107 Skills You May Want or Need After TEOTWAWKI. Fellow bloggerhttp://our-freehold.blogspot.com/ essentially wrote a whole 'nother blog post about the Rule of 3 in the comments, taking three posts to do it because of comment length limitations. For your convenience and with her permission, those comments are being reposted here.
When we prep, we look at the "rule of 3". You can live
3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3
weeks without food, and 3 months without hope. Going from that list,
you can prep at different levels.
In a "get home" bag stashed
in the trunk of the car, "3 minutes without air" means a small first aid
kit. In our little community's medical kit, "3 minutes without air"
means a fully stocked first aid kit including intubation tubes. You look
at what level you're at and work with it.
Generally speaking, "3 minutes without air" means first aid at some
level. A sucking chest wound can be covered with a plastic bag or saran
wrap. Do you have enough gauze and bandages? Do you know how to make
more? Did you know plantain, chewed up in the mouth to a soft poultice,
will draw out minor to medium infections? :) That's the kind of stuff
you want to know and have.
"3 hours without shelter" again means
different things at different levels. In your get home bag, it might
mean a strip of paracord and a plastic rain poncho, or one of those foil
emergency blankets. In the woods, it means building a shelter with
what's available - branches, leaves, sod, etc. In your home (during a
major power outage, for instance; no need for zombies hehe) it might
mean being able to keep windows from breaking during a hurricane or
putting blankets over drafty doors to help keep the heat in. In a long
term survival situation, it means knowing enough about building to put
together a log cabin or other larger shelter for you or livestock.
days without water" is easy in New England - we have water all around
us. For us, that means mostly good filtration. I know how to make a
plastic applicator tampon into a make-shift filter if I really needed
to. :) We have some of those emergency filter straws, as well as some
hand pump filters that are excellent. We have bleach, which makes pretty
much everything potable. We aim to pick up a Berkey filter at some
point for household use, but that's expensive and not yet figured into
the budget. If you're in Arizona, you need to plan differently, though!
Storing water is better in dry areas. Make it potable, put it away in
big jugs or 55 gallon food-grade containers. Rain water is fine, but
remember to purify it before you drink it. Rotate it - water gets stale
after a while (though it's still drinkable technically). Factor in wash
water as well as drinking water and cooking water - if you aren't clean,
you'll get an infection and won't last long.
That brings us to "3 weeks without food." Rightly enough, MREs are a
quick solution, and we usually keep on in the get home bag. There's
enough calories in one to keep you going for a day or two if you got
stuck in your car, for instance, or had to walk a long distance because
you were out of gas. They can also be "cooked" inside the vehicle (which
heats up the car btw) because the little heater packs are all
self-contained. There's no flame involved. :) But food also means stores
at home - what would you do if you lost your job and had six weeks to
wait for the next influx of money? What would you do if a massive storm
front hit your town and all the stores and roadways were closed and
unusable for a week or two? What would happen if the SHTF? We have
enough food to last us a while... through most natural disasters of the
hurricane or major storm sort. It's varied, too... it isn't MREs,
because those get boring real fast. We have beans, dehydrated meats and
fish, TVP, canned meats and fish (both commercial and home done), baked
beans home canned, wheat berries and the means to grind them into flour,
etc. Our major downfall would be dairy, though we do have powdered
milk. But... ick. LOL... And one of the biggest things - I know how to
and have cooked with every single thing in our long-term storage.
Believe me when I say that "during an emergency" is a terrible time to
learn how to bake from wheat berries. LOL...
The last one is the
most serious. A human being can only last about 3 months without hope.
For us, that means having an easy to recharge electronic reader with as
many classic books and survival manuals as we can get onto it, as well
as having our house stocked full of books, floor to ceiling in places.
We have board games, cards, dice, hula hoops, scooters, bicycles etc.
Hope comes from *living* rather than surviving. To live, you need to be
able to have something close to a normal routine once you're past the
initial emergency. Survival really is a short term thing.