Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Preparations - Survival of the Most Prepared

I am about to do something shocking...I am going to blog on topic.  Don't get too excited, I doubt it will happen very often.

In order to survive, people need a few basics; food, water and shelter.  In order to thrive we need a few other things, toilet paper, pillows and clean clothes. Although I doubt the last few items make the list of necessities, I know I appreciate them.

During the summer we take time from the regular craziness of our lives and participate in sports, spend time outdoors, and cook on the grill.  Amazingly enough these activities are a great way to prepare for emergencies down the road.

Emergency shelter can take many forms, but some of the most basic methods are things you learn while camping.  You can have a fancy tent for twelve, a two man pup tent, or a plastic sheet and rope, any way you slice it, you need a way to protect yourself from the elements and conserve body heat.  The trick is to know how to put up a tent, how to secure it, and how to maintain it.  None of these skills are easy to figure out in a crises.  I would much rather spend my summers in a nice campground with real bathrooms learning these skills, than in a downpour in the desert after I have evacuated my home.

Cooking on the bar-b-que is another fantastic way to work on emergency preparation cleverly disguised as an American pastime.  Grilling is an easy way to cook without the convenience of your electric or gas range, which may be out of commission in an emergency.  Knowing how to cook meat, how to prepare meals, and how to conserve fuel is an important part of the process.  Trust me when I tell you I have made many mistakes along the way.  Don't wait until you are desperate to learn this skill.

Athletics are also an important part of emergency preparation.  When playing sports you learn about hydration, emergency medical aid, and stamina.  You also learn about your physical limits.  Being aware of how your body moves, how it handles adrenaline, and how much water you need to consume, will help you prepare for unexpected events.  While most emergencies will not require you to run a marathon, you are likely to have an adrenaline response, which will trigger similar responses within your body.  Being familiar with your body's needs will help you plan accordingly for water and energy intake.  Anyone who has played a soccer game or slid into home base can tell you they need more water and more fuel to keep up their strength.

Athletes also tend to know about quickly wrapping ankles and wrists.  They know about swelling and concussions, and they know when to seek medical attention.  I know most of us will never be pro athletes, but having a working knowledge, not just a text book knowledge, of these skills can be vital in an emergency.

So go out and enjoy your summer.  Camp, grill and play sports, knowing you are building up your family's skill sets.  You are expanding their survival skills, increasing their ability to stay safe and preparing them for unusual circumstances. 

I bet summer never sounded so productive!

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