U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 25 mins

Could You Fend for Yourself After a Disaster?

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire -09/26/11)- Some scoff at doomsday prophecies, but this year alone, millions of people have endured catastrophes of seeming apocalyptic proportions. Consider:

  • March 11 -- A 9.0 magnitude earthquake violently shakes Japan, unleashing a tsunami that triggers a nuclear crisis.
  • May 22 -- A Category 5 tornado rips through Joplin, Mo., wreaking 14 miles of havoc, including 159 lives lost and 7,000 homes destroyed.

Those spectacularly devastating events were just two of dozens this year that left stricken survivors without the essentials of modern life: water, shelter, electricity. Could you manage for a few days? A few months?

Author Dan Martin is confident he could -- and comfortably. He and his wife, Lucia, lived off the grid for 10 years on a self-sustaining Texas ranch they built themselves. They grew, raised or trapped their food; made their own ethanol fuel and solar panels; and survived on rainwater they captured and purified. Martin's newest book, "Apocalypse: How to Survive a Global Crisis" (www.ApocalypseTheBook.com), details lessons gleaned from the experience with illustrated instructions on everything from finding clean water sources to performing an emergency tracheotomy.

A Desert Shield/Storm veteran and former Boeing aerospace technician, Martin now works as a consultant on sustainable-living initiatives through his and Lucia's company, Agua-Luna, Inc. He says people must first get back to the basics, and there are simple ways anyone can begin now.

"Take some hunting and fishing trips with experienced hunters and insist on cleaning the carcass of your kill yourself, so that you know what to expect," he advises. "If you don't know how to work on cars, it's essential you learn quickly. Take a class on basic repairs at your community college, and while you're there, sign up for welding, first aid and food preservation. Try sleeping without pillows and blankets; going for a day or two without food; taking a cold shower. Once you've experienced such deprivations, they won't come as unnerving shocks following a disaster."

About Dan Martin

Dan Martin is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a degree in environmental sciences. He also studied physics and engineering at the University of Texas, and practical skills such as mechanics at San Antonio Community College. He and his wife live on a self-sustaining Mexican hacienda.