Before you end up bartering or growing a garden for survival, you must survive the first week on your own. If the power grid crashes, if an ice storm hits your area or if any other disaster will disrupt your normal living conditions, surviving week one post-disaster will become a challenge.
Help will likely come, but that isn’t a guarantee. It could also take a very long time before rescue teams get to your home. You will have to rely on your prepping measures in order to ride it out. Surviving week one post-disaster does not need to be expensive or difficult and you just have to prepare in advance.
Many people don’t have a safe haven to go to when disaster strikes and leaving their home is their last resort. Depending on the disaster that hit your area, you have more or less 24 hours to abandon your home and take your chances on the road. When the bugging out time-frame comes to an end, you might as well hunker down and try to last for as long as you can.
Before you start worrying and preparing for long-term survival, you should think about the immediate needs and have everything covered. After all, surviving week one post-disaster will provide you with a better understanding of what you would have to deal with and it will also dictate the course of your next actions.
Preparing to survive the first days post-disaster requires some planning and you should think about the following essentials.
Surviving week one post-disaster – Vital Medicine
We are a nation that gets sicker year after year. Most Americans need vital medicine in order to survive. Health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory affections are disturbing the lives of many people. Some of them rely on medicine just to make it through the day.
Make an assessment of what medications you would need and lay in an extra month. Most insurance companies won’t pay for it, but your doctor should be supportive if you explain the reasons behind your action. He should be able to give you a separate prescription of a month’s worth of medicine if necessary. If he won’t listen, maybe it would be time to change your doctor and get someone who cares about the patients.
Always have a first aid kit in your home and store it together with your vital medicine. It’s better to be prepared if medical aid won’t be available.
Surviving week one post-disaster – A good eyesight is important
My wife wears glasses, just like many other folks out there and she always has a plan B regarding her eyesight. Many people over 40 need readers and this is a reality. If you happen to be one of the people that need glasses, you should always have a backup pair and keep it in a place where they are accessible.
My wife keeps an extra pair with her at all times, regardless if she’s at the office or in vacation. Contact lenses are also a good alternative for backup. You should pick those that can be worn continuously for up to 30 days, without the need for cleaning them.
You may also like: How to develop night vision for survival
Surviving week one post-disaster – Stay hydrated
A healthy human can live 30 days without food but you can’t make it more than four days without water. The time and place of the disaster plays an important role in how you are going to deal with the lack of water. Storing water is recommended and it’s a good practice for every family, regardless if they are preppers or not. However, I’ve found out that a water filter like the Berkey water filter is worth its weight in gold in an emergency. It can turn any wretched bilge drinkable.
It will keep you alive long enough to plan and implement a long-term water solution. You can always find water sources to drink from, but you need to make sure you have the proper tools to make the water drinkable.
Surviving week one post-disaster – Stay out of the dark
Lighting the way when you are without power can be difficult if you didn’t plan for a blackout. Many families will keep a couple a flashlights in their homes and a dozen of batteries. However, many of them do not know that you need to rotate batteries to keep them fresh.
Most people don’t even know that batteries have a discharge rate even if you didn’t use them. Solar or crank lamps are a good alternative but some of your gadgets will still require batteries. Plan your power needs accordingly and learn how to recondition batteries.
Surviving week one post-disaster – Plan for your weather
This might not sound like a bid deal if you live in Florida, but it makes a whole lot of sense if you live in Alaska. You should plan for the type of weather your region is known for. Always have backup options to stay warm or to cool off. If the power goes out and your furnace dies at 40 below, you will freeze in less than an hour.
Many people think that weather can become a problem only during a long-term survival scenario. This is a fatal mistake and you can’t afford to count on luck. You can’t accurately predict weather and you can’t control its actions, you can only prepare for it.
Related article: Know your region before disaster strikes
Surviving week one post-disaster – Keep your energy level up
Although you can survive for a long time without food, you won’t be able to maintain energy and you will become lethargic after a few days. Food equals energy and you have to choose the right food for you. MREs, freeze-dried food, canned goods are all proper options you can chose from.
Before you stuck your pantry full, you should at least be curious to try these options. And it is not only about the taste of the food you stockpile, but also about what heat source you’ll need to prepare it properly, and if you know how to prepare it.
They say that during a disaster scenario you can’t afford to be a picky eater. Even tough this might be true for adults, things change drastically when you have to deal with kids. The main rule to follow when it comes to food storage is pretty simple: store what lasts and what you and your family will eat.
Surviving week one post-disaster – Firepower for self-defense
It doesn’t really matter what’s your opinion on gun control and most probably you will need firearm for self-defense in a post-disaster world. By the time you reach the seventh day post-disaster you will have a better understanding on how the outside world unfolds. Emergency situations have a pattern of bringing out the worst in people and desperate times will crate desperate people. While some people will turn to looting just to survive, there are those who see looting as the best opportunity to replace their old electronics.
Regardless the reasons why people will come knocking at your door, having a decent handgun with a couple of loaded magazines will make you more comfortable when 911 puts you on hold.
Recommended article: 5 guns every prepper should own
Surviving week one post-disaster is just the beginning and the recommendations listed above will help you push through whatever disaster may hit. Once you manage to survive the first wave, you will need to start thinking and prepping about long-term survival.
Stay safe and God Bless!
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2 thoughts on “Surviving Week One Post-Disaster”
Dead on. It seems that after a week’s time under post-SHTF events (hurricane, fire, flood, earthquake, etc.) many survivors have been able to cobble together something resembling a reasonable existence. Having the knowledge and the preps to get through that first week puts a survivor and his/her family way ahead of most people.
I’d like to suggest addressing two closely-related concerns to your list and adding the appropriate preps:
A lack of personal hygiene and proper sanitation can take you out of the game…
Hygiene: Even in good times, not many things reliably lift our spirits faster than getting the dirt off and feeling clean again, like after a shower and washing our hair; so having appropriate and sufficient preps that allow me and my family to clean and refresh ourselves — for that first week, at least — is high on our list of priorities.
Sanitation: Having appropriate and sufficient preps to allow for proper sanitation during that first week could really be important. Educate yourself about the use and proper cleaning of even rudimentary portable toilets, and the proper containment and disposal of organic waste — both human waste and food waste. I’m a proponent of ensuring the availability and proper use of “TP Kits”, consisting of a Ziploc freezer bag containing TP, a dozen (or more) pair of nitrile exam gloves, a tube of petroleum jelly, and disinfecting wipes and/or hand sanitizer. I know they help minimize the spread of harmful bacteria after using the toilet facility.
Conclusion: Feeling good about personal hygiene and sanitation will go a long way to help you get through that first week.
What would be neat if someone could interview the people in the East coast about how the survived thru all the snow they had and what insight they have about prepping.