Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here are some Basics

FOOD & NUTRITION: Depending on the conditions of your environment and level of activity, an individual can survive about three weeks without food. In extreme cold the lack of food can be dangerous, and in other situations, (like gradual dehydration), hunger can bring about many consequences long before it causes death. These problems can include irritability and low morale, weakness, loss of mental clarity, poor judgment, weakened immune system, and increased difficulty maintaining body temperature.

SANITATION & HYGIENE: During periods of emergency or disaster, sanitation levels can deteriorate rapidly and disease can spread and even cause death in a matter of days. Maintaining good hygiene will prevent disease and illness from spreading. You will need a way to use the bathroom, a way to keep your living environment clean, and a way to keep your hands, mouth, and body clean.

WARMTH & SHELTER: In extreme conditions, an individual will survive only about three hours without any protection from the elements. If you don’t have adequate shelter, you won’t have a chance to get thirsty or hungry before you start to suffer from hypothermia or extreme heat exposure. Shelter is anything that protects a person from his environment (including dangerous cold and heat) and allows restful sleep. It’s recommended to always keep up-to-date clothes and a compact tent in your 72-hr-kit.

WATER & HYDRATION: According to the Red Cross, your body can only survive three days without access to water in extreme conditions. This is assuming you’re at sea level, room temperature, with relatively favorable humidity. In colder or warmer temperatures, the need for water is greater. (Need for water also increases with exertion.) A lack of water causes dehydration, which may result in lethargy, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and eventually death. Even mild dehydration reduces endurance and impairs concentration, which is dangerous in a survival situation where clear thinking is essential. We recommend that you have at least 3 different ways to access water. Large barrels, 50 gallons or greater, can store a large amount of water, but are obviously not portable since fully loaded they can weigh over 400 lbs. You need portable water containers in case you need to evacuate your house, like the 5 gallon stackable water containers. You also need a way to purify water if you have access to a supply, but it is unsafe to drink.

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