Tuesday, November 12, 2013

10 Survival Lessons from the Philippines Typhoon Disaster

Many cities and towns that were devastated by the huge typhoon that hit the Philippines a few days ago are just barely starting the recovery process.  As the news keeps coming from the devastated area, here are 10 random take-aways to help you with your survival planning:

  1. Can you swim? It's a good skill to know and can be useful during such a disaster (many people who were washed away in the tidal surge had to swim for their lives).
  2. Water is a critical necessity after a disaster, how will you procure yours? (Hint: water purification tablets, a simple water purification system used by backpackers, and bottled water are good options).
  3. Can you evacuate ahead of a disaster?  Some people can't afford to, some people don't want to leave their homes.  If you can afford to evacuate do so, stuff can be replaced, you and your family members can't.
  4. How will you get food after the disaster? (Will you raid stores for scraps?  Will you have a week's worth of food in your BOB?).
  5. How will you contact your family after a disaster? (Note: when everything--cell towers, land lines--are washed away a HAM radio comes in mighty handy).
  6. How will you take care of your medical needs after a disaster? Consider pre-planning: stockpile necessary meds, get a tetanus shot and make sure your vaccines are up to date; and post-planning: avoid drinking contaminated water or wading in contaminated water, have a first aid kit in your BOB, have some basic medical skills, etc.
  7. How will you shelter yourself after a disaster?  In the case of hurricanes and typhoons, everything is washed away.  Do you have a tent/sleeping bag in your BOB?  A tarp?  Can you fashion a shelter out of the stuff you can find around the disaster area?
  8. How will you protect yourself after a disaster?  Mostly people will be doing what they need to survive and usually people are good about helping others out but if you have food and water and shelter and many others do not you may need to either hide yourself and what you have or defend yourself and what you have.
  9. Do you have basic survival supplies?  A whistle?  A mask or bandanna to cover your nose and mouth?  Matches to start a fire?
  10. Can you work with others?  Coordinating efforts can help you and others to survive by building shelters together, protecting your area from looters, etc. 

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