This post may contain affiliate links. Buying something through these links doesn't cost you anything and helps support Know Prepare Survive. For some light reading, check out our affiliate disclosure.
Table of Contents
Rule of Three For Survival
In survivalist circles you will often hear of “the rule of three.” This illustrates how a person cannot live three minutes without air, three days without water, or live three weeks without food. Barring the occasional exception to this, the prudent prepper will be served well by internalizing this doctrine.
Of the preparations and gear most revered and sought after in the pantheon of disaster preparedness, nothing is more important to survival than air, water, and food. The suggestions that follow will be the starting point for your disaster preparations. Make this law of three your first priority.
Air – 3 Minutes
What survivalist manual would be complete without a section on gas masks? The modern gas mask is synonymous with disaster preparations and has assumed an almost mascot-like status among preppers. The gas mask, as we know it today, was developed during World War I. Born out of necessity due to the emergence of chemical warfare, gas masks became a staple of the entrenched infantry solider.
In-home air filtration systems can be used to keep out dangerous or harmful chemicals to which your home may be exposed during a chemical spill or NBC terrorist attack.
Home air filtration systems filter clean indoor air while creating a positive air pressure inside the room to keep harmful NBC agents from floating inside. These air filtration systems can be used to protect the home from particulate matter, such as the radioactive dust from a dirty bomb, gas leak or chemical agents in the area.
Water – 3 Days
The human body is composed of nearly seventy-five percent water. Water is something most of us take for granted but without it one would scarcely survive for longer than a few days. When you are planning to store water it is important to have an allotment of at least three gallons per person per day. This amount represents an emergency situation water ration and is in no way close to the amount used in the average household.
In addition to water storage, the prudent prepper will also possess ways to filter water (our choice). A good number of water filtration units are available on the market.
Adding an antimicrobial agent such as chlorine bleach or iodine water purification tablets can also purify water of questionable quality. The use of these antimicrobials and chemical additives will ensure that the quality of the water is safe for use, provided that the water contaminates are not chemical.
Food – 3 Weeks
This is the basic needs section where most survivalists typically focus their energy, especially as beginners. Food is much more in the forefront of our thoughts than air and water, so most people are familiar with prepping food.
The simplest way to begin an emergency food store supply is to purchase a little extra of the things that you eat every day. Take a look first at what foods are your favorites and which ones you eat most often. The next time you go to the grocery store, purchase extra food to be put aside for surplus. Focus your efforts on purchasing simple, nonperishable canned goods or dry food. This type of storage can be done in incremental steps and stock piled as your budget allows. You must give careful consideration to the shelf life of canned and dried goods, rotating your food stores regularly.
As a supplement to the law of three, one should provision the implements of energy production and output. The enlightened prepper must take care to supplement his or her standard electrical grid energy source with various forms of survival energy alternatives. Energy planning is crucial to disaster preparedness, as it embodies the capacity for survival cooking, lighting and heating needs. Energy also means the fuel by which our vehicles move and our communications transmit. The measures by which you may prepare for disaster energy demands can run the gamut from acquiring a simple camping stove (stove we recommend) to heat your food, to possessing the capacity for large-scale, off the grid energy production.
Beyond the Basics
While air, food, water, and energy may be the most basic of human survival needs, it is recommended that you go far beyond your basic survival needs. Most people never strive to get beyond the basics, in both life and disaster preparedness. In the pursuit of Survival Enlightenment you must give equal credence to the psychological component of preparedness as you give to your physical needs.