By Rhea Holleman
Over the last couple of decades, scientific research has shown the alarming consequences human behaviour has on earth. Our ever increasing CO2 emissions especially have caused a lot of harm; acid rain has caused acidification of our soil, smog in big cities is seriously damaging our health, and we can’t even predict what consequences global warming will have in the future. So what if the worst happens? What if our irresponsible behaviour causes climate changes so dramatic that we will be confronted with tsunami’s, tornado’s, or temperatures way below freezing point?
Survival expert Ruben Dinkelman, has trained for – and competed in multiple survival runs. He gives us some potentially life saving tips. First and foremost, he states, “you have to find some kind of shelter”. In a case of extreme weather conditions going underground is not necessary, a public building will suffice. “Though of course, you should be careful about giving shelter to other survivors. It’s not a case of the more, the merrier”. Indeed, the more people sharing a space, the more chance of strife, food shortages, disease, etc. However, shelter alone won’t give you much of a fighting chance. “Electricity will probably be gone quite soon. I suggest collecting a lot of wood, and using it economically; you never know how long these conditions will persevere”. Staying warm and dry is crucial to your survival. As for food, “a large supply of canned goods would be wise. In the very worst case scenario, I would still recommend never to stoop to cannibalism. Not only is there a chance of disease, it’s bad for morale”. When it is possible, scavenge for food; and try to pick up a first aid kit along the way. If there is no source of food anywhere nearby your shelter, you might want to start hunting! A bow and arrows are recommended, “and an axe would be a good idea too”. But what about water? Of course, it all depends on your location the moment disaster strikes; “get away from the coast at any rate, it’s the most dangerous place you could be. Being near a river would be ideal, you need to find a source of fresh water ASAP”.
Shelter, fire, food, water and medicine are our first priorities, according to Dinkelman. Of course, good preparation can save lives too, so plan ahead! And those of us that survive these potentially dramatic consequences of our behaviour, might want to consider changing our lifestyle a bit.