10 Disaster Survival Skills You Should Know

Disasters arrive without a phone call or a knock, and the shock factor is in this very impromptu nature. The most immediate reaction following a disaster is panic, and the body and mind often shut down at that moment. However, if we are well prepared beforehand, then it is just a matter of the choicest survival.

Survival skills don’t only factorize in urgency but also provides a sense of constant security that you won’t be lost in the panic. Disasters are sometimes beyond our control but preparing for survival can save lives. We do not need to learn the survival skills of Bear Grylls, but some basic ones can make all the difference. We have compiled a list of 10 basic survival skills that experts recommend for disasters.

1. Learning How to Grow Edible Crop

Food is the primary necessity for our body to sustain. However, in most cases, and if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is probably the fact that, during a moment of crisis, it is the food staples that run out first. Remember how grocery and departmental stores were closing down as hoarding began in the initial days of Covid-19 lockdown? That’s the crux you should focus on.

To begin with, we must always keep on rationing food at least to a month’s supply to avoid the rush. Instead of doing it at the last minute, if we keep on piling up a small number of dry foods every month, even on our good days, it will definitely help us in our moment of crisis. 

2. Maintaining a Supply of Drinking Water

Water provides up to 70% of the human body, we have learned that repeatedly in our science books, but in times of crisis, we often forget this crucial thing that fuels our body. When a natural disaster strikes, the supply of drinking water gets severely hampered. 

In the markets today, many portable water filters are available that can purify water from any source to make it worthy of consumption. Keeping one handy can save not only you but your loved ones from dehydration and thirst.

3. Carrying a Multipurpose First Aid Box

First aid boxes are crucial in times of survival and crisis. A multipurpose first aid box includes some other things like the extra bar of food and matchsticks along with the usual stuff. The first aid survival kits are available in many places and often goes on sale. Buy one and remain a step ahead in your survival game.  

Tools without knowledge are like a pen without ink, so while you are stocking up on materials, make sure you know the basic medical processes. Learn how to dress a wound or how to disinfect an insect bite or a minor burn. 

4. Knowing Basic Repairing Skills 

One of the primary nature of a disaster, especially a natural disaster, is that it doesn’t have a timeline. We cannot predict how long a flood situation would persist and if immediate evacuation is needed, packing clothes is not feasible. In such cases, the most viable thing is to do is sustain the garments on our body for as long as we could. 

However, we must also be prepared for times when these clothes are in a distressed state. Teach your family how to sew and repair holes and also practice the art of makeshift clothes 

5. Using Radio Communications

Communications are the most prone areas to be affected during a disaster, natural or otherwise. As cell phone services and the internet gets jammed, we can take the help of old-school radio communications. This can be our primary medium of communication with our family. 

Here Are a Few Things that You Can Do:

  • We should especially teach the older ones in the family how to operate a radio. This is beneficial as radio waves, which are of longer wavelengths, do not get easily absorbed.
  • You can arrange for a small spy thriller roleplay where you can only communicate with radio comms. This will also be a drilling exercise for the children.

6. Knowing Manual Skills

If the fast-paced world has taught us anything, it is probably that machines can replace human labor with minimal effort. But this has also taken away our self-reliance. For the most basic things, we turn to our apps, sorry, Alexa! Therefore, our preparation for survival skills must include manual skills training. 

Saving your life is in your own hands, and getting handsy with plumbing or electrical repairs can only ensure our survival process. Take that old beast out of the shed and learn to tinker with it every day. Even in some cases, people have survived difficult terrains with electricity generated from motor engines!

7. Assessing the Area

Security is a hard find in a disaster situation, and when survival is in question, volatility is a common factor. Staying vigil to the surroundings and scoping for the safest place is a particular skill to have that comes with training. Ask any survivalist, and they would tell you that this is a must ‘soft-skill’ that one should prepare for in a disaster circumstance. 

Keep the Wits on You

Pick-up on the telltale signs like the governments’ behaviors, the experts’ opinions, the action of the people around you. Reading the behavioral changes will tell you more than what you know. Always remain a step ahead of the pack.

8. Building a Fire

We, the smartest evolutionary species, can learn a fair bit from our ancestors on how to survive in extreme conditions. With a few resources at hand, we can ensure that our body remains at the optimal temperature. 

Gather some dry woods and twigs or dry grass from the surrounding along with leaves and use the matchstick or a cloth to light the fire. Fires can also be used as a smoke signal and rescue machinery. It is also pertinent to keep stocks of flare sticks or lighters if the matches get wet. 

9. Knowing Navigation

Technology is not a reliable friend in disaster scenarios. Additionally, we also want to hold on to our mobile battery life as much as we can. Thus, the best way to get acquainted is by familiarizing ourselves with our immediate surroundings.

Keep an eye out for raised grounds or abandoned structures where you can take refuge. Take the help of the compass and go around locating the possible path to safety. Notice the road signs, sometimes closed school-buildings are perfect as a temporary living arrangement. 

10. Focusing on Mind Over Matter

A full-blown panic attack will land you in more danger than the actual disaster. Floundering at that point will help nobody. Therefore, we should practice keeping our calm in testing times. Getting over the initial shock and finding resources back should be our essential motive. Meditations and daily affirmations help reduce anxiety and stress and keep us grounded, which becomes exceptionally beneficial for crisis management. 

Final Words

Disasters can be less disastrous, with an effective action plan in place. We must prepare beforehand to avoid severe infractions. But saying that, we should also not steep ourselves in paranoia and live in constant anxiety of disasters. There is no point in it. Number one because we can’t control it, and secondly, we will miss out on our now if we are hyper-aware of the future. The best way to alleviate this fear is by preparing a little bit in advance so that we can go a long way, no matter what happens tomorrow.

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

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