No matter what emergency or natural disaster you find yourself in, there are a few basic survival skills anyone should have. Read through the list, mark off what you have mastered, and if needed have supplies for, and then work on the rest. Acquiring these few basic skills will come in handy throughout your lifetime.
Find and Purify Water
One of your first tasks should you find yourself in an emergency situation is to find a clean source of water. It’s surprising how often this becomes an issue with large storms, power outages and the likes. In case of a natural disaster, store at least one gallon of drinking water per person for a minimum of 3 days. It is also a good idea to invest in a small water purifier and learn how to use it. Be aware of natural sources of water you can tap into around your home, should running water stop working.
Make A Fire
Another great skill to have is being able to build a fire. Fire can provide warmth, light, and you can cook over it. Think back on your scouting days, or watch a YouTube video and start practicing. Making a fire isn’t hard, but it is a skill that should be learned. From there you can expand and experiment with different ways to generate a flame without a match or lighter. Advance your skills by making even wet wood burn.
Build a Shelter
Hopefully you won’t run into a situation where you have to build shelter because you are out in the woods, or because your home was destroyed. Just in case it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few different ways to build a shelter using materials that are common in your area. Start with simple shelters using string and a tarp. Then move into more involved skills that use only materials found in nature like sticks, branches, trees, or leaves.
Learn First Aid
If severe weather hits your area, chances are high that you or a loved one will get hurt by flying debris and the likes. Acquire or assemble a good first aid kit and learn how to use each item in your kit. This will help you care for yourself of your family until medical help arrives.
Find and Prepare Food
Having basic food supplies on hand before a storm or other natural disaster hits is always a good idea. Stock up on ready-to-eat foods and make sure you have the means to open cans and scoop out food. If possible, heat and cook things as needed.
Next you may want to familiarize yourself with the edible foods in your area and where to find them. Chances you’ll need to rely on your foraging skills for survival are slim, but it’s a fun exercise. It will give you and your family something to do while you wait or help to arrive.
Signal for Help
Speaking of help… make sure you know how to signal for help without your cell phone and have some basic supplies. At the very least you want a flashlight and a mirror. Markers, tape and other things you can use to spell out messages say on the roof of your home can also come in handy.
Acquire and practice these survival skills and you’ll be well prepared when disaster strikes. Of course most of these skills will also come in handy on your next camping trip.