Monday, April 26, 2010

The Return of the Rule of Threes

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”-Virginia Satir

This weekend my wife and I had an opportunity to train local Church Emergency Specialists. I chose as my topic the subject matter that started my blog almost two years ago,
The Rule of Threes.

The rule goes like this...

You may survive (on average)

Three minutes without air

Three hours without shelter
(i.e. protection from extreme heat or cold)

Three days without water

Three weeks without food

Three months without hope

The Rule of Threes explains some common survival errors:

1. By using a charcoal grill or power generator indoors during a power outage, you're trading shelter/heat for air and may die of asphyxiation.

2. By eating snow when thirsty you give up body heat and may die of hypothermia before you die of thirst.

3. Likewise don't sacrifice shelter when searching for water. Sunstroke kills faster than thirst.

4. By eating dried food like jerky when water is scarce you are speeding up your own dehydration and death.

Bottom Line

It's useful to keep the priorities in mind - we tend for focus on hunger pains and thirst and overlook core principles like air and body heat which are more subtle but silent killers.

My early blogs provide additional information on the topics of air, heat, cold, water, and food:

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