"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis PasteurI have seen some versions of the Rule of Threes, that include an extra line: you can only live for 3 months without hope. Hope and preparedness work well together. If you are prepared, you'll have reason to be hopeful. If you're of the right frame of mind and have the right skills, you will be better prepared.
Frequently books and web sites focus on the material side of preparedness with check off lists for the right supplies to have on hand. But what if you're away from your supplies?
Example: while photographing a beautiful nature scene you step back too far and fall down a ravine breaking your leg. Are you carrying a first aid kit in your pocket?
Example: you are driving over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for Thanksgiving. Your car slides on black ice and is stuck in a ditch with no cell phone signal. Did you pack blankets and emergency food & water in the car?
The survival instructor who taught the broken leg example does indeed ALWAYS carry a survival kit in a fanny pack on his belt. (Who says you can't take it with you?) Lacking the fanny pack you might think back to your scouting days and make a splint with branches and the sleeves torn off your shirt. When you lack supplies, be creative!
You may remember the TV show MacGyver (the actor has appeared in character in a few commercials lately for Master Card). MacGyver was a hero who saved the day by combining everyday objects in clever ways. In one show he combined metal candle sticks and a power cord to shock a heart attack victim back to life (don't try this at home!). In a commercial he slides down a cable to freedom using his socks.
(For MacGyver fans there is an interview with the star, Richard Dean Anderson, comparing his life to MacGyver in Popular Mechanics, Sept. 2008)
When supplies fail - use your mind. Be as resourceful and clever as MacGyver and be creative with the supplies you have.