Preppers: You May Survive the Crisis But
There Are Things That Will Kill you if the Disaster Does Not
In any SHTF scenario, you have the days leading up to the crisis, which you may not be aware of, the crisis itself, and then the days after. If people receive a warning of pending doom, this in and of itself creates a disaster.
Store shelves will be emptied within hours and gas stations will be overwhelmed, which ultimately means traffic fatalities will increase. People will get behind the wheel of a vehicle in a state of panic.
Stores will be looted for guns and survival gear and people will fight one another for emergency supplies. Panic and violence will account for a certain number of injuries and deaths. People will also take advantage of the situation to cause harm and death to others thinking they may get away with it during the chaos.
Then there is the event itself, which will likely cause numerous fatalities and injury, and the most deadly of times yet to come are the days after. It is just the beginning and mistakes made, which are brought on by desperation and lack of skills and knowledge, will account for additional fatalities.
Five More Things That Will Kill You during a Crisis
1.) Panicked and Diseased Wildlife
You may not realize, or are not paying attention to the fact that wildlife is displaced during any crisis, in particular during floods and wildfires. Escaping wildlife to include deadly snakes and alligators during flooding may be found in your backyard, even though it is not their natural habitat. People will wade through snake-infested floodwaters, and will be bitten, and without prompt medical care, some will die.
Predators will travel miles to escape a natural disaster so this means coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and bears could end up knocking at your front door no matter where you live. Coyotes can and will kill small children or attack adults, so they are not to be taken lightly. Wildlife incident reports indicate coyotes are not afraid of dragging children off from playgrounds even when others are around, and they have been known to attack children in their own yards.
Rabies is a major concern at any time but especially a concern during a crisis, because without immediate treatment, it is fatal, and virtually any mammal you come in contact with could be carrying the disease. Encounters with deadly wildlife will increase during a crisis and the encounters can be deadly ones.
2.) Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
According to the CDC, more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional CO poisoning, and more than 20,000 seek treatment with over 4,000 hospitalized. In a crisis, you may not be able to seek treatment, so fatalities will rise, where otherwise timely treatment could prevent death.
Given all the information out there, some people still do not realize the dangers and simply do not know what causes deadly CO to form.
CO is present in combustion fumes. In fumes produced by motor vehicles, (cars and trucks) small gasoline engines, (generators) gas lanterns, by burning charcoal and wood, and the fumes are also produced from gas ranges and gas heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces causing death to humans and animals (CDC, 2013).
People will board up windows and doors with plywood and tarps and then light charcoal grills, gas stoves and lanterns inside the enclosure along with lighting wood burning fireplaces. People routinely run their cars inside of enclosed garages, as well, causing the fumes to seep into the home. This is a deadly situation and deaths from CO poisoning always rises during a crisis.
A generator can produce enough electricity to cause death by electrocution. Not knowing proper operating procedures causes the most deaths by electrocution versus malfunctioning generator systems. People sometimes try to install the so-called in line generators themselves and fail to isolate the electrical current causing death to utility workers and the homeowner.
Downed power lines are a hazard at anytime and particularly during a crisis when people may be evacuating or crossing flooded streets and roads on foot and simply in their panic are not paying attention.
Home electrical systems also cause deaths during disasters because of damage to the systems caused by earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. Not shutting off the electrical supply to the home before a disaster strikes can cause this to happen in some cases.
Whenever you see video footage on the news, covering a disaster there is usually a fire raging in some structure, somewhere regardless of the calamity. Broken gas lines, and frayed electrical wiring cause the majority of fires. People lighting candles or using gasoline or other accelerants to start wood or charcoal fires for cooking and heating will of course, cause fires as well, and they happen every time a disaster strikes.
Common sense should prevent many of the fires, but people become desperate for heat and cooking and so make deadly mistakes borne out of that desperation.
5.) Traffic Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 30,000 people die each year from traffic accidents in the United States. The number of traffic accidents is estimated at over 4.1 million, and aside from the fatalities, there are over 2.5 million injuries from these accidents requiring hospitalization (NHTSA, 2013).
Traffic accidents increase before, during and after a crisis. People are rushing to stock up on supplies, then people take to the highways to flee the crisis, and then people attempt to drive on damaged roads, all of which cause traffic accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities. Once again, common sense should prevail but it does not. Injuries that otherwise may not be fatal can be fatal during a crisis, because you may not be able to receive timely medical care.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means and you can of course come up with hundreds if not thousands of other ways to die during a crisis. However, the ways to die listed are common and yet should not be, if a little common sense and attention to detail is applied during a catastrophe.
CDC. (2013). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm
NHTSA. (2013). Retrieved 2014,from http://1.usa.gov/1nlIJ1h