Three Things You Need to do to Survive: Part One
Surviving and thriving is something that we mention quite often here. It’s one thing to get through a crisis and be in position to ask what’s next. On the other hand, we also need to have something to live for once the dust settles. Only you can decide what that means for you and your family, but it’s an important component to any post-SHTF scenario where life will be bleak, difficult and totally different from what we experience now.
There are three things that will underlie everything else that you do once that moment arrives, and they are probably not what you are thinking. We’re going to take a closer look at why you it’s so important to incorporate these things into your planning now so you’ll be in a better position to cope with the aftermath of a catastrophe later.
The first is cleanliness and sanitation. You’ve probably heard the old phrase how cleanliness is close to godliness, right? Well, our risk of becoming ill from sanitation problems exponentially increases once the grid shuts down and we’re left to fend for ourselves. Contamination will come from many different sources. Water, food, the air we breathe or the surfaces we touch can all be laced with substances or microorganisms that can make us sick. There is also the risk that we can be more vulnerable to illness, infection or other ailments because we are not healthy enough to fend them off. Couple that with the lack of access to modern medical services, and you have a recipe for disaster.
There is also no guarantee that those who stock up on antibiotics and other medicines will escape the health risks that are sure to come along as well. Some antibiotics work on some infections. Some medication will not address other illnesses that may crop up. At the end of the day, unless we own a pharmacy, chances are that we can never fully-protect ourselves like we do now. Consequently, taking preventive steps will become one of the single, most important things that we can do.
Unfortunately, the ability to keep things clean will come at a time when it can be difficult at best. Chances are that cleanliness, hygiene or sanitation will be the last thing on the minds of many people in the aftermath of a SHTF situation as well. How you incorporate this into your preparedness efforts is up to you, but it’s important to find practical and effective ways to minimize exposure to harmful substances, or to keep them from spreading in the first place.
Basic protection involves a combination of protection as well as prevention. Protection usually involves simple things like hand washing, basic hygiene and keeping living areas as germ-free as possible. Prevention involves things like wearing gloves or a face mask when necessary, quarantining the sick and avoiding sources of food and water that may be contaminated. Together, they provide a double layer of protection against catching something or transmitting contaminants to others.
Keep in mind that none of us really know what to expect when a SHTF situation emerges since few of us have experienced one first-hand. However, we can look at the aftermath of a long-list of catastrophes or calamities that have claimed the lives of countless people and learn from those experiences. Maybe it’s being careful with boiling or treating water. Perhaps it’s staying isolated and sheltered in place until a threat has passed.
No matter the reason, the more prepared and equipped we are to adapt will translate into reducing the risk, and consequences, of being exposed to threats to our health and well-being as we emerge from a post-SHTF scenario. While it may be more exciting or sensational to focus on things like security, hunting or employing bushcraft skills, sanitation problems are often the leading cause of illness and death following a disaster. Take some time to think how you will deal with cleanliness and sanitation as you plan, because the more you know now can help you to not only survive but thrive when that time comes.