And the hospitals are rubble on the ground.
As we scurry around our sun at 66,000 mph, and as our sun drags us with it through space at about 43,000 mph toward the star Vega, and as our place in the galaxy rotates at around 483,000 miles per hour around the center of our galaxy, and our Milky Way Galaxy speeds toward the constellations Leo and Virgo at an astounding 1.3 million miles per hour, let's just face it...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!
What would you do if the 'UNTHINKABLE' happened? What if everything just suddenly went up in smoke, literally or figuratively? Could you survive?
I'm sure that, if we had a "matter of life-or-death" situation, most of us would have no choice but to simply await our deaths. After all, it's not like we can do a heart catherization, or have the skills to repair a severed artery with even the best home sewing kit.
But things like treating high blood pressure, or even mild diabetes, or the flu, or perhaps even go in after a bad appendix, or do a Caesarean section to save a baby or the mother? Well, some of us ARE capable of that when the chips are down, believe it or not.
Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy showed us how quickly the manure can hit the fan, leaving us struggling to survive. Earthquakes, floods, horrific storms, chemical spills, toxic plumes from fires, volcanic eruptions, even exceptional solar flares can change our world in seconds.
That we are prepared for disaster when it strikes will make us survivors. The unprepared simply won't make it. We alone can choose to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best, and we alone must take responsibility for ourselves and those we love.
I personally know people who survived Katrina without food or potable water on hand for 3 weeks. They knew what to do. I had a friend who survived a week in deep snow and freezing temperatures sans any supplies just because he knew not to panic and do stupid things, and he knew where to find just enough nourishment to live and how to provide shelter for himself.
Having "retired from medicine" several years back, I still like to keep current on what's happening in that 'field'. I also like that people in medicine have begun sharing so much for the "lay community", so, just before retirement, I began to search for and come across publications with titles like 'Field Manuals for Surgery', and others such as this one:
I wondered if the 'man on the street' had sufficient available resources to help him maintain life and rebuild from nothing.
Now the book above is very graphic, showing the novice what to expect from specific types of wounds, explaining "wound ballistics", giving clues to what field surgeons are up against. It serves a good purpose in that, but doesn't show what to do next.
The Emergency War Surgery, 3rd U.S. revision, found in its entirety here
does a better job on treatment, but the medical terminology used in it can be a bit vexing.
Still, it delivers fine information for those who have NO doctors.
Such books are not for the faint of heart, but I would place a hefty bet that in your own corner of the world, there is at least one who could step up and do minor emergency surgery, given a rather small amount of 'training' and know-how, and having a big dose of courage to go along with that. We humans are capable of astounding things when the chips are down! Believe it! If all the world winds up in the toilet but you and yours, do know enough to be able to make a future for yourselves.
What if the grid goes down for months or years, or some act of 'nature' erases our modern world for a time? What if a pandemic hits and we are the few survivors and simply need a means to SURVIVE in the new world created by tragedy?
For that we may wish to turn to the old standby books. I have a few favorites, but each of us must decide what works best for us. For me, "old" works, common sense things, tried and tested over time. Bradford Angier may be in my top 3 favorites on that. He was a prolific writer, a wilderness 'guru' who would deserve that silly title.
First on my shelf of his books is 'The Outdoorsman's Emergency Manual: Being Your Own Wilderness Doctor'. It can be had for under a dollar plus shipping on half.com. I haven't found a pdf of it, but haven't tried scribd.com either.
The list of all his fine books is here:
A very simple book, beautifully written, only 108 pages, on how to deal with things outdoors, how to do simple tasks, like getting porcupine quills out, making simple shelter, etc, is
'The Complete Outdoorsman's Handbook':
Be sure to read the introduction!
Believe it or not, those really old Boy Scout Manuals are in high demand just for their camping/outdoors entries. Those kids worked hard for those merit badges back in the 1940s/1950s! Fine collection of simple skills and how to acquire them in those.
The internet is a virtual gold mine of survivalist tips and techniques, but BE CAREFUL! Some of those guys have never had to REALLY survive even a night in sub-zero temperature in an ice storm, nor have they been cast adrift at sea, had to survive alone in radiation contaminated areas, etc. Do your research carefully.
Videos and e-books abound, as do pdf files on the topic. Just check the credentials, see if it makes good common sense, Google them for complaints and to see if they're listed as fakes or frauds, then educate yourselves!
Here's a video link on how to build a stove from a big can:
This site will tell you how to make herbal salves, which often provide better remedies than what we buy at the stores:
I am not a hysterical doomsayer, nor do I foresee some present danger in the next week, month, year, but because we just do NOT know what's coming down the pike, it is to our benefit to be eternally vigilant, and ALWAYS prepared for worse-case scenarios.
Americans don't have the skills and survival instinct their forefathers had. All that has gone the way of the wind in favor of the modern lifestyle spent almost never thinking of how to put food on the table by getting it ourselves, or how to get water (water IS life!) should the tap go dry. Could you make a fire without matches, or roast meat on a spit, or know what roots to dig or berries to pick to eat? Do you know how to grow food, preserve it without refrigeration, save seed for the next crops?
Do you know what wild herbs can replace antibiotics, pain killers, high blood pressure medications, insulin (to a certain degree), or stop diarrhea or hemorrhage? They're out there! Free, for the taking, but would you know even one of those?
Maybe we need to spend more time on such things and less on American Idol, or sports, or games? Maybe we should return to SELF-education as a means to strengthen our odds of LIVING to a ripe old age, and being SELF-SUFFICIENT instead of completely DEPENDENT for the necessities of life?
SHOULD disaster strike, and your children, your spouse, family members or friends turn to YOU to DO something to help them LIVE, could you? Would you have the answer to ,"What do we do now?"
I hope all who read this will decide to become SURVIVORS, and help others survive!
May this New Year be the beginning of something wonderful for you all. Thanks for reading!