The online community has been actively discussing the subject of how to survive the end of the world for years. With every new national or international crisis, we see even more people coming up with what they believe are foolproof survival tactics. The key is to find the differences between these strategies and isolate the similarities. There are a number of important points that should be included in any end of the world survival plan.
Disaster scenarios are determined by a number of circumstances. Most of which being those out of our control. Since we are unable to control absolutely everything that surrounds us, the least we can do is gear up as best we can.
Different natural disaster scenarios
Natural disasters affect all four corners of the globe on a regular basis. There is as much activity above the earth’s crust as there is beneath it and, in many cases, the warnings come too late.
We have seen many Hollywood films and documentaries about disasters that cause massive or even worldwide flooding. The earth’s water levels are rising as the polar ice caps melt. This, in conjunction with a meteor hitting one of our oceans, could result in a massive tidal wave. Constant rain results in flooding and, in many areas, it wouldn’t take much before the waters rise and swallow villages, towns, and cities.
Earthquakes are even more unpredictable and strike without warning. Huge earthquakes can destroy structures, disrupt transportation, and communication. Not to mention the possible significant loss of human life.
When economic disaster strikes
The economy is just as fragile as our world’s environment. In fact, in many cases, we are even more affected by economic changes than natural disasters. For example, when an earthquake occurs, it usually only affects a certain radius. On the other hand, when an international financial crisis occurs, everyone is affected.
An economic disaster can also occur in the wake of a natural disaster. Once a particular area is affected by a superstorm, flood, volcanic eruption or any other similar destructive force, it will also affect the economy. The question is, what happens when the destructive force is so great that it affects a country, entire continent or even the whole world?
Solar flares have been a hot topic of discussion, and many fear the effect they may have on electronics. Should a particularly potent solar flare strike, it could leave at least most of the United States in darkness! This will also affect foreign residents since there are so many systems that are operated from and based in the United States. So, in the end, whatever affects them will affect other parts of the world too.
The effects of no order
Take one minute to imagine what life was like a couple of hundred years ago without electricity, mobile phones or the internet. This is a possible outcome that awaits on the other side of a global disaster. When everything we know and love is taken from us, it can also lead to huge disorder and lawlessness.
Just think about how quick people are to rob and loot as soon as a disaster strikes. There’s little consideration for the law or consequences of their actions. It’s kind of like watching people rush into electronics stores on Black Friday. They don’t care who gets trampled in the process!
This is the kind of “each man for himself” attitude that survivors need to be prepared for. Everywhere you go, there will be a clear “smell” of desperation and, apart from the disaster itself, this is the most dangerous time of all.
Planning an evacuation
Depending on where you live, you might need to plan for the event of an evacuation. Remember that roads might not be the best way out of town and you might need to explore other options like off-road motorcycles, bicycles or even on foot. If roads are open but heavily congested (even worse than rush hour), you might be better off weaving through traffic on a bike. If the roads are under water or have been otherwise compromised, it really could be time to head for the hills.
In the event of a water disaster, getting to higher ground is essential. Those who live in tornado country will agree that their storm shelters are the best defense since you never know how fast a twister will travel or if it will change direction.
Sometimes, you may not need to evacuate but you might need to hide out for a while. This is when an underground bunker will prove to be a real life saver!
How to prepare and pack
Preparing yourself for an end of the world scenario involves so much more than simply hiding out and hoping for the best. You will need to prepare a bag with the most valuable essentials to help you get through the first few weeks at least.
That said, you will also need to use your supplies sparingly since you never know when, where or how they will be replenished.
Health and fitness
Part of being prepared is preparing your body. Modern society has made us pretty lazy, and we depend on cars, buses, trams and trains for transportation. A high fitness level will make it easier to navigate longer distances on foot or bicycle. You will also depend on your physical abilities to perform tasks like chopping wood, gathering food and building basic structures or performing repairs. For that matter, you wouldn’t do yourself any harm by brushing up on your DIY skills – minus the power tools of course! For the best survival food list, see our article for more options.
There is no life without water so this will be your main priority. There are certain types of water that have an extended shelf life. In addition to this water, you should pack water purification tablets. In the time of crises, water could become scarce or less than pure.
Preventing sickness is an important survival skill. Make sure that you purify all the water that you drink since it could be contaminated. When you can, purify water and save the bottles for absolute emergencies when there’s no water in sight. Understand how much water your body needs and limit your consumption so that you don’t consume it all too quickly.
Food and cooking equipment
There are many compact and dehydrated foods that have a really long shelf life. These foods won’t take up too much space in your bag, but they might weigh a fair amount. Like water, you will need to consume your food sparingly. You might be accustomed to eating until you’re as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey but now is not the time for that! You will need to condition your body so that you can survive on as little as possible.
Pack minimal cooking supplies. There’s no point in having food if you don’t have any way of preparing it! A pot for boiling water and cooking food is a good start. You should also pack some lightweight bowls for transferring the food once it’s cooked. Basic eating utensils are also a good idea, and you will need a knife for more than just food prep. Consider something like a Swiss Army Knife, which has several uses.
There’s no substitute for a good first aid kit. Basic supplies include band-aids, gauze, bandages for larger cuts, bandages for sprains or to hold splints in place, and surgical tape. Pack an antiseptic cream, a burn cream, sting relief cream and a strong disinfectant.
Pack pain medication, anti-inflammatory pills and something to bring down a fever like ibuprofen or paracetamol. Pack a first aid guide book for easy reference just in case you’re not sure how to dress or clean a wound.
Fire building supplies
Fire, like water, is an essential part of life. We need it for light, heat and cooking our food. Not everyone is an expert at lighting fires like they did centuries ago. So, be sure to pack plenty of matches and a few lighters too. The lighters are great if you cannot use matches during extremely windy conditions. The matches you pack should be high quality and waterproof. Spending more now will save you plenty of trouble in the long run! The same should be said for your lighter or lighters that you pack. Invest in quality and it will pay off in the long run.
Source of light
Navigating in the dark is not only frustrating but also dangerous. You might take one wrong step and end up hurting yourself, for example. Pack a flashlight with extra batteries or invest in a solar flashlight or wind up version so that you always have light even if you no longer have batteries. You should also pack flares and glowsticks just in case.
You cannot rely on your usual forms of communication during an end of the world situation. Mobile phones will be useless and accessing the internet will not be an option. Take a few steps back and prepare yourself with a good old-fashioned radio to receive messages. Radio stations (both AM and FM) might still be operating with the help of generators. It’s up to you to make sure that you are on the receiving end when an important message is broadcast.
Battery powered radios might sound like a good option, but those batteries will lose power faster than you think. Instead, just like your flashlight, you should choose a solar powered or wind up radio instead.
We might not be so fortunate as to find ourselves near a cave or another similar form of shelter. It is best to prepare yourself for anything and make sure that you have a roof over your head when you need it the most. This is especially important during bad weather and at night. You might not have four walls around you, but a tent can give you that sense of security and shelter you from the elements.
A compact tent used only for sleeping is all that you need. Along with a thermal sleeping bag, you will be able to get the rest you so desperately need.
You will really get to know yourself and what you are capable of when catastrophe strikes. You will also come to learn who your allies are and who you cannot trust. People have a way of losing their minds when they are taken from what they know. It’s much like being tossed into the deep end without knowing how to swim. If you notice somebody nearby, you will latch on or even use them as a flotation device just to ensure your own survival. It’s a basic human instinct that we are all subject to.
Be prepared for aggressive behavior and don’t be surprised when even your closest friend turns on you! Some might armor up and pack a handgun, rifle, and extra ammo. Others prefer their collection of knives, and there are those who want to take after The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon with his impressive crossbow skills.
It is ideal to test different weapons to establish which ones you are most comfortable with. You may also like to stock more than one type of weapon. If you are a firearm kind of person, make sure that you choose a weapon that won’t be affected by water. You could get hit by a sudden downpour, or you could slip into a river, lake or another body of water. See our list of the best survival weapons to give you more choice.
Poor hygiene often leads to illness which is why it is so important to pack some basic personal hygiene supplies. These include soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush and some feminine hygiene products too. You can pack some deodorant, lotions, and similar products but, if you are roaming through the woods, you might attract an alarming number of bugs by wearing cologne or perfume!
Consider just how essential the product is before you pack it. If you can live without it and if your overall health does not depend on it, then you may be better off leaving it behind! The lighter your pack, the easier you can move around and the less energy you will consume.
You never know what kind of weather you might face. So, when packing clothing into your survival bag, your checklist should include: a tough pair of hiking boots or non-slip shoes, one pair of long pants, two pairs of socks, a long-sleeve shirt, a T-shirt, a warm jacket, a rain poncho, a hat, underwear and a bandana.
Never underestimate the many uses for a bandana! It can be used to protect your neck during cold weather, you can keep the sun off your neck in hot weather and as a sweatband. You can also use your bandana to keep your hand from burning while cooking food. It works much like an oven mitt. In the event of an emergency, your bandana will make a great sling or tourniquet.
You can even make your own little waist pack out of a bandana to keep some essentials on your hip for easy access. If the air is particularly unpleasant or filled with particles, use your bandana as a mask. Keep cool in the heat by wetting your bandana and placing it on your head. With so many uses, you might want to pack more than one bandana! They are compact, lightweight and extremely handy.
Piecing it all together
After evaluation your location and possible disasters, it’s time to plan. Make a list of all the items you need to pack in your bunker or storm shelter and don’t forget to have one bag packed for each member of your family.
Make sure that your emergency plan is printed clearly and in multiple copies so that each family member has one. Discuss a meeting place with all family members in the event of separation during a disaster. In addition to this, you should also set up a second meeting place just in case the first one has been compromised by the disaster or subsequent events such as looting or violence. Keep your wits about you. In such times, people become even more unpredictable as their survival instincts kick in. Your best friend could sell you out for a piece of bread, if that’s what it comes down to!
Our world is becoming increasingly volatile, and anything can happen. In so many cases, the general public is not privy to vital information and adequate advance warning systems. This is particularly the case for smaller towns and villages where such facilities as sanitation might not even exist. The less developed the community, the more damage it is likely to suffer.
For example, without proper sewage systems and water drainage, a flood can result in structural damage, the loss of human life and the spread of disease if the water is not drained away. That said, these communities are usually close knit and they often band together in times of need. Larger cities have lost this sense of intimacy which also accounts for the extreme aggression and danger in such parts.
Do you want to learn more survival techniques? Check out article on basic survival training for more information.