Desert island question: What ten things will most likely contribute to your ability to survive?
There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people to ask, but here’s our answers.
1. A good knife –
The number one item that one needs to survive is a knife. It has less to do with killing things as being able to cut and process anything you need. A smart writer once said that knives are the tool of our species. Have even a small pocketknife on you at all times.
2. Window breaker -It seems like one of those things you will never need, but if you do, it will save your life. The glass in car windows are designed to break only under certain circumstances. One important thing to do is to make sure that you can find the breaker in the event of a crash. It should be tied or stuck to a specific location in your car, not floating around in a glovebox.
3. Water filtration –
You can purchase one of the greatest of modern miracles: a straw that filters out everything from bacteria to pollution. These straws are already saving lives in places where there is very little drinkable water. For most of us who are reading this post, you will need it in an emergency. Have one in your car and some in your house. If the water supply goes bad, this straw could keep you from getting dysentery or any of a hundred other water-borne diseases.
4. Mylar blankets – These blankets are another modern marvel. The Mylar keeps the heat in and the wind out. They are incredibly light and can easily fit into a ‘go bag’. Keep a few around. The material can rip easily, but a good Mylar blanket can save your life on a chilly night.
5. Go Bag – A ‘go bag’ or ‘bugout bag’
is a bag that’s prepacked for an emergency. Put everything into it that you might need to keep you alive for a few days in an emergency. From your first aid kit to a few MREs (meals ready to eat), your go bag will be the only luggage you need when zombies com to your door seeking a snack.
6. MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) – If you’ve ever had an MRE, you know that they aren’t exactly gourmet, but they are designed to keep you alive. Most MREs have enough calories, nutrients and salt to get you through the day on a single meal. It’s not ideal, but a case of MREs can keep a family going for a week or more.
7. Books –
Not e-books. Actual books. Among the best are the Foxfire books. They are a collection of instructions that some professors and students gathered from ‘old-timers’ talking about how to make everything from moonshine to soap. This old-time wisdom can help you to maintain a life and keep your household going using the resources available to you.
8. Shortwave radio – When all of the local radio and TV stations have gone out, you will likely still be able to get information via shortwave. Get a shortwave radio. The signals can travel the whole world and let you know what’s going on in other places. Make sure you have batteries or better, it can be charged with a hand crank and/or solar power.
9. Solar chargers –
By Mark Guim [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A solar panel that will help you to charge your cell phones, computer, and other devices will help you to be able stay in touch if the power outage is local. The cell phone companies spend billions making sure that they have backup power if the grid falls, you may be able to tap into the cell system.
10. A plan – The number one thing you need to survive is a plan. It’s free and will take you one night to do. Make sure that your plan includes instructions on where to find everything the family will need. Have a meeting place for your family that’s not your house. Have one that’s public and one that’s hidden. If the public place is unsafe, the family can gather in a hidden place.
There are probably thousands of other things that you can include in this list, but these ten are a solid foundation. Start here and build from it.