By MIKE VINSON
I imagine most have either watched or heard of the television reality show Doomsday Preppers. The show centers on a group of people-"preppers"-demonstrating a variety of skills on how to survive when the world, as we now know it, comes to an end for any one of several reasons (or any combination thereof): terrorists acts, economic collapse, fuel shortage, pandemics, etc.
Essentially, Doomsday Preppers' underlying theme is about being forced off your high-end, gated home and, subsequently, forced to flee to a rugged rural area and totally "live off the land" minus the technological amenities we currently enjoy: cell phone, Internet, motor vehicle transportation, U.S. Postal Service, stable police force, hospitals with trained nurses and doctors, Wendy's, Dominos Pizza, etc.
Though some allege that Doomsday Preppers is an over-the-top, right-wing, conspiracy- oriented show "full of contempt for mankind," others argue that it offers a common-sense crash course in addressing stark reality.
In no way attempting to incite undue worry and anxiety, I, however, must ask: How would you fare if forced to flee to the mountains, with only the clothes on your back, and survive solely off the land? Could you take care of yourself, much less your children?
If answered honestly, I wager the answer is a majority "no." That said, I'm gonna throw out an idea, something I've written about, in part, in the past, something I and others feel makes total sense, and, further, is achievable.
Lobby our legislators to draft and enact a bill that makes "survival skills" mandatory curriculum in Tennessee schools. A school teacher friend, who agrees with me, said the best level probably would be the Middle School years, generally grades 6-8, because during high school there, simply, is too much going on:
Amongst the mandatory "survival skills" that could be taught at the Middle School level are:
If financially feasible, how to assemble, keep on hand, and put into use, if needed, a basic "survival kit" for every household member: flashlight with batteries; rugged, outdoor-caliber boots; full-body rain poncho; band-aids; gauze; sterile dressings; rubbing alcohol; first-aid kit; survival knife; matches in a water-proof; zip-lock container, etc.
How to make and utilize a splint for a sprained or broken arm or leg: When fleeing from a hostile, threatening situation, injuring an anatomical extremity-leg or arm, or both-not only is a common occurrence, but most likely happens sooner than later. A well-positioned splint very well could aid the victim in "aiding" you, the rescuer, aid him/her in the escape to safety.
Stopping blood loss from a severe wound Of course, this ties in with no. 1, assembling and utilizing a survival kit, but some hands-on instruction in a classroom environment about how to properly apply direct pressure and utilize a tourniquet could prove life-saving when major blood loss is a factor.
Shelter: If it's extremely cold, locating or being able to produce adequate warmth is crucial to separating life from death-same for staying cool when it's extremely hot.
Food and water: Gut growling, throat dry and parched, and with Wendy's and Domino Pizza having been afterthoughts for a days-on-end, creek water, rabbit, squirrel-even a small deer-might become more desirable than any 5-star meal you've ever consumed. Do you have the skill set to take down the wild game, dress and cook it, and purify the creek water, and sustain yourself-and others-for at least one more day?
Ok, we've named just a few of many survival skills that could come into play in terms of surviving off the land minus any form of modern technology.
Parents, legislators, concerned ones does it not make sense to ensure that the younger generation have, at least, a rudimentary grasp of the skills mentioned? And when I say "ensure," I don't mean these skill classes are merely offered in a school curriculum; I mean that taking and passing these skills classes/courses is mandatory!
Do you want your child wandering in the wilderness is a school-daze fog, scared to death, or do want him/her to be Rambo ready?