Letter Re: Pre-TEOTWAWKI Survival is All in The Numbers

Dear James:
It occurred to me while training kids on water safety, that some of the most basic elements of surviving everyday life are perhaps neglected by many of us while focusing on worst case scenarios.  We can be so wrapped up in getting through TEOTWAWKI that we neglect first surviving to TEOTWAWKI.

It doesn’t do any good to be fully prepped for TEOTWAWKI if you, or a loved one, dies in the meantime from one of the statistically most likely causes of death – namely disease and accidents.

By the numbers, if you are younger an auto accident may be your biggest threat.  If you are older likely a debilitating disease that is dependent to a large extent on your health and wellness lifestyle choices.

To kick off the conversation:
• ROAD SAFETY::   Do you (and your kids) know how to swim well enough to survive an accidental immersion into cold, rough water?
• FIREARMS SAFETY:  Can you (and your kids) recite the 4 rules of firearms safety, backwards and forwards.  Do you insist your shooting buddies keep the same high standard?
• HEALTH:   Is your weight within 10% of ideal?
• Do you refrain from smoking?
• Have you minimized toxic foods in your diet (GMO corn and soy, aspartame, MSG, etc.)  
• Do you pay attention to taking in nutrient dense foods versus empty (or toxic) calories?
• Do you pay attention to keeping  your immune system strong through diet, exercise and nutritional supplementation?

The “bonus” here is that all of these mundane health and safety fundamentals needed to survive likely causes of death  pre-TEOTWAWKI,  would be even more critical post-TEOTWAWKI.

Just like in wars – and likely in many forms of disaster – it’s not the actual conflict or disaster that kills but the accidents and disease that result from it.   Historically disease and starvation are bigger killers in wartime than is enemy fire.   In the first Gulf War, there were more US deaths from vehicle accidents than there were to enemy fire.

Regards, – OSOM

JWR Replies: Thanks for mentioning those important points and keying them to the ground truth of the statistical list of the most likely causes of death. It does indeed make sense to employ an actuarial perspective of the world.

It is noteworthy that “Violence” rates just 0.98% of deaths, but in the event of a widespread disaster, war, or revolt, that figure can quickly jump into double digits. And a similar jump for “Infectious and parasitic diseases” (normally 23.04%) and many other other listed lethal diseases–most notably diarrhea, which is normally 3.15%–in the event of a pandemic. Ditto for “Drowning”, which is normally 0.67%, but that risk of course multiplies greatly in a flood or tsunami. (Does everyone in you family know how to swim?) These are a few of the reasons why SurvivalBlog is so popular: Wise people realize that the world around us can change very quickly, and we need to prepare for those events.

In looking at the list of most likely causes of death, which all start with two digits, one digit, or even with just a decimal point, most people skip by pondering the big number at the top, the only one with three digits–the one that reads: 100% (All causes.) To me, that is the truly sobering number. Let’s face it: We are all going to die (barring the fulfillment Mark 13:26 in our lifetimes) and the human lifespan is pitifully short compared to that of a Sequoia tree. So to my mind the far larger questions are:

1.) Are you right with Christ, so that you are fully assured of your final destination? (There are just two, Heaven or Hell, where we will spend eternity.)
2.) Are you sharing the Gospel with your children, and others?
3.) What legacy are you passing on to future generations? How will you be remembered? Are you helping to improve the world, or just taking, using and abusing? Are you putting your descendants in a better position to survive, thrive, and live long and happy lives? Are you writing and publishing words and music (or creating art, architecture, films, software, or other lasting legacies) that are helpful, positive, and edifying or that are degenerate?Are you truthful, fair, and forthright in all of your public dealings?
4.) Are you raising children who are content, polite, and helpful, or are they foul-mouthed, grossly pierced, heavily tattooed, addicted, and lost?

I must also note that taking this long view of life can radically reduce your risk of suicide. (Which, according to the stats, is normally 1.53% of deaths.) Just last week I heard about the suicide of an anesthesiologist in the American Redoubt. Although he was an accomplished prepper and he made a very good living, he was not in Christian fellowship and had developed a drinking problem. His experience should be a warning to all of us.

It is not my intent to sound preachy, but that is where I stand. Think about it.