If SHTF The First 72 Is On You. Here’s Things You Better Consider

When seeking advice from preparedness sources like The Red Cross, one common recommendation is to have a supply that can last for 3 days (or 72 hours) after a crisis occurs. Have you ever wondered why this specific timeframe is emphasized? The simple answer is that the initial 72 hours following a crisis are the most crucial. If individuals are not rescued within this timeframe, the chances of successful recovery diminish significantly. But what is the reason behind this?

There are a few reasons why you might be in a tough spot during a major disaster event. Utilities like electricity and water may not work, and public safety services like first responders may not be able to reach you.

For example, the people who survived Hurricane Ian In Sanibel, Florida had to wait for authorities to rescue them and rebuild the bridge that connected the mainland to the island.

city government pamphlet explains it more directly: “While your State, County and City will be responding to basic community needs in the aftermath of an emergency, available resources and the time when those resources will become available will vary depending on the severity of the emergency. The first 72 hours after an emergency is the most critical period. Basic infrastructure, communications and transportation systems may be challenged, inoperable or inaccessible and the steady flow of supplies such as gas, ice, water, medicine and food may not be readily available. The first line of preparedness for any emergency is planning to meet your, your family’s or your organization’s basic survival needs for 72 hours.”

this is there way of telling you that when disaster strikes you will probably be on your own for a few days.

Just ask the people who lived in Maui, you do not want to hang your hopes of survival on the city, state, or national government.

However, it is important to note that a 72-hour emergency kit of food and water alone may not be sufficient. The initial 72 hours following a disaster can be critical, and understanding the reasons behind potential fatalities during this period is crucial. Below are some insights that will help you and your family better prepare for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

One of the most common reasons people die following a disaster is from injuries sustained during the event or even after.


Jean-Luc Poncelet, the head of PAHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief program, notes that the primary causes of death in natural disasters are trauma, drowning, and burns, rather than infection. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, several individuals tragically lost their lives due to rhabdomyolysis, a condition where muscle rupture leads to kidney failure.

Below is a story, is a sad story following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria:

“After the massive earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, Zeynep spent over 100 hours under the rubble of a collapsed house before rescue workers were finally able to free her. ‘The woman is doing well given the circumstances,’ a February 10 press release from the aid organization ISAR Germany (International Search and Rescue), which was involved in the rescue, said. Shortly after being freed, however, Zeynep died.”

She succumbed to her injuries – even after surviving the initial disaster.

In the event of an actual emergency, it is important to take care of yourself and those around you by relying on personal preparedness instead of solely relying on emergency services. Having a well-stocked first aid trauma kit and possessing basic first aid skills are crucial in such situations.

Sadly, many people die because of the chaos that ensues after disaster strikes.

They survive the hurricane or blizzard, only to be attacked by looters. According to a report by the New York Post in April 2023, a stampede in Yemen’s capital resulted in the death of at least 78 people and left dozens more injured. The incident occurred when a crowd gathered at an event to receive financial aid was startled by gunfire and an electrical explosion.

While we can’t always control where we will be when disaster strikes, we can prepare for how we will react when things get hairy.

Disapeer…Sort Of

Especially in an urban environment sometimes during chaos, it’s best not to draw attention to yourself and blend in.

If looters are in the area it may not be a good idea to be walking around with a full pack on munching on food with a camelback.

Blending into an urban environment during a chaotic situation requires strategic planning and the right mindset. First, it’s essential to practice the “gray man” theory, which involves dressing and behaving in an unassuming manner to avoid drawing attention. For instance, wearing neutral colors and avoiding logos or vibrant patterns might help you blend into the crowd.

Second, maintaining situational awareness is key. This involves being aware of your surroundings, noting any unusual behavior, and understanding the social norms of the area. Avoiding direct eye contact, unnecessary conversations, and confrontations can reduce your visibility in a crowd.

Finally, carry your supplies in a nondescript bag that doesn’t scream “preparedness” and avoid openly displaying valuable items. Remember, the goal is to appear as uninteresting and unthreatening as possible to any potential threat.

Be Careful If The Water Rises

According to data from the National Weather Service, 145 people died because of flooding last year in America. That is up 145% from the 59 flood-related deaths reported in 2020.

Over half of these flood-related deaths were also car-related, meaning people drove into flooded areas and were quickly swept away.

For some reason people do not understand the power of water and how quickly it can overtake an area.

When it comes to encountering flooded roads, safety is paramount. Here are some critical driving precautions to keep in mind. Firstly, never drive through standing water. It’s tough to determine the depth, and even shallow-looking water can hide hazards such as holes, washed-out roads, or other debris.

Secondly, remember that as little as six inches of water can cause loss of control and potential stalling. A foot of water is enough to float many vehicles, and two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and trucks. If you encounter a flooded road, turn around!

Another crucial point is to avoid cruise control if you are on a highway during a downpour. It can cause your car to accelerate when hydroplaning and reduces driver control.

Finally, if your vehicle gets caught in floodwaters and stalls, it’s safer to leave it and move to higher ground.

You don’t want to be like the knucklehead in the video below who purposely drove through flood waters during a historic weather event in Colorado in 2013. The GoPro camera he was carrying captured the event.


Every year, people survive the initial storm only to die later due to exposure.

For instance, Buffalo, New York, experienced a Christmas blizzard just last year that left millions without power.

The Sun reports, “Some victims were found frozen to death in their cars, while a 56-year-old father was found dead on the streets.”

Being outdoors in the extreme climates is dangerous.

For example, Spain experienced a blistering heat wave in 2022 and saw 122 people die of heat stroke and another 233 of dehydration.

It’s important to make sure that your 72-hour kit meets the demands of where you are at the time of the disaster.

For instance, in Florida, August brings not only hot weather but also hurricane season. Have you ensured that your family has sufficient water until assistance arrives? On the other hand, an emergency 72-hour kit for someone in Buffalo, New York, might prioritize having adequate heating in case of a power outage during a snowstorm.

Depending on the severity of the disaster, it may take a few days for government services to be fully operational. To be prepared, take action now and create a plan in case of emergency.

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

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