Our world is governed by a lot of Rule of Threes. In mathematics, The Rule of Three is a rule that allows you to solve problems based on proportions. In writing, The Rule of Three states that events should happen in groups of three. In film, The Rule of Three states that events should follow this pattern: establish conflict, build conflict, resolve conflict. In photography, specifically called Rule of Thirds, is an essential photography technique that can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance of your images. But in an emergency preparedness and survival situation, what is The Rule of Three? Read on to find out.
Emergency Preparedness – The Rule of Three
When you’re preparing or facing a survival situation, there is a rule that can help you prioritize. Aptly called The Survival Rule of Threes, it means that:
- You can survive for three minutes without air
- You can survive for three hours without shelter in a harsh environment
- You can survive for three days without water (provided you have shelter)
- You can survive for three weeks without food (provided you have water and shelter)
But how is that applicable to me? I won’t be camping or going out to the woods anytime soon. On the contrary, there are situations at home that these rules prove useful.
Emergency Preparedness – Three Minutes Without Air
After three minutes without air, the heart can stop. Without oxygen, brain cells begin to die causing permanent brain damage. The most obvious reason for not breathing for more than three minutes is drowning. But there are situations at home where knowing this rule may come in handy. An example would be choking on food. That’s why it’s best to know the Heimlich maneuver and first aid. Smoke inhalation is another. If you don’t have a mask, you can use a damp cloth or towel to filter out the smoke.
Emergency Preparedness – Three Hours Without Shelter
Without protection from the elements, hypothermia and heat stroke can become your worst enemy very quickly. Learn to make improvised shelter in case you are caught without supplies. Always carry a tarp or emergency blanket in your bug-out bag – both of which can be used in creating shelter.
You must always maintain your body temperature at 37 degrees Celsius. The more you stray from your ideal weather the more you have chance of getting hypothermia. Though many people assume harsh winter is the prime cause of hypothermia, but you are equally exposed to it in scorching heat of the desert or getting wet in heavy rain.
Emergency Preparedness – Three Days Without Water
Humans on an average are made up of 60% water thus making water vital. Our bodies are constantly losing water, which is why drinking a glass of water once a day is not enough to keep the body replenished. We lose water when we sweat, go to the bathroom — even when we exhale.
In absence of clean water, you will need to purify it. The easiest way is heat water at boiling point for 2-3 minutes to kill bacteria and viruses. That’s why a portable water filter is always an essential for any bug-out bag. You may never know when you need potable water.
Emergency Preparedness – Three Weeks Without Food
Food comes last in the list of survival. You can survive longer than three weeks without food depending on your body fat and exertion level. However, it is better not to take chances as lack of energy will restrict your body to function properly and your body will start to cannibalize itself.
Freeze dried food is always your best bet when it comes to survival food. It’s nutritious, delicious, lightweight, and easy to prepare. Hunting and trapping animals can be viable options but may take too much energy and skill to pull off. Foraging for food is a good idea but make sure to know what to eat.
Emergency Preparedness – What Else Comes in Threes?
You know what else comes in threes? Catastrophe. We tend to overlook emergency preparedness. But knowing The Survival Rule of Three gives you advantage not just in wilderness and survival situations but also in situations at home. Keep this rule in mind and maybe one day it can save your life — or maybe somebody else’s life.