- Politics and Social Issues»
- Environment & Green Issues»
- Disasters & Recovery
How to Survive the End of the World
Will You Survive?
Don’t panic. The world more than likely will not be ending. Human life will probably continue for thousands of years.
BUT being prepared for the worst case scenario is always a good idea. There has been a lot of hype about doomsday lately. Any hint of a problem or common natural disaster can send everyone into pandemonium.
Remember the Y2K panic? Being prepared for the world's overreaction could protect you and your family.
Plus you never know when a crisis or disaster could happen. There are natural disasters, the threat of war, terrorism, alien invasion, chemical spills, solar flares, and yes, even a zombie apocalypse. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Taking the time to form an emergency plan with your family and put together a survival kit could literally save your life if the worst case scenario ever did occur.
So be calm and rational and prepare yourself for an emergency now with this guide.
Work with your neighbors during an emergency. You can share resources such as generators, food, water, medical or other expertise. If your resources are pooled, you have a greater chance of survival.
Make an Emergency Plan
What would you do if there were a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, or a chemical spill? What if you were out of town when an emergency happens?
We can't predict every type of potential disaster, but you should start thinking about what you would do in the case of common emergencies.
- Write out an emergency plan and make sure everyone in your family has a copy. Plan for all kinds of disasters such as fire, natural disasters, war, and especially anything that is likely to occur in your area. If you live near the beach, make sure you know what to do in case of hurricane. If you live on a fault line, prepare for an earthquake. If you live near a river, plan in case of a flood.
- Decide the plan of action. For example, if blank happens, Dad will load the car. Mom will load the kids. Timmy will load the cat. We will drive to this place. And so on.
- Have a backup plan in case the first plan won’t work in a given situation.
- List places to meet in case you can’t get to your home. Good places to meet are local shelters, which are usually in schools. Decide on meeting places outside of your town or city in case the city is shut down or evacuated. Don’t count on having cell phone service during an emergency.
- Know what your child’s school or daycare will do in case of an emergency. If something happens while you are at work, do you know where your child might be sent in an evacuation? Bomb threats and school shootings are sadly becoming commonplace.
- Make sure everyone in your family knows where supplies are kept, has a copy of emergency numbers and contacts, and knows the emergency plan.
- Practice the plan regularly so that your response will be automatic in a real crisis. This will cut down on panicking and help keep everyone safe.
- Make copies of your important documents to carry with you. Insurance papers, licenses, passports, birth certificates, etc. can be essential in a crisis.
- Check out the link below for detailed checklists on common emergencies as you are making your emergency plan. There is also a link for an emergency plan form that you simply fill in with your information.
Emergency Plan Information
- Emergency Preparedness Information
The American Red Cross' emergency checklists and facts to get you the information you need before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation.
- Be Prepared: My Family Emergency Plan
Fill out this simple form to create your family's emergency plan. Have contact information ready and easily readable in case of an emergency.
How to Sensibly Start Building a Food Supply
Bring your dog with you if you are in an emergency situation. Dogs can alert you to danger nearby and can protect you from some predators.
Put Together a Survival Kit
Every home, office, school, and car should have a survival kit. You never know where you’ll be when disaster hits. The kit doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive or elaborate. A basic first aid kit and some water and food supplies for a few days is a good emergency kit. There are even survival kits the size of a sardine can that can fit anywhere. Keeping an extra change of clothes at work and in the car is also a good idea.
To begin a more extensive survival kit and food supply, it is best to start slowly. A survival kit that would last your family for 3-4 days is a good starting goal. Put it together a little at a time. You can buy one thing each time you go to the store. A few items here and there add up and won't cost so much at once. Look for sales and stock up on reduced priced items.
You want items that are non perishable, that are essential such as food and water, first aid supplies, and things that can be used without electricity.
Once you have a survival kit to last a few days, start thinking about a more extensive kit. It is a smart practice to have a survival kit that you can just grab quickly and another kit that has more extensive supplies. Think long term and short term. What would you do if society as we know it becomes incapacitated for awhile or indefinitely? While it may not be practical or affordable for you to invest in an underground bunker complete with supplies for twenty years, there are things you can do now that could help you survive in a long term crisis.
You could start stockpiling an extra food supply. You may not have the room for a year’s worth of food, but you can keep your cabinets fully stocked with as much food as you can fit. Get a gallon of water each time you go to the store. You will need a gallon of water a day for each person.
If a long term crisis happened, you might start thinking about weapons and alternate sources of energy. Transportation that doesn't require fuel is also a long term consideration. Bicycles could be a good investment.
Having emergency items handy can save you time in a crisis. If you need to evacuate immediately, you won’t have time to scramble around your house to find things. Plus, you are much more likely to forget something if you don't already have things together.
See the checklists below to start supplying a first aid kit and an emergency kit. Put the items in a waterproof container that you can easily access. You want a container that is also portable. Put liquid items in water proof bags to prevent leaks.
Survival Kit in a Can
If you can’t get to medical treatment facility quickly, you can slow down superficial bleeding by spraying nasal spray on a bandage and then placing the bandage on the wound. It could stop someone from losing too much blood before they can get to a doctor.
First Aid Kit Supplies
- Bandages of many sizes
- Adhesive tape
- Ace bandage
- Instant cold compress
- Sterile gloves
- Antibiotic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hand sanitizer
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol
- Electrolyte replacement solution for dehydration or heat stroke (Equalyte, Pedialyte)
- Ipecac syrup
- Petroleum jelly
- Eye wash solution
- Burn cream
- Quick clot
- Space blanket
- Safety pins
- Any prescribed medicine such as glucose or epipens
- Emergency numbers – poison control, etc.
- First aid manual
Can your own foods now. Not only can it be more cost effective in the present, but canned foods will keep for many years. It can help you build up your food supply. Plus knowing how to can food is a skill that could keep you alive if grocery stores no longer exist.
Survival Kit Supplies
- Water – at least 1 gallon per person for 3 days
- Food – Nonperishable supply for at least 3 days
- Can opener – hand operated
- Sterno or other portable cooking source
- Pet food
- Paper or plastic plates, utensils, etc.
- Weather radio that is battery or hand crank
- Extra batteries
- Pocket knife or Swiss Army knife
- Cell phone and charger
- Local maps
- Dust mask
- Large sheets of plastic
- Duct tape
- Space blanket or sleeping bags
- Small tent
- Rain poncho
- Change of clothes
- Toiletries - especially ones that don't require water
- Moist towelettes
- Sanitizing wipes
Feminine hygiene supplies
- Trash bags
- Matches or lighter in a waterproof container
- Pad of paper
- Pencil or pen
- Fire extinguisher
- Important documents
- Cash - including change
- Extra glasses or contacts
- Any medications
For More Emergency Preparedness Information
- Ready.gov - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.
The Ready Campaign of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, educating and empowering Americans to prepare for emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
Food Supply for 1 Month
Sterilize and disinfect with regular, unscented bleach using a 9:1 ratio. That is nine parts water to one part bleach.
Treat water with bleach by adding about 10 drops of bleach to one gallon of water.
Boiling water for at least 10 minutes can also sterilize water if you do not have bleach.
Collect Survival Knowledge
Getting certified in CPR and taking a first aid course are great ways to prepare for an emergency. You could save someone’s life on a normal day not just during a crisis.
If a major disaster happened, you might not have access to medical care. Knowing how to treat injuries could be very helpful and could keep you or someone you love alive long enough to get to a doctor.
Having a first aid manual could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation where 911 may not be available.
Likewise, if the disaster is severe enough to alter society, you may need to know other survival skills. Collecting how to guides now can greatly improve your chances in a post-apocalyptic world. You may need to know things like how to sanitize water, how to build a shelter, how to build a trap, how to build a fire, how to navigate without a compass, how to hot-wire a car, and numerous other things.
Buying survival manuals can give you the information you need in an emergency. The internet might not work after a natural disaster. Instead of buying manuals, you could also print off how to guides from the internet. The benefit of this is you don’t have the bulk you would with books. Stick them in your survival kit for quick access.
If you know someone who is very handy or who camps a lot, you can ask that person to teach you some of the most important survival skills. This way you will be prepared for any long term disaster situation.
Post-Apocalyptic Reading to Get You in a Survival Mindset
- Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
It could happen to us: The moon is hit by a meteor knocking it closer to the earth. Nature goes crazy and food becomes scarce. Will humanity survive? Find out in Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
Brace Yourself Mentally
Most of us have seen end of the world movies or shows. Think back to old episodes of the Twilight Zone where the character wakes up one day and finds himself the last person on earth. The person usually goes crazy with the burden of it.
The destruction of everything we know and love can be devastating. But the reality is that everything is transient. We may think society could never be destroyed, but that isn’t true. If something happened globally, the disaster could completely alter our way of life.
Can you handle the ramifications of that mentally?
You might have to fight or even kill to survive. Loved ones could be lost. Running water and electricity could become a thing of the past. You might have to scrounge for your next meal. Natural disasters or the climate could become hazardous. The world could become a very scary place.
To prepare for that mentally, start thinking about how you would feel and cope with disaster situations. Watch apocalyptic movies and read apocalyptic books and imagine yourself in the place of the characters. How would you react if you were in their situation?
Just as players mentally prep themselves for a game in order to play better, mentally prepping yourself for disaster can help you to cope if the real thing ever were to occur. It is like bracing yourself before the impact.
What do you think is most likely to cause a doomsday in 2013?
We're All Gonna Die
Prepare Yourself Spiritually
What if a major disaster does happen? Are you prepared spiritually?
If a calamity strikes, many people could die. Someone you love could be one of the casualties. You could be a casualty in a disaster situation. A lot of our fear of disaster comes from the fear of death. If the world is going to end next year, are you prepared to face death?
Prepare yourself to face the end of your life and what might come afterwards. Don’t live with regrets or leave things unsaid.
Be ready to leave the world when your time comes.
Luxury items such as a carton of cigarettes will be good things to barter in a long term crisis. Smokers may not be able to get cigarettes. Other luxury items will also be good to trade for other things you may need.
Were your predictions correct? 2012 Poll
Do you think the world will end in 2012?
- 34% No it is just silly hype.
- 13% Yes life as we knew it will be over.
- 54% Maybe there will be a disaster but life will go on.
This poll is now closed to voting.
Handling Doomsday Hysteria
There has already been hysteria about the end of the world lately because of the multiple doomsday theories associated with 2012, wars, the economy, the weather, and other turmoil happening globably. The attention the media has given to mass animal deaths and natural disasters recently has caused even more alarm.
The Mayan calendar cycle ends December 21, 2012, the day of the winter solstice. The Mayans didn’t predict anything cataclysmic on that day. It simply marks the end of the current cycle they used to count days. There were cycles before this one and there is nothing to suggest a cycle couldn’t begin after this one ends.
Do you know the essentials to survive 2012?
- 2012 Doomsday Quiz: Will You Survive?
Are you looking forward to 2012? We've been hearing about it since the 1990s. Well, your wait is almost over. The end of the world is almost here! Take this quiz to see how prepared you are for the coming doom.
So is the world going to end in 2012? Who knows? But even if the world keeps spinning just as it always does, there is very likely to be mass panic at the smallest crisis, especially as December approaches.
The best way to survive 2012, regardless of what happens, is to start preparing now. Work on your emergency preparedness using the information above.
Expect that people will be afraid. There could be runs on the stores, especially grocery stores and gas stations. Keep gas in your car and your kitchen well stocked in case you are without supplies for awhile.
If something strange, like an alien invasion, does happen, you will want to avoid large crowds of people. Go somewhere sparsely populated and use your wits to figure out what to do in each given circumstance.
If you are afraid of what may happen on December 21, stay in that day. Get somewhere you know is safe during an emergency. Or plan to be with family and friends. That way you won’t have to worry about those you love.
How to Survive the End of the World
Here and Now
We can’t possibly predict every calamity that could happen to us. We don’t know what the future holds. That is part of the joy of life. Each new day bringing something unexpected. Will we have bad times in the future? That is an almost guaranteed yes. Life is full of bad times and good times. The best we can do is prepare for the bad times and enjoy the good times.
The world may end tomorrow or it might end in 3 million more years. Make an emergency plan and put together and emergency kit. It could save your life one day. But don’t waste what life you have now worrying about something that might not ever happen.
Be prepared, but don’t forget to live.