When It Hits the Fan

What is 'it'? It applies to any disaster, large or small. From the strictly personal scale calamity to those of a more global nature, and everything in between. Regardless of the size of the problem, preparing beforehand will increase your chances of surviving.

People run from an approaching tsunami in Hilo, Hawai'i, on 1 April 1946; note the wave just left of the man's head in right center of image.
People run from an approaching tsunami in Hilo, Hawai'i, on 1 April 1946; note the wave just left of the man's head in right center of image.

Hopefully this book will attempt to provide help for you to prepare, survive whatever disaster or emergency awaits and thrive when civilization breaks down. We will discuss skills and tools and strategies you can use in a negative situation to help yourself and others.

What kind of disasters are we talking about? Well, on a personal level, are you prepared to survive a blown engine or car crash in the middle of a desert? Or in the middle of a blizzard? What do you do if your house burns down? That's what this book is for.

Are you ready to deal with a global pandemic? It may be the bird flu, swine flu or something we haven't even heard of yet. Are you ready? You may be asking yourself "how do I even start answering that question?". That's what this book is for.

If a hurricane strikes; what will you do, where will you go, and how will you cope? If a tornado strikes your town or a rail road tank car releases a cloud of chlorine gas, now what? That's what this book is for.

How about economic meltdown, short and long term power disruptions, food riots and zombies? That's what this book is for. Okay, maybe not the zombies.

Especially in "modern" nations (economies based mostly in transformation and services), most citizens are utterly dependent on the steady availability of food, water, electricity, advanced medical care, and a million other goods and services and to the generally predictable state of things. Most of the time people can get away with that dependence, if things work in the expected parameters, but it is certain that there will be times that events be it natural disasters, political strife or any one of a multitude of possible and even unimaginable accidents that can and will interrupt the normal flow of life and leave people inconvenienced at best and at risk of dead at worst.

"Any city is three days from starvation and one week from cannibalism."

Start reading and contributing to the book, above all start preparing. Because you do not want to be that guy, standing there with the dumbfounded look on his face, when 'it' hits the fan.

Part 1: edit

"Chance favors only the prepared mind" - Louis Pasteur

The quote above applies to scientific research as it does to dealing with 'it' - and when that 'it' hits the fan. There are so many things that can and probably will go wrong in your life. Being prepared for those situations will help you and your loved ones survive. The simple fact that you are aware of the potential problems means you are ahead of the curve compared to most people. And, no, we will not be recommending you to dig up a nuclear shelter or arm yourself to the teeth and shoot everything in sight; except the zombies, shoot as many of them as you find.

In this section we discuss small steps one can take, and common sense decisions to improve one's chances in case of trouble. All should be relatively cheap and easy.

Part 2: edit

This section will provide basic guides and approaches to problems, general needs and considerations to generalized procedures for surviving various personal emergencies. On how to take some steps that can help you in a survival situation, especially if you are low on material and must live from your environment.

These guides should only include information and strategies that will require only stone age materials or easily recyclable from today's environment and should focus on projects that ultimately are possible to be created and transported by a single person.

See the First Aid Wikibook for information in all topics required for a standard first aid course, it also includes a section on advanced topics.

Part 3: edit

Applying the generalities of the previous chapter to specific major events. Some of this events can be predicted or even expected, while others have a very low chance of happening. This section will only cover events that can be survivable and possible to happen in a given person life time. Things like the end of the universe, the Sun collapsing, alien invasions or a zombie apocalypse as well as religious or premonitory situations for the end of the world should be avoided.

Part 4: edit

When "it" does hit the fan, it can be so severe than there will be no rescuers coming for you and your companions. You should not give up hope easily, but being realistic will push you to deal with the inevitable conclusion (in this situation) that you must become self sufficient. This section is kind of a how-to for restoring civilization from scratch.

There are many literary works that cover the subject of survival in general, even after large catastrophes. From Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London (in the public domain) or even Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle for a broader view on how these situations may evolve.

This is also a subject that is covered in movies with some realism (or lack of it):
Deadly solar flare(s) - Where Have All The People Gone? (1974), Hell (2011).


To do:
Create a new section to address fictional coverage of the subject