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Survival List including the Important four Survival Priorities

A Basic Survival list/Emergency Disaster Preparedness Kit List pdf follows  the four survival priorities below.
Regardless of whether you are surviving after a plane crash in the wilderness or in your own home after a disaster, your survival list must start with the four priorities of survival. If you forget everything else on your survival list remember these.

Survival List Priorities

survivall list shelterThe number one priority is shelter – protect yourself. This can be personal protection during a riot situation, danger from animals, danger from a car or plane exploding and especially from subzero temperatures – there is no point of dying from hypothermia while searching for water. So the first step is to ensure you have shelter.



survival list rescueThe second priority is to ensure that you’re able to be rescued. Try and make yourself as visible as possible. Stay close to your vehicle or by your upturned boat if you’re stranded at sea. It is much easier to spot a crash site in the wilderness than it is to find alone person wandering around. There are many tragic stories of people breaking down in extreme heat or cold, wondering off to find help, only to be found some days later on miles from their car dead from dehydration or hypothermia. So build a large SOS near your shelter, put up some reflective sheet or colored cloth. Burn a car tyre during the day – the black smoke can be seen for many miles around during the day. If you are in your own home and need help – getup onto the roof and signal that you need emergency help and make sure your house number can be spotted. Those couple of extra seconds emergency services are trying to find your home could well mean the difference between repairable damage and total loss.

Survival list water filtration bottleThe third survival priority is water. You have to stay alive to be rescued. Use the rule of threes – you can live three hours without decent protection from extreme heat or cold; three days without water and a whole three weeks without food. Water is a greater priority than food and if you don’t have water do not consume protein as it needs water to break down. See here


survival list foodYour final survival priority is food. Your body has an abundance of fat and muscle to sustain you but eventually you will need to get food for energy. See Survival Food List


Of course the first thing is to avoid getting into a survival situation in the first place. Although we cannot avoid unpredictable natural disasters, many emergency situations arise because a group is inadequately prepared in the first place and is overwhelmed by conditions.

Okay, so if you forget everything else, your survival list summary is shelter, rescue, water, food.

Three key survival preparedness questions?

1. What emergency survival are you preparing for?

Hurricanes Tornadoes Heavy Thunderstorms Flash flooding
Mud or rock slides High winds Hail Severe cold
Avalanche Severe heat Bushfire Earthquake
Erupting volcano Tsunami Fire Asteroids
War (biol., nuclear etc.) Toxic spill Riot Nuclear meltdown
Terrorism Government action against you Economic collapse Severe illness or mental breakdown
Plague, Pandemic Kidnapping Mugging or robbery Unemployment
Death in Family Random act of violence


Seems overwhelming but distinguish between probable events and possible disaster events.  Everything is possible, however,

What is the most probable disaster you are likely to experience and can prepare for?

One approach is to take the list and sort them from most probable to the least probable. Consider that on March 11, 2011, the worlds fourth largest recorded earthquake hit Sendai, Japan, followed within one hour by a tsunami and 24 hours later by a snowstorm.  Although this may seem overwhelming to prepare for, consider that nearly all disasters have the same impacts, for example:

  • Damage to homes/shelter
  • Loss of electricity
  • Water contamination
  • Food shortages
  • Evacuations
  • Mass Casualties

Realise that you can’t prepare for everything, but you can focus on meeting your families needs during the most likely events.

2. Have I the right survival equipment and enough of it?

Both FEMA and the American Red Cross have excellent Preparedness Kit List but it can be a bit hard to find a comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Check List. I have taken their recommendations, combined them and put them in a handy survival list pdf with tick boxes below

I have also included links in the pdf on where to get some of the harder to find items as well.

3. Do I have sufficient background and knowledge for the task?

The most important piece of survival equipment is your brain. There is very little substitute for experience and skills training, if you don’t have it – find someone who does and can teach you.  For example a basic First Aid course and CPR is far more valuable then say knowing how to snare a wild animal when you are a city dweller. Get in contact with your local Red Cross or Emergency Services Department and find out what is available to you. Also learn how to use a fire extinguisher – it could mean the difference between keeping and losing your property.

In the wake of disasters in Japan Daniel Aldrich, an associate professor who studies disaster recovery, found that survival rates were highest for those who were connected to people in their communities. Think about it, your neighbors are more likely to know where you are  if they know you and your habits. In addition, evolution has shown us that we are more likely to survive in groups. If you are on good terms with them you can pool resources and skills making survival much more likely. So make friends and even pack a couple of extra resources, it may come in handy.

Basic Survival List or Disaster or Emergency Preparedness List

Download Survival/Disaster/Emergency Preparedness List pdf  free [right-click on link and save target as]


Best Wishes


survival list caroline

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