No, not kidding. :)
In the strict sense of the word, survival means staying alive, and that can be summarized in the “rule of threes”:
You can’t survive;
3 minutes without air.
3 hours of exposure to low temperatures.
3 days without water
3 weeks without food.
Give or take a bit, that’s pretty much it in terms of minimums for keeping you alive.
Food, water and shelter I’ve discussed, and its air, the most precious need, that I’ve overlooked.
Most of the time hard core 80’s survivalists can be seen with a gas mask and chem suit near by.
My actual location not being a place a nuke or chemical bomb would be dropped on, I thought that worrying about that mad little sense.
Yes, stupid me.
No matter where you live, you need air, and it is air (water being a close second) the most overlooked point in preparedness.
Due to resent events, the importance of air has hit me like a ton of bricks in the last few weeks.
In lest than 60 days, millions in my country understood the importance of breathable air, due to two non related, mayor events.
The first incident occurred as a result of the tension between the farms and the government here in Argentina.
Right in the middle of the negotiations between the two, after 30 days of strike by the farmers, The city of Buenos Aires was covered with a thick mantle of smoke, that came downwind from a strategically calculated series of bush fires, over 400 spread through half the province of Entre Rios and the Delta Islands.
Most of us think that these fires were cause the supporters of our president, to create tension between the population and the farmers, since they found out that city dwellers didn’t blame the farmers as they expected, but took sides with them against a government that by now has clear signs of dictatorship.
People in Buenos Aires, trying to get by as they go through their day.
The smoke made it very hard to breathe for weeks, and even though you still go on with your life it was hard on your lungs, eyes and skin, some days it is still a problem today in the capital district.
The second incident started just a few days ago in Patagonia, due to a supposedly inactive volcano in Chile(right next to us).
Chaiten Volcano. Spreads ashes from Chile to the Atlantic, all across the continent.
The towns nearby didn’t worry about the thing, mostly due to it being sleeping without any signs of activity for over 7000 years.
Then came Murphy and his ironic laws and…
People from Futaleufu evacuating the region
It’s the end of the world as they know it for these people. Not only do they have to evacuate the towns.
Their animal will die, along with most crops, and it will be along time before they can go back.
The toxic ash in the air forced them to evacuate quickly, many just leaving with the clothes on their backs and leaving the rest behind. Probably to be stolen by a few opportunistic looters.
Water became toxic and bottled water has now sold out in the region, a single liter costing several times what it used to.
Same for disposable surgical masks, like the ones doctors use. They went for 0.75 cents before the volcano erupted, now they cost 5 bucks each.
BEFORE I FORGET: DON’T TRUST THE NEWS, OR THE GOVERNMET WHEN THEY SAY THAT SOME KIND OF SMOKE ISN’T TOXIC.
To avoid even greater problems, they will deny the toxicity until the smoke dissipates.
They did that with the bush and garbage smoke in Buenos Aires and they are doing it again with the volcano.
So yes, you need to do something about it.
What to do?
Your Air Purifying Arsenal
The disposable masks are what I saw most often. They don’t offer much protection but they are better than nothing I suppose.
3M masks, your bare minimum
At least, try buying the best ones from 3M, they offer some with small carbon filters in the middle that should be better than the regular ones.
The best thing would be a full face mask, with disposable filters ( keeping some filters in stock) that offer eye protection too.
The ones without the eye protection leave eyes exposed, so since you bother to buy the real deal, go all the way.
Face masks with disposable filters. A much better option.
Keep in mind that small children need special masks to fit their faces. Make sure the mask fits every family member.
Another great piece of equipment to have is a home air filer-purifier.
The important part is the filter here, you want a HEPA filter to get most of the stuff out.
Inexpensive air filter-purifier with HEPA filter.
Now, the best thing would be a to have an air filtering system installed.
Someone that knows about AC can get it done for you, and while not cheap, it’s less expensive than most people believe if you look around and buy the components yourself.
You’ll be needing a ventilator that provides 20 renovations per hour, and the frame where the filters are installed. A metallic air duct may be necessary to reach the house.
This works by keeping the pressure inside greater than the one outside, so the particles don’t get in through doors, windows and other cracks or vents.
This may sound like a bit too much, but if you are building and have the opportunity to do it, it may be worth it.
Fires, natural disasters, terrorist attacks… and yes…dumb politicians messing with people or a darn volcano going off. :)
It can all affect the precious air you breathe.
Grated, the chances of you needing food and water are greater than the ones of you needing to purify air.
You can go for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water
… but air…