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In the “First Aid” chapter of my How to Survive Anywhere book, I address specific simple ways of dealing with the common medical emergencies that one can expect in the aftermath of a major disaster, or if lost and hurt in the woods. Would you be prepared if a major earthquake struck your town tomorrow?
Also to consider, it is not only the physical accidents that we need to be concerned about, whether a wilderness accident, or the result of an urban disaster (major earthquake, etc.). In studies that have been done of the survivors of major disasters, the following conclusions have been made about the mental state of the survivors. Approximately 15% made quick, appropriate, and efficient choices and actions which were well-suited to their safety and security. Another 15% “went crazy,” making wild irrational choices and even getting hurt as a result of their “losing it.”
The rest, about 70% of the survivors – a full majority – neither went crazy nor did they make wise and efficient choices and actions, but rather wandered about somewhat zombie-like, spaced-out, in a state of stupor and shock, simply not knowing what to do, where to go, what to think. This shocked majority tends to be passive, but will take orders from someone who seems to be in control and who seems to know what they are doing and why.
The point: None of us wants to be a part of that majority, and definitely we don’t want to be a part of that “crazy 15.” No one would want to be wandering around Colorado Blvd. in a dazed state of mind.
What can we do to ensure that in a time of disaster, we find ourselves in that 15% category of wise, appropriate, efficient actions? None of us really knows what we will do until we are actually tested in difficult, stressful real life conditions. It is impossible to predict what you might do when you are seated comfortably in your home drinking a warm beverage.
The only way to expand our mental and physical limits is to actually put ourselves into situations where we can discover more about ourselves during situations of less sleep, less food, more work. People in the military often get that experience. Some survival schools offer these experiences. And anyone (with a group of friends and supporters) can regularly plan such trips with the express purpose of expanding limits, learning how you will react in times of stress, and attempting to make the right choices when it is not easy to do so.
Some years ago, while doing something at home, my wife yelled, “There’s a fire next door.” My friend who was with me and I immediately ran outside and around the corner. We could see smoke coming from a house up the street. As we ran up the streeet, we saw most of the neighbors in front of their houses, watching. One woman was watering her yard with a hose.
“There’s a fire!” I yelled.
“We know,” calmly responded one man. “We called the fire department.”
My friend Timothy and I ran to the house, and began ordering people around. “Bring us a ladder,” and “Bring us a hose.” People quickly obeyed and within a minute we were up on a ladder and had the fire out and saved the house, a full 10 minutes before the fire department finally arrived and took over the situation.
We never forgot how the neighbors stood there watching, as if they were watching some “reality show” on their television sets. They looked, but they took no action! It is my stance that taking responsibility is one of the key elements of survival, survival in the fullest and most complete sense.
HOW TO SURVIVE ANYWHERE
My book “How to Survive Anywhere” is a guide for how to train yourself, and how to take action. I developed the book over my 40+ years of teaching.
The book is divided into chapters similar to the topics of my field or classroom sessions: Water , Fire, Lighting, Energy, Health and Hygiene, Clothing and Shelter, Fibre, Food, Tools and Weapons, First Aid, etc.
The last chapter is called “What is Survival?” and I include a discussion on how all our choices affect our destiny, all the moral, ethical, and spiritual choices that we like to kid ourselves and believe it’s all “private.” In fact, I list the 10 Commandments and The Golden Rule as some of the best “survival tools” of all time. What you sow, you shall reap.
I was criticized for including in a “survival manual” John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, the greatest coach of all time, who always said he wasn’t training basketball players but was training people for life. To ignore these principles is the greatest ignorance.
In “How to Survive Anywhere,” I even address the topic of whether or not a dark age is looming, and I provide some practical solutions that anyone can act upon. It’s a great book, and I hope that you get a copy.