The following article is an excerpt from My Best Survival Products: Survival Preparedness Guide, Second Edition. It has been contributed by fellow prepper Luke Lichterman. It has been published with permission of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of PreppingToSurvive.com.
Survival preparedness is all the same for any disaster aftermath. Being prepared is nothing more than providing that which you know your family needs to support survival for some period of time.
Natural disasters: Although often deadly and destructive, natural disasters tend to be short-term events; one to three days for the event itself and several to many days or weeks before relief arrives, commerce resumes and the victims can begin the recovery process.
Manmade disasters: Economic collapse, war or an EMP attack are much more deadly and destructive than natural disasters and their aftermaths can persist for months, years or even decades. Relief may not arrive until much too late, if at all, and may be available only to those who hold the “correct” political positions.
Disaster within a disaster: A major natural disaster strikes in the midst of a long manmade-aftermath, and due to the pre-existing situation, relief and resumption of commerce becomes even more unlikely.
Whether it’s as mundane as a hurricane, or as exotic as an EMP attack, being prepared does NOT guarantee survival, however, those who are prepared to survive at least the first year, stand a greater chance of surviving beyond that year, than those who either under-prepared or did not prepare at all.
Choosing to prepare your family for survival can be complex and expensive, but it can be simplified and made more affordable by following this guide.
If the air is contaminated with organic dust you will need NIOSH-Approved N95 disposable respirator masks, which are designed to filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
These masks are available at hardware stores, mass merchandise warehouses or online, for pennies per unit. They come with or without an exhale valve although the extra cost for the valve is well worth it.
They will fit all adults and all but the smallest children, who will require a bandana tied over the mask to prevent unfiltered air from being inhaled.
There is no way of knowing how many of these you will need per person but as with all survival preparedness, more is always better than less.
If the air is contaminated with noxious odors, vapors, solvents or other gasses, you will need an industrial type half-face or full-face respirator with NIOSH- Approved replaceable filer elements for organic vapors, acid gases, ammonia, methylamine or formaldehyde.
These respirators are available in small, medium and large sizes. The filter elements are interchangeable, long lasting and inexpensive for the benefits gained. The full-face type is recommended because of the eye and face protection offered.
This is not a wise place to economize. Buy as many of the disposable masks as your budget allows. Also purchase a replaceable element respirator and several replacement elements per respirator, for each member of your family.
Humans can live for days or even weeks without food but no one survives past 4 or 5 days without water. Living on very short rations, an “average” person can survive on one gallon of water, for replacement of normal activity loss, per day. At that drastically minimal rate a family of four will require 120 gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days.
“…Drinking, sanitation and hygiene constitute the basic human survival needs for water. These needs total about 50 liters (13.2 gallons) per person per day…” (1)
Including drinking, sanitation and hygiene that same family of four would require 1500+ gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days. Storing 120 individual gallons of water to meet subsistence-level needs is easily done, if that’s how you visualize your family surviving.
Storing 1500+ gallons, while making your family’s survival experience more pleasant, is problematic if you do not have the ability to replenish your water supply while off the National Electric Power Grid.
In most parts of continental USA, with the exception of the Southwest, rainfall is fairly regular, reliable and predictably sufficient to be the primary source for your family’s survival water self sufficiency. You will have to make a judgment call and decide how much storage capacity you will need to bridge dry spells.
The water stored in your tanks, or collected from any available source may appear clear, but is not safe to drink. Whether it’s rain, which fell on your roof, or water collected from any available source, it is contaminated with bird feces, insect detritus, decayed organic matter, chemicals and other pollutants. To make any water safe to drink it must first be treated or purified.
Treatment involves adding proportionately large amounts of Sodium Hypochlorite, (laundry bleach), (2) or chlorine iodine. This method should be reserved for emergency or occasional use only, because using these chemicals for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. (3)
The best way to purify your available water, without treating it with harmful and foul tasting chemicals, is to process it through either; the SURVIVAL H2O Purifier™ or a Berkey® Gravity Feed Water Purifier, both of which make long term water self sufficiency an affordable reality.
Disasters can, and often do, force people to leave their homes. If you must leave your home for any reason you will need to carry, or be able to make, your own supply of safe, pure drinking water.
Without your own water your family will be forced to drink from unknown sources, which can lead to severe illness or worse. To make unknown water safe, it must be treated or purified. You know that chemical treatment is harmful so you will need Water Mobility Purifiers.
Next in the series is Food Storage (Long-Term or Short-Term?)
(2) Household bleach for water purification:http://en.allexperts.com/q/Water-Quality-2463/2008/1/Water-Purification-2.htm
© April 2012, L. J. Lichterman