Doomsdsay ClockCredit: சஞ்சீவி சிவகுமார்While the terms “Doomsday Prepping” and “How to Survive a Catastrophe” might seem a little over the top to most average folks, it really just means being prepared for an emergency.

The vast majority of people recognize that nuclear war, an asteroid cataclysm from the skies or an alien invasion, although somewhat possible, are highly unlikely and no sane person really foresees a zombie apocalypse. (Not to leave anyone out, if you are really concerned about the latter, here’s a great Zombie Protection Kit for only $24,000.)

Still, the possibility of being without light, water or other essential utilities for an extended period of time is a distinctly possible event for many in the developed world. Ask anyone from New Orleans, LA or Fukushima, Japan. There is no denying that the future is known to no man.

While those two events were “relatively” localized, recent events in India have only served to heighten the fear. In July, 2012 a failure in the main power grid has left hundreds of millions of people, almost one-tenth of humanity, without power. Being prepared to last for several days or a couple of weeks without the routine and steady influx of food, potable water, power and a legitimate authority is merely the prudent thing to do.


Possible Scenarios

Natural Disaster MapCredit: KVDPConsider the situation that many homeowners face when there is a failure of a water supply pipe inside their home. The water must be turned off until the problem is fixed. The situation is a minor inconvenience but highlights our dependence on running water.

In addition to having no readily available supply of fresh drinking water, no one in the house can wash themselves or other items nor relieve themselves. Again, this is not a problem if you can run over to the neighbors or to the nearby convenience store.

The problem is only exacerbated if the entire neighborhood is experiencing the same outages. Now, everyone must travel further afield to gather the same resources. In all likelihood, it is probably still not a problem as the infrastructure of every First World country has a surfeit of available supplies and can provide a safe haven but things can get much worse.

Compound this heretofore minor problem across an entire state such as happened in Louisiana during the hurricane named Katrina and the situation grows grave. In fact, there was no evident resolution to the situation without massive help from the people and government of the United States. Regardless, the situation took months to resolve and people were required to rely on their own resources for quite a time. It should be noted that this situation occurred in the richest and most charitable nation in the world.


The Reality

Do not deceive yourself, in a situation where life is at stake, people will be prepared to do the otherwise unthinkable. Therefore, one should be prepared with their own resources including those that will allow them to defend themselves. Here then are the four resources that doomsday prepping will accumulate so that you will know how to survive a catastrophe.



A Functional Lean-ToCredit: Jason PrattThis resource is the most readily attainable as everyone except the homeless already have shelter. A properly maintained roof and walls will protect you against the worst of the elements especially rain or snow. Without power, however, they will, in a short time, attain the same temperature as the outdoors.

All houses and homes probably have an adequate supply of blankets and clothing. This fact is only relevant if you are able to stay put. The real problem becomes moving vast quantities of clothing and linen. More accurately, it is imperative that you have a lightweight, easily transportable supply of clothing and sleeping bags that will protect you against the cold in the event that you need to move. In addition, there are a variety of light and compact survival tents that should be considered.



A Utile Water BarrelCredit: Pavel Å evela / Wikimedia Commons.As the man in the boat on the ocean said, “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink,” the issue of water presents a host of differing problems. First, the mere presence of water does not guarantee its purity. In many cases, drinking it will be the first step in your demise. Water carries poisons, bacteria and parasites. Without the proper filtering materials or detoxifying agents, it is almost suicide to drink water that has not been boiled.

Boiling water brings another potential problem, the lack of suitable fuel. Waterlogged fuel is the worst and obtaining it in freezing or otherwise adverse conditions is a close second. The prudent doomsday prepper should lay in an adequate amount of wood, charcoal or other readily available fuel. Please note that this fuel is not meant heat the shelter – that issue is dealt with elsewhere – but is intended to purify the water.

The stark reality is that an average person normally needs two quarts, that is, four 16 oz. bottles of water per day. To put it in perspective, the typical 24-pack, case of water will last a couple for only three days. This calculation leaves no room for spillage, washing or any other activity. As the lack of water is the fastest route to death, it is recommended that each person stockpile 12 cases of water. This amount is enough to sustain life, without rationing for three months and only costs about $30 per person.



MREs(122851)Credit: Win HendersonFood is a resource that is not as immediately necessary as water but, in the long run, is just as important. Everyone knows that food fuels the body and allows activity. To some extent, an emergency or catastrophic situation allows one to do no more than lay still. Sometimes, however, the need for quick and steady energy can only be met with an adequate supply of food.

The USDA estimates that the average American consume almost 5 lbs. of food per day. It is an inordinate amount of food and obviously contributes to the growing obesity problem in the United States. Still, even a fat man must eat.

It is estimated that the average person con live on 600 calories or one cup of rice per day excluding any other dietary requirements. In an extreme situation, caloric intake is the only requirement that should be considered as the other effects occur on a significantly longer timeline and will or will not be taken care of by other circumstances.

Since a single five gallon bucket of rice can fed three people for almost thirty days (at 500 calories per day) it may seem logical that this is the most efficient manner to store food. It would be if you knew the exact day that the catastrophe would arrive. As you don’t, the storage of rice faces some insurmountable problems such as spoilage and parasite infestation.

Instead, the use of canned goods is preferable. Canned food can last for considerably longer periods of time than other packaged foods. As long as the can is not dented, there is little reason to fear an infiltration by the botulism toxin or other larger parasites. In addition, most canned foods contain a considerable amount of water and are thereby another source of that indispensible resource.

There are 240 calories in a cup of kidney beans so 2 ½ cans can support a person for one day. Therefore, it is recommended that the prudent doomsday prepper have nine cases of beans per person to last the first three months. In addition, several ten lb. bags of rice that are rotated on a regular basis could easily supplement this cache of beans and last for over six months.

It would be a rather bland diet if one did not stock an assortment of spices but it is still the most affordable option available for the doomsday prepper. One last note involves the recent advent of freeze dried foods. These are a valuable addition to the dooms day prepper but, unfortunately, they are considerably more expensive.



Pseudo ZombiesCredit: rampantIt is not even arguable that this resource (i.e. guns and ammo) is the most divisive in the list of those who advise on proper doomsday prepping and how to survive a catastrophe. Nevertheless, the maintenance of an arsenal to protect oneself seems self-evident. In the interests of not dividing the true doom preppers from those who merely wish to insure against a natural calamity, we will say no more.