Disaster Survival Skills for Any Emergency Situation

By James Barton โ€ข  Updated: 07/05/19 โ€ข  11 min read

For years natural disasters have hit continents hard. They have robbed us our loved ones, property, and investments that we spend years investing. We cry and with time, pick up the pieces and move on. But do we ever think of how to handle the situation better if it strikes again? Probably not; while its human nature to panic when an emergency strikes, being well informed makes a huge difference.

To help you handle emergencies without getting overwhelmed, you should check out our disaster survival skills for any emergency. The skills comprise of the basic to most complex ones, so there is a treat. Just take a look!

Be well informed

There are different ways you can get weather update in your location, so you don’t get overwhelmed. You can either watch the news or subscribe for google weather updates. However, you should not rely on one method.

Sometimes your phone may have no power, or you may have power rationing, which means you will not be in a position to watch the news. In this case, an NOAA weather radio will keep you well informed. Once you get the updates, take action early enough to avoid being caught the last minute.

Learn how to improvise foods

When a disaster occurs, and people get displaced, they are likely not to have enough food as they would do in their houses. The occurrence of an emergency should not drive you into starving since it is possible to improvise ways of getting food for your survival during such times. As an affected person, you have to find the foods that can keep you going through the period that you will be away from home.

To cater for cases of emergency, you need to store dried food in proper proportions that will ensure you have enough supply of nutrients. Dried foods can last longer than the regular foods you buy to use at home. They will help keep you energized during an emergency as you figure out how to get your life back together.

In case the emergency leads to the destruction of property, and you are forced to stay in the camps for long, you will also need crop growing skills. You need to know which type of crops can do well on which type of soils. This will make you have a constant supply of fresh food to get you going.

Also Read: How long do MREs Last?

Learn how to find or make clean water

When people get displaced, one of the problems that they experience in the fields is lack of enough, clean, drinking water.ย  To keep yourself well hydrated, you must ensure you have clean water.

If you can access a spring, you can be sure to have a constant supply of safe drinking water throughout the period. If you cannot access one, you need to come up with ways of purifying dirty water. You may also need to identify different sources of water apart from the springs so that in case one dries up; you can always shift to the next.

Water purifiers can be of great help in case you do not have access to clean water. There exist different types of water purifiers in the market. You also need to be well versed on how to use them to make sure you do things right, and you do not end up drinking contaminated water.

First Aid skills

Disaster can lead to the destruction of property and the occurrence of different types of injuries to people. When injuries occur, it is those who are around the scene that will help the victims before professionals arrive. It is only possible to help yourself or the people around you if you have First Aid skills that can be used in different situations.

To help save the many lives that are always lost in disaster scenes, it is essential to develop different types of First Aid skills. You can learn skills related to helping people with burns as well as those with cuts. Once you acquire such skills, you are sure to help yourself as well as other people who might get injuries when a disaster occurs.

There are different platforms one can use to learn about First Aid and how to provide them to disaster victims. You can visit videos sites like YouTube and learn the skills. You can also develop such skills by reading blogs and articles to build such skills over a period.

To avoid any disappointments, make sure you get a quality first aid kit with everything that you may need.

Fire starting skills

Just like when you are at home, you will need fire to cook and help you stay warm. When the disaster leads to displacement, it even becomes worse because you may experience cold nights out there. Your skills to start a fire in the open can help you keep the cold away.

You need to learn how to start a fire in different situations. You need always to have match sticks and lighters to use. You also need to learn how to start a fire without using either a matchstick or a lighter.

Know how to react to the situation and get yourself out of danger

During a disaster, many people panic and get confused about how they need to get out of the location fast to avoid sustaining injuries. The first steps you take when an emergency occurs will determine your survival rates or severity of injuries. You need to develop skills that can help you get out of the location first before an figure out what to do next.

In case of fire, you need to react very fast and move to the direction where there is no fire without panic. Confusion can make you head to directions with fire that can result in more injuries. You also need to figure out where the fire assembly point is so that you find the help you need.

Self-defense skills

The presence of different types of emergencies can mean that you need to have defense mechanisms to help you to get out of the situation. Self-defense ranges from arming yourself against attacks from other people and wild animals to the process of protecting yourself against injuries that can take place as you take part in a rescue mission.

You may need to carry a firearm or a knife to help you counter attacks from animals and humans. On the other hand, you might only need to wear steel-toe boots and a helmet just in case you are part of a rescue team in a site with a falling object.

In case you go on a trip and you are attacked by humans or animals, there are things you can do to get out of the situation. For example, for an animal attack, you can make noises to alert other people, using sprays in case they are allowed in the region you visit and moving in crowds to scare away the animals. For the instance of humans, you may arm yourself pepper sprays to help keep them away as you move to a safer place.

Tent building skills

One of the necessary skills for any human being is shelter. Disasters can make you spend sleepless nights in the cold if you do not know how to build a tent, you may get overwhelmed by the situation. Tent building skills will enable you to come up with shelter you can use for the few days you will be in the camp before you relocate to a better shelter.

A tent and sleeping bag can keep you comfortable in the cold nights. You need to learn how to build a shelter early enough so that you do fumble around when a disaster occurs. Better still; you will have the ability to make your family comfortable when they cannot have access to the warmth of your home.

In case you do not have a tent, you need to learn how to come up with a shelter using the available resources. These might include the wood and branches that you can access in the location.

Also Read: The Importance of Shelter in Survival

Hunting and fishing skills

A disaster can make you spend a lot of time in the camp. During this time, you may exhaust all the food that you have in store and run out of options to get more. You might not have a balanced diet, and this may adversely affect your health. But with hunting and fishing skills, you can access the foods that might be missing in your diet.

However, you cannot hone your hunting and fishing skills overnight. You need to be practicing from time to time so that you have the best of skills. With such skills, you will feed your family with a well-balanced diet to keep them nourished.

Signaling skills

An emergency requires you to know the different ways that you can use to reach out to rescuers. When you are lost, and you make an emergency call, they will likely require you to state the coordinates of your location. You need to carry a map with you and be sure that you know how to read the map well because giving the right coordinates will make the rescuers to access you fast.

You also need to learn arm signals and how you can use them when you are in distress. Rescuers are trained to read and understand arm signals. It is, therefore, your duty to learn what every sign implies so that you do not send the wrong message to the rescuers.

You can inform rescuers that you need help by raising both hands to form letter Y for yes. Others methods of signaling rescuers include loud sounds, using a whistle or even using a flashlight to inform the rescuers.

Also Read: How to Signal for Help in the Wilderness

Diseases emergency preparedness skills

During a disaster, you are likely to be infected by diseases. It might not be possible to get the best medical care at such a time. You have to equip yourself with skills to help control situations when affected by different types of diseases.

Quarantine is one of the ways that you can use to control the spread of infectious diseases. In this case, you need to separate people who have been infected from those who are not affected so that you can stop the spread. It makes it easy for health practitioners to control the situation once they arrive.

Mechanical skills

There are times when people get held up in lonely places because they do not have mechanical skills to help them get out of the situation. When your car has a mechanical issue, and you cannot access any professional mechanic, your mechanical skills can help get the car started to avoid any inconveniences. Such skills can be developed over time as you get to interact with a different type of items that require mechanical skills.

In case you are going on a trip, and you carry your radio gadget as your emergency alert tool, you should know that it can fail to work at times. You will need mechanical skills to repair your radio that you can use to reach out for help in case of anything. Otherwise, you might not be able to alert other people in case you are experiencing any problem.

Inter-personal skills

When you get displaced during a disaster, you will have to cooperate with other people so that you can overcome the situation. The cooperation will help you get the things that you do not have yet you need to survive as a human being.

Cooperation will also make you learn new ways of surviving, which might be of great importance to you during such a time. You can always improve such skills by interacting with new people regularly so that you find it easy to cooperate with others when a disaster takes place.


Surviving during a disaster requires that you have special skills that can be applied to different situations. Note that these skills apply to different emergencies. So you need to put them in practice over as you prepare for unpredictable circumstances.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.