When society goes into chaos, the most likely outcome is death. With that said, however, the ultimate act of optimism is always preparedness. Here are 10 ways you could die once disaster strikes, and more importantly, how to prevent them:
1) Death by Waterborne Illness or Thirst
Waterborne illness is the number one cause of death after a natural disaster. The incorrect handling of waste and water by even just a single person can cause an epidemic of deadly illnesses such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. Another pressing concern is dehydration. It only takes three days for a person to die of thirst.
Solution: Store a gallon a day of water per person for a long-term emergency. Buy a gravity fed, no-power necessary water filtration device with spare parts and extra filters. Develop skills and knowledge necessary to purify water without these devices.
2) Death by Fantasy-World Planning
Preppers have poorly thought out plans for survival, such as thinking they’ll “live off the land,” hunt, forage and farm their way through the apocalypse, without ever actually milking a goat or planting the contents of their seed banks. Gardens and crops can fail for innumerable reasons. The ability to perform physical labor, like chopping wood for the fire can be incredibly physically arduous. Treating the world like a fantasy will quickly get you killed.
Solution: Develop hunting, farming and foraging skills. Get back in tip top physical shape. Practice using your survival gear and supplies. Be realistic.
3) Death by Freezing
When the power goes out, you may die from exposure to the cold. When temperatures plummet, people will become desperate to get warm, and this will lead to other modes of death, such as carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly ventilated heat sources and house fires that can occur when people use fireplaces or wood stoves that have not been maintained for years.
Solution: Begin to develop a plan that will keep your family cozy during a long-term scenario. Store supplies necessary to build and maintain a fire or heating source. Maintain your heating equipment. Practice using the heating equipment you have now.
4) Death by Starvation, Food Poisoning and Malnutrition
Most people only have enough food to see them through until the next grocery trip. Most people go to the grocery store more than once per week. In urban centers, it’s customary to buy your food fresh from the market each day. If disaster strikes, most people only have a few days’ worth of food. In an extremely widespread disaster, you’ll be on your own, left with only what you have in your home before it spoils, unless you can figure out a way to cook it with no power. Food poisoning, starvation and malnutrition will be common causes of death.
Solution: Build and maintain a pantry on a budget. Store non-GMO perishable food supplies. Limit your dependency on local grocery stores for your food needs now. Learn to can, and begin storing garden harvests.
5) Death by Accident Involving Major Trauma
This is something that is difficult to prevent, that’s why they call it an accident. In stressful situations, we often forget to wear proper protective gear which can lead to mortal injuries without direct access to emergency medical personnel.
Solution: Always wear the proper protective gear, such as safety goggles and gloves. Secondly, spend some time learning to deal with situations needing medical care. Stock up on books that provide information for times when emergency medical attention is necessary.
6) Death by Raiders or Looters
Remember the 315 million unprepared Americans? They’re going to be hungry. And the hungrier and more desperate people become, the more dangerous the world is going to be. It’s imperative that you be prepared to defend your home and family from them. If you’re one of those people who says, “I don’t want to live in a world where I have to shoot someone because they’re hungry,” you just might get your wish. Because they won’t have a problem shooting you. This is one of the major reasons that preppers must be armed. The danger isn’t just from mobs of strangers. If you tend to talk too much, your friends, extended family and neighbors just might be the ones to kill you for your supplies.
Solution: Buy weapons and store ammunition. Practice with your weapons and develop contingency plans for defending your home. Be discreet and careful with who you share your asset inventories with. Develop a community of like-minded families and individuals who you can ask for help.
7) Death by Sickness
Without our normal standards of cleanliness, the likelihood of getting sick would definitely increase. Without the access to medical care, the likelihood of that sickness spiraling out of control is exponentially greater.
Solution: Learn how to treat and manage sickness naturally so you can get a handle on an illness before it kills you.
8) Death by Infection
A silly little cut or splinter that we take for granted now could prove to be a death sentence. With the possibility that your hygiene standards may drop and that you’ll be getting a lot dirtier doing physical labor, infection is fairly likely. Because of this, it is imperative to treat any wounds as soon as possible. That may not always be enough to prevent an infection, however, so having the right antibiotics on hand could mean the difference between life and death.
Solution: It’s vital to immediately treat even the most trivial-seeming wound. Stockpile antibiotics.
9) Death by Obesity and Poor Physical Shape
If zombies suddenly appear and you find yourself outnumbered, do you think you’re fit enough to run away? What if you had to bug out across the mountains? Would your heart hold up to the steep climb? Would your knees hold up to the descent? What if you add a 50-pound backpack? Most Americans lead fairly sedentary lives, sitting down in front of a desk all day at work. It’s not something you can fix overnight.
Solution: Get in shape now. Practice carrying a heavy backpack and start engaging in activities such as hiking, swimming or jogging. Now is the time to increase your fitness level. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the family members who might be killed when you slow them down.
10) Death by Vital Medication Shortage
Don’t underestimate the difficulty some people experience after going without psychiatric drugs. Depending on the drug, withdrawal symptoms can be horrific, particularly if they have not been able to slowly wean themselves off. Some conditions, when left untreated, can cause the sufferer to lose touch with reality and suffer a psychotic breakdown, making them dangerous to themselves and others.
Solution: Wean off now, there is no way to create an infinite supply. Find natural alternatives, grow and stockpile. Stockpile an emergency supply of medication, just in case natural alternatives aren’t effective enough in highly stressful situations.
Now that you know how you may end up dead, the good news is you can take the necessary steps to prevent it. Almost every cause of death mentioned here is entirely preventable. What will save you when an epic disaster strikes is what you do now to prepare for it. Make education and good health your mission and you’ll not only survive — you’ll thrive against the odds!