The Five Major Killers in a Disaster

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The Five Major Killers in a Disaster

There are five major categories of what will kill you in a major disaster event.  Or in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario.

  1. The Initial Impact

    1. Cause – In a hurricane, the storm surge is the major initial killer.  Or Tornado, be struck by debris.  Of all the major types of disasters, often you have very little notice or advanced warning.
    2. Prevention –
      1. First, know what risks are pertinent to your location.  Don’t put yourself in harm’s way.  If a hurricane is coming, bug out early.  If you live in tornado alley, have a concrete safe room or an underground tornado shelter.
      2. Monitor the news frequently.  Sign-up for emergency alerts in your area to your mobile phones.
      3. Have multiple means to get news and information, such as battery and crank powered radios.
      4. Have a bug-out bag ready at all times.  Each family member should have a backpack or a bag of clothing ready for a retreat.

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  1. Exposure

    1. Being exposed to the natural elements without proper clothing and shelter are a major killer, especially in the winter.
    2. Prevention
      1. Have a full set of camping gear.  You never know when you might need to make camp in your own backyard, after a disaster event.
      2. Whenever you travel or conduct an outdoors activity, always dress in layers.  Carry outerwear to the worst case situation, and remove layers to the current situation.
      3. If you live in a cold climate, such as Northern USA or Canada, it would be wise to carry an outdoors quality sleeping bag in your vehicle for each family member during the winter.
      4. Carry blankets and chemical hand warmers in your vehicle.
      5. Have multiple ways to start a fire.
      6. Always carry extra water.  In the hot summer sun, heat stroke can kill you just as much as being stranded in a snow storm.  Drinking water and taking out of direct sunlight can prevent heat stroke.
      7. Eating food will bring up your core temperature.  But only eat if you have enough water to help digestion.
      8. Be continually aware of the weather situation.  At the first sign of weather change, retreat.

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  1. Sanitation

    1. Cause — In proper sanitation and lack of clean drink water is a major killer after the initial impact of the disaster.  Trash and human wastes are not properly handled.  Domestic animals are killed or set loose.  Flies abound on the debris and death, which spread disease.   Cholera is a major killer in tainted water.
    2. Prevention –
      1. Have stored water.  Have at least one gallon per person per day for at least two weeks.  For a family of 4, the minimum suggested water storage is 56 gallons of clean drinking water.  If you live in a desert area, such as the Southwest of USA, I’d recommend that you have drinking water stored for an entire month, over 100 gallons of stored drinking water.
      2. Have a water filter.   My family as the Big Berkey water filer with black filters.  You can pour mud into the Big Berkey (not recommended, but possible), and get clean drink water out of it.
      3. Have a portable water filter.  I have the Berkey Sports Bottle water filters in my bug out bags
      4. Have water purification tablets.  These are very valuable items in your bug-out bag.
      5. Store bleach.  Bleach is an effective way to purify water of germs and parasites.
      6. Have lots of trash bags on hand.  Use the trash bags to gather debris, trash, and human waste.   Burning trash and human waste is viable, if there is not fire hazard.
      7. Talk and education your neighbors about proper sanitation after a disaster.  Human and animal wastes should be buried at least 4 feet deep and 100 meters away from any open water source.

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  1. Violence

    1. Cause — As disaster event brings out the worst elements of society.  The chaos after a disaster is an invitation to looting and rioting from those lacking moral strength or in a desperate situation.
    2. Prevention
      1. Immediately after a disaster situation, start a neighborhood watch.
      2. Partner with your local police to establish an active neighborhood watch program before a disaster.
      3. Be well armed.  Take gun safety classes.  Get your concealed carry permit.  Every adult should own and know how to use a pistol.  Every home should have a shotgun.  Every capable adult should have a defensive rifle.
      4. A guard dog is an expensive way to alert your family to intruders.
      5. Always keep your home locked, doors and windows.  Even when you are home, keep it locked.
      6. Have a security system.
      7. Thorny bushes under your windows is an effective deterrent.
      8. Body armor and night vision are force multipliers.


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  1. Hunger

    1. Cause — As a disaster can disrupt the delivery and availability of food, within a week of a disaster, a family can be in a starvation state.
    2. Prevention
      1. Every single person should have 6 months of stored food.
      2. Every family should have at least 1 year of stored food
      3. Keep some stored food at a storage unit within walking distance.
      4. Know what wild foods are located around your location.
      5. Have the means to hunt and fish.
      6. Having a garden and doing home canning is the best way to insure quality food for your family.

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And for the disasters that are possible at your location, carry the right amount of insurance.  If you cannot afford insurance, move to a place where you can afford it.  Renters insurance is rather cheap.   Have the full replacement option for homeowners insurance.  Keep receipts for major purchases along with pictures of every room and every closet in a bank safe box.  Keep a copy of all important documents in a bank safe box. You’ll need this to make an insurance claim.

Store some of your emergency supplies in a location away from your home.  Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.  I recommend renting a storage unit within walking distance of your home.  If your home is completely destroyed, then you have a reserve of items to keep you going.   Storing your camping gear, when not being used, in the storage unit is wise.  Also keep some bottled water, long-term stored food, a spare rifle and ammo, and old clothing at your storage unit.


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Have an emergency fund is prudent in all facets of life.   A single person should have a cash reserve of 3 months of bills.  A family should have 6 to 12 months of emergency funds for monthly bills.   This is your bridge to a new life, if your home is destroyed.

Ounce of prevention or a pound of misery.   Prepare ahead of a disaster means you are merely inconvenienced, rather than standing in a long line waiting for a handout of the one meal you’ll get that day.  Or having no meal at all in a major, regional disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

There are so many inexpensive ways to prepare for a disaster.  Food is so cheap in the United States.  I find it unbelievable and shocking that people don’t look beyond today.  In your lifetime, you can expect to encounter two major disasters and many more minor disasters.

I pray you don’t but chances are you will face major disasters.  So being prepared is the key to survival and comfort.(source)

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Other useful resources:22

Survive Attack to Our Power Grid System (Weapon That Can Instantly End Modern Life in America)

Survival MD (Best Post Collapse First Aid Survival Guide Ever)

Backyard Innovator (A Self Sustaining Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness)

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Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

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