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Lifelong Learning

Survival: Tips and Resources on How to Survive with Patience and Fortitude


Most New Yorkers do not aim to simply survive, but to thrive. But let’s face it, we’ve all taken it on the chin of late. People from all over, not just New Yorkers, often feel their stress-levels rising. Whether you're trying to survive workplace stress, natural disasters, or physical violence, mental toughness, physical fitness, active participation in your community and knowledge of your surroundings, coupled with the readiness to move can often make the difference in not just surviving, but also in thriving.

Daily concerns in managing our family responsibilities and the pressures we all face in a tightening economic/job market all pale in contrast to the loss and pain caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados and fires. Then there is always the possible threat and loss of life due to criminal violence. Quite often active participation in our environment and community can make the difference in survival.

No matter where you find yourself certain concepts in survival and safety need to be incorporated into any survival strategy.

Attitude is often the first and foremost asset you have at your immediate disposal. Familiarity with your immediate surroundings, combined with your physical conditioning are all assets at your immediate disposal and can help you formulate a plan and assist you in prioritizing what needs to be done.

When the issue of survival enters into the equation, getting to a safe area, and having an exit strategy are primary concerns. Always be mindful and ready at a moments notice to use your positive mental attitude to create an exit strategy plan. There are a number of scenarios that require a general knowledge of your environment. U.S. Army Survival Handbook [PDF].

[Riverdale, Interior, Exit from empty reading room], Digital ID 1253081, New York Public Library

No man is an island, unto themselves. When it comes to survival, seeking help is not weakness. Being part of one's community, and building active participation and general levels of expectation can often make the difference in survival or failure.

One important point that the SEAL survival guide makes is that mental and physical toughness and readiness are critical. The SEAL Survivial guide was one of the most easy to understand manuals on surviving a number of events, which are becoming all too commonplace, often ending with violent conclusions. Whether the survival conditions are man-made or involving natural climatic forces mental outlook and physical preparedness are critical. Fitness can not only aid in your survival, but in your ability to assist others. I must confess, until I started thinking about this topic, I've not put together a "Go Bag" but I'm doing so now.

According to the SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy SEAL's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster by Cade Courtley (also available as an e-book), you should prepare a "go bag" with the necessary tools for survival:

    Hurricane warning., Digital ID 1573177, New York Public Library
  1. Copy of passport, driver's license, emergency contact list, any necessary prescriptions in small plastic bag.
  2. Multitool pliers, knife, saw, blade file, screw drivers.
  3. Compass, folding mirror type also used for signalling.
  4. Marker, pen or indelible felt-tip pen and small waterproof notebook.
  5. Flashlight, extra batteries, and a headlamp.
  6. Cyalume chemlights, glow sticks red and green.
  7. Lighter, waterproof matches, magnesium fire starter, and cotton balls for tinder.
  8. Candles.
  9. Plastic whistle.
  10. Bottled water and protein bars.
  11. SteriPen or water purification tables and filter straw type.
  12. Lightweight water-resistant windbreaker and sun visor.
  13. Emergency/space blanket.
  14. First-aid kit: compressed gauze dressing, tourniquet material cloth sling, surgical gloves, alochol wipes, sunscreen.
  15. Trash bag.
  16. Hand sanitizer or bleach wipes.
  17. Zip ties.
  18. Twenty feet of Paracord.
  19. Tape.
  20. Spare socks.
  21. Eye flush/eye drops.
  22. Cash in small bills (No amount specified).
  23. Any medication you are taking or inhaler (Three days' worth, which you can add to the bag when ready to go).

Another useful title, available various formats in our catalog, is The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.

More books and materials on Survival.

[Man pointing to a "Survival Museum" diorama of a soldier sitting under a makeshift bunker in the snow, while African American soldiers from the 25th Regimental Combat Team look on, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, August 7, 1946.],Soldiers of the 25th Regimental Combat Team., Digital ID 1260297, New York Public Library[Man pointing to a "Survival Museum" diorama of a soldier sitting under a makeshift bunker in the snow, while African American soldiers from the 25th Regimental Combat Team look on, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, August 7, 1946.],Soldiers of the 25th Regimental Combat Team., Digital ID 1260297, New York Public LibraryA couple of points worth repeating... mental toughness, physical fitness, active participation, knowledge of your surroundings and readiness to move can be key-elements in surviving any situation. And best of all... You can build that knowledge, confidence and skill at your public library!

If you don't like the future you see, build one in its place, and if you don't see a title in our catalog, please suggest it.


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Surviving or Thriving

Your Survival Guide is very thoughtful. You listed most of the things people need in emergencies. That is useful information to the average New Yorker. Another addition to a survival guide is knowing the rescue centers available throughout a hurricane, emergency phone lines to the proper source if you or your kids are ill, warm clothing people should take with them on below "0" winter days to avoid hyperthermia, always bring bottles of water, as they are even more important than food to ward off dehydration. Maps are extremely useful when visiting other states or unfamiliar places in your area. Small battery operated radios during an emergency can keep people alert to both weather conditions, or places to avoid because of fallen trees or power lines, or extremely congested traffic. Thank you for your blog. It is really useful. Blessings to you and yours. Geraldine Nathan

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