tube.
       Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
    • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
    • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
    • Thermometer
    • Prescription 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
    • Anti-diarrhea medication
    • Antacid (for upset stomach)
    • Laxative
    • Others as needed for your requirements

      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!
    • Disposable cigarette lighters
    • Waterproof matches
    • Commercial Fire Starters available from many sources. These will last for thousands of fires and don't require lighter fluid, matches, lighters, etc.
    • Small bits of dry paper, dry wood shavings or other combustable material to aid in starting a fire.
    • Unique self-feeding fire technique video by Paul Scheiter on YouTube

      Additional Items you may want or need below:  
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  •  A small Signaling Mirror can be used for signaling also. Aim it at a rescue person, vehicle, aircraft, etc. Practice.
  • Small Hand Hatchet or ax for cutting wood, making shelter frames, etc. A file to sharpen it.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place and filter particals from boiled water
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, (assorted sized) and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities. (If your water, and gas lines break!) A Multitool can be used for many purposes. Small and several tools in one.
  • 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 food
  •  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 yours!
  • Don't forget waterproof containers or backpacks to carry your supplies in. You may need more than one!

    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!

    Your communication 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.

    As stated, 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 ground.
  • Don't believe 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 highly recommended.

    Good Sources for many of your survival needs!

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 sources for:

Bodycare & First Aid
Insect Repellants & Accs
Water & Hydration
Knives & Tools
Instruments & Optics  
Clothing and Footwear
Winter & Trekking
Bags & Packs
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 did.

 Click now to get PREPARED! 
Click the ad on the left for emergency preparedness kits and supplies!

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:

ALL OUT NUCLEAR WAR....the end! (You probably would not want to survive)

This 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!

Click now to get PREPARED!

Click now to get PREPARED!