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Three Steps to Surviving a Disaster

Disasters can strike anytime and without any warning, leaving devastation and destruction in their wake. They can cause significant damage to homes, disrupt communication systems, and leave people stranded without food, shelter, or additional clothing. In the aftermath of a disaster, it can be challenging to know what to do. This is why it’s essential to have a plan of action in place – one that can help you survive and even thrive in the face of adversity. In this post, we’ll share three crucial steps that can help you survive after a natural disaster.





Step 1: Stop and Decide


The first step to survival is to stop and take stock of your situation. Is this an event where you can stay put, or do you need to evacuate the area? If you do travel, don’t forget to grab your ‘survival’ gear and take it with you.


Step 2: Identify and Prioritize (in order of importance for the specific event) your survival needs


Regardless of the type of event, your survival needs remain constant. What changes, however, is the order in which you meet these needs. Staying alive needs (survival) include

  • Maintaining body temperature (personal protection). Sub-categories of this include (1) clothing, (2) shelter, and when needed (3) fire.

  • Avoiding dehydration. Sub-categories of this include (1) water and (2) food. In general, you can live a long time without food but only days without water.

  • Managing your health. Sub-categories of this include environmental injuries, traumatic injuries, and mental health. Each is important. Acute injuries need to be treated. Avoiding additional injury is important such as an exposure injury or worsening depression that compromises your ability to care for yourself.

  • Signaling for help. Signaling is all about attracting rescue to your location and helping pinpoint exactly where you are. At a minimum, you should use a visual source like a signal mirror and a noise source like a whistle. Other sources might include things like a flag, a large ground-to-air signal, a flashlight, etc.

  • Travel. In some situations, rescue may not be imminent, and the area may not meet your needs. When this occurs, it may be necessary to travel to another location where your needs or rescue can be met.


Step 3: Improvise


Improvising is, perhaps, one of the most important skills you can develop, especially in a survival setting. You will unlikely have everything you need to care for yourself, your family, and your community. But, with a little ingenuity, you can use items other than their intended use to meet that need. Think about the newspaper that was used as a flyswatter or the butter knife as a screwdriver. You can use a tarp or trash bags to create shelter. If you don’t have access to clean water, you can boil or purify water from rivers or streams. The key is to be resourceful and creative with what you have. The only limit to your ability to improvise is your imagination.


Surviving a natural disaster is never easy, but being prepared can make all the difference. By following these three crucial steps of (1) stopping and taking a moment to decide if you should stay put or travel out of the area, (2) identifying and prioritizing your ‘stay alive’ essentials for the given situation, and (3) improvising to meet those essentials - you can increase your chances of surviving and even thriving in the aftermath of a disaster. Remember, the key is to be prepared, to keep calm, and to focus on what you can control. With the right mindset and the right resources, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way.

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Jun 05, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great Tips!

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