Archive for February, 2016
Cloudy Water and a Day of Reckoning
I ran out of bottled water during a recent holiday weekend. I usually keep a few gallons on hand, along with a couple of cases of bottles. This is in addition to a purifying attachment I have on my kitchen faucet as well. However, a lot of people came over to the house, and I was soon out of bottled water. The filter on the sink was almost at the end of its useful life as well.
I went out to the store to get some more bottled water, but supplies were limited, prices were high, and I didn’t feel like waiting in a long line to check out. I started to drive to another store, but the traffic was so bad that I decided just to go home and get some more water during the week.
I got home and, of course, the filter on the sink went out. The material inside somehow collapsed and prevented any water from coming out of the faucet. We had to remove the filter and drink from the tap for the rest of the party. The water on the tap isn’t the problem in the beginning. We have pretty good municipal water that I test from time time. However, it’s kind of hard and has a slight aftertaste.
Life Got in the Way
Things got busy during the following week and I got behind schedule. I kept either forgetting to go to the store and load up on water and filters, or simply procrastinated. This went on for two weeks. I was drinking from the tap, and then going for the sodas, juices and even milk when I got bored with the bad tasting water.
Two things happened at the end of that two week period. First, the refrigerator stopped working because it needed to be cleaned and serviced. Everything inside was spoiling. Second, I turned on the water the day after I learned about the refrigerator problem, and it was filthy-cloudy. It had a strong chemical smell and it irritated my nose when I sniffed the glass.
The village made an announcement that they had to add a strong chemical to fix some kind of problem, and that nobody should drink the water for at least a day. Boiling wasn’t an option. The system needed to be flushed. Their recommendation? Go to the store and get some bottled water.
So, I went to a few stores, and the shelves were EMPTY. I went to a couple of more stores further away and their shelves were empty as well. I had to go back home and work for a couple of hours, so I ended up drinking some of the soda and juice that didn’t yet spoil in the refrigerator.
By the time all was said and done, I had to drive for three hours to find two cases of water and a pack of faucet filters. I had to wait another day before the refrigerator got fixed, and it wasn’t until the end of the next day before regular water service was restored.
The moral of the story? Always, always, always have a three day supply of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning on hand at all times. You never know when something will go wrong and force you to use that stockpile.
While my situation was more of a comedy of errors and stupid decisions, many survival scenarios that are far more serious start out in the same way. Never take chances with basic resources such as food, water and shelter. Otherwise, you are almost guaranteed to encounter a day of reckoning that may not be as forgiving as mine was.
How to Fend off a Dog Attack
In both cases, you are asserting your dominance and letting the dog know that you are standing your ground without being a threat. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it should be the first thing that you do. Most attacks occur after the dog provides ample warning through barking or growling, and using this phase to your advantage can help to avoid problems from escalating.
Use a Stick or Other Object
You can also use a stick, cane, umbrella or any other object that you can put in front of you to enlarge your personal space. You will appear as a bigger threat to the dog, and this may be enough to scare it off or cause it to back down. If the dog lurches at you in attack mode, you can slap the stick on the ground, swat at the dog or hit it if necessary.
If an Attack is Imminent
If an attack is going to happen, try to wrap your weak arm with a jacket, sweater or shirt, or try to get the arm out of the sleeve. In both cases, offer it to the dog as a distraction. This will give you the option to take action with your stronger arm. Remember that a dog only has one mouth, so if it is occupied with something else, then you can easily overpower the dog and neutralize the attack.
Even if the dog bites you, you can still use that moment to your advantage. Remember that you need to be in control and have your wits about you, even if the animal is sinking its teeth into your flesh. Look for any opportunity to get control of the situation. If you have a pocket knife, use it. If you only have your other hand, beat the dog over the head, pull it up by it’s hind legs, grab its throat. You will only have a couple of seconds to react once his mouth is clamped down on your sleeve or skin, so make good use of the opportunity.
The same principle applies if the dog knocked you to the ground or if it has latched on to your leg. Position yourself face-up, and use your free hand or hands to wrestle and immobilize the dog by whatever means you have at your disposal.
Remember that most attacks can be diffused by your actions before they occur. However, when they happen, you need to be able to think clearly without panicking. Grabbing the throat, tail or genitalia of a dog will cause it to quickly stop the attack and become distracted from pain. Even if you need to sacrifice getting bitten in order to subdue the animal, it’s better to have one or two wounds and neutralize the dog than to suffer severe injuries because you didn’t take advantage of good self-defense techniques.