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How to Survive in a Warzone as a Civilian

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If you have no military training and you've never been in a warzone before, you are probably wondering what to do if you have to survive when war breaks out. Things become even more serious if you also have a family that you have to protect. Young children are more sensitive and they will need more care than older children.

One of the problems related to a military attack is the fact that water, electricity, and gas supplies will probably be cut out. There will be food shortages, no access to medical care, no medicine, and no possibilities to communicate via phone or the internet. You may find yourself isolated in a bombed city, with collapsed buildings, where dead and dying people lie in the debris. The presence of corpses can lead to the outspread of diseases, which are difficult to control, because of the lack of doctors and medicine. Rain or snow will make the situation worse, especially if you have no place to live and no clothing, except what you are wearing.


In order to survive, you will have to think about two basic things, water, and food. First, you should take into consideration that the human body can survive without water for 3-5 days and without food for 1-2 months. Regarding water consumption, you should also consider that temperature plays an important role. On a hot day, you will sweat and lose a certain amount of water through your skin, which will have to be replaced by drinking water, otherwise, you will dehydrate fast. Many essential body functions are carried out by the water, including temperature regulation. Without water, your organs begin to shut down. Water is vital for the brain, especially for the part that regulates the vital functions, such as breathing and heartbeat, and if it is lacking, this can lead to fainting, strokes, and finally death. A person needs about half a gallon ( 2 liters) of water a day, in order to survive. For a certain period, you could reduce this amount to a tenth of a gallon, but not for a very long time, if you do not want it to have negative consequences to your health.

A fat person could survive longer than a skinny one, provided that he had enough water-soluble B vitamins in his system, to help him metabolize the fat deposits. Canned food is preferable during a war because it stays fresh and is not contaminated with bacteria.


Urban areas are more likely to be attacked than the countryside, therefore it is advisable to flee to the countryside for safety. It is useful to locate help from the Red Cross or other international aid agencies. In some cases, the military forces could help as well, because some of them have enough supplies for civilians to survive too. If you can't get aid from anywhere, you might have to get water and food from nature. Remember that unfiltered and unboiled water can be dangerous to your health.

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The shelter is also an important aspect you will have to think about. If your house has been bombed, you could try to stay in large communal groups. Nevertheless, since resources will become scarce, this could lead to violent competition for these resources within the groups. If you're alone, you should learn how to build a shelter, for yourself and your family. It should be watertight and keep wild animals away. Camouflaging is also a very good idea, to prevent making you an easy target. As a temporary shelter, you can use basements, subway tunnels, sewers or if you are in nature, you could hide in a cave. Having two exits could be useful in case you need to flee from an attack.


You should also think about your safety. Carrying a weapon may become necessary for your and your family's protection. You can get one in a fighting area, but getting it may be a very dangerous task. Alternatively, you could exchange it (from someone who has already got one), for something of value you own, for example, food or an item you have on yourself, like a piece of jewelry. Then, you should learn how to operate it. Having enough ammunition is also important, and you should calculate the number of bullets you have, to prevent wasting your ammunition. Remember that a weapon is relatively heavy, because it is made of metal, so if you have luggage to carry, you should also calculate the total weight of your items, and leave behind those that are less necessary because a heavy burden will slow you down in case you need to flee.

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