Service and Growth: My Month Alone in Thailand
August 6, 2018
August 9, 2018

How Girls Can Survive a Natural Disaster

How Girls Can Survive a Natural Disaster

In late June, a Thai soccer team of 12 boys and their coach were reported missing. On July 2, 10 days after their reported absences, they were found trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave. The team became trapped 2.5 miles into the cave after exploring it in order to carve their names into the walls as an initiation. Little did they know, the cave was a flooding ground during the heavy monsoon rains.

How did the Thai boys survive so long in the cave?
The team entered the cave after purchasing a slew of snacks to celebrate one teammate’s, Peerapat Sompiangjai’s, 17th birthday. These snacks played a large role in saving the soccer team’s lives. The coach, Ekapol Chantawong, allowed the boys to share the snacks among themselves; saving the boys but leaving him to be the weakest when they were found.

This nerve-rattling experience makes me wonder what precautions I should take when faced with any type of disaster. It also makes me think about whether or not I would be properly prepared for survival if I were to experience something like this. Therefore, I have researched a few ways to survive in different types of situations.

How can you survive underground?
Anmar Mirza, national coordinator of the US National Cave Rescue Commission, shares a few suggestions on what to do when you are trapped.
• First, you should make sure you are not in immediate danger.
• Second, you should seek the highest point to avoid water if there is flooding. He says you can do this by pinpointing “where water had risen in previous floods…look for mud, leaves, wet slime on the walls.”
• Next, check what supplies you have with you. Rationing food is the best thing to do, especially if you are unsure of how long you will remain underground.

Mirza explains that hypothermia is the first major risk of being trapped underground, therefore, you should make sure you remain warm. Here are a few tips to stay warm: wring out wet clothes to keep them dry and huddle together for warmth.

The second major concern is water. You must remain hydrated but be aware that consuming dirty water will result in diarrhea and vomiting that leads to dehydration later on.

The next two concerns, though not as dangerous as the others, are the availability of oxygen underground as well as the mental strain caused by the entrapment. Carbon dioxide levels rise but it is not uncommon for oxygen levels to be low.

What can I do in the case of other emergencies and disasters?

In the case of natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes, here are some tips for survival:
1. Have an axe and life preservers available for possible flooding.
2. Make sure you have a viable supply of water.
3. Shut off all water supply after filling your bathtub in case the water system is polluted or shut down for weeks.
4. Drain your water heater and pipes to have drinking water. “Make sure you turn off the electricity or gas to your water supply before draining or it will be ruined!”
5. Use water filters and treatment chemicals to purify flood waters in case you need drinking water.
6. Put together a 72-hour Grab-and-Run Kit.
7. Store your kit in “dry packs”.
8. Keep a colloidal silver generator.
9. Formulate a disaster plan.
10. Use waterproof LED headlamps.
For more helpful survival tips, visit

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