Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Colony Part 1

I just stumbled across "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel as I was writing my last post. Looks like a fairly interesting series. The scenario is that a group of people will be stranded together for a period of ten weeks in an urban area in order to simulate what would happen after a major global disaster. Here's some notes:
  • The group has in interesting mix of people: scientist, martial artist, handyman, doctor, nurse, ex con, etc.
  • Prior to beginning the taping, the people were deprived of sleep, food, and water for 30 hours to simulate what would happen to people immediately after a disaster.
  • The people scavenged what they could as soon as they were set loose.
  • Secure shelter is important. These people are using an abandoned warehouse.
  • They immediately located a water source (a disgustingly dirty river in Los Angeles)
  • They filtered the water with sand and charcoal then boiled it to make it safe to drink.
  • Basic needs: fire, water, shelter, security, sanitation, food.
  • To protect their feet while their shoes and socks were drying out over the fire, they made "shoes" out of shipping envelopes and duct tape.
  • Cleanliness and sanitation are important so as not to spread disease. Toilets were flushed manually with water.
  • Beds were made out of pallets, cardboard, Styrofoam, drapes, and rags.
  • People were rotated on two hour security watches
  • A quote: "people will attempt to get supplies and resources by any way possible after a disaster." Security is a must and will be a continual effort.
  • Assume you are not alone and will have other survivors to contend with.
  • A quote: "In survival mode you may have to let go of your moral compass".
  • If you have limited resources will you share with other survivors who are strangers? This was a contentious scene for both the "inside" group and the new survivors put in the situation.
  • After the basics were taken care of, the people moved on to power. They used scavenged batteries which were "daisy chained" then converted to household AC for power.
  • One man kicked alcohol, tobacco, and coffee when he started the challenge--he wasn't a happy camper for the first few days. Somehow coffee was found on Day 4.
  • Water is budgeted to one gallon of water per person per day. The average American uses 144 gallons of water per day (!).
  • The warehouse had lots of useful materials and supplies for their various projects.
  • Storage of water in the shelter was valuable.
  • During a rain storm, they devised a system to collect water from the gutters (it's easier than traveling to the river and hauling it back to the shelter).
  • Baking soda was used for laundry soap and corrugated steel was used for a washboard in order to wash clothes.
  • Jobs were pretty much divided up along gender lines.
I will definitely watch this show next week. While I usually find a lot of technical faults in these types of "reality" shows, the random bits of information gleaned even from TV shows may prove valuable should I find myself in this type of survival situation.

1 comment:

  1. I rarely watch TV but may have to make an exception in this case.

    Survival very often hinges on a mere scrap of information. A show such as this could provide an interesting glimpse into what people must do in such as situation. Though it is only mimicking the real thing (for example, these people know they can get medical attention if need be).