Knowing what survival skills to possess is one thing.
But knowing what actually constitutes an emergency is a completely different issue.
The problem with survival is that because we live with constant conveniences, we don’t usually think of survival and emergencies.
It’s also difficult to think about survival and emergencies because it is very rare that we are put into situations where we will need to rely on survival instincts and techniques.
This brings up the question: What actually constitutes as an emergency?
This subject isn’t explored too much in the realm of survival. We see the phrase “in case of emergencies” thrown around a lot, but the actual word is not as defined as it could be or should be.
Know your impending situation and the people involved in it
The first thing you need to do is understand that if you prepared properly, your survival situation is an impending one and not an immediate one, in all probability.
Understandably, it is not ideal to constantly be in a state of preparation, so you should know what kind of natural disasters take place in your area that could put you in a situation where you need to survive without conveniences for a few days.
If the place you live was hit by a hurricane, for example, you should prepare for a hurricane. The same is true for any other natural disaster.
Next, you need to keep the people you live within the mind. If you live by yourself or with people you do not know too well this will not be as important, but if you live with people close to you, you will need to understand who needs to care for the most. This is especially true if you have pets.
For example, if you have children, you will need to understand that they are the first priority when surviving.
In this case, we will assume that you do have some people to look after.
Know exactly what is necessary to survive
When preparing for any kind of emergency, you need to know what is necessary to survive. If one of these things that are necessary is scarce or nonexistent, very bad things might happen.
The most important thing is hydration. Humans literally cannot live without water. If you are not active, you generally need 48 to 64 fluid ounces of water to survive. While it is possible to survive without this amount of water, it is extremely risky.
Nourishment is the second most important thing that needs to be covered. Even though it is very uncomfortable, humans can survive without food for a long time. Keep this in mind whenever the people you are taking care of say they are hungry.
These are the only two things that are absolutely necessary to survive. Everything else is a convenience.
If the place you live has been hit by a hurricane, for example, the only things you should be thinking about are how you can stay hydrated and how you can stay nourished until you have access to food and water again.
If you can balance out the hydration and nourishment needs for those you live with, surviving will be much less stressful.
A significant lack of food and water are the only de facto emergencies when it comes to surviving. Not being able to use your phone is not an emergency. It is an inconvenience.
The difference between an emergency and an inconvenience
This is one thing that you will need to discuss with your loved ones, because at best they will be confused by this, and at worst they will disagree.
And by “discuss”, we mean “make clear.”
As mentioned earlier, a lack of food and water to where somebody’s health or life is threatened is an emergency.
Nearly everything else is an inconvenience.
This is something that needs to be said to everybody you are close to when it comes to surviving.
Because we live in a world of convenience, we tend to match up inconveniences to emergencies.
Don’t have a wi-fi connection? It’s an emergency!
Only 14% battery left on your phone? That’s an emergency!
A car is running low on gas? That’s an emergency!
None of these statements are necessarily true, and all three can be disproven.
Does a wi-fi connection, your phone, or your car determine your food and water supply?
The answer to all three of these questions is “no.” While it is possible to acquire food and water from those three things, if none of those three existed tomorrow, literally nothing would happen to your food and water supply.
Never forget that emergencies are related to food and water. When preparing for a natural disaster or anything else of that nature, make sure to err on spending more money on food and water than spending money on things that preserve your electronics.
About the Author
Ben Brown is the owner of The Prepping Guide. Involved in Military for many years and write about Personal Security, Preparedness, Prepping, Survival, Self-Sufficiency, and Readiness for Safety, both Physically and Digitally.