We are living in the future of unrest, both economically and environmentally. Some of us have faith in the system that sustains us and don’t worry about the big “what if’s” that impending disasters may hold. Then there are those of us who do worry and rather than succumbing to the overwhelming odds of survival in the face of a 2012 apocalypse, we rise to the challenge and suit up. I’m not advocating this route for all since it requires an investment of time and an emotional commitment. Who knows if you’ll have Wi-Fi access or battery charging capabilities (Solar Chargers for iPhone)? All you can do is learn as much as you can before disaster strikes. For those of us who just refuse to be caught unawares by the zombie invasion, here are some tips for using your tech-savvy skills to prepare:
Step One: Information Awareness
Scenario: Natural Disaster
No matter where you live, there’s potential for disaster. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, dust storms, you name it. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the panic is to research your environment. History can tell you what has come before and what top scientists predict will come again. There is a never ending list of things that you can do to protect yourself and your family. Supplies need to be stocked. Learn the methods of survival during the event itself. Find your nearest aid stations. Make an emergency plan with family and friends. Go a step further and take a class at the Red Cross.
Apps to prepare you:
Step Two: Escape
Sometimes there’s nothing to do but run. A faceless enemy like disease is something you can't fight, and hiding out in your street-side condo may be the worst thing to do. You wont be the only one with this in mind, so be aware. Planning your escape route is imperative. Have one ready and downloaded, from home, work, the gym...anywhere you think you might be caught when you suddenly realize that everyone around you seems to be infected with Ebola. Map-apps, any of them, will give you an idea of where you are and where you want to be. Look for routes out of the city that avoid major bottlenecks (bridges, toll roads, etc.) and always remember that waterways are your friend. Investing in some basic boating skills can be a boon when the virus hits the fan.
Step Three: Equipment and Installations
Scenario: Nuclear Fallout
Post WWII, during the economic boom and the beginning of the Cold War, Americans built fallout shelters. If you live in any place with buildings built before 1975, you’ve probably seen the ancient yellow “fallout shelter” signs that are affixed to churches, apartment complexes, shopping centers, etc. The actual status of these shelters is dubious; the accessibility is suspect and the structural integrity is certainly not assured. You may not have the means to build your own but you can find out where it’s safe to go and how to outfit your own home to be radiation-ready.
Step Four: Fructification
Scenario: Total Economic Collapse
Let’s explore the idea. No longer able to sustain our upward growth, our society devolves back to a feudal system. Some guy becomes the king of New York, some lady claims to be the Empress of Chicago. Where do you want to be? Probably not in the urban war zone. But being a displaced urbanite can be a dangerous thing. Blending into the culture of the farmer, that’s the way to go. There you’ll find food, shelter, and a community of peace. The lines of power being drawn across the country will not affect you. You’ll be happily milking cows and eating bulgar salads while the foolish city-dwelling folk are dealing with the harsh reality of sewage removal.
Step Five: Payback
Final Scenario: Alien Invasion
(Terrestrial or Extra-Terrestrial)
Let’s say you want to be one of the Red Dawn Wolverines or an Independence Day pilot, there’s always room for revenge. Should it come down to the final fight and you’re on the side of the righteous, you’re participation will undoubtedly be based on your pre-war skills. Stock up on these now- no one wants to be the guy who didn’t learn how to conceal himself using ground-cover or the girl who doesn’t understand Morse code.
In all seriousness, don’t be a victim, be a survivor. Take the information that is at your fingertips and utilize it. I strongly advise a buddy-system, backing up all your important documents, finding out all of your allergies, and knowing your blood type. Learning how to take care of yourself and others in an emergency is the most effective defense we have against the unexpected. Best case scenario, nothing happens and you’re just really awesome at camping.