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Wondering if and how we'd ever survive if worst ever happens

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 4:29 p.m. CST

Sometimes I don’t know what this world is coming to. Where is it headed? The most recent attacks in Boston bring these thoughts to the forefront once again. I know that our ancestors had the same thoughts that we do and everything turned out all right, but what if it didn’t?

What if we were going about our daily lives and something like that happened to us? What if it was worse? What if it was something, natural or manmade, that caused us to get back to our very roots of what it means to survive? Can we?

The vast proliferation of television and web shows that deal with this topic let me know that I’m not the only one who wonders this. If something happened that shocked us to the core, could we feed ourselves, let alone stay warm and protected? Really think about it.

One of the shows that I enjoy to watch mentioned the other night that “the swamp provides us with everything we need.” They eat just about everything that grows in that swamp, whether plant or animal. They know how to use the abundance around them to stay alive. They don’t take too much, just what they need.

Could each of us do that for ourselves? Sadly, in today’s modern world, most folks would answer, no, they couldn’t.

Every time something horrid happens in the world, I am thankful for living near a rural area. Those that live near the land will be the best off. I can only imagine the horror, panic, confusion, violence and chaos that would swarm through urban areas. Millions of people with no access to a way to survive besides looting and stealing from others around them would soon resort to any means available to them.

One survival show I was watching one day mentioned something that I hadn’t really considered before. They were actively practicing techniques they might use someday. Their reason — in the time of need you don’t need to be wondering, “How do I gut a chicken?” Good point.

Some may cringe at that thought. Some may even laugh. Think about it. If you had absolutely zero food, what would you do? The stores are gone, electricity may be gone, transportation may be gone, then what? I am quite proud to say that I know I could go out in the yard and cook about anything that scampered through it.

I am, though, very poorly educated about plants. I know some. I know a few that are edible, but in crunch time? If you ate a poisonous or toxic plant, that could be it. Lights out. Even worse — what if you fed it to your family? I couldn’t imagine the horror. I have vowed to myself to become better educated about our local flora and how to use it.

What about shelter? Could you make your way into the wilderness and make it through the night? Sounds like a joke at first, but more people die of hypothermia in mild weather than severe cold. What about a fire?

I have to be completely honest with myself; I would really have to dig to find the piece of striking flint that I own. That would be a real bad thing to be looking for when you need it, possibly in the dark. I can do better.

One area I am severely lacking in expertise is wilderness first aid and trauma care. I have to learn how to do these things if I want to be a survivor. Even better, I need to train my family how to do these things in case something happened to me.

A few years ago, when the first bird flu scare swept through the nation, this very topic was quite common. In fact, I know quite a few folks that bought extra stores of water, canned food and even rolls of plastic they could cover across doors and windows to help keep an airborne virus out. That scare though has mostly been forgotten, but it was scary.

I hope and pray that this sort of disaster never happens and these ancient skills of survival are not needed. Let’s be realistic, though. In an ever-changing and tumultuous world, would it really be a bad idea to be prepared? I know that every time I read some blurb about that situation in North Korea I thank my lucky stars I don’t live in a city.

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