Everyone knows that you need oxygen, water, food, shelter, and so on to survive. We all get that at a gut level. What many folks don’t realize is that there’s a pretty simple way to triage those things. It’s often referred to as the Rule of Threes.
The rule is simple:
- You can survive for three minutes without oxygen.
- You can survive for three hours in severe environments without shelter.
- You can survive for three days without water.
- You can survive for three weeks without food.
As you go about preparing yourself and your family, you should use this rule to help guide your preparation triage. Sure, these are obviously rough estimates. But as far as a rule of thumb goes, they’re great. It puts things in perspective. Yeah, you might be hungry enough to eat a horse, but if you don’t have water, you’re screwed. Should you work on water purification or go off looking for lizards to eat?
Some things are more relevant than others. For example, you probably don’t have to worry TOO much about oxygen if you’re in your house during a survival situation. But if you were in New York during the 9/11 attack, having an air mask to keep out all that dust would have been critical to your overall health.