If you are the kind of person who likes to maintain a safe distance from nature and the outdoors, you probably never gave a thought to survival situations and preparedness. However, no matter how sure you are that you will never be caught dead in hiking boots, you have absolutely no business ignoring survival skills and preparation for worst case scenarios. A little trouble you take today to learn survival skills can help save your family tomorrow, so it is surely worth it. The best reason why you should do this is natural disasters, which can strike absolutely anywhere and anytime, and turn even the safety of your home to the most dangerous survival situation.
Earthquakes, for example, can cause instant destruction of the region they hit. Buildings collapse and roofs cave in. People who survive may be trapped in cellars, injured, or made homeless and left scurrying for cover. If you and your family are survive the disaster itself, the time that follows still poses serious threats to life. These may be in the form of serious injuries, loss of your home and possessions, earthquake aftershocks, and a myriad other threats that put a question mark over your lives. To stay alive and help your family live through this time, therefore, you must be well grounded in survival skills.
The most important skill here would usually be first aid. If you yourself are in pain, you cannot assist the rest of your family, so first you need to treat your own wounds. Keep an emergency first aid box in your car for use in such situations, and wash and dress open wounds immediately. If your car is inaccessible, you can always get first aid items from rescue teams that are sure to arrive at the spot. Once wounds are dressed, deal with broken or dislocated limbs by tying the bone firmly into place using a sling or a plaster cast. Basic first aid knowledge is fundamentally important in survival situations such as these, and you should ensure today that at least one or two members of your family be trained in this area.
Secondly, you need to get to shelter. In a large scale disaster displacing thousands of people, shelter will usually be scarce but at least try to get to a place protected from the elements, and where you have access to water and basic sanitation facilities. Learn about emergency shelters built in your immediate locality, so that you would know where to go. Also, you should prepare “grab and go” bags for each member of your family. The advantage of these is that in case you need to leave the house in a hurry in the event of a flood or evacuation for any other reason, you can have all basic necessities within easy reach. These bags should contain, for each of you, warm clothes, first aid items, flashlights and transmitters, extra batteries, non perishable food items, water bottles, and any other thing that will be an absolute necessity (like bottles and dry milk in case of babies).
Once your immediate needs are taken care of, you must now focus on the psychological aspects of survival. A sense of togetherness and belonging as a family will help you all survive the trauma. You may lose friends and relatives, so the first thing you need to ensure is that you stick together, and help each other through the rough spots. You need to motivate your children, your spouse or parents to strive for survival and to avoid panic, fear and despair. Once your family adapts to the survival mindset, it becomes easier to live through any danger and difficulty. Your job, therefore, is to ensure that no member of the family loses focus of the goal of survival, and that you all think, plan and take decisions as a family, so that even the worst danger cannot get the best of you.