From the December 2006 Idaho Observer:
Some basic survival questions
by Kevin Swindle
Following is by no means a comprehensive list of survival questions. This is simply a bare bones list of questions to get you thinking about survival and your own situation.
1. How much potable (drinkable) water do I have stored and how long would it last if all sources of water were cut off? Ideally, you should have 2 gallons per person per day. (3 gallons per person per day if your stored food is freeze dried or dehydrated.)
2. How much food do I have stored and how long would it last if all sources of food were cut off and all electric power were cut? (Hint: this means all your frozen food and foods requiring refrigeration are gone.)
3. How much essential medication for myself and my other family members do I have on hand and how long would they last if there was no way to get refills or if there was a medical emergency?
4. How much emergency medical supplies do I have? Do I have enough for every family member?
5. Do I have a firearm for each adult family member? Do I have enough ammunition for each firearm (The minimum should be at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition per firearm)?
6. Are the firearms I have in good working order? (This means old guns that have not been shot in 50 years should be considered unreliable until proven otherwise. Also, guns like a .22 caliber pistol probably wonít help much in defending your home from a group of intruders). Ideally the caliber of all handguns you have should begin with the number 4. (Notable exceptions to this rule are the 9mm, 10mm, .357 magnum, the .38 special, and the .22 magnum.) Ideally, all shotguns should be either 10, 12, or 20 gauge. When choosing rifles, reliability should be the # 1 consideration in survival situations. The AK-47 and its many variants are best in this area, but they are not as accurate as other military type rifles such as the AR-15, FN-FAL, and SKS carbine. Most deer rifles are excellent in this area as well.
NOTE: HAVING ANY FIREARM EVEN IF IT IS LESS THAN IDEAL IS BETTER THAN HAVING NO FIREARM.
7. If I live in a cold weather climate, do I have proper clothing to survive assuming all energy sources were cut off? In simple terms this means its cold and you have no heat. (Space blankets and space bags, which are made of metal foil which reflects body heat, are a low priced way to give yourself protection in this area).
8. How much CASH money do I have stockpiled for emergencies? In survival situations, you should work off the assumption that checks and credit cards will not be honored. You should have at least $200stockpiled in case of emergencies.
NOTE: HAVING ANY AMOUNT OF CASH STOCKPILED EVEN IF IT IS LESS THAN $200 IS BETTER THAN HAVING NO CASH STOCKPILED.
9. Do I have any books on survival in my personal library? If the answer is no, get some. Delta Press and Paladin Press are two of the best sources for books on survival. I recommend that you read every book you can get your hands on by Duncan Long and Ragnar Benson. These two gentlemen are, in my opinion, the best writers on survival topics on this planet.
10. Do I really know whatís going on in the world? If you donít know whatís going on, you cannot plan for emergencies effectively. (Hint: If you get all your news from the mainstream media, you DO NOT know what is going on. Thatís a fact.)
It might be a shameless plug, but The Idaho Observer is a very good source for news you will not get through the mainstream media. In my newsletter there will be a long list of alternate news sources, both in print and on the Internet.
Kevin Swindle is gearing up to produce a preparedness newsletter. You can email your thoughts, comments or indicate your interest in subscribing to his newsletter by emailing him at
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