by Kevin Reeve (1/29/2015)
The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The first recorded mention of the Dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598. In the following years, the bird was preyed upon by hungry sailors. The last credible recorded sighting of a Dodo was in 1662.
The Dodo was extinguished as a species in about 64 years. One of the reasons for that extinction was the ease with which the Portuguese sailors were able to hunt them. When the sailors arrived, they found a bird, large as a swan or turkey, which they could saunter up to and beat with a club. The bird showed little fear. Consequently, the sailors, along with their domesticated pigs, dogs, and monkeys, decimated the population of dodos.
Like many isolated island creatures, the dodo evolved in a world where they had lost all natural predators. Without predators, the dodo lost its common sense fear. It had not been preyed upon for so long, that predator fear had evolved out of its survival instincts.
I sense we are facing a similar situation with humans today. We see large numbers of our population who have lost the same instinct for self-preservation. People who are oblivious to the dangers in our current situation. Adults ignore evacuation orders, then sit on the roofs of their houses and wait to be rescued. These are the people who flock to the Superdome and wait for the government to feed and relocate them.
How does this attitude show itself right now?
It may not be sailors hitting them with clubs, but it may be a refusal to act to preserve themselves that leads to their extinction. What are the things they are not doing to preserve themselves? Few people living in cities are prepared for a disruption in the delivery of goods and services. Few people living in cities are prepared for the loss of civility in the urban areas that will certainly occur, (Loss of Civility is a term FEMA uses to describe chaos and general rioting). Few people are prepared for the lack of medical care that will happen when the loss of civility occurs. How long can you survive without gasoline, electricity, food, water, and medicine being delivered to your home? Like the dodo bird of old, many will figuratively stand there and get clubbed by reality.
How to prevent getting clubbed by reality:
There are a few areas where just a bit of improvement can increase the odds of survival.
Food Storage: Have at least a three month supply of the foods you eat every day. Buy three cans of tuna instead of one, a few extra cans of vegetables, an extra can of condensed milk, a couple of boxes of pasta and some sauce. Over time, you will fill your pantry, and if food deliveries stop, you will still have enough to feed your family until things get back to normal. <click here for information on Pantry Food Storage>
We are nine meals away from anarchy: When we work in the hurricane zones after the hurricane, we see a pattern that most people have a 2-day food supply. After that, the clock starts ticking. If food isn’t delivered by the time people run out of food, then chaos erupts. And eruption is a good term. If you have a reasonable food supply, you can stay indoors and avoid the chaos of those outside. <click here for information on short-term Emergency Food Storage>
Water: Most of us are aware of the need for water in survival. A couple of five gallon water containers would offset urgent need. More is better. Add to that the ability to filter water, such as a MSR <click here>, Berkey or a Katadyn Pocket filter, and you can endure much better. <click here for information on water storage, filtration & purification>
Self-protection: This means a gun or guns, especially in the city. If you live in NY or Chicago, consider a shotgun. Elsewhere, a handgun, followed by an AR are your priorities. My preference is a Glock 17, and 500 rounds of 9mm. Then any decent brand of AR-15, a minimum of 10 magazines, and 1000 rounds of 5.56mm ammo. This is a minimum to get started. Equally as important is training in how to use the weapons effectively, including stress inoculation training.
Medical: This would mean more than band-aids and Bactine. We are talking pressure bandages and coagulants. Sutures and instruments and the skill to use them. Pain management, even IVs if possible. <click here for information on emergency medical care and first-aid kit contents>
Communications: Ham Radio is the only way to go. Cell phones will be effected by the event or overwhelmed. Amateur Radio is the only system guaranteed to work in a disaster. <click here for information on Ham radio equipment>
Community building: There is no way I can do everything needed to keep my family safe. I cannot cook the meals, chop the wood, guard the home, do the surgery, work the garden, etc. I will need others who have complimentary skills to do what I cannot do. Economies of scale are particularly important when it comes to survival. <click here for information on community building>
Even minimal attention to these areas will increase the odds of survival when the rest of the dodos are getting clubbed.
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