Mi’kmaw survival expert Sakej Ward shares six survival tips
People living on unceded land in the Metro Vancouver area are facing yet another big rain dump – 50 to 80mm – according to a rain warning issued this morning by Environment Canada.
The alert comes as people are already scrambling to recover from severe flooding and landslides that prompted the province to declare a state of emergency on November 17. Forest fires.
“What we are seeing is a slight increase … [of] more problems which are obviously related to nature. And it’s all linked to climate change, âsays Sakej Ward, a survival expert and Mi’kmaw warrior who says he spent years serving in the Canadian and US armed forces.
Last week, IndigiNews asked Ward to share lessons on how to prepare for an emergency – and what to do if you’re caught off guard in a dangerous situation.
We’ve summarized Ward’s top tips below (below the video, which shows our full interview).
- Have a âshelter in placeâ plan. Your home is often the safest place because it provides the shelter you need, says Ward, adding that âcreating the plan that’s right for youâ is essential. Know your community’s emergency plan to make sure your family plan can work within it. And if you face a flood, move your valuables high up inside your home.
- When you cannot shelter in place, prepare to âevacuateâ or evacuate. Know your escape routes, says Ward. âYou might have three or four different routes out of your community, but you need to know which one your community is going to use,â says Ward. Know your surroundings, know your land and surroundings and the dangers that may arise along the road to safety. “We shouldn’t only run away from danger, we should also run to safety.”
- Pack enough supplies to last at least two weeks. As we see more and more mega-events related to climate change, recommendations for putting together kits with enough supplies to last 72 hours are outdated, says Ward. âThey find post analyzes of these different disasters, that three days is really not enoughâ¦ If you are in a situation where you are further from a big city or a big cityâ¦ any type of relief in case of disaster takes longer to reach you. “
- In addition to food, clothing, water, and a water filter, make sure you have headlamps and duct tape. When it comes to the flashlight versus the headlamp, Ward says to go for headlamps. “Then can you use both hands to do whatever you have to do, whether it’s working on your vehicle, or maybe it’s an injury and you need to do first aid on yourself- same. “And you must have” a lot of duct tape! “
- Treat your cell phones like a life support device. As soon as you lose a reliable power source, your cell phone becomes a life-saving device, says Ward. Make sure you have a preloaded charger in your kit and pay attention to how you use your phone. âWe’re going to be very tempted at that point to want to be on that cell phone 24/7. We’ll look to this phone for psychological support in some way, âsays Ward, adding that it’s best to already have a usage plan before a disaster – in order to preserve battery life and to maximize access to information.
- When you feel unsafe, BREATHE and STOP. People naturally tend to panic and tunnel vision when they sense danger, Ward says. Taking a deep, intentional breath or two can help meet the needs of your body when it enters flight or combat mode. You can also use the acronym STOP, he says. S is seated. It’s taking inventory – âCheck what kind of gear you have with you. Â»O is to observe -Â« Shall I make a shelter? Do I have to make a fire? And do I have the resources to do it? Â»P is the plan.
In addition to these tips, Ward shared a few lists that he says are meant to be customizable based on your specific situation: Disaster Preparedness Checklist, Evacuation Bag Systems, and Vehicle Emergency Kit.
For more advice, follow Ward on Facebook and check out this interview with Pam Palmater on her YouTube channel, Warrior Life.