If you haven’t ever heard about the rule of threes survival, let me introduce you to it now – it goes like this:
- You can live three minutes without air.
- You can live three hours without shelter.
- You can live three days without water.
- You can live three weeks without food.
Think about that a minute. Let it sink in.
While you may not see it just yet, a lot of the emergency preparedness advice out there comes straight from the rule of threes – applied in context to the particular situation.
If you’re a survivalist, you know these by heart.
No matter the environment you are in, these rules are an important foundation for any preparedness plan. Learning and understanding them will make you better equipped for decision-making in an emergency situation.
The Rule of Threes in More Detail
To better understand the the rule of threes, let’s have a closer look at each rule.
Rule 1 – You Can Live Three Minutes Without Air
This rule is rarely talked about, because – let’s face it – there just aren’t many times your air supply is restricted. We’re used to not even having to think before taking a breath.
Imagine you were in a survival situation though, and imagine you had to go through an area where the air was fouled in a serious way that could cause you to become ill or perhaps even kill you.
This rule starts making a lot more sense in this context, but it’s not a context most people will be faced with so you’re not going to see it in most emergency preparedness instructions. Soldiers may routinely be faced with these situations though.
Notice the difference? It’s all about context.
Soldiers are placed in more contexts – more varied situations – than most civilians are. It would be pretty dire days for a civilian in the U. S. to have to be as prepared as a soldier.
Rule 2 – You Can Live Three Hours Without Shelter
How much you hear about this rule will really depend on the area you live and what type of disaster preparedness you’re studying.
Learning how to prepare for a tornado or how to prepare for a hurricane would be definite cases where you would want to be thinking about this rule. If this is you, you would do well to take this rule to heart and put preparations in place to ensure you have shelter.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I’ve got a house! Doesn’t that count?”
Well, yeah – it does. Tornadoes tear houses down though. Hurricanes can tear houses down too – and they may also spawn tornadoes.
The point? If you live in hurricane or tornado country, having a tornado shelter should be a top priority.
Rule 3 – You Can Live Three Days Without Water
Water is a preparation you’re going to see in just about any set of emergency preparedness instructions, and the reason may not be obvious. While we are very used to just turning on the tap, the fact is that, in severe emergencies, nothing may be coming out of that tap.
There are actually a whole bunch of reasons you would want to pay attention to this rule. Consider extended water main breaks, tornados, and hurricanes. These are all very good reasons you would want to learn how to store water long-term.
Any of these are also very valid reasons to learn how to prepare for a water shortage. Tornadoes and hurricanes can damage water mains – as can earthquakes.
Tornadoes typically come with rain, and hurricanes definitely will include a deluge of water pouring down. Depending on the amounts a span of time it takes for that water to fall from the sky, flooding can occur. If the flooding is severe enough, it can cause waste water to become mixed with the source of fresh water used by your town or city.
It happens a lot in some areas.
Rule 4 – You can Live Three Weeks Without Food
The fact is that the human body is remarkable. When required, it will begin consuming stored fat to stay alive. This is actually one of the reasons that the Atkins Diet works so well. Wait too long though, and your body will begin consuming muscle too.
Your body is built to survive.
You don’t have to deal with this though, if you learn how to store food long-term or how to prepare for a food shortage.
It probably goes without saying, but I’ll mention it anyway: if you’re focused on storing food, you should first focus on storing water. After all, eating without drinking will just dehydrate you faster because your body requires the use of water in digesting the food you eat.
So, That’s the Rule of Threes Survival!
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