The recent furor over whether or not to go into Syria has brought a number of survival questions to the forefront. What would you really need to survive, if the infrastructure suddenly disappeared or the grid, including sewer and water, was inaccessible? Social scientists Maslow and Alderfer have studied the concept of motivation. People have to have their needs met, in order to become motivated to do anything above simply getting their needs met. Put another way, people who are not getting their needs met will go crazy if they see you with something that they need to survive.
Maslow and Alderfer agree that if a person is not fed, is homeless, and isn’t safe, they will not have a sense of belonging and they will not think beyond surviving. The problem is that people without a sense of community and belonging can be very dangerous. Maslow suggested that people are all motivated by the same things, in the beginning: the need for food, shelter, and safety. Alderfer, on the other hand, believes that people are not all motivated by the same things. He also suggests that some people may be able to reach past mere survival and be motivated by other things.
What does this have to do with you? Among other things, Alderfer explained the concept of regression: when things happen in life, people can regress when they cannot achieve their higher needs. Rephrased, this means that people can regress to being little more than animals when frustrated enough.
Applying the theories, people need to have food, shelter, and safety. This would include protection from the weather and clothing to cover them. Food includes water. These things should form the beginning of your survival list: something to eat, something to drink, something to wear, something to keep you warm if it is winter, and to protect you from the elements in case you are suddenly homeless. If you or a family member needs life-saving medication, you need to have a small supply of it. This flies in the face of current insurance and medical policy, which is to only pay for a small set of doses at a time. You will have to work with your doctor to develop a minimum of a week’s spare medicine. Having been there, done that in Katrina with children who were asthmatic, I suggest building up a month’s supply if you can and rotating it so that the oldest meds are always the first ones used.
People who are denied the basics are very dangerous. Even good people will become aggressive trying to protect their children from starvation and death. Protecting yourself from dangerous people and animals falls under the heading of safety, one of the most basic needs. While I understand that not everyone wants a firearm, they are the most excellent tool for hunting and for protection in an attack situation.
Food, water, medicine, clothing, some type of shelter (tents, perhaps), and something to keep your family safe (guns, knives, crossbow) should be your priority in the coming months. Get ready.