Automatic Survival Habits

Automatic survival habit - looking for exits at the theater

How would you rate your everyday survival habits?

It’s such fun to get caught up in whether your next knife should be full tang or folding, or maybe assisted folding. Whether you need a sleeping bag that has synthetic insulation or goose down. Whether to buy last year’s model hand-held radio (to save a lot) or splurge on the very latest version.

These are fun decisions and here at Emergency Plan Guide we engage with them just like you do.

But these decisions are one-time. What we want to talk about today are:

Simple survival habits as second nature.

As you know, we are part of a neighborhood emergency preparedness group. A lot of what we do is aimed at getting other neighbors to take even their FIRST step toward preparedness!

Actually, we work on at least a dozen survival habits, trying to turn them into second nature to improve the readiness and resilience of the whole community.

Below is a recent list of survival habits we’re trying to instill in everyone around us. As you look through the list, ask yourself.

  • How well do you measure up?
  • What steps would you add for your neighborhood group?
  • How will you share the list with them?

20 Easy and Smart Automatic Survival Habits

1 – Heading to the grocery store? Buy just one or two extra cans of food for your emergency supplies. You don’t have to stockpile everything all at once!

2 – Adding to your emergency food supplies? Be sure to get things you like and eat regularly. That way, you can eat from the front of the shelf and replace at the back.

3 – Building a better emergency kit for your car? You may be able to get a used backpack or tote bag at Goodwill – cheap, serviceable, and unnoticeable.

4 – Keep your car half full of gas all the time. (I keep mine 3/4 full!) Nothing worse than being caught in a traffic jam, watching that gas gauge go down and down!

5 – Keep your car locked when it’s parked, even at home. An unlocked car is an invitation a passerby might not be able to resist.

6 – Whenever you go into a building – theater, store, school – get in the habit of noting the location of other exits. In an emergency you may want to avoid the way you came in. This survival habit may save your life in an active shooter situation.

7 – Update the emergency info on your refrigerator at least twice a year, when the time changes. Have there been changes in your medications? The phone numbers of your emergency contacts?

8 – Don’t have the Vial of Life info on your refrigerator? Here’s what we did with our group.

9 – Need help? Can’t call loudly enough to be heard outside your home? Consider adding a simple whistle to your key ring or someplace else where you can reach it in an emergency.

10 – Flying? Keep your shoes on for the first 3 minutes after take-off. That’s the most dangerous time, and if you have to evacuate you don’t want to do it bare-footed!

11 – Teach your grandchildren their first name and last name. Absolutely necessary if they get separated from their parents.

12 – When you’re planning for emergencies, start your planning with the most likely emergencies, not the most severe. For most people, the most likely emergency is a power outage. Not too hard to plan for! All you need right away is emergency lighting and a way to keep warm.

13 – Heat wave and no A/C? Don’t try to tough it out! Put up shades to block the sun coming in the windows. Take a cold bath. Drape yourself with wet washcloths and towels.

14 – Power out during cold weather? Pick a small room, hang or tape blankets over the windows and door, get into bed with blankets.

15 – Best emergency lighting? Inflatable solar lanterns and/or battery-powered lanterns. It should go without saying that you have a flashlight in every room, with extra batteries handy.

16 – After a couple of days of eating out of cans, you’ll really appreciate having condiments to spruce up the taste! When you are out, collect packets of BBQ sauce, honey, jelly, soy sauce, ketchup, syrup, etc. for your emergency food stash.

17 – Canned meat may not taste so good, but it will give you the same protein as fresh meat – and will last for years. Add canned chicken, tuna in oil, and spam to your supplies.

18 – Don’t forget to refresh your first aid kit. Throw out dried up bottles or anything that’s gotten wet. You may want to add liquid skin as a new way to treat scrapes and cuts.

19 – Be sure to store an old pair of shoes, comfortable for walking, in your car. Heels or flip-flops won’t work if you have to hike for help!

20 – If you haven’t done it yet, freeze some plastic containers filled with water. (Leave space at the top for the water to expand.) Use the containers to keep your freezer fully packed. Saves energy when you have electricity, provides emergency water when you don’t!

Do all these ideas sound familiar?

Have you taken any of these steps and/or practiced them more than once? Have they become automatic survival habits?

I hope the answer is yes!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Here’s something that you may find it interesting in light of the things we’ve talked about lately.

It turns out that Amazon (where we are Associates) has a service called PRIME PANTRY where you can buy everyday first aid, household, cereals, packaged items, etc. – what they call “everyday essentials” – and have them delivered for free. You don’t have to buy huge quantities, either.

Click on the ad to find out more. This may be a convenient way for your group to stock up on some of the things you want for your survival kits.

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