A fun and entertaining story about the author's life as he finds ways to tackle his sense of vulnerability and ill-preparedness to deal with situations ranging from natural disasters to full-on apocalypse.
What I ultimately learned at the Holocaust Museum was not “never again,” but “again and again and again.” Maybe even tonight.
There are two types of people in the world: the captains, who go down with their ship, and the rest of us, who jump off with our loved ones.
There is a theory called memetics, which suggests that ideas move through culture much like viruses. Thanks to the catalysts of 9/11 and Katrina, the escapist meme had clearly spread from the minds of fringe extremists to early adopters in mainstream society.
Five criteria required of the host country (second citizenship):
“Because this makes economic sense,” Spencer replied coolly. “Do you have insurance for fires, theft, and illness?” “Of course,” Howard replied. “Which means you agree that a certain portion of your income should be allocated to protect you against catastrophes, even if they’re low-probability events.”
And because the future is unknown, no matter how good or bad things may be today, it will always be a threat. So, ultimately, the sole arbiter of what’s paranoia and what’s common sense is what happens tomorrow. You’re only paranoid if you’re wrong. If you’re right, you’re a prophet.
Bugging out — slang for leaving your home to go somewhere safe.
The average person, I learned, needs three litres of water a day to survive.
The five second rule — if the fire doesn’t get smaller or go out within five seconds, evacuate immediately.
Putting out a fire — always aim the nozzle at the base of a fire, where the flames are interacting with the fuel.
B-NICE — an ancroym to remember the different types of terrorist threats: biological, nuclear, incendiary, chemical, explosive.
In the event of a nuclear attack — hole up in either a basement or the third-from-the-top floor of the highest building around, then cover all cracks and openings with plastic and duct tape.
If you're in a public area and someone sets of a dirty bomb — you have roughly thirty minutes to decontaminate. Cover your nose and mouth immediately with anything that wasn’t exposed. If you have to remove contaminated clothing, don’t pull it over your head. Cut it off.
Excerpt From: Neil Strauss. “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life”. Apple Books.
If you’re ever in a public area and someone starts spraying gunfire, get down on your stomach with your feet pointed toward the attacker, your face positioned away, and your hands covering your head. This way, it’s less likely that the bullets will hit your vital organs.
“One of the major rules of survival with all living things is conservation of energy.”
Tracking — Every movement people make affects their posture, balance, and weight distribution, which changes the pressure they put on the ground and alters their footprint.
When lost, individuals generally circle in the direction of their dominant hand. And though they may think they’re traveling in a straight line, they’re usually circling within the same square-mile area.
Tha sacred order of wilderness survival — shelter, water, fire, food.
Finiding water — Cutting a wild grapevine would produce water. Chewing thistle stalk (after removing the thorns, of course) would temporarily mitigate thirst. The small amount of liquid in cactuses is generally too bitter to drink. If stranded at sea, you could drink fish spinal fluid, the liquid around fish eyes, and turtle blood.
How to build a solar still
The three key qualities for wilderness survival nature awareness, physical fitness, and self-mastery.
The most important survival skill to have was faith. As Viktor Frankl put it, “Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on.” (see Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl)
Learn to hot-wire a car, pick locks, conceal your identity, and escape from handcuffs, flexi-cuffs, duct tape, rope, and nearly every other type of restraint.
e.g. using generic keys known as jigglers to open automobile doors, and starting cars by sticking a screwdriver in the ignition switch and turning it with a wrench.
Build caches — hiding places where food, equipment, and other survival supplies can be stored away from home, whether buried in the ground or stashed in a bus-station locker.
Tsunami — Note that one visible sign of a coming tsunami is water suddenly receding from the shoreline.
Pandemic — The key to surviving an infectious disease outbreak is social distancing: Don’t go to work, public gatherings, social events, airports, and other confined public spaces unless absolutely necessary.
MYTH: If stranded in the desert, you can get water from a cactus.
MYTH: If attacked by a shark, punch it in the nose.
MYTH: If stranded at sea with no water, you can drink your own urine to survive.
MYTH: In the event of an electrical fire, unplug the appliance immediately.
MYTH: If stabbed or impaled by something, pull out the knife or object.