Would I survive the apocalypse or even small disaster?
In the beginning
Every since I saw "Terminator" as a kid, I have wondered how I would fare in a disaster. Would I become a Sarah O'Connor or perish for taking too long to decide my next move? As a little girl, I remember keeping a box of "essentials" that I intended to grab if the house was on fire. The main ingredients that I remember the box holding included my favorite doll and the best tradeable stickers. So much for intuitive emergency supplies.
My survival plan has improved some since that first essential box but probably not to any serious degree. However, my obsession for all things post-apocalypse/ post-disaster grows and so I am slowly building up a better plan and better gear.
Where To Start
- Be Red Cross Ready
If thinking about all of this sounds overwhelming, start small and build. The Red Cross has a great PDF on getting ready by considering what is likely to happen in your area, putting together a kit, making a basic plan, and staying involved.
Be Ready for the Variables.
Survival Planning is a great tool for many things besides some apocalytpical event. Natural disasters and even significant change of events can cause you to rely on segments of your plan. So it is worthwhile to consider various scenarios when considering what may happen and what may go wrong. Terrorism, natural disaster, even a house fire all require immediate emergent action. Plans for when everyone in the household is together but also when people are out and about; plans that include electronics but also a backup if aspects of technology are not available; plans if you need to leave right away in a car, but also by foot.
I print out my contacts about once a year, mostly so that I have everyone's addresses and contact information in case I cannot access my computer, but it also serves if the internet is down for good or a few hours. It also gets me to review my contact information to make sure I have all the updated information in one place.
While I have a mild obsession of all things survival, there are experts and the more uber-obsessed and better situated to give details about the gear and essentials. I am going to point to some of the ones I have followed or plan to use.
- Post Apocalyptic Survival Gear: Would you survive the apocalypse?
What is in your survival bag? You say a knife and some camping supplies, but if you are wondering which knife and which supplies than check out this site that has created a great list.
- Essential Gear: Equipment You'll Need For The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse!
Ok, maybe zombies are not on the top of your list of concerns, but if you have your basic gear already packed, this site lists some gear that I'd like to have for what room I have left in my bag.
- Survival Kits | Emergency 72 Hour Survival Kits | ReadyGarden
While there a ton of sites to buy survival kits, I like that this one has kits for the family and the ReadyGarden with its triple sealed bags of seeds for life beyond the initial panic.
The Fiction To Spur You On
You'll find this in the Juveline Lit section. The town is a last ditch effort to save civilization but now the town is struggling and the main characters have to figure out a solution. I got copies for me and my niece to read at the same time, but I was hooked and read the series. Again, how does one find the courage to do the right thing when faced with the unimaginable?
Not sure why I am spending so much time in the teen section, but I kept finding myself in conversations where this book was mentioned or referenced. It did not disappoint. The series is set in the future. The United States has been destroyed; in its place is Panem, which consists of thirteen districts and a Capitol city. Before the series begins, the districts revolt against the Capitol and are defeated; the thirteenth is completely obliterated. As retribution for their crimes, each district is now required to send a boy and girl, called tributes, to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The series has become so popular in the last few years it is now a movie.
Getting Down to Business Books
There are so many books out there on this topic, but I like this one because it written for the novice and takes into consideration that you may find yourself with or without the right supplies. When you are looking for the right book for you, again consider where you are and the seasons you are likely to encounter.
Again, I like that it is a useful guide to help the joe schmoes of the world, with checklists and getting you to think through what you and your family need based on your most likely threats.
Title says it all.
Definitely a result of reading the Hunger Games, and not that I am concerned with finding myself a tribute in a televised fight to the death but I can imagine needing to identify the good berries from the poisonous ones as well as a good photo to avoid sumac again.
JERICHO is a TV drama, circa 2005~, about the USA after being nuked several times across the country. It focuses on a small Kansas town that has to get inventive and collaborative to stay alive. What I love about this series are the various characters that take it upon themselves to go outside their comfort zone and make something happen. It is about inner strength and a certain amount of pluckiness. It also makes it clear that you must have some knowledge that can carry you through the day. Be it science, medicine, weaponry what will you bring to the table?
The movie that might have started it all for me. In the year 2029, the ruling super-computer, Skynet, sends an indestructible cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can fulfill her destiny and save mankind. She became my model of quick thinking and bold action hero.
I waited for the next show with baited breath each week. A small fleet of spaceships makes it out after their empire (multi-plantes)is destroyed by robot cyclons. They are in search of a new planet while fighting off the cyclons. I think I loved it more for the show's great writing and gripping dilemmas more than the post-apocalypse setting.
Not sure why this one was more scary than others for me, but it got me stashing food again.
Cheesy, yes! In thick melting piles of it. And while it may not teach you much on how to prepare, it does a great job of highlighting a critical aspect of survival - relationship management. The friends they make along the way are the key to survival, and that is likely regardless of the catastrophe.