Sunday, June 17, 2012

Preparing for the Worst and Surviving a Natural (or Man Made) Disaster


I grew up in Alberta Canada and in the 33 years I lived there I never once worried about not having power, water and food. In 2004 I moved to New Zealand and was awakened to the fact that the neccesities of life are not always there. There would be towns that would get cut off for weeks at a time due to snow storms and the Christchurch earthquake was a real eye opener. New Zealand civil defence has a great website that covers what to do in the case of a number of natural disasters.

Despite being aware of what I should be doing I still have not done it. I live in the city. Power, water and food are ever present. So why should I prepare?
When my fiancĂ©e was working on a disaster preparedness video call “Man vs. Melbourne”, we began to discuss the concepts around how to survive in a disaster. As I began to think about it disaster preparedness  became more pressing to me.
Let me ask you, what would you do right now to survive if you lost your access to power, food and water? I think most of us would be in trouble. We would beg the government to help us survive. In the US that would mean FEMA camps. I don’t want the government’s help. Like most free people I want to be able to stand on my own two feet.

Rule of Threes

When thinking about survival there is a simple rule of thumb to live by which is called the Rule of Threes. Simply put:
  • You can’t survive for more than three minutes without air 
  • You can’t survive for more than three days without water 
  • You can’t survive for more than three weeks without food
Under most circumstances we can assume that there will be enough air. Therefore, we need to prepare a store of food and water if we want to survive well if there is a disaster.


I would like to keep the suggestions here really simple and cost effective. I will be basing my suggestions on the average caloric intake for men and boys. This should mean that if you acquire the same amount of food for a woman or girl you should have sufficient amounts.

Adult,  Man (~2,550 calories or  per day)

Child, Boy (~1,970 calories per day)

Two Week Menu 

I have  created a two week menue that will allow you to eat nutritious food every day. The food is simple to make and do not require a lot of ingredients. Remember, you are surviving a disaster and not cooking for Master Chef.

Shopping List

This shopping list covers off all of the food that is included in the two week menue. Most of these foods will last at least eight months. Keep track of the expiry dates and rotate your stored food into your regular diet to ensure that it does not go bad. Remember to replace the food that you rotate out.



Water is a necessity of life. At a minimum you should have at least two weeks worth of water. For all purposes, a person should have about 6 litres of water per day(drinking, washing, cleaning, etc).
Therefore, each person needs 84 litres of water to last two weeks.

Other Equipment and Necessities

Camp stove and enough fuel for two weeks
Dish detergent
Non-stick pans and pots
Hand sanitizer
Toileting equipment (remember, toilets may not be able to flush)
Matches or lighter
Candles (nights can be long in the dark)
Weapons (to protect you food and equipment from those people who did not prepare) 

More Information 

Stand Tall
Cameron Mottus

Resistance is Victory! mV

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